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What exactly does a therapist do?

I’ve only ever seen a therapist once out of the hospital. It went fairly well but then I never rescheduled. I didn’t share much of my delusional thoughts. It was just kind of like, “Oh well sometimes I get sad.” “And how does that make you feel?” Sort of thing. Anyone have a bit of insight as to how a therapy goes? Is it like a, “I’ve been hearing this voice.” thing? Because I don’t hear it so much, I hardly ever mention it to psychiatrists.

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There is a lot of variety among therapists. Different ones have different methods, will focus on different things, specialize in different things (or nothing), etc. Some of them have issues of their own and really suck. Some of them really have their heads on straight and know what they are doing. If you ask 100 people what their therapy experiences have been like, you will got a lot of different responses. Like my last experience with therapy really sucked and my therapist was a bit of a nutter in her own ways, and it was a complete waste of time and money. But that’s not a fair description of therapy, because some people get great therapists and really benefit from it. I think it’s one of those things where if you want to, just try it, see if you can find one you click with and see if you can get anything out of it.

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The ones that know what they are doing, what do they do?

They’re able to listen well, ask the right questions, consider many different angles and actually figure out what a client is likely struggling with and why. A responsible therapist will also refer you to another, more specialized therapist, if they feel that your issues are beyond their scope of expertise. Some issues require more specialized training and experience from a therapist. After getting to the point of figuring that much out, they know what the most effective, up-to-date methods are when it comes to helping with those things, and will discuss these options with you, and get to work with you when you’re ready to try them. They are also good at striking balance with many things, such as letting you vent it out when you need to, but not also just letting you talk nonstop every session with no guidance, questions or anything, essentially just taking your money while never helping you actually get anywhere. As an example. Another really big important factor is that they’re not too proud to change their mind or theory over time if necessary.

Hopefully others can chime in on things they consider to be qualities of a good therapist, but that’s just some of my opinions off the top of my head.

My last therapist seemed sweet in her personality and wasn’t intimidating at all, but she didn’t actually DO anything, the sessions were meaningless because I might as well have been talking to a rock, and then it turned out she had an anti-psychiatry bent, which was unhealthy for someone like me, as examples of what I would consider red flags.

Is it that partly that their responses to what you say cause you to change in some way?

Thank you turnip. I was a bit curious about therapy. I think I should be fine. If I ever need it, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt. That was the type of information I was wondering about. I was just having some depressing thoughts is all.

It’s different for different people. There are specific methods like CBT, ERP, EMDR, etc that can be used. In some cases the therapist could help you challenge the way you think and give you new ways to look at things, new angles to consider, to help you grow. Sometimes they can give you outside, objective perspective and insight about things. Sometimes they can validate your emotions, which can be very healing for some people. Sometimes they provide a place where you can be completely honest without fear of judgement or retribution, which can be important sometimes. And so on and so forth.

I don’t there are ever going to be any magic words that change or heal people. They have to acknowledge and understand you as a unique mind/soul, and then respond to that.

I have a different experience.
My psychiatrist has been my therapist for 19 years, because he has the two specialties. The therapy has been very useful for me because I have voiced my feelings, anguish, frustrations, angers, etc. so I feel fine after to see him.
Other aspect is that he has taught me several strategies in how know myself and how face everyday.

I would like to write more about that but I have to do others things in this moment.

If you want to know more, I will be charmed to share with you my experience.
Take care.
Tolteca.

Damn that is awesome. That’s the way it should be.

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My pdoc is my therapist as well. She does several things.

She made me keep a symptom log so we could identify triggers for my visuals. She identified things in my daily schedule that she didn’t think are healthy - I was sleeping 12+ hours a day and she gave me assignments like going to the store during times I liked to take naps. Eventually she adjusted my meds based on this. She keeps track of my disturbing thought processes.

Lately, she’s been letting me drive the sessions more. I come in with something that has been giving me trouble, and we talk about it, and she gives me assignments to combat it. We’ve worked on my inability to focus. We worked on catastrophic thinking last time. Next time, I am planning on bringing in a list of core beliefs I have that are hurting me, and asking her how she thinks I can dismantle them.

I think, with a good therapist, you need to both have goals for what you want to happen - this is a professional you’re hiring, after all - and you should trust your therapist to alert you to issues that she sees that you might not have noticed. You also need to have someone you can be honest with.

well my psychologist who is also my therapist makes me do a time table and list down daily activities of every hour. she has been suggesting that i do gardening so that i can have a bond with a living thing,/ plants/ flowers. since i dont have much of a bond with people. things are changing now cos i finally have a new friend near my area… :slight_smile: