Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I've spent the last ten years in and out of therapy; like a submarine, I'd surface when things were going bad and find myself someone who would listen to me rant and rave, then, when it was all hunky-dory I'd go solo again.

I was evaluated for Post Natal Depression just after Tricky had his first operation and was found to have a high enough score on the little questionnaire thingy to get a stamp on my head that said "insane" diagnosis. I did a nine week group therapy course and found it really helpful but wanted to keep seeing a counsellor as I knew I had a few stressful events coming up (like Tricky's second round of surgery) that had the potential to bring me down a bit.

I was 'matched' with a therapist who did things differently to all my other previous therapists. After years of doing therapy one way I was more than happy to give something else a go.

Over four sessions I had to do some very interesting stuff like say what TV character I identified with or wanted to be when I was a kid (easy, Punky Brewster cos she was so cool and had a gorgeous dog), draw a picture of my boundaries (I even used coloured pencils in case it was being marked), write with my non-writing hand when answering some questions (which strangely gave me a massive sense of de ja vu) and some other talky-type stuff. On a scale of 1 - "That's some pretty deep shit" it rated only about a three, as evidenced by the fact that I only cried once.

Apparently, seeing her for four sessions is all I needed...
Those pesky counsellors of the past were just ripping me off by helping me work through my problems. Working through things is so last season.

Apparently, all these years I have battled with mental illness was because I'd just 'taken on too much responsibility'...
So the two years when I stayed at home all day, every day, sometimes unable to get out of bed, surviving on a disability pension, mustn't count then. My only responsibility then was to get to therapy so I'm pretty sure I wasn't taking on too much; and I was nuttier than a fruit cake!

Apparently I just need to reward myself more by going to the hairdresser...
If only I'd known that my split ends caused my depression, anxiety, social phobia and personality disorder! Here I was thinking that they were just a bit ugly and covered them up by rockin' a classic messy bun.

Apparently, now that I know this... I am cured. CURED I tells ya!

Don't let my sarcasm detract you from the fact that this is, of course, brilliant news.

Any of you reading this with mental health issues, quick, what was your favourite TV show? BAM! Cured! You're welcome.

Although I was in quite a state of shock at the end of today's session when she declared that we'd worked through a lot and identified all my issues, and therefore I didn't need to come back, I did manage to actually form words and ask her what she thought I should do if I wasn't coping?

"When you say "I'm not coping", that's just your opinion. You're judging yourself. Try not to do it."

Riiiiight. Thanks for that. I've come to you for help and you're gonna shrug your shoulders and say "try not to do that". Brilliant.

So my feelings of inadequacy as a mother will now be getting cosy with the dust bunnies because after that advice I'll be sweeping them under the carpet from now on.

Have you had a weird therapy experience? 

Meet Glowless at the Aussie Bloggers Conference thanks to


  1. Thats bizzare about the de ja vu isnt it? will have to try that one... My therapist made me draw a stop sign, over and over in any colour I liked, I then had to visualise that stop sign every time I felt anxious... yeah... :)

  2. I had a therapist tell me that after two sessions that I was fine and that she didn't know what I wanted from her. I had began seeing her when I was in the midst of suicidal tendencies. But the two week period between (yep two week, she went on holidays in between) my appointments, my mood leveled out and since my mood was stable in the time she concluded I was fine! Lets just ay that was a waste of $240!
    I have PND and fell lost in the system. They just want to drug me up to my eyeballs, which makes me gain weight and lose my hair! Yup great for my feeling of self worth! And then they also claim I am a threat to my children! My children are the only reason I am still alive!!!!!

    Sorry to hear your therapist was so shitty! Half of them must get there degrees from bloody cereal boxes!

  3. Sorry to hear that this therapist wasn't interested in helping you. Luckily you recognised this early and know not to go back to her again. I hope you find someone who is genuinely interested in helping you work through things.

    Shelly xo

  4. I feel for you, not nice to be treated so nonchalantly.... I remember after my son's birth I was assessed and put into free counselling, after the traumatic birth experience I had - AND THEY GAVE ME A MALE TO TALK TO. Like I was going to be able to make him understand, and the empathy just seemed condescending.

    Keep at your search if you need to, someone out there will be the right fit x

  5. I sometimes think I got more out of my session with the psychic than I did with hours and hours with the therapist.

    I broke up with my therapist when she tried to get me to do sessions where she looked at my eyes (the iris in particular) while conducting ‘therapy’. Quack, quack! I was outta there!

    As for those post natal questionnaires, they are a load of poo! If the person administering the questions can’t see that the new Mum is not coping, then what’s the point of asking the questions? It makes a bad situation worse by subjecting Mums to a test at a time when they feel inadequate at best.

    Therapy is a tough one because often people do not know how to help (even when they are the therapist!). Often helping is just listening. Sometimes helping is making suggestions. I don’t believe in cures. I believe we learn to cope the best we can.

  6. Well only time will tell at how effective she really was, but from the info you have given it sounds like she was trying to change your own self-talk....when it is negative and often untrue it can be one of the biggest enemies of good mental health. Sounds fairly simplified but we are sometimes our own worst enemy and need to be mindful of the messages we are sending to our self. You are more than likely doing a far greater job than you ever give yourself credit for (and this is obvious by your fabulous blog). And the hairdresser thing is just a way to have some time out for you...which we all need in order to be effective parents!

  7. It is hard to find a good therapist in Perth. We had a compulsory ivf counselling appt with a psych when we signed up for fertility treatment. Before we went in I said to Dh just smile, and lets get it over with so we can go out for lunch. Well this woman was good, after a few minutes of small talk she looked into my eyes and started talking and that was it I was a good blubbering mess for about an hour, so much for a 5 min quickie. She sounds like she completely wasted your precious time :(

  8. You have my sympathy.I suffered from PND with my first and third babies. With the first it took a lot of trial and error to find what worked (drugs/therapy/both/neither). In the end, the drugs worked (albeit at a super high dose) and the therapist was an idiot and after a few sessions I never went back. I have no doubt that had I have had a better therapist I would have kept it up, but a bad one can really put you off seeing another one.

    Hopefully you can find another decent therapist, and in the meantime, enjoy the scalp massages ;-)

  9. Oh my! So that is my problem? All of those years it was just because I needed a good haircut and not accept that I was having trouble coping. Riiiiiiiight.

    I really hope that you find someone who doesn't blow you off the next time you find yourself struggling.

    I think that therapist needs some therapy of her own.

  10. I once made a GP appointment to discuss my fatigue etc. I had three children aged 1, 4 and 6 and a husband who often travelled away from home with his job. The GPs solution - eat a more balanced diet, get more rest, exercise and don't worry so much.

    After feeling bad for complaining and trying to make the best of things, I eventually changed GPs. I am now under the care of an immunologist and dietician trying to diagnose the cause of my chronic iron deficiency. No wonder I was feeling tired.

    When my sister was 10 my family attended group therapy sessions because of her behavioural issues at school. After 2 sessions, the psychologist concluded that my sister was acting out because of her subconscious fear that my father would die because his father, our grandfather, had died when my dad was aged 10. My sister wasn't even aware how old my father was when my grandfather died. Needless to say, my parents never returned to that therapist, or any other despite ongoing issues with my sister.

    I'm glad you are cured. I can't think of any TV character that I identify with. Does that mean I need therapy?

  11. Seriously cannot believe that - She could cause serious harm to somebody less aware than you.

    I had a "psychologist" (I use the term loosely) shake a rattle around my head while chanting when I was about 14 which was her way of healing me! Haha! Don't know why I would need to talk to feel better?!?! Needless to say when I told my Mum about it, we never went back!!!

  12. Oh Glowy :( Don't go sweeping anything under the carpet! I can't believe you got the "just cheer up FFS, that's all you have to do" line from your freakin' therapist.... What a shocker.

    I have been to my fair share of therapists and have avoided any truly awful ones. But I've met a number of them in my time and shudder to think how they put aside all their own baggage enough to honestly help people through their own stuff.

  13. ah shit, some people are shocking! Don't these people realise how hard it is to say "I'm not coping" ???

    Glowless, you know how I always rave about my therapist, Bev, so I'm gonna take this opportunity to sing her praises a bit more (because not only is she fantastic, but also because she needs a few more patients - she's just started 'going it alone' and left the big psychology consulting firm she was working with).

    Go see her, she's brilliant - down to earth, empathetic, but she challenges you when you need her to.

    For you (and anyone else reading this), her name's Bev Green, she's in Yokine and her work mobile number for appointments is 0411 379 757. She charges $150/hour, but that's mostly covered by the Mental Health Care Plan if your GP refers you.

    Call now! :)

  14. Oh wow, that is so wierd and completely unhelpful!I've had a great psych in the past and am going to be taking myself back to see her soon -there are good ones out there. Good luck and big hugs xx

  15. A friend of mine recently committed suicide she was a former work colleague so my work organised some counseling. Towards the end of the session she asked "you haven't cried once this session, what's up with that?" Maybe I'd done all my crying for the day WTF kind of question is that? Was she doubting my grief?! I saw another counsellor previously and didn't cry I probably don't easily open up to strangers but whenever a work friend would ask me something I'd burst into tears

  16. I went to therapy once, after my husband at the time broke up with me. The counsel'or said 'You will probably always love him' and that made me upset to no end. More than everything I wanted to forget him, not always love him.... Needless to say, I didn't go back for more 'therapy'...

  17. Congratulations on your "cure"... no seriously, was she high?
    I have encountered many f**kwits... I mean professionals... hence why I never went back to therapy sessions.
    One grief counsellor, what a trooper he was, after he was a carer himself for my Grandfather during his final days, told me 4 days after his death that I need to "get over it, because it's not healthy to miss him" and I only missed him because I didn't know my biological father. Kudos to you, Mr. Counsellor. I think what also made me believe his wise words was he had to check the paper he held several times to confirm my relationship with my Grandfather, and even called him by the wrong name, twice.!?

  18. Come to the movies with me - I'm sure that'll CURE you ;)

  19. And I am just soooo pleased that you are cured, by the oh my you could have saved the energy & stayed home... ok, I will answer the question, sorry.

    I have had many run-ins with therapists (not really run-ins, but tough AS HELL life challenges, including major depression in spouse, loss of livelihood, house...blah!

    There have been many, varied and useful approaches, and then there have been the ones where I counselled them because they knew I was a teacher/school principal and could I help them with their child's reading/behaviour/how to get tests 100% right.

    Needless to say, I did help them.

    Who helped me?
    FINALLY, last year, a decent, registered female psychologist and I met & we 'clicked' due to similar philospophies, and age/interests, and she was quite helpful steering my thoughts back to the road of less fear.
    NOW, I see my GP regularly, stay on the meds which help my anxiety/depression to stay at manageable levels, use time to ENJOY myself more, and think about the good things I have going for me rather than the bad...

    Cheers to you, Lovely Lady too XX

  20. O.M.G.
    My jaw is on the floor after reading your post.
    Did this woman actually have ANY qualifications??
    I am horrified at your experience and seriously hope that, despite your sarcasm, you do indeed know that the woman you saw is completely full of bullshit, and that everything she told you should be disregarded. I just read your post to my best friend, who also happens to be a newly qualified psychologist, and she was also horrified and suggested you actually report this woman for being a fuckwit.

    Reading over everyone's comments makes me feel even sadder - I think it's just awful that so many of you have had bad experiences.

    I, too, had a horrific experience with a psychologist, a male, who told me I didn't need therapy, I just needed a friend and then proceeded to take advantage of my traumatised state & my trust of him & convince me that ending up in a relationship with him was the way to sanity. Yeah, incredibly fucked.

    A few years later I found my current therapist and she is an absolute angel. I have been seeing her for over 4 years, sometimes monthly, sometimes fortnightly, sometimes weekly when things were really shit, and she has saved not only my marriage, but also my life.

    I think you should pack up everything, move to Adelaide, start seeing my therapist & come be my friend :)

    But seriously, please don't give up on finding the right therapist. There are some golden ones out there. And they seriously can change your life.

    Hugs to you xx

  21. I had my therapy session yesterday, my 2nd one in regards to S.A. I thought it would be great, the first session seemed pretty good and I thought she would search deeper into things that might have happened to make me this way. But instead, she said "Why don't you try putting yourself out there more", and then kicked me out 30mins early! Now I dont know if I want to go back. Whats the point!??

  22. my god! What a crock of shyte! You identify a tv character and are cured? Man! Sounds like my ex must have seen that person to get "cured" :\

    Methinks I'd be looking for another person to talk to love who isn't going to fob you off hugs.

  23. Yay for finding someone! I hope the ones you helped paid you for your teaching advice :P

  24. I hate that. Just because you haven't cried it doesn't mean you're not upset. Sometimes it's because we're in shock, sometimes we have no tears left, some people are just not criers! It is never a measure of grief and definitely a counselor should know that!

  25. They really can read too much in to things can't they? You need Dr House, Susan :)

  26. That's disgusting, Amy. I could have done nothing for you for much less money :P The 'system' is a crock - if this is how the people who ask for help get treated I wonder how bad it is for the people who are too afraid to ask for help. Thanks for your comment x

  27. Thanks so much for all the comments - it's pretty sad that so many have had bad experiences with therapists. I think I've replied to you all either by email (if your email address was listed on your comment) on here or twitter.
    I'll keep searching for the right fit.
    Glowless x

  28. What the heck?! How utterly bizarre! I did the group sessions for PND too, and had one on one sessions. They weren't anything as strange as that though! I hope you are ok, and sweeping too much under the carpet. PS I loved Punky too! x

  29. It is so sad that when a person needs a doctor/specialist etc it is so hard to find a good one. Unfortunately thats the way it is with everything, hoping that you get the right person to serve you.
    Don't stop seeking the help you need though because eventually you will find the right person.


Comments are blogger crack.
Comments are taken through Disqus. If you don't see that here then please try another browser or device. Thanks x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...