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Welcome to OOTS - New Members Please Start Here => New Members => Introductory Post => Topic started by: Geneva on July 24, 2018, 06:46:18 PM

Title: newbie starting counselling
Post by: Geneva on July 24, 2018, 06:46:18 PM
hello, happy to have found my way here. Iím new to the site and the forum and new to recognising that Iím affected by cptsd.

Iím in the U.K. and have started therapy with a counsellor who understands cptsd.  Iím trying to get my head around different types of therapy available in the U.K. - are there reasons why people may opt for NHS psychology services, or psychiatry or psychotherapy or counselling? Iíve gone down the private Skype counselling route and early days but so far so good.

Itís just that I made the decision myself without GP or anyone elseís involvement and before I get in too deep, Iím starting to wonder about what the benefits are of other types of therapists.

Have people found that their recovery journey hasnít been a one stop shop in terms of therapists?

If this should go in the therapy section then please move, sorry. Iím an adult child of Narc parent.
Title: Re: newbie starting counselling
Post by: Blueberry on July 24, 2018, 08:18:49 PM
Hello and welcome to the forum  :heythere:

Your post is OK here since it's your first post. If nobody answers your questions on counselling / therapy we can split your post and put the therapy questions on the board.

My recovery journey from cptsd caused by family stuff in my childhood has certainly not been a one-stop shop! It seems fairly common on here that people go a while to one therapist and then change. A number of my therapists got stuck eventually and I had to find somebody with new ideas, methods e.g. trauma-informed.

I don't live in the UK so I only know what I glean on the boards here. I'm hoping a couple of the UK mbrs will get back to you on your UK-specific questions.
Title: Re: newbie starting counselling
Post by: Eyessoblue on July 24, 2018, 09:00:58 PM
Hi, Iím from the uk too! Iím currently going down the nhs route but I am regretting it and wish Iíd gone private with a trauma trained therapist. The reason I regret it is because youíre only allowed 12 sessions on the nhs then you have to be discharged, you can reapply but have to go back in the waiting lists and they can be months long.
Iíve been really lucky with the therapist I got tho, she is trauma trained, specialises in PTSD and also has done 12 sessions of emdr with me. I know a couple of others on here who havenít been so lucky with the therapists they have been given. Obviously this is free too whereas if you go private in can cost you a lot of money.
I originally had an appointment with a nhs psychiatrist where they basically diagnose whatís wrong with you then you get moved on to who they think can help you the most.
Cptsd is a very complex condition and 12 weeks Therapy just isnít going to do it and now Iíve bared my soul to this therapist I donít feel I can go private and do it all again with someone I donít know!
Hope you get on ok, let me know if you want to know anything else.
Title: Re: newbie starting counselling
Post by: Geneva on July 24, 2018, 10:21:40 PM
thanks for replying - haven't worked out how to do individual replies yet.

Blueberry, just remembered I've had four counselling/therapy experiences in adulthood, none of whom were trauma informed, so guess I already knew the journey can be a long one ! Reassuring to hear that in many ways this one may not be the end of the line either, even though I'm delighted she seems 'onto it' at the moment. I'm just so exhausted that having got to the crux of the problem by identifying cptsd, it's almost like I need a break and gather my energy for the new path ahead, now that there is so much more to learn and most of my life to reframe.

Eyessoblue, totally get the cost benefits of NHS treatment and agree too that from where I'm standing, weekly therapy over 12 weeks max doesn't seem enough for cptsd. It's a very soul bearing experience but I hope you've made some breakthroughs with this therapist. I've just managed to pronounce my therapist's name correctly at week 3. About 20 years ago when I first went to the GP with anxiety/depression she suggested a referral to a psychiatrist when I continued to need antidepressants after about 18 months. I was appalled, quit my job and went travelling to have the symptoms resume when I returned.  To think if I'd only understood that she felt there may have been more that just anxiety/depression, I could have been addressing cptsd much earlier - but it looks like many of us have been in that boat. And anyway, 20 years ago it may have been a more difficult condition to recognise too, even in psychiatry. Hope you get something sorted out if you're going to continue with therapeutic work beyond the NHS. I've found the private skype counselling reasonably priced but the price ranges between therapists are enormous.
Title: Re: newbie starting counselling
Post by: Fen Starshimmer on July 26, 2018, 10:14:11 AM
Hi Geneva,
Welcome to OOTS  :wave:

I'm from the UK too. Well done on finding a counsellor who understands CPTSD. My healing journey started quite a few years ago and no one seemed to have heard of CPTSD, including me.

I found CBT offered on the NHS inappropriate for dealing with flashback triggers (which weren't even identified as such then, just considered 'irrational' thinking and behaviour), and ended up stumbling from one private healer/therapist to another... none of whom ever mentioned CPTSD. Some even caused me psychological harm with blaming and shaming. It's hard to choose the right person if you are severely traumatised and dissociated (as I was) because your perception is skewed. So I would say, if you have found a counsellor who understands you and can help you progress, that's great! Go for it, for as long as it feels right.

I have since found specialist therapists offering something different, that helps rebalance the body as well as the mind. I was simply drawn in that direction, and followed my instincts.  As I slowly developed more strength and clarity, each experience contributed something of value to my healing. So although no one therapist or therapy is perfect and offers an all-in-one cure to CPTSD, carefully selected individuals can work on different aspects contributing to greater wellness. I hope that makes sense. 

Title: Re: newbie starting counselling
Post by: Geneva on July 26, 2018, 12:48:14 PM
thankyou Fen Starshimmer.

What you say totally makes sense. It's such a minefield to navigate therapy when we feel as we do. I've had to take a step back and consider whether cptsd fits - counsellor thinks so and I agree but it's a very new realisation for me. I was shocked when she mentioned it and didn't expect her to, my primary interest was recovering from the effects of a narc parent and finding a therapist who knew about narcissism. It all makes sense now..and I can now see where other approaches could add some things to this one as the recovery goes along. I'm ready to see where this therapeutic encounter takes me and will hopefully be vigilant to things beginning to not work so well, if and when that happens. thanks again for replying.
Title: Re: newbie starting counselling
Post by: Fen Starshimmer on July 27, 2018, 09:33:45 AM
Hi Geneva, Glad my comments were useful. I was wondering whether you've read Pete Walker's book, 'Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving', as he explains the effects of growing up in a family that made you feel unwanted, unliked, rejected, emotionally abandoned etc in a clear, helpful way with lots of info and tips and recovery. I'm finding it very reassuring to read, another eye opener.

Wishing you all the best with your therapy, and hope to see you here again.
Title: Re: newbie starting counselling
Post by: Geneva on July 27, 2018, 06:07:21 PM
thanks Fen Starshimmer, and what a beautiful name to chose.

I've now come across Pete Walker's book which seems a great place to start to become more trauma informed.

Best wishes and it's reassuring to know there are others walking the same path who are willing to share on this forum.