Issues with counselors

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Dyess

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Issues with counselors
« on: April 03, 2015, 07:24:45 PM »
Well...I saw my counselor on Wednesday and some how the topic came up about me disliking counselors. Have you ever just wanted to pull your words out of the air and stuff them back in your mouth? I think it came out while discussing abandonment and caring of the counselor to the client. I pretty much added that "you care as much as I pay you to care" and it started from there..... I truly believe this and get a little defensive when someone tries to tell me they care when I know if my payments stop I would never hear from them again. The money makes them care. Anyone else feel this way? I think we got to an agree to disagree point and moved on :)

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Anamiame

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Re: Issues with counselors
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2015, 09:36:48 PM »
I do.   :thumbup:  I agree whole heartedly.  If I didn't have insurance and the counselor was getting NOTHING from me, she wouldn't see me.  I'm certain of that. 

Now, here's the twist...I was a licensed therapist.  I can give you the inside scoop.  I DID see those clients for nothing--on the backs of the people who could afford to pay full price.  :yes: The problem is, there are more of those who can't afford counseling than those who can.  I worked myself out of a job.  There truly is only so much slide-scale/pro-bono you can do before you don't have food on the table. 

So I changed professions.  I became a social worker...where the counseling is on the backs of the tax-payers.  It works.  I could help the people who really needed and wanted it for free. 

So yeah--you are right.  But they can't spend time with you if they can't pay their bills. 


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Dyess

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Re: Issues with counselors
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2015, 10:31:21 PM »
I can deal with that, but if they would just not try to push how much they care about me it would not make my skin crawl :) I told her that, that she cared because I pay her to care, it's her job. She took a offense to that, but it's the truth. I told her we were not friends, she was my counselor, it's a business. I pay for a service she gives it, that's it.
Thanks for your response. Glad you found a job more fitting for you. Life's too short to be in a job you hate.

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Anamiame

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Re: Issues with counselors
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2015, 04:21:05 AM »
Oh, I loved what I did:  I just didn't want to have to charge people for it.  I hated that payment was a barrier to their knowing that I truly, truly cared and I genuinely wanted to help them the very best that I could.  It's because of that, that I took a job where I COULD do just that. 

So I get where you are coming from. 

But here's the difference, FWIW, I've been with my counselor for 12 years.  She's always been there.  She's always there.  I've had many a counselor where I KNEW it was about the check.  With this one, I willingly pay her--she deserves it.  But does she care, just because I pay her?  No, I sincerely and honestly KNOW the money has nothing to do with it. 

Yeah, it took 12 years to know that I know that I can trust her.  No one...NO ONE EVER...NO ONE has ever been able to do for me what she has done.  And all the money in the world  is not enough to repay her for that.  I finally found someone who not only is as good of a therapist as me, but one who had sturdy boundaries the highest level of professionalism and an endless amount of care and compassion for me.  She never turned her back on me, when she easily could have done so. 

I'm NOT a piece of cake client.  Rather, I'd say that the combination of my extreme C-PTSD, highest level of dissociation due to a childhood that -- I've only seen 1 worse case as a county social worker--is what nightmares are made of, makes me ANY therapists ultimate nightmare.  They EARN their pay with me.  And many couldn't take the heat (which I did purposely to see if first, they were smarter than me, and second to see if they were trustworthy) so they 'got out of the kitchen.  Cudos to them--they are the counselors you are referring to. 

So, I would say, again, FWIW, if you feel that with your counselor, then she's not the right one for you...or, you are not yet at a place to truly trust her genuine care for you. 

For me, I'm done.  I found her.  As she said, "We'll grow old together."  Yes...we are already old...and I'm fairly certain she's a little older than me, but I have no idea how old she is, or the name of her husband or children or where she lives or any of her personal stuff.  I don't know that stuff because I've spent 12 years seeing if she had boundaries--professional boundaries, because...she's my counselor: NOT my friend.  I don't want to run into her in the grocery store--so I chose her based on the fact that she was outside the proximity of my 'real' life.  She doesn't belong there and I don't belong in hers.  If either of these were to occur, it would sabotage my healing process.  It's taken 31 years to get where I am today.  It's been a very long journey. 

Ana~

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Dyess

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Re: Issues with counselors
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2015, 04:37:37 AM »
What's FWIW?  I hear what you are saying. I can't lump all of them into one category and I really wish the conversation had never come up. My counselor is very nice, very smart, and she does have her hands full with me. Childhood issues + 18 years of Law Enforcement, most recent my Dad's suicide which started all this. I found him.
Thanks for the feedback. It's good to know there are some out there that truly care and that helping people is not "just a job" There's a lot of medical people in that group too. I've worked in a very large Emergency Dept. for last 7 years. See...she does have her hands full.

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Anamiame

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Re: Issues with counselors
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2015, 04:50:37 AM »
Ahhhh, you ARE similar to me.  FWIW, For What It's Worth.   :yes:

18 years in law enforcement--my ex was medically retired after 23.  It does a number on you.  That one case I mentioned?  You guys are the first line.  I got the story from the kids.  Not permissible in criminal court, but damned admissible in Dependency Court.  We tend to overlook those as 'traumas' because they fall to the background in dealing with the family stuff.

I'm so sorry you found your Dad.  That's unimaginably tragic.  My Mother passed recently...in September.  She was my main abuser.  I had only seen her 7 times in 35 years--her choice.  I thought I had dealt with the issues and it would be sad when she died, but it would be the end of a horrible chapter in my life. 

Not.  I say, it's the gift that keeps giving.  I mean, when someone we love dies, we grieve (5 stages of grief, yada yada) because we 'lose' that relationship. 

BUT...no one ever informed me of this--even as a therapist--that when an abuser dies...the relationship DOESN'T!!!  It keeps going and going and going...(Rolls eyes).  A gift that keeps on giving--a gift you never wanted in the first place. 

So, honestly, I totally get you.  I'd never be able to work with you professionally because--oh, I GET you! 

And, FWIW, I do care...even if it's just words on a page...I honestly do.  I get it.  And I'm sure we BOTH wish I didn't. 

Hugs,

Amy

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Dyess

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Re: Issues with counselors
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2015, 05:15:08 AM »
Trigger Warning

<< I'd never be able to work with you professionally because--oh, I GET you!  >>
plus military experience

Why?
Now, now, I'm not that horrible. I just finished writing some highlights of my LE career down for my counselor. Wow, still tough to write about and I didn't even go into much detail, just a brief comments.
Dad was abusive to mom (physically) me emotionally. He threatened to kill us during our sleep. Had sleep issues ever since. He never would admit to his abuse. Of course he was an alcoholic too, so he may not even remember those incidents. Lots of unresolved anger with me, though I loved him more than life itself. We were so much alike and that kind of scares me.
Is this getting to....ummmm detailed?

Thanks for chatting with me.

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Anamiame

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Re: Issues with counselors
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2015, 06:32:43 PM »
Not too detailed at all!  I'm sitting here giggling because our stories are quite similar! 

First off, it would be unprofessional for me to work with you because of my own subjectivity regarding the issues.  Of course I could work with PTSD, but the similarities in our stories--even if I've worked through most of those issues--could mean that my subjectivity could creep in without me knowing and cause projection onto you.  Not fair; not right.  I've only had one client that I needed to refer out because of subjectivity.  She refused to see anyone else, so I did work with her for about two years with heavy supervision of my work with her with my supervisor.  Two years later, we became friends.  I remember NOTHING of what she talked about in therapy--one of the wonderful things I can do now--choose things to forget.  23 years later, she is very dear to me.   You would end up falling into this category.  I'd much rather have a cup of coffee with you and laugh at Starbucks than sit in a counseling session.  I 'give' my friends therapeutic information, but don't 'do' therapy with them. 

My Dad beat the crap out of my mother--was emotionally and verbally abusive to me, but not physical.  There was one time that he picked me up and threw me across the room.  I hit the wall and slid down.  It didn't hurt and I thought it was kinda fun.  He left and didn't come back for a week.  I was standing in between him and my Mom because I was home sick from school and he was going to beat her up again.  His beatings caused things like broken legs, missing teeth oh and knocking her so hard that her head got lodged between two wrought iron stair rail posts that had to be pried apart to get her loose.  She was unconscious and I'll leave it at that. 

But SHE was the alcoholic and my abuser.  She tried to kill me four times when I was four.  She'd chase me around the house with a knife and I'd hide in the laundry chute.  I was the youngest of five, so the others were in school.  She always blamed me for her misery in life.  She firmly believed that I was sent from the devil to torture her.  One time, when she couldn't catch me, she stopped.  She was still raging saying that it was my fault; that I was a gd spoiled brat.  Then she said "You made me do this".  I snuck out and she was standing at the kitchen sink with blood spurting out of her wrist.  It looked to me like a fountain because it squirted with her heart beat.  That was her first time in a psych hospital. 

I was fortunate.  At 14, during the custody hearing, she went in drunk and told the judge she wanted me dead and wished I had never been born.  She said if he gave her custody of me, I'd be dead in 28 hours.  Weeeellll, that was it--Dad got sole legal and physical custody with his discretion as to if I ever saw her again.  I was her 7 times in 39 years--8 if you count viewing her. 

I too have sleep issues.  I cannot have anyone in the bed with me.  I have to sleep alone.  The kids and ex joke about waking me up and no one ever wants to because if they even slightly touch me, I wake up screaming and in a sheer terror.  That's from my mother too--coming into my bed to molest me.  We moved into an old house when I was 11, where every room had it's own skeleton key.  It took me a year to hunt each and every one down to find the key to my door and lock her out. 

As strange as it sounds, it's nice to know that someone understands.  On Thursday, my T was hugging me goodbye and said, "I KNOW that this is really hard for you."  She was sincere and I appreciate that.  But I looked her right in the eyes and said, "No Cheryl.  You DON'T know and you should be really grateful for that." 

I can and would give you a hug and say those same exact words, but you wouldn't have a reply like I (or better you and I) had with Cheryl, because...I DO know.  I do get it.  I don't want to get it.  LOL  And neither do you.  But thank GOD we do.  There is a level of comfort in that!

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Dyess

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Re: Issues with counselors
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2015, 07:03:03 PM »
Wow, there are a lot of similarities. So you were in Law Enforcement too? That's good that you can be fair about who you see. Fair for both of you I expect.
So sorry to hear of your trauma from your mom. It's sad when the people we expect to protect us ....don't.
Maybe we will have a cup of coffee one day, I doubt it, but you never know.  l_D   
Funny, not ha ha , how people are attracted together, almost like they were suppose to be. Hmmmmm...
Are you doing okay now? How long were you in therapy? How long was it before you got somewhat of your life back? Of course you don't have to answer any of these questions, ya know.