I have tried therapy a handful of times in my life, but I’ve never stuck with it.
In my early 20s, I was sent to a psychiatrist to help with panic attacks. I thought it would be therapy, but he just gave me pills (prozac, the “in” drug, which I ditched fairly quickly). I didn’t try therapy of any sort again until the past 10 years or so.
There was the young, very pretty woman that I did not feel synched with at all. She was meticulously dressed and came across as an “it girl”. Not my vibe at all. That was a “one and done” situation.
There was a very nice woman I saw for about a month (4-5 visits) when I was going through the initial stages of my marriage dissolving. She was a great listener, but her area of expertise was not remotely what I needed help with. I’m not sure how I found her (close my eyes, point at name on a list of approved providers possibly?) – but I learned from looking at all of the stuff posted around her waiting area that her primary clientele was people coping with weight issues, before and after gastric weight loss surgeries and body image issues. My concerns were massive anxiety, relationships, and polyamory… talk about way left field from her usual sessions. Although she was very nice, it became quickly apparent that I was fascinating to her. Rather than understanding where I was coming from and offering input/suggestions/exercises, she regularly just asked more trying to understand what I was presenting to her. It wasn’t helpful. In the end I felt like I was more of an interesting subject, rather than a beneficiary of her therapeutic help.
There was the guy I saw for two visits when I was in a panic cycle. He was nice and we had a decent rapport but it didn’t feel quite right. We bonded over sci-fi and could chat easily, but I don’t know. It felt more chummy than therapeutic.
I had one therapist that was really good. I actually saw him for couples therapy with my ex, when I was having a lot of anxiety related to our open relationship ways at the time. This was a non-standard therapist – in that his specialty centered around unique relationship dynamics, various sexuality elements and LGBTQ needs. He was very sharp, had lots of experience in unique relationship and was spot on in observations and providing insights. But, that was a more isolated scenario. It isn’t what I need these days. Plus, he was very expensive and didn’t take insurance.
My last therapist was nice, but I didn’t feel like anything was insightful to me. Primarily because I’ve done so much reading and research on my own that anything she brought up or suggested I had already tried, thought of and/or rejected. I guess that makes me a challenging patient.
So, I’ve never seen a therapist for more than a month or so. I’ve had therapy recommended to me, especially when I’m in a panic cycle, but it’s never seemed to work for me. But, I keep feeling like it would be a good resource. Plus my GP (who is amazing and happens to be double board certified in family medicine and psychiatry) has been softly pushing me to try to find a therapist. I’m in a high stress time in my life, but gratefully I haven’t been in a panic cycle. His point is that establishing that therapeutic relationship while things are calmer would make a panic cycle time easier to cope with. That does make sense.
So I’ve been trying to figure out what doesn’t work for me… and the biggest one is the obligation to go to appointments. My schedule is so awful that I dread any regular time obligations in my life. Also, they all seem to want frequent appointments, at least in the beginning. Don’t they know I have 2 jobs and I’m in school? (sigh). So, I tend to cancel appointments or wish I had cancelled them. Guess that also makes me not a very good client. Another issue is that it’s expensive, at $45 a pop with my insurance (I know that I’m lucky to have coverage – not everyone does). The other issue is feeling like I don’t get much out of it. I will admit that if I developed a longer/better relationship that could change.
So, I started pondering the idea of online therapy. It doesn’t require the time obligation of appointments and I can bend it to my weird scheduling needs. Outside of a panic cycle, I think mostly what I need is an outlet to talk stressors through. Inside a panic cycle, I want someone to listen and give suggestions. I bet I could get both through online therapy.
I’m looking through reviews and found this article which talks about many of the well known ones. It’s a bit pricy for some services, but my insurance co-pay is $45 per visit and most of them cost 50-100/month for unlimited messaging (I hate the phone and don’t see any point of video conferencing, texting and emailing are more my style.) It would be similar to seeing a therapist a couple times a month. So I’m seriously considering it.
Anyone try online therapy? Thoughts? Reviews?
3 thoughts on “Therapy”
Hi, I’m a pscyhologist and find your article fascinating. Its always good for me to see things from the clients perspective. I think it definitely takes time to find a psychologist who you have a good fit with. I tell my clients its a bit like finding a good hairdresser, hard to find but then you dont want to let them go. First sessions are often information gathering so the psychologist understands the world from your persepctive. The suggestions given to manage panic attacks can be general, but are much better if they are tailored to fit the person you are. I hope you find what you need. I too will be interested in comments from others that have tried online therapy. One size indeed doesnt fit all and its great that you are looking for what you need for you. Good luck.
Hello Anne. Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your thoughts. It is nice to hear the input from the other side as well. I guess therapy is a little like dating – you just have to keep trying till you find one that clicks.
Out of curiosity, have you tried offering your services through an online organization? From my research it seems to be a quickly growing area for therapists because they can work as a side job around their other practices. If I were a therapist, I’d do it (again, the world of type is more my venue than face to face). 🙂
Take care, J
No I haven’t considered online work, though some of my colleagues have. I know lots of call in services here also have text services. I like your analogy of dating!