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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Is free counseling bogus? Should we stop telling people to get help?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (17703points) March 15th, 2016

I can get free counseling by psychology students , and It doesn’t seem to help. Is psychology bogus?
Or should I pay $150 / hour for a professional theapist? Do you get what you pay for?

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8 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

They key to Counseling is a real desire to do the work to change one’s life. A psychology intern/student may be of help, and a particular case may need more expertise from an experienced therapist.

The intern is required to work closely with a supervisor, who reviews the case and the progress. And part of their learning is to know when to tell a client of they need more expertise.

If you find a therapist you feel you can work with, whether a student or someone more experienced, that relationship with the Counselor is important.

By the way, a psychology student working towards a counseling degree is a professional.

YARNLADY's avatar

The only way to get what you pay for in counseling is to go into it with a desire to improve.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@YARNLADY I don’t understand. I’ve been trying to be honest to my counselors . I don’t know what to do differently? Maybe I’m fine. Maybe I should be sharing my private random thoughts that are troubling?

Buttonstc's avatar

What is it that you are hoping to get from a $150 an hour guy that you are not getting from the person you are currently seeing? What are your goals? How do you determine that it isnt helping? What criteria are you using?

Darth_Algar's avatar


Being honest is good, but that’s only one part of the process. Pardon me if I’m wrong, but from posts you made in the past I kinda get the feeling that you have no interest in taking their advice seriously, and view them as a nuisance that you’re only seeing because you have to as a condition of whatever benefits you’re receiving. And if that’s the case than all the counseling in the world, no matter the price tag, isn’t going to help.

And fair enough if that is the case – I mean if you’re only seeing a counselor because you have to. But if so then at least admit that to yourself and keep doing what your required to, but don’t expect any real change to come from it.

longgone's avatar

Even if you want help, it is very possible that your current counselor is just not the right person for you. This does not mean they’re not good at their job, it just means you might be better off with someone else. Many people shop around before settling on a therapist.

Personally, I went to three different counselors over the years. The first guy was great, as was the woman I went to afterwards. The third guy was okay, but not perfect. Except for the first person, all my sessions were free. At the moment, I’m fine without any counseling.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Tell them your troubling thoughts, too. Tell them every little thing. Nothing is too small.

Zaku's avatar

Therapy isn’t something someone does to you that makes you better.
Therapy is an opportunity to get exquisite clear confidential listening, in a way generally not available elsewhere, and perhaps a little insight and mirroring, so that you can notice things about yourself, and develop yourself. Read the first part of Focusing by Eugene Gendlin, for more on that, a bit about how psychiatrists first figured that out, and then read the rest if you want techniques for doing it by yourself.

Psychiatrists can be worth it if you find someone who’s a good match. However there are also psychiatrists who won’t work well for everyone, and there are some who will prescribe you drugs, which may or may not be a good idea (I’d say drugs are almost always not a wise thing).

However there are also many far less expensive disciplines which can do the same sort of thing. Again, find ones that work well for you. Holistic Peer Counseling, Feldenkrais, meditation, yoga, cranio-sacral work, awesome wise friends and elders, etc.

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