Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Have you given up on therapy?

Asked by wundayatta (58727points) February 21st, 2010

Has anyone decided that therapy has nothing to teach them, or can’t help them? Have you tried other therapists? Have you given up on therapy altogether?

What were you expecting from therapy? Did you stop doing therapy? Did you replace it with anything else?

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37 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Not in the least. I’m stoked by my therapist and the way things are proceeding. I hope I can become as good a clinician as he.

davidbetterman's avatar

Has anyone decided that therapy has nothing to teach them, or can’t help them?

Just as soon as I realized that the word therapist breaks down into The Rapist.

Also when I realized how broken down and miserable people are who actually go to them and praise them.

Therapy is for people too weak to fix their own problems.

Nullo's avatar

I’ve never been to therapy, and I believe that we rely on therapy for too much.
I lost a lot of faith in psychology when I learned that they change things so easily: Asperger’s was recently reclassified for the hey and DSM-IV was made in part because DSM-III wasn’t PC enough.

dpworkin's avatar

@davidbetterman Charmed, I’m sure.

ldeb's avatar

I’ve been through a few therapists some were better than others, but group therapy has actually been the most beneficial.
... everyone could benefit from therapy

essieness's avatar

@davidbetterman That’s a pretty harsh judgment, don’t you think? Some people just need that objective viewpoint and pointers on how to handle certain life situations – from a professional.

I’ve never felt the need for regular, weekly (or whatever the frequency) therapy, but I did it briefly with my ex-husband when we were thinking about splitting up. I’ll say that I learned some things about myself that have been helpful moving forward. In certain situations, I think therapy can be really helpful.

Berserker's avatar

I had to attend anger management sessions when I was younger, but I gave up quickly.

Not because I didn’t think it could help or that it was useless, but mainly because it was just really uncomfortable and the process was just irritating to me, and I just couldn’t be arsed.

susanc's avatar

@davidbetterman et al: I was brought up to believe that if you saw a therapist once, you were the weak caribou in the herd, and it would be better for all concerned if the wolves ate you soon.
But that attitude, which appears to be shared by you a little bit, created the very weakness in me that all my therapy experiences have been needed for – to help me learn that a little tenderness may be all it takes to turn a life around. Tenderness, and access to ideas that weren’t available at age-appropriate times.

netgrrl's avatar

I’ve been in therapy twice in my life, both times for about a year. I’ve always felt the ultimate goal of therapy was that one day you wouldn’t need it. Both times I quit because I felt I’d accomplished as much as I was going to at the time (not that life magically became perfect.)

True change is hard, and it can be a lot easier to have a therapist help you find your way. By nature we tend to resist change, and it’s easy to slip back by ourselves.

The reason change is so hard is because even though we might be in an unhappy place in life, we know where that place is, like home.

Change means taking a chance, making a possible mistake, ending up worse off. “Better the devil you know.”

You still have to be willing to do the work.

susanc's avatar

@netgrrl: what I needed to remember today. Thanks.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Therapy helps me in many ways. I’ve been in it for over 20 years and doubt that I will ever stop. It helps me open up to myself. It frees me of my ghosts.

People often mention “pushing buttons” as a way of saying that certain individuals make them mad. I am happy to report that my “buttons” have not only been rewired, but the buttons are completely gone. Today, when I find that I’m angry or have any kind of negativity, I have learned new ways to let go of it.

I learned that through therapy. I’m better off through it and happier because of it.

Adagio's avatar

@davidbetterman Therapy is for people too weak to fix their own problems. Funny, I’ve never had a therapist fix problems for me… the work has always been mine… and the decision to do that work…

dpworkin's avatar

@hawaii_jake A wise therapist once told me that just because they push your buttons doesn’t mean you have to go to their floor.

Blondesjon's avatar

Therapy helped me to solve my problems in exactly the same way accepting Jesus Christ into my life did.

Not at all.

i’ll try anything once. . .

dpworkin's avatar

I thought The Baby Jesus went in the heart. He goes in the life?

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

I don’t like the idea of having to go totherapy because I feel like I have failed myself or others.

casheroo's avatar

I find therapy to be amazing. I am not currently in it, but if I ever felt the need..I would turn to it.

I truly believe anyone on psychiatric medications should only be prescribed by a psychiatrist. I find it disturbing how many primary care physicians write prescriptions for Prozac..etc. My mother is one of those that feels therapy is useless, but she has chronic depression and major issues if she comes off her medication. She thinks therapy won’t get her anywhere because she’s gone for so long over the years. But, her using her depression and saying it’s just like diabetes is NOT an excuse to not go to therapy. I know she has a chemical issue, but obviously has other issues that she is not working on. It frustrates me to no end.

suncatnin's avatar

I just finished my only successful attempt at therapy out of three tries. It was helpful to have someone to talk to that was solely invested in my best interest while still feeling like she could relate to what I was going through. The two previous attempts failed in part because I didn’t feel like those helpful features were present combined with not being in the right mental state to be receptive to therapy yet.

In the two years I was in therapy, I had two deaths in the family, moved 5 times, and gained the self confidence to: acknowledge what I really wanted to do with my life, end a 6.5 year relationship 6 months before the wedding, figure out what I wanted in a partner, start a new relationship on those values, find a new friends group, and apply to transfer universities.

In our ‘exit session,’ my therapist described me as ‘resilient.’ I wouldn’t have gotten even a third of the way here though without acknowledging that I needed mental health support and then getting it. That’s not saying that therapy is right for everyone or that starting a SNRI 4 months into therapy didn’t provide the necessary boost to actually achieve results. :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@davidbetterman you said “Therapy is for people too weak to fix their own problems.”
it’s also for people with serious denial issues.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I need a therapist to fix my biochemistry fucked up by another doctor (not a psychiatrist) and Paxil..he did..over the years, he’s been more of a friend than a therapist, he writes me out my prescription, talks about his problems, and I go on my merry way…he knows I don’t need him for the mental stuff.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I believe therapy is is like fixing anything else that’s not working. When I needed it, I had physical therapy, so why wouldn’t I get any other help when I needed it?

Ria777's avatar

I haven’t given up on it because I never believed in it in the first place. the one time I gave it a try I asked for help in re-organizing and scheduling my life. (since I could get for free, I gave it a try.) my therapist didn’t seem to understand, though.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

I’ve gone to therapy several times, and only “given it up” because of logistical things, like moving to a new place (for college, etc) and just not getting a new therapist.

Therapy has greatly helped me through the numerous difficult points in my life. I guess I’m pretty lucky because all three of my therapists over the years were very helpful to me. Even though I have medication to help with my mental illness, I can still get into low points once in a while, and that’s when therapy is vital for me. I’ve gone for long periods without therapy, but when the bad times come I definitely take advantage of my school’s mental health services to keep me going.

I guess therapy is not for everyone, and there is still a big stigma about seeing a therapist (as it still implies that you’re “crazy” or “weak,” which is of course totally wrong…) but I’m a firm believer in it overall. Who doesn’t want to have someone whose job is just to listen to everything you say?

YARNLADY's avatar

No, I don’t have any need, anymore, but I credit the therapy that I had when I needed it with my happy life now.

davidbetterman's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir it’s also for people with serious denial issues.
I suppose you would know.

@susanc If you only knew just how screwed up your therapist is/was.

@essieness That’s a pretty harsh judgment, don’t you think? ... from a professional.
They are just vultures. I am glad you got through your therapy without need for deeper therapy from another professional.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@davidbetterman I do know you have ‘em, yes..that’s what I said

Nullo's avatar

I’ve noticed that there are a lot more people with depression these days, and I wonder if it’s the world that’s gotten uglier, people becoming more aware, or just hypochondria.

Still going on about that?

wundayatta's avatar

@Nullo On a news show this morning, they interviewed a psychologist who said that incidence of depression is increasing. I think the reasons you suggested are quite possible, but I would like to add a third reason—perhaps psychologists are diagnosing it more in order to assure themselves a supply of patients. They would do this subconsciously, of course, but it could be a form of “conservative” medical practice.

Ria777's avatar

@Nullo: also a) effective marketing, b) bracket creep (i.e. the definition of “depressed” gets broader and broader) and c) social encouragement to label yourself as such (this overlaps with both a) and b).)

netgrrl's avatar

I don’t think therapists ate necessarily any healthier mentally than the general population. That doesn’t mean they can’t help.

We’re all works in progress.

A doctor might be going thru chemotherapy himself, and it doesn’t mean he becomes unable to help others.

People who think therapy is completely useless are really missing the point. The goal of therapy is assisting people to do the work themselves. It’s still up to us what we do with our lives.

Ria777's avatar

@netgrrl: I don’t think therapists ate necessarily any healthier mentally than the general population.

‘zactly. so why trust them over any other stranger?

That doesn’t mean they can’t help.

sometimes, yeah. but you know, with other people, at least I know that if they choose to hear about my problems, they did it out of interest and not because I paid them. and they sound annoyed or bored, I know to not talk with them any more. (for one thing, I wouldn’t want to impose.)

davidbetterman's avatar

Also, keep in mind that therapists are becoming more and more disturbed themselves as they continue listening to the incredible negativity and garbage they must open up to if they want to be of service to the patient/client.

susanc's avatar

@Ria777: @netgrrl already answered your question.

@davidbetterman: you’re smart to say this, also compassionate. I worked as a pychotherapist for a long time,
and sometimes it felt pretty burdensome – you do take on some of the pain. And sometimes some of it was very frustrating – I would find myself getting annoyed with some of the people I talked with for not responding positively to my brilllllianntttt interventions. But hey. They were the wrong interventions. You try stuff till you find the right stuff.

There really are people who pay a therapist to let them sit around and whine. That’s exhausting, boring, and demeaning, really (for the therapist). But there are ways to address this very behavior which can help people to get a better grip on their “negativity and garbage”.
And then it’s pretty fun.
Because besides being confusing and challenging, change is fun.
$120, please. (rofl)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’m ambivalent. I think I’d actually respond better to group therapy of people who’ve been in my shoes and can share their experiences. Truly, if there had been online sites like this when I was going through my hardest challenges as a new adult and in new relationships then it would have been like gold. The things I come to look at from different perspectives and the things I’ve been willing to consider applying to my life are incredible.

Violet's avatar

Have you given up on therapy? For now, yes
Have you tried other therapists? Yes, about 5
Have you given up on therapy altogether? Not forever, but for right now
What were you expecting from therapy? Good question, and I don’t know
Did you stop doing therapy? yes, about 3 years ago
Did you replace it with anything else? fluther (it use to be Answerbag)

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