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Grisha
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28 Jan 2012, 9:44 am

Since I'm still struggling to find a way forward in the whole relationship thing and I've got most of the other bases covered, I am considering therapy to help me overcome my emotional and communication issues.

I have found someone in my area who actually specializes in doing this for people with autistic spectrum disorders.

Does anyone here have any experience with this? Did it help?

I'm looking at making a significant financial investment here and would really appreciate any feedback.



blueroses
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28 Jan 2012, 10:40 am

I was dead-set against therapy for years, but started going for the first time a few months ago and can say that in only four sessions so far it's helped me tremendously in ways that journaling, reading self-help books, etc. cannot. I was lucky because my employer's health plan has a limited provider network and high deductibles, so I was worried about spending a lot of money going to someone who wouldn't understand me or be able to help, but I picked someone randomly from the provider directory and wound up with a psychologist who happens to have Asperger's himself and understands quite well, lol.

I actually started going due to some anxiety and PTSD-like symptoms I developed after a bad car accident, but it didn't take long for the conversation to shift to other things, like interpersonal relationships. (If something is a standout issue in your life, it's just going to keep surfacing until you address it, I guess). What helps one person may not help another, but I seem to recall you and I have similar relationships with family (that is to say they are non-existent) as adults and maybe some similar aspects to our upbringings and that's probably enough that both of us should have been in therapy for years, lol.

But, it's better late than never and I'd encourage you to at least give it an earnest effort and see how it goes. Another thing--if this particular therapist doesn't work for you, don't give up on therapy altogether and don't be afraid to try someone else. Sometimes it takes a few false starts to find someone who will be a good fit.



Moog
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28 Jan 2012, 10:44 am

If you have the opportunity to try, I definitely would.


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28 Jan 2012, 10:45 am

First of all, good on you that you're considering therapy.

Second of all, therapy is not a quick fix nor a guaranteed miracle worker. It may take a long while, it will probably go through some ups and downs, and often you'll feel like quitting and spending your money on something else. However, if you're willing to make this investment of time, patience and possibly emotional upheaval, you might succeed and make progress.

Do you know what kind of therapy it is? I know some simply don't subscribe to the theories and practices certain psychological schools apply to treatment, so that ought to be good to know.

I've gone through a number of therapists and some of them I have simply not clicked with. But! When I found one who knew of the autism spectrum and was quite used to working with people on it, everything immediately got easier. The chemistry between patient and psychiatrist needs to be good, and you need to feel that you're being understood, otherwise it's not going to be worthwhile. While no issue is completely and utterly compartmentalized (a lot of things are usually connected) I also do tend to be wary of therapists who try and de-rail the session to focus on something utterly different from what I am there for.



Grisha
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28 Jan 2012, 10:56 am

Thanks everyone for the feedback, actually I spent many years in therapy in my early twenties, so I know the drill.

However, I believe that not having an accurate diagnosis at the time probably hampered my progress somewhat. I feel that a lot of my anxiety/irritability has to do with sensory issues that I didn't really understand until recently, so I'm thinking it might be good to re-visit.

Believe it or not, my ex-wife has been a huge help too, now that I've finally accepted the fact that a large part of my relationship problems have to do with me rather than people simply not understanding my AS.



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28 Jan 2012, 11:59 am

I'm glad to hear this. It can't hurt.



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28 Jan 2012, 1:43 pm

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLrnkK2YEcE&ob=av2e[/youtube]



The-Raven
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28 Jan 2012, 5:01 pm

In recent years Ive seen 3 different therapists and they all ended up just wanting to focus on helping me realize that i did not have aspergers rather than helping me with relationship problems or communication problems, they all said i was very articulate and did not have problems communicating or with empathy and was just taking too much responsibility with problems in relationships, they said lots of people had relationship problems and this did not mean they had aspergers. It must be something about how i come across as they were all different backgrounds and in different areas and Ive speculated long and hard about their conclusions and why they had them and the significance of what they said. however it did not help me or change me in anyway and just annoyed me and wasted lots of money, I would not have therapy again. I dont know if it means that I dont really have aspergers (they were not experts after all just counselors/therapists) or if I just dont come across as having aspergers as i wear make up. But in the end I dont care what i have, but im not spending £50 an hour to argue about it, puting a label or not on it does not change who I am or what I find difficult. They also have an obsession in trying to make me drive and go to clubs or make friends or date which I dont want to do, I wish they would have listened about what would make me happy instead of only thinking about what would make them happy.



nick007
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28 Jan 2012, 6:36 pm

The-Raven wrote:
In recent years Ive seen 3 different therapists and they all ended up just wanting to focus on helping me realize that i did not have aspergers rather than helping me with relationship problems or communication problems, they all said i was very articulate and did not have problems communicating or with empathy and was just taking too much responsibility with problems in relationships, they said lots of people had relationship problems and this did not mean they had aspergers. It must be something about how i come across as they were all different backgrounds and in different areas and Ive speculated long and hard about their conclusions and why they had them and the significance of what they said. however it did not help me or change me in anyway and just annoyed me and wasted lots of money, I would not have therapy again. I dont know if it means that I dont really have aspergers (they were not experts after all just counselors/therapists) or if I just dont come across as having aspergers as i wear make up. But in the end I dont care what i have, but im not spending £50 an hour to argue about it, puting a label or not on it does not change who I am or what I find difficult. They also have an obsession in trying to make me drive and go to clubs or make friends or date which I dont want to do, I wish they would have listened about what would make me happy instead of only thinking about what would make them happy.

That's been my experience with psychs & counselors as well. Maybe some of the main problem was that they did not believe that I had AS so the advice they were giving me was wrong for me & the way they were telling me things was not rite for me. They pushed me to get out more & when I did & I talked about problems with it & how I was lonely; they told me how I needed to take time out to get comfortable with being by myself which seemed very hypocritical to the previous advice they had given me about being more social & things & they accused me of being difficult when I questioned them. I have gotten more helpful, useful & practical advice from here on WP than I ever had from the 5 years I spent seeing psychs & counselors. I think us Aspies need to find an approach that works for us within our issues instead of getting therapy to try to conform to the social standard of normal in order to have relationships.


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07 Feb 2012, 4:21 am

If you think it might help, all you can do is give it a try. Good luck.