Page 1 of 2 [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

MissQ
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 24 Jan 2012
Age: 65
Gender: Female
Posts: 86

26 Mar 2014, 10:40 am

I still haven't gathered the nerve yet to see a psychologist... to be honest, I can't think of how one could actually help me. I've never been to one and all I can think of one saying is, "So, how does that make you feel?" and I can't imaging that helping at all.
(I did actually call one on Monday and asked a few questions of the receptionist and said I'd think about it and call back :oops: )

Has anyone here had any success with seeing a professional for help and, if so, what are the sessions like and how did they help - just listening while you vented, or offering practical advice on how to solve problems?

Also, for those who have had official diagnosis, was it worth it and does the diagnosis benefit you in any way?


_________________
Your Aspie score: 174 of 200
Your NT score: 29 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie
AQ: 46


emtyeye
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Nov 2010
Age: 65
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,421
Location: Inner space

26 Mar 2014, 10:50 am

I have been to a lot of "therapy". Most of it was useless to outright harmful. Others have their experience which may be different.
Sadly, a lot of incompetent and sadistic people are drawn to "helping" professions where victims will pay for their abuse. If you are autistic, you may very well not be able to figure out what is happening until it is too late and you got injured.

On the other hand, there are some truly compassionate people, or people who can help you with a particular problem, and if you have had any kind of trauma, talking about it can be helpful for healing.

If you go to someone, my advice would be to think carefully about what YOU need and want from the experience. Start by asking the therapist a lot of questions about their experience with the issue you want help with. Tune up your BS sensors to the highest range before going, or take a trusted companion to the first session. If you get the faintest whiff that something is "off" for you, just walk away and go somewhere else.


_________________
Fiat justitia, ruat caelum.


Last edited by emtyeye on 26 Mar 2014, 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Waterfalls
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Jun 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,075

26 Mar 2014, 10:53 am

Separate from whether therapy helps, when everything is bad and you can't stop crying (I think your emoticon is sobbing) it does help to have someone to turn to, something to do to feel less desperate and alone. Like going to the ER when you're badly injured, they may not make everything better, but it is better not to be alone, and other people will be more comfortable if that is relevant if you are getting therapy sometimes, if they're agitating you and this calms them that helps some, too.

As far as specific help, that depends on what you are having trouble with and what they are good at doing. Do you want to elaborate, that may help people respond?



Willard
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,647

26 Mar 2014, 12:56 pm

The Therapist I was seeing never once asked me "how I felt" about anything, that I recall. She just let me babble about whatever was on my mind - usually topical events in the news, conspiracy theories or philosophical ideas. Apparently I have "issues with disclosure," so I don't voluntarily divulge personal thoughts and feelings, of course having an autistic brain has taught me to keep most of my thoughts to myself, as NT types are quite judgmental and will only use what they consider 'oddness' and 'outside the box' thinking as a weapon to bully and abuse you.

However, if I hadn't been going to see that Therapist, I would never have been referred to the Psychologist who diagnosed me and without the diagnosis I could never have qualified for disability assistance and would have ended homeless, or a suicide, or both.

I only stopped going because once I was put on Medicare/Medicaid, some official stipulation required that my case be put under the supervision of a different Psychologist, who must create for me a "Treatment Plan," which no doubt would have involved being pressured to go on all sorts of Big Pharma Frankenstein Meds, which I will not do. Besides, my experience in the workplace taught me very well that I do not function well under other people's "Plans" for me.

So, since there is no effective treatment or cure for autism, there didn't seem to be much point in continuing, so I stopped going. However, I am now of the opinion that because my condition causes me to lead such a solitary life, that there is value in having those appointments to go to a couple times a month, just to get out of the house and engage in some limited amount of human social contact for an hour. Constant solitude creates a deep dissociative 'funk' that becomes very hard to shake after a while, and even limited social skills atrophy from disuse.



mr_bigmouth_502
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Age: 29
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 7,025
Location: Alberta, Canada

26 Mar 2014, 1:21 pm

I actually just started talking to a psychologist again for the first time in years, and it feels great. It allows me to get all sorts of grievances and other s**t off my chest. Granted, I was lucky enough to get a therapist who was kind and didn't ask too many questions, and who also works with a number of troubled youths. Despite the fact that I'm 20 years old, many of my issues are still "teenage" in nature.



Atom1966
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 19 Feb 2014
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Posts: 272
Location: Sombrero Galaxy

26 Mar 2014, 2:40 pm

I am sure therapy helps a lot of people but it never did me any good.



MissQ
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 24 Jan 2012
Age: 65
Gender: Female
Posts: 86

26 Mar 2014, 5:28 pm

Thanks everyone for the good advice...

It sounds like, in summary, I need to:
Figure out exactly what my issues are that I want to discuss
Find a psychologist who is qualified in working with adults with Aspergers
Ask a lot of relevant questions
Take my friend to help as a BS detector

I think I can handle that. :wink:

I know I don't want to be on any meds, so any "plan" would have to involve something like CBT.
I'm pretty sure my issues are a direct result of the Aspergers, one way or another. Sure I am grieving over losing my mom and am having trouble dealing with life in general, but so does everyone else... to some degree.

I think what I want most from a professional is an official yes, or no on the Aspergers diagnosis.
Crap. What if they tell me I don't have Aspergers???? I don't see how that could be but it could happen.


_________________
Your Aspie score: 174 of 200
Your NT score: 29 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie
AQ: 46


Adamantium
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2013
Age: 1023
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,863
Location: Erehwon

26 Mar 2014, 8:25 pm

MissQ wrote:
I think what I want most from a professional is an official yes, or no on the Aspergers diagnosis.


You need to see a Psychiatrist or Neurologist experienced in and qualified to diagnose autism. Many therapists are not just unqualified they are also ignorant.

Don't worry about finding out that it isn't ASD. It either is, in which case you will know, or it's something else, and the evaluation will help point to that, and you will learn other valuable things about yourself.

Good luck, MissQ.



screen_name
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Oct 2013
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,315

26 Mar 2014, 9:03 pm

I don't have anything else to add as it seems you've got a good plan. I would have recommended cognitive behavioral therapy also.

Good luck!



Borntman
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 24 Mar 2014
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Posts: 15

27 Mar 2014, 5:24 am

I've done both group and one on one therapy with little tangible results except frustration at the behavioral problems of some people in the group therapy. I only keep going for the socialization with friends and I question even that lately. All of my psych improvement I like to think are the result of trial and error on my part.



rickc77
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Posts: 61

27 Mar 2014, 6:52 am

I did therapy for most of my life so I feel qualified to answer this one

Let's start between the difference between a therapist and a psychologist.

I definitely recommend getting a diagnosis from a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

Aged 30, I got my diagnosis and it gave me so many answers that my soul was craving just by being told I was an Aspie after all.

CBT from a psychologist wasn't very helpful at all for me, CBT is an early treatment and while it has it's merits, I found it a waste of time and just taught me practical common sense which I am smart enough to work out myself.

If you are an Aspie, which it sounds like you know you are, get diagnosed, put yourself out your misery and suspense. Its well worth it just to know.

As for therapy, therapists tend to drag out your problems and keep you talking as their money rolls in, it's just circles, they pretend to care and most of us have ego's that LOVE to talk about ourselves and our problems, they pretend to care and it goes on forever.

I did therapy before my diagnosis and without knowing I was an aspie it was inappropriate as I didn't know what I was working with and they treated me as neurotypical

Get your Dr to prescribe you Cytalopram and this will save you messing about on lots of different meds for social anxiety. 40mg of this was enough to help me get through the day and keep my chin up in life, i feel like a different person.

Hope this helps. It's just my experience / opinion. No doubt others may disagree.



Opi
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 23 Aug 2013
Age: 57
Gender: Female
Posts: 401
Location: East coast at the moment

28 Mar 2014, 7:55 am

i just really like my therapist. since i have so much trouble forming human connections, and she is very kind, and i trust her, i keep her. she's not an aspie expert, but she's very open and listens to me when i bring up such concerns. i don't really need help developing aspie coping skills, i already have most of them under my belt. i think most of what i have left to learn, are practical things about aspie self-care i can learn as much here as from any educator.

i did, however, have a very clear idea, from prior experiences, what i wanted from a therapist when i interviewed her at my first session. I wanted:
1) a PhD, not an MA (I had personal reasons related to my struggles to get licensed myself as a master's level clinician and didn't want someone who would bring up jealousy at that time)
2) someone older than me and preferably female
3) someone who had dealt with major loss and difficulties in life and come through them
4) someone who was not confrontational, as i'd had my fill of directive, confrontational therapy
5) someone who would not try to engage me in CBT which i hate
6) someone with a background in trauma treatment (I hadn't been diagnosed with PTSD but i was pretty sure it was an issue for me)
7) someone who could understand and respect that it takes a while to develop trust
8) someone who could handle it if i brought up my feelings *toward* them in therapy (especially conflict)

she has what it takes. sometimes i've sought additional treatment, like a trauma PHP, but i've been seeing her off and on since 2008 and no plans to change. there is a real advantage, by the way, in having long-term relationships with treaters. They really get to see you and get a depth of understanding beyond pure clinical diagnosis.


_________________
161 Aspie / 51 NT - Aspie Quiz (very likely an aspie)
36 - AS Quotient
115 aloof, 123 rigid, 89 prag - Aut/BAP
24 - HSP / ADD Quiz- 41, Inattention: 24, Hyperactive/Impulsive: 17
"Odd and different is beautiful" -- Tyra Banks


Bodyles
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 10 Aug 2013
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 808
Location: Southern California

28 Mar 2014, 10:27 pm

Psychologist, not psychiatrist.
The latter are mostly glorified drug dealers more interesed in treating symptoms then helping with root issues.

A good psychologist can be extremely helpful.
In general, they will answer questions put to them directly, call you on your BS, and help you think about things in more productive, effective ways.

Finding a good one, however, is often quite difficult.
If you can talk circles around them, if they're evasive, or insistent on specific therapeutic methods they're probably not going to be particularly helpful.

Even with a good psychologist, however, you'll only get as much out of the therapy as you are willing to put into it through participation, honesty, and a willingness to at least consider other ways of thinking about and looking at things.
Basically for it to work you must want it to work and be wiling to really work on yourself, which isn't always the easiest thing to do.

I wish you the best of luck. :D



Max000
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Apr 2012
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,547

02 Apr 2014, 11:56 pm

MissQ wrote:
I know I don't want to be on any meds, so any "plan" would have to involve something like CBT.
I'm pretty sure my issues are a direct result of the Aspergers, one way or another. Sure I am grieving over losing my mom and am having trouble dealing with life in general, but so does everyone else... to some degree.


I think you should definitely get therapy for that. It sounds like you are going through a lot. It might help you. They will probably try and push meds on you though. You will have to deal with that.

MissQ wrote:
I think what I want most from a professional is an official yes, or no on the Aspergers diagnosis.
Crap. What if they tell me I don't have Aspergers???? I don't see how that could be but it could happen.


It sounds like you want is a psychological evaluation for AS. A psychologist should be able to do that for you.



tarantella64
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Feb 2011
Age: 58
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,850

03 Apr 2014, 2:33 pm

Does it help...well, that depends what the problem is.

If you're going for help with problems that are primarily between your own ears -- anxiety, panic, endogenous depression, difficulties handling stress, that sort of thing -- then a good therapist can be really helpful. Also if you need help sorting through issues from past abuse. Of course, it can be tough to find a good therapist. A lot of them aren't very smart, and a distressing proportion of people who go into psych and social-work programs are there because they want to learn about their own (and often serious) problems. And they keep on working on their own problems in the middle of your therapy session. Get out at the first sign of that.

If you're dealing with acute crises, too, they can (sometimes) be very helpful. I'll be grateful to the end of my days to the crisis-line lady who talked to me after I read the police report after my late boyfriend's death. (He killed himself a few years ago.)

If you're going for help because of chronic problems outside you that are outside your control, though, it can be a...well, a demoralizing process. I just yelled at a crisis line lady, in fact, for doing no more than she'd been trained to do and then being thoughtless on top of it. I find the biggest problem in trying to get help with those sorts of things is that the therapists do not want to know what's going on. Instead they want to rearrange your life so that it's a solvable problem for them. I can't tell you how many therapists have invented the existence of local well-paid jobs that are compatible with the responsibilities of single motherhood, extra hours in the day, money in my bank account, and helpful friends on my behalf, then insisted they're real. They've also reversed my family's abandonment of me and my daughter, just decided that my family will help out and be nice people if I just ask. If I object and point out that these things aren't real, and that I have to live in realityland, they eventually get upset with me and decide I just don't want help. Or, worse, they shrug and wish me well. Hi, you're unhelpable.

As far as I can make out, that's because their training and culture is essentially a blend of solipsism and pollyannaism. Just change your attitude about whatever the problem is, or do breathing exercises, and remember that things will change soon, and all is fine. If your life is actually unbearably hard and has been for years because you're carrying more responsibility than you can handle, but bad things will happen to yourself and others if you drop it...they honestly don't know what to do with that. And some of them will get upset at being faced with such problems, find it an insult to their own egos.

Like others, I'd also recommend finding someone who understands AS.

I think the likely reality is that therapy gets pushed as a panacea not because it's so marvellously effective, but because this is an NT way of dealing with unsolvable problems -- to come up with somethng that kind of works for some people, claim brightly, "Oh look! A miracle cure, shovel everyone over here!" And then they don't have to think about the real issues that remain.

I'm still calming down after talking to this crisis-line person...she'd convinced herself that I was being obstinate about not applying for SSDI. I work multiple jobs, pay a mortgage, am a landlady, run 5Ks on a regular basis, and support and raise a child. I may be mid-breakdown, but by no stretch of the imagination could I qualify for SSDI. I'd have to be all the way broke down for quite a long time, first. She didn't want to know. Then she wanted to invent leisure time in my life and a few extra hours in my kid's day. In the end she responded to my "you have to think about this and ask yourself: given the real constraints I'm telling you about, can this work?" with some kind of Dr. Phil s**t about how's it working for me. Well, no, being a single working mom with no help from family or friends for a decade and whatever spectrumy stuff I've got going on is clearly not working for me, on the other hand it's hardly my fault, and there's no obvious way of changing any of those things. I believe she wanted me to think outside the box. At that point I swore at her and hung up.



em_tsuj
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Mar 2011
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,786

04 Apr 2014, 1:55 am

Therapy saved my life!

1) high school therapist told me to check into a psych ward if I got too suicidal. I did.
2) he told me about Al-anon, which is really, really, helping me right now (so much misery comes from childhood abuse and neglect.
3) he told me about cognitive behavioral therapy. From that I realized that my thoughts aren't real or to be trusted. I test my thinking now. Otherwise I would have killed myself a long time ago. As long as I know it is not real (the negativity), I can move on.

Therapy has helped me a lot recently. I like my current therapist.

1) I got diagnosed with AS.
2) I have finally resolved the sexual shame that has bothered me since I was a little kid. I went back and re-experienced the emotions from the events that triggered the sexual shame and phobia.
3) I have learned to stop my negative thoughts and let them die.
4) I am clearer about what is my problem and what isn't. Shame tells you that you are bad. Then comes up with reasons to justify believing that you are bad. The two problems I have right now are AS (which won't go away) and the effects of childhood abuse, which I will continue working through in therapy and in Al-anon.
5) I got referred to a psychiatrist. Now all my psychiatric problems are being well-treated (my anxiety and depression).

How do sessions work?

I talk. He listens. He gives me feedback. Sometimes he gives me suggestions. They last a few minutes (about half hour).

Your experience may vary. I highly, highly, highly recommend getting a licensed psychologist with a Ph.D. and experience treating whatever problems you have. Regardless of the person's credentials, you have to be comfortable with the person.