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Does therapy really work this way?

Mary S

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I just came across the website What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About How Therapy Actually Works . Some quotes and my responses:

"I’ve had moments in therapy where I came to a huge realization and experienced a catharsis, but I didn’t immediately change my behavior and beliefs to the point where it wasn’t an issue anymore. I had to work on it outside of therapy and revisit the issue in my next session, something Will doesn’t do." [Referring to the film Good Will Hunting]

Well, I've never come to a huge realization nor experienced a catharsis in therapy. Therapy mostly seemed to ignore the issues I went to therapy for -- it just seemed to be the therapist trying to follow their own agenda for me; it seemed to interfere with my progress toward my goals rather then help me toward them. 

“Therapy helps clients uncover strengths and learn new skills that will allow them to deal with the challenges that arise in life,”:

My therapy was dismissive of my strengths, and didn't provide anything in the way of learning new skills. In fact, when I tried to practice skills that I was trying to learn, therapists typically criticized me for doing that. 

"Therapy sessions can be viewed as problem-solving workshops. At each session, a discussion with your therapist will analyze where you stand and the status of the issue that brought you in. "

My therapy sessions didn't seem anything like problem-solving workshops. Therapist didn't seem to care about the issues that brought me to therapy -- they just seemed to be following their own agenda that I had not consented to (nor had they asked if I consented).

"Overall, during therapy you will be able to unpack and disclose whatever is bothering you and receive constructive feedback to help you improve your mental health."

Typically, therapists would follow some agenda of their own, that I hadn't consented to, and that they hadn't even told me about. I don't think I ever received any constructive feedback.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I did experience some kind of catharsis in my first therapy when I burst into tears and my blood pressure lowered. My therapist thought it the beginning of the end of therapy. However awareness of my life's crumminess doesn't change how I relate to the world.
Contrary to the article, my therapies were full of "how does it make you feel"? Our group therapists in fact reprimanded us for discussing our thoughts as opposed to our feelings.

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19 minutes ago, disequilibrium1 said:

Our group therapists in fact reprimanded us for discussing our thoughts as opposed to our feelings.

That one really bugs me. I went to therapy in large part because I was a woman who valued thinking, which went against social norms (or stereotypes?). To me, the emphasis on feelings that many therapists had was just another incidence of saying that women shouldn't (or couldn't) think. (BTY, it was mostly women therapists, especially ones who considered themselves feminists, who had this  view.) 

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