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Posted by: inexperienced ( )
Date: July 24, 2020 05:25PM

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: July 24, 2020 06:53PM

How far away was the counselor? Over half a city block, then yes!

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Posted by: inexperienced ( )
Date: July 24, 2020 07:23PM


Nope, close enough for spit to fling out of his mouth into my personal space.

Anyone have suggestions about what someone should do in this situation other than just give up and quit going? I would like to make an argument for not paying for that session because I think it was very unprofessional, and actually did harm toward encouraging my feelings of despair to significantly intensify. Should I confront him and tell him I found it unprofessional and I don't feel I should have to pay for the session where he did that before I quit going or just slink away like a door mat?

P.S. This came out of no where after I opened up about my feelings on an issue. Counselor proceeded to look into his crystal ball and tell me that's not how I felt (I WAS describing my state of mind/feelings accurately) and yelled at me. I thought maybe I was being too sensitive and experienced it worse than it actually was, but my spouse was in there at the time and said, "No, you saw what I saw.....he yelled at you and I don't know what the hell happened to make him pop off like that." Spouse came away confused, too.

Finally decided to go in and try to get de-traumatized and am new to this, and I just was surprised that is what it is like.

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: July 24, 2020 07:27PM

"I thought maybe I was being too sensitive..."

You were most definitely *not* being too sensitive. I've found that people who like to argue that others are being "too sensitive" are not sensitive enough, and can go pound sand, whatever that means.

I don't like your counselor.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 24, 2020 07:47PM

Personally, I would pay whatever I owe him and then find a new therapist. I can't imagine that any reputable therapist would tell *you* how *you* feel about something.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: July 24, 2020 08:31PM

inexperienced Wrote:
> Finally decided to go in and try to get
> de-traumatized and am new to this, and I just was
> surprised that is what it is like.

No, that is not what it's like. Or shouldn't be.

Also, choosing not to engage does not make you a doormat. The most important thing right now is to look after yourself. If that means walking away so be it.

I likely wouldn't argue about the fee. He provided the service although it didn't meet your needs.

I know it can feel like too much effort to start again but it can be worth it. Merely saying your story out loud to a hopefully compassionate person can be amazingly helpful. I'd say keep moving forward rather than tangling with this unhelpful counsellor. See if you can get a recommendation from someone.

It's not you. Try again and all the best to you.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2020 08:31PM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: matt ( )
Date: July 31, 2020 08:06AM

Report him to his professional body.

Get a new, better counsellor.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 24, 2020 07:20PM

I wouldn't think so.

You might read this blog to get one therapist's point of view about those of her colleagues that yell at clients:

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: July 24, 2020 07:24PM

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Posted by: Heidi GWOTR ( )
Date: July 24, 2020 07:25PM

I would promptly fire him and get a new one. I've had several therapists, and none of them have done this to me.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: July 24, 2020 08:45PM

I'm much too devious to ever be a candidate for therapy, but I once had an opportunity to discuss "therapy" with a mormon who did that for a living.

Her view of this half art/half science was that it was her job to push, pull or whatever, to move the client away from his/her current resting place to a better resting place.

The client was paying for this hauling job and expected results...

So in my, again, twisted mind, maybe cranking up the volume can be useful sometimes? Maybe the client would think, "Wow, my therapist is really getting involved; he really cares!"

I know you didn't appreciate it, but it might work with someone else. In your case, he blew it and you deserve better.

(This session is free. Please see my appointment clerk on your way out.)

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: July 24, 2020 09:23PM

Of course. Didn’t you see “Anger Management”? You should learn to duck a plate of eggs.

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Posted by: matt ( )
Date: July 25, 2020 04:39PM

Report him and move on.

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: July 25, 2020 10:34PM

Yah. Definitely report him.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: July 25, 2020 08:22PM

Not normal but it happens.

I attended an anger management program about 15 years ago. The presenter walked in and first thing she said was people don't change. First response we gave was then why are we here?

One thing led to another and about an hour in she made the mistake of disparaging a beloved military leader in front of an audience of senior military folks. (First rule of speech making is know your audience right?)

Our responses weren't what she expected and a heated argument ensued. She finally called us a variety of names and stormed out.

The next session we had a different presenter and we asked him if the previous presenter was an object lesson of some type. He said no the lady was a hot head. So we asked why she was leading an anger management seminar. Classic government answer. She was the lowest bid contractor with the proper credentials.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: July 25, 2020 09:03PM

Great illustration of humanity at its normalist!

The illusion that it's a worthy effort to do less and get more is part of the 'if some is good, more is better' attitude that engenders mediocrity.

That Jesus paid the same sums to the three gardeners has also annoyed me.

What say you?

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Posted by: anonculus ( )
Date: July 26, 2020 01:07AM

Anyone remember Werner Erhard?

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Posted by: inexperienced ( )
Date: July 26, 2020 02:51PM

Thanks, everyone. I should have just sent my $ to you guys. You did me more good than the person I paid to help me. Think I'm done with him, and probably with "professional counseling" in general. Doing worse than before I went in should have clued me in, I guess. Thanks again for responding.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 26, 2020 03:39PM

I wouldn't necessarily give up on counseling. Perhaps you could get a referral next time around.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: July 26, 2020 04:28PM

I agree with summer.

Perhaps you could find a support group to try out. That way the encounter is more general than just you and a counsellor/therapist who may not be that helpful to you. You can often gain insight and feel supported by others experiencing similar challenges as you are at a given time. Of course, such groups may not be meeting during CV so perhaps that's a recommendation for another time. Or maybe some meet online?

There are exmo support groups that used to meet - I guess same comment as above - they may be on hold for now but also maybe they meet via Zoom or similar. Or like RfM, online like this. As you note, it's amazing how reading posts from others who have experienced the negative side of Mormonism can be helpful even if our issues aren't exactly the same. But it's like speaking the same language whereas even trained counsellors who are nevermos can't grasp the essence of some of the issues exmos face.

I used to be a lay counsellor in my community (meaning I was trained by a registered psychologist and worked under his direction plus was only assigned "low-level" cases that weren't too complicated or fraught for either myself or the person seeking counselling). Many of the people I met with found it helpful to talk over their problem/s as just hearing their words out loud seemed to give them more insight and in effect many of them solved their own issues. I found it to be most helpful if I didn't say too much and certainly wasn't expected to solve their problem/s, nor did I have the training to do so. For many it was the first time they had ever expressed themselves in a safe space without judgement or expectations. That in itself can be very healing.

I went to see a Mormon Church psychologist once (once was more than enough!) The bishop had referred me there when I said I wasn't happy after my baptism and talked about leaving. I've detailed here before how absolutely unhelpful and even miserable I found the psychologist. However, after such a negative experience I instantly chose to leave the church, right as I was leaving his office. So for that I thank him! I found him impatient and judgemental, not the usual qualities one looks for in a helper.

So there are definitely stories of good counsellors and bad ones. It's kind of a crap shoot unless, as summer and others have suggested, you can get a referral from a satisfied client of another psychologist or counsellor.

Then again, talking to a group of one's peers, especially informally, such as on this board, can be just as helpful or even more so. There's nothing magical about unloading to a therapist as you're taking a chance with someone you don't know and they may or may not understand your issues or the best way to help you. I was listening to a radio program the other day about people surviving trauma who attended counselling sessions for five years. True enough their trauma was extreme. But FIVE YEARS. Yikes, that is a long time to dwell in that space. It is to be hoped that most of us can find solace and healing much faster than that.

I hope you keep posting. It would be good to hear how you approached this issue and what helped. It sounds like you are self-sufficient and resilient. I trust you will find the best way forward for yourself. It seems you have a good partner in your husband who sounds supportive. Carry on and good luck!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2020 04:30PM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: July 26, 2020 05:09PM

Inexperienced, don't reject the entire profession. I've seen a lot of people get very good results from therapy.

It's always a good idea to meet a few to find one who is a truly good "fit," but the therapist you met was way out of bounds. With the possible exception of EOD, who has so many psychological maladies that he counts as an expert in the field, none of us individually or collectively can do for you what a good therapist can.

There's little downside to giving it a try now or later, whenever it feels right.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: July 26, 2020 05:17PM

This sounds like great advice.

I get though that it's hard to keep looking for help once you've tried it and it hasn't been effective. Often, by the time you seek assistance you feel desperate for immediate results (which is often the driving force behind finally searching out a therapist) and the time waiting for the appointment is an eternity. Then you have to relate your story to the therapist and the appointment time flies by and they haven't said much and then tell you time's up and you need to make another appointment, hence more waiting. It can feel interminable. Then often they will conclude that the answers are within yourself. It can be disappointing and not feel all that helpful but in the end often that's the case. You take all the info and advice you can glean from many different sources and find some helpful and other aspects not so much. That's not a bad thing - you turn out to be your best counsellor after all. The effort to find help, though, can be well worth it. There can be many sources though, such as online groups like this (connected to moism or not) or even just random articles you read or stories you hear about on TV or radio. I find that often one line or thought can be immensely helpful in giving me a lot to think about that turns out to be enlightening.

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Posted by: spiritist ( )
Date: July 26, 2020 04:55PM

I have been in classes studying the 'brain' for a number of years. Guess who teaches these classes ----- normally therapists who 'actually' work with clients that have 'problems'. Who attends --- some clients with problems.

I have 'observed' and been in 'class demonstrations' working with 'brain' manipulation. In some of these the 'instructor' has used very loud language 'techniques' to enhance the 'experience' and impact of the process.

Many have 'no clue' of how 'psychology' techniques work. If they don't work for you fine!!! If they do --- great!! There are hundreds of 'techniques' and matching the best 'technique to the client is always an issue. You should base the work on the 'benefits' or lack of 'benefits' you personally received!

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: July 26, 2020 05:45PM

I have no idea what this means. Try again?

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: July 26, 2020 06:44PM

It means yelling is OK?

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: July 26, 2020 07:47PM

Yeah - I think you're right.

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: July 26, 2020 07:46PM

and I kept trying and I found a really good one and I've gone to him off and on for about 23 or 24 years. He has never yelled at me and he got me out of a very bad place to I guess a much better place. It is a much better place. He saved my life. I'm going through some other things now and he is helping me yet again.

I wouldn't pay the guy. I went to the Instacare 5 years ago with some horrible pain around my rib cage. The doctor took x-rays and didn't see anything and told me I probably needed a, GET THIS, a colonoscopy. Rib cage. My doctor happened to be on vacation and when she got back, I went in and she said I had shingles without the rash. She, herself, had had it before. I told the Instacare what had happened and I said I refused to pay someone who had NO CLUE what he was talking about. And they canceled the charge. You were paying for a service and he ABUSED YOU. That is not something I would pay for.

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Posted by: tumwater ( )
Date: July 26, 2020 08:28PM

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2020 11:56PM by tumwater.

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Posted by: inexperienced ( )
Date: July 28, 2020 12:12AM

Thank you again to everyone. And extra special thanks to those of you who made an obvious time investment to offer me some thoughtful compassion, something I feel in great need of at the moment.

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Posted by: ufotofu ( )
Date: July 28, 2020 12:28AM

inexperienced Wrote:
> n/t

Are one or both of them LDS, in the military, college, elementary, high school, related, friends, or trusted professionals?

Yes and No.
Mostly: NO!

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Posted by: Pooped ( )
Date: July 28, 2020 12:36AM

There is no "One size fits all" when it comes to counselors or therapists. It can sometimes take awhile to find the right person to fit your need. I've heard several tales of people who went though a number of different therapists before they found the right one who really helped them. There is nothing wrong with telling your therapist that he/she is not a good fit and you will be looking elsewhere. You can do that with your medical doctor as well. People get misdiagnosed by doctors quite often. A second opinion is always a good idea.

I sought out counseling when my dad died. I was just a little depressed and blue. Nothing major. Unfortunately the counselor I was assigned decided that my problem was that I wasn't married. He was, of course, a Mormon. A good priesthood holder was all I needed. One session was enough of that for me. Thank goodness I never married a Mormon. I'd probably be in much worse shape if I had.

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Posted by: Dr. No ( )
Date: July 28, 2020 05:42PM

Suggests the 'therapy' is more for the "therapist's" benefit -- and not for the client/patient.
Otherwise he/she/it wouldn't get bent.

- yelling means emotion involved
- emotion only presents when a part of therapist's "me" is threatened
- absence of intracognitive detachment clouds the ability to clearly see (and help) client/patient because there is too much of the therapist's "me"

Suggests it is therapist centered, and not client.
Find a better one, they're a dime a dozen.
Find one with a little humility and openness - usually these are a little bit older, have been beaten up by life a bit, enough to know they do not have all the answers.

Trust your gut.
You knew it was abnormal enough to ask the question.

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Posted by: spwdone ( )
Date: July 28, 2020 06:05PM

No! It might be understandable if you were being abusive To them but even then a therapist should be “the grown up.” File a complaint with the licensing board in your State. Totally unacceptable. BTW, I am certified as a therapist.

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Posted by: inexperienced ( )
Date: July 29, 2020 12:04AM

Just for the record, I was not being abusive in any way toward the therapist or anyone else in the room (not that I thought you were saying I was). The subject came up that at my lowest I had had some suicidal thoughts. (I didn't bring this up and did not wish to discuss it; someone else in the room with me at the time dredged it up out of my past.) With this information, the counselor then became angry, accused me of "playing games," and yelled at me. Also for the record, that didn't make it any less likely that those kinds of thoughts would return (but I didn't say that to him or anyone else except anonymously here in this post). If one is going to choose counseling as a profession, I wouldn't think it unheard of that one would have heard of clients feeling this way during their darkest times. Yelling at me for it wasn't helpful and, in fact, put me back at a very, very low point again.

I have not felt completely worthless since I left the LDS Church. Until now. That was one thing that was so soul satisfying when I left; I remember driving around right after I had made the decision to leave and this song called "You Won't Ever Be Lonely," came on the radio and I had tears pouring down my face (happy ones) because I just *knew* I would never feel like I was worth *nothing* again; even if there were low points I wouldn't have that awful loneliness of feeling like I was less than trash ever again. That was true until now, and I'm angry at myself because I don't know why the opinion of someone who I barely know and who I do *not* respect should have the power to make me feel like that. It shouldn't have that power, but somehow I'm allowing it to, and it makes me so frustrated with myself! Maybe it just shocked me cause I wasn't expecting that in a "therapy" setting, but it's been a very rough few days coming away from that session. And, preemptively, no, I don't think this was some round about genius strategy of his to make me hit so low that the only way I could go is up.....I think he's probably a judgmental, patriarchal, short tempered person who I should not allow to do "therapy" on me anymore.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: July 29, 2020 12:12AM

I'm hoping for a good outcome for you.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: July 29, 2020 11:01AM

I guess I've been to about 5. It took going through the first 4 to find the one I have. He just happened to be moving to town when the EAP (my husband's work offered 6 sessions with their assigned therapist) therapist told me this new guy was coming to town. I've been suicidal since I was age 25 when I found out my boyfriend was gay. I've never been the same.

There was on therapist that my husband was going to who told him that it wouldn't be fair for him to live in the downstairs and me upstairs with the kids and we could share paying the bills and raising the kids. It was an idea we came up with together and I was all for it. He was an LDS therapist and told my husband it wasn't fair to me. He never told me that (my husband didn't) and he just left. Left while I was gone and I came home to a recording to listen to that he had left me.

This same therapist told me that my husband didn't have to have sex with men anymore than someone had to have sex with a farm animal. He said you just don't stop at the side of the road every time you see a cow and have sex with it. I didn't tell my husband about that one for YEARS. That was the one horrible therapist I went to ONCE. He never yelled at me though.

My current therapist is aware that I've been suicidal, but there are many things I don't tell him and he is always surprised when I tell him something new that happened years ago, but he has just told me it gives him some more insight into what happened to me, but he brought me through it all WITHOUT needing to know everything and he has never yelled at me. We are actually friends now and I still pay him for therapy aside from our friendship.

I agree that he should be reported--he or she. I had a doctor get really angry with me a few years ago. She is no longer my doctor. I also sent her an e-mail telling her what I thought of her.

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