Mental Health Bookclub discussion

MiXED NUTS or What I've Learned Practicing Psychotherapy
2016 Group Reads > MiXED NUTS - Therapeutic Techniques

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Martha (marthais) In my opinion, one of Cormier's strengths as a psychotherapist is his belief in flexing his style for each client. This is something one might think a therapist should do anyway - the goal is to help the client right? However, as Cormier describes, and in my own experience, a lot of therapists will pick and approach and stick with it, no matter what. An example often cited (including in the book) is the Rogerian approach which often manifests as repeating what the client says back to them - I personally find that infuriating!

What kinds of therapy do or don't work for you? Have you had experiences of therapists insisting on using an approach that you didn't like? Are there any tips you have for choosing the right therapist and how to participate in therapy as a two-way relationship rather than a therapist just practicing his or her particular technique on you no matter what?

Marina (sonnenbarke) The Rogerian approach is definitely infuriating. If I just needed one person to listen to me and nod, I'd talk with a friend.

I've tried more than one type of therapy in my life, and not all of them worked for me. I found that MBCT was very helpful for anxiety and panic attacks, though it didn't work at all for my other (main) issues. In fact, it is especially designed to help with depression, but it didn't help me in that respect.

I didn't like "pure" CBT (which is definitely the most widespread here in Italy), as I felt it was only partially addressing my issues. I hated SCM, but I strongly suspect this was due to the utter ineptitude of my therapist.

At the moment I'm doing DBT, which was specifically designed to help people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, and I'm loving it. I think this is the best I've tried in 14 years of therapy. Starting from next autumn I'll be combining it with EMDR, which is specifically targeted on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I hope this is going to work. I tried EMDR before but it was an utter failure.

All of my previous therapists (6 of them!) were insisting on using their particular approach whether I felt comfortable with it or not. Needless to say, this didn't do me any good.

I think the one tip I have for choosing the right therapist is, ask your psychiatrist for a recommendation/referral. That's what I did, because my psychiatrist had already known me for 8 months so he knew me well, and he actually referred me to a highly trained and very good therapist.

Another piece of advice is, always tell your therapist in case you don't feel comfortable with the approach they use - if they are flexible enough, chances are you can work on it together and choose a different style, if not a different approach. If you feel the therapist or approach really don't work for you, just look for someone else! Your mental health and well-being is too important to waste time with someone who doesn't understand you and can't help you.

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