Therapy- Before and After


Breathe. Remember to ask directly for coping techniques which go beyond popping pills. Don’t let her talk about her own life. Don’t get caught up in conversation. Focus on skills. Test her. See if she lives up to your expectations and if she doesn’t, try not to get angry at her. She’s not your diary. Don’t start talking about how much things suck. She knows this already. Ask for suggestions. Ask for homework.


I tried to ask directly for coping skills and she spoke about the importance of breathing. My homework is to try breathing for 3-4 minutes, twice a day. I told her I would give it a try.


Excerpts from our session:


Me: At my group, everyone was given praise except me. Everything I did was shit.

Her: They said that?

Me: Well not exactly in those words… I just seemed to do everything wrong. I hate them now.

*Notes are taken*


Her: What are your plans for Christmas?

Me: (Haven’t we had this conversation before?) I don’t want to talk about Christmas!

*More notes are taken*

Her: Do you spend Christmas alone?

Me: (That’s a trick question!) No, ugh. I wish. *Explains plans.*


Her: Is there anything you would like to do next year?

Me: I think I’ll probably just die.

*Notes taken*

Me: Don’t write that! I don’t want a record of that!

Her: Do you have a plan?

Me: Probably just what I planned to do last time but chickened out of at the last minute.

Her: Did you go to hospital after that?

Me: No, I didn’t tell anyone and I am not going to tell you any more than that.

*More notes*

Me: Stop writing notes!

Her: These notes are just for me.

Me: No they’re a written record of me! If anything happens to me then all of these notes will be scrutinised!


Her: Have you ever been in Suchandsuch public psychiatric hospital?

Me: No, but I have been in several others.

Her: I hear Suchandsuch is the worst.

Me: I heard it is like Thisandthat, which I have been in. Anyway, Jailmasqueradingasahospital is waaaaaaay worse. *Explains why*

Her: Try to stay out of Suchandsuch.

Me: I’ll try to stay out of the whole bloody lot of them!






12 thoughts on “Therapy- Before and After

  1. Thinks I have to comment carefully here. Breathing is the first step, the basis, for it can help you when you move to more challenging things. It is calming. I think you know this though, tis good to practice it a lot, so that it is instinctive, for when you need it.

    She is probing at some possible goals with you, to help you meet some. Also to see where you are at right now a bit too. I think you know that too, but I am rambling.

    hmmmm *tears up all your plans and smirks* …. selfish? perhaps but I like chatting with you. So yes selfish, but… you know too, I am only an email and a gazillion time zones away, please use me before drawing up plans. You can delete this part too if you wish. *hugs lots*

    What is your feeling of her now? Do you think she is going to be able to provide some help?

    • I didn’t even think that she was probing for goals, I thought she was just making conversation.
      You’re not selfish for wanting to tear up my plans. I am selfish for even considering them. I just feel so stuck. I feel like I need an expert therapist trained in acute anxiety who can show me techniques and do them with me rather than one who just says breathe. I don’t even know if someone like that exists around here, the closest I came to a psychologist like that was in hospital. One day I was nervous about my mum visiting so she did tapping (butterfly technique?) with me. We also stood up and moved our feet from side to side.
      This lady just sits back while my jittery legs hit her coffee table. I think she is nice but it’s been three sessions now and I thought we’d be further ahead. I think she might be very helpful to people who maybe aren’t as “extreme” as me, like maybe someone who lost a job and is just looking for a little bit of help to deal with that. I don’t know. I have one more appointment with her this year (she’s going away too!) so I guess that will be my deciding appointment.
      Thank you for being so kind. Big hugs to you. xo

      • Her card says M. App. Psych., MAPS
        Consultant Psychologist
        So, masters of applied psychology and a member of the Australian psychological society.
        What’s a consultant psychologist?

      • It varies from country to country a bit. Some work with companies. some can be a clinical consultant psychologist, but normally require a doctorate, She may list some of her specialties, maybe on a web site or brochure. She can also be just right for you. lol, I didn’t help much did I? I suggest you ask her, but in a nice way.

      • I don’t think she has a brochure but google may help me understand her. From the site where she was listed, she had anxiety,depression and something else I can’t remember as her specialties.

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