I don't think my therapist understands SAD very well - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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I don't think my therapist understands SAD very well


I have been going to see a therapist (unlicensed, getting her PhD in psychology) at my university and the reason I am sticking with her is I get a few free sessions. I am frustrated with the whole thing though because I don't really feel she understands SAD. She has never even heard of the Liebowitz Scale. She told me that I should think about things that make me happy and practice breathing techniques when I'm nervous (I've tried, but I can't think of anything other than what's making me anxious, and deep breathing only heightens my anxiousness). Last week we were talking about connecting with people, and she was making it out that people aren't all that bad and people wouldn't really judge me for not having a social life/never having had a bf/being boring to talk to. I am sorry, but most people are that bad at judging. She even said that she didn't sense that I was anxious when she speaks with me, but I know I was trembling a little and I kept getting my thoughts mixed up and forgetting what I was saying. I can't afford a psychiatrist or else I would go to one. Next week I want to discuss assertiveness, but I am sure that I will get nothing from my session. I am really bummed about this.

I will be going to a group therapy session next week, but it is going to be with people with many different mental disorders, not necessarily people with SAD. I will try it once, but I don't see how these people without SAD will understand and and be able to relate to my SAD. I sure hope someone will be there with SAD.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: I don't think my therapist understands SAD very well


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Originally Posted by blossom
She sucks. Breathing techinques are not going to work somewhat even unless you do some heavy aerobic exercise for a longish period over a period of weeks or months. Breathing techiques without aerobics help to center someone who is temporarily off, but not someone who is chronically off. And even then you need mental work.
Think about things that make you happy is a abstract nowhere unpractical statement. You need someone who works with the actual situations you are in and the actual thoughts you have about those situations.

I think the best alternative you can look for if you can't find someone who specializes in social anxiety is to find someone who specializes in assertiveness. Assertiveness is many things, not just confronting negative people, but also to compliment people, to start a conservation, to ask for things. I wish you luck. Keep looking.
Thank you blossom! And about the "thinking" part, I am definiitely not an abstract thinker but practical. I don't really know why she would have me do that. She asked me what makes me happy and feel good, and I told her that I like to sit outside and feel the sun and smell fresh air and hear the trees blowing...it just makes me feel good. So that's when she said I should think about that when I am in an anxiety provoking situation. It's completely impossible for me! Impractical and abstract like you said. If I can esccape the situation and then go sit outside and relax, that's when I'll be fine. Sheesh...I wish I could afford to look elsewhere (especially to find a SAD specialist), but unfortunately everything I have goes to college. I guess I'm just on my own with this.


I can usually ask for things and sometimes initiate a conversation...and I can always compliment people...but my greatest weakness is confrontation. That would be a dream come true to find someone who specializes in assertiveness.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 07:23 PM
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Re: I don't think my therapist understands SAD very well


Well it's like that old saying. You get what you pay for.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: I don't think my therapist understands SAD very well


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Well it's like that old saying. You get what you pay for.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 07:32 PM
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Re: I don't think my therapist understands SAD very well


My therapist isn't an expert, but I can't imagine finding someone better in my area that I could get covered under insurance. There's a lot of child psychologists and marriage counselors, anything else not so much.

My therapist gave me the Anxiety & Phobia Workbook and an ACT book for free, which is nice...but she doesn't really take the systematic approach I think I need. We meet once every three weeks, we just talk about experiences that happened recently and says "look at this chapter" and maybe gives me some of her own handouts. I'm pretty much left on my own when it comes to the CBT side of things.
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