therapy session w/ meds - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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therapy session w/ meds


I went to a doc today for the first time in awhile. He prescribed generic zoloft and xanax (small dose) and had me schedule an appt w/ one of his therapists. I'm not very confident therapy will work unless it is some sort of group therapy designed for SA peeps.

I am thinking of calling to cancel the therapy session. He told me at the end of the session, I need to schedule an a appt w/ this therapist and I really never asked about it as I was caught by surprise. I will see the doc while I take the meds which I understand but I just have doubts he knows what he is doing as far as therapy for SA. I just dont see sitting in a therapy office for an hour every month as being much help...

Any one have any opinion on this?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 06:46 PM
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Therapy is helpful and generally produces better long-term benefits than medication. Although a combination of the two is obviously ideal.

For someone with SA to jump right into group therapy doesn't make much sense. I thought therapy would be pointless too when I first started, but now I actually look forward to it.

There's plenty of evidence that the skills you learn in cognitive behavioral therapy improve your chances of preventing relapse. Try not to be too pessimistic about it because therapy only really works if you make an effort towards it.

It's also really amazing to just have someone you can talk to openly without judging you. I don't know your particular life circumstances, but if you're like many people with social anxiety, you probably don't already have somebody in your life that you can truly be honest with. So many of us are already so extremely isolated in a social sense, and to be comfortable with and able to openly share your thoughts and experiences with another human being can really kickstart the healing process.

It was really difficult for me at first... I visit my therapist for about 50 minutes every two weeks, and it took me at least 6 months to really warm up to her.

Just to disclose everything, I should mention that I see my therapist for free here in Canada, so I've never been in a position where I had to weigh the benefits versus the financial costs. But in my opinion, a good therapist who sincerely cares about the well-being of his/her clients is absolutely invaluable.

I'm a male and I find therapy is easier for me because of the fact that my therapist is a female. Many people find that what works for them best is the exact opposite. But I can't recommend strongly enough finding a therapist that's the right fit for you. Just to have somebody willing to listen to you without judgment can really be an amazing thing... I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, but it's often the highlight of my week.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by icedCoffee View Post
I went to a doc today for the first time in awhile. He prescribed generic zoloft and xanax (small dose) and had me schedule an appt w/ one of his therapists. I'm not very confident therapy will work unless it is some sort of group therapy designed for SA peeps.

I am thinking of calling to cancel the therapy session. He told me at the end of the session, I need to schedule an a appt w/ this therapist and I really never asked about it as I was caught by surprise. I will see the doc while I take the meds which I understand but I just have doubts he knows what he is doing as far as therapy for SA. I just dont see sitting in a therapy office for an hour every month as being much help...

Any one have any opinion on this?
I think most people find that therapy is fun, I know I do. I look forward to it
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 07:58 PM
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IMO cognitive behavioral therapy is a lot more useful than talk therapy but it all depends on the individual. Even talk therapy is better than no therapy whatsoever. Especially towards the beginning of your treatment.

-"To have a right estimate of a man's character, we must see him in misfortune."
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 08:48 PM
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IMO cognitive behavioral therapy is a lot more useful than talk therapy but it all depends on the individual. Even talk therapy is better than no therapy whatsoever. Especially towards the beginning of your treatment.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is very uniform and structured. It is pretty much the same for every patient and so it lends itself well to statistical studies. This is a major reason there is such a significant and unambiguous body of evidence supporting the use of CBT.

But the structure of CBT also makes it fairly short-term, after which time you will see little to no improvement with continued therapy.

Interpersonal talk therapy, on the other hand, is highly individualized, and this is largely the reason it doesn't have the same statistical support that a uniform and structured therapy like CBT does.

Intuitively though, if interpersonal therapy is effective with any particular mental disorder, it would be social anxiety, for obvious reasons. It also helps to have a sort of "coach"/"sponsor." Personally, the experience of being able to just be myself as a person without being judged is very rewarding, and helps boost confidence, which most people with social anxiety are severely lacking.

Don't get me wrong, I've been helped by CBT too. Not so much with anxiety, but it's really helped me to take a step back and look at my thoughts and motives when I'm angry, for instance. I DO think it's also a very valuable part of successful treatment.

Even 2 years ago I would have been of the opinion that CBT is far more useful, as I'm the kind of guy who needs evidence. And while I've personally found it to be useful, as mentioned, I was surprised to find for myself the value of talk therapy with a good and caring therapist. I still often feel compelled to stick to the evidence regarding the benefits of different therapies, but in reality it's impossibly to conduct studies on such individualized therapy to the same scientifically rigorous standards that have been applied to CBT.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 07:37 AM
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Great post.

I was just speaking of my personal experience with both and which I found to have more substantive results. I wasn't speaking in any sort of statistical sense or trying to de-value the benefit of talk therapy or anything.

-"To have a right estimate of a man's character, we must see him in misfortune."
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