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#16 Guest__*

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Posted 10 August 2002 - 10:20 AM

Therapy, I was never keen on the idea but I have found that over the years it will be a necessary evil in order to heal.

The therapy I seem to have experienced the most is cognitive.  My therapist at the time said that this was probably the best method of treatment.  She said she wanted to change my thought process and she said she could see that I was an intelligent person.

I didn't have a choice whom to pick for my therapist as my insurance company did that for me.  For the most part prior to having to stop due to loss of insurance, it seemed to be a good fit even though we didn't always see eye to eye on things.

With other therapists that I had, yes there were bad experiences, especially when I was growing up.  My one therapist was reporting everything to my parents what was said and they would tell the therapist that I was out of my mind and she believed them.

I wish I knew just how much it was going to hurt before I started the process.  I also wish I knew that it was going to drudge up some other stuff that I would have preferred not to remember.  

If I can find another therapist like the last one I had, I will go for it.  I will be looking when I move home soon.

#17 Renata

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Posted 10 August 2002 - 01:47 PM

Good thread!

I have thought about this a lot, because I am really sorry that it took me 17 years to get the kind of therapy I needed, and my self and personality did not have to be warped so far off of the "main" track.

In '84 I began crisis counseling at a rape crisis centre for "Rape Trauma Syndrome". I was in therapy once a week for about 12 months. The major framework was cognitive therapy, but with a heavy social/feminist/political overlay. Overall, I felt that they managed to give me enough first aid that I didn't actually suicide, although there were 3 attempts that year. We never went deep, and in the push to give me good strong messages, I feel that I was not allowed to explore "non-PC" feelings of shame, guilt, pollution, etc... The overall effect was that I felt even more guilty because I couldn't get with the program and feel like a "proud survivor". There counselors were lay people, and I often felt bad because I could sense that they were overwhelmed, feeling helpless, and I think shocked at the crime, and my reactions. Not a great experience. No medications or referrals were made to professional resources - which I needed.

Then, after telling me that I was so fucked up that it couldn't be just because of being raped, and I must have been fucked up before, I was shifted to long term counseling. I don't know who this lady was, or what she was trying to do with me, but she was very challenging and confrontational over my "wrong thought patterns". We got nowhere at all. Then she said I should try group therapy so that i would see that what happened to me was in no way unique.

After I spoke for the first time there, the leader, (lay-leader) remarked that I was lucky I was only raped and injured once by a stranger, that I should heal much faster then the women there who had been molested by family members. I was not feeling lucky though. I just felt guilty for being so messed up when I had "only" been raped. I felt disentitled to my pain and the opposite of supported.

I left, never went back, stopped looking for other survivors, and perhaps not coincidentally, tried to kill myself for the last time later that week.

So, overall , my assessment is, barely adequate first aid, did some additional damage, too focused on the politically correct way to react and respond to rape, and I feel that lay counselors even with the best of intentions are not the people who should be giving therapy.

I went into therapy 3 more times for acute depression over the years. In none of the cases was any connection made between depression and being raped. I was describing amnesia, losing time, hyper vigilance, depression, nightmares, dissociation, and depersonalization AND I had revealed my rape and subsequent RTS, no connection was made and I never heard the phrase PTSD.

FINALLY, in 2000, a good friend of mine who happens to be a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst from Argentina agreed to take me in therapy, and we have been using psychotherapy ever since. I have come a LONG way since then, and I WISH I had been able to get this kind of help earlier. Just learning about PTSD has been amazingly therapeutic, my life makes sense now. We did about a year of stabilizing, and tracking the triggers and patterns back to the origin point. Now we are doing the heavy memory work, and as it goes on, I feel raw and in pain, but also lighter and more in control of myself... not so much like I am boxing with invisible fighters who can hit me with no warning and no way to figure out where it’s going to come from next.

Remembering, feeling, and understanding. That is my answer. No PC or Non-PC. Just honest supported exploration and a drive to heal, even if it means rebreaking the badly healed bone, so it can be reset to finally heal properly - maybe even stronger then it would have been if it had never been broken.

I hope this helps others.


#18 Guest_lea_*

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Posted 10 August 2002 - 02:17 PM

((sami100))  ((everyone))

This explanation of theoretical approaches is taken from the BAC web site:

Both counsellors and psychotherapists work from a variety of theoretical approaches with their clients. These therapies range from the type of psychoanalysis, originally practised by Sigmund Freud and later developed into other forms of analytic psychotherapy by his pupils, through humanistic psychotherapy (based on personal growth and self development) to the behavioural therapies used for dealing with specific phobias and anxieties.

The following is an alphabetical list of commonly used theoretical approaches with brief descriptions of their meanings:

Adlerian therapy
This is sometimes called individual psychology and uses the personality theory and system of counselling originated by Alfred Adler. Rather than psychoanalysis, Adler placed greater emphasis on infantile experiences of power and powerlessness and the goal-orientation of human behaviour. He created the terms “inferiority complex” and “superiority complex”.

Behavioural therapy
This therapy is based on the belief that behaviour is learnt in response to past experience and can be unlearnt, or reconditioned, without analysing the past to find the reason for the behaviour. It works well for compulsive and obsessive behaviour, fears, phobias and addictions.

Brief therapy (see also Solution focused brief therapy)
This uses the cognitive behavioural approach with a small, planned number of sessions and possibly a single follow-up session after some time has elapsed.

Client-centred counselling (see Person-centred counselling)

Cognitive analytical therapy
This combines cognitive therapy and psychotherapy and encourages clients to draw on their own resources to develop the skills to change destructive patterns of behaviour. Negative ways of thinking are explored and treatment is structured and directive involving diary-keeping, progress charts, etc.

Cognitive behavioural therapy
This combines cognitive and behavioural techniques. Clients are taught ways to change thoughts and expectations and relaxation techniques are used. It has been effective for stress-related ailments, phobias, obsessions, eating disorders and (at the same time as drug treatment) major depression.

Cognitive therapy
Uses the power of the mind to influence behaviour. It is based on the theory that previous experiences can adversely affect self-perception and condition attitude, emotions and ability to deal with certain situations. It works by helping the client to identify, question and change self-denigrating thoughts, thus altering habitual responses and behaviour. It can help pessimistic or depressed people to view things from a more optimistic perspective.

Eclectic counselling
An eclectic counsellor will select what is applicable to the client from a range of theories, methods and practices. Justification is based on the theory that there is no proof that any one theoretical approach works better than all others for a specific problem.

Existential counselling
Existentialists believe that life has no essential (given) meaning: any meaning has to be found or created. Existential counselling involves making sense of life through a personal world view and includes a willingness to face one’s life and life problems.

Gestalt therapy
The name is derived from the German for “organized whole”. Developed by Fritz Perls, it is based on his belief that the human response to experiences is summed up in a person’s thoughts, feelings and actions. The client gains self-awareness by analysing behaviour and body language and giving expression to repressed feelings. Treatment often includes acting out scenarios and dream recall.

Humanistic psychotherapy
This embraces techniques coming from the “personal growth movement” and encourages people to explore their feelings and take responsibility for their thoughts and actions. Emphasis is on self-development and achieving highest potential rather than dysfunctional behaviour. “Client-centred” or “non-directive” approach is often used and the therapy can be described as “holistic”. The client’s creative instincts may be used to explore and resolve personal issues.

Integrative counselling
This is when several distinct models of counselling and psychotherapy are used together in a converging way rather than in separate pieces.

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)
NLP combines cognitive behavioural and humanistic therapies with hypnotherapy. It works on the theory that life experiences, from birth onwards, programme the way a person sees the world. The practitioner helps the client to discover how he (or she) has learnt to think or feel so that he can take control of his actions. The client is taught how to change speech and body language in order to communicate better and bring about personal change.

Person-centred counselling
Devised by Carl Rogers and also called “client-centred” or “Rogerian” counselling, this is based on the assumption that an individual (client), seeking help in the resolution of a problem he (or she) is experiencing, can enter into a relationship with another individual (counsellor) who is sufficiently accepting and permissive to allow the client to freely express emotions and feelings. This will enable the client to come to terms with negative feelings, which may have caused emotional problems, and develop inner resources. The objective is for the client to become able to perceive himself as a person, with the power and freedom to change, rather than as an object.

Primal therapy
This is based on the theory that suppressed birth or infancy traumas can resurface as neuroses. The therapy takes the client back to the “primal scene” where trauma can be re-experienced as an emotional cleansing.

This is based on the work of Sigmund Freud, who believed that the unacceptable thoughts of early childhood are banished to the unconscious mind but continue to influence thoughts, emotions and behaviour. “Repressed” feelings can surface later as conflicts,depression, etc or through dreams or creative activities. The analyst seeks to interpret and make acceptable to the client’s conscious mind, troublesome feelings and relationships from the past. “Transference” onto the analyst, of feelings about figures in the client’s life, is encouraged. This type of therapy is often used by clients suffering high levels of stress and can be a lengthy and intensive process.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy/counselling
This approach stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experience in determining current behaviour. The client is encouraged to talk about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people and the therapist focuses on the client/therapist relationship (the dynamics) and in particular on the transference. Transference is when the client projects onto the therapist feelings experienced in previous significant relationships. The psychodynamic approach is derived from Psychoanalysis but usually provides a quicker solution to emotional problems.

Sometimes described as “psychology of the soul”, Psychosynthesis aims to integrate or “synthesize” the level of consciousness, at which thoughts and emotions are experienced, with a higher, spiritual level of consciousness. Painting, movement and other techniques can be used to recognize and value different facets of the personality. Psychosynthesis is useful for people seeking a new, more spiritually oriented vision of themselves.

In this approach, emotional or physical traumas during birth are said to create feelings of separation or fear in later life. Breathing techniques are used to release tension whilst the client re-experiences traumatic emotions. A skilled practitioner is essential.

Solution-focused brief therapy
This promotes positive change rather than dwelling on past problems. Clients are encouraged to focus positively on what they do well and to set goals and work out how to achieve them. As little as 3 or 4 sessions may be beneficial.

Systemic therapies
These are the therapies which have, as their aim, a change in the transactional pattern of members. It can be used as the generic term for family therapy and marital therapy.

Transactional analysis
This is based on the belief that everyone has a child, adult and parent self within them and, within each social interaction, one self predominates. By recognising these roles, a client can choose which one to adopt and so change behaviour. This form of therapy has produced the term “inner child”, used to describe unfulfilled needs from childhood.

Transpersonal therapy
This describes any form of counselling or therapy which places emphasis on spirituality, human potential or heightened consciousness. It includes psychosynthesis.

If anyone's interested, my therapy is person-centered!.

Love Lea.

#19 Guest_lea_*

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Posted 10 August 2002 - 04:23 PM


I decided to edit this post because I summed up bad experience in a different reply, and I'd prefer to do that than list individual accounts. What I have learned is to stand up for myself more, recognise when I need help and not being afraid to ask for it, and that I am responsible for my healing, not anyone else.

Love lea.

(Edited by lea at 3:35 am on Aug. 13, 2002)

#20 Renata

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Posted 10 August 2002 - 04:32 PM

Thanks for the list Lea! And for sharing your experiences. <Empathy>

I think my therapy is Person-Centered Eclectic Psychoanalysis, if there is any such thing...

We have done art, poetry, writing, dream work, lots of talking, plenty of crying, and ritual creation.

I have always felt that I am walking MY path, but with a wise and unfailingly caring guide supporting me.


(Edited by Renata at 7:37 pm on Aug. 10, 2002)

#21 Guest__*

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Posted 10 August 2002 - 11:12 PM

I've tried to study this, to decide on my own therapy.

Rape/abuse is a form of trauma.  The frequent result is PTSD.  

The research I could find said that medications are useful for stabilization, and that this should best be followed by cognitive-behavior therapy.  

One problem with PTSD is that the unresolved trauma is maintained in the unconscious parts of the brain, which makes treatment slow.  There are two techniques to speed up the process, both of which are aimed at moving the unconscious images into the conscious brain.

One of these alternative techniques is EMDR.  No one knows why this works, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that it does.

The other alternative technique is body therapy, which focuses on subtle body feelings and bringing these to greater awareness.  A Harvard professor named Vander Koch supports this.  (Do a search for "hakomi somatic therapy" for more info.)

Other therapies of course may work for other people.  What I did was to try to find those that are specifically aimed at trauma.

In choosing a therapist, you might look for one who specifically focuses on trauma.

In finding a T., I tend to rely on recommendations from other doctors and therapists.  I have had a lot of success with this technique, since they know the available network in the community.

For me, it would be impossible to deal with my issues without the support of a therapist.

#22 Guest_lea_*

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Posted 11 August 2002 - 04:45 AM


Your counsellor's sound great. My counsellor is the same in that she guides me to find my own answers, and doesn't tell me what I should do. She is a 'person-centered' counsellor, which comes from Carl Rogers (There's a list somewhere above which outlines different therapy's, taken from the BAC web site). Maybe yours is too (you could always ask her!). Basically, they believe that a person has the answers within themselves, that they have the power to change their lives within themselves, as oppose to being told what they should do.

I'm so happy you found these counsellors. Your last bit about 'feeling' right and going with this instinct, is spot on - it's the most important thing, and knowing you don't have to 'stick' with a counsellor and can move on is important too - you sound in control of your process and these people sound like great guides. I'm very happy for you and wish you luck (and everyone else) in their healing.

Love Lea. :)

#23 Guest_lea_*

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Posted 11 August 2002 - 06:12 AM


That G.P sounds like a complete idiot. I'm glad you never went thru treatment with her. And yes, psychiatrists are pretty crap with therapy, in my experience.

Have you had bad experiences with therapists/ other professionals?

The first time I attempted suicide I was put in hospital for 6 days and taken to see a psychiatrist for an assessment. They put me in a room with a two-way mirror (like I couldn't tell) and a locked door (?). The room had a huge desk and chair that the psychiatrist sat in, while I was in a chair stuck in the corner by the plastic pot plants.

Keeping a face so straight you'd think he was inhuman, and casually touching his glasses now and then, he asked me why I'd tried to kill myself.

I told him a lie, the lie I'd been told to say by my family, so that my father would be protected. He bought it. No questions asked. I was let home, and returned 18 months later after a further suicide bid.

This time a social worker came in, threw her card at me, said 'give your baby up for adoption, you obviously can't take care of yourself' and walked out. My assessment with a psychiatrist (not the same one) lasted 2 minutes. 'You need to take up a hobby' he said 'like knitting'.

They let me out. I never went back to my G.P or the N.H.S for years thru disgust at the incompetent way I was handled. Then I tried when I was older and in a relationship, I wrote a letter to my G.P asking for counselling. He sent me to another psychiatrist at the hospital, but every time I mentioned the word 'sex' his face went red, then he started going on about how he and his wife love England, and they're so glad they emigrated here, he offered me a place in the hospital but I refused, it wasn't necessary for me at that time and I was not willing to let my kids into care. Being an outpatient at the hospital was not a choice offered.

But I have to say that now I have found the right therapist, my first real one to be honest, all my doubts have been brushed aside. She is really great and I think it's the best thing I could have done, I don't think I'd be here if I hadn't. All I really needed was someone to talk to. Someone I could trust.

Love Lea. :)

(Edited by lea at 1:15 pm on Aug. 11, 2002)

(Edited by lea at 3:16 am on Aug. 13, 2002)

#24 Guest__*

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Posted 11 August 2002 - 02:05 PM

When I started college, I began seeing a therapist on campus to help me deal with the childhood abuse.  He sexually abused me for 4 years.  He also had control of my mind, and abused me verbally and spiritually as well.  It has devastated me.  I had finally found someone that I could trust after years of childhood sexual, physical and verbal abuse, and once again, received more abuse.

I went to several counselors and psychologists to deal with the devastation from my college therapist, but couldn't stick with them because I was so fearful of being hurt again.

I now have a woman counselor who is wonderful.  She runs a Christian ministry center and charges no fee - she depends on donations only.  We talk through my memories and she prays for me.  She has been the answer to my prayers for healing.

#25 Guest__*

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Posted 12 August 2002 - 01:41 AM

Twelve years ago I went through drug treatment.  When “they” took away my drugs :) I knew I had to work on what I was medicating.  My first therapeutic experience was awful.  I was then in a Christian based counseling program and the focus was more on my soul then on my emotions.  I moved on after a year.  I was diagnosed with MP then and I found that for working with CSA and MP issues I needed more then just talking.  I asked my therapist to help.  She suggested we start art therapy and EMDR.  The EMDR was great for when your having flashbacks because it lets the pictures happen like you are watching a movie and you can do it while you are safe in the office with your therapist.  
I love art therapy and incorporate my writing and art together.  That is something I can do anytime and it is helpful to have people to share it with but it is not always necessary to have an art therapist.
I have had two therapists since that time; both were trained in MP, EMDR, and art therapy.  I also use healing touch that is less invasive then massage.  Barbara Brennen School in NY trains people as does several other organizations.  
When I was assulted here six years ago I contacted the rape center and they were not helpful to me at all.  Their reason?  I was a CSA survivor!  As if CSA survivors never get raped.  What they did was start me on a trail of referals to useless therapist.  I tried three.  It was horrid.  None of those therapist would even talk to me about the MP and at that time, just after a rape, it was up in my face.  A short time later I found one of the therapist I was speaking of earilier.

Thanks for a great question, Em.
Take care,

#26 Guest_lea_*

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Posted 12 August 2002 - 08:25 PM

What is the single thing that you wish you had known before starting the process?

That therapy was in my control, that I was the person who could help myself, right from the beginning in going about choosing a therapist, and into the therapists room, where I'm allowed to be myself and will not be judged for being so. That the answers are all in me. That power is not dangerous, power is liberating, and neither does power have to hurt. I wish I'd known this beforehand, then I might not have been so afraid. What used to frighten me was losing my independance of mind, being persuaded by anothers opinions, being in someone else's control. That stopped me from seeking therapy.

#27 Guest__*

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Posted 28 September 2002 - 06:58 PM

I've got stuck in my therapy sessions in that I can't cry or show emotion, it gets stuck in my throat so that I cannot speak, and I hate silences...yet the emotion is too raw to let out - it just won't come out! Can anyone identify or help with this problem? It's been 5 months and I wish I knew how to deal with this,


#28 Guest__*

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 09:53 AM

Experiences with people who have psych as part of their name?

OOooooh Yes . . .

The First one I went to was a laugh - I did not even mention the r*pe - never got the chance. I started with some other factors in my life, most importantly at that time was to prove I was not incompetent (my family was trying to place me in mental health care because they claimed I was). It was a response to my throwing one son and hubby out of the house after numerous heated discussions.  The Psychologist said he couldn't do any more for me - that I could go to him if I thought it would make me feel better, but he'd done all he could (I think we had 3-4 sessions?)

#2 wasn't much better - in fact was worse.  This one was at the clinic where my doctor worked.  I complained that I was being treated like a 3 year old and explained why.  He, in the presence of my husband, agreed - that I WAS acting like a child because I willingly allowed hubby to control me.  When I described instances where I'd stood up for myself and fought for what I thought was right - so was not always a child, he came back with "Now you're a rebellious teen-ager!  I couldn't win - I was either the problem as a 3 year old, OR I was the problem as a rebelious teen. I was not acceptable in any mode.

On to #3 - at a clinic about an hour from our home.  We got there, he wasn't really interested in anything - spent our first session fillng out paperwork. Our second session didn't do anything for either of us . . . and we saw no future with him. To be honest with you, I don't even remember now what the real reason was that we left him - but at the time it seemed really important.

#4?  This was the only female counselor I had - and she was a gem.  I was able to start to open up with her, but my insurance turned me down when I asked them to cover her.  She was the first counselor who seemed to actually care about ME instead of the labels she could put on me and the guidelines she would need to follow because of the labels.

On to #5 - my husband's minister.  We had therapy for about a year - once a week at first, then it whittled down to once a month - haven't been for well over 2 months now.  DId he help?  YES - in our relationships to each other, he did a world of good.  In fact, we are reconciling.  Did he help me with the r*pe issue?  NO.  He won't try to believe me.  He told me that he KNEW I was not raped - but something MIGHT have happened (If I wasn't lying?). Then, when I was able to PROVE to him that I'd had bruises all over my body, he changed that to something else MUST have happened, but he still knew it wasn't R*pe!

If he sees me as a liar, why do I need to continue to go to him? If he can't believe what I tell him, why waste my time.

That makes FIVE counselors in five years - no, SIX  . . there was one BEFORE the first one, to help me deal with issues that had come up prior to the r*pe, but this was another of those "no coverage" insurance fiasco's.

SO . . . after going to SIX counselers/therapists/psych-whatevers, I STILL have never had any professional help dealing with the rape that happened FIVE years ago. . . Instead, I depend on my husband, who has done a hurculean job of remaining calm when I wasn't - and tries to keep my irritants to a minimum.  I also have gotten help from sites like this and a nun who has had a personal experience with it herself.

#29 jenster73

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Posted 07 October 2002 - 09:34 AM

This is such a good thread - gives us all an idea of what's out there, the pitfalls etc.

What kind of therapy(ies) have you experienced? e.g. Cognitive behavioural/humanistic/psychoanalysis - not sure what the type of therapy I've had is called! I guess person-centred best described. Previously tried working with a pyscho-therapist.

How did you choose your therapist? - A friend recommended the r*pe crisis centre. They offer free counselling. There is the option to switch counsellors if the relationship doesn't work.
The pyscho-therapist was a referral by my GP.

Have you had bad experiences with therapists/ other professionals?  - The pyscho-therapist - couldn't have been more dis-interested if he tried. he did not specialise in this kind of work and his responses made me feel like I'd blown it all out of proportion. He wanted me to tell him everything that happened in the first session - way too quick. It felt a very traumatic experience.

Have you had bad experiences with different kinds of therapies? Just the above

What is the single thing that you wish you had known before starting the process? How long it would continue. I naively thought a few weeks would have me sorted - apparently not!

All in all it took me 6 years to accept the idea of counselling, and another 4 years before I found my current counsellor (the pyscho-therapist put me off trying again for several years). I'm glad I stuck with it though.


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