Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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revised advice on the matter

Posted by Racer on February 16, 2004, at 11:21:16

In reply to Re: cost/benefit analysis of therapy?, posted by Medusa on February 16, 2004, at 5:48:48

Pegasus is right, when you don't have a lot of discretionary income, it is very hard to decide to devote a potentially large fraction of that to therapy, especially when you have other uses for that money. You say that your insurance pays $500 for therapy in one year? How about looking for a short term, goal oriented therapy model that will allow you to put together a detailed plan of what you can do for yourself to improve your situation while you're working on improving your financial situation?

That's a compromise, since there are often issues involved in this sort of situation that really do require more than a brief series of sessions. On the other hand, having a reasonable plan, one which has been worked out between you and a therapist who can act as a guide to what makes a plan reasonable, might be the best for your current situation.

That said, if you're thinking about going back to school, and from other things you've said, I'm betting you're on the younger side. If that's true, my heartfelt advice is this: get the therapy now, no matter what the cost, and avoid all the pain down the line. At the end of the day, I really and truly believe that working out the issues in the first place saves more than just money in the long run.

OK, so why do I feel as if I can give advice on this matter? Because I'm not on the younger side anymore. I was in therapy with a wonderful therapist for several years in my early twenties, and we did some good work together. The problem is, we didn't do all the work I needed to do, and the result is another twenty years of downwardly progressing trouble and strife and anguish. The depression has become so much worse, and it's exacerbated by the thought that I missed the opportunity to avoid it by finishing what we'd started twenty years ago.

So, learn something from my unfortunate mistake, if you will. Therapy is a wonderful tool, and, if it's available to you, it's worth the costs.

Ooooh! I even get to make an analogy! Yippee! It's like a can opener! If you have a can, and don't have a can opener, you can still find a way to get at the contents of the can. Screwdrivers, utility knives, chisels, etc, all those will allow you to access the contents, although it's much easier and less damaging to use a can opener. Therapy is a psychological tool, the way a can opener is a practical tool. So, rather than trying to open the can of your psyche with a chisel, why not try using a tool that's built specifically for that purpose?

And, last thought, I promise: all of my advice is based on the premise that you find a therapist who's right for you. If you find yourself seeing a therapist who just doesn't click, it probably won't work. That doesn't mean you have to stick with a bad therapist, or give up. If one approach or one individual doesn't work, you have the power to switch to someone else. (When I found my Good Therapist twenty years ago, I went to "interview sessions" with about a dozen therapists. Some, I walked out after ten minutes, with a "sorry, you're very nice, but I just don't think it'll work out." Paid them full session fees, of course. Others, those I wasn't sure of, I went to see a couple of times, still letting them know up front that they were still interviewing and I wasn't yet committed. In a very short time, I knew which one would be the best fit for me. It was an expensive (no insurance) and time consuming process, but I did end up with not only the therapist who worked so well with me, but also with the knowledge that she was the best suited for me out of a large selection of possibilities. That knowledge was -- excuse the buzzword -- empowering for me, and very valuable.)

Good luck, whatever you decide.




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