Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 251832

Shown: posts 1 to 23 of 23. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

therapy for mental health professionals...

Posted by Penny on August 18, 2003, at 11:57:39

Has anyone ever asked his or her therapist or pdoc if they've ever been in therapy? I realize this is a private issue, and many folks are not comfortable asking such private things about his or her therapist, but I'm curious. I know that many schools that train therapists (schools of social work and of psychology) require students to go through a certain amount of psychotherapy to make sure they have dealt with their own issues.

When I saw my pdoc on Friday, I was talking to him about thinking of becoming a therapist, and was telling him what my former therapist said about 'using what you learn to help others' and he agreed, then told me that after medical school he went through five years of psychoanalysis. I thought that was pretty cool.

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny

Posted by fallsfall on August 18, 2003, at 13:22:25

In reply to therapy for mental health professionals..., posted by Penny on August 18, 2003, at 11:57:39

I haven't asked mine. But I think it is cool that yours has done it.

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... fallsfall

Posted by Penny on August 18, 2003, at 14:21:03

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny, posted by fallsfall on August 18, 2003, at 13:22:25

Yeah, explains the large amount of insight he has into his own life. He said it helps him to pinpoint when an issue belonging to one of his patients is triggering something in him.

I think I'm going to ask my therapist too. I mean, I didn't really ask my pdoc, but I think I might tell her about what he said and then ask her if she's ever been in therapy. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if she has.

 

therapy for mental health professionals - Penny

Posted by BekkaH on August 18, 2003, at 17:25:02

In reply to therapy for mental health professionals..., posted by Penny on August 18, 2003, at 11:57:39

Hi Penny,

Psychoanalysts MUST be psychoanalyzed. I don't think it's a requirement for other therapists, although it probably should be.

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny

Posted by allisonf on August 18, 2003, at 22:26:23

In reply to therapy for mental health professionals..., posted by Penny on August 18, 2003, at 11:57:39

First of all, good luck to you as you start the process of becoming a therapist! Did I tell you a long time ago when we were e-mailing, that my goal is also to become a therapist/psychologist? So much of my therapy has been devoted to me accepting that I can become a therapist when I have mental health issues of my own. I worry if I am going into it for the wrong reasons...to solve my own problems rather than help others, because I admire my therapist, etc. But recently, I have really come to feel *so* strongly that my experiences battling depression, etc. are the *best* starting ground for empathy in this area. I think people like us have so much to offer other people who will be struggling with the same mental health issues we are today. Best of luck to you!! Keep me posted on your progress. I too am taking the GREs soon! Eeek.

So...to answer your question...my therapist has been in therapy. She talks about it occasionally. I know she also had a tough time deciding to become a psychologist and she had mental health issues in her family. She did have some psychoanalytic training and I'm assuming like Bekka said, that she had to be psychoanalysed to go thru it. I wonder tho if she is in therapy now. One time we talked about an episode of The Sopranos and how the psychiatrist in the show is also in therapy. My therapist seemed so unphased by it--as if it was common for therapists to be in therapy. Do you think this could be true?

My pdoc was also trained as a psychoanalyst but now he just does meds. I wish he was a bit more like yours and talked about his experiences with therapy. He is great at recommending books tho. Most recently he told me about "Mount Misery" by Samuel Shem. You shd ck it out--it's a really funny account of a psychiatrist in training.

Take care--Allison

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals...

Posted by Budgie on August 19, 2003, at 0:54:57

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny, posted by allisonf on August 18, 2003, at 22:26:23

> First of all, good luck to you as you start the process of becoming a therapist! Did I tell you a long time ago when we were e-mailing, that my goal is also to become a therapist/psychologist? So much of my therapy has been devoted to me accepting that I can become a therapist when I have mental health issues of my own. I worry if I am going into it for the wrong reasons...to solve my own problems rather than help others, because I admire my therapist, etc. But recently, I have really come to feel *so* strongly that my experiences battling depression, etc. are the *best* starting ground for empathy in this area. I think people like us have so much to offer other people who will be struggling with the same mental health issues we are today. Best of luck to you!! Keep me posted on your progress. I too am taking the GREs soon! Eeek.
>
>

Allison,
That's very well said, and very true, I think. Sometimes when I think how far I've come in understanding my own problems, I feel like I've gained such a deeper understanding of the world in general, too. I find it comforting that mental illness can actually lead to a *better* life sometimes, and have thought many times about going into the profession to help others with the same problems that I've been dealing with.

It sounds like you would make an excellent, truly empathetic therapist. Good luck with it!

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Budgie

Posted by allisonf on August 19, 2003, at 16:55:51

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals..., posted by Budgie on August 19, 2003, at 0:54:57

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I've been going thru a little bit of a rough time lately, so it was really helpful to me to read your post. In fact, I printed it out for future reference, so that I will not lose sight of my goals!

Good luck to you too with your career goals and your mental health.

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... allisonf

Posted by Penny on August 20, 2003, at 8:10:23

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny, posted by allisonf on August 18, 2003, at 22:26:23

Thanks for your encouragement of my plans to become a therapist! And good luck to you too!

I did ask my therapist last night if she'd ever been in therapy. Actually, what I did was tell her what my pdoc said and then sort of changed the subject, and then she said, "Was there something else you wanted to say on that topic?" so I said, "Well, I was going to ask you if you've ever been in therapy, but then I decided not to..." Anyway - the answer is yes, she's been in therapy. We also talked about therapists in therapy and she helped me to understand that I don't have to wait until I'm 'finished' with therapy to become a therapist. I asked her about the different dynamic that must occur when the patient is also a therapist, and she said that in her experience, therapists in therapy are probably quicker to realize that important work is going on and quicker to pick up on any mistakes, but the relationship is still essentially the same.

So - she's very supportive of my desire to become a therapist, as is my pdoc, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that it might be just the thing for me. My T actually said that it was when she was in therapy that she got the idea for becoming a therapist! I think that is probably pretty common...

I am worried about what will happen if I don't get into social work school. I don't have an undergraduate degree in psychology, so it would probably be even harder to get into grad school in psychology, though that was something my first therapist mentioned to me as a possibility.

P

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals...

Posted by Budgie on August 20, 2003, at 18:42:38

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Budgie, posted by allisonf on August 19, 2003, at 16:55:51

> Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I've been going thru a little bit of a rough time lately, so it was really helpful to me to read your post. In fact, I printed it out for future reference, so that I will not lose sight of my goals!
>
> Good luck to you too with your career goals and your mental health.

You're very welcome! I'm sorry things have been rough lately. I'm sure many of us can sympathize here. It sounds like you'll get through it all, but if you have any problems in the meantime, keep us posted- I think you'll find plenty of encouragement here.

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny

Posted by allisonf on August 22, 2003, at 10:00:21

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... allisonf, posted by Penny on August 20, 2003, at 8:10:23

That's so cool about your therapist being so open about her therapy experiences. And it's really wonderful that she is so supportive of your desire to be a therapist. Also, I know that part of the training for new therapists involves lots of supervision, which I think has some therapeutic benefits for the supervisee...I think there is really a lot of overlap b/t therapists being therapists and therapists being clients. My therapist is always saying that therps are constantly "running up against their issues" when they treat patients, so I am thinking that someday, if I actually become a therapist, I would probably still be in therapy just as sort of a cost of doing business, you know?!

I am confident that you could get into a social work school! True, I don't know much about your academic bkgd, but I know that you have a lot of good experience working with people, etc. I think they place a lot of importance on interviews for those kinds of schools b/c they are looking for candidates who they know will be successful working with people. Are you willing to move or are you just looking in your area? Is there a good social work school nearby (I know you just moved recently, right?)? I have been trying to decide b/t social work and a masters in counseling. I started a masters program in counseling back in 1995, but then had to drop out of the program after a few classes b/c we moved. I'm tied to my local area now, but there are some good programs of both near me, so...I'm not sure what to do.

 

Thank you so much (nm) Budgie

Posted by allisonf on August 22, 2003, at 10:02:37

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals..., posted by Budgie on August 20, 2003, at 18:42:38

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... allisonf

Posted by Penny on August 22, 2003, at 10:14:27

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny, posted by allisonf on August 22, 2003, at 10:00:21

Yeah, my therapist and I were talking about it again last night at my session and she said she thinks that being in therapy makes a therapist even stronger. She doesn't want me to feel like I have to be 'finished' with therapy just because I want to be a therapist.

A friend of mine said, when we were talking about being in therapy, that she decided (regarding the length of time in therapy) that if she wants to spend the rest of her life learning more about herself, then so be it. I must say I agree. After being in therapy for four years, I think it really makes me a better person.

I was a pretty good student (Dean's List) in college, and I have a lot of volunteer experience, though mostly working with children with emotional and behavioral problems. I really want to go to UNC-CH School of Social Work, since UNC is my undergrad alma mater and it's where I currently work and I live in Chapel Hill. But it made me nervous last night when I was looking at the US News graduate program rankings and UNC was pretty high on the list for social work. I figure I will apply this fall, but then apply again next year if I don't get in. I really don't want to leave the area if I can help it. I enjoy living in Chapel Hill. UNC-Charlotte has a master in counseling program and *I believe* has just started an MSW program. But now that I'm back in Chapel Hill, I really really don't want to leave.

I guess if it is meant to be, it will be.

We will both succeed!!!

I really do believe that our experiences with the mental health system, mental illness and being in therapy will make us much better therapists.

P

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny

Posted by kb on August 23, 2003, at 10:37:30

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... allisonf, posted by Penny on August 20, 2003, at 8:10:23

I'm a doctoral student in clinical psychology and work for a nonprofit and I'm in therapy - in fact, every therapist I know is, because this work can be incredibly triggering and draining and stressful and it's essential to deal with that so that it doesn't affect your clients. And supervision is rather like therapy.

But, what I really wanted to say is that it's OK not to have an undergrad degree in psychology - I didn't, mine is in natural science. In my experience, they look for people from different backgrounds who can bring different perspectives to the program.

Good luck!

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... kb

Posted by Penny on August 23, 2003, at 16:57:40

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny, posted by kb on August 23, 2003, at 10:37:30

Thanks! I really appreciate your encouragement and the info about psychology degrees. I just wonder what additional prereqs I would need to be a psych student (I was a journalism/philosophy undergrad). I've had basic biology, basic psych and social psych, but my other sciences were things like "Astronomy." lol

Anyway, I'm right here in Chapel Hill at UNC and they have a good (supposedly) clinical psych program - in fact, it's where my therapist earned her degree! I suppose it wouldn't hurt to take a look at that too...

That is, if I can get past these suicidal thoughts that keep rearing their ugly head every time something upsets me. :(

I do really appreciate your encouragement!

Thanks again.
P

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny

Posted by kb on August 23, 2003, at 22:44:15

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... kb, posted by Penny on August 23, 2003, at 16:57:40

I don't know that program, but here in NYC you don't need any specific pre-reqs, as long as you do pretty well on the psych GRE (and you've probably learned a lot on this board and the rest you can pick up from a review book).

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals...

Posted by Penny on August 24, 2003, at 1:24:13

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny, posted by kb on August 23, 2003, at 22:44:15

Oooh kb. Like havin' you on the board. You are a wealth of good info!

thanks, and I'm going to look into the psych thing some more tomorrow (or is that later today, since it's 2 a.m.???)

P

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny

Posted by allisonf on August 24, 2003, at 10:59:20

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... allisonf, posted by Penny on August 22, 2003, at 10:14:27

Keep me posted on what you find out and what you decide! I think the hardest part I've found about wanting to become a therapist is that there are so many different avenues for getting there (social work, psychiatry, clinical psych PhD, counseling psych, school psych, clinical psych PsyD, masters programs...), it's difficult to know which is the right one. But one good thing is that I think there is less of a bias or hierarchy than there used to be. Like I'm not sure people would say that psychiatrists are always the best people to go to for therapy, the way they might have years ago.

No matter what, you can't go wrong with any program at UNC! Good luck with the clinical psych thing...and when we both start our programs someday, we'll have to start our own therapist-in-trainig thread! :)

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals...

Posted by Penny on August 25, 2003, at 10:25:15

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny, posted by allisonf on August 24, 2003, at 10:59:20

Well...I looked at the webpages for the clincal psych program here at UNC, and apparently they really only want people who want to do research. It specifically says that if you are primarily interested in private practice, you are encouraged to not apply. It also said that they get over 450 applications for 8 spots in their clinical psych program.

So, I guess UNC clinical psych is out. Doesn't mean clinical psych is out altogether, but I really am not ready to leave this area. I really think clinical social work would be a good fit for me, and I really really hope I can get into the school here.

But, I am going to look elsewhere - just might take a while longer before I go to school. I can't imagine leaving my therapist and my pdoc right now, or even in a year...

I really hope I can go to UNC. Don't know if my being a grad will make it easier or harder for me to get in...

Oh well.

P

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny

Posted by Sebastian on August 30, 2003, at 15:35:00

In reply to therapy for mental health professionals..., posted by Penny on August 18, 2003, at 11:57:39

My pdoc took anti-depresants for a while when his wife died.

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals...

Posted by cubic_me on September 7, 2003, at 11:48:44

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals... Penny, posted by Sebastian on August 30, 2003, at 15:35:00

I'm about to qualify as a medical doctor and for the last 10 years have been thinking about pschiatry as a career. At the moment I've been in therapy for nearly a year and on various antidepressants since a friend of mine killed herself.

Just because you are a proffessional and interested in the field of mental health, it doesnt mean you are immune to diseases and strains on the mind. Mental health professionals and psycologists etc are very vulnerable to problems because of the cases that they come into contact with. Often they believe that they should be able to deal with things on their own, and carry the weight of other people's problems on their shoulders as well as thier own.

No treatment has worked for me yet, but I still want to follow the same career path - wierd that!

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals... cubic_me

Posted by fallsfall on September 7, 2003, at 12:32:42

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals..., posted by cubic_me on September 7, 2003, at 11:48:44

May you have good luck!

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals...

Posted by Ripped on September 21, 2003, at 0:02:32

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals..., posted by cubic_me on September 7, 2003, at 11:48:44

>
> Just because you are a proffessional and interested in the field of mental health, it doesnt mean you are immune to diseases and strains on the mind.

In my experience, it appears many mental health professionals enter the field seeking solutions to their own problems.

 

Re: therapy for mental health professionals...

Posted by cubic_me on September 22, 2003, at 7:29:34

In reply to Re: therapy for mental health professionals..., posted by Ripped on September 21, 2003, at 0:02:32

'In my experience, it appears many mental health professionals enter the field seeking solutions to their own problems.'

Although that may be true for some people in mental health, thats a bit of an overgeneralization. Being immersed in the world of mental health can be a stressful and dark place to be, which can lead to mental illness - this is the opposite of your cause and effect senario. I was interested in mental health years before I became depressed, and because I only have depression does not mean that I am not interested in other illnesses like schizophrenia and OCD.



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