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#69119 - 08/10/05 03:21 PM Advice on counseling
Ryan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 16
Loc: Gaineville, GA
I have a chance to change counselors. My current one is one that works for the Community Service Center and, although I appreciate him seeing me and directing me to the doc that prescribed my anti-depressants, the guy isn't all that good. He talks to me and whatnot but I've caught him dozing off as I talk to him. But he's affordable (only $10 bucks a session for a no insurance sliding scale.)

But I recently had to change meds because I wasn't responding to the one I was on. My doc asked me what was going on that changed and I told him about the recent revelations I've discovered about my past. He recommended me to a counselor who specializes in CSA. I think this would be good, but she doesn't charge on a sliding scale if you don't have insurance. Her cost per session is $85. I want to make the switch but am unsure if I can afford it. I'm sure I can swing it for awhile, but does anyone know if there's somewhere I could look into for getting help with this (ie. a county health department, DFACS, etc)?


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#69121 - 08/13/05 01:33 PM Re: Advice on counseling
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
Ryan:

I have always gone with the rule that if I don't see progress within a year, then it is time to consider another T. If you are not feeling challenged or that progress is going on, then by all means, you should consider moving on. AND, if you can have the courage to have a "parting appointment" with your current T, you may want to gently let him know why you are leaving.

Sometimes T's need to hear feedback themselves. And, I know that this is NOT easy especially when some of the feedback is negative. But, if it is said in the spirit of constructive criticism, I don't think any reasonable person could be upset by that.

As for the T you are considering. A lot depends on how frequently you feel that you need the support and whether this new T helps you enough to justify the cost. I guess what I'm saying is that in my humble opinion, I would rather see a T for $150/session (which is what mine costs) once a month if that session is very productive than to see a $10/session T who falls asleep and I find myself talking to the wall. Does that make sense?

I have found, for the most part in the past experience, that I got what I paid for. I had a T who charged very little and actually did more harm than good. Now, that's not to say that all high-priced T's are good either. On the flip side, I had another one who was very expensive who did equally as much damage.

The bottom line is how comfortable YOU feel with this person. Are they going to gently challenge you? Do they show genuine concern for what you've been through? How much experience have they had with CSA? Since this is a gay forum, how do they view homosexuality?

There is nothing wrong with YOU interviewing the therapist. IN fact, I would encourage that. I would go to the first appointment with a pad of paper with all kinds of questions. I think that this will give you a good handle on whether this person is going to be good for you.

If it doesn't work out, then I would start first by checking the therapist referral section of this forum. If that doesn't show up anyone, then maybe send a PM to one of the BOD on this forum - there are a few who are also therapists themselves. They may know of someone in your area. Or, you may find some suggestions from this posting - your location shows Gainesville, GA. There may be someone who lives close to you who has an awesome therapist.

If THAT doesn't work, you're a bit of a drive, but not unreasonable to start looking at Atlanta or the outskirts. Start by calling hotline agencies, crisis centers, rape centers, etc. I know that this may be very embarrassing (it was for me when I was calling around), but it WILL eventually show results. You may find a specific support group for male survivors (like I did). This doesn't replace individual therapy, but, the cost may be less prohibitive at this point in time, and yet you're still getting the benefit of interaction with a T as well as feedback from a group of men who are just as scared and confused as you. Just make sure if you do find a group that it stays small (8 or 10 members at the very MOST) because if it gets too large, then not everyone has a chance to be heard just by virtue of time restrictions.

If it all boils down to your feeling comfortable with this new T and she won't budge on the financial aspect of it, then ask yourself if you can: 1) afford maybe the $85 once a month and 2) if you feel strong enough to see her on that frequency.

I hope that I've given you some ideas and things to consider. Remember this is YOUR life you're talking about. You deserve to have the best that you can afford - cheap isn't always good. The careful decision that you make now can help you 10-fold in the future.

HOpe this info has helped.

SD

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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#69122 - 08/13/05 03:21 PM Re: Advice on counseling
Ryan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 16
Loc: Gaineville, GA
Well, I have my first appointment with the new T on Monday. This works out good for me since I see my current T on Mondays unless he does otherwise. I see my current T once a week so $10 a session isn't bad. If the new T wants to do once a month, I can definately swing the $85 a session.

The new T seems like she's more experienced in the area of CSA. I've talked with her over the phone and feel she's capable of doing more for me.

I'm interested to know what Cognitive Emotional Restructuring Therapy (CERT) is. This is the type of therapy she uses. She's written two books on the subject along with her own personal experiences with CSA.

I looked through the therapist referral section and there's only one listed for Georgia. That's alright. The new T comes highly recommended, so I'll see what happens.


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#69123 - 08/13/05 08:59 PM Re: Advice on counseling
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
That's good news about finding a new T, Ryan. I'm glad to hear that it looks like this is going to work out for you. Let us know how things work out with her.

I did a Google search on Cognitive Emotional Restructuring Therapy and while I didn't see anything on that exact name, I did see others very similar. They seem to operate on the premise that abusive and dysfunctional behaviors which are acted out upon us tend to cause our own behaviours. So the goal is to relearn some thought patterns and behaviours in order to change that. My T and the previous one used this same concept of therapy, in that I had to "relearn" how to think about about myself and those around me. Basically, throw out the old tapes that were playing in my head and learn some new songs instead. It's hard work, and really easy to start hearing those old tapes again, but the effort is well worth it once you can recognize those old tapes and turn them off when they start.

_________________________
Eddie

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#69124 - 08/13/05 11:41 PM Re: Advice on counseling
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
It sounds very much like NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) to me. I've never been to a T who practices it, but have read several of the books. Basically it operates by retraining our memories of painful experiences.

It also sounds like this T knows what she's doing. I hope you have a good first meeeting. If you can and feel up to it, please be sure to let us know how it went.

SD

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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#69125 - 08/23/05 01:20 AM Re: Advice on counseling
Ryan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 16
Loc: Gaineville, GA
Well, I had my second meeting with the new T today. I like her. She explains things and doesn't have me talking by myself. I think she'll do really well. Today we discussed what kind of roles I play dealing with other people, and the primary role I am inside. It was really interesting how she got me to see those roles. She used a diagram of three circles, each one representing the role of (P)arent, (A)dult, and (C)hild. She went on to say that the (P) has two aspects, either the Critical Defender (CD) or the Chronic Caretaker (CC); and the (C) also has two aspects, either the Defiant Teenager (DT) or the Wounded Child (WC). My T said we see ourselves as one of these while other people see us as another. She then explained that each of the primary roles - (P), (A), (C) - can have a certain reaction type assigned to them, each one is either Passive, Aggresive, or Assertive. Next, My T explained people have one of two ways of forming their self-esteem. The first is with an External Locus of Control (ELoC) in which we allow our moods and self-image to be dictated by external influences such as people, places, situations. Of course, that would make the second form the Internal Locus of Control (ILoC) in which we, ourselves, decide how we feel and think without external influences - the people who take things with a grain of salt and let them slide off without problems. Finally, we talked about boundaries and the types of boundaries. My T says there are three types of boundaries. A Rigid (R) boundary is described like a brick wall, it's the type used by people who don't want to be hurt or rejected. A blurred or Enmeshed (E) boundary is used by people who think they need to rely on other people all the time or those who believe they need others to rely on them all the time. A Healthy (H) boundary is a mix of both and used by people who are independant yet can associate equally with other people.

After all of this and much discussion, we were able to decipher that, to myself, I am a Wounded Child. To others, I am a Chronic Caretaker. I tend to place others in the Parent role, I'm passive, and allow external infuences dictate how I think and feel about myself. And my boundaries are quite blurred. Of course, I have degrees of the other roles and aspects, as anyone does, but those are the primary ones for me.

So, since my T will be off next week, I have two weeks to think on this and to really see how it is I take on the role of WC and CC and to try and pinoint to what degree I place others in the parent role. There's also a workbook she wants me to think of getting that deals with boundaries and how to develop them. It's called Boundary Power. I looked through one she had and I'm thinking it might help because Lord knows I need to set up a lot of boundaries.

All in all, I enjoyed the session. I think this T will really help out a lot.


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