Talking about it

I’m not sure of the etiquette of girl crushes, but I’m pretty sure the best way to go about them isn’t to get all star struck, buy the sex toy and then write about the guest post. Girlonthenet is probably utterly sick of me by now.

But the guest post is really interesting, and it ties in with stuff I’ve written about here before. I contemplated not writing about my views on it, because when someone writes something so beautifully honest and open about their own life, it’s probably best not to try and make it all about you.

That said, one of the things that I found most interesting about it was that GOTN appears to have been lucky enough to have had a fairly positive experience with the healthcare system, but I suspect that for some people it can take some adjustment to get this right.

A person to talk to is one of the best things to have when you’re anxious or depressed. Sure, your friends will usually listen, but it can often feel like you’re burdening them or putting them in a difficult position because they don’t know what to say to make you feel better. And that’s where a good therapist comes in.

I’m not sure in how many parts of the country you can get therapy on the NHS. Where I live now, private therapy costs a bomb, but you can get CBT relatively easily on the NHS. When I lived up north, there appeared to be no NHS budget at all for non-drug-based mental healthcare, but on the upside the average cost of one-on-one therapy was only about £25 an hour.

And I was lucky, too. I started therapy for a number of reasons: I was anxious and depressed, but also embarking on a course of neurological physio that I wasn’t sure I could handle emotionally. When I rocked up on the doorstep of the therapist I’d picked just because she lived nearby, I was terrified at the thought of talking about myself, even though I’m not exactly reserved.

I knew from the first session that I was comfortable with her, however. In the first few weeks I cried my way through boxes of tissues  and spent a lot of time staring at her gold carriage clock and willing the hour to be up, but it was never because she made me uneasy – if she had, I probably wouldn’t have cried at all. She was like a non judgemental mum – kind and demonstrably interested, but also more than happy for me to talk frankly about my sex life. I went to see her weekly for almost two years and I can honestly say she changed my life.

In contrast, last March, when the depression came back, I found a therapist here, and just as I’d known the first time that I’d found the right one, this time I knew pretty damn quickly that I hadn’t. I asked a friend how many sessions I should stick it out for – she said a couple, but the therapist insisted that it was normal to work in blocks of six sessions. I dreaded every single one and eventually, they exacerbated the problem – going to see her was making me anxious and I was parting with £60 a time for the pleasure.

What’s my point here? Well, if you’re getting therapy on the NHS and you don’t like your therapist, I’m afraid I have no idea how easy it is to change. But if you’re choosing and paying, treat it like you would any relationship. If it’s not working by the third date, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.

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2 thoughts on “Talking about it

  1. You are so right, you have to find the right therapist even if it means trying a few. I was seeing a psychologist for awhile on Medicare (similar to NHS) but he just wasn’t right for me at all and I think I felt worse after sessions so I stopped going.

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