Hello again heartsupport.
TLDR for impatient people – I’m struggling with mental issues and trying out betterhelp e-counseling. The counselor was great at first, but isn’t helping as much now. I have no support system. I don’t know what to do.
Longer version for patient peepers:
I’m struggling again, and was hoping to have opinions on a situation.
I’ve been trying counseling with betterhelp for the better part of two months now. My first counselor didn’t seem to care, and I ended up swapping her out for another after a month. The second counselor I was matched with was a night and day difference. There are things that I didn’t even have to mention – he knew them without me saying anything, and was in many instances able to call me out on bullshit excuses that I feel stupid for not seeing in the first place. Its almost felt like a weird form of magic. He was helping when I had nothing else (healthy) that helped me cope.
My last two sessions with him have been different. We’ve talked a lot, and lots of questions are asked, but nothing seems to come of them. I was given exercises that are supposed to be grounding when my issues are at their worst. Plainly put, they don’t seem to work for me, but it keeps coming back as a talking point. “Have you tried the exercises?, What about the exercises?, Have the exercises helped with that?”. This is to the point where so much time is spent talking about how the exercises are supposed to work, that we don’t really get much done otherwise.
I feel like today’s session he was visibly put out by lack of progress, and was just asking more questions to fill time while touting the infoulability of the exercises. I ended up breaking down crying at the end because I just don’t feel like its having that “magic” effect anymore. It’s like I had one thing that helped, and now it doesn’t seem to anymore.
Do I keep going with these sessions? I seem to have very few options available otherwise. My town doesn’t seem to have the resources available to help me in person right now, so its kind of betterhelp, or just spending my days alone with no one to talk to and massive issues building up further.
I’m sorry to see you are still not having a great experience. If I was in your shoes I would remind your therapist that you are paying for his services and you are not going to do the exercises, and you want to move forward on your own terms. If something isn’t working, there’s no use banging your head against that wall over and over again. Let him know what you want to do/talk about instead. He is there to help and it seems like he so badly wants to do these exercises that he’s forgot the bottom line, which is to get you better.
Like physical exercises some exercises need a little practice, so don’t lose heart if they don’t work at first. My new therapist has given me exercises that I was convinced didn’t work, and I did them at first just so I could report back and tell him they didn’t work. They wound up helping just a little bit, which was a building block for more. Now I have to eat humble pie knowing he was right and I was wrong, but I’m better for it, so it’s not really that bad.
All that being said, your counselor’s job is not to judge you, belittle you, or make you feel like you’re falling short. None of that is okay. Also, as @Sapphire said, you’re paying him. He is essentially your employee. If he’s not working out, find another employee who can. He helped you get better for awhile, and your recent experiences shouldn’t take away from that; but maybe you’ve reached the extent of how much he can help you and it’s time to try someone who can use your progress so far as a new jumping off point. You don’t owe it to him to keep seeing him just because he helped you at first. I would address this with him, tell him you’re not in the headspace to do the exercises and you need to take a step back, and tell him you’re giving him 2 more sessions to get you back on track before you try something else; but you know best how your relationship with him will go. Keep us posted.
@Sapphire Thanks for replying to me again! I remember you from my last thread.
I have already mentioned this to him in a different way. I mentioned the cost vs benefit of the service – the fact that I seem to have paid quite a bit of money to still be “trying out” the service and not getting much benefit from it. He has offered to steer it in other directions / ones I want, but things often seem to go right back to the same loop. Essentially an “okay, see you next week! Remember to give those exercises another shot!” even though we have been talking for a good part of the sessions about how I’ve been trying them (for three weeks now) with no luck.
@SheetMetalHead I can appreciate the exercises taking a while to start working, and I’m glad to hear they seem to help you. I’ve been trying them fairly regularly for three weeks. I feel like Sapphire said it well when I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall. The bricks hurt, and I’m starting to get a headache from doing it a lot.
I do not necessarily feel judged or belittled – He has been very transparent from the start about intentions and where things are going – its only recently he has begun to steer to topics such as “resistance to treatment” around these exercises. I feel this assessment to be a bit harsh, as I don’t really feel I’ve been resisting anything. I want the exercises to work – I just have not experienced anything of the sort yet.
I will take your advice and give it two more sessions, while steering it in a more helpful direction. I think I am paid up through the end of the month anyway. I hate putting a time cap on things that are supposed to take their own time, but I really can’t afford to pay as much as I am for little effect – my wallet kind of stings a bit, and that doesn’t exactly retract from the anxiety aspect of all this. Unfortunately, if it doesn’t work out, I don’t know what to do. I’m not sure I feel like giving betterhelp another try (its taken 3 “matches” with counselors to get to this level of help). I’ll try to update later. Thank you
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