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Author Topic: does seeing a Pschycologist work?  (Read 554 times)

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Offline Dealing

  • Member
  • Posts: 36
does seeing a Pschycologist work?
« on: June 28, 2014, 12:46:49 AM »
Hi All.

I was recently diagnosed and have been trying to get some sort of counselling from support groups, unfortunately where I live this lacks greatly.Ive been completating rather seeing a Pscycologist at a practice, my medical aid does not cover it but at this point dont really have a choice, so ill have to try make a budget for that.

My concern is however is there any benefit from it, compared to support groups? How will someone who is not living with HIV understand exactly how I feel and on top of that be able to give me advise..

Or will I be just paying for someone to tell me things I already know??

Offline Jmarksto

  • Member
  • Posts: 465
Re: does seeing a Pschycologist work?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2014, 12:43:50 PM »
Hey Dealing;

I think seeing a psychologist can work, but it depends on the psychologist and your approach.  I found one that was HIV positive himself and it was very helpful for me.  I would recommend interviewing a few to ask them how they would approach this issue, have they had patients with this before (if so how many and what were the issues that came up).  I got my referral from my doctor, which was great - perhaps your doctor, or a local ASO, can refer you to someone.

I hope you find someone that can help - it really did help me.

JM
03/15/12 Negative
06/15/12 Positive
07/11/12 CD4 790          VL 4,000
08/06/12 CD4 816/38%   VL 49,300
08/20/12 Started Complera
11/06/12 CD4   819/41% VL 38
02/11/13 CD4   935/41% VL UD
06/06/13 CD4   816/41% VL UD
10/28/13 CD4 1131/45%  VL 25
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07/09/14 CD4 1004/39%   VL UD

Offline Bowie-esq

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Re: does seeing a Pschycologist work?
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2014, 02:51:04 AM »
I think seeing a psychologist is worth the time and money - especially at the beginning of a diagnosis. For me it didn't matter that the psychologist was negative, only that she had worked with medical diagnosis before. Someone who is good at guiding you to find conclusions within yourself so you are able to move beyond the first months of diagnosis and who is open to re-appointments later if they are needed.

It's good to talk and get some 'me' time outside of a support group, which has also meaningful but different benefits.
Infected: +\-01/2010

Tested positive 08/2010
28/07/11 CD4 420 9% v.l. 20500
16/10/11 CD4 320 10% v.l. 185000
10/11/11 begin Truvada/Viramune
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14/4/12 v.l. undetectable
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19/12/13 CD4 430 23% v.l. UD

Offline Dealing

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  • Posts: 36
Re: does seeing a Pschycologist work?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2014, 02:59:17 AM »
Thanks for the responses guys.
I will have to try it out I guess, ive never been someone who believes in talking to make things more easier but at this point ive exhausted all other options so definitely have to try another approach.

Offline bocker3

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  • Posts: 3,357
  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: does seeing a Pschycologist work?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2014, 10:36:58 AM »
I don't think that a Psychologist needs to have HIV to understand your FEELINGS.  Anytime that I've gone to a therapist, it's been a lot more about being able to get things out of my head.  Saying things out loud help make them more "real" for me -- and "real" things tend to be easier for me to deal with each day.

I will say that if you are going in to a session with doubt or a preconceived notion on the outcome, you should spell that out to him/her right up front.  You probably need to explore that first...... else it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Good Luck,
Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
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Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: does seeing a Pschycologist work?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2014, 11:23:42 AM »
Over the past 14 years I've seen five therapists: one gay but HIV-negative, two straight men and two straight women. They're professionals and used to discussing a variety of issues from sexuality, stigma to life-threatening diseases.

Like bocker stated I don't find it particularly relevant that the therapist has HIV. Oh, and the one therapist in the practice I go to that did have HIV ended up committing "slow suicide" by halting the intake of his meds without telling anyone, including his partner.

If talking to someone with HIV is that important to you then I would stick to a support group -- or alternatively if you live in a large metro area you may have a gay community center that offers one-on-one peer counseling, but these are not licensed therapists.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 11:26:23 AM by Miss Philicia »
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline emeraldize

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  • Posts: 3,334
Re: does seeing a Pschycologist work?
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2014, 11:48:58 AM »
Yes, a psychologist can helpful. Mine was early after diagnosis and is still, periodically. I agree with Miss P re positive vs not positive. It comes down to training, technique and a little bit of chemistry.

Offline Dealing

  • Member
  • Posts: 36
Re: does seeing a Pschycologist work?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2014, 12:46:43 AM »
Thanks for the responses.

Regarding seeing a positive therapist I guess I just figured that they have more  knowledge as to how im feeling, as its something they too went to.But im willing to try either and if that doesn't work then I can say I tried that.

Im glad to know that all of you did see the benefits of going to one, so I have hope.

Offline bocker3

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,357
  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: does seeing a Pschycologist work?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2014, 07:56:38 AM »
Thanks for the responses.

Regarding seeing a positive therapist I guess I just figured that they have more  knowledge as to how im feeling, as its something they too went to.But im willing to try either and if that doesn't work then I can say I tried that.

Im glad to know that all of you did see the benefits of going to one, so I have hope.

You should have hope, lot's of hope.  Talking to someone has always helped me (and us, as my partner and I have gone to counseling a few times over the past 24 yrs)

Why do I think a positive therapist isn't really necessary -- because, IMO, it's more about FEELINGS and how you are REACTING than it is about the "story".  Many "stories" (HIV, Cancer, a Death, etc) can result in very similar feelings and reactions -- so any experienced therapist should have experience in dealing with these sorts of things.

Have lots of hope -- it DOES get better.

Mike 
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline GSOgymrat

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,001
  • HIV+ since 1993. INTJ
Re: does seeing a Pschycologist work?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 06:33:41 PM »
I think when you have something is common with a therapist it can help create an initial rapport but you move on from there. Certain types of counselors, particularly those who specialize in substance abuse, are required to have HIV education to become licensed. I saw a therapist, who I assume was HIV-, shortly after becoming HIV+ and he helped me grieve the loss of my HIV- status, put the diagnosis into perspective, deal with disclosure, identify avoidance behavior regarding HIV, manage stress and identify my personal strengths and resources. I found it very helpful and preferred it to the support group I attended.

Ive been completating rather seeing a Pscycologist at a practice, my medical aid does not cover it but at this point dont really have a choice, so ill have to try make a budget for that.

Where I live people who don't have mental health insurance coverage can see a licensed counselor for free or a reduced rate through the local mental health center. There are also many counselors who don't bother with insurance and see people on a sliding scale. Try contacting your local ASO and see what resources they offer for counseling or if they can recommend a good therapist.

Offline everythingandnothing

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: does seeing a Pschycologist work?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 01:18:31 PM »
Im in the UK and have got an initial appointment with a clinical psychologist in around 2 weeks time. I actually have long term aspirations of becoming a psychologist myself, and think it would be a really good opportunity to say some things and explore feelings as I haven't disclosed my status to anyone and I am finding myself quite stressed at times.

Mental health is so important, I'm just hoping we have the right chemistry and that future sessions are available in a way that's convenient.

Offline Joe K

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  • Posts: 3,492
  • 30 Years Poz
Re: does seeing a Pschycologist work?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2014, 01:26:26 PM »
I think a common misconception regarding talk therapy is the idea that the therapist is there to provide advice.  They won't tell you what you should do, rather they help you decide on what you should do.  They also teach your coping techniques and various ways to address whatever issues you may have.

They are not there to judge you and you only get out of therapy, what you are willing to put into it.  Therapists are not mind readers and the only person you hurt, by not being brutally honest, is yourself.  Therapy is really hard work, but a good therapist can help you in ways that you never imagined.

I always think of my therapist as not only a sounding board, but a teacher and guide, to lead me through my thoughts and help me decide on how to face my own demons and provide me with the tools to do so.

Joe
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