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Author Topic: How do you "shop" for a therapist?  (Read 4527 times)

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Dan J.

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How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« on: August 09, 2006, 07:34:25 PM »
I have my first meeting on the 16th @ 9:30 AM. I don't know this woman from jack. I want a therapist I can relate to. It may seem like I am making light of a serious subject but I have Progressive Insurance and I like to "comparison shop". If anyone can give some advice on finding a "good one' please let me know.

Laughing is better than crying.

« Last Edit: August 09, 2006, 07:37:07 PM by Dan J. »

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Posts: 7,545
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2006, 07:41:34 PM »
Hello Dan,

I really don't know the answer to that question, as I have never been to a therapist. But, until you meet with her, try to think of positive results. it seems that you are possibly looking on the downside, before you even have your first visit.

From what I understand, sometimes you may have to shop around, for the one special person that you will be able to relate to. Give yourself a chance...

Good Luck/ hope things work out-----------Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 20mg of Atorvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Amlodipine Besolate 5mg-- Updated 9/24/2017

Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 9/18/2017,  Viral load remains <40
CD 4 @358 /  CD4 % @ 13

 66 years young.

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2006, 07:46:45 PM »
Trial and error. I hate to sound so simplistic. But You know with in the first 5 minutes if you are comfortable with some one.
I went through 4 therapists be fore I found one I liked.
One thing you may want to think about is age. I am 49, and found that seeing someone in their 20's and 30's was next to useless. So for me, experience and age played a huge roll. It is a highly personal thing as you know. Anyway best of luck. I thinks it really smart of you to be reaching out. I have highly benefited to seeing a shrink. I would recommend it  to anyone with out hesitation.
I wish you the best! Good for you!
Positive since 1985

Offline Joe K

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  • 31 Years Poz
Re: How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2006, 07:53:15 PM »

I suggest you approach your therapist with goals that you have for yourself.  If you need to write them down and then discuss your goals and see what the therapist suggests as how to reach those goals.  To be fair, you should really commit to a few sessions with him/her to experience their style of treatment, unless you don't agree with it, or you just don't click.

This is a very personal choice and there is no right or wrong.  You either feel comfortable or you don't and if you don't feel comfortable then you will have little faith in their ability to help you.  I also don't buy all this regression therapy where you try and discover why it is you feel how you feel today, because to me, it's like who cares?  I want to deal with my issues today and I don't care how I got here, I just need helping in moving forward.

Just be open and honest and realize they are not there to judge you.  My therapist is both neg and straight and none of it matters.  However a few years ago, after I left an abusive relationship I had a gay male therapist and that really made a difference.

Therapists are trained to deal with these issues so just go with your gut.  If you just don't like them or agree with their suggestions, then just move on, they will not take it personally and if they do, then they are certainly not the one for you.

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2006, 08:00:17 PM »
I know a gay guy who actually cherishes the fact that his therapist is straight. See my point? Everyone is unique and different and like Joe said there's no right or wrong  - it's case by case. There's value in going with the trial run approach. There's also value in being decisive quickly, i.e., if you don't like someone, y'know, you just feel it, you know? 

Offline Eldon

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Re: How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2006, 09:32:51 PM »
Hello Dan, it is Eldon. I am with Jeff on this one. You will know within the first (5) five minutes of the session. When I met my therapist, we hit it off from the get go. Now that I have moved I have to find someone just as good as he is. Good luck.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2006, 11:00:33 PM »
Hello Dan J.

I agree with the good advice given by others. I would like to add that, in addition to having a disposition/style you like, if among your approved practitioners there is a psychologist trained in N.E.T. (Neuro Emotional Technique)---you'll have a complete range of talk and non-talk therapy options. N.E.T. has made a tremendous difference in my quality of life. To learn more about it, there is a website for it--I believe mindbody is in the url.


Offline lydgate

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  • Virgin, can't drive
Re: How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2006, 11:13:01 PM »
I would be a little cautious about judging/deciding from your first impressions in the first few minutes of your first session. Comparison shopping is great but choosing a therapist, obviously, isn't like picking out a shirt etc. Sometimes a therapist who seems really reserved and silent at first is one you might develop a deep relationship with, down the road. I guess I'm saying it's also OK to be indecisive, or wait for a few sessions to see how you feel then.

Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline GSOgymrat

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  • Posts: 5,122
  • HIV+ since 1993. Relentlessly gay.
Re: How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2006, 12:03:22 AM »
I'm a mental health counselor so I have a few suggestions. You may have to go to a few therapist before you find someone you are comfortable with. If a friend, pastor or doctor has a recommendation that is a good place to start. If you have insurance you can contact your insurance company and they will give you a list of local providers who they will help pay for. You should make sure the therapist is licensed and ask about their educational background. When you are interviewing therapists tell them what you want out of therapy and see what they have to say about how they can help you. Do they have experience working with your issues? What kind of approach do they use; for example do they work with trying to change your thoughts, or with the unconscious, etc? How many sessions do they anticipate you will need? Do they work in conjunction with a psychiatrist in case medication is needed? What is their fee?

Therapists vary widely in their style and if you don't feel comfortable or don't feel like progress is being made after a few sessions then find someone else.

Offline Christine

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Re: How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2006, 09:41:47 AM »
Listen to your instincts. When you find someone you click with, you will be able to develop a good relationship. I found my therapist through a recommendation from my nurse coordinator. She and her husband went to her when he was going through cancer. I liked her right away, and have been seeing her for three years.

But, I have not been so lucky with finding a psychiatrist. I went to two other doctors before I found the psyche Dr that I see today. I just did not click with the other two.

Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline bear60

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Re: How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2006, 12:02:05 PM »
I never even got to see my first therapist because when I spoke to him on the phone I did not like the way he refused to address his experience with gay men and HIV.  I had asked him about his experience with gay HIV positive men and he wouldn't tell me. Admitedly it was over the phone so I suppose its ok to do that but I found it too "Freudian" for want of a better term....like the guy was just going to sit there and ask..."and how do you feel about that"? I wanted a therapist who would actually interact with me...doesnt matter if he/she is straight or gay but I felt it important that they be able to tell me what experience they had dealing with gay HIV positive men.
So my point is if you want a "good" therapist you have to be willing to ask questions and not let them intimidate you.
Oh and goals are good to have... something else to discuss with the therapist.
Also, I found support groups really great because the insights just came flying at you with all the dialogue going on.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2006, 12:04:34 PM by bear60 »
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline water duck

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Re: How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2006, 01:16:42 PM »
Dear Dan,

I rejoice in reading this thread of your's, your healing is well on it's way.

A good therapist is a good listener; beside being capable of handling you with gentle loving care !!



Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: How do you "shop" for a therapist?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2006, 01:19:32 PM »
Both of the therapists I have had during the last six years were referred to me by my HIV specialist doctor.  The first one was great because he was a psychiatrist but believed in integrating therapy sessions as well, so I was spoiled and was able to obtain the services of both a therapist and psychiatrist in one visit.  He was also gay and very experienced with HIV, and knowledgeable of any drug interactions.  A completely delightful man and immeasurably helpful.

The current one I have is also experienced with HIV but I really don't know if he's gay or not, but as long as he is experienced with HIV it doesn't particularly matter to me.  I asked him in a round about way but he refused to answer.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"


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