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Re: [IP] therapy

	Much like a good endo, a good therapist is /really/ hard to
find.  (I have a recommendation if you're in the Boston area, but it isn't
much good elsewhere in the world.)

My best suggestions for finding a therapist to work with you are the

1) Set a time-line with milestones before you see a therapist.  (I, for
example might list things like within 4 sessions I want to learn 3 new
skills to help me get out of a "slump" (where I find it really hard to do
anything at all).  Within 4 sessions I want to learn 2 more ways to
recognize "symptoms" of when things get emotionally "hard" for me. (Say,
"I had a nightmare about school" and I didn't cook myself dinner for more
than 3 nights in a row.)... etc.)

2) At the first session discuss your time-line with the
therapist.  Explain that these results are important to you.  Ask him/her
what other results they expect you might acheive, and what time frame they
think is reasonable.  Talk to them about whether your expectations are
reasonable.  Set up some tangible mile-stones with a timeline to define
"success".  If your therapist isn't helping you succeed within the
timeframe that you agreed upon, ask them to refer you to someone who may
be better suited to your needs.

3) Be explicit with your therapist about not wanting to use medical
treatment for your anxiety.  If they are not comfortable with your
position find someone else!  If you think that medication might help in
the short term (if you're getting in really nasty downward
spirals) discuss that with the therapist, but again, stress that you don't
want medication to be your long-term solution.

4) Ask the therapist to share his/her expectations of treatment with
you.  What do they think is the best case prognosis?  (What do they think
is the worst case?)

5) Consider if you need a therapist whom you can reach 24/7 (or who has
someone designated for you to reach 24/7).  There are a surprisingly large
number of therapists who /don't/, and I (personally) can't feel good
working with someone like that, but again, this is my personal preference,
but if you feel similarly make sure it's on your list of questions to ask
perspective therapists.

6) If you have a friend or family member who is willing, ask them to
attend your first "evaluation" session with you (where you discuss your
expectations and those of the therapist).  Having a third party who can
help you evaluate the effectiveness of your therapist at the end of the
allotted time period can be very useful.

7) Don't give up.  As a pumper, and someone on this list, I'm sure you're
aware of how each of us, as patients, must be our own best advocates. It
can be even more difficult to do so when evaluating mental health
professionals, but it is still just as important.  If you think that a
therapist isn't listening to you, or addressing your concerns effectively,
you need to make that clear to them, and if necessary find someone else.

Best of Luck!

Feel free to contact me personally, if you want to talk more.

dx'd 3/89
pumping 10/99

Jessica Marder
email @ redacted

On Sun, 28 Apr 2002, Julie Britt wrote:

> 2 years ago I saw a doctor for depression and anxiety and she put me on some
> medication...it took a few tries but we finally found one that worked and I
> was on it for about a year.  I felt better and gradually went off it.  I am
> not feeling as bad as then, nor do I want to go back on medication and be on
> drugs forever, but sometimes I get to where my anxiety levels go way up and
> I am thinking therapy might help.  Not a doctor to prescribe meds.  But
> someone to talk to about anxiety and stress and diabetes.  What kind of
> doctor am I looking for?  Also, I am bad at opening up and being brutally
> honest like a person should be to get any benefit from therapy.  I need
> someone who will ask questions and probe and get me to talk and also someone
> who can give me suggestions on how to better manage stress and anxiety.  So,
> how do I go about finding the right doctor?  I think therapy would really
> help and I don't want to have to resort to going on medication again.  Any
> suggestions you have would be really appreciated.  Thanks!
> Julie
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