In Reply to: Re: A good idea/ two questions. posted by Lyle on April 17, 2003 at 22:33:35:
When you contact a therapist, tell them you want someone that is used to working with survivors of abuse. Describe what you want to get help with, even if it is simply "I just want to feel better", and that it is your first time in therapy. It might be good to mention that you were in a very controlled environment for years and there was alot that hurts about it. Just use your own words to describe. If YOU feel comfortable to tell a bit about the cult experience at that point, that is fine. Pay attention to their reactions and if something doesn't feel right, ask them about it. It is good to ask their credentials, because in some states people practice and aren't even a licensed psychologist, or Masters Social Worker. Psychiatrists primarily deal with looking for and treating symptoms. For example, if you have a problem with chronic depression, they are going to look at how you seem to talk, your concentration, body language, mood etc. to gauge what medicine you might need and then whether it is working for you. Psychologists and MSNs that do psychotherapy are there to talk things out with you and to support you thru the process. The average psychiatrist spends minutes with a client to assess medical needs. The latter usually spend 45 min to 1 hr sessions once or twice a week with you and work at your pace. It would also help to let them know that you have no real idea what to expect from psychotherapy, or how it works.
Everything is an art, imo, and some people just aren't cut out to be janitors, and others are not cut out to be therapists! So don't get discouraged if you try out a therapist and they just are not helpful to you. On the other hand the first one might be good as gold.