Should You Find a New Therapist?

Image: Bouquet Sur Fond Orange by Marc Chagall

The therapeutic process can be enormously helpful to someone with depression, but its success is largely dependent on a positive relationship with the therapist. If you are not happy with the progress you’re making, or uncomfortable with your therapist in general, it might be time to find someone else.

Here are three significant reasons to find a new therapist:

  • Your therapist does not respect therapeutic boundaries.
  • Your therapy isn’t going anywhere.
  • The chemistry just isn’t right.

Your therapist doesn’t respect the therapeutic boundaries

Boundaries are probably the most crucial element of the therapist/patient relationship. In therapy, boundaries exist to protect the therapeutic experience.

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Talk Therapy May Help Depressed Teens Who Shun Antidepressants

(HealthDay News) — Depressed teens who refuse antidepressants may benefit from counseling, a new study suggests.The study included more than 200 teens who were unwilling to take medication to treat their depression. The researchers found that those who tried a type of short-term “talk therapy” — known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) — were more likely to recover than those who didn’t.”High numbers of adolescents experience depression, as many as 10 to 15 percent each year — and up to one in five by age 18,” said lead researcher Greg Clarke. He is a depression investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.”Unfortunately, most of these depressed teens are not treated. As few as 30 percent get specific depression care,” he said.In many cases, depressed teens refuse to take antidepressants, “often because of side effect concerns,” Clarke said. These include warnings going back to 2004 about suicidal thoughts and behavior related to antidepressant use, the researchers said. Other common side effects from antidepressants include weight gain and fatigue.”Offering brief cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective alternative,” Clarke said. The small to moderate benefits found in this trial may be tied to reduced need for psychiatric hospitalization, the researchers noted.

Source: Talk Therapy May Help Depressed Teens Who Shun Antidepressants

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10 Tips For Overturning Denied Health Insurance Claims

Knowing how to handle your health insurer is one way to be a smart patient. Knowing how to handle denials is obviously a big part of that, since it’s the one time most of us have a problem with our health insurance.

You probably will see denials more often for courses of talk therapy than anything else. Therapy is the most expensive form of treatment. But your insurer may also deny your doctor’s request for brand name as opposed to generic medication.

Don’t be discouraged if you receive a denial for a type of treatment, and don’t assume the decision is set in stone. Sometimes all your insurer needs to approve the request is a little more information. Sometimes you and your doctor need to explain why your situation is an exception to their policy.

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Roadblocks to Effective Psychotherapy Treatment

Lady with an Umbrella by John Singer Sargent

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a big fan of psychotherapy. Although medication has had a greater role in my successful depression treatment, psychotherapy helped me to recognize my inner demons and banish or deal with them, thereby leading to my becoming a much happier person overall, which I would assume is helpful in fighting depression.

Treatment with psychotherapy is a tad more complicated than treatment with medication, however. With antidepressant therapy, once you’ve found the right medication (admittedly, sometimes a lengthy process) you basically take your medicine and deal with side effects. Psychotherapy demands more in terms of the right conditions and a commitment from the individual. It’s fairly common for roadblocks to come up that hinder the process. I’ve experienced two of these roadblocks in the course of my therapy, so I thought I’d pass on what I’ve learned about getting past them.

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Ways to Keep Depression Treatment Affordable

If you have depression and are struggling financially, the last thing you want to give up is your depression treatment, but you may feel that you just can’t justify paying for your treatment instead of rent, food and utilities. Here are a few ideas that might help you continue with therapy and medication treatment.

Therapy

If you’re having trouble paying for therapy but hate to give it up, consider these alternatives:

  • Support groups are a low-cost and often very effective form of therapy. Try your local mental health clinic, community center or church for descriptions of groups available and contact information. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has chapters in many states in the U.S. (However, they do point out on their site that support groups should supplement therapy instead of replace it.)
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Melissa Miles’ Therapy FAQ

Image: Miranda by Frank Dicksee
Image: Miranda by Frank Dicksee

by Melissa Miles

Introduction

So many people have asked me questions about therapy and there is so little information out there on the web that I decided to write this Therapy FAQ. Its purpose is to help people who are not yet in therapy but would like to try it out. People who have been in therapy are welcome to challenge anything I write or send me your own inputs for appending this FAQ–send this to mmiles@uta.edu.

My Background

You might be wondering why I think I am qualified to write this FAQ. Since my point in writing this is to answer questions I have been asked more than once, I have familiarity with what people want to know before they go into therapy. The most important qualification is the fact that I have been in therapy for over a year, with two different types of therapists (male and female), so I have asked all of these questions also. I also am an aspiring clinical psychologist who has taken many psychology courses–the most applicable course I have taken was a course called Internship in Psychology in which we covered many of the technical aspects that go along with being and choosing a therapist.

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Finding Help: How to Find Help Through Psychotherapy

Millions of Americans have found relief from depression and other emotional difficulties through psychotherapy. Even so, some people find it hard to get started or stay in psychotherapy. This brief question-and-answer guide provides some basic information to help individuals take advantage of outpatient (non-hospital) psychotherapy.

Why do people consider using psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a partnership between an individual and a professional such as a psychologist who is licensed and trained to help people understand their feelings and assist them with changing their behavior. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one-third of adults in the United States experience an emotional or substance abuse problem. Nearly 25 percent of the adult population suffers at some point from depression or anxiety.

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I Knew I had a Good/Bad Psychiatrist/Therapist When…

Image: The Betrothed by John William Godward

I thought it would be helpful and informative to share good/bad psychiatrist or therapist stories.

We’ll start out with my experiences…

My first experience with treatment was at the mental health clinic at the local hospital. I was fairly indifferent toward the first psychiatrist I had there, but I was unpleasantly jarred to find out that he was leaving after six months. Apparently they were on some sort of rotation. When I walked into the new psychiatrist’s office, I immediately got a bad feeling. It looked like he felt this was a temporary situation, as the office was completely bare except for the desk and two chairs.

The reason for my visit was to ask him to raise my medication, as I was feeling the familiar signs of depression after being fairly stable for a year. He never even looked at me, and only asked me one question to determine whether I was depressed again or not, “Do you have thoughts of harming yourself or others?” I said, “Well, no, but I never have, so that’s not really an indication for me.” He ignored all the signs of depression I was recounting and refused to raise my medication. I absolutely hated him, and wouldn’t go back until he was gone six months later.

This time when I walked into the new psychiatrist’s office I was very wary, but the difference he had made in that cold office was amazing. I’m a little fuzzy on the specifics, but I immediately noticed that the place smelled great. He had air fresheners in the office that made you want to inhale when you walked in.

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