Most Chronic Pain sufferers experience depression along with their Chronic Pain for a variety of reasons:
- the pain meds interrupt their daily lives
- their social life comes to a halt
- they don’t feel like doing anything, but staying indoors
- their friends stop calling to check on them
- they can’t accept their life as it is
- they’re in denial
- the pain is more than they can bare.
Personally, I’ve experienced all of these reasons and I bet most of you have too. It’s hard to go outdoors and try to act normal when your insides are screaming in pain. But, most of us give it the old college try and go out, even if it’s to do nothing other than purchase groceries.
Going to your doctor’s appointment is one step outside, but how many of you truck it back home immediately afterward? Or do so right after you go by the pharmacy first?
I find it hard to go out because I begin to hurt withing 30 minutes after I’ve been walking around the store, even when I have grandiose ideas of stopping by other shops while Rick and I are out and about. We may stop for lunch, but by that time, I’m ready to go home.
By the time I get home, I’m on the heating pad and feeling down because I can’t get out and do the things I use to do years ago before the Chronic Back Pain and Fibromyalgia stepped up their game. So, I plan to see a psychologist to talk about my depression and how to handle my problems with social activity. But if you are seeing a therapist now, how do you know he or she is a reputable therapist? And do they have YOUR best interest in mind?
One place to start is GoodTherapy.org and its article “50 Warning Signs of Questionable Therapy and Counseling.” This article lists the red flags that may warn you to change your therapist immediately. However, Good Therapy suggests that you talk with your therapist first before jumping ship. If your therapist listens to your concerns, she should be open and willing to understand. However, if she isn’t willing to accept your comments, then for your best interest, seek another therapist.
Here are the first 18 red flags (I’ve rewritten them but the meaning is the same):
- Counselor does not have the training to address your issues and/or attempts to treat problems anyway.
- Therapist has no interest in your goals or changes you need to make in your life.
- Counselor does not give clear information on how they can help you with your issue or concern.
- Therapist doesn’t let you know when your therapy will be done.
- Counselor isn’t in the habit of seeing a therapist herself.
- Therapist will make you promises or guarantees regarding your therapy.
- There are unresolved complaints against your therapist with a licensing board.
- Your rights as a client, confidentiality, office policies, and fees are not given to you so you can decide to go forward with your treatment.
- Your behavior, lifestyle, or problems are criticized or judged by the counselor.
- You are treated as inferior by the therapist in subtle or not so subtle ways.
- Your family, friends, or partner are blamed for your problems by your therapist.
- You are encouraged to blame your family, friends, or partner for your problems by your therapist.
- At the expense of focusing on you and your therapy, therapist gets personal psychological needs met. This could be knowingly or unknowingly.
- Your counselor tries to be your friend.
- Without your consent, your therapist initiates touch (hugs, etc.).
- Your counselor may try to have a romantic or sexual relationship with you.
- Rather than focusing on your problems, your counselor talks excessively about her personal issues or self-discloses personal info. This has no therapeutic purpose for you.
- Counselor tries, although not related to your therapy, to enlist your help with something.
To get the word for word “red flag” of these 18 warnings, be sure to check out the link above. The next two parts will continue with the rest of the warnings. Then we’ll talk about how to find a reputable therapist or counselor!
I hope you have found this helpful, especially if you are in therapy now and not receiving the results you hoped for.
Take care of yourselves and do something for me today. Go outside. Just walk around your house or look at your flowers. But get out of the house. It will help you so much.