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Therapist Stories

Yes, there are some "not very good" therapists out there. And yes, there are very good therapists out there for people with an Anxiety Disorder. Here are some true stories. Remember, your recovery is the Number One Priority.

Annie recounted the following tale:

Yes, there are some not very good therapists out there. And yes, there are very good therapists out there for people with an Anxiety Disorder. Here are some true stories.She was referred to a Psychiatrist who was working out of her own home in Annie's local area. This psychiatrist had cleaners come into her home at certain times of the day. The first session with this psychiatrist was hard to assess, commented Annie. "I couldn't hear a thing which was said because of the constant droning of the vacuum cleaners around us. Also the cleaners would walk through the room whenever they felt and so there was no privacy."

Believing she should give this therapist a second chance, she booked in for a session that was earlier, thinking she would avoid the cleaners this time. Annie turned up early and was told by the household help to sit on the back steps until the therapist was ready for her. Sitting there, she became aware that she could hear every word being said inside. The therapist was with a young man who was obviously having some major emotional problems. Annie shifted position in embarrassment. She was left waiting for an extra half-an-hour until finally the young man left.

The psychiatrist emerged from the house, greeting Annie with "I should be back in half-an-hour, I've just got to run down to the travel agent." Annie was left dumbfounded. What did she do? ... wait or leave?

Yes, she left. A couple of days later, she received a note from the therapist. The note read "Sorry I missed you, hope you are feeling fine." As Annie said later, What a gall of this person?! It was just lucky I wasn't feeling suicidal!!

And then there was...

A young lady goes to her therapist for her normal weekly one-hour session. She has been going for quite some time and is feeling frustrated by her lack of progress. Usually the therapist is late and leaves her waiting for up to 20 minutes.

Finally, she enters the room, the therapist poised behind his big leather desk. Just as she starts to address the issues for this week, he jumps up and tells her to hold that thought. He just had to dash out and talk to a colleague for a minute. Forty-five minutes later, he returned to the room as if nothing had happened. In recounting the story, the lady wondered whether he did it deliberately to test her. What the test was, she didn't know. What do you think?

Waiting for the "best"

Rebecca had 6 months on the waiting-list before she saw a reputedly terrific Psychiatrist. At last, the day came for her appointment. She was kept waiting 2-hours before being ushered into the room. The psychiatrist's initial questions revolved around what she had been experiencing. Then he asked what she was fearful of.

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"Well, you are fearful of something aren't you?" replied the psychiatrist.

"Sure" Rebecca replied "these god damn panic attacks. That's what I've been telling you."

"No, no .." continued the psychiatrist. "There must be something that you are scared of .. elevators, dogs, spiders."

"Well, I guess when I was a kid I was scared of spiders, but I don't see what that has to do with the panic attacks .."

"Great" said the psychiatrist "now we are getting somewhere."

That was the end of the session and so an appointment was set for the next week. Rebecca felt she needed the help, so returned promptly on time for the next appointment. This time she only had to wait 45-minutes. When she entered the consulting room, she noticed a jar of spiders sitting on the desk. The psychiatrist told her for this session she would sit and watch the spiders until her fear of them was alleviated. She would sit at a distance and then get closer-and-closer. He left the room, leaving her to contemplate what this would do to help with the panic attacks she experienced--even when not one spider was in sight. At the end of the session (of course, she couldn't leave early, it would appear rude) she got up and never went back.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemies though...

Paul had the wrong idea about what therapy was for. He, in effect, became the "perfect" patient. Every session, he came back and told the doctor how much better he was getting. He talked in glowing terms about how much the doctor had helped him. In actual reality, he was getting worse. Eventually the therapist had no other option but to release Paul from treatment, congratulate him and to let him go. Paul had no other recourse but to go - how could he tell the therapist the truth now.

Meg had her first appointment with a Psychiatrist. She worried about what he would say about her. Before she went, she tried to calm herself and was poised, cool and collected. She entered the consulting room and sat "relaxed" and spoke in terms that diminished her actual experience. At the end Meg asked the psychiatrist: "Do you think I am having a nervous breakdown?"

He looked over his spectacles at her and replied: "I don't think so ..."

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APA Reference
Gluck, S. (2008, October 2). Therapist Stories, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, April 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/anxiety-panic/articles/therapist-stories

Last Updated: July 1, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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