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Your Therapist and You: An Important Relationship

November 11, 2011 Tracey Lloyd

Your therapist and you have an important relationship. No matter how poorly you treat your therapist, or how much you dote on them, a good one is there for you.

Since my bipolar diagnosis, I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about romantic relationships: how to find one, how to act right when I'm in one, how to pick the right one. I've dedicated tons of blog air time to dating and to family because those relationships are my triggers. But I've neglected to address a very important person in many of our lives, an important relationship for people with mental illness: the therapeutic relationship.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I've treated by therapists like crap. Be they social worker, psychiatrist or psychologist, I've ignored and abused the best and the worst of 'em. Currently, I have a daily reminder to call my current psychiatrist for an appointment since I blew off the last one. The fact that I'm almost out if meds brings me no closer to actually picking up the phone. But I think I know why.

My Shrink, My Self

The time we spend in therapy is pretty much time spent at our worst, or at least towards the points in our life when we’re not our best. If you do your time on the couch right, your therapist will see tears, tantrums and all manner of attractive outbursts. For some of us, a weekly session is the only time we’re not “on”, the time taken just for ourselves. When I'm doing badly, in the throes of uncontrolled symptoms and unhappiness, the therapist's office is a place of refuge for me.

For a long time, my therapists were the only people in my life who knew about my mental illness and they got the brunt of all my erratic behavior. If I couldn’t isolate from work, I’d blow off my appointments. When my family wouldn’t let me act out with them, I did it with my therapists. After all, they knew what was “wrong” with me, so I felt like I never had to explain.

Therapy is a Reminder That You’re “Less Than”

These days, I'm doing well and handling my problems and in those moments, a 50-minute hour is one of the few reminders of my disease. Although I still need meds to smooth out my edges, I don't take as high a dose now as I have in the past. I also have stopped talk therapy and only see a psychiatrist once a month for medication management. I've spent about 25% of my life "talking to someone", I really don't have a lot left to say, especially when my life is going well and my symptoms are in control. I've had the big breakthroughs, uncovered the deep-seated issues. I know myself so well that I'm starting to get on my own nerves, and I share incessantly with friends, family and followers alike. Why would I want to talk about myself for yet another hour a week?

At the end of the day, it's equally important to look at all relationships - even those you "pay" to be in - as indicators of our mental health. I can focus on the boyfriend that I want forever, but I'll always have Dr. V to tell me how I'm really doing.

Find Tracey on Twitter, Facebook, and her personal blog.

APA Reference
Lloyd, T. (2011, November 11). Your Therapist and You: An Important Relationship, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, May 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/relationshipsandmentalillness/2011/11/your-therapist-and-you-an-important-relationship



Author: Tracey Lloyd

Dr Musli Ferati
November, 2 2012 at 9:37 am

The relationship between psychiatric patient and its therapist is the main factor in appropriate psychiatric treatment. So, it should to take care on creation and maintenance of good therapeutic relationship along therapeutic process. In this specific relationship should to participate in proactive manner two involved parties: mentally ill person as seeker of psychiatric caretaker and therapist as expert of the respective psychiatric care-giving working-out procedure. But the role and place of psychiatrist is most important in the smooth-course of this relationship, because it has decisive impact in the progress of treatment process. As prerequisite condition in this delicate relation is the sense of confidence and benevolence between patient and therapist, which is based on sincerity of therapist toward its patient. In this direction, the wellness of patient ought to be the height motivation. Without this psychiatric approaching, every patient would to experience the feeling of ignorance and negligence as predictors of mistrust therapeutic relation. However, each psychiatric patient should to find out any reliable psychiatrist, who would to manage the treatment as long term psychiatric activity. And this choice is personal one, even angelical psychiatrist didn't exist yet. To be understood, the psychiatrist as humane creature have got many positive and negative personal features, but their pro-humane intentions should be as therapeutic indicators in any psychiatric treatment accomplishment. This peculiarity should to distinguish the respective mentally ill person in order to create an healthy relationship with its therapist in function of appropriate psychiatric treatment of its illness.

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