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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I know what therapy is right for me?

    I have Major Depressive Disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and have suffered from both for years (diagnosed in 2008, but the symptoms go much further back than that). I am currently doing Psychodynamic Psychotherapy with my psychiatrist, but am not finding it useful- instead of feeling better after sessions I feel upset and anxious and focus heavily on things that happened to me years ago, which is upsetting. I have had a very rough year, and have only been seeing this therapist since November, during which time I had my first admission to hospital and a change of meds. I have done CBT before for 3 years, but find those techniques not particularly useful for me now. I am commencing a DBT group therapy in August for one day a week. I'm just not sure how to assess what therapy is right for me. How should I be feeling after sessions? Should I feel a catharsis? Is it normal that I feel worse? I don't really trust my therapist or understand the process - is this a problem? Help!
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    For me (I am in remission from MDD), the most important thing has been to have rapport with a therapist.

    For example,  I had zero rapport with the first psychiatrist who I consulted (though I have no doubt that, for others, she is a fine clinician), while the guy who I see now (on a “care and maintenance” basis) is great for me.

    For me the most important  thing has been direct and open communication, based on mutual respect. 

    For you, if you do not  “understand the process” then ask for clarification - eg, what is it reasonable for you to expect from your therapist(s), what is it reasonable for him/her/them to expect from you?

    All the best.

  • 1


    Karen Amos

    Counsellor, Personal Trainer

    Walk and Talk is just what you need to begin living a life that you love. I'm Karen Amos and at Walk and Talk Australia … View Profile

    You really saved the essence of your question until the last sentence and that is trust.  If there is trusting relationship between the therapist and client, that allows for an honesty on both sides between the two of you.  I'm guessing that you haven't been able to relay that message to the clinician, allowing you to try alternative treatments with them.  

    I really simplify things for myself and my clients by comparing the relationship with my psych to that of my hairdresser.  I need to be able to trust them with helping me out in the best way possible, but if I end up with a bad haircut, I need to also be free to let them know, without it being taken personally.   I would also agree with Dr Simon, communication is right next to trust in creating a positive outcome for you.  

    When there is communication and trust between you both, then can be a mutual expectation of care as well.

    I know too, that for some clients, they have already been to see a psych, a Dr and the magic can be in the timing of meeting the right therapist at the right time.  

    Enjoy Today!


  • 1


    I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    I fully agree with the advice given by Karen and Simon - when you have a good rapport with your therapist, and trust is able to develop, then it becomes possible to work usefully on your issues.
    And as Karen says, sometimes it's about the right timing too.

    Even once all of that is in place, however, the process of learning new ways of seeing things and approaching things moves all of us outside of our comfort zone, and can be very anxiety-provoking. Building up your ability to manage distressing feelings in order to achieve lasting changes (which is where DBP can be really helpful) will help you move forward to create the quality of life you want.

  • 1


    Brigitte Safrana

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist

    I created Surfing The Blues and Surfing The Baby Blues Counselling & Hypnotherapy services in order to help individuals and couples restore balance in their … View Profile

    If it does not feel right to you then it is not right. Shop around, it is not so much the type of therapy but the therapist in practice that is important.  The fact is that in therapy you are not always going to feel good about yourself: loss of illusions, discovering aspects of yourself or your life that are unpleasant or challenging is not for everybody and it is counter-prodctive to try pushing it too far.  Empower yourself by gathering information about different therapies and LISTEN to whether it feels right or not. And if you make a mistake that's ok too!

  • monchan

    HealthShare Member

    I’ve been suffering from intractable depression for 28 years.  During this time, I have received many kinds of treatment (countless kinds of medication, hospitalization, ECT, counseling, psychotherapy and group therapy) both in Japan and Australia.  Even when I thought I had good rapport with the therapists or doctors, none of them was helpful.  I’m thinking of trying oriental herbal medicine or acupuncture which I haven’t tried so far, but I have little hope for them, to be honest.
    Nowadays I convinced myself that my illness is my “fate” like other fatal diseases. I see no way out!  I feel as if I had been born in the 17th century when there would have been no remedy available
    But in your case, I think it’s worth “shopping around” until you can encounter a therapist with whom you can establish good rapport as these health professionals advised.  Wishing you all the best.

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