FINDING A THERAPIST

     Finding the right therapist for you is a process of elimination. You must search for someone whose personality is pleasing to you, and one whom you feel comfortable with. I went through several therapists until I found the right one. The problem is, there are good ones and bad ones. I had my share of bad ones and I have also had good ones.

     When my mother first found out about my illness, she took me to a therapist in a nearby town. The therapist told me I was injuring myself for attention, and by doing that, I was hurting my family and friends. I went home after therapy crying. Years later, I went to a therapist who told me to think happy thoughts and my depression would go away. Another one listened to what my ex-boyfriend told her and lectured me instead of hearing my side.

     I felt like giving up, but I kept searching. I knew I couldn’t get better without help. When I was in college, my Mom went to a hospital with mental health services, and they gave her a number for counseling services. I found a therapist who educated me about depression and helped me battle my illness.

     Years later when my ex-boyfriend left me, I went to a therapist who gave me homework, allowed me to write down my thoughts, and helped me reach recovery once again. I continued to see this therapist until recently when she changed jobs. She helped me through many rough times and taught my husband about my illness.

     In order to make therapy work, I had to develop a bond with my therapist. I had to feel comfortable telling her my deepest, darkest secrets. To do this, I had to find a therapist whom I could trust. It took me several sessions till I felt comfortable enough with my therapist to share my life story.

     To find a therapist, look in your telephone book or search online. There are several sites that you can type in your state and they will give you a list of therapists. One site is Psychology Today at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/.  Also check for state funded programs. Go to National Alliance for Mental Illness, NAMI, for help. You can find NAMI’s website under resources on the menu bar. I found a therapist through a free program offered at my job.

     Don’t give up if a therapist doesn’t suit your needs or isn’t very good. Keep searching till you find the one that is best for you. I didn’t give up, and in time I found a therapist who helped me reach the light. Once I found the therapist best for me, I worked hard, and I listened to her advice. I had to be willing to get better for therapy to work effectively. Once I put all my effort into recovery, I was able to find the light and dance within.

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