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Dr-A-Greene, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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Dear Dr. A-Greene, Today is another pretty good day. Actually

Resolved Question:

Dear Dr. A-Greene,

Today is another pretty good day. Actually a good day . . . just reticent to admit it and possibly to jinks it by acknowledging it fully - silly of me.

I'm on a computer, instead of typing on my phone so this is going to be a catch-up with you e-mail. There is some therapeutic benefit to me in just sharing with you because I feel like you actually are "in my corner." Thank you.

I see new psychiatrist on Monday at 11:00 a.m. Entire psych record from last doctor copied and ready for me to pick-up at their medical records department. Personally, I don't want to be tempted to read my own psych records. I think that it could be upsetting. So, I'm just going to pick them up on the way to the appt with the new doctor. Good self-care, right?

I've been feeling well enough to do some things for other people . . . good sign. Yesterday I helped a friend cut out and glue things to prepare for her child's Easter party at school - the craft part obviously. We had fun and I not only sped her up but enhanced the project because I am a little more creative at that sort of thing. She was very pleased. We laughed at all our blunders and it felt great. Today, I have dropped by a friend's house to babysit her two grandkids that she and her husband are raising. They are both special needs kids on the autism spectrum with muscular dystrophy to boot. They know me well and call me "Aunt Sara" so I am one of the few caretakers they will readily accept. My friend's husband had some tests of his heart day-before-yesterday and they got a call to come in together to discuss some unfavorable findings. I'm glad that I could come over so that she had less stress because she knows the kids are comfortable with me. I'm watching the 11 yo on a monitor play in her room, and the 9 yo is on the computer that is right next to this one.

I'm not so nervous about receiving psych testing results as I thought I would be. I could see that the tests did bring out things in me and that a different person could have responded entirely differently - to the projective tests I'm mainly addressing. It was really quite interesting. My answers were very detailed (oh, you're so shocked :) ). I also very readily saw images in the ink blots which surprised me. My psychologist told me that the one who had administered the tests did tell her that she noted that many of my responses to the inkblots were highly atypical. She also said that she saw a lot of trauma response, depression and anxiety throughout the tests. That is really all I know so far, but that part seems accurate.

This one inkblot got to be badly because I saw Christ hanging on the cross in the top third and he had a detailed face and body beneath a piece of somewhat transparent fabric hanging over is body. I saw the image of the shadow of his body beneath the fabric. His arms and hands had been changed into those of an insect. Dead mice laid beneath the cross -- quite a bit lower in the blot. The examiner hadn't even fully removed her hand from the card before I was aghast and said, "That is sac-religious!" That was one of my atypical responses I'm told - no doubt I guess. My psychologist (therapist) told me that the images really are just ink blots. I had very strong reactions to most of them. Much more so than the TAT storytelling. Interesting.

I also kept asking for breaks between tests. She was trying to just give me tests back-to-back without a moment to breath. I felt exhausted and often wept or teared-up which just reflects how intense it was for me. The test of sentence completion was last of all and it was the hardest for me. So much on my mind was so sad, worried or troubled. Putting it down on paper really got to me, but I trudged forward and got them all answered. I never asked for a break during a test. I could tell that not everyone asks for breaks, but of course she didn't mind. It was expected to take 3 hours and it took me 2 hours and 50 minutes.

Well, the kids want to play in the backyard so I'm going to go out there with them.

What do you think the feedback session will be like? My therapist will be there too. Sara

When I find out my test results I'll share the jist of them with you. Do you do psych testing yourself at your job? My psychologist said that she didn't stay current with testing matters and relies on the psychologist who specialize in testing at her psychiatric clinic.

I'm hoping that the new psychiatrist will put me back on Cymbalta or at least some antidepressant. I think that I did better in the past with it. I wonder what she'll do with the Lamictal. I suspect she'll keep me on it for the time being. It might be helping. Hopefully, the testing will help us determine whether I really am bipolar. That would help direct my medication needs.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 5 years ago.

Hey you! I just saw this email too! Thank you - I'm going to respond in sections.


First off, having the restraint to not look at your psych records is amazing. I applaud you if you were able to do that. It must be tempting, but I completely agree that its probably better not to. I know for a fact that I wouldn't want to read my own medical records - too many things could be potentially misinterpreted or taken out of context! So, fabulous job!


Second, being able to care for others (the lovely kids) is a great sign. I think it can be healing to know that you're doing something generous and loving and it can be affirming to know that you have the fortitude to be a great example for them. This is progress!


As for the testing results, it sounds like you're not too nervous and I don't think you should be. Testing is just bringing out another piece of you - highlighting some of your emotions or idiosyncratic interpretations, maybe, but nonetheless, you. So I don't think you'll be shocked by anything you hear. From what you shared above I can tell that you are very detailed (possibly a bit obsessive compulsive) and that you are sad. The inclusion of dead or damaged images in response to Rorschach cards usually indicates that there is some depression going on. What I also know is that you are an incredibly open and self-aware person. The testing results will just be another weapon in your arsenal to use. These are all positives in my book! I can't tell you how proud I am of you completing the testing so efficiently and bravely. :)

It's good that your psychologist will be there for the results. She will be able to help put them in a useful context for you. I do testing and evaluation all the time in my job actually, but I do risk assessment primarily now (rather than personality testing). Giving results is an art form, I think - - - and some psychologists are better at it than others. Overall I just encourage people to remember that the results are only one piece of the puzzle. They're a snapshot in time of a particular piece of a person's functioning. They're a tool to help you learn and grow, not a judgment. So, if there's anything that upsets you, just remember that it's one piece - not a whole portrait.


The last thing I can say is that while I can't comment on you as a whole either (because I only see one piece) - I can say that the piece I see of you is encouraging, inspiring, and doesn't give up.


I look forward to hearing more and wish you the best!

Dr. G.




Dr-A-Greene and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dear Dr. G,

Thank you for all of your affirmations and encouragement.

I've been in psychotherapy more than 25 years. All of my therapist have applauded my openness, bravery to explore and push my limits, as well as to genuinely work hard. I'm very proud of those things because they are valued qualities by me.

Much of my attitude about approaching therapy has to do with this analysis of the situation:

1) I want to feel better;
2) why go at all if i don't try to the best of my ability to do as therapist recommends;
3) how can I go to sessions complaining about how I feel if I'm not taking the information and applying it;
4) if I'm consciously withholding info then I'm likely to either miss out or not get the best material that my therapist has to offer;
5) If I'm not open, then my therapist and I aren't actually working on the same problems which completely defeats my purpose of seeking her help! Besides, you guys have heard it all in my opinion even if there is a different twist or new details. My problems are not so special as to be unique.;
7) I want to grow and internalize the approaches or skills that work. For example, someone handed me my psychotherapy notes several years ago and I read them. They were a very good representation of where I was at and of what had transpired. Even so, I became so emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed. Also, maybe because of my PTSD, it was as though I revived every therapy session and the material discussed therein! Wow! So, I don't want to experience that so I will use self-control to prevent a second type of "trauma". I've learned some skills for self-control. One of them is to minimize my time or exposure to the potentially upsetting stimuli. Thus I will just pick up the envelope of records and drive straight over to the clinic and hand them to the new doc's receptionist for her chart.

I'm still struggling for mental health, but it is not for lack of openness and effort. Like I said, I'm proud of that. It always my concerns that my mental health challenges are a character flaw. Also, it boosters my hope to know that my therapist are working collaboratively on the real things that need to be worked upon.

I enjoyed sharing my thought here. I know that you know all these things, but perhaps I've put something in pt. lingo that you can use with someone else.

I'll be curious if OLD shows up. I see what you mean but I've not previously been diagnosed with it.

I appreciate you. I look forward to asking you about test results. Sara