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Ask Dr. L Your Own Question

Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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FOR DR LEVANG: Chat?

This answer was rated:

FOR DR LEVANG: Chat?

Dr. L :

Hi Tanya,


 

Dr. L :

It certainly is upsetting that Dr. J is leaving in February. Did he offer you the opportunity to stay with him until he leaves? Or are you thinking it is better to change now.


 

Dr. L :

As to the PTSD...I still think that having a therapist with this knowledge is important for you. Trauma takes many forms and for you to feel understood, listened to, and be able to develop trust with is going to take a therapist with good training and lots of experience.


 

Customer:

He did offer me to stay. He asked if I thought that I could make good progess in 6 months, and I was unable to answer that with any certainty. Given that I was only 3 sessions in, I felt it best to stick with someone who could stick with me no matter how long it took. Does that make sense?


 

Customer:

Yes, trust is my MAJOR issue! OMGosh, I'm not sure I'll ever break through that barrier, and I've not been given a chance because I feel like I've been passed around quite a bit.

Dr. L :

I understand your hesitancy in staying with him...it's reasonable to feel unsure about what to do and what the best decision would be.


 

Dr. L :

While I think you could make good progress in 6 months...the thought that he would be ending his practice sooner than later might hang over your head and cause it's own problems. So..moving now is probably the best solution.


 

Customer:

I agree. I didn't want to have to tell my story, yet AGAIN! Right now, I don't feel like I'm to deep, so better to start over at this time than later when it would hurt a lot more.


 

Dr. L :

I can understand why you would feel "passed around"...but that's not really true. You've been caught in a perfect storm of therapists who did not have adequate appointment time, therapists who did not feel they had the right mix of skills, therapists who just were bad fits for you.


 

Dr. L :

Why this has happened is beyond me. And...I would feel very happy if you could finally...finally...get a secure therapist with whom you can develop that trusting bond.


 

Dr. L :

Yes..you have a very good sense about this...3 sessions in is a better time to pull out then 6-10 sessions in.


 

Customer:

Tell me about it. I was so crushed. I really was. But I understand his motivations, and he is going to consult for the next 6 months which makes me feel better as well.

Customer:

I think I'll be in good hands. I've talked to Dr. Altman a few times now, and he really seems very genuine and caring, and I think we'll be a good fit. So, I'm not feeling to lost. Plus you think he's good, which matters to me.

Customer:

It does seem crazy at how impossible it seems to find someone and make them "stick". But I'm not giving up. I deserve so much better than this.

Dr. L :

If Dr. J. is around to consult that gives you the added knowledge that he cares about you and wants to make sure that your transition goes well. That's an extra bonus for you.


 

Dr. L :

I shake my head over your situation. It shouldn't be so darn hard...but, in fact, it has been for you. It's mind boggling. And...so unnecessary.


 

Customer:

It is SO HARD to find someone who isn't weird. I think the motivations for many therapists in practice are for all the wrong reasons. Plus my insurance list is just horrible. Now that I'm out of network, I can literally see whomever I want, and that is pretty awesome. It's kinda of crazy but I do feel like I'm in a better place today than I have been in the past.

Dr. L :

I have to agree that some folks are not well-suited for the work. And...your insurance list was way too narrow. Out of network gives you so many more choices...and that's really what all of us want. I'm glad you were able to make this choice.


 

Dr. L :

I'm glad you are feeling better! That's great to hear!


 

Customer:

Do you think that Dr. Altman's approach may be even better suited to my needs that Dr. J's?

Dr. L :

I'm not sure about that Tanya. Training is one thing. Clinical experience another. Personality yet another.


 

Dr. L :

He looks good on paper...has a good mix of credentials...a kind face...lots of experience...


 

Customer:

Right, but I think I have a good feel of assessing many of the qualities over the phone--especially personality. For me, that may be the most important quality for the development of trust.

Dr. L :

Yes...you have a good sense of people.


 

Customer:

Even though I liked Dr. J so much, I was totally unable to let my guard down. I would smile through sessions trying to talk about anything from my life. He made me insanely uncomfortable. For the first time, I felt like I didn't have control.

Dr. L :

And...that is an important component in your ability to take care of yourself.


 

Dr. L :

So...leaving him means that you can move out of that uncomfortable place...


 

Customer:

But I was uncomfortable in a "good" way, a challenging way. I need someone who is going to push me and not let me get away with anything.

Customer:

Otherwise, I will literally sit there and say nothing. I don't share my life, I'm so, so, so secretive. I don't have a clue how to "unzip" myself.

Dr. L :

Yes...that is what I had in mind as well. The uncomfortableness that "moves" you into a place of honesty and openness.


 

Dr. L :

But a good therapist will know how to get to build up trust so that you are willing to reveal your truth.


 

Customer:

I'm not so sure about that, unfortunately. I'm crazy stubborn! ;)

Customer:

What can I do to now feel like I'm being interogated and on the hot seat? There must be some tips to help me make the leap?

Customer:

not feel like.

Dr. L :

The best thing for you to do is be honest....


 

Dr. L :

Tell him that you are very secretive and it is difficult - sometimes nearly impossible - to reveal your truth. Yet...that is exactly what you know you must do. So...I would put it back in his lap by saying...Knowing this about me, what strategies can we design so that I can more readily come to trust you..trust the process..and trust myself and get down to work.


 

Customer:

Wow, I'm going to print that out and and read it! :)

Customer:

Ok, well thanks for the chat and help. I am so sick these past few days (fever, chills, cough, I'm in bad shape), so I'm going to go to bed. Ok?

Dr. L :

Hope you feel better soon! It's that time of year. Flu shots are in order!


 

Dr. L :

Take care!


 

Customer:

Yes, as soon as I feel better, I'm headed to get one! Thanks and good night!

Dr. L and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was admitted to the hospital since yesterday. I have severe pnumonia in both my lungs, a fever for the last five days, and now I'm horribly short of breath. I'm in a unit called progressive intensive care. I'm hooked up to oxygen, a heart monitor and two IV's. I'm getting 4 breathing treatments a day and three different antibiotics. I hope this doesn't kill me.

Hello Tanya,

I am so very sorry. It sounds like you are undergoing extra-ordinary treatment. Being hospitalized may be an unpleasant experience...yet having pneumonia is serious. I trust you are in good hands!

 

Take care!

 

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