Mental Health

Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Mental Health
This answer was rated:

Clinical Psychologist only please - thanks: I've been in

Clinical Psychologist only please -...
Clinical Psychologist only please - thanks:
Hi, I've been in therapy now for over 6 months. Im 33 years old. I've been suffering from depression and/or anxiety since about age 16 or 17. This is the longest Ive stayed with a therapist - weekly sessions, but I keep a wall up and the sessions (in my mind, at least) have become worthless. He can't break my wall. I have a lot of things that I should go into and open up but with this guy, it just seems easier to put up a wall and not open up - or at least keep the therapy on a superficial level. Is this my fault that this wall has not been broken? I really thought I'd have someone be able to really dig deep, where I could come in and truly open up and spill it all. The therapy sessions had become like a 45 minute session of telling a "paid friend" what I did the past week.
I need advice on whether I should change therapists or just quit therapy. His style is "cognitive"...thanks :)
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Answered in 3 hours by:
6/8/2010
Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience: Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
Verified

Good morning.

Thanks for writing to JA.

Your problem, as posted, was direct and to the point. I appreciate your honesty with us here. I will try to be as direct and honest with you in response:

It sounds like you're experiencing fear about not being able to "break down your wall" and finding excuses for not doing so. If you believe that you "should go into and open up" to him, then it is your responsibility to do so. I believe (and likely most Clinical Psychologists, believe) that it is a client's responsibility to bring to the table what needs to be discussed.

In the "old days," the belief that therapy would reveal hidden truths about you was simply accepted as fact. This belief no longer holds much currency - and clients are expected to provide the material from which to work. Yes, the psychologist/therapist can provide additional insight (less important) and provide strategies/actions to solve problems (more important) - but we "can't build a house if the bricks aren't delivered."

If it truly is the case that you are seeking that kind of relationship with your therapist (the kind who digs out truths and breaks past your wall), I would encourage you to consider looking for a psychodynamic psychotherapist. They specialize in this kind of work... but I suspect you already know what the truths are that need to be discussed... and, again to be direct and honest, you need to put them out there so you can work on them. It's not his job to do this - it's your's.

[Note: I honestly appreciate how frightening it might be to disclose the issues you're withholding. Perhaps one way to begin this conversation with your therapist is to say, "I've been thinking about how to discuss some things that are pretty scary for me to talk about. What suggestions can you give me to get myself ready to just spit it out so we can work on it together?" You're not talking about the issues... you're talking about how to talk about the issues. Sometimes this is the "toe in the water" that some folks need. I also believe that sometimes just "taking the plunge" can be more productive! In either event, don't wait for him to ask just the right question or provide just the right answer to give you permission to talk about what you need to talk about. You already have the permission... and you've already paid the bill... now's the time to leap over your fears and say what you want to say. You'll be amazed at how freeing it can be.]

With regard to depression and anxiety, research has consistently demonstrated that treatment plus medication is more effective than medication alone or treatment alone for depression and/or anxiety. Further research has shown that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of psychological treatment/intervention - particularly in dealing with mood and/or anxiety disorders.

A licensed psychologist/psychotherapist with specific training in CBT modalities would be able to address your concerns. I would encourage you to find a licensed mental health professional with whom to work, employing CBT. Be sure when you speak to a possible licensed mental health professional that s/he employs CBT techniques - not just "influences from CBT" or "an eclectic approach."

With regard to medical treatment, many/most physicians appear to begin with a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) to treat anxiety. Because I am not an MD, it is beyond my purview to address medication concerns, however.

Again, the mantra of years of research says: medication or treatment alone is not as effective as both working in tandem. Some research has also indicated that insight-oriented talk therapy is counter-productive with some forms of mood and/or anxiety disturbance... it actually exacerbates the condition(s). So, seek out a CBT therapist who will provide targeted, efficient, and effective therapy - not someone who signs you as a "lifer." If you're going to a therapist for years, something about the therapy isn't working.

Your psychiatrist *may* know of a CBT licensed mental health professional. Please make certain, however, that they employ CBT practices.

If $$ is a super-big issue, you might want to consider contacting your local Community Mental Health Center. These tend to offer free or greatly reduced cost mental health services, including therapy and/or med management, depending upon your ability to pay.

Thanks. I hope you're well and that this was helpful.

* FEEDBACK ENCOURAGED. Please contact me prior to leaving negative feedback so that we can resolve the matter. I am eager to work with all JA clients to provide them with useful/helpful answers. Thanks again.

Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience: Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
Verified
Doctor Blake and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Doctor Blake Your Own Question
Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
146 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure

Doctor Blake is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much

Corrie MollPretoria, South Africa

I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well!

ClaudiaAlbuquerque, NM

Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion.

KevinBeaverton, OR

Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
I feel better already! Thank you.

ElanorTracy, CA

Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem.

JulieLockesburg, AR

You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions.

John and StefanieTucson, AZ

I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!!

Janet VPhoenix, AZ

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Keane

Dr. Keane

Therapist

1,379 satisfied customers

Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.

TherapistMarryAnn

TherapistMarryAnn

Therapist

4,021 satisfied customers

Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.

Dr. Olsen

Dr. Olsen

Psychologist

2,336 satisfied customers

PsyD Psychologist

Norman M.

Norman M.

Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA

2,246 satisfied customers

ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.

Dr. Michael

Dr. Michael

Psychologist

2,177 satisfied customers

Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.

Steven Olsen

Steven Olsen

Therapist

1,728 satisfied customers

More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education

Anna

Anna

Mental Health Professional

1,656 satisfied customers

Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.

< Previous | Next >

Related Mental Health Questions
I suffer from anxiety, and have been taking Ativan 0.5mg,
I suffer from anxiety, and have been taking Ativan 0.5mg, one a day for 23 years. Recently my doctor told me, (because of some anxiety issues) I could take up to three of my 0.5mg Ativan. Is there a p… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
I'm a Bipolar 36 year-old male with severe anxiety and
I'm a Bipolar 36 year-old male with severe anxiety and depression. What is the best anxiety medicine I should be taken? I've taken Clonazepam for 8 years and it no longer helps. Would another drug lik… read more
Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD
Internal Medicine Physician
Doctoral Degree
2,677 satisfied customers
I am currently weaning from one anxiety medications to
I am currently weaning from one anxiety medications to another for hypochondriasis. I am under the guidance of my psychiatrist. I am finding my health worries are very high whilst I am switching meds.… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
I was diagnosed with social anxiety by my psychiatrist at 16
Hi Dr. Wilson, I was diagnosed with social anxiety by my psychiatrist at 16 years old. Fast forward 6 years, and I feel like I am still struggling. I am always nervous when it comes to social engageme… read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
I have anxiety and recently think it is playing tricks with
Second opinion] Hi. I have anxiety and recently think it is playing tricks with my eyes. Is this possible? Sometimes feel things are moving when there not etc. Thank you… read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
204 satisfied customers
My adult daughter is struggling tremendously with anxiety
My adult daughter is struggling tremendously with anxiety and depression. She is on prozac but it's not helping that much. What is the best way to treat depression and anxiety in your opinion. She doe… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
I have anxiety and recently think it is playing tricks with
Hi. I have anxiety and recently think it is playing tricks with my eyes. Is this possible? Sometimes feel things are moving when there not etc. Thank you… read more
Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD
Internal Medicine Physician
Doctoral Degree
2,677 satisfied customers
I've been taking Prozac and Buspar for some anxiety and
I've been taking Prozac and Buspar for some anxiety and depression. My therapist just added Abilify to help with some lingering depression. At first she was going to add Wellbutrin but decided on Abil… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
I have issues with anxiety. I meet with a behavioral
I have issues with anxiety. I meet with a behavioral therapist and have practices to help with my anxiety, but I'm feeling super anxious with some current ongoing stress that may continue for the next… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
Im struggling with anxiety and depression and i have taken
im struggling with anxiety and depression and i have taken several medications cymbalta cipralax and now i am on a new one i forget what it is called … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
Various diagnosis since 2010; generalized anxiety was the
Various diagnosis since 2010; generalized anxiety was the most popular. PTSD diagnosis in 2016 because of a loss of a child in 2009 as well as the end of my 10 year relationship in 2013. Possible re t… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
767 satisfied customers
Is this a paid service? History of depression and anxiety.
Past 8 months. Relationship problems make it worse.… read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
OKMH124211 What is the vest way to prevent anxiety, gain
OKMH124211 What is the vest way to prevent anxiety, gain more self confidence and get rid of tmj syndrome-sometimes teeth grinding affects night into daytime as a bad habit?… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
794 satisfied customers
I have generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks that
I have generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks that I treat and keep managed with BCT, exercise, eating a well balanced diet, and breathing exercises. For the most part this works well. This p… read more
TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
4,021 satisfied customers
I have generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks at
I have generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks at times. For the most part I have improved a great deal through BCT and other lifestyle changes. I had it terrible after I quit smoking for abou… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
794 satisfied customers
I would like to know if it is possible for anxiety to cause
Hello,I would like to know if it is possible for anxiety to cause bladderproblems like urinary retention and bladder overactivity. Like if you fear it and you are constantly conscious regarding it, it… read more
TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
4,021 satisfied customers
I've had anxiety due to trauma... I've had anxiety due to
Hello, I've had anxiety due to trauma... Hello, I've had anxiety due to trauma in the city I lived in, I moved out to a different city, I accidentally spoke to somebody associated with the trauma , in… read more
Vakul Aren
Vakul Aren
Consultant Physician
Post graduation (Liverpool, U.K.)
3,982 satisfied customers
I I have extreme anxiety especially social anxiety I over
I I have extreme anxiety especially social anxiety I over worry about everything and I have PTSD from being stabbed and assaulted I've been prescribed Xanax for years and I got up to 2 mg which was wo… read more
Vakul Aren
Vakul Aren
Consultant Physician
Post graduation (Liverpool, U.K.)
3,982 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x