I was thrilled and honoured to have a post published by welldoing.org last week, a site devoted to helping people get better both in mind and in body, by connecting them with the most appropriate individuals for them. The site includes information and advice about all aspects of health and wellbeing, and contains articles from experts such as counsellors and psychotherapists, as well as real-life stories from those, like me, who wanted to share their experiences.
A key, innovative part of the site is its therapist directory, which can link individuals with the most appropriate therapist for them. In addition to the directory itself, the site contains stories of the experiences of those in therapy, as well as incredibly helpful descriptions of lots of different types of therapy, from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – to name but a few! I had always struggled to find clear and succinct descriptions of the various types of therapy available, and it’s great to find this information in one place, as this enables an easy comparison of the similarities and differences between them. Though as the website itself says: “The most important factor when choosing a therapist or an analyst is not the model of therapy so much as the practitioner him or herself. Therapy’s effectiveness is in the common factors that all the talking therapies have, a safe space to talk and be, and your relationship with your therapist”.
The post that I wrote – which is called ‘Therapy helped me to see the ways in which I really see myself‘ – describes my experience of therapy and why it has been (and continues to be) so essential in helping me to recover from Borderline Personality Disorder.
October 11, 2015 at 8:07 pm
I love the way you write: I know I say it a lot, but I don’t think I can ever convey the gift you have for communicating engagingly and insightfully. Joyce of Make BPD Stigma Free shared your article a little before you did, and, as ever, I think it is excellent, and very eloquently written. Actually, I’d like some advice. I’ve been wanting to write an article for the university mental health campaign for a while, but I’m not really sure how to gather my ideas and to approach it. I want to introduce the experience of the personality disorder I have, convey some of the ideas of complex trauma (C-PTSD), and write convincingly about the ideas of psychodynamic therapy, and why I believe it really does help many people with personality disorders, as well as using a readable, accessible style… You always manage to convey very meaningful ideas, while writing in a beautiful, story-like manner, engaging the reader in very human, personal writing. If you have any tips, they’d be most welcome!
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October 13, 2015 at 7:02 am
Thank you! 🙂 just to say I replied to this over email in case my reply became longwinded!
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October 12, 2015 at 9:59 pm
“The most important factor when choosing a therapist or an analyst is not the model of therapy so much as the practitioner him or herself. Therapy’s effectiveness is in the common factors that all the talking therapies have, a safe space to talk and be, and your relationship with your therapist”. This is a point with which many therapists, and especially those who do research on treatment effectiveness, would take issue. While there is no doubt that the “common factors” make a big contribution, there have been types of treatment designed specifically for certain disorders. It would be unwise, for example, to go to a psychodynamic therapist for OCD, where effective treatment protocols have been designed and tested.
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October 19, 2015 at 7:51 pm
Thank you 🙂 This is an incredibly interesting area, and I’m very grateful for your point! I agree – there a lot of well-tested and proven therapies with a ‘target disorder’ in mind – DBT for BPD, for example. I’m not disputing that at all, but I guess, as someone who does not have access to the ‘recommended’ therapy for my disorder, but who is finding psychoanalytic psychotherapy very helpful, there are a number of questions in my mind (to which I don’t know any of the answers, and I don’t even know if the answers exist!). E.g. what alternative therapy models have the treatment types been tested against; how long-term are the studies (e.g. are the targeted treatments more successful in the short to medium term, but do other treatments ‘catch up’ over the longer-term, particularly when it comes to a return of symptoms? how do the trials/tests work with regard to the diagnosis of participants e.g. many individuals have more than one diagnosis, for which the targeted treatments may be different – how might this affect the results?). All incredibly interesting, and I wish I had the time to read more 🙂