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(29 Posts)
posie Sun 21-Sep-14 18:15:34

Has anybody had first hand experience of counselling? If so did it help?

My GP suggested it on Friday but I said I couldn't really see how talking would help. I got another months worth of anti depressants but have managed to stop the sleeping tablets & thought I was improving slightly.

However yesterday While clearing out some of OH stuff & clutter I found some things that he'd written (pre Alzheimer's) that have completely shocked & upset me. I want to go & confront him & have it out with him, but of course that is completely out of the question now. I was going to have visited him this afternoon prior to this (he's in hosp in dementia unit) but couldn't bear to as I'm too cross & upset with him at the moment.

I've spoken to my kids about it & they're very supportive but it's not enough. Don't know how to get over this. Having second thoughts about counselling. Anyone any ideas?

Mishap Sun 21-Sep-14 18:22:54

This sounds like a situation where it really might be helpful to talk to someone outside the family, and a counsellor would fit the bill. As well as trying to help you with your depression problem, they could give you an outside perspective on the items that you have unearthed that are adding to your distress.

There is sometimes quite a wait to obtain counselling on the NHS, so if you are able to afford it, then you may need to think about going privately.

Counsellors vary in their approaches and methods and it might be worth you doing a bit of an internet trawl about the types of possible approaches so that you can think about what might help you best.

I am sorry that life is not treating you well at present. Do keep posting.

kittylester Sun 21-Sep-14 18:29:54

I'm sorry you are not happy posie. (((hugs)))

Are you sure the things you read were really pre his diagnosis? Looking back Mum was acting strangely for years and years before we thought she might need some help.

DD didn't have a very long wait for CBT and had 6 sessions so, if you can get an initial course fairly quickly on the NHS, it might be worth giving it a try.

Talk to us if it helps in the short term. flowers

Frannygranny Sun 21-Sep-14 18:31:58

posie I'm so sorry to hear how difficult life is for you at the moment. I had counselling after a second breakdown and found it extremely helpful. The counsellor was non-judgemental and always seemed to ask just the right question to open the floodgates to discover what was troubling me. I still take ant-depressants and will do for the rest of my life but I have discovered why my problems occurred and can now accept them. I wish I had had counselling sooner. Please seriously consider it. It will do no harm and hopefully will make you feel better. flowers

susieb755 Sun 21-Sep-14 18:37:04

I had counselling after a breakdown, it really helped me out of a black hole and put things in pespective for me, the counsellor was lovely, and went at my pace, would highly reccomend.

pompa Sun 21-Sep-14 19:12:08

Posie, I had counselling after a breakdown, I was prepared to try anything, couldn't see how talking could help, especially to someone who does not know me. How wrongI was.
A trained stranger can can assess and talk about your feelings (or whatever you like to call them) in a way that friends never can, I disclosed deep things that I would never have to anyone else.

Take any help you can get, with the help of counsellors, friends and probably meds, you WILL get through and out the other side.

I still take meds every day and I do get down, but never into the dark place that I was. I also know that time will bring me back into the world.

Don't expect life to be a bunch of roses all the time, it isn't for anyone, but you will find the way to manage the bad bits.

How my wife coped, I will never know.

Lindylooby Sun 21-Sep-14 19:41:33

Posie I have had counselling twice, once on nhs following a breakdown 14 years ago, I found that really helped put things into perspective, being able to talk to someone with no come back, definitely helped me climb out of the black hole
The second time was last year provided by the local hospice following dh's death. That helped me immensely, the feelings of anger, guilt and grief, again being able to chat to someone outside the family helped me. I do not know if the Alzheimers society have their own counsellors, but it is worth asking, they would specialise is the sort of counselling you woukd benefit from. Give them a call, I do hope they can help andvyou will be able to deal with the terrible upset you currently feel.
Since dh died I have found talking, shouting and crying to his photograph has also helped.
I sen you flowers and hope you find peace.

posie Sun 21-Sep-14 20:27:47

Thank you all. Seems everyone thinks it would be a good a idea.

Still a bit sceptic to be honest, but think it's maybe worth a try then.

I've already shouted & cried to his photograph Lindylooby!

vampirequeen Mon 22-Sep-14 10:25:31

Counselling can be really useful. It's definitely helped me in the past. It won't help straight away. A good counsellor will give you time to get to know them and build trust.

If you find that doesn't happen don't be afraid to ask for someone else to work with you.

Nonnie Mon 22-Sep-14 10:46:03

I think the suggestion of contacting the AS is excellent as they will understand much more than any other organisation. I hope they do provide such a service.

it is important to understand that counselling and CBT are different types of talking therapies and it is much more likely that counselling will be available to you than CBT. Yes, I know we hear that CBT should be available to all but it generally isn't on the NHS.

Posie keep posting on here it can also help a lot and there are those who will have been through something very similar and will be really supportive. flowers

sunseeker Mon 22-Sep-14 10:48:57

I am thinking of having counselling myself but how do you find a good counsellor? I have looked online (I want to try CBT) but there are so many how do you know you are not getting a charlatan? The cost isn't cheap so I don't want to waste money on someone who doesn't know what they are doing. I did ask at my local surgery if they could recommend anyone but the company they recommended is around 20 miles away! If I leave a session upset then I don't fancy driving that distance with tears streaming down my face!

Atqui Mon 22-Sep-14 10:49:56

Posie I don't have any advice to offer , just sympathy for your terribly sad situation. Such a cruel disease.

suebailey1 Mon 22-Sep-14 12:04:23

posie I'm sorry you are feeling low. I've had counselling and it did help- it can be a long process so don't make any judgements on the first few sessions. I had 12 sessions after a crisis to help me make some sense of my childhood and then I paid for some private personal counselling about another 6 that had a different more developmental focus it was expensive but money well spent.

Nonnie Mon 22-Sep-14 12:18:05

I think this is a good place to look:

pompa Mon 22-Sep-14 14:59:41

Finding a private counsellor.

I asked my doctor, he recommended a local one (NHS ones can be a long wait)

posie Mon 22-Sep-14 15:41:46

Well I've taken the first step of making another apt with GP on Wed to talk about it.

I tried your link Nonnie, it's only showing one in Scotland & it's nowhere near me but thank you anyway.

I'm still shocked & cross with him. Part of me wants to go & see him & slap him around the face & shout "you B*st*rd" at him ( not that I've ever hit him before) the rational part of me knows that of course this isn't an option. Sometimes he knows what's going on other times very easily confused & muddled. Obviously it wouldn't be appropriate now to try & talk about this issue as it would upset & confuse him more.
But I'm confused & upset with it all too!!

So DS has been given the task of visiting him this week & sorting out his dirty washing in the hope that I can come to terms with it to some extent before trying to see him again next week.

Thanks for your replies

Iam64 Mon 22-Sep-14 20:19:37

Thanks for your post poise, it's good to see so many positive comments about counselling, psychotherapy and CBT from people who've had good experiences. I saw a counsellor during a very difficult time in my life, like others here, I had a positive experience. Nonnie's link is helpful, as not everyone finds a counsellor or psychotherapist with the skills they need. Best wishes flowers

Brendawymms Mon 22-Sep-14 21:01:19

As a qualified counsellor I have various ideas as to what will help and its finding the counselling style and the right person but do give it a go. In the mean time perhaps writing down how you feel and then destroy the letter in whatever way you like May help. Burn it, bury it, tear it into a million pieces whatever. Get it off your chest and let the anger go.

rubylady Tue 23-Sep-14 03:30:41

Counselling for me helped me have a better understanding of myself and has helped me look at other problems since and work out ways in which to deal with them, so I would definitely say go for it. My son is having counselling at the moment and for the most time it is helping him, although he does have lapses, but he is not through with it yet so maybe in time he will be better in control of his outbursts. It is hard to know what is normal teen behaviour and what needs to be sorted out with a counsellor.

But I had counselling after my daughter left for uni some 8 years ago, although it wasn't just about her, it was allsorts of things, childhood abuse, my divorce, her leaving, it all came down on me like a tonne of bricks. But it really did help. You have nothing to lose by going and trying it. Good luck and keep posting until you find someone to help you professionally. flowers

TwiceAsNice Tue 23-Sep-14 07:45:23

Hi Posie I work as a counsellor and have also had counselling in the past myself the second time quite recently due to my very acrimonious divorce. Please try it. You can be referred to a NHS counsellor at your GP surgery but waiting times vary for this. If you can afford it you would have more choice if you could pay privately. The average price of a session is usually around £45. If you do this check out the counsellors qualifications how they work and how experienced they are. A good counsellor will never mind you asking these questions, also ask them if they have professional indemnity insurance and if they belong to a professional body. Unfortunately anyone can set themselves up in private practice with few qualifications it has taken me years to do the comprehensive training I have done.

A good way to check out the counsellor you choose or to find one you think you would like is log on to the BACP site ( British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) which many counsellors are registered with .they have sections telling you about vetted practitioners in your area, what their expertise is, and how they work. You might like to know that research shows antidepressant medication and therapy together produce the best outcomes for people feeling better. Good luck I hope you soon feel more positive, take care of yourself

Granny23 Tue 23-Sep-14 11:28:04

Posie If you are in Scotland the link you need is
COSCA is the governing body, regulating training and accreditation and maintaining the register for all counsellors active in Scotland.

Deedaa Thu 25-Sep-14 21:13:19

Like you Posie I am in two minds about the usefulness of counselling, but I think that in your case it could be a real help, You are not able to talk to the person directly involved but you could talk to a counsellor and at least work through some of your feelings and find some sort of resolution.

Cerasus Fri 26-Sep-14 12:14:26

I was very sceptical about the usefulness of counselling in my present depression which began over a year ago. But I didn't want to just rely on medication and took up the offer of CBT. I am so grateful that I did. It has helped me work out the things I can change and the things I can't and how to deal with my feelings in a way I did not think was possible. I am now well on the way to a recovery. I realise that I have been lucky to find such a good therapist this time (and this is the fourth time around over 40 years). Whilst having no experience of your situation which is so deeply distressing to you I honestly don't see what you have to lose by trying counselling. But if you do start, try to stick at it for at least 6 or 8 sessions before deciding if it helps. As others have said it takes time to build trust.
Be kind to yourself and good luck.

Londongirl Fri 26-Sep-14 15:12:04

I have had counselling in the past, when my marriage was going through a rough patch. I felt I needed help from someone completely impartial who could show me how to avoid going round in circles with OH. I though it was very useful but quite tough at times, especially when we were given "homework" to do before the next session. It helps you find ways of coping and working through problems. Definitely worth a try.

jamsidedown Sat 27-Sep-14 14:27:17

posie my heart goes out to you at this difficult time for you, you must be in a complete turmoil. I had counselling three years ago after my son died. I wasn't sure if it helped at the time and to be honest I am still not sure. I was angry, distraught and am still those things even now. I think it is important to get the right counsellor for you and if it is not working to maybe try a different approach. Strangely I found exercise helped, going for walks listening to music or audiobook on headphones to fool my brain into stopping racing. Whatever you do, I do truly hope that you can find some peace and comfort during this terrible time. flowers