Gransnet forums


Seven years of therapy?

(55 Posts)
Artdecogran Sat 08-Feb-20 12:46:41

This is not a post about you know who but a discussion about having therapy. Seven years to solve a problem seems a very very long time to me. Does not talking about a problem for so long keep reinforcing the problem in your mind. A bit like picking a scab endlessly and not letting it heal over. The prison service used to give 6 sessions with a therapist for staff to over come work stress/problems. I wonder if that was enough now to help people. Does therapy need to be lifelong, the Americans seem to have continual therapy. Has anyone had experience of therapy and if so, for how long and did it help. No need for personal details. My husband died 14 months ago after fighting stage 4 colon cancer for 7 years; during his illness I called the Macmillan councillors a few times and I found it immensely helpful, but I haven’t spoken to anyone since his death. If therapy was free would you use it and how long would you use it for? Or is it American ‘let it all out’ versus British ‘stiff upper lip’?

Sara65 Sat 08-Feb-20 12:52:11

Oh goodness, what a question, and how can you really know if you’ve never had it?

I’m certain it has its place, and without doubt it does a lot of good for lots of people.

For me personally? I don’t think I’d be very good at talking about myself, certainly not week in, week out.

But as they say, I suppose it’s a case of whatever gets you through the night.

MissAdventure Sat 08-Feb-20 12:58:28

I think there is some research that suggests that just talking about a problem for years isn't all that helpful in some cases.

That's why things like CBT and EMDR are gaining popularity.

They deal with issues in a different way.

Nezumi65 Sat 08-Feb-20 13:05:46

There are so many different types. For some issues there may need to be years or of undoing layers of problems. For others there may just need to be support in helpful to park a thought.

Trauma often needs a different approach than other concerns.

MawB Sat 08-Feb-20 13:26:22

Some problems are not solvable but therapy/counselling offer the opportunity to talk things out with a disinterested person - not family, not friends, not neighbours and not with someone who comes up with a “solution”.
As a nation we have for a long time believed in the stiff upper lip, “keep buggering on” , not wearing our heart on our sleeve, there are any number of cliches.
In Catholic countries, confession and absolution has been known to provide an opportunity to offload and for many people this is helpful.
The appalling statistics of suicide among young men who are not able to open up to anybody speak for themselves.
Counselling may not work for everybody, it certainly won’t make a problem like bereavement go away, but if it helps to cope with it, that has to be good.

Sara65 Sat 08-Feb-20 13:37:39

In my early twenties I had a virus which seemed to leave me very low and depressed. My doctor thought it may have been connected to a traumatic experience a few years before, and suggested having a chat with a counsellor.

I think I went about three times, I felt that she asked me lots is stuff I felt was irrelevant, and what probably was relevant I couldn’t talk about.

Also it made me cry, which I didn’t like, but realise now, may not have been a bad thing

I think at the time I felt the whole thing embarrassing, and didn’t tell anyone.

BlueBelle Sat 08-Feb-20 13:39:01

Counselling is extremely useful getting the problem/s out of your head is a major step forward and then finding and discovering coping strategy’s together with the counsellor is a huge stage and yes to continue the counselling /support while you are working through is very necessary and of course you re not constantly talking over the original problem or (picking at the spot)
Seven years I wouldn’t expect though, that feels to me as if the necessary work hasnt been done properly and although everyone is different and some will take longer than others if you aren’t well enough after seven years I d change methods or counsellors

timetogo2016 Sat 08-Feb-20 13:40:55

Therapy costs nothing when you have good friends who you trust.

Anniebach Sat 08-Feb-20 14:10:27

Good friends can’t always help a person to move forward

Nezumi65 Sat 08-Feb-20 14:12:26

That can certainly help in some cases tinetogo. I have friends who I can offload to - but if I didn’t or if my problems were more significant it would be helpful to pay someone. Friends may not have any understanding of some situations or can get worn out!!

EllanVannin Sat 08-Feb-20 14:19:05

What did people do years ago when there was no such thing as therapy or counselling ?

MissAdventure Sat 08-Feb-20 14:21:43

Beat their wives, secretly drank, slept with unsuitable people, cried themselves to sleep every night, looked forward to dying..

Jaffacake2 Sat 08-Feb-20 16:33:33

I went to a counsellor years ago post divorce. She talked about my childhood and I told her of the abuse I went through. She cried in front of me saying it was the worst experience she had ever come across.
I left feeling just intense guilt at having upset her and never told anyone again.

rosecarmel Sat 08-Feb-20 16:47:53

In the US, happiness is a pursuit, encompassing every avenue one might choose to acquire it throughout the course of their lives- Therapy is simply one path among multitudes-

bingo12 Sat 08-Feb-20 17:29:26

There was someone on mumsnet this morning whose thread seems to have disappeared who had therapy for 7 years because she was badly treated as a child by her mother - she still feels absolutely dreadful about it. Therapy does not seem to have helped her. She was asking if she should try to get police to prosecute her mother now. Most replies were not to do so. I was going to suggest hypnosis so she could just ''blank out'' the memories - but the thread had gone.

Sara65 Sat 08-Feb-20 17:34:39

I am probably wrong, because my brush with counselling was extremely brief, but surely all you are doing is going over and over the same things.

ExD1938 Sat 08-Feb-20 17:37:37

Isn't 'therapy' all about digging up blanked out memories and facing up to them? Isn't that how we're supposed to come to terms with our bad experiences and help ourselves to serenity?

paddyanne Sat 08-Feb-20 17:40:21

I dont believe talking about any problem for 7 years will make anyone feel better about it .I am involved with a group of bereaved parents ,there are some who can move on and get on with life ,keeping the loss in the background and others who fill every waking hour of every day with their pain...It all has to be about THEIR loss and they take every opportunity to make sure we know their loss was worse then all the rest of us put together.
When they refused to let someone not in the group put their dead childs name on the memorial I left .I know grief is selfish,I've been there, but this woman is 20 years down the line and she should understand that every dead baby is just as important as hers .I'm now of the opinion that talking about it constantly is just picking at the scab ,it will never heal if you dont let it .

Daisymae Sat 08-Feb-20 17:59:01

I was thinking the same thing. Counsellors have their place and I am sure that some will have people going over old ground forever. Life is painful and we have to live with that. The best therapist would give someone the tools to deal with issues and move on. Otherwise there's no healing involved.

Nezumi65 Sat 08-Feb-20 18:08:49

Bingo - I think a goal of therapy should be to move on & be free to live a full life. It sounds in that case as if the person needed a change in therapy style. I don’t think there’s necessarily a problem with 7 years of therapy if you are moving on and feeling you are getting to where you want to be. If you are getting stuck going over the same thing time after time maybe it is time for a different approach (a good therapist should recognise that though & call an end to something that isn’t helpful).

anniezzz09 Sat 08-Feb-20 18:09:25

Seven years does seem a long time, but leaving the exact period aside, counselling allows someone to share their feelings with a private but objective person who has been trained to listen (and most people in the UK aren't good at listening).

As someone up the thread has said, before there were counsellors available, people went to a vicar or priest (who might then abuse them!) or they distracted themselves by beating their wives, kicking the dog, getting drunk, over eating, beating their children and generally being bitter and difficult to others.

There are many types of counselling and many types of problems. I really don't think you can generalise. There is also the question of resilience which may be down to personality, circumstances, having someone, just one person, who cares for them in childhood or other resources (such as a reasonable income) which help them to feel content and able to find a job and live a normal life without abusing others.

We've got huge problems with pornography, child abuse and loneliness in this country, I don't think deciding there's something wrong with people who ask for help and use counsellors is very useful.

Jomarie Sat 08-Feb-20 18:10:19

I agree with you Daisymae wholeheartedly.

Kamiso Sat 08-Feb-20 18:33:32

Talking to friends is totally different to talking to a skilled therapist. Friends may well want to empathise by telling your their problems, offer their own opinions and suggest what actions to take rather than giving you the opportunity to work things out for yourself. There is also the possibility that they may not maintain confidentiality and once you have told them something deep and personal it may well change your relationship. You can't untell it. It is very common to be tearful at some stage - you wouldn't be there if life hadn't thrown a spanner in the works. If it's not helping after 10-20 sessions then perhaps it's time to call it a day or find a new counsellor. If you've had a lifetime of trauma it may well take longer to unravel. PH's case is very different as he is trapped in a life that he didn't choose and it's very difficult to break away from.

Daisyboots Sat 08-Feb-20 18:39:26

I think someone having counselling for 7 years could be being ripped off because you couldnt get that on the NHS. Either that or they dont want to feel better and are happy to keep paying.

In 2015 my DH was finally diagnosed with PTSD and he got just a two week live in course at Combat Stress. Which was useless. His own GP arranged for him to see a NHS counsellor for anger management problems. He was lucky because he got one of the last people to be able to get 12 weeks counselling straight off on the NHS. This lady really worked wonders with my DH and turned his thinking right around. My DH still has PTSD but her work helped him so much and he can cope much better now. I will forever be grateful to her because I now have my loving husband back.

Grannyben Sat 08-Feb-20 20:15:34

I had counselling last year, 8 years after a very traumatic divorce which left me broken. The time was just right. I honestly don't think, if I'd had it any earlier, it would have been such a benefit to me. In a way, it was almost like I had to get myself to the end of the road and they then have me the tools to get round the corner.

I had 12 sessions in total and she just spoke common sense but it helped me get everything into perspective.