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PTSD Spouse – Finding A Therapist

September 14, 2011

According to my wife, this is by far the most often asked question that she receives.  How do you find a therapist?  Recomendations usually com from friends and sometimes other professionals but it is reaally important to always remember that there are good and bad therapists just like there are good and bad in every other professions.

This truism is coupled with the uniquness of the profession itself.  Thetherapist/patient relationship is a very intimate relationship where you, the patient, need to bare the most intimate things about yourself.  It isn’t the time to try and hide or rearrange the facts to make yourself look different than you really are.  Since your personal truths are secrets, oftentimes, letting them become known is probelmatic. 

We start as children trying to figure out our World.  We build walls to protect ourselves from being hurt.  These walls become both a fortress and a prison and we are emprisoned by them on the inside as much as protected by them from the outside.  These walls have been created by a child and usually work throughout our childhood until something goes wrong, we grow up.  We need to reexamine these potectiv devices that once were so effective and update and/or change them so that as  adults they again are workable.

As, I’m sure you know by now, change can be painful and scary.  Giving up something that you know for something that you are not as sure of, is a difficult thing to do.  So it is not at all unusual for the messenger to take some of the reactionary blame.  The therapist, who is pushing for this change can sometimes be blamed and running away from them, blaming them for not working fast enough, or too fast, is more normal than you can imagine.

This is why it is so important to not only respect, but like the therapist that you choose.  They will be acting as your support system through your transition.  Training and credentials are important.  These certainly provide the therapist with the tools ncessary to find ways through your personally designed maze.  Credentials do not necessarily guarantee that you two have a rapport and can work effectively together.  If you are not satisfied with the therpist you’ve chosen, then change.  My cautionary tale is to not always blame the therapist.  To achieve result you must be willing to do the “work”.  My wife always refers to anonymous patients that are doing such good “work”.  The willingness to go down new paths to find your personal answers is obviously not easy.  Always remember that it has taken you a lifetime to get to where you are today, to make the changes could take some time but the stuggle is worth it!

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