Is too much counselling not always a good thing?

I've just had my appointment with my gp and we discussed how my counselling had gone and I said I was hoping to see someone else privately (low cost though!) and she suggested that it might be a good idea to give myself a few months break from it and limit to about 12 sessions each time. She said that its not always good to become dependent on it. I do sort of understand that, but I just wanted to know what advice other people had been given on this?

Katie

7 Replies

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  • It varies very much according to what lies behind your depression etc.and the style in which counselling is carried out. I have short spells, but this is primarily for financial reasons.

    Ann

  • It's a difficult one...I'm not entirely sure what's behind my depression to be honest. I do know some of the reasons but probably for financial reasons I won't be able to do it for too long anyway. I had no idea it would cost so much, even low cost is a lot!

    When you're not having counselling do you feel like you need or miss it or are you able to manage ok? I know things are different so it might sound like an odd question!

  • How much does counselling cost, if you don't mind me asking?

  • Mine is £42 for 50 minutes.

  • There are some very different approaches to counselling. Some counsellors will act as sounding boards and only occasionally intervene if they feel that things are really going off into irrelevancy. Others are very much focused on a process. The first type worked well for me. The second didn't because I wasn't really able to build up a relationship of trust with the therapist. I also think that what I needed was more of the safety-valve/sounding board environment.

    I don't know if you were thinking about seeing both therapists at the same time but it's unlikely that you would find two counsellors who would agree to that - it's not really fair on you as they might be leading you in different directions with different approaches.

    If the counselling is part of a process then the breaks may also be a good idea - not because of dependency but because you need time to come to terms yourself and practice what you may have learnt and experienced but it's pretty scarey to find yourself looking at the precipice of nothing when you are scared and feel you need some support. Are there any local groups you could join in the 'gaps' that would give you a save environment in which to share and learn from others in a less structured way - Mind seem to organise groups like that in a lot of areas. Though this group is good for stuff on line but we all benefit from some face to face input as well.

    My counsellor did eventually encourage me to stop because his assessment was that things were back on track enough not for me to need the safety net but there was always the option of going back - though I think he's now retired but that wouldn't stop me finding someone else if I needed to.

    I'd suggest talking through your concerns with your GP to try and get clear what your needs are by way of therapy and by way of safety net and if there are any better ways of providing the safety net.

    Having said all that though I did face a similar situation with physio therapy due to an ankle injury - just got really frustrated with NHS being every 2-3 weeks so went and found a physio who would see me weekly (except that even she needs a break so I'm now in the middle of a 3 week break). I'm lucky to be able to afford to do that and it has been the right decision for me. Sometimes its just good to take back a bit of control.

  • What a funny odd thing to say!!!! how can you become dependant, if counselling is to help you go through things, that you may find difficult and trust only one person to go through, its a building of trust. Its healthy to take a trained person ,,, and talk about things, that might help lift your view points on "things" as depression can give you quite a negative view on everything. Talking about things that are difficult helps!!! Not everyone has that social structure, thats why society is increasing people who are suffering depression.

    I think, maybe your doctor,,, and they are human,, maybe are transfering his own issues,, your quite brave to deal with your past issues. Not all gps knows what counsellors do,, what its all about ect...

    Do what you feel is right for you,,,do you feel better,, do you feel your getting through some stuff, and sometimes it gets worse before it gets much much better. Does it leave you "thinking",,, as thats part of the process.

    well done you x

  • Thanks for your comments, they've been very useful. Suzie - I think it costs about £40 to £50 per session, so I probably can't sustain that for the long term.

    Now I've had chance to calm down and look at things objectively I can see that maybe in some ways it not be good to become too dependent on talking to a counsellor because I do want to be able to work things through myself...eventually. But I think for now, even if I only commit to 6 weeks, I really do need to let some more of my feelings out so I am going to give it a try.

    I had to stop going to my previous counsellor because due to work commitments I couldn't stick to the same day and that was the only available slot. I could go back on the NHS, which I hadn't realised, but now I have contacted the new one I feel motivated to give it ago.

    Thanks everyone, your comments are really helpful x

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