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Question
Posted by: Joshua | 2005/12/09

Looking for THE Therapist

I'm looking for a therapist that will help me with issues that revolve around my sexuality, relationships and self esteem. I have tried 3 different therapists in the past year and two where a total waste of time. The third helped me with career guidance for next year, since he says that some of the problem stems from my feeling that I'm underachieving. Needless to say he has 6 degrees through Unisa, so counselled me to study through them next year.

Last year I was thoroughly committed to a girl and had my heart set on marrying her. I am 29 and she is 26. I have dated since I was 14, but I was her first boyfriend. We courted for 3 years and did not have sex during that period. She broke it off because she found out that I occasionally looked at porn and said this was being "unfaithful in my heart and mind".

Well, I was really broken up and very angry about it. I've struggled with my self-esteem a lot since then and also struggle to commit to a relationship. I've had some casual relationships this year but really would like to build towards having a single, loving relationship and falling in love again. I don't want to waste more time on worthless therapy sessions and need to find a professional that I can build trust with, who will challenge me and who really wants to help me get to a better place in my self.

I do not have a preference as to gender of the therapist, but would like them to be close-ish to Edenvale.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sorry that wo of the counsellors didn't work well with you, and sorry too that the girl had apparently such highly unrealistic expectations from you, indeed from any partner. Don't let it dent your self-esteem. Now, you know we can't, for various excellent reasons, keep track of all therapists or recommend any specific shrink. Your concept sounds right, but alas there's no easy way to discover a good therapist, and then amongst those, the one thagt will "clicl" best with you, other than trial and error. Pity there's not some variety of computer-dating service to match therapist and client !

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Joshua | 2005/12/09

Frusty,

Thanks. I have spent a lot of time with introspection and have made tremendous progress on my own. I'm at a point where I am at an impass on many levels. I could sit back and consider that to be my best, but I feel that there is so much more realisation to be done.

Honestly, I may have many childhood issues that I would like to work through that my own efforts would not do justice. In any case, what better way to spend medical aid? It's not something I want to gift my future love with and seems to come up inevitably if anyone takes the time to scratch beneath superficial appearances.

My father committed suicide when I was five. My mother never remarried. My sister committed suicide when she was 25. I was 21. I have a brother remaining. My extended family did not participate during my childhood years.

I was in boystown on and off growing up. I was molested when I was 10 and male raped at 15. I started sex, drugs at 14 and I feel that I have never had an entirely successful romantic relationship.

I grew up with an odd name and an odd religion, without a father and not getting involved in any team sport. Being a vegetarian librarian I didn't go to many braais, but I read a lot of books.

I quit drugs, smoking and alcohol at 21 and starting picking up the pieces of my life. I never entirely gave up sex, but I made the decision to commit to my relationships where it had been a disposable commodity before. I focussed on dealing with the anger, bitterness and depression that I felt as well as the confusion and other mental cr+p from the drugs I had taken. 8 years later, I am so glad I changed it around. I have a steady job, am quite in touch with my feelings and have been able to have some very committed relationships where I've been vulnerable, grown in them and generally recovered well when they didn't work out.

Reply to Joshua
Posted by: Frusty | 2005/12/09

Sorry, I am butting in here, but have you tried exploring your personality and what makes you tick on your own? I will tell you why I ask. I did it on my own and it has given me such a sense of self-empowerment and a knowledge of myself that no other person could possibly have gotten out of me.

Reply to Frusty
Posted by: Joshua | 2005/12/09

Thanks for the feedback. Perhaps a dating site wouldn't be such a bad idea. I wonder if anyone would like to expand on what things to look for when "shopping" for a therapist. Indicators that would clearly point towards whether it would work after maybe one or three sessions.

Things that already spring to mind that I would be looking for:
+ Building a trust relationship - do I trust that person enough to tell them that I was raped at 15?
+ Pro-active - Do they just "bounce" questions back at me, or do they explore the layers of my personality?
+ Solution orientated - Do I walk away with simple, practical "tools" that equip me to deal with my issues or do they create a dynamic where I am continually dependant on them?

I don't want to spend another year carrying around this baggage. I long to walk light and free.

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