One of the most positive things a psychologist has ever said to me is “I work for you.”
I don’t take that as an impersonal approach to our relationship, I take that as someone handing me the reigns for my treatment. It’s not about what the DSM says I should behave like, it’s not about what meds my previous therapist thought I should be on, it’s not about what my parents or friend or boyfriend says; it’s not even what she, as a psychologist, says. It’s about what I say, what I want to do, where I want to go. And if I don’t know that yet, it’s alright; it’s my job to find it.
When you go into a pdocs office or a counselors office and they say “how can I help you today?” Don’t take a defensive stance. Guess what? Even if you walk in and say straight up; I’m diagnosed Bipolar 1, they still aren’t going to have an instant answer for you. It’s your job to take control of what you want to work on. You tell them your criteria for your treatment. If it’s anxiety and you don’t want medication, say it straight up. If you do want medication, say it straight up. They are a guidance, not your parents. The more you take the reigns on your own treatment, the more success you will likely experience.
Sound harsh? It should. The last thing you need to do is self stigmatize and constantly repeat in your head “Oh God I need help, I need help, there’s something wrong with me, someone needs to fix me”.
You are such a strong person, worthy of taking control of your life. If you’re not sure how to do that, then hey guess what? Go in to your counselor and say I don’t know how to take control of my life.
No matter what office you walk into, what kind of doctor you visit, You have to remember that you have an insight to your feelings they’ll never have. That doesn’t mean shoot down their recommendations nor does it mean ignore their advice. It just means when you feel disrespected, you say it. When you feel she/he didn’t understand your point, don’t walk out the office kicking yourself for what you should have said.
It means you’re the boss. Yep. Get used to your throne. You’re on it for the rest of your life.
It’s all about you. That’s why your insurance (or your pocket) is paying for this “treatment”. It’s for you, not them, and if they’re not willing to accept you for that, get a new one.