Question for anyone seeing a psychologist

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 2/18/2009 10:27 PM (GMT -7)   
How many psychologists did you go through to find the right one for you?

My first psychologist was amazing and gave me my diagnosis for depression. After two visits, my insurance decided not to cover her and since seeing her costs $250 per visit, my mom started looking for a new one. So I went to a therapist who basically talked the whole time about nutrition! And I could barely get a word in edgewise. The psychologist I'm seeing now gets very off topic and just asks me about how I'm feeling physically- not emotionally, how my doctors appointments have been going, etc.. And thinks I'm as happy as can be.

Is this normal or do I just have terrible luck? confused
Fifteen years old. Fibromyalgia, chronic myofascial pain, chronic headaches, chronic migraines, costochondritis, TMJ, patella femoral syndrome, insomnia, depression, anxiety.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 2/18/2009 10:45 PM (GMT -7)   
If you are not comfortable with the therapist and don't feel like you are getting anything out of it, see if you can try a new one. I do know that you need to have someone you are comfortable with. My mom has probably had 20 therapists over the last 25 years and most of them were not a good fit for her. (The frequent changes were due to insurance or staff changes)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 2/19/2009 1:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Insurance companies usually have lists of the providers they cover.  Maybe you can get that list?  Call them and they should be able to email the list or it may be available on line already.
Then the best thing is to get referrals.  Ask you primary care doc/ ARNP if they can recommend anyone from the list.   Your first psych's office may be able to help too.  They understand this changing insurance thing.  A school conselor may be able to help.
Another idea is to join a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibro support group.  Or any group really that deals with chronic illness.  Ask around and see if there are some psych's they have had good experiences with.
Hope you are able to find one that "clicks".  They are a valuable resource in dealing with anxiety, depression and chronic illness.
It is important to find someone that will listen to your concerns and discuss them with you.  You should feel comfortable enough that you can really open up about how you feel and tell them what is going on.  This is one of those things where the more you open up, the more they can help you.
I'll have to find a new psych too cause I won't be able to afford the out-of-pocket anymore.  I haven't started looking yet.  It makes me shakehead   cause I really like the one I have now and she has helped a lot.
Lyme, anxitey, depression, chronic C. Pnuemoniae
"... expect the unexpected ..."  (O. Wilde)
"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." (Mark Twain)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 2/19/2009 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm so sorry you had to leave the psych you felt so comfortable with.  I'm really thankful to have insurance but it can be such a pain to deal with.
I've gone to counselors a couple of different times in my life, and I did have to go through 2-3 each time to find a good fit. I don't think it's unusual not "click" with some of them.  My husband has been a couple of times in his life too, and same thing, he had to do a little trial and error.
Agmaar has some great suggestions.  Also, some therapists specialize in different areas.  Depending on what you are going for, you might call around and try to find one with lots of experience dealing with your particular concerns.
Hugs - Austen
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of  heart." - Jane Austen
Fibromyalgia, 2 back surgeries, Meniere's Disease, 30+ kidney stones, GERD, IBS, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Heart Arrythmia, Myofascial Pain, TMJ.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 2/19/2009 10:28 AM (GMT -7)   
It's often difficult to find the right psych helper/listener when you are a teen because many of them don't specialize in helping teens. They slip into the "adult - tell you what to do" role and leave you out in the cold. That was my experience as a teen. You and your mom will just have to keep looking. Might be helpful if you ask the receptionist before your appointment if the psychologist has treated teens with fibromyalgia before.

You don't mention meds (and I haven't read all of your posts) but are you on anything for depression? Research has shown that fibros have lowered amounts of serotonin in our brains which causes a lot of problems for us. Serotonin is used by the brain for handling pain response, circadian rhythms (sleep cycles), anxiety (fight or flight) response, and a bunch of other stuff, especially mood. If you are deficient in serotonin (and almost all fibros are!) then the obvious treatment would be to boost your serotonin levels.

This can be achieved in a few different ways. One is by taking an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) like Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft or Paxil. These meds are all a bit different in the way they work so sometimes you need to try one for a few weeks and possibly make a switch to a different one to find one that works best for you. The other ways that I know of to raise your serotonin levels are by consuming carbohydrates and increasing your light exposure. Direct exposure to sunlight or a Seasonal Affected Disorder lamp or broad spectrum light designed to mimic sunlight will help the body to produce more serotonin. Some people use tanning to 'help them feel better' and don't even realize that besides tanning they are raising their serotonin levels.

The "comfort foods" many peeps eat in the winter are high carb which is a natural means of helping the body manufacture more serotonin. We (firbros) generally burn up our serotonin as fast as we make it but the carbs can help a bit. Even though I'm diabetic when I am desperate for sleep and have already taken a Tylenol PM (and still wide awake!) I'll fix a bowl of Ramen noodles and within 20 minutes I'm sleeping like a rock.

Exposure to broad spectrum, ultraviolet light during the darker winter months can help your body manufacture more serotonin if you are of northern European ancestry. In school this can be achieved by sitting close to the windows and at home you can often use a "special" reading lamp. I found one at Aldi's for $10 last fall and although it has a small bulb I aim it right at my face as I work in the evening and it helps me with my S.A.D.

I wish I could be more helpful. I remember my teen years as a fibro and I wasn't even diagnosed back then. (the '60s) I just tried to hide my pain and keep up with my school work. One of my only outlets was writing poetry, just for myself. On bad days I could write and get all the gloom out, on good days I could get some pretty good stuff down on paper and then later, when I was down again it would often give me a boost, remembering that not all days were glum.

Wish I could help more.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 2/19/2009 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your feedback. I do have the list, and I think the problem is that my mom was only looking for therapists specializing in biofeedback. But I already proved I am not responsive to it, so we will have a much broader range now. And yeah, it's very hard to find psychologists who are good with teenagers, even when they say they are, they sometimes aren't. I've been to pediatric doctors that didn't know how to act around me.

Thanks Jeannie, you really did help a lot. I am not on any meds for depression, I was depressed even before fibro. Though it's definitely made me a lot more unhappy. I'll definitely try your suggestions though. :-)
Fifteen years old. Fibromyalgia, chronic myofascial pain, chronic headaches, chronic migraines, costochondritis, TMJ, patella femoral syndrome, insomnia, depression, anxiety.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 2/19/2009 12:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I second whoever suggested getting a recommendation from your GP/PCP, if you like your GP. I've been through many counselors (psychologists and psychiatrists) starting back when I was 8 years old (16 years ago) and I've found the best ones have been recommended by my GP b/c he gets lots of feedback from other patients on these doctors, and he knows me pretty well and can feel out a good fit. Also, it is w/in your rights to request a phone consultation from a therapist before you have an office visit. That way you may be able to tell if you click or don't click and you won't have to waste your time visiting a whole bunch of doctors. Definitely keep searching to find one that is a good fit though, b/c otherwise there is really no benefit to seeing a therapist. I went to a few sessions with a therapist that was highly recommended by a friend, and I felt bad admitting I didn't feel comfortable with her, so I just kept going and ended up not sharing things with her or lying to her. That's just a waste of time AND money.

Good luck!
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