Therapy – ‘Professional’ Help for ‘Relationship’ Issues (or Lack Thereof)

Psych

Relationships (and dating) can be frustrating. Whether it’s the nagging wife whinging about that pile of dishes, having your hopes built up by yet another Tinder boy who just sees you as a sex toy, or having to fend off unrequited love from that stalker who sends you Roxette tunes – this stuff is enough to make a person lose their mind (and give some serious consideration to a life of Spinsterdom – DON’T).

Luckily, most of us have good friends we can vent to about matters of the heart.  In most cases, these people have been there themselves and can offer insights and advice. Furthermore, your friends should know you pretty well and are therefore in a good position to put things in perspective For example, once when I thought I was dying of a broken heart, a friend told me to scroll back through a FB convo to see that I had been crying about the same thing just a couple of months previously (with another guy) and pointed out that I would bounce back from the latest rejection in a matter of days – Thanks Umarian!

But how about if you don’t have such fabulous friends? Well then, go cry to mummy  Or get a diary … I always find writing helps. Better yet, jump straight back on that horse. Go on Tinder date and vent away, utilise the dude as a therapist – hopefully you’ll get some useful male insights into your issues and free drinks thrown in for good measure. BOOM!

But jokes aside. What if there comes a point when your problems become too big for you and your besties to handle? How about when people start to roll their eyes when you mention the latest bad boy you’ve fallen for? Does there come a time when a person should seek professional help for their relationship woes? Hmm…

Not so long ago, after one too many dating disasters, I found myself considering therapy. But being a ‘Solve-My-Own-Problems’ kinda chick, I was very sceptical about it all. Maybe it’s that British stiff upper lip of mine but the thought of lying on a couch (I know … it’s a stereotype) and paying (yes, the financial implications can be significant) a stranger to listen to my first-world problems seems a little self-indulgent.

What surprised me most in my investigations into the whole therapy thing was how many people were actually into this thing. I thought therapy was one of those things that only Hollywood celebs did but it turns out that even the most humble, seemingly-sorted people you meet have a shrink (maybe, the shrink is the reason they are so sorted. Who knows?).

The other important thing I learnt is that while there are obviously good therapists out there – there are also plenty of charlatans. These ‘professionals’ will wave a piece of paper in front of you (claiming it’s a degree certificate when in fact it’s just their utility bill) and happily let you chit-chat away for an hour before collecting your hard-earned bucks (to pay for that electricity bill). So, I may not have a PhD is psychology but surely someone who advises a person to do something irresponsible and mean just to make themselves feel better isn’t really helping solve the problem but merely offering a quick fix solution.

To conclude, I guess the idea of therapy is good for some. In theory having a neutral person analysing your situation objectively should help, provided that they are suitably qualified for the job. However, in this instance I was fortunate to have good people to chat to/distract me from the bleak situation until I eventually snapped out of my depression and decided to take to all that money I would have spent on ‘professional’ help and go on holiday instead (getting away from the weird and wonderful men of Cape Town may have just been the answer to all my problems :P).

So Rinsers. What are your views on therapy? Have you ever sought professional help for your relationship/dating issues? If so, did it help? Are you one of those people who think that therapy could be the answer to everyone’s problems? Do you have any alternative advice for those who can’t afford to fork out for a shrink? Provide some insights in the comments below.

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39 comments

  1. haplessconfusion · March 31, 2016

    Professional therapy can be a great thing, but you have to be 100% honest with yourself for it to work and completely ready and dedicated to opening up and trying to change. This is why so many avoid therapy or quit, it’s not easy going into your past, talking to a stranger, hearing their words, thoughts, and advice. Kids and people who participated in counseling as kids tend to do a lot better in therapy as adults, teens and adults tend to sit down, blame therapists, and feel that they can solve their own problems. To a point they are right, anyone can solve their own problems, but again they have to be ready to truly look at themselves and why they do or cling to what they do…friends can be that as well.

    Psychology was my science in school. I didn’t pursue it in college, but it’s a natural thing for me helping others mainly friends. I’m at a point in my life where I am truly ready to open up and work towards change, but I have issues hearing what I already know come from professional counselors. While I have friends to talk with I don’t like to burden them with my repeated mistakes and don’t like rehashing my past…trust me, as great as they are they cannot keep my history straight, they have their own issues. I started my blog so that I can lay out my history, thoughts, and progress as it comes to mind so that once it’s out I can reference it without going into my head to relive it, distracting me from what I had originally started trying to work on. It’s all connected, but now it’s laid out not filling my head beyond capacity…it makes it so much easier to heal.

    Plus others see it, if you choose, and you see their stories and know you are not alone. That is the biggest thing that my friends can’t offer me because they have not survived what I have.

    I hope this all made sense. Bottom line, therapy is a great thing but make sure you truly want it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bklynboy59 · March 31, 2016

      what you said at the beginning made a lot of sense …Professional therapy can be a great thing, but you have to be 100% honest with yourself for it to work and completely ready and dedicated to opening up and trying to change….you have to be completely honest which means you have to talk about the things that are most uncomfortable…great point.

      Liked by 2 people

    • EnglishRosiee · March 31, 2016

      I think if a person is considering therapy, they need to weigh up their options carefully and make sure they go to see a qualified person. But then again no matter how qualified a person maybe there are still no guarantees when it comes to emotional issues – it is not an exact science. The biggest problem for me is that if a person is heartbroken they are not in the best space and some charlatan can come along and offer them a quick fix solution…because the person is desperate to get the issue solved they’ll pay up but get nothing in return.

      Liked by 1 person

      • haplessconfusion · March 31, 2016

        Good point! One could be in therapy for years and constantly saying the same things over and over again, but not move on. But sometimes thats what that person needs for a while, a good counselor will find a way to challenge them and help them get unstuck.
        I don’t think there truly is a quick fix solution typically offered, even meds take time and are temporary. Honestly I think people want the quick fix solution but don’t get it which is why they quit or bounce from one therapist to another. Therapy is a long term commitment typically.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. katemeyer71 · March 31, 2016

    I think, at the end of the day, if you’re worried about something it’s a good idea to do something about it. And yes, talking to someone is often a good place to start. I usually encourage people to speak to a loved one, someone that they trust. But if that’s not enough, then maybe talking to a professional can help. It’s not an easy thing for everyone to do, so developing rapport is important. Give it a couple of sessions. That might be all you need? Depends on what the issues are…of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · March 31, 2016

      Definitely agree with your point about confronting issues instead of covering them up. I think most of us try to distract at the start…boozing, running, eating chocolate – those are my usual go tos BUT they only offer a temp solution.

      I think talking is good to a point….but eventually you need to look for solutions.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. bklynboy59 · March 31, 2016

    If you don’t have friends to talk to then a diary or journals for guys is a good place to start. During one of the most troublesome time in my life I kept a journal to write out my thoughts and seeing my thoughts on paper helped a great deal to see how off centered I had become.
    If you decide to do therapy, be prepared to completely bare everything and see things you don’t want to see about yourself, things that will make you uncomfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · March 31, 2016

      Writing really does help. But then again I am a list person. Writing all this stuff down helps you to break it down into more manageable chunks. Sometimes talking can just have you going around in circles.

      You also have to be careful who you bare all too. You have to find someone you gel with I guess…otherwise you dig yourself a hole.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · March 31, 2016

        And it has to be someone that doesn’t tell your business to everyone else

        Liked by 1 person

      • EnglishRosiee · April 1, 2016

        Jeeeez. I hope if I was forking out money to these guys they’d have to sign a confidentiality agreement!!! Imagine all your private business being thrown around all over the place!

        Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · April 1, 2016

        It’s part of the world we live in and sadly not everyone we confide in can be mature about the things discussed

        Liked by 1 person

  4. duff_chic · March 31, 2016

    I can completely relate to all of these thoughts. Been there, done that. Although I’m not British, I am also a member of the “fix your own problems” club. I tend to be the one that my friends go to for advice, and I often forget that I can go to them as well. Of course, having several different groups of friends helps in different situations. The friends who are a little wilder, letting me know that one night stand was OK and not to let my Catholic upbringing guilt me from enjoying the tryst. The seriously married friends who give me advice on how to make compromises and make a relationship work. Or the other single gals who cannot understand men at all either. PLUS, there’s this blog. I can’t tell you how much better I have felt since writing it. It’s so nice to know that other women, who are amazing, are having the same issues. It really ISN’T me! Their are women of all different backgrounds, looks, and from other countries who are going through the same shit. So, the constant seems to be that men are really messes.
    I can confess to going to a therapist when I was younger to just try to get a grip on my life. Everyone else seems to have their shit together and I was struggling. I’ll admit, I still am. However, the therapist was NO HELP and actually told me about her problems. What? I don’t want to hear that. As a therapist, at least pretend to have it all figured out. Anyhoo, I just asked around (friends, co-workers, and strangers) and found that everyone actually is a completely clueless on how to navigate life or dating for that matter. We’re all just pretending to have it together and coming to epiphany’s over and over to get things a little more neatly in order. So relax, take a deep breath, and focus on doing whatever you want to do in this life. Relationships, travel, humanitarian efforts, or just watching every episode of your favorite shows. Life is hard. Life is messy. A good life leaves bruises, scars, scratches, and a wake of love and heartbreak.
    I did seek help for some grief counseling and found that quite helpful. Sometimes talking to someone who hasn’t heard it all can be nice. But then again, blogging has been a wonderful anonymous place to vent and get some advice, FOR FREE! Don’t fret, I’m also broke and trying to make it work. But then so is everyone else. Even rich people have money problems. You are never alone, and that’s the most important thing to remember.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · March 31, 2016

      Thanks for your epic comment and sharing your story. I’d be willing to give therapy a short if I thought it would be a long-term thing I was willing to invest in. However, I am not quite there yet. I have other priorities…more tangible things that I need to spend cash money on first. But it does work for some people and if it does help you get your shit together and function properly in the world then that’s great. But I just think people need to stop selling therapy as THE solution to the problem – there are no guarantees when it comes to these emotional things.

      Hope you keep following our blog. Look forward to more epic comments.

      Like

    • Victoria Fenton · April 6, 2016

      Please don’t think that all therapist should “pretend to have their shit together”. I have certificates and qualifications but I am convinced that a good part of my expertise comes because shit has happened to me and I’ve had to deal with it. A large part of that is the stage when you AREN’T coping – and if a therapist is promising you the universe, I’d question their credentials. No therapist should tell you their problems. But they can share anecdotes to imply they can relate. The best therapist is someone who has been forged in the fires of adversity and is still self-reflective. Anyone who claims to know it all is fooling themselves. But I also agree that people want quick fixes and place high expectations on therapists – I’ve got a couple of posts on my own blog about this very issue.

      Liked by 1 person

      • EnglishRosiee · April 6, 2016

        Thanks for reading and your comment. It is good to get some insight from someone working in the field. Part of the fact the people are so skeptical though is because there is too much information out there much of it that sounds like pie is the sky type stuff. If you are in a somewhat stable mental state I think you are OK to make a decision weighing up the pros and cons. But its the poor people that actually need the therapist and vulnerable that I worry some of these charlatons will take advantage of.

        Like

  5. shelldab · March 31, 2016

    When we are in the middle of a stressful situation we never see things as simple, or even the possibility that things might be simple. When you sit there and talk and wonder where to start and ramble away… your therapist/counselor takes it all in, makes it linear, wraps it up with a bow, and hands it back to you in a neat package that you can take a step back from, unwrap, and then wrap your mind around. It’s a beautiful thing. And that’s before any suggestions might be made on a game plan on how to “fix” things. Because sometimes at point, the picture becomes clear enough for you to know exactly what to do next on your own. To me its just a way to kind of clear the chaos and quiet the noise. But writing does that too in many ways, as you said. I’m pro-journaling and pro-seeking professional help!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · March 31, 2016

      I agree. Its all about sitting down and processing issues properly so they no longer seem insurmountable. I am not criticizing therapy. I think everyone should have therapy if they can afford it. But I think people get desperate and they are willing to seek help anywhere and there are many ‘therapists’ out there who charge a fortune for not much.

      My point is that for people who can’t justify forking out for therapy, there are other ways of sorting there issues – sport, writing, etc, etc. People solved emotional issues before therapy became a thing and we can go back there if we want. Sure if you can afford therapy/holiday whatever you need to get over your issues – do it! But just be careful not to throw away cash on quick fix solutions.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m 100% for therapy, for just about any reason, and I think it’s very helpful when trying to figure out why you might be failing in dating. If you can afford therapy, go for it. Do your research, and don’t be afraid to shop around if you feel like someone isn’t a good fit for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · April 1, 2016

      Really? Just about any reason?

      Don’t you think there are other, possibly better/more practical ways to sort out our issues? I’m not ruling out therapy. I’m just saying that people have been coping/getting over heartbreak, etc for centuries before therapy became a thing. And there are never any guarantees it’ll work.

      I’m not fully convinced, yet. But yes, I agree about shopping around. The therapist who works well for one person might not work on the other and then there are all kinds of different methodologies to get your head around.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know if there are necessarily better/more practical ways to deal with a mental health issue than to see someone specifically trained to deal with and understand those sort of issues, but I’m not saying I’m against any alternatives. I think there are alternatives you can try depending on the severity of your problem, I just would encourage people to view therapy not as a last ditch effort, or something only “crazy” people do. If you get a common cold and go to the doctor or don’t go to the doctor and the problem solves itself, no one bats an eye and I think it’d be a great idea to view therapy the same way.

        Oh, and I don’t know if “people have been coping/getting over heartbreak, etc for centuries” is something I agree with. A few centuries ago depending on where you were in the world, melancholia could get you committed to an asylum, especially if you were a woman. Or maybe you get condemned as a witch because you’re bipolar. I think that we’ve come extremely far with mental health treatment, and while there are no guarantees that treatment will always lead to success, that holds true with any other area of human treatment. I definitely encourage therapy for any reason, but don’t necessarily think that everyone has to go to therapy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • EnglishRosiee · April 1, 2016

        So maybe not everyone thinks the same way I do. But my thoughts about therapy were that everyone goes through heartbreak – in the third world people don’t have access to a therapists and such things but they cope and lead decent lives. So why can’t I figure out how they do it and copy it without following the first world route of therapy?! And its like painkillers…once you start using it for minor stuff, won’t we become too reliant on it? Sort of like an addiction. There are some people that can’t make a decision without consulting a therapist (and yes similar people can’t make a decision without their friends/family, etc).

        And my whole point boils down to the qualification. I don’t trust all of these qualifications. How is a person meant to know who to trust? All these psychologists sell different approaches…and say there way is best. A person I once knew used to go to a homeopath/psychologist (who she referred to as a Doctor although he didn’t have a a medical qualification or PhD) and he gave her peacock feathers to make her feel beautiful. She swore by his remedies. But I think these thinks are often a placebo. If Charlatons out there are promising crazy solutions like this I just worry there is too much scope for vulnerable/sad ppl with broken hearts to get taken advantage off. At least with medical doctors they have to do five years of med school to be called a doctor…they can’t prescribe rabied dogs saliva to the common cold just because they heard it worked in some remote island in the imagination. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Dan Alatorre AUTHOR · March 31, 2016

    I’ve always found talking to friends is good. After all, they know you and have your best interests at heart, and after unloading on one of them (and then another, and then ANOTHER) you have gotten it all out, bored them to tears (and maybe yourself) with your story, and possibly run through it enough times to know what to do to move forward. But by all means, if that isn’t for you or doesn’t work, seek therapy. Better to be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. bklynboy59 · April 5, 2016

    I know I made comments before on this but one question to you …what exactly do you think your problem is with relationships not lasting ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · April 5, 2016

      What do you mean? What is MY problem with relationships not lasting?

      Well I am not sure how exactly how to interpret that question … are you asking me what my problem is with MY relationships not lasting or with relationships in general not lasting?

      Well in either case…break-ups are not pleasant. But I don’t think I really have a problem with break-ups…after all it’s better that these things don’t last, than being stuck in a relationship that makes you unhappy or drags you down. Right?

      Like

  9. bklynboy59 · April 5, 2016

    you feel as if youre failing in relationships?

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · April 5, 2016

      Hmmm….Not really. This was a general post about the state of society and how people feel the need for the therapy to sort out relationship issues and whether or not this is a self-indulgent/first-world trend.

      Firstly, one needs to be in a relationship to fail at it (I could say I am failing at dating but not really at relationships) . And as such, the failure of a relationship is never down to one person only. Even in cases where one partner cheats … the failure of the relationship is also due to the other person making a bad judgement.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · April 5, 2016

        Ok but I guess my thought was you don’t talk about therapy unless you feel a need for it so knowing how you have been in and out of dating …the question came from that .

        Liked by 1 person

      • EnglishRosiee · April 5, 2016

        The post wasn’t meant to be about me needing therapy (although many people think I am crazy so would likely recommend it – LOL). It was just about my experiences with people and how therapy has become quite a thing now… I was just thinking out loud really.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · April 5, 2016

        okay

        Like

      • bklynboy59 · April 5, 2016

        Let me re work the question … would you reconsider rethinking your approach to dating?

        Like

      • EnglishRosiee · April 5, 2016

        Would I reconsider my approach to dating. Sure. Although I haven’t worked out an alternative yet.

        My previous approach was to give everyone (within reason) who showed an interest a chance…but after many bad dates one becomes disillusioned. Maybe I’ll employ a more organic approach…but lets see, hey?

        Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · April 5, 2016

        suggestion …figure out what type of person you really are attracted to and what person you are looking to attract in a long term relationship, if you like the bad boy types then understand you will continue to get the same results. Not everyone is worth of getting the same chance because not everyone appreciates the chance.

        Liked by 1 person

      • EnglishRosiee · April 5, 2016

        Thanks for the advice 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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