Something I hear about quite often is of people trying therapy and it not working for them. Nonetheless, they tend not to define exactly 'why' it's not for them, but they say it 'didn't work' 'the therapist was rubbish', and so on.
I'm someone who has been through enough therapists to recognise the bad from the good, and in my lifetime have had a total of one decent therapist/counsellor who has legitimately helped. That was back when I was 17/18 years old when I was receiving CAMHS treatment. For me, a therapist has to care about the patient they are treating. Not be there for the money, knowing that they're getting paid at the end of it all. With a lot of therapists, you know which ones care and which don't. And that's why I've persevered and struggled through so many different ones, because there are some out there who don't care.
I'm back in therapy again after a year of saying I was never going to go back to it. I saw a private counsellor before that and she was one who not only didn't appear to care but what she did care about was the £30 she was receiving at the end of the session. Sessions were very formal and structured and sounded like something she had scripted beforehand, and that type of treatment wasn't for me.
However, recently I got back in contact with a private counsellor that I saw for 6 weeks when I was 13 years old. She was the first course of treatment I ever had after the school/my parents had concerns about my eating and self-harming. I received six free sessions through my Mum's job at the time, and after that, as my illness was highly stigmatised by my parents my Mum wasn't willing to pay for any more treatment. Weirdly, throughout the years, I remembered this counsellor and desired her and her methods and her empathy/care towards me. Remembering her still now, whilst struggling immensely, I got back in contact recently and weirdly enough, she remembered me even after 7 years, reminding me about where my parents worked etc. And speaking to her on the phone felt natural, right, she wanted to see me and help me. And I've seen her twice now and I've never ever felt so optimistic about treatment, possibly ever.
She's been the first counsellor to ever tell me that she'll always be there for me. And that sounds silly, doesn't it? But you'd be surprised at the amount of counsellors out there who don't say that to clients. My counsellor has given me this sense of optimism that I WILL get through this dark stage of my life and I WILL find what works for me. Most importantly, this WILL pass and I WILL recover, one day, no matter how long it takes.
I guess the point of this blog today is to persevere and keep trying to find the source of treatment that works for YOU. Some people automatically assume that trying therapy once and it 'not working' means that they're doomed to suffer forever and it doesn't have to be that way. Therapists and counsellors are people too and some people do clash and some peoples methods and styles of treatment do not suit everybody. And that's why there are so many different and varied forms of treatment out there - to suit a variety of individuals. Don't feel like you SHOULD be cured because you are in therapy, and that it MUST work. If you are not happy with your form of treatment, change it. Keep changing until it's right. Because you and your recovery are important and you should fight to receive the treatment you deserve. Try every option in the book. My point is that you can't say that you've given up hope unless you've tried everything. And often, everything possible out there is endless.
I'm in a really dark place at the moment and I'm not saying that I'm going to magically feel better overnight but to have someone finally there who believes and has hope in me and who WANTS to support me through this tough time is all I need, sometimes. And I'm thankful I've found that form of treatment and you should never give up until you've found yours. When it's right, it feels right. It clicks and falls into place. Giving up, is not an option. And I can't say I've never given up and I'm fighting so hard right now not to.
Whether it be through therapy or counselling, inpatient treatment, drugs, art/creative therapy, or even self-help, NEVER stop searching for recovery. Don't rest until you find what works for you. You deserve to be happy and have the life that you want to live.
I believe that recovery and happiness out there for me, somewhere. And inside, I know you all do for yourselves too. So let's find it. Not next week, or next year, NOW.
P.s - If you are looking for different kinds of services in and around the UK I strongly suggest you download an app available for iPhone and Android called WellHappy. The app has been in progress for quite a few months now and a beautiful friend of mine named Kat has spent months slaving away putting together mental health services and information about mental health down into this one app. The official launch is next week (which I am going to) but in the meantime download it - it's brilliant!