Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I took my boyfriend to the therapist

I was finally able to take my boyfriend to see a therapist for his schizophrenia. He hasn’t been for about 4 years. And this is with a new medical group…

It took years to convince him to go and it took months to get the insurance and medical stuff set up (State Aid)
You’d think the setup process would be much easier for someone to get help when they really need it. He won’t even be able to see the psychiatrist until June of 2020.

So anyway he saw the therapist for the first time today. Her area of expertise is mental health and depression. I was SO hopeful of this session but it went terribly wrong.

He was already not so excited about going, so obviously a first impression would be a big deal. And he would expect to be listened to and have his experiences validated. I don’t know entirely what his experiences feel like, but I know it takes a lot of courage to stand there and tell someone ‘hey I have a serious problem and I want help.’

But during the session this therapist actually suggested that his senses are more sensitive than other people. And that there are other dimensions out there that humans can’t so easily go through. She was proposing to him that he has psychic abilities… I mean are you kidding me?
This woman is supposed to be a medical professional yet is speaking and suggesting paranormal experiences. I am pretty furious. I and my boyfriend have spent so long getting to this point only for it to be placed in the hands of this ridiculous woman.

Has anyone else ever had an issue with therapists or other doctors not actually listening to the patient?

I just thought this was so strange because typically if someone went to a therapist claiming that they had paranormal capabilities, the therapist might consider them to have some mental health issue. But he’s actually trying to confront his mental health and she pulls out this paranormal card. How backwards…

Just because someone has a license doesn’t mean that they are good at what they do.

Sounds like a bad therapist. Assuming that your boyfriend was also unhappy with the session, I’d validate his feelings and suggest looking for another therapist.

Yes, sadly, this does happen.

Oh my, Nate. Sorry you went to all that trouble to end up with that bad experience. My son had the most wonderful therapist in the hospital. He was a social worker and I learned so much from him myself. Maybe checking with a mental health hospital may give you better luck.

you got that right… for many of them full blown SZ is out of their league…

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If you didn’t attend the session, you may want to consider the possibility that your boyfriend misinterpreted or misunderstood what the therapist said.

This actually can be very true. Many people with schizophrenia have sensitive hearing and are sensitive to light— myself included. Issues come from misinterpretation of that stimulus and thought disorders that lead to confusion between internal vs external stimulus and interpretation and distinguishing between the two.

Edit: here’s link to a relevant thread.

In some cultures some individuals with symptoms akin to schizophrenia overcome their illness and become revered shaman. I’ve had psychologists and psychiatrists mention this to me in passing in early sessions, I think mainly to offer some hope and put a positive ‘spin’ on a condition that is heavily stigmatized. While I don’t profess to be psychic or paranormal, I am very intuitive and insightful. Or at least that’s what some forum members here tell me.

I think it’s a stretch to call these talents paranormal, but I can often predict outcomes or make guesses with very limited information. It’s especially helpful when troubleshooting or guiding people through complex technical and scientific problems. Sometimes specialists like me are called technical ‘gurus’.

Yes, I’ve mentioned this on this forum several times. I’ll dig up some links, so as not to repeat myself. I don’t see much evidence in your post that your boyfriend wasn’t being listened to, only that you didn’t like what she said. In my case, I’ve found some psychiatrists arrogant and close minded. Their attitude is basically, ‘I don’t want to hear it, shut up and take a handful of drugs after talking to you for 10 minutes.’ Ideally I think there’s a middle ground between open-minded listening and practicality.

It’s a shame he didn’t have a good experience with this therapist. I wish more therapists did a better job with ‘First Contact’ with patients. It pays to shop around if you can ahead of time to find a suitable one. Here’s hoping you get another chance with a more suitable therapist.

Edit here’s thread where I discuss my botched first psychiatrist visit in detail:

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In my experience, I was only able to convince my husband to allow me to visit his therapist with him after he had been seeing her for some time. Because he had months of talking with her already, she was more suspicious of me and questioned not only my love for him but also suggested it might be harmful for him to continue a relationship with me (While I worked six days a week to provide us with an apartment, paid the rent, his bills, bought food and cooked, cleaned, encouraged him in positive ways, you name it!).

She had even put the idea into his head that perhaps he wasn’t really MI or alcoholic (despite his years in facilities, history of psychosis and problem drinking). I asked her for help for me to navigate his anosognosia but she didn’t believe that he was ill. I could sense that my presence at his therapy sessions was not going to help.

He kept going to see her until she finally understood (when he threatened her with lawsuits and left numerous angry messages on her phone) how he had tricked her. We talked on the phone and she tried to convince him to admit himself to a hospital but then he stopped all contact with her.

I always wonder if the outcome would have been different if he had been able to see a therapist who was properly trained to deal with SMI. When choosing a therapist, we have to accept their credentials as they are listed, but some patients such as my husband are more difficult than others to help.

A first visit can often go wrong.

My daughter did not do well in first visits to her therapist.

She wanted to quit after 4 visits.

I asked her to go one more time and tell the woman she wanted to quit, and somehow in that session, the therapist got my daughter to stay for all 40 minutes. They got on the same page enough that she is going to continue to see her.

My daughter believes she has paranormal abilities. But now she is willing to talk in therapy. I have no idea what happens in those sessions, but am happy that she is going.

Perhaps it is best to give the therapist at least 5 visits, who knows?