Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Poll: Support Groups or Personal Therapist


#1

I was wondering which is more appealing at this stage of your journey?

  • Support Groups
  • Personal Therapy
  • Both
  • Neither

#2

Hello,
It’s been a bit of time that I’ve been gone due to school, work and at least three older brothers who would like me to be around. I do read the forums a lot even if I don’t always get the time to post.

Personal therapy vs. support groups.

I was wondering what works for others and why?

I’ve worked with a therapist and I’ve been in a support group. I feel that of course there are pros and cons to both.

When my oldest brother was in the prodromal phase, I felt like no one in the outside world could understand what it’s like, watching a loved one battle through the worst of the Sz symptoms, and sometimes loose.

At the time, individual therapy made me feel very isolated. It seemed to me, to reaffirm that I was still the only one in this situation. A support group helped me see that I was not alone, there in fact others who were living through the same thing I was.

I also feel I benefited from different aspects of a support group, the exchange of information and resources from others who have been coping with Sz longer then I have, plus there is also the advocacy, and the availability. (as well as price)

The support group also felt a lot less stigmatizing, since we were all in the same room for the same reason. It was easier for me to tell others that I was going to a teen group instead of telling others I was going to a therapist.

The plus side of individual therapy was that of course I wasn’t sharing the floor with others and I didn’t have to worry about other group dynamics. It did get a little more personally in depth and made me look a little deeper at specific reactions and feelings that were coming up during this time.

I also think that different things work for different phases of our lives. What I was younger I felt alone and my sibling support group helped me so much.

Now that I’m a little older, I do appreciate the personal privacy of a therapist.

Thank you for letting me post.


#3

I’m really glad you posted this, because like yourself I am someone on here who advocates for individual therapy as a way of learning to cope as a caregiver. I think a good, qualified, well trained therapist is worth their weight in gold. There are also a lot of crappy therapists. I think a lot of people appear to me to be very reluctant to go to individual therapy, and there is a stigmatization about it that we would never tolerate from individuals towards our family members with sz but gets applied to therapy. Like some nameless, vague, shapeless, guttural reaction to the idea of seeing a therapist. Like “it won’t really help.” Some fear that we’re going to be told we’re unwell, or something when we are the ones who are holding it together for the person who is unwell, or we may have patterns of behaviors or thoughts that we might have to change that scare us, that we’ve grown comfortable with. But good therapy is not like that, there’s no blame. Caring for someone with a chronic mental illness is very, very stressful, and it’s okay to get help-people really aren’t built with the natural ability to deal with that amount of chronic stress. It is worth the effort to find a good therapist, and sometimes it takes time to find the right one or the right kind of therapy. I do believe that different kinds of therapy work well for different personality types, or different stages in a healing journey. Again, worth the effort to find what works for you.


#4

I guess up until now support groups have served me well. Granted they are this forum and other groups that I’m in online as well as my blog. Nothing in real life. For some time though I have been thinking about getting a personal therapist. Someone that I can can talk to or unload on and give me unbiased feedback. Talking to my hubby is great but he gets upset when he can’t help. Having both of us upset about things we cannot change doesn’t help.


#5

Family and community. That works for me. And family includes my son (with sz). Plus reading as much about it as I can and keeping in touch with his care team. It’s not that I don’t think therapy is useful, its that I learned CBT myself years ago, so I have been using it to help us both for years. Plus, I already worked through the stigma issues because I have had diabetes since I was a child and I don’t see sz as a “mental illness”. I see sz as a physical illness with behavioural and psychological SYMPTOMS. So just as no-one can “blame” me for my illness, no-one can blame my son for his. So we hit that one right out of the park from the beginning and he’s been treatment compliant and everybody in the family and community has supported him since diagnosis. Of course, things can change. I hope they don’t.


#6

I think support groups are great. My pdoc is an ass. He doesn’t understand schizophrenia. I get more support on these forums than I do from my pdoc.


#7

I picked neither. I’m not a touchy feely person + besides that I doubt their merit.


#8

i ’ ticked ’ personal therapy as this is what i’m doing, but i would join a support group if i could find one, but more to push me out of my sz boundaries than for the conversation.
take care


#9

I had to go with support groups on this one.


#10

I have also done both. I really wasnt satisfied with the local support groups I was able to attend---but back then I was looking for cures and action, not talk. For whatever reasons, a therapist didnt seem to help either. I guess I felt like I was being told to be happy and…well…how can I ever be happy when one of my kids is suffering.
My hours at work changed, and there was nothing for me on weekends. Then, I found this site–YEARS ago. Even then, I couldn`t seem to settle down. I had big problems.
After someone from here ( wish I could remember who she was!! ) talked to me in a private chat-things changed. Not right then, but she planted a seed that has seen me all the way to now.
I guess that you just keep looking until you find what you need, and what works for you.