Shortage of (psycho)therapists: So hard to find one

Posted by junkartist @junkartist, Jun 12 2:50pm

This chain is more than a month ago and I can't give any advice on medications. I just want to relate my experience. I've been to different therapists all my life. A couple of years ago the therapist I'd been seeing for a very long time left the clinic abruptly. I waited awhile to get back to the clinic for another therapist. When I did, they didn't have anyone, but after a month or so, I got in with a therapist who did CBT therapy, which was a specific length of time, although I did not know it at first. When that was over, I stayed out for awhile until I crashed because of family problems. I'd been away from the CBT therapist for long enough that they said I had to wait and have new intake. When I did get in, appointments were online. She told me she couldn't help me and I needed DBT therapy. In all this time, I had the support of the psychiatrist who prescribes my medicines which have been helpful for a long time;

To continue: DBT is intensive and expensive. No one would take me because I have Medicare Plus Insurance. Call the CBT therapist and told her it was difficult to get in anywhere. She texted: It can be hard. Let us know if you need a referral. Finally got in with the Community Health Center for talk therapy online. Now this therapist has left. I'm on the waiting list at two places, but tired of the round about. Tired of telling my story over and over. Sorry this is so long. Blowing off steam I guess.

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@junkartist

To continue: DBT is intensive and expensive. No one would take me because I have Medicare Plus Insurance. Call the CBT therapist and told her it was difficult to get in anywhere. She texted: It can be hard. Let us know if you need a referral. Finally got in with the Community Health Center for talk therapy online. Now this therapist has left. I'm on the waiting list at two places, but tired of the round about. Tired of telling my story over and over. Sorry this is so long. Blowing off steam I guess.

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@junkartist This is a safe place to vent, and allow yourself to decompress. There are many of us here who have had a difficult time trying to get a workable schedule and help for our struggles. From what I have seen, I have had to do intensive work on myself, and not rely on getting in to see someone. Some of us who have help from therapists and counselors, are being moved out of the way for others who might be new to getting help. No doubt in my mind, that the pandemic has had something to do with all this.

What have you found most beneficial to you in the past? Are you able to work with what you learned, on your own, to ease the distress?
Ginger

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I distract myself listening to books, playing games on my phone. What helps the most is my writing projects. Putting together a book, writing a play. I've written a journal for a long time, but right now it's too difficult because I don't want to record the negative. And art – I got a second place in a trash art exhibit. I've exhausted people to talk to, even my husband. I was talking to my sister every day for awhile, but eventually she jumped on the bandwagon to bash me, although she was giving what she thought was well meaning advice. I've called the crisis line and I have an emergency plan. Basically, I've hit a wall with my current family situation,

Woke up crying this morning and couldn't go to church.

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@junkartist

I distract myself listening to books, playing games on my phone. What helps the most is my writing projects. Putting together a book, writing a play. I've written a journal for a long time, but right now it's too difficult because I don't want to record the negative. And art – I got a second place in a trash art exhibit. I've exhausted people to talk to, even my husband. I was talking to my sister every day for awhile, but eventually she jumped on the bandwagon to bash me, although she was giving what she thought was well meaning advice. I've called the crisis line and I have an emergency plan. Basically, I've hit a wall with my current family situation,

Woke up crying this morning and couldn't go to church.

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Thanks for listening

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@junkartist

I distract myself listening to books, playing games on my phone. What helps the most is my writing projects. Putting together a book, writing a play. I've written a journal for a long time, but right now it's too difficult because I don't want to record the negative. And art – I got a second place in a trash art exhibit. I've exhausted people to talk to, even my husband. I was talking to my sister every day for awhile, but eventually she jumped on the bandwagon to bash me, although she was giving what she thought was well meaning advice. I've called the crisis line and I have an emergency plan. Basically, I've hit a wall with my current family situation,

Woke up crying this morning and couldn't go to church.

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@junkartist Doing something physical if you are able to, when your mood is down, helps me. Get out and go for a walk, focusing on the environment around you, gently pushing negative thoughts away, "Not now. I am watching the birds!" Pull weeds, repot some plants, do something positive.

Record what you want. You could write about those negative things, then burn them. Remind yourself they do not have to be part of your thinking process, that you are better off without them. Take small steps each day to look at things more positive. Change your environment with a new paint color, or different furniture placement. Being stuck is an easy place to be and takes courage to move beyond.

Family often offers support, but at times, because they may be part of your issues, they may not be the safest ones to turn to in crisis. There probably isn't one person reading this who hasn't had that same experience. I have been there, also. For me, I said it is in my best interest and health to not include those people in my ife for now. Maybe lter, maybe not.

Hope you are feeling better tis evening.
Ginger

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I thought I would respond and add a few thoughts for you. I have no qualifications in therapy. I think it is important to do things outdoors. Do you own a bicycle? I ride around the neighborhood every day and that small amount of exercise is very helpful. Also I have pursued a hobby which is jewelry making. I found a class which is almost only woman and we have lunch together usually once a week. I like it because it is a friendly, caring atmosphere. Although they are not trained therapist their life experiences are usually insightful. Good luck.

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@junkartist There is no doubt that getting in to see a psychotherapist is difficult right now. If a therapist does not take Medicare Plus I'd ask if they know of someone who does take your insurance. I know of many therapists who are opening their offices again but I think that teletherapy is here to stay. Have you considered intensive group therapy? While you may prefer individual it is possible that you may find it easier get into an available DBT group. I'd keep calling and also ask to be placed on a waitlist. I'm sorry I don't have better advice for you other than to offer my support.

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A DBT group is a great idea. It is hard when you have Medicare because the Medicare laws will not cover a graduate-level counselor. In order to take a Medicare client, one must be a psychologist or a social worker. That narrows down the field quite a bit. There have been a variety of groups who have petitioned Congress to change this but it has not happened yet. I am sorry you're having such a frustrating time! There are few things more frustrating than being willing to reach out for help and find an unavailable.

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@gingerw

@junkartist Doing something physical if you are able to, when your mood is down, helps me. Get out and go for a walk, focusing on the environment around you, gently pushing negative thoughts away, "Not now. I am watching the birds!" Pull weeds, repot some plants, do something positive.

Record what you want. You could write about those negative things, then burn them. Remind yourself they do not have to be part of your thinking process, that you are better off without them. Take small steps each day to look at things more positive. Change your environment with a new paint color, or different furniture placement. Being stuck is an easy place to be and takes courage to move beyond.

Family often offers support, but at times, because they may be part of your issues, they may not be the safest ones to turn to in crisis. There probably isn't one person reading this who hasn't had that same experience. I have been there, also. For me, I said it is in my best interest and health to not include those people in my ife for now. Maybe lter, maybe not.

Hope you are feeling better tis evening.
Ginger

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This is an excellent reply. However, does she really want more constructive ideas? Cognitive therapy would help – but that focuses on actually changing. Effective therapy is not just listening and "understanding." One "therapy" is to volunteer – get out of yourself. Just do it. Tutor at a local school, volunteer at a community center or at a hospital or food pantry. Schedule this. So many opportunities to help others, instead of endlessly trying to find ever more therapy. But that takes effort; it is hard at first, no doubt about it. Willingness. No excuses.

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@junkartist

To continue: DBT is intensive and expensive. No one would take me because I have Medicare Plus Insurance. Call the CBT therapist and told her it was difficult to get in anywhere. She texted: It can be hard. Let us know if you need a referral. Finally got in with the Community Health Center for talk therapy online. Now this therapist has left. I'm on the waiting list at two places, but tired of the round about. Tired of telling my story over and over. Sorry this is so long. Blowing off steam I guess.

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Volunteer. An excellent therapy. At a local hospital, food pantry, community center, shelter. Tutor at a local school. Yes, it certainly takes hard effort, are you willing? Right now. No excuses. NO excuses. You sound like an empathetic person, be there for others. On a scheduled basis. Your Community Health Center could help you find opportunities. Do it; the smallest step could help – most of all yourself. Yes, indeed. NOW.

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@junkartist

I distract myself listening to books, playing games on my phone. What helps the most is my writing projects. Putting together a book, writing a play. I've written a journal for a long time, but right now it's too difficult because I don't want to record the negative. And art – I got a second place in a trash art exhibit. I've exhausted people to talk to, even my husband. I was talking to my sister every day for awhile, but eventually she jumped on the bandwagon to bash me, although she was giving what she thought was well meaning advice. I've called the crisis line and I have an emergency plan. Basically, I've hit a wall with my current family situation,

Woke up crying this morning and couldn't go to church.

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Hi Junkartist, it's good that you have the crisis line on hand and that you call them when necessary, and that you have an emergency plan in place.

I hope you are encouraged by the support and tips you've received from community members here on Mayo Clinic Connect. How are you doing today?

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@judywren

Volunteer. An excellent therapy. At a local hospital, food pantry, community center, shelter. Tutor at a local school. Yes, it certainly takes hard effort, are you willing? Right now. No excuses. NO excuses. You sound like an empathetic person, be there for others. On a scheduled basis. Your Community Health Center could help you find opportunities. Do it; the smallest step could help – most of all yourself. Yes, indeed. NOW.

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Good ideas. Got it covered with volunteer work. Thank you for the suggestions.

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