I recently spent over a year in a really unique treatment facility It was relatively small. Gradually, over the course of my stay, my therapist and I had a lot of discretion about my working and participating in life outside the facility.
As a result, she was able to observe me over time, through several cycles of mania and depression, during different levels of stress and stimulation. And I was able to develop a genuine trust in her sincerity and her approach. It was a tremendous opportunity — if being institutionalized can be called such.
What made her style unique, in my experience, was that she didn’t “tell” me anything about how I “was” or what I did or didn’t do — unless I really pressed her with direct and specific questions. And she wouldn’t make suggestions for for what I should do.
Rather, she would ask me thoughtful, angular questions that made think about things in ways that gave me new insights about my bipolar symptoms. She encouraged me to develop my own solutions and to follow through on my goals.
I’ve seen numerous therapists over the years — lots. Some really, really bad ones, some that were just “there,” and a few terrific ones.
Who wants to share some experiences about what makes for a great therapist? I’m not so interested in what makes for a terrible therapist — because that’s pretty obvious — and Bipolar.Bits is a positive place.
A goal of this blog is to attract those in the helping and teaching professions, and provide them with a different perspective on bipolar disorder, directly from those who experience it.
So, here’s an opportunity to give some positive feedback, and some ideas for growth. It’s also a chance to share and give hope to those who may have had bad experiences with therapists in the past. Thanks!