Thoughts on Therapy
I just started therapy TFP (Transference Focused psychotherapy) which I have been waiting for quite a long time. I got diagnosed four years ago with Borderline Personality Disorder something I had never heard of until that day.
Making sense of that diagnosis took some time a year or two of discovering what it actually meant to me.
I also paid for CAT ( cognitive analytical therapy) which helped me understand why my past affected me. I paid for this therapy as I was told I would be waiting at least a year on a waiting list and I was overdosing quite a bit at this time I was afraid I may die waiting, I needed help now.
This is something that is still a problem waiting lists for therapy particularly for more long term therapy for people with complex needs are really long. People can be left waiting years just to get an appointment to be assessed and then they can even been told they are not ready for therapy or be made to wait longer. People are parked on lists waiting to get their lives back on track.
I think it’s great for people with for example anxiety or depression that waiting times for IAPT are to be cut down to 18 weeks as announced by Nick Clegg this week. I hope this happens but I wonder if there are enough therapists to cover this and is there going to be money pumped into it.
One thing I have come across is that within trusts clinical psychologists posts have been cut due to the massive cuts imposed on Trusts by the government. It’s not the psychiatrists who are losing their jobs but psychologist ..those that would be giving therapy to people. I also understand that some psychiatrists now are trained up to do certain therapies I know mine was CAT trained but I don’t think he did any. I think if people want therapy rather been left on medication then surely they should access it and cutting psychology posts is not going to make that happen. I do think medication has it’s place but if you could come off it surely that is a good thing.
I learnt from a discussion on here that due to the lack of psychology posts people’s therapy has been cut down to in some cases to three sessions. I am not sure I would trust someone in that amount of time and begin to speak openly let alone get to the bottom of any problem.
Also for people with complex needs for example with BPD this is not NICE recommended and I know for me it would have done very little to help. It would seem this is what the government cuts has forced Trusts to do give everyone a little bit of a sticking plaster therapy to cover the emotional wound for a short time hoping it heals . I think not…
As it is World Mental Health day with a focus on schizophrenia I also think of my mum who is nearly eighty in a home and who has that diagnosis. She has never been offered therapy she has been medicated throughout her life and zapped with ECT many years ago, which left her like a cold empty shell.
I wonder whether older people are helped I mean who decides who gets therapy is it just dependent on individual clinicians who may on a whim allow you onto the list, is it by age, gender , diagnosis I mean people with BPD were excluded for years and some still are as some people consultants play god at not giving a diagnosis so people can’t access help.
I know there is talk by psychologist about treating people in distress by how they present rather than being given a diagnosis so I would say I have attachment difficulties I occasionally self harm I get anxious and have trouble with relationships. So you treat the person and not the diagnosis, I’m not sure how this would work but it interests me.
I wished my mum could have had therapy I wonder if things would have changed for her instead she became institutionalised and that is so sad.
My worry is that there will be more people like her left out in the cold with no hope unless something is done about the lack of psychologists and therapists .
For me I’m lucky I’m now having therapy which is so hard I am beginning to feel sadness about my childhood and for me a feeling that is hard to sit with I usually run away it is so frightening to contemplate the fear I had as a child. I keep oh so busy I don’t let me think but I’m slowly learning and I have a long time to go.
I hope this government does do something about the inequity in physical and mental health and that enough psychologists and therapists are trained up so that people can access the help that is needed. But I’m not sure they will only time will tell.