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Do most counselors really know what they're doing?


blujonny

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After finally getting fed up of dealing with a lot of emotional anxiety the last almost 3 years since my father passed and after sifting through a lot of sessions with a handful of counselors earlier, I finally decided to do my own research to figure out how to handle things, how to figure out specifically what was going on with me. For over 2 years now I have been dealing with internal almost underneath emotional 'adrenalin rush' like symptoms whenever I was to see certain people in public or images of people on the internet. And these adrenalin like rushes caused my mind to create almost bizarre images in my mind, things that scared me, humiliated me and so on. Out of all the counselors I had only once did any counselor mention 'hyperarousal' and that was like for a quick minute or so. But what I found was that extreme emotions, especially ones that have been suppressed for years and seem to come to the surface can create a 'hyperarousal' in us where the mind looks for the cause of danger and in turn can manifest certain images in our head as a result of making a specific or random danger manifest itself, though it may be a bizarre interpretation if that makes any sense. When I just found this out it makes me question the actual empathetical competence of most counselors in their ability to actually settle the minds of those grieving rather than diagnose, label and spew clinical information to us like students in a classroom. I finally feel like I can take a deep breath and realize that I don't have to judge myself or live under a cloud of shame day after day. I think all counselors/therapists should get away from the psychobabble, the advice giving, the empty sympathy behind the 'give it time' and other general diagnosis methods and invest in more empathetic measures and actually learn how to explain to those who are grieving what is specifically happening to them, even down to getting to the root of their specific emotional suffering. Just my thoughts. Anyone else feel like you're on your own in the healing process?

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In a way, I think we are all - by definition - "on our own" in this process, ie it is a journey unique to us that only we can ever really understand (and so, deal with).

In another though, I think most of us are not really alone - that is, we have (for starters) family and friends who while they may not "get it," empathize and are there for us in a wide variety of ways.

Most of us also have various options in terms of counselors, psychologists, hospice/church people, etc we can really talk to and "let out out." I'm no expert, but my bet is that what you're describing is a very unusual situation, so I don't think it's fair to dismiss them because they didn't figure that out in your case (esp grief counselors, who have much less stringent requirements to be one vs psychologists - although many psychologists are all but worthless IMO - ah don't get me started -). As you say, they are used to trying to give people the general info or insights which people grieving often aren't aware of or fully get, not something additional and complex as that.

I will say that the grief counselor I had was very good overall - she truly empathized and didn't just "spew clinical information" at me. See she had suffered a tragic loss, so she really got it that way. Not that I wish that on anyone, but I do wish they could find more counselors like that, as I think it helps, a LOT.

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Well, I've suffered with anxiety and depression problems for years before my parents died and so I was already seeing a counselor before their death. On top of that he had actually met them both personally and even saw my father as a patient once as well... Kind of gave him a level of understanding of my situation more than I think a professional who I just met would have. He understood the implications that their death had in my own already confounding issues. I think that counselors can help, but it does take a lot of time for them to get to know you. I've changed counselors a lot in this time and have had a few that "just don't get it" basically.

Is hyperaurasal the same as hyper-vigilance do you know? I kind of had similar symptoms and my counselor said it's common for people who suffered a traumatic loss.

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Yes Kenny I believe hyper-vigilance and hyper arousal refer to the same thing. It sounds like your counselor probably has some good explanations for what you're going through.

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