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Questions, I Need Your Questions!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I thought I had this under control. I thought I knew the right questions to ask. I thought I could keep a psychologist for more than a month. But I thought wrong.

The last psychologist fired me just a month into treatment. I guess that was a good thing. I'm still not sure why he thought Dialetical Behavioral Therapy would be a better option for me, maybe I just scared him.

In therapy I don't hold any punches and I say and ask what's on my mind. Then after the mini-crisis I had I think he thought he was going to have to work harder. Geesh! And I didn't even call him during it!

My other docs I lost all due to "health care reform." They said the face of medicine was changing and it was going to be way too expensive for them to keep their private practices. I understand that one.

So I'm asking for your help this time. Help me with questions for these new docs I'm interviewing. It can be anything, I'm game. I have my standard list of questions but I'm thinking I need to add more to it. 

The new doc has to be willing to be interactive, have a sense of humor (a humorless psychologist is SUCH a bore!), and be willing to work with me, even it the going gets tough. I'm generally an easy patient, but I need someone to work with me and not against me.

I know my diagnosis, I know my issues, well most of them, and I need someone to help me work through them and not around them. I'd really like someone that will want to jump right in and work and not do the dance of the obligatory "get to know" you routine. I know they have to get to know me, but it doesn't take a month to get to know someone, especially when they will have a chart of several years worth of notes to look through.

So what do you think? Do you have any questions for me to add to my list? I'm dying to hear about them if you do. And I will give you feedback on your question, whatever the doc says, I'll tell you.

So let's get to work, shall we?



jen August 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM  

I can't think of a magic question to ask, but I know that when I was finding a therapist for my oldest son when he was 9-10 dealing with school bullying and ADHD compounded with an extremely high IQ, I could tell within 10 minutes if this was a person I trusted my kid with. After the first therapist told me that this is how kids went Columbine and good luck with him, I knew this was going to be harder than I thought. And it took a VERY long time and multiple interviews until I found one that would work and listen and help.
I can only imagine how much more difficult it is for an adult, but I have hope that there is someone out there who can help you.

On an almost completely unrelated note, Micah's piano teacher moved to MO and he is doing Skype lessons. Is it possible to find a phenomenal therapist, travel to meet them and interview them, then Skype back and forth to NYC or St. Louis or wherever they may be? Just a thought . . . I know therapy is way more involved than 8-year-old piano.

The Bipolar Diva August 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM  


Skype is something I would have never thought of! And I think you're right. It may take multiple interviews before I find the person I feel the most comfortable with. Columbine? Good Lord! I had a therapist tell me one time that Joshua's, my autistic kid, only problem was that he was too intelligent for us and we needed parenting classes! Bot did he get a letter from me when we found out what we were really dealing with.

Furry Bottoms August 7, 2012 at 3:17 PM  

Skyping with a therapist would be IDEAL! But, it would depend on if your insurance covers their location, I guess.

T, your most recent therapist was the biggest idiot ever. DBT is NOT ideal for bipolar. DBT is an entirely behavioral approach. What does that have to do with Bipolar? Somebody enlighten me, please? Bipolar is a chemical of the brain disorder, very hard to control but can be helped some with the right medications. Maybe DBT can teach you what to do in a crisis, may teach you some tools to face your demons in a hard situation but not when you're at the rock bottom of the downward spiral... and again, Bipolar is CHEMICAL! It's not like you will remember the tools or even want to follow directions when you're in that moment. That doctor was such an idiot. He have never understood the bipolar disorder in the first place. I could just strangle him!! Grr.

If that previous doctor claimed to have had a lot of experience in that field, that might have been a strategy move, but I don't think so. He wouldn't have "fired" you if it a strategy move.

Your therapist should be "an expert with bipolar or chemical disorders" Ask them how much experience they've had with bipolar patients and if they can prove it in some way. Give them some possible "scenarios" (such as something that really had happened in the past but they might not know it yet) and ask them how they'd handle it.

With my psychiatrist, he had papers published and on the internet, he had documented experience in the pioneering field of borderline. I didn't know that beforehand. I just picked a psychiatrist, went for an interview, thought he was incredibly cute... came home and did my FBI research on him. I was pleasantly impressed with what I found on him.

I hope your next doctor will be a much much much better one!!!!

Nolie August 7, 2012 at 4:57 PM  

How about, do you believe in leaving a client when they need you the most?

Just Two Chicks August 7, 2012 at 5:21 PM  

I think I would ask if he/she is going to read your chart.
I think that because women are so complex, that more than likely another woman would be best for you. I know it's hard to narrow things down like that, but when seeking therapy, you want to find someone who will be able to help you.
Ask if they're out to save the world. More than likely you don't need someone who wants to save the world. They will simply change your diagnosis, and meds, and change your world... possibly in ways that will not be good. :)
Ask if they have an open mind... very important for a therapist. Too many people have been through too much crap, and have done too many stupid things for a therapist to be judgmental. :)
That is all! For now ;)

Tami August 7, 2012 at 6:33 PM  

How about finding someone who doesn't talk the entire time, but let's you talk and prompts you into the right direction. Keeps you focused and make you feel like you've been heard! August 7, 2012 at 8:15 PM  

I do not have a question, but more of a statement. If I go to another therapist, I shall tell her clearly and directly:

"I am not here to be "JUDGED" by you."

This would be my most important issue....

Xxxxx Love.

middle child August 7, 2012 at 8:16 PM  

Explain that you have alot of issues and are looking for someone who will listen and interact with you. Help you. Give you tools and if you like the "homework" some docs wnat you to do, ask if they do that. If sure they know that. And whatever reasons the other doctors "let you go", be sure to tell him so he is prepared. Then tell him/her that you need someone who will be there for you in the long run. Kisses!

bazalkryn August 7, 2012 at 8:24 PM  

Could it be that part of your issue is yourself? You say you want a therapist who will work with you, but is the reverse true? Your recent posts seem to indicate that you may not want to work with the therapist. For instance, if the therapist dares to question your diagnosis or suggests a therapy that doesn't appeal to you, you refuse to discuss the issue. It isn't a matter of "working with you" but of "working together." Try that next time.

The Bipolar Diva August 7, 2012 at 8:43 PM  

Not in the least. I don't question my diagnosis at all, neither have any of the other doctors I've actually seen. These comments were from doctors on the PHONE. I'm ready and willing to do the tough stuff, it's just finding someone that's willing to do it to and not want to just sit back and say "uh huh." I don't want that. I want results. I want my life back. Working together is exactly what I want to happen, too bad too many people don't want that to happen.

The Bipolar Diva August 7, 2012 at 8:46 PM  

Two chicks;

I like that. I think that's what happened with the last therapist, he was judgmental I feel and he didn't want to do the hard work I did.

The Bipolar Diva August 7, 2012 at 8:47 PM  


I need someone that's willing to interact with me and not just listen to me talk. But you're right, they need to be able to listen to what I have to say and not just gloss over it.

The Bipolar Diva August 7, 2012 at 8:49 PM  

Middle child, I think you're spot on!And if they're going to run during a crisis, then I surely need them to go on their way.

Outcast August 8, 2012 at 2:25 AM  

I'm finding it really difficult to find a concrete question to ask but something that will force him to reveal the stability of his practice along with a question asking what it would take for him to give up on you like that other joke of a psychologist would be a good idea for a start at least, you deserve the best psychologist after all this moving around Diva.

The Bipolar Diva August 8, 2012 at 10:36 AM  

Thanks Yeamie;
Yeah I really do need to know his threshold for "crisis."

Dazee Dreamer August 9, 2012 at 3:44 PM  

Ok here is a question to ask him. If a train leaves California at 9 am and another train leaves New York at 10 pm, how many pieces of dried bird shit will be on the first railroad crossing that they meet at. Ta-da

Anonymous,  September 9, 2012 at 11:08 PM  

Here's the deal. If you thinks you should have Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) he obviously you thinks you have borderline personality disorder (google: DSM IV AXIS II), which is what DBT is intended to treat. For the record, it works very well for that disorder... Not so much for bipolar. Hope this helps.

The Bipolar Diva September 10, 2012 at 4:41 PM  

No, I'm not borderline, this guy just didn't want to deal with what was going on. oh well.

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