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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Amorphous. Offline
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Name: Hamed Khatiz
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"Councelling Has Become a Way of Life." - March 19th 2014, 10:37 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Good evening guys,

My name is Hamed and I am an eighteen year old student from Western Sydney. I am a student at the University of Western Sydney but before I studied there, I studied at a Business College nearby and I had seen the councellor there for about three months before I moved.

The predominant reason for that is because I have a friend who, at one point in her life was really in a lot of suicidal danger, and long term as well, and I needed help grasping the fact that she is not in danger any more and learning to cope with some of the stuff I was exposed to back then, as well as understand that in this case, there is sometimes not much I can do, unfortunately.

So then I got the offer to join the University. And my councellor, in our last session said to me, that I should really see the therapist in the University, just to continue on and talk about things, because she didn't think I was exactly done yet.

So I make an appointment and rock up and I was nervous, so to begin with, I just spoke to her about the program I was in with the college and asked her some general questions about how this works and I also told her I have seen three councellors in the past, one at my high school, one in my college and her. I told her about my job search and how as a result of the stress and pure rage of not having work yet, I have had intentions of running away and thought of suicide.

Then she said something which surprised me and caught me off guard.

She told me that firstly, I should keep my university life and my personal life seperate, so not to talk about things with a University councellor cause maybe she couldn't help. But then she said this.

'You have seen all these councellors in the past, it's almost becoming a way of life for you, where if something is wrong, you talk to a councellor, you talk to a councellor and you never do anything to fix it.'

My heart sunk after that. She said if I needed help, there was no way she could help, I have to see a doctor who can get me to a councellor, because of some weird reason.

I left there not telling her what the major problem was and for good reason, because she couldn't help me. It wasn't meant to be.

I left there bermused and almost in tears. Because I thought that seeing someone to talk to had a massive therapeutic benefit, it literally saved my life in high school. Before I saw my high school councellor, I came close to a heart attack one day because of anxiety, seeing someone who brought up bad memories at school every day.

Now I walk past her on campus and not even flinch. It worked. I never knew it was a "way of life" for me.

I am just confused and angry that I didn't get help. I guess you have to be lucky to find someone who makes a difference and who you trust.

Thoughts y'all.


P.S. Her advice about the job search? "Keep on trudging through." .

“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place,
But believe that there is much more good in it than bad.
All you have to do is look hard enough,
And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.”

~My Childhood Friend.
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: "Councelling Has Become a Way of Life." - March 19th 2014, 07:39 PM

Hamed I am SO SORRY that you had that experience As a future professional who will do a practicum experience in my college counseling center, I am screaming at my screen right now because what she did was SO WRONG, especially for a first session. It doesn't matter what kind of professional training she's had. I'm not even that far along and I know better than that! Even if she's an academic advisor or career counselor, she should've referred you to the mental health services on campus instead. Okay, rant over.

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with seeking counseling, in fact, I'm proud of you for knowing when you needed help and that you went and got it. If you still feel like you need help, I would encourage you to try again, most professionals WILL NOT do this to you. You might also seriously consider formally complaining so that this person gets some consequences. That's up to you though. Who cares how much help you feel like you need? Counseling in itself is a way of "doing something to fix it." The important thing is that you feel better.

Member Since: September 19, 2007
LHO: March 31, 2008- October 13, 2012

"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you." Jean Paul Sarte
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: "Councelling Has Become a Way of Life." - March 19th 2014, 07:57 PM

Hello, Hamed!

I'm so sorry you had that experience. First of all, that counselor shouldn't have jumped to conclusions - she knows next to nothing about you! Second, I don't understand why she told you to keep your university and personal lives separate, as university-related issues/stress can have an impact on your personal life (unless she meant to clarify that she's not an academic advisor).

It's a shame when people in this line of work make incorrect assumptions about people. How could she possibly decide that you never do anything to fix your problems, based on a brief discussion about your previous experiences with counseling?

Is there anyone else you can see at the university? Do you think it would help to approach this counselor again (with a friend present to offer support), so you can share what's really pushing you to seek counseling and why her assistance would be beneficial (if she can avoid assuming things again)? Your old counselor may also be willing to contact this potential new counselor, once you give them written permission to do so. That way, the new counselor will have a better understanding of why the old counselor recommended you continue to seek help.

Once again, I'm sorry you had that experience... but remember, you had good experiences with seeking professional help in the past. This counselor may not be the right person for you, but that doesn't mean you'll never find a mental health professional who can assist you. Have hope, don't give up yet! =)

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Re: "Councelling Has Become a Way of Life." - March 19th 2014, 09:21 PM

Hi there, Hamed!

I'm really sorry that you had this experience. What she did was so wrong. You have every right to see counselors if you wish, they're there to help you and apparently some are helpful to you. You went through a pretty traumatic thing with your friend and I think it's great that you recognized that you needed help. Reaching out is a pretty brave thing to do that requires courage, so you should be proud of yourself. I recommend speaking to new counselors till you find one that treats you accordingly and with respect.
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Re: "Councelling Has Become a Way of Life." - March 20th 2014, 12:42 AM

Hey Hamed,

I really don't think you should let what this counselor said to you change your view on going to therapy. Obviously it's something that has helped you in the past and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. This lady had one meeting with you and knows hardly anything about you, so she has no right to pass judgment on the ways you deal with your problems. Therapy can be really effective for some people and I think it's great that you're one of those people. To have found a healthy way to cope with and work through your problems is something you should be proud of, not ashamed of.

I'd recommend finding out if there's someone else at your university you could receive help from. If not it may be worth seeing a doctor so they can refer you to someone. Maybe your old counselor might be able to recommend someone as well. These options might not be as convenient as seeing someone at your university, but it seems worth it to get the help you need. The way that the counselor you met with treated you wasn't right at all, but I think there are many more counselors and professionals who really care about helping their patients than ones who do as little as they have to. I'm sure you'll end up finding one who's able to provide you the support that you need.

I hope that everything ends up working out well for you. Good luck

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