Good Therapists …

My dilemma with NHS therapists is mainly unprofessionality. I don’t have the strength to write a long blog post, but just want to highlight something. Please excuse any potential spelling mistakes as I am lazy at the moment and for some reason the spell-check doesn’t work here at the moment. I will clean up this post later. I’m just tired, but still want to share something important regarding therapists.

I’ve had several NHS therapists, all limited to six or no more than twenty week sessions. Some I cut short due to unprofessionality. My last therapist told me within the first minutes of our first telephone assessment which she almost missed, that she is on compassionate leave. Compassionate leave usually means there is a bereavement. Minutes later she told me that she is from Ukraine. This conversation is days after Russia invaded Ukraine.

So, I’m in the dilemma immediately not knowing how to proceed and find myself in the therapist position again, and as a client feeling selfish to be the client while her country is under siege. She is also the trauma therapist who kept telling me from the first session on that “talking alone doesn’t help”. And I told her later that I haven’t even started talking then and now. This therapy was EMDR, this eye-movement therapy, which makes no sense to me and didn’t do anything for me.

I go into great detail in what my experience was with NHS therapists on my blog My Ordeal with the NHS Mental Health System.

My first therapist after my brother died was a trainee, but I didn’t know this at first and assumed he was a bereavement counselor as I asked for this via the initial phone assessment with a NHS person. He later started to talk about some private stuff, how he was a business man before moving into therapy. He even turned up at work when I worked at Pret. He knew I worked at Pret as I just started talking about my Pret ordeal. He knew the area, but not my exact shop. But one day he suddenly stood in the shop and I completely blocked him out in my mind like having a black-out for a few seconds until he reminded me a week later in therapy session that I was very professional. Only then did I remember that I saw him in my shop.

I remember not being happy at all and communicated to him that I’m not comfortable that he just comes to my work, even though it was complete coincidence.

A psychiatrist who did a diagnosis was very “clumsy”. He would not wear a mask in the period between first and second lockdown. He would pull the chair too close to him for me to sit, in a large room. I then took another chair and sat further away from him behind a desk to broaden the distance.

As an effort to gain my trust, he told me in the second assessment appointment that his brother was currently in hospital. I didn’t respond to it but later in an email asked him to not speak about any personal issues. As he knew about my trauma about my brother’s death, he thought he could mention his sick brother to build some kind of connection. No, sir!

Another therapist I had briefly was a psycho-analyst that Pret paid for AFTER I contacted former CEO Clive Schlee, because for almost a year Pret’s HR department kept ignoring my concerns with the prolonged late shifts and then the bullying etc. Pret then paid for short-term therapy whereas before contacting the CEO in WRITING it was hard to even get an appointment with HR. This psycho-analyst at about the third session would lie in his armchair with his back resting on one armrest and his legs dangling over the other armrest as if he was at home or in a pub.

I didn’t go back to the fourth session and never returned.

I don’t know why many therapists, NHS and private, keep acting unprofessional. I don’t understand how they’re trained and if no one tells them that it is inaproprite to speak about THEIR private lives or have inapropriate body language/behaviour.

It puts a burden on the client who then switches into friend-mode or turns into the therapist trying to support the therapist whose country just got invaded or whose brother is in hospital. I communicated that with most therapists that I don’t want to know any of their private stuff, and it’s embarrassing for me to even have to tell this to therapists.

I write all this because recently I watched an interview of an actress that I don’t know. She was interviewed by my favourite talkshow host Stephen Colbert. I don’t care for most actors or guests that come on shows, but I love Stephen Colbert and love watching his work. So, I sit through all interviews of all guests, even though I’m not interested in many of them, mainly because I’m bored with movies and actors. But Stephen Colbert makes it worthwile.

Apart from the AMAZING dress this actress was wearing, she said something that had me think BINGO! Now she can afford many years of therapy, not sure why so long, but if you have the money, why not? And she doesn’t realise what a professional therapist she has!!!

I NEED a strong trauma specialist, but can’t afford it. But I so appreciate what she said about her therapist. I quote verbatim starting where it starts at around 5:37 minutes.

Quote: “I had the same therapist for about eight / nine years … I treat it [therapy] as a car where I want to do the maintenance while opposed when the car breaks down … then try to fix it in the end …

At 6:20 Stepehn Colbert asks Jessica Williams if her role as a therapist is based on her own therapsit, and she says “No” … “I don’t even know that much about my therapist.”


Eight or nine years with the same therapist and she hardly knows anything about the therapist! THAT is a fncking GOOD therapist!!!!!!!

Further she says, “I wish I did, I’m always trying to, like, deduce what her life is, secretly. Sometimes she’ll let it slip every now and then. …” etc.

And I think, girl, you have a good therapist if after 8 years you still don’t know much about her or him. Of course after YEARS of therapy it’s just human that some personal info slips here and there, but not at the first session or early on in the therapy, and certainly not any traumatic issues the therapist may have suffered or currently goes through.


Side note, she mentions as well that when she bumped into her therapist at the grocery store that she “dissociated” from her body as she was taken off guard to see her therapist in a private setting. This is a good description in how I felt when my early trainee therapist suddenly stood in my shop where I worked in Pret. I remember going home thinking who I saw that day but couldn’t remember until the therapist told me at the next session days later.

He started the session saying, “You’re really professional”. I replied asking what he meant. “Well, you didn’t say anything.” Again, what is he talking about? And he said that last week when he was in my shop and I just looked at him but kept walking past him without greeting him or saying anything. This is then that I remembered that I saw “someone” but couldn’t figure out who and why it’s significant. On my way home I remember very well thinking “Who did I see today? There was someone I saw…”. I thought that it must have been a famous person or so, as I served many famous people in Pret, but I won’t drop names here! 😛

So, his mentioning this made me remember. But I was in general in great shock about my brother’s death as this was about 6 months after I learnt. Seeing the therapist was then another type of shock I couldn’t process and then just “dissociated” myself llike Jessica above experienced. It’s really weird how the mind works.

When I talk about my brother’s death and how I learnt about it etc. I do NOT want a therapist to think that talking about their brother will make me open up or feel at ease. It has the OPPOSITE effect!!!

YOU are the therapist and I am the client. STOP putting the client into the position of the carer who has to again carry a burden that doesn’t belong to the client for fnck’s sake!

If a therapist ever stumbles across this blog post, please go back to the basics of what I hope they teach therapists in university to NOT share ANY personal information, especially if it has to do with your own traumas, sickness, loved ones, loss etc. And especially not at the very first session or early on into sessions!

One therapist said to me “You have a lot of insight, you should consider doing a course in counselling”. Ok, fair enough I appreciate that observation and advise. I explained that I couldn’t be a counselor because I would carry people’s problems home with me and have enough pain and trauma at the moment.

And this might be my dilemma, I am so broken inside, such a mess, but I come across very strong, with a lot of insight. I can verbalise my own trauma very well etc. And some therapists then might get “tempted” to start speaking about their stuff. I don’t know. But it makes me depressed because I feel forced to put up my guard again and slip into therapist – or friend-mode. It feels and IS unhealthy and simply unfair.

It seems like many therapists want to do short cuts, as sessions are often limited to 6 weeks, by quickly throwing in some private info that they think is similar to the client’s trauma in hopes the client opens up quick and the sessions go on smoothly.

I truly believe that many, if not most therapist should not be therapists and may have chosen that occupation or role to either fulfil their own deficits, or because it’s good money. A regular councelor can charge around £60 for a 50 minute session. A good therapist starts at £80-£100 per 50 minute session.

And if you charge that, please don’t use the client as your shrink!

So, I keep just watching good therapists that I find on YouTube and give up hope, because the reality is that without finances, you simply can’t find a “proper” trauma specialist, not in the UK. My go-to therapist is Dr. Ochberg, even his old videos. A “too-good-to-be-true” therapist.

Thanks for reading.

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