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8 Positive Experiences to Remind You That Good Therapists and Psychiatrists Exist Out There

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

A few weeks ago, I had a truly horrible experience with a consultant psychiatrist that was so patronizing and inconsiderate of my needs that I left feeling unable to trust anything they said. How could anybody be in a mental health care role and yet be seemingly unequipped to help those who need it?

We often hear about the awful therapists and psychiatrists who don’t seem to care about those they are there to help, or who say and do truly damaging things. However, how often do we hear about positive experiences? After my disastrous appointment, I desperately needed to hear about the good — the health care professionals who care, who listen, who go the extra mile to care for their patients and celebrate their wins.

That’s why we asked our mental health community for their positive experiences with therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Even I, as senior editor of mental health, needed a reminder of the good that exists out there. I hope these reminders will likewise help you see that the good exists alongside the bad.

Remember: You deserve to find a therapist or psychiatrist that is a good fit for you.

Here’s what our community told us:

1. When a therapist goes above and beyond their original role.

“My husband and I were in the middle of a messy divorce with a fierce child custody battle. After being married for 25 years, we had become enemies. The divorce was absolutely ripping our family apart. We met a remarkable therapist in our co-parenting counseling session. She turned our co-parenting counseling into a marital counseling session. After a year of being in her care and professional counseling, we stopped the divorce and my husband and I are back together. But in so doing, she helped me to admit I used alcohol to cope with the stress. I am now seeing her as my own therapist. She has diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder, alcoholism, and PTSD. She is peeling layer by layer off of my abusive past and helping me to see the woman that I was created to be. It’s not been easy at all, but I am willing to dig deep and change. I am officially 90 days sober because of her counseling.” — @rondaaltis

2. When a therapist makes you feel worthwhile and important.

“This may be a small thing, and it may also be just what they learned to say in psychology class, but if I contact my therapist between appointments, he always says, ‘I’m looking forward to speaking to you at our next session.’ It makes me feel worthwhile and interesting. I feel that I still exist in his mind between sessions. I also really appreciate it when I ask him what we were talking about last time and he tells me in detail. Sometimes, the process of therapy means I leave only with the impression of a good or bad session. It’s great to think someone cares enough to remember what I said.” — @findymcmahon

3. When a psychiatrist and therapist make sure you’re doing OK.

“I absolutely could not have overcome my anxiety without my psychiatrist and therapist. My therapist taught me how to support myself with my anxiety. My psychiatrist is a compassionate listener and makes sure my medication is working and that I’m following up with my therapy.” — @acookie

4. When a psychologist takes the time to dig deeper and find what’s really going on.

“After many, many years of misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis and living in an antipsychotic haze, I happened upon a psychologist who looked past my history and figured out what was really going on. We went through a lot together, and he saved my life more than once. One thing he always told me, and that I clung to through the darkest of times, was that to have survived all I had, I must be remarkably resilient. After 17 years, I believed him. Now, in a country on the other side of the world, I teach resilience programs to others. I’m grateful every day of my life for him!” — @laureljbach

5. When a therapist is nurturing because they really care.

“I have been quite fortunate in the therapist area, but the one I had for seven or eight years, I bonded so well with because she had trauma experience, relationship and divorce experience, healthy relationship experience, and really worked with my healing. But also, she was actually maternal knowing I lost my mom. I didn’t need her to be, but as a very sick person, when I wanted to just stop going to specialists to figure out what was going on, she nurtured me and wouldn’t let me stop, like she wouldn’t let her daughters stop, and kept pushing me through because she said she really cared. I needed that when I was burned out and wanted to give up. And, we made each other laugh hard.” — @lulubaby-7

6. When a psychologist celebrates your victories.

“Today, my psychologist had a cup of hot tea and a slice of quiche waiting for me when I got there. It was to celebrate a victory of mine. He said psychologists should celebrate victories more often with clients. He even posted our victory celebration on a state psychology page, reminding others to celebrate milestones with their own clients. It meant a lot to me. We can be the change.” — RP

7. When a therapist helps you practice self-love and self-care beyond appointments.

“My therapist is helping me continue affirmations every day between appointments. She’s also told me the things I love to do like painting statues, diamond painting, photography, reading, and yoga are good for my mental health. She helps me see how I can love myself more and she helps build me up. I’m grateful for my therapist!” — @sunflowers1130

8. When you can’t afford the fee and the psychologist sees you anyway.

“I was so fortunate when I was in the depths of depression to fall under the care of an amazing psychiatrist and trainee psychologist (who went on to become an excellent clinical psychologist). When I couldn’t afford their fees they both reduced them substantially to help and provide treatment until things improved. By reducing their fees (and even seeing me when I couldn’t pay) they helped me see worth in myself that I didn’t see. They truly cared and believed in me and my recovery. They fought for my life when many times I wanted to give up. My weekly hour with my psychologist was my only hour of safety in the 24/7 depressive storm that was my bleak, dark, and lonely existence. I lived for that hour from one week to the next! They helped me get through the hardest and darkest period of my life. My psychologist moved to New Zealand and after her, I had two further wonderful psychologists. All four were amazing doctors and human beings. They were all an absolute credit to their professions and exemplified what it truly means to be a doctor and healer. I’m forever grateful and blessed to have had such great care!” — @jvaljean

For help finding a mental health care professional who is right for you, check out some of the following articles from our community:

Getty Images photo via FatCamera

Originally published: June 2, 2022
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