As I sat last night browsing my colleagues various websites, it dawned on me that the majority of psychologists, myself included have made the mistake of trying to sell you (the potential therapy client) on something that you have no interest in.
Many of us psychologists convey that each and every person is unique and has their own personal experience with depression, anxiety and numerous other mental health related problems. In many ways we are saying “book a session with me, because I will understand and empathize with your individual situation.” Although empathy and understanding are critically important to the therapeutic process, it is not what we, as psychologists should be highlighting to you.
You are not unique, and when it comes to your mental health that is a good thing. It means that there are professionals who are trained to recognize and diagnose your symptoms and provide you with the appropriate treatment. The fact of the matter is, that the majority of psychologists are well trained and taught first and foremost to establish a relationship with you the client, by building rapport and being able to show empathy (at least I hope this is the case).
What I believe we should be saying more clearly is “I have seen and treated people like you before, yes I have experience with improving your mental health and you are not the only one who has experienced symptoms like this.” It is the commonalities of how mental health disorders present themselves, not your individual experiences with said diagnosis that makes seeing a psychologist worthwhile. Realistically, you are not paying close to $200 a session to have me understand your uniqueness, you are paying that amount because of my experience and training in treating and helping many others like yourself.
Unfortunately, to a large degree, there is still a stigma that comes with a mental health diagnosis, especially Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). People diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and BPD to name a few are not given those diagnosis to negatively label them, they are their to provide a framework, an understanding of what needs to be treated, an understanding of what disease you are suffering from. At the end of the day there are diagnostic titles for a reason. It is these titles that help improve your therapeutic outcomes.
What I want you to take from this importance of finding a psychologist who understands your concerns and has experience treating and helping other clients who are suffering from the same disorder as you are.
If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to get in touch with me here.