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I've made at least a dozen efforts with different therapists over the years and my results have always been discouraging at best.

For reference the evaluating psychiatrist said this about me during initial classification: "dangerously intelligent yet deeply disturbed". It was more or less insisted that I concede to counseling...I did so to no avail. Every therapist wanted to make me relive numerous horrific traumas of all types and technicalities. For what purpose? The questions and commentary I received after unloading my worst horrors were almost ALWAYS that of condemnation, criticism or disgust.

On one occasion, a female therapist insisted that I had brought traumatic rape upon myself for attention.

On another, the therapist told me I deserved to suffer.

After enough of these incidents, I ceased subjecting myself to the inevitable judgment and shame. Not a single therapist ever helped me, and I feel infinitely better not being forced to relive the worst experiences of my life for someone else's judgement...and then to pay for the punishment is that much more of an insult.

I've heard good therapists can work wonders. I wish I knew where these people are! I've been through 13 bad ones in the last 20 years- and I still think I'm better off talking to my dog!

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Apr 10, 2023·edited Apr 10, 2023

I became a Counselor that research taught me to be more of an educator than a crisis manager. As a result I spend more time in “Psycho-education” so people stop falling in the many rivers of Rumination than listening to their “Stinking Thinking”. We see more “Worried Well” than truly traumatized. As a result I help set up “Equipping Centers” in schools and churches” around the world. See Relationalpeace.org

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I agree wholeheartedly! Every patient or client should be assessed holistically, not only through one lens. As a holistic psychotherapist, I use an integrative approach to help my clients evaluate their physical self-care (sleep, diet, exercise, etc), social support, stress management, inherent strengths/resilience etc, and the impacts of daily habits on their emotional/mental wellness. I frankly don’t understand how to help people learn to help themselves and improve their lives without this broader view. Brava, Dr Boardman! Love reading your postings

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Thank you so much, Risa!

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Mar 19, 2023Liked by Dr. Samantha Boardman

Your first point about stress really speaks to me. I'm often overwhelmed and anxious, but I remember that stress is only a natural symptom of my body telling me that I care about my problems and that I want to fix them. For me, stress is a motivator rather than a deterrent.

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Heidi - I agree with everything you said.

This post might resonate as well. https://drsamanthaboardman.substack.com/p/stress-isnt-all-bad-3-ways-to-get-22-08-05

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Right taking to a therapist is bogus … waste of time and $$$ but if you need validation ?

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Mar 19, 2023Liked by Dr. Samantha Boardman

Great article, you really need to write a book and sorry but do more to get this message out.

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I appreciate that you point out the importance of therapy, but also the limitations of it. They are aids in helping people establish health, not the source of health itself. By cultivating language that acknowledges the margins of these practices, you’re crushing the notion that these interventions are silver bullets. I have done all of the harmful things you have described, and seen firsthand the results: people are less willing to be vulnerable again with me when a recommendation to receive therapy is my first and only response.

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The fact you are a therapist and wrote this I so much appreciate and value. Thank you! Indeed, everywhere we turn there is another 'push' or comment about our mental health and 'need' for support. I love that your piece talks about the 'balance' and ability to 'handle' changes in ones life and ability to 'adapt'. As a society, our comfort in being able to talk about our mental well-being, just as easily as we can talk about a broken bone. More broadly, the fact our healthcare system separates out physical, mental, even dental and vision. We are ONE human being, not segregated body parts. Coming from the traditional healthcare system, I worked in the ORs in the past and continue to see how we 'label' and push people into a 'diagnosis', so it can all feed into a payment system. The US is in the 'sick care' business, not 'healthcare' business. (And, it is a 'business' :(

Working with practitioners who are trained/approach 'whole person' care is where we should be focused. :)

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Thank you so much, Christina! A 'whole person' approach is definitely something we need more of.

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Mar 17, 2023Liked by Dr. Samantha Boardman

Here is what I think - just based on my own experience. First, therapy has definitely helped me, but not every therapist helped me. I had to find a good fit - which changed over time. Also I think the danger I see for myself is relying on a therapist to solve my problems. It is easy to do - when you start going to them frequently - and act as though their help is like ibuprofen for inflammation. Just take it on a regular basis and you lessen your pain. (not good) I think - for me - it is good to limit my visits and when bad things happen - which they will - I try to resolve those bad things on my own with skills I've developed from therapy. If I don't have the skills or find myself stuck and overwhelmed - then I seek help. That's my two cents work. :) Pam

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I appreciate your two cents and perspective, Pam :)

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Get a life

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Mar 17, 2023Liked by Dr. Samantha Boardman

Hi Dr Boardman – could you potentially share a PDF for the paper "Is perceived stress linked to enhanced cognitive functioning and reduced risk for psychopathology? Testing the hormesis hypothesis"? Can't get access to this but really keen to read it for myself and get a better understanding of their investigation. And thank you for another interesting article!

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Hi Phoebe - this link includes the abstract and the intro to the paper. Unfortunately the whole article is behind a paywall, but I hope this helps.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S016517812200244X

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