Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Not sure I'm a very good counselee, and other illogical statements

My therapist lent me her copy of the The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression. She also has one coming in the mail to her that I could have if I choose to go through with it.

And I'm really good at nodding my head.

But I don't like the book.

I read a chapter or two yesterday. Part way through the first chapter, I stopped because I was having a hard cry. Because to me, the book is showing me this ideal plan that will eradicate my depression and prevent a relapse. Seems about as real to me as a light saber. And a bit dangerous, too. Because the words go through my eyes, through my brain, are transformed into sledgehammers, and bang about on my emotions. You terrible person. Oh, look at that. A depressed thought. You are using depressed thoughts to hurt yourself emotionally. Look at you. Your depression is your fault. If you just did it right, you wouldn't be depressed anymore. There's no excuse for two years of depression (not counting the years before you buckled down to fight it). Hah! Even untreated depression should be over by now. Read this book and see how you are doing it all wrong. You should know better. You were brought up right. You are just... Words fail to convey my response, because maybe it's more of a feeling. A yucky, angry, hurt, broken feeling.

Anyway, I'm undecided about what I will say. Or maybe I'm not undecided, but what I plan to say is undecided. What do I do? Go see my counselor at my normal appointment time and say, "Hi, Counselor. I don't want to do that book. I don't like it. It makes me feel bad." Then technically, I know, it doesn't make me feel bad. I feel bad in response to it. But maybe that is just further proof that I am not doing all I can to kick this depression. Maybe it reveals that I am one of those spoken-less-well-of people who doesn't like therapy and thinks it isn't helpful.

I see some, um, non-sequiters there. I can't remember the CBT name for it. All or nothing thinking, that's it. I don't like one book, therefore, I don't like any counseling. One book makes me feel bad, therefore I must be guilty. (That's not all or nothing. Maybe that one is catastrophizing.) I don't like one book, therefore, I am not doing all I can to kick my depression. Hmmm.

So instead, I can say, "Um, Counselor, I don't want to do that book. Do you have any other ideas?" Maybe I could even come up with my own idea. What would that be? I mean, a real, let's try to fight this depression, idea.

And here's another factor; I feel like I'm getting my counseling sessions on charity. Right now, it's just my co-pay that my counselor is taking off. When I'm without insurance, I really won't be a profitable client. So should I just quit counseling? But then fear rises up. I don't want to do this alone. At least when I see my counselor once a week, I feel like I'm not fighting alone. Maybe that is worth something. (Oh, and I don't mean that she's the only one that helps me, but she is one of the people with a larger role in helping me.)


  1. Actually, I think she might want you to tell her what you really think of the book..I would if I were a counselor. I bought the latest book out on Kindle for anxiety and I read a chapter and for some reason it got me really agitated and anxiety-ridden so I quit reading it. I was analyzing myself thinking maybe the fact that I got panicky reading it, mean't I should read it and then I decided to take a break and go back to it in a month and re-evaluate whether I want to read it or not. I'm a nut job when it comes to trying to make a decision sometimes.
    Heck no, don't stop counseling if you lose your insurance. If they will still see you, take advantage of it. My husband and I have insurance through the military and I see what the doctor charges and then what the insurance pays and I wonder why they see me because they get paid very little. I figure as long as they accept me as a patient I will go in and when they don't then I will worry about it.

  2. I HATE reading books on depression or my ocd or how to be better or get better. I just told my counsellor flat out...sorry, but I don't do books. So we would just talk and he would suggest new ways of looking at things. -Which of course he probably got from a book....lol But I hate reading books on how to get better. And honestly why not...it is one persons opinion...just like I have my own opinion. So don't feel bad!

  3. I agree with Krystal that you shouldn't quit counseling just because you won't have insurance. If they are willing to see you, accept their generosity.

    I would suggest telling your counselor what you told us about the book. It may not be the right book for you--maybe a book would help, maybe not.