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Writing to psychologist/therapist, is it appropriate?


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I think that is a really good idea! You know you will freeze at the first meeting, you know you need help, and writing things down and submitting them first is an excellent solution. I used to write little papers for my therapist and drop them off. It was very helpful to begin a session with that as our jumpstart, and he didn't mind at all.

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Hi sadstar,

Would it be possible for you to email a therapist that you are considering making an appointment with? I know that many therapists, including some of the ones listed on this website; have their email contact information available online. I was too afraid to call my therapist so my first contact with him was through email. As finding my way said, writing can be a really helpful way of expressing and clarifying our thoughts and feelings. I have trouble talking in therapy so emailing my therapist has helped me to say things that I would have not been able to express in person.

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Hi there,

Typically on the first visit the therapsit/Dr is the one who does the most talking . He or she will ask you very basic easy to answer questions. I promise! It is easy to get through. this person is a professional and will be understanding to your feelings and needs. He or she is not going to judge you one bit. It is always uncomfortable the first time and they ar every aware of that . you are going to be just fine . The first time going is always the most difficult, and you are going to be able to be able to do this.

Your friend is right. Just go and get it over with. You will be very grateful that you did. I've written stuff down , however not at the first session though. If your feeling very uncomfortable, maybe you can call the therapist and talk to her/him on the phone first. perhaps a warm up session. At least then you will know what this person will sound like , and it will ease your fears.

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If you can’t handle a phone call, writing is ok. I am so afraid of talking that I honestly believe that I would have never gotten any help if doing so involved calling someone over the phone. I actually told my therapist about how afraid I was about trying to get help before we met in person. If you’re up to it, then call. If not, email. From what you have said you need help. Your friend doesn’t seem to understand that verbally expressing things is not an option for all of us. For whatever reason, sometimes that is not a realistic . If I waited until I was ready to do that I might already be dead. Don’t let that keep you from getting help. You deserve to get better. Do what you can, sadstar. Let us know how it goes.

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I think writing a letter is a fine idea, but you probably want to take some precautions while doing it.

Keep in mind that this letter will go into your file. Don't put anything down in it that you aren't comfortable with being in your medical record. Best to compose it and then wait a few days and then read it over and edit out any parts that do not seem necessary or prudent to share. take some time to compose it so that it is concise - a rambling letter will be harder to follow than a concise one.

Put it on paper, not in email. Also - an email could be inadvertantly forwarded or deleted whereas a paper letter is much harder to copy and lose track of.

An introductory letter will be nice for your therapist to have, and it will give you an opportunity to organize your thoughts.

Mark

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Sorry Mark. When I suggested email I meant that it may be a way just to make an appointment for people who are really fearful of any sort of help. Perhaps I should have been clearer. I certainly would not suggest pouring your heart out or writing personal things to someone that you don’t even know…I would definitely not recommend that, and I would never do that myself.

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Ok this is what I HAVE to do... I write a letter to my Thearpist... i take it to the meeting with me.. I write because otherwise I will say everything is fine..... I let him Read it.. we discuss it and then I take it home with me. My Therapist "Tells" me he does not write most things down... because I am paranoid about others finding out my deep dark secrets.....

JT

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I understand where your coming from!

I too am petrified of going to the doctors, but unfortunately, I have to attend on a weekly basis along with seeing my Therapist!

It wasn't long ago since i was in your position! Not knowing what to expect? How to deal with situations etc,

What I did was, leave it all to them to ask the questions! That way, I answered in my way and told them what I wanted them to know? I know that these people are there to help you, but some of us find it extremely hard to come out with our true feeling, especially when you've been hurt so many times!

Good Luck!

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Sadstar.. I find it helpful not just with the therapist but with hubs... I write the letter note etc... and it says what I Cannot say out loud. BUT then they know what is bothering me and we can discuss it....

Good luck.....

JT

PS Believe it or not ... unless I am drunk.. I am VERY shy.. can't even talk to my husbaqnd of 21 yrs!!! So I know what you are talking about... the thing about therapist ... they have probiably heard it all already.. unless they are new... then there are ones you relate to and those you don't... may take you a few trys.....

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sadstar12, I think that is a great idea. I too have a fear of talking to doctors. Maybe this idea will help me get the courage to finally seek help. I have been thinking of finding a doctor, and maybe printing some of the posts I have written here. who know? I have to get the courage to find one first....

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Everyone,

I am joining with all of those who agree with writing if talking is uncomfortable. In addition, I hope all of those of you who are fearful about talking to your doctor will read and think about this:

Doctors are just people like the rest of us. They are there to help and, if you have a doctor who does not seem to help then find another doctor. Doctors have feelings, are fearful, have arguements at home, bleed when they are cut, worry and go through all the same things we all do. They are no different from you and me.

Hope this helps but I would like to know what you think?

Allan:)

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Hi Allan, what you say makes sense. However, I am amazed when someone says..."my doctor". I have never had a regular doctor and only go for something acute, like potential broken bones or infections for antibiotics. I tried to reach out in e-mail to local NAMI representatives, but they were not receptive to any communication. at least that was the impression I got.

Calling a doctor and actually going is so foreign to me, I might as well start speaking Swahili.:rolleyes:

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Hi Allan, what you say makes sense. However, I am amazed when someone says..."my doctor". I have never had a regular doctor and only go for something acute, like potential broken bones or infections for antibiotics. I tried to reach out in e-mail to local NAMI representatives, but they were not receptive to any communication. at least that was the impression I got.

Calling a doctor and actually going is so foreign to me, I might as well start speaking Swahili.:(

Hi nancyannee, I think if you maybe were to write a letter first, that way the dr. would know what you were all about, I don't know I just feel like I need to explain myself first, and than if they feel they can help me, or that they understand me, I will make an appointment, I just need to feel comfortable first, which isn't always easy to achieve. I understand what Allan says, but it's not so much that it's a dr that bothers me, I don't like talking about myself period, to anyone, but I think there comes a point where if you need help badly enough you need to reach out, for me it will be scary but I will try to deal with it. The fact that maybe afterwards I would feel better drives me to try and get over my anxieties and just do it. Still...easier said than done, right? :o I don't know I'll hopefully figure it out soon, I'll let you know

Edited by smallstar
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Dawn, I so agree. The whole process is scary. If I had the courage to go to a doctor, I would have the courage to talk or even write about it. When I try to express myself, I get all jumbled up and the words escape me.

Just participating on this site has sent me into major anxiety attacks. I am now worrying over who will see my blogs or posts...worrying about what they think,when I know it does not really matter, because it is how I feel and what I think. I wish knowing that would prevent the panic,but it does not....I am freaking out today bad. :(

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I am able to write freely on here so maybe you don't see just how much anxiety I have about actual social interactions, and I would definitely consider the dr a social interaction. My point is, if you sit there and think about it, what is the worst that can happen? You go, if you feel very uncomfortable just don't go again. That is my plan. If I can't handle it I will just leave, I don't have any fear in leaving. But I am willing to at least put some good thought into the pro/cons of seeing the dr. I am at a point in my life where I have several things holding me back, and I am getting older, I really want to be able to move forward and actually have a life and that is why it is worth it to me to put myself out there and at least give a good effort into improving. Anyway that's why I am really glad to hear that it is not completely inappropriate to write to a dr before making an appointment, or even after the patient/dr relationship is established I can write things down and give it to the dr. That is my best bet at getting help. Please consider doing this for yourself. If you don't need to live battling like you seem to everyday you should try to look at your options. And like someone else said in an earlier post, I don't think that we can shock the drs, they deal with all kinds of people. The only person you're hurting by not getting that help is yourself. That said I can't exactly sit here and preach to you because I myself have not yet taken that step. But I will, eventually :(

Edited by smallstar
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In order to get real help .. you have to be honest. If I do not write a note or letter first.. when my Therapist asks " Well how are we today?" I will say" We are just fine...." sometimes true sometimes a lie. But it is easier to put on that big ol smile and say everything is fine and then leave .. get beer and then get drunk, depressed etc and then call for help.

My therapist would rather talk to me sober. And that is how we work it.... I do not write all the time.. but if something is really bothering me I do. And do the Letters always make sense? NO! But he can see that too and see that my thoughts are all over the place or I am overly paranoid about something etc and it helps him to know the right questions to ask????

Any way it works for me

BTW.. I did change my user name .. only because I have been Gabbyslb for 25 yrs and I did a google on my name and some of my posts from some other sites showed up... NOT THIS SITE.... but it makes me feel safer because I feel I can talk freer(SP) ... I do not want my husbands boss , mother , sister etc to read the posts I do on this site... Most people I could care less .. either like me or go away... but there are some that it may cause problems for others like hubs or the kids.....

JT ( AKA GABS)

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Nancyanne,

Why do you care what others will think if they somehow found your posts here (and that is very unlikely)? What is it you fear could happen if someone you know reads your posts? Think about it: what is the worst that could happen??

Allan :)

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OH ALLEN>>> what is the worst that could happen if they read MY posts??? My husband could loose his job. My Kids couold be kicked out of school.. my Grandkids could loose their future.... IF>>>>> AND i SAY IF... I REALLY TOLD THE TRUTH??????

I still hold bacfk because the internet is the internet.. and then those that are smart like me can look up IP adresses off of the post...,..

Maybe I am paranoid... but Allen there is no where on the NET you are safe... as far as me caring ????? I don't ... BUT when it hurts my kids, my husband , my grandkids...... I care.. I do not give shit about me, never have or will... my motto???? like me or go the fuck away

OK Allen I am fixin to make you mad... You are not one of us... MHO>>>>>> which means .. my humble opinion.. we are an experamoint for you and Mark. You are trying to write a paper or something.

I love ths site .. I do not care I need my "friends"

JT

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This is for Mark,

Hi Mark, What do you mean by saying "don't put anything down in it (the letter) that you aren't comfortable with being in your medical record...and edit out any parts that do not seem necessary or prudent to share." Am I naive in assuming that all medical records and files are supposed to be confidential? I thought the whole point of talking to your doctor, medical or psychological, was to tell the truth. If this is not so, then what is the point in seeing a therapist for help if you can't tell them your deepest, darkest, most ugliest secrets so that we can get help in fixing ourselves, if there is no confidentiality? I need to know this for sure because I finally made that first phone call and the psychologist is supposed to call me tomorrow to set up an appointment with me (he wasn't available today; thank God I read this post before I see him!). How much can I actually say without risk of being humiliated and hated if family or friends, or even strangers, found out what is being said? Will I be wasting his and my time? I really need to know if there is no such thing as client/dr. privilege anymore, or if there ever was! Thank you.

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