Crisis, Grief, and Healing => Sibling Loss => Topic started by: ScottW on April 27, 2009, 06:43:52 AM

Title: Advice on Professional Therapy
Post by: ScottW on April 27, 2009, 06:43:52 AM
Hello all.  I posted below "How long until I feel better".  Thank you for those who replied.  I have a history of seeing a therparist well before the death of my sister.  I've seen many and over the past several years I have found someone who has helped me through many personal issues.  However, now that "we're dealing with the loss of my sister" it just seems hopeless.  What is she going to possibly say to me that would make me feel any better?!

I'm just wondering what people's experience has been relative to professional therapy, dealing with the loss of a sibling and when it might be 'work'; or if it's really an exercise in futility.  What about medication . . . has anyone gone that route?

Thank you in advance for your response(s).
Title: Re: Advice on Professional Therapy
Post by: Sad Eyes on April 27, 2009, 11:19:37 AM
I can't begin to explain the benefits fo therapy, I don't know if I would have survied my brother's murder with it.  As for medication, I did go that route during the pretrial and trial. The medication helped take the edge off everthing during that time.  If I had to choose between the two, therapy wins hands down.  It's much more personalized.  I felt that I needed to work through my feelings not mask them with medication.  There is nothing wrong with taking medication, this is just my opinion.  If I felt the need I would consider taking medication again but only for a short period.  Not only did it mask the bad things in my life it also lessend some of the good things in life too.

I am sorry you are dealing with the loss of yous sister.  No matter what the circumstances are that surround our loved ones death it is never easy.  Take care of yourself, I hope you find a way to work through your loss.

Sad Eyes
Title: Re: Advice on Professional Therapy
Post by: ScottW on April 27, 2009, 12:52:32 PM
Thank you for your response, Sad Eyes.  What a nightmare you've been through - probably still going through - I'm so sorry for you.  I'm going to try a different therapist (I promised my wife), we'll see if I can find some semblance of peace; or at least stability.  I was on the verge of being unable to function this past weekend.  Having a 13 month old son at home doesn't give me that luxury.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Title: Re: Advice on Professional Therapy
Post by: Luvinmike on April 27, 2009, 08:26:46 PM
Dear Scott;
Hi, I am sorry for the loss of your sister. I wanted to reply to you though our situations are different (Suddenly lost my 44 year old husband) I have wondered the very same things about therapy. I know you will need to make your own decisions and definitely follow your own instincts, but I wanted to tell you what i think. I think therapy, like most things in life- give you back what you put into it.
 I would not be condescending to say it won't fix this, clearly you know that- but, like Sadeyes said, it can help. I have gone off and on a number of times in my life to a couple different therapists, I use them for the professional listener that they are basically- like a confidant. I find it frustrating to try to get advice, as they have not walked in my shoes, but instead they might have some good ideas, or insights, or even questions for me. I have also used medication, but i won't allow it to be a controlling factor for my life. I am a big fan of exercise, talking about our loved ones with therapy, friends, other loved ones- doing something good in honor of the people we miss. You sound like you have a caring wife and young child so i wish you the very best in seeking the support you deserve right now. I would also say, when in doubt- look up in the sky and realize we are all in this together. Again, I am so sorry you lost your sister...keep writing here, we all care. terri
Title: Re: Advice on Professional Therapy
Post by: Sad Eyes on April 28, 2009, 06:16:34 AM
Hey Scott, sorry to hear you had a rough weekend.  The fact that you are willing to try a different therapist speaks volumes.  I got lucky when I found the one I went to.  I don't know if I would have went any farther with it if I hadn't got it right the first time. I will be the first to admit he didn't solve my problems, but he gave me some coping skills that I still use to this day.  I told him once (I went back for a refresher session) my emotional brain isn't listening to my intelligent brain, we talked and I got things under control once again.  Luvinmike had a excellent suggestion about exercise, natures way to fight depression.  I will have to admit I just couldn't make myself exercise when I needed it the most.  It's something I do on a regular basis now and it does help.  I hope things turn around for you soon, I know how miserable it feels when a person in down.  Please let me know how you are doing.

Sad Eyes
Title: Re: Advice on Professional Therapy
Post by: Jeanneb on April 28, 2009, 10:19:13 AM
Hi Scott,

I am so sorry for the loss of your sister.  I lost a brother going on 13 years now and my youngest son going on 6 years.

I went to a therapist after my son died.  I saw her for about 2 years and now go maybe once or twice a year for a "booster shot" as I call it.

She helped me tremendously.  Not only with the loss of my son and PTSD I was suffering from but this loss also opened up many old wounds and she gave me different ways to look at things and also taught me I had to "change the dance".  She gave me insight in how I could change how I was reacting to things in order to make people actual listen.

During that time I also had to take medication for anxiety and depression.  I needed the meds to take the edge off to help me be able to really get into things I had stuffed and bottled.  I highly recommend therapy and also to keep trying until you find that right fit.  I no longer take meds and with also some EMDR therapy for the PTSD I no longer suffer from the anxiety and when it does crop up I'm able to talk myself through it.

Just know that therapy, like grief, is a lot of hard work.  There are days that you find you leave therapy feeling worse than when you walked in... but I believe that is all part of the process.  It takes a lot of time to bury feelings so it takes a lot of time to bring them back up and deal with the issues.

Wishing you all the best,
Philip's mom forever
Bruce's sister
Title: Re: Advice on Professional Therapy
Post by: laurenE on April 29, 2009, 05:40:12 AM
Hey Scott,

I'm sorry you are struggling.  Having a 13 mos old is also tough enough without dealing with a death.

Counseling .......... I couldn't have done it w/o it.   No she couldnt bring mom back,  but she listened.  She became a safe place to get my feelings out.  She understood me b/c she had lost her mother yrs earlier.   I highly recommend a counselor who has lost someone close.  Otherwise you may not feel understood.   She also normalized the grieving process.   Grief can feel crazy at times and she helped me understand what was normal and what I needed to work on.

I hope this helps encourage you.   
Good to see you back

Title: Re: Advice on Professional Therapy
Post by: ScottW on April 29, 2009, 09:44:11 AM
Hello all.  Thank you for all of your thoughtful responses.  It is comforting in and of itself to know that there are people out there who 'really understand'.  Seeing as though you all took the time to address my questions, I thought that you all 'deserved' an update from me.  I had an appointment with a psychiatrist this morning.  When I left the house I said good-bye to my wife and son and told them (sarcastically) that I was going to waste my time and some of our money.

Well . . . I couldn't have been more wrong.  I met with an amazing woman this morning and for the first time I feel some 'hope'.  Previously I have seen a 'therapist' and an M.D. separately to deal with the verbal versus the meds.  I finally found an 'all in one package'.  I do not want to go on meds but if - through our talks - we deem it necessary, it's nice to know that she will really understand why I need the medication (even if temporarily).  Anyway, as I've said, I've been to many therapists.  I've NEVER had a therapist or doctor say to me, "I want to touch base EVERY DAY".  I am supposed to page her in the morning, she will return the call later -- just to 'check in'.

I have my next appointment in 2 days . . . who would've thunk it?

Thanks again everyone.
Title: Re: Advice on Professional Therapy
Post by: Sad Eyes on April 29, 2009, 02:24:39 PM
Scott thanks for the update, I had been wondering about you.  Sounds like you are moving in the right direction.  Thanks goodness you have found someone who you feel comfortable with that is a big step in the right direction.  Best of luck to you and your family.  Be sure to keep us updated.

Sad Eyes