Need Advice About Psychotherapy

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have suffered with Depression and Anxiety on and off since I was a child. My last Depression/Anxiety episode was very bad and I had experienced nothing quite like it before. I was extremely agitated and began believing something evil was living inside me and got so bad I did think I couldn’t possibly live much longer.

Prozac sorted it out to a point, but I had 3 meetings with a Clinical Psychologist and he has advised that I have long term Psychotherapy for my Anxiey/Depression and other things I have problems with. The therapy would be based within the Community mental Health Center.

My problem is I believe I do really need to have this therapy to stop it coming back again as bad as it did but I am a full time worker. I am in a dilemma as I can’t speak to my boss about this so I can get time off for therapy once a week. And do not have the money to go private.

This is really stressing me out as I can’t risk losing my job, but really need the therapy.
Any advice on this situation would be most appreciated! I am totally stuck and have no one to discuss this with. Thank you so much.

A. Is there any way you could meet with your psychologist when you’re not working? You did not mention what profession you’re in or how often you work but could it be that you’re working all day and evening? It’s possible that you are but as I mentioned you did not detail how often you work in your letter.

Have you spoken with your psychologist about this issue? Perhaps he or she could find alternative times to meet with you that do not conflict with your work schedule. If that is not an option then you could explore the possibility of being referred to a different mental health professional that could work with you on your off hours.

Another idea is to consider having phone sessions with your psychologist. If your job prevents you from meeting at a convenient time then your psychologist may be open to therapy over the phone. It may not be your preferred method but it may be better than no therapy at all.

It’s best to be honest with your employer about your situation. There are laws in place that would protect the confidentiality of your records. You would not have to detail why you’re in therapy. It may simply be enough to say that you are dealing with personal issues and that is why you need the time off.

I don’t advocate lying but if you feel that telling your employer is an impossibility, you could consider offering him or her a plausible reason for why you need the time away from work. This may give you the “cover” you need to make it to your therapy appointment.

I don’t think this is an impossible situation to correct. Whatever you choose I hope you’re able to take care of yourself and get the help you feel you need. I hope at least one of the suggestions mentioned is helpful to you.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Jul 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Need Advice About Psychotherapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/07/17/need-advice-about-psychotherapy/

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