Q: I just took the quiz on PTSD and found that the person the quiz was describing, was me. I pretty much have ALL the symptoms, in fact, it made me cry to see how close my personality was compared to the symptoms. I also took the tests for Bipolar Disorder and found that I was moderate to severe. As well as the Manic disorder which was also moderate to severe. I was molested by my moms stepdad at age 7 for a few months while we lived with them. I have been moved around alot in my childhood by my mother. From living in our car to living in a homeless shelter. She’s an alcoholic who can get violent and has a history of men. One of whom she married and also had a knack for getting violent with me. I was molested again at age 17 at a freinds house and that perhaps was the most traumatic, simply cause it was so recent. When I was 10 my sister came to live with us and my moms step dad tried to do something with her, but she said no and we ended up telling my mom. I also confessed to what he did me as a child. We went through numerous court appearances and he’s now in for 25 to life. Others also came forward when me and my sister did. My mother decided a few months after the fact that she didn’t believe us and never would. She now goes and visits with the sicko in prison. I cut myself all through high shool, but haven’t since starting college. I’ve been to a therapist, but it went nowhere. I was too nervous to say anything about myself and, in my opinion, the therapist was kinda loopy. Perhaps it’s just me. I don’t have a problem opening up to people.. just as long as they’re the select few that I feel that I can trust. Which is one person. But I still don’t tell her all. I’m struggling with going to see a therapist now that I’m away from all the chaos..but I’m apprehensive as to what can be done..IF anything can be done. I’ve never had a boyfriend becuase I can’t get close to them. I feel as though all they want is sex. I’ve been very promiscuous in the past and can’t seem to relate to men or flirting or anything. Just sex and that’s it. I don’t even want to see them after that. I suppose my question would be this.. Am I good candidate for therapy? And even with all my insecurities, is it possible for me to gain anything from it?
A: Actually, you are an excellent candidate for therapy. There are studies that show that clients who are YAVIS ( young, attractive, verbal, intelligent and successful) are the most likely to have a successful experience in therapy. In spite of all you have been through, you have been able to get yourself out of abusive situations and to college. You wrote an articulate and compelling letter. You are asking excellent questions. And you are help-seeking. All of these things show me that you are ready to do some serious therapeutic work. I encourage you to do some “therapist shopping”. A therapist can be educated, experienced, and even brilliant and still not be the person for you. You need to find someone with whom you have an intuitive “click” . You need to feel that “yes, I can work with this person and tell her difficult things”. That intuitive connection plus the establishment of solid trust is what makes it possible to dig deep. I hope you will visit a number of therapists for an introductory session and then make a choice based on who seems to be a good ” fit”. As one of my clients once told me, finding the right therapist is like finding just the right pair of jeans. You try on a bunch and then suddenly you slip on a pair that feels just right.
I wish you well.