Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area 
Author Message
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area

Followup-To: misc.health.alternative

Preamble:  It's been hard to find the exact group this should go to.  I
would have preferred to send it to the DC.GENERAL newsgroup, but the
anonymous server refused to post there.  And, since I live in the D.C.
area, I think it will be clear why I'd rather stay anonymous.  I'm hoping
that at least some of you in these various newsgroups will be in the D.C.
area, and can make recommendations.  For those outside Washington, you
might still be interested in one person's feelings about/needs for
counseling.

**********************

Hi.  I am hoping folks can help me with some concrete advice.  I am
seeking a counselor -- a qualified, certified, licensed mental health
professional.  However, having been through counseling before, I
know there are a lot of land-mines out there;  many counselors subscribe
to ideologies or theoretical perspectives, or have approaches that I do
not find helpful.  So, I thought I'd list what I am looking for
(briefly);  and perhaps more important, what I am _not_ looking for.

I am seeking suggestions for specific therapists in the D.C. area whom I
might contact.  One constraint is that my insurance will not cover
therapists outside their own clinic ;-(   Out of pocket, I really can't
afford more than maybe $50 per hour (and that's pushing it).

So, here's [part of] what I'm looking for help with.  I'm in my late
twenties, and still very unsettled in terms of career.  I have a very
strong artist's temperment and creative streak, but lack the real training
I would have needed to pursue a career in any kind of art (music, dance,
painting, etc.).  I am smart, and can do well in school, but I really
_hate_ our schools;  the whole system is so damn oppressive.  As you might
imagine, some of the stresses with career and schooling spill over and
affect other areas of my life, but I won't delve into details.

I consider this to be an existential problem.  I like the way I am, I like
my values, my temperment, my communication skills, my approach to dealing
with people -- I am fine fine fine.  At least, to the extent that _any_
of us can be 'fine', I believe I am.  The problem is a mismatch between me
and the environment.  I need some m{*filter*}support, guidance -- in a sense,
spiritual counseling to cope with a culture that doesn't suit me.  So,
that's what I'm looking for in counseling.

Here follows some things I am _not_ looking for.  I've tried to label them
with some terms, although I'm not an expert at the psychiatric jargon.
The comments that follow should make clear what I mean:

1.  Psychodynamic therapy [Insight oriented therapy?] -- How am I sabotaging
myself, and why?  Answer:  I'm not.  How did my family and upbringing
affect my current situation?  Answer:  In plenty of ways -- and it's worth
discussing on occasion -- but that's not the essence of the matter that I
deal with now.

2.  Freudian therapy -- Please, don't make me laugh.

3.  Cognitive therapies -- No.  I _like_ my thinking.  I trust my
judgement, and my perceptions and interpretations of the world.  I'm
confident that the way I think and perceive is pretty damn valid --
certainly, as close to the truth as anyone else's.  My thinking and
emotional responses are generally, for the most part, appropriate to the
people and situations I deal with.

4.  Interpersonal skills therapies -- Assertiveness training, group
therapy, etc.  No thank you, I relate to people quite well on the whole.  
Can always use some improvement, of course, but that's not the core of
what I'm dealing with.
P.S.  I DON'T do contracts, homework assignments, etc.  I'm an {*filter*}, not
a third grader.

5.  I don't even know what to call this one:  The kind of therapy where
the therapist views the therapeutic relationship as some kind of template
for my relationship with the world, and so we explore our relationship.
This is wrong in it's very essence -- I don't want therapy to become a
central issue in my life, or a central relationship.  I want the therapy to
deal with my life _outside_ the therapist's office, not create new angst
within that office.  

Maybe the conceptual issue is this:  I'm becoming very skeptical about the
concept of "projection".  How I relate to the therapist is a reflection of
who the therapist is.  How I relate to people outside the office is a
reflection of who they are.  How I relate to either of the above has only
a very little to do with how I related to Mommy and Daddy a long time ago.
Let's keep them all separate, shall we?  I expect from a therapist the
benefit of the doubt that I'm relating authentically to people wherever I
meet them.

Mostly, the therapy -- and the therapist -- have to openly acknowledge
that I am determined to be in charge of my own life, and even set the
direction for the counseling itself.  I don't believe therapists have any
more knowledge of human nature than the rest of us;  I'm not entering a
counselor's office to be educated on either who I am, how I should be, or
how the counseling should work.  Indeed, one of the biggest problems I've
run into is therapists who become terribly defensive when I won't defer
to their expertise on what we should be doing.  The bottom line is, I'm
paying for the time, I determine the direction we take.  

In essence, I'd sum it up like this:  The counseling that I seek does not
focus on how I might change in some fundamental way.  It's not about my
growth into a different person.  Rather, it's about how to be the person
I am, the person I like being, in a world where that just doesn't always
work so well.  

I am seeking to cultivate wisdom.  I'd like a counselor who can support me
in that process, who can help catalyze that process.  I want someone who
will listen, and perhaps be simply a sounding board much of the time.  And
we must both agree that I am fundamentally a rational animal -- albeit an
animal with unique needs and passions -- and that I can and largely do
function on a conscious level.

You can gather that I am hostile towards some theories -- and some people
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Due to the double-blind, any mail replies to this message will be anonymized,
and an anonymous id will be allocated automatically. You have been warned.



Thu, 05 Sep 1996 22:21:10 GMT
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area

Quote:

>Followup-To: misc.health.alternative

>So, here's [part of] what I'm looking for help with.  I'm in my late
>twenties, and still very unsettled in terms of career.  I have a very
>strong artist's temperment and creative streak, but lack the real training
>I would have needed to pursue a career in any kind of art (music, dance,
>painting, etc.).  I am smart, and can do well in school, but I really
>_hate_ our schools;  the whole system is so damn oppressive.  As you might
>imagine, some of the stresses with career and schooling spill over and
>affect other areas of my life, but I won't delve into details.

>I consider this to be an existential problem.  I like the way I am, I like
>my values, my temperment, my communication skills, my approach to dealing
>with people -- I am fine fine fine.  At least, to the extent that _any_
>of us can be 'fine', I believe I am.  The problem is a mismatch between me
>and the environment.  I need some m{*filter*}support, guidance -- in a sense,
>spiritual counseling to cope with a culture that doesn't suit me.  So,
>that's what I'm looking for in counseling.

Well, I have trouble believing that therapist generally have a problem
with helping people deal with mismatches between themselves and the
environment.  Maybe part of the problem is that they tend to suggest that
maybe you should do some adjusting to that environment if you don't want to
spend a lot of time alone?

At any rate, the way you describe yourself (bright, lots of talents but
no credentials, nobody understands you) reminds me of a lot of folks
I've seen in Mensa (the high-IQ society).  If you've ever taken an IQ
test, SATs, GREs, etc., and done very well you might look into it.  
You'll definitely find a there a lot of bright people who feel
out-of-touch with mainstream society.  And it's much more affordable
than therapy, especially if you want validation more than change.
Check out rec.org.mensa for info about joining.  

There are lots of organizations for the off-beat.  You also might be
able to find soul-mates in Society for Creative Anachronism.  DC is
a very middle-class, middle-brow town and that includes its therapy.
It could be that what you're looking for is not a counselor, it's
a subculture.  Havens for the off-beat probably are a little more
difficult to find in DC than in, say, San Francisco or New York City.

--


                    The George Washington University    (202) 994-6853



Fri, 06 Sep 1996 03:31:43 GMT
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area
aaaah, jokes on me

:)

--




Fri, 06 Sep 1996 08:49:00 GMT
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area
Hi Anonymous looking for a counselor who will help you gain wisdom.

How will you know you have wisdom?

--Andrew

--




Fri, 06 Sep 1996 00:22:35 GMT
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area

Quote:

>Hi Anonymous looking for a counselor who will help you gain wisdom.

>How will you know you have wisdom?

>--Andrew

Didn't you get it?  D.C. area?

   That was posted by Billary Clinton!



"A strong body makes the mind strong.  As to the species of exercises,
  I advise the gun.  While this gives moderate exercise to the body,
  it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind.  Games
  played with the ball and others of that nature, are too {*filter*} for
 the body and stamp no character on the mind.  Let your gun therefore
    be the constant companion of your walks."  --- Thomas Jefferson



Fri, 06 Sep 1996 07:52:20 GMT
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area

Quote:


> >Followup-To: misc.health.alternative

> >So, here's [part of] what I'm looking for help with.  I'm in my late
> >twenties, and still very unsettled in terms of career.  I have a very
> >strong artist's temperment and creative streak, but lack the real training
> >I would have needed to pursue a career in any kind of art (music, dance,
> >painting, etc.).  I am smart, and can do well in school, but I really
> >_hate_ our schools;  the whole system is so damn oppressive.  As you might
> >imagine, some of the stresses with career and schooling spill over and
> >affect other areas of my life, but I won't delve into details.

> >I consider this to be an existential problem.  
> Well, I have trouble believing that therapist generally have a problem
> with helping people deal with mismatches between themselves and the
> environment.  Maybe part of the problem is that they tend to suggest that
> maybe you should do some adjusting to that environment if you don't want to
> spend a lot of time alone?

  Have you considered acupuncture?  I am an acupuncturist working in the WDC
area, and I would be happy to treat you or refer you to someone in the area.I
practice 5 Phase acupuncture, and this type of acupuncture takes pains to deal
with the strengths as well as the weaknesses of a person.

        You don't need to have something wrong to receive acupuncture
treatment.  By dealing with the flow of ch'i, acupuncture deals with the same
strengths that martial arts and meditation do.  When one is unwell, both these
and acupuncture can be used to strengthen the body, mind, and spirit and use
the person's resources to the fullest to fight off disease.  The same principle
applies when one is well.  If your goals are unclear, or you feel there's a
mismatch between you and your environment that is impeding your progress, these
are areas where you need to function at your optimum to resolve conflicts in a
win-win style.  Acupuncture is one way, an amazingly effective way, that this
can be done.  
        As I said, I would be happy to treat you or refer you.  I am more
interested in making acupuncture understood than I am in advertising myself.  

or you can phone me at home at 301-681-9871

Sincerely,
Adam



Sat, 07 Sep 1996 07:15:38 GMT
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area
The thought occurs to me that a therapist familiar with transpersonal
issues might be helpful.  You can call the Institute for Transpersonal
Psychology in Palo Alto CA at 415-493-4430 for a list of licensed
graduates in your area.  They can also refer you to the Association for
Transpersonal Psychology, who may have a broader list of members.

-r



Sun, 08 Sep 1996 02:30:15 GMT
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area

Quote:


> >Followup-To: misc.health.alternative

> >So, here's [part of] what I'm looking for help with.  I'm in my late
> >twenties, and still very unsettled in terms of career.  I have a very
> >strong artist's temperment and creative streak, but lack the real training
> >I would have needed to pursue a career in any kind of art (music, dance,
> >painting, etc.).  I am smart, and can do well in school, but I really
> >_hate_ our schools;  the whole system is so damn oppressive.  As you might
> >imagine, some of the stresses with career and schooling spill over and
> >affect other areas of my life, but I won't delve into details.

> At any rate, the way you describe yourself (bright, lots of talents but
> no credentials, nobody understands you) reminds me of a lot of folks
> I've seen in Mensa (the high-IQ society).  If you've ever taken an IQ
> test, SATs, GREs, etc., and done very well you might look into it.  
> You'll definitely find a there a lot of bright people who feel
> out-of-touch with mainstream society.  And it's much more affordable
> than therapy, especially if you want validation more than change.

Not to invalidate Sheryl's suggestion (I think she may be right on the
money about finding more "high-IQ" people to interact with), but I'm going
to put in my $.02 anyway. I'd also like to add that SAT's and GRE's do not
indicate IQ. Some people just test well. (I happen to not test well, but do
ok. My sister, who is in a different IQ group -- above average, but not
mensa material-- does test well, and does well on things like SAT's and
GRE's)

I can very much relate to what the original poster said. I was always one
of those kids that all the other kids hated because I was smart and the
teachers made examples out of me. My solution, of course, was to pretend I
wasn't smart at all. Not a good solution, but it got me through without
getting my teeth knocked out. Additionally, I wanted very much to be in the
arts, but my parents' opinion precluded my doing that.  So I guess we have
a big in common. =-)

Anyway, I think you are right to talk to someone about your frustrations
and anger. My sister (the bright one, who happens to be working on her MSW)
informed me that there are lots of FREE, yep, FREE counseling programs, but
you have to look for them. You may want to call your general physician and
ask for his/her help in finding one best suited for you. You also may want
to see if you can get some career counseling from someone. If you are a
college grad, your school should give you free counseling. They can give
you all sorts of tests, etc to help you determine what might be a good path
for you. I found this to be particularly helpful.

I don't know if this helps, but I am in a career (not necessarily job) that
I love. It took some time to find, but it was well worth it. I found that I
could use my "artsy" streak in design work with computer systems. Hard to
believe, but true. I would have never originally thought of this as a good
career choice for me, but I'm very happy with it. (Incidentally, my SO who
DID study music in college is also in the same field.)

Hope this helps. I can sympathize. Do remember, however, that there is no
such thing as the perfect job. You just need to find something that you
like enough to do eight hours a day. Get your "high" out of avocational
stuff.



Sun, 08 Sep 1996 02:45:07 GMT
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area
[deleted text concerning request for therapists in the DC area]

Purely my own opinion based on your article: maybe you don't need a
therapist at all.  You might want to consider zen practice.  Look up the
Zen Center of Washington DC (on 9th St. in Takoma Park).  Check out
C{*filter*}te Beck's books, _Everyday Zen_ and _Nothing Special_.

I know you asked about therapists (I could give you lists of them, but
none that I know personally who don't fit into one of your categories
(there is one in Baltimore, but would cost more than $50/hr)), but my
hunch is that you might get more from zen.  Anyway, dismiss this message
as absurd if you see fit.

Dan



Sat, 07 Sep 1996 10:00:05 GMT
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area
    I _like_ my thinking.  I trust my
    judgement, and my perceptions and interpretations of the world.  I'm
    confident that the way I think and perceive is pretty damn valid --
    certainly, as close to the truth as anyone else's.  My thinking and
    emotional responses are generally, for the most part, appropriate to the
    people and situations I deal with.

    I like the way I am, I like
    my values, my temperment, my communication skills, my approach to dealing
    with people -- I am fine fine fine.

    The bottom line is, I'm
    paying for the time, I determine the direction we take.

You don't have to convince *me*...and you wouldn't believe me if "I" told you.
I'd recommend what you called 'insight therapy.' You clearly are not as
comfortable with "all this" as you indicate. I'm sorry I don't know anyone
in the DC area but I'd look for a *non*-supportive therapist who won't
collude in your diagnosis of "mismatch between [you] and the environment."
After all... no matter where you are...there you are.    Good luck.

JB.



Sun, 08 Sep 1996 14:18:03 GMT
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area

Quote:
>    I _like_ my thinking.  I trust my
>    judgement, and my perceptions and interpretations of the world.  I'm
>    confident that the way I think and perceive is pretty damn valid --
>    certainly, as close to the truth as anyone else's.  My thinking and
>    emotional responses are generally, for the most part, appropriate to the
>    people and situations I deal with.
>    I like the way I am, I like
>    my values, my temperment, my communication skills, my approach to dealing
>    with people -- I am fine fine fine.
>    The bottom line is, I'm
>    paying for the time, I determine the direction we take.
>You don't have to convince *me*...and you wouldn't believe me if "I" told you.
>I'd recommend what you called 'insight therapy.' You clearly are not as
>comfortable with "all this" as you indicate. I'm sorry I don't know anyone
>in the DC area but I'd look for a *non*-supportive therapist who won't
>collude in your diagnosis of "mismatch between [you] and the environment."
>After all... no matter where you are...there you are.    Good luck.
>JB.

Huh?  Time for a lithium prescription.


Mon, 09 Sep 1996 05:56:54 GMT
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area
When I was in Washington, I felt a lot like you do and I had a wonderful
counselor who was catalyst in my life.  But I respect his privacy as much as I
do yours, so if you want his name, etc, please e-mail me.  Don't worry, I live
in Oregon, and can't affect your life much from this distance!  Mel


Mon, 09 Sep 1996 15:55:24 GMT
 Seeking special kind of counselor in Washington, D.C. metro area

Quote:



>> >Followup-To: misc.health.alternative

>> >  I'm in my late
>> >twenties, and still very unsettled in terms of career.  I have a very
>> >strong artist's temperment and creative streak, but lack the real training
>> >I would have needed to pursue a career in any kind of art (music, dance,
>> >painting, etc.).  I am smart, and can do well in school, but I really
>> >_hate_ our schools;  the whole system is so damn oppressive.  As you might
>> >imagine, some of the stresses with career and schooling spill over and
>> >affect other areas of my life, but I won't delve into details.

>> >I consider this to be an existential problem.  
>  Have you considered acupuncture?  I am an acupuncturist working in the WDC
>area, and I would be happy to treat you or refer you to someone in the area.I
>practice 5 Phase acupuncture, and this type of acupuncture takes pains to deal
>with the strengths as well as the weaknesses of a person.
>...[discussion of chi deleted]

Another thing you might try is hypnotherapy.

While it might be due to chi flow it might not.

I have relatively little experience with acupuncture having only
used it at times that there was a serious problem.  It worked well
at curing the physical problem.

However stuff like attitudes are generally due to underlying
feelings about life.  They are flavored by past similar experiences
or decisions.  And so forth.

What hypnotherapy does (I am a hypnotherapist) is to get under
the surface issues.  It works directly in the subconscious to
uncover those underlying feelings, experiences or decisions.  Once
you can see them they can be changed, *if* the client wishes
to change them.  (Some people like the way they already are
and are resistant to change...)

Feeling the school system is "oppressive" indicates where the
problem might be.  (Speaking off the cuff) I would suspect some
earlier experience where a person in authority treated you bad.
Parents perhaps.  Of course that's the obvious thing to look for
and since you're not in front of my I can't do the normal interview
to try to narrow it down.  And in any case, the hypnotherapy techniques
do not vary much because a lot of what the therapist actually does
is driven by the material uncovered from the subconscious.

If you live in the Southern part of San Francisco Bay you might
want to send me e-mail or give me a call at home +1 (415) 965-2680.

        David Herron



Tue, 10 Sep 1996 05:36:13 GMT
 
 [ 13 post ] 

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