It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Friday, November 5, 2010

How to Survive Therapy: Tips 9-16 Cheryl Style

9) If you're in the kind of therapeutic relationship where the therapist generally runs the show, decides what to talk about, and you just go along with it, BUT one week you have something you need to say that you're sure won't be on the agenda...

Call / text / email them, whatever their preferred method, enough in advance that you're SURE they saw it, and simply say "I have something specific I want to talk about this week." They'll be so curious about what it is, and so shocked at your unusual behavior that they'll ask you what it is first thing and you'll have plenty of time to talk.
10) Use students with CAUTION.
They're cheaper (or sometimes free) but the quality you get is iffy. The first student I saw was clueless. The second was GREAT! [Not to say that this hasn't happened to me with licensed professionals also] The other thing you have to consider is that you'll end up having to get a new therapist every year or every other year. Are you OK with explaining your history over and over?
11) If a therapist thinks that antagonizing you / pushing your buttons is good therapeutic motivation, chew that one over.
Maybe it is, but maybe they're reinforcing negative behaviors you'd like to curb.
12) If a therapist utters the words "people like you," or "those people," repeatedly, or even just once, FIND ANOTHER THERAPIST!
Back to the putting people in boxes thing, but HOW ABLEIST!!!! ICK! And PATRONIZING! I'm not a diagnosis, I'M A PERSON! G-d damn it! There is no person like me! Treat me! Help me! NOT my diagnosis! Can you tell I have baggage???

If your reading this blog chances are you have some grasp of the medical, social, charity models of disability. Way to medicalize! Not everyone knows disability theory of course, but some people just innately know NOT to medicalize people. FIND THEM!
13) Take your medication. Or don't. But then try yoga or something...
My point in this is not to be all, bow down to big pharma. The idea of being forcibly medicated sends chills down my spine. My point is that you need something to put you / keep you in balance, be it a mood stabilizer or an acupuncturist. Therapy works best in conjunction with things. Someone I know swears by his chiropractor, another by transcendental meditation, and another swims 10hrs / week. Do it with pills or without. Whatever floats your boat.

Feel like your treatment team is being too forceful, intentionally giving you a one sided picture of things, (especially of DANGEROUS things like ECT), or is even just the tinyist bit vague? Antagonize them. One pdoc suggested maybe I try a medication that, after searching the interwebs, I discovered has a possible side affect of muscle spasm with pain. I thought I was the crazy one. He's crazy for even considering this medication for someone with a diagnosis of spastic CP.
In addition to the yoga, time with furry creatures (a favorite of mine), or whatnot.

Who has the money to go to 6hrs of therapy a week? What therapist wants to see you everyday of the week? Unfortunately, they won't let you stay past an hr. Sometimes you need more then an hour in one sitting. Try searching for a DBSA affiliated group. My group is open 2.5hrs twice a week for unstructured time, followed by a 90min support group both days AND is open a 3rd day for a 2hr WRAP session. It'll get you through hopefully... My therapist might be more grateful then I am...

Don't be nervous to find out that there aren't any licensed professionals present at a peer run support group. "They're" not as crazy as you think, and can share more honest stories then a professional can. Plus, peers don't tend to medicalize.
15) If your therapist can't coordinate with your other treating professionals, DITCH THEM!
I'm not even talking about keeping in touch with my botox doc aka pain doc aka physiatrist (the technical term) because that is so complicated (Um, NOT! See #2). Let's start with the most basic and work up to that one. I once had a therapist and a pdoc who had never heard of each other, nor made any attempt to contact each other. Now if that isn't essential, I don't know what is...
16) Lastly, if you happen to find someone who is email savvy, is actually interested in what you have to say, DOESN'T medicalize or make you want to punch a wall, will willingly coordinate with other treating professionals, AND is open to your ideas for alternative treatments, HOLD ONTO THEM. They're a rare breed...


Emma said...

Can you change the text colour please? It's hard to read against this background (which I really like, btw)

Cheryl said...

Did you wait for the solid brown to load behind the text? I've had people report problems with a previous background without waiting for the solid pink to show up. If so, what text color would you suggest?

Emma said...

Yes I did wait and it's still hard to read. You could try white or you could use one of the colours from the image? I like the pink.

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