"I am unsure how to seek further, more appropriate help"

About: London

(as the patient),

I visited the GP towards the end of last year to discuss some mental health concerns. After a discussion and an offer of medication, which I declined, I was offered counselling. After two weeks of initial assessment, the counsellor offered me a further six sessions. However, my counsellor also suggested the thing I would find most beneficial was a long term, intensive course of psychoanalysis which would need to be funded independently. No question as to whether I could afford this was raised, and I found this suggestion rather controversial and unsubstantiated.

I was surprised to learn my counsellor was trained in psychodynamics, and that someone in this field would be the first point of contact and assessor for patients receiving therapy on the NHS.

During our sessions, I felt it would have been helpful to have some aims or objectives but my counsellor did not offer any, even when I asked. At one point, they suggested I may be bipolar: when I questioned whether they were able to diagnose this, they confirmed they were not. I was not referred on to a psychiatrist so wonder why this comment was made.

After my fourth session, I felt I was not benefitting from counselling due to the lack of direction and focus, as well as poor rapport with the counsellor. I contacted my GP and cancelled the sessions. Two weeks later, I received a letter from my counsellor saying I had stopped attending by making no contact: this was not the case. Additionally, great emphasis was placed upon how my anxiety had been reduced as a result of the counselling, despite the fact I do not suffer from anxiety, do not display symptoms of anxiety and did not once discuss feeling anxious in my sessions. The result of my tests did not show any discernible improvement in anxiety levels, so I am unsure why this claim was made.

Overall I do not feel I benefitted at all from the experience and am unsure how to seek further, more appropriate help.

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