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Severely, persistently mentally ill? 

At what point do we make the decision that therapy won't work? That someone won't get better, can't get better?


Who gets to make that decision?


I'm a believer in therapy, which should go without saying, since I'm a psychologist. But I also know that many traditional therapy methods don't work for those with more severe or prolonged symptoms - the "difficult" patients.


I've had my clients over the years who have felt like they were given up on by therapists, and so they gave up on themselves. Some even adopted the label, "untreatable." If this has been your experience, I am truly sorry.


There are many things about my field I don't agree with. One of those things is labeling people as untreatable. The primary reason I don't believe anyone is untreatable is this: humans are incredibly complicated, and what you know about yourself so far is just what you've been. What's happened up to this point in your life is not necessarily a great indicator of what can happen or who you can be. Do you have a backlog of pain, disappointment, loss, hopelessness, repetitive failure in therapy?


I'll believe you if you say you do.


But I can tell you, emphatically so, that you have not tried everything, that you are not a lost cause, and that I have been at that despair point too. There is hope, but it might not look the way you're expecting.


If you're still unconvinced, do yourself a favor and hear me out.


 

Resources


For those suffering with depression and feeling unseen and helpless, I wrote this for you - because I was you.



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