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INFJs and counselling

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by Soulful, Feb 2, 2009.

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  1. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    I read somewhere that of all types, INFJs may be the most likely to seek out professional counseling to deal with things.

    Do you think this may be true or unlikely? How do you feel about counseling?

    Personally, I've found it tremendously beneficial - I like that the objectivity that it provides for me. I open up to so few people that sometimes I'd hold back on what I was going to say to someone in my personal life whereas I may not with a counselor (or it may be easier to disclose).
     
  2. ZenCat

    ZenCat Waving Sage

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    I don't know if INFJs are more likely than others are. I tried to get my ISFJ daughter into counseling when she was a teenager, and she was firmly - almost violently opposed. I'm extremely open to it, for individuals, couples, families.

    I went into counseling at age 24 (low cost, through a church, even though I was not that religion/any religion... it wasn't religion-based counseling).

    It helped me completely turn around my life, which was headed in a very bad direction, and I had lost all hope and life wasn't looking much worth living. At age 24, I thought my life was over and that I could happily die. By the age of 27, I was firmly on the path that brought me to the person I am now, only minus all the manic pendulum mood swings. As a result of it, I developed tools I've used ever sincefor coping, trying to understand my motivations for doing things, situations that trigger some of my bad responses, etc.

    After the initial few sessions, my particular therapy focused on ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics), which I had never heard of. It was like somebody had turned a light on above the whole world, and suddenly I felt less alone.

    I've had a couple of other intervals of counseling, never as in-depth as the first one.

    My advice to anyone seeking counseling is to listen to your instincts regarding the person (psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, therapist, counselor, whatever) you're working with. Comfort and ease with the other person is crucial, I feel. If you don't have good chemistry with them, find someone else.
     
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  3. Zanshin

    Zanshin Community Member

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    It definitely is crucial. Never had the experience, but I'm a psych major probably going into counseling of some sort. I've seen videos of counselors with just little to no emotion and it just begs the person not to open up. Not that they're judgemental or anything, but you do need that connection. For me and probably others, the counselor would have to be friendly and understanding with a welcoming personality and even a sense of humor when appropriate.
     
  4. gOpHeR

    gOpHeR Community Member

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    I was court ordered into counseling... I got the most arrogant, condescending son of a bitch who thought he was doing the world a favor and used that attitude to suppress other peoples opinions and personalities when they didn't mesh with his own. He knew people had no choice but to be there or lose their freedom, and he wasn't affraid to remind them.(I didn't like him if you can't tell)

    I went to his director and told him about what was happening and started to take control of my "treatment" and am so glad I did. I sure as hell wasn't going to stay there and bend over for this guy when this should have been an opportunity for personal growth.

    It was a 2 month fiasco between me, my probation officer and said mental health institution, but in the end I was able to find a counselor that was genuine and I believe it was a positive experience.
     
  5. OP
    Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    I agree about the feel for a relationship between a counsellor and client. It's like any relationship - you get vibes... And perhaps INFJs pick up on those quite a bit.
     
  6. OP
    Soulful

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    Thank you for your post ZenCat. I've been in counseling before, feels like I've been in it my entire life. On and off in high school, and then for most of my time in university. In high school, it wasn't great - uggh makes me feel awful just thinking about it. I want to say it wasn't actual counseling - even though at some points it could have qualified as it. Suffice to say, I got more from talking to one teacher. Then in university, I began seeing a counselor, and it was amazing. I had appointments, only they were weeks apart - like every four or five weeks, unfortunately, and only during the 8 month school year. Although it wasn't overly solutions-focused, it was just what I needed at the time. I can't credit my counselor (then) enough for what an impact it made on my life.

    Given that, I feel that I've been in counselling for years, and I was considering getting some now - probably something short-term, just to sort out a few things that I haven't yet sorted out. But I feel self-conscious, feeling "yet again..?" - even though what I had wasn't very steady.

    So I'm leaning towards it. I wouldn't have to pay for it. So it's a good opportunity in that sense too. I'm feeling a little nervous about it, yikes. I tend to be so specific - unintentionally - as to who I feel comfortable around, that I hope I'd get a counsellor and it would work well.
     
  7. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    I've seen a counselor a few times. He was an ISFP, but pretty decent at his job. Acted as a more objective sounding board for my thoughts and ideas while providing a decent level of 'connection', despite that he wasnt really an intellectual -- I still got plenty out of it. I'd rather have an INFJ or INTP as my counselor though, simply because they can understand N thought processes a little bit better. I cant say that i've ever had INFPs give me good advice.
     
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  8. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    I've had excellent counselling experience myself. My counsellor is extremely personable, interested in hearing what you have to say, doesn't judge, etc. It was great just to be in a safe environment where I could open up without fear, though it took me a while to learn to do that. Also served as a great sounding board for me, and a good experience in learning why I (re)acted the way I did. If you've got a good counsellor, go with it!
     
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  9. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    My therapist was a jerk, who treated me like an object and had no empathy what so ever. I could spill my emotions out and be devastated whereas he would simply suggest that I was irrational :/
     
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  10. OP
    Soulful

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    That sounds wonderful Milon. The counselor I saw while I was in school, it was the same way with her (for me) as your experience with yours. It took me a very long time to open up, but once I did, I felt so safe, I felt cared about :love:, I felt understood for the first time in my life - truly understood - probably because I also felt I could truly open up. It felt incredible and she was absolutely wonderful. I think that's one of the reasons why I feel hesitant this time around - because I'd have to meet someone new, and I don't know what that person will be like. They'd have to be amazing as well. And I don't know how common that may be. I don't mean to sound cynical. It's just, I think she really was one-of-a-kind, not only as a therapist but as a person. And at the end of our sessions, I learned she was a fellow INFJ :) That was cool. I really can't credit her enough..

    I'm going to take the chance and make an appointment soon though, try anew, and I hope that everything will work out for the best.
     
  11. OP
    Soulful

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    That's very unfortunate Pristine. I imagine that must have felt awful.
    Not all of them are like that... just a thought, in case you ever decide you'd like to see someone again :)
     
  12. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    Thank you for caring soulful! Ao I have heard, but sometimes I have issues on that as well. haha ^^ Because I don't want my new councellor to be nice only because they found out that I had issues with my former one being unempathic. I want them to be nice and realise it for themselves you know :p xD

    I want them to be nice instinctively you know, genuinely.
     
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  13. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    My God! I would've been absolutely crushed if that happened to me! Someone in a profession who's supposed to help others work through their issues and heal, simply listening passively and saying "maybe you're irrational" - I don't know what that would have done to me! *deep breath* I'm glad you made it out okay. If you try again, I hope you have a better experience next time.
     
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  14. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    Oh believe it did in fact have me crushed and I still linger over it from time to time. Mr. therapist was supposed to call me last week but he didnt, so again I am feeling ignored, which I canot take. The world needs love and empathy, I don't understand what a man like he chose a proffession that he clearly cannot master. I have even told him that I need empathy which was so hard for me to say, but somehow he got it out of me. And his respond was: "I don't believe being empathic will do any good for you".

    Thank you for your kind words. Somehow it helps to know that people can understand. ^^
     
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  15. IndigoSensor

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    I have had largely had very good experience with counsilng.

    The one thing that many people have already said, is just finding one that you truly trust and feel good around. That is of the upmost importance. I mean, how will counsling be benifichal if you feel there is a block between the two of you.

    I have had only one bad experience with counsilng. It is a long story and I don't feel like typing it. In a nutshell, a while after I came out to my father, he FORCED me to see a counsler to "talk about being gay". First of all, he feels counsiling is a waste of time. Second of all, he hemmed and hauned when I used to see councilers with my mom when I was a child. Turns out (i figured it out right in the beginning), he was using the counsler to fish information out of me. So if someone MAKES you go see a counsler, I would avoid it. They are likely not going to find one who is good for you anyway. You are the best judge in that respect.
     
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  16. IndigoSensor

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    ... can I PLEASE whack him in the head with a baseball bat? That is the kind of thing that will make me talk back to someone and or leave.
     
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  17. OP
    Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    That must have been awful, Indigo! I'm glad your other experiences were positive.

    Was the counselor not bound by confidentiality terms?
     
  18. J. Cardigan

    J. Cardigan Community Member

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    This. So much.

    I've never been good at studying, and I've been really confused as what I want to study in college, so I began to go to counseling. My first counselor actually suggested I "take a break from school", *twice*, even though I told her that I already have and I didn't think it was a good idea.

    I didn't feel comfortable with her, and I felt she was giving me "by the books" answers as opposed to something that was tailored specifically to my needs. I switched counselors and immediately liked the one I have now. It doesn't hurt that she's quite cute. :)

    It feels really good to talk to someone about things I don't feel like I can talk with anyone else about. Some of the things she's asked me have hit close to home, though. Last session, I was asked, "Do you feel like there's anyone who fully understands you?" I don't feel like I elicited this type of question, but she apparently felt it was appropriate to ask. It hit pretty hard, and I'm still mulling it over in my head.

    It's been interesting and extremely therapeutic. I wish the sessions were longer and that I got more of them, but you can have too much of a "good" thing.
     
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  19. PsilocinProject

    PsilocinProject Community Member

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    I wish I had an answer...

    As an E/INTP... I pretty much look at myself objectively anyways. :X
     
  20. darkstar

    darkstar Community Member

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    If I were in your situation, I'd find a new counselor, it sounds like he is the one who needs counseling, CAREER counseling.

    And to respond to the original poster, I would probably be receptive to counseling, however, I would need to find one that didn't' brush off my issues.
    I tend to use my friends as counselors, which can tend to push them away. But on the other hand, when someone comes looking for my advice, I actually enjoy helping them.
     
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