"Women's Counselling and Therapy Service, Leeds"

About: Women's counselling and therapy service

(as the patient),

I went to my initial appointment at the leeds women's counselling service after being on the waiting list for 3 months so they could assess me to see if I would benefit from seeing them regularly. In my appointment I felt very patronised by the woman assessing me, as I felt she was talking down to me.

Not only this but I felt incredibly insulted by her. A way I deal with my mental illness is by making light of the situation by making jokes and trying to smile as I talk so it isn't as hard for me to open up about my problems. Upon displaying this behaviour, she said to me-I think you enjoy being suicidal. Never has one person offended me more. I found this extremely distressing as a stigma I often face given that I suffer depression and anxiety is the idea that it's all in my head so the accusation this counsellor made that I enjoyed being so severely depressed made me feel extremely insecure about whether I was 'faking' this illness even though it's extremely debilitating for me to deal with as some days I can't leave my house because I feel so terrible.

Also, she would not accept that I did not know the cause of my depression which I found ridiculous as I felt that therapy would help me try to find the cause.

My friend also had an appointment with this group which she found very helpful so it is possible that I just had a bad counsellor and that the service is good. Indeed I found the reception staff very helpful and pleasant, it was only my unfortunate luck that caused me to feel extremely offended and belittled.

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