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My cousellor told me that she believes my disorganisation, spontaneousness and stubborness is part of my depression. I told her i've always been like that, and it's part of my personality. We had a big argument.
I tried to explain I've always been stubborn (i'm a taurus) and sorta spontaneous. I know she is trying to help me, but i'm scared i'll lose my identity and become someone i'm not. I don't want her trying to change my personality type, but I want to feel better as well. I do agree that my disorganisation is part of my depression, but not all the other things she said.
I'm scared, because i've lost my identity before and went through lots of stress. What should I do?
She even got the wrong impression of me that I didn't care about getting better. But I DO!
 

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My cousellor told me that she believes my disorganisation, spontaneousness and stubborness is part of my depression. I told her i've always been like that, and it's part of my personality. We had a big argument.
I tried to explain I've always been stubborn (i'm a taurus) and sorta spontaneous. I know she is trying to help me, but i'm scared i'll lose my identity and become someone i'm not. I don't want her trying to change my personality type, but I want to feel better as well. I do agree that my disorganisation is part of my depression, but not all the other things she said.
I'm scared, because i've lost my identity before and went through lots of stress. What should I do?
She even got the wrong impression of me that I didn't care about getting better. But I DO!
Hi dreamer.. i think a lot of people tend to go through this process when they see a mental health professional. It's ok to be a little afraid, most people don't have the courage to see someone in the first place. It is a very difficult and hard process recovering from psychological issues as you probably well know. Remember to take baby steps, everything counts :)

What and how do you think she is trying to change you, and Why are you scared to lose your identity? what is this identity you're afraid of losing? how open are you to letting go of the things that may be hurting you?
 

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I'm in the same place. I really really really hate talking to psychologists and I'm quite confused as to what I'd turn out like seeing as depression makes up such a large part of me as a person.
 

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I can be disorganized, stubborn and spontaneous. I can't help it. I try to be normal. I try to remember to take my clothes out of the washer and dry them. I usually don't. When I do, I then forget to take them out of the dryer and they get wrinkled. It's a curse, I am going to wear wrinkled clothes for the rest of my life.

My room's messy most of the time, but it isn't dirty. I'm still going to wear that shirt on my desk. It doesn't need to be washed but it also doesn't have status deserving of a hanger. I put it there when I decided to wear a different shirt to go for a walk because I was feeling self-conscious. But when I took it off I didn't feel like I had the time to hang it up again so it was neatly draped over my desk. No one is going to be able to fix that, I've been trying my whole life and I'm still the same.

That's not a cop out though. I'm all for talking to people about your problems, I need a healthy perspective free from overwhelming emotions. I don't think of my crazy behavior as the cause my depression or anxiety, I think of it more as the symptom. I am down to do something different or engaging all of the time because I am trying to escape from stress and pain. And I am stubborn in some of my views because I sometimes react to things rather than respond. I have a lot of emotional reactions because I'm insecure, but I'm dealing with them one at a time.

I find that the healthier I get, mentally and emotionally, the more control I have over many of my quirks. When I feel good I am able to pay attention well and get things done on time. It's crazy self feeding prophecy cycles or whatever, and it gets confusing. So I'm not really sure how it all works, I just wanted to relate to being swept up in impulses and feelings. It's freakin crazy being an INFP, someone should give me a medal.
 

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A therapist is someone you hire to help you. They are not there to force you to do anything. Are you not understanding the relationship? If you don't like this woman's advice or don't trust it, you need to move on to another counselor. They are not people you sit there and argue with. They are people you've hired to help you achieve your goals.

It sounds like there is a personality conflict. Your counselor will not take it personal at all if you tell her you need to start seeing someone else. Finding compatibility and establishing trust is essential in the therapist/counselor relationship.
 
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Dreamer, since I don't know your therapist, I don't know the level of her quality and competence, so I cannot speak to that. However, I do have some thoughts about the things she suggested to you, and about your concerns.

You don't need to worry about losing your spontaneousness, stubbornness, or unstructured style as they pertain to your personality. Those are a part of you, and you should keep them. Think of this process as a development of balance...balance that will enrich your life. It is imbalance that aids in creating depression, and perhaps this is what your counselor has noticed, that you could use traits that balance out the negative aspects of the aforementioned ones. Since I don't know you, I don't know which balancing traits you may have more or less of. But allow me to give a general description of what these aforementioned traits look like when unbalanced, and then what they look like when balanced with complementary traits:

Traits when imbalanced:

Spontaneousness - A person becomes flighty and prone to making rash decisions without considering the outcome as it effects self or others. Commitments and plans are avoided or minimized, and may even become fears, that these would destroy freedom. Poor decisions then lead to regrets that are consciously acknowledged or suppressed. Regret combines with guilt and depression results.

Stubbornness - May become unbudging for irrational reasons and close off to important options or opportunities. Self and others end up frustrated. Resentment develops against those who try to push against their position or decision. Self ultimately becomes the object being defended, more than a rational or meaningful position. These social conflicts, as well as some of the results from unwise stubbornness wear on the self-esteem and depression results.

Disorganization - Life becomes disarrayed. The person becomes unreliable. Self-esteem lowers. Organized people swoop in to point out errors. Defensiveness increases, and self-esteem is compromised more. The person feels inadequate because they lack the ability to turn their goals and dreams into reality because of the disarray in their lives. Inadequacy leads to a depression.

That is what these traits may be like when unbalanced by complementary traits. But when spontaneousness is complemented by increased decisiveness, and stubbornness is complemented by flexible consideration, and disorganization is complemented by structure, these personal traits can be truly set free to allow more confidence and opportunities.

Traits when balanced:

Spontaneousness - The person is gifted with the ability to see many immediate possibilities within any given situation, and knows which ones are appropriate for the time to bring joy, fun, laughter, or creative potential.

Stubbornness - The person has strong will, and knows when certain positions and decisions should be upheld, and upholds them with honor, but also has the flexibility and humility to recognize when a personal position needs to be amended. This person becomes very respected by others for being both strong-willed yet open-minded.

Disorganization - Instead of disorganization, the person instead develops the ability to discern when it is important to have certain things in order, and when a free or abstract approach will lend creativity or enjoyment to a given situation. They have the ability to have things organized when they need to be, and can also use abstraction in useful ways. Such a person can become very inventive, creative, and successful in their ability to see their ideas through into reality.

...Just so I can give you a personal perspective on this, I struggle with every one of these imbalances. It used to be to a terrible degree. My life was filled with rash decisions, stubbornness in my bad choices and perspectives, and a life of pure clutter and no follow-through. I earned a poor reputation through these issues, but at the same time these traits are part of my personality! It took awhile for me to realize I had to do something about these imbalances, and my therapist tried over and over to convince me, but I didn't comply until I realized my life was utterly unmanageable. Now I have better balance, though I have a long way to go.

My spontaneousness now shows through in my ability to sit down at a piano and improvise whatever comes to my mind to fit the situation or mood and provide enjoyment to people. Also, I am quick to notice a person's mood and think of ways to give them the kind of attentiveness they might need. However, I think through things when I am tempted to get swept away by my feelings and do things I'd regret. This has become a real life-saver.

My stubbornness is becoming more about passion. I am understanding the things that are truly important to me and carry great value. I've had to learn to let some of those things go, though, which I valued but were corroding my life and well-being. Now that I know more which passions are healthy, I am unrelenting in upholding my views and dreams that I know represent who I am and who I should become.

My disorganization is still a pretty big problem. I am learning to take steps by seeing manageable situations where I can execute structure and develop the skill without compromising my abstract way of performing things and thinking through things. Disorganization, honestly, is not good for the most part, except in some creative outlets. A way that I've developed to use disorganization in a healthy way and execute structure at the same time would be to sit down at the piano and play whatever I like without a consistent rhythm, meandering melodies...whatever feels good. But then, when I find something I like, I form a melodic structure, and make sure there is a sensible rhythm to it. My abstract approach provided the feelings I wanted, and my organizational ability helped me turn it into a real piece, and I feel more confident knowing I can do it.

Anyway, I hope some of this is helpful. I am definitely not telling you I know what you need, but rather showing a perspective that you can perhaps glean from. Make sure you let your therapist know your concerns over your identity, and let her know that you'd like to keep the identity you have, but strengthen the weaker traits and balance out unhealthy ones...let her know anytime your identity feels vulnerable. Best wishes to you :)
 

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Ack I totally get this. My counselor was suggesting something similar - we don't really see eye to eye. She thinks the internet is the devil (pssh I always connected better emotionally first to people over the internet xD). But when I went to my psychiatrist and mentioned this uneven viewpoint specifically, not even going into the whole "wants me to completely change things about myself" bit, she was the one who actually suggested that it takes time to find the one that gets you most, and is going to refer me to a younger one who understands the younger generation better.

Is your counselor older? You don't have to settle if you're so afraid of compromising yourself to find help.

But also depression is something you must let go, even if it may change your personality. It won't be for the worst. You will probably keep your core values and traits, but will be less negatively affected by them or hampered.

Best wishes to you either way, you deserve to be happy! Don't ever forget that, it's vital.
 

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Yeah I don't think what the counselor is doing is right OP. The counselor shouldn't attempt to interfere with your personality. I see a psychologist and she is very careful not to do this, she mainly acts as a sounding board for me to bounce my thoughts off. She may offer me strategies but she won't question who I am. In fact she described psychologists who attempt to interfere with someone in that way as "quacks". Not that I'm saying your counselor is that bad, she was probably talking about more extreme cases.
 

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It takes time to find a counselor who matches up well with you. If you feel this person doesn't understand you too well, then you should move on and try to find someone else. Therapists are people with their own opinions too, so if you guys aren't on the same page about how to tackle the issues you are facing then it usually will just make things worse.

With that said, none of what the counselor said was bad advice. I'd get deeply into it, but Matchbook summed up everything I would have said better than I could hope to. There is a difference between being balanced while having these personality traits, and being unbalanced/depressed and having these personality traits contribute to that even further. Sometimes, therapists have to tell you things you don't want to hear or are afraid to do, but that is partially their job: exposing the truth to you as best they can to help you turn your life around.

Don't get me wrong, I agree it is a scary thought that you might lose some of who you are, but if you were so happy with who you are right now, why are you seeing a therapist in the first place?

I think the challenge for most INFPs, specifically in regard to the issues your therapist brought up, is finding systems that work for them. I spent much time in the past year trying to figure out how I could get my life on track better to achieve the things I want to do. Often, those systems are made for the majority who operate much differently than most INFPs, so it can be hard to find the right tools and keep up with using them. For example, some people need every single detail of their day and life scheduled in their planner. This certainly would never work for me. But that doesn't mean I have to give up on trying to organize my life at all!

So, I go halfway and usually have a running 'To Do' list. Nothing is scheduled unless I absolutely must do it, and I usually stop a few times throughout the day to check my list and see if I can cross off a few things. The stuff that doesn't get done simply gets moved to the next day, and so on. This way I keep my spontaneity, but I have some level of organization so that I don't get depressed always being upset with myself from not remembering to do things and never getting anything done. It isn't the most effective system in the world, but it works well enough for me to keep my life running for now.
 

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That's a shame when you don't feel your counsellor understands you, as you need to have that trust. I had a few sessions with one recently and we hit it off so well, we were constantly going way over the time limit, and I often bumped into the next patient on my way out!

Ask her to justify clearly the reasons for what she is saying, and to explain why she disagrees with your point of view. I know some stubborn Taureans; is there anyway that side of your personality could be getting in the way?

If it's any consolation, I have always suffered identity crises. Until I discovered mbti profiling that is, and realised I could actually slot myself into a type and finally belong somewhere legitimately!! (although I then went through much agony tryng to decide infp/j). Questioning our identity could just be an inherent trait of introverted dreamers.
 

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I agree with what JerseyDevil said in that the process of finding a therapist who is a good match for you often takes time and a few tries, and that is normal.

In one aspect, you want a therapist who's style and approach are agreeable to you. Some have a very psychoanalytical approach, some do talk therapy, some have a more spiritual angle to their therapy, etc. It's important that the approach is something you can grasp and feel agreeable with.

In another aspect, you don't want a counselor who is overly sympathizing and validating, as crazy as that may sound. This kind of approach can fuel a client to hold on tighter to their problems, because of the desirability of finding sympathy for every complaint. A good counselor recognizes when a patient is in need of sympathy, and gives it with a proper level of restraint, but turns the matter into an opportunity for growth and healing. If your counselor doesn't make you feel uncomfortable or defensive at times, he or she is not doing their job, because before growth and freedom from pain happens, the pride and defensiveness that accumulate around those things must be dealt with. The ship of healing does not reach its destination on smooth seas only.

How do you feel about your counselor so far, Dreamer? Do you think her approach and understanding of you are good overall?

By the way, I've had 6-7 therapists, and was even "fired" by one, because I was resistent to therapy. I found problems with each therapist, and a couple were genuinely poor therapists, but over time I realized a lot of the problem was simply my lack of compliance, and unwillingness to trust. The therapist I have now is decent.
 

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I embrace my disorganization. I wouldn't want to get rid of that part of me, either. Maybe you can see someone else for a second opinion. It sounded like an odd conjecture to make anyway.
 
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