Share This Chapter With Your Therapist
This chapter address psychological issues that may be the result of MCS, such as loss, isolation, and self-blame, discusses problems with psychological research on MCS, and gives guidelines for therapists wanting to provide compassionate counseling to those with environmental sensitivities.
Excerpt from p. 186-187:
Questions to Ask Potential Therapists
- “What do you know about chemical sensitivities and injuries?”
- “Can you accommodate my special requests?” For example, you may ask if the office is fragrance-free or if pesticides or petrochemical heating is present. If you are EMF sensitive you may need to ask about the possibility of turning off florescent lights, cell phones, and computers. Is the therapist willing to see you outside of their office if their environment is not safe?
- “How would you work with someone with this problem?”
- “What is your orientation?” Although today most therapists are eclectic or integrative (meaning they use a mixture of techniques), some subscribe closely to one theory that more or less guides most of their work. For example, if a therapist tells you that they are psychoanalytic, you most likely will hear a lot about your hidden defenses and your attraction for your opposite sex parent. If the therapist is “client-centered,” this means that they subscribe to the theories of Carl Rogers. These therapists are likely to listen to you and reflect back to you your feelings as they understand them. Note that there are many different types of orientations to which a potential therapist may subscribe.
- Do not work with a therapist who doesn’t “believe” in MCS or other environmental sensitivities. If you had diabetes, would you go to someone who didn’t believe in diabetes and planned to lead you to believe you could eat more and more sugar? Many anti-MCS articles have advised therapists to get to know their clients and build trust by never directly challenging their beliefs. Then slowly, the therapists try to get the clients to change their belief that chemicals are making them ill.
- Carefully research any therapy suggested to you. For example, most people with MCS who reported their experiences with antidepressants, did not do well on them. This does not mean that you wouldn’t respond well to certain drugs; but before taking them, you at least need to know as much as you can about them and what the experiences of others have been. (See chapter six for further information on antidepressants.)
- Share this chapter with your therapist. The more she or he knows about the problem, the more effectively you can be helped.