Therapy for non American in America, will it work?

So this year both my mum and one of my very best and closest friends died suddenly months apart, it still feels like I am in some weird alternative timeline. They both died back in Africa so I had to suck up the pain for my internship this summer in NYC. I got the return offer and start next July. 

My father lost all his money trying to keep my mum alive and now he is gearing me up to be the bread winner for my siblings in Africa when I start. I also had some prior violent trauma from civil unrest in the country I am from and after my mum died I realized I never got over it, her death made all those shootings and near death experiences resurface because despite all the near misses, I never lost anyone close to me and her death came in what could've been the best year of my life so now I constantly think back to situations we survived together and the fact that it was a stroke that took her out of all things she survived.  

I can't concentrate in my masters program now and I think I might not finish my masters program on time because I haven't dealt with these issues and I am scared my bank will rescind my offer when I tell them. My masters has a part time option but idk if my bank will even believe this story. 

I tried to talk to a NY based therapist and they called me a "fantasist" and said we need to try and work on bringing my stories down to reality and others give me a similar vibe without outright saying it. 

I just think they are used to more westernized problems and I don't want to waste money on a paid session. So what do you guys think are there specialized therapists you know about in the city? Is there anyone not from a western country who made it into high finance and has any advice on dealing with past trauma? Please let me know I am at my wits end

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Comments (18)

  • Associate 3 in HF - Other
Oct 20, 2021 - 1:49pm

It is common for people to evaluate several therapists before they find one whose treatment style meets their needs.

Oct 20, 2021 - 1:54pm

Agreed with the above. I've never tried therapy, but a few of my close friends have and it took them 4+ therapists each before finding one that really jived with them. I would keep trying as much as you can, and I really hope you can recover from all the trauma/loss you are dealing with.

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Oct 20, 2021 - 2:17pm

Sorry for your loss. You need a new therapist - some are duds.

I think the first thing you need to focus on is the task at hand. Finish your masters program on time so everything will be on track.

Focus on the things you can control and also begin to hit the gym hard and get enough sleep. Eat well and hydrate. Take 5,000 - 10,000 IU of D3 per day.

Get in the groove of your masters program. Keep a good support system - keep in contact with your family.

When you start FT, you're going to want to maximize your net income and typically might have to forgo some partying if you want to maximize the amount you can send to your dad and siblings. You have this grand opportunity and they don't. Also, you might want to move into a 3BR or something with roommates to save money.

Hopefully your siblings will also become earners and help them on their journey to get out of poverty and be successful. In many ways, you have become the leader of this family, be happy that you will soon have access to a good wage and always give 110% at work. 

Some work outings might be necessary for networking, so definitely go out sometimes if needed with the team, but you're likely going to have to deny some requests to party in the city if you're going to save money. That's why developing a good gym routine will keep you balanced.

Good luck. Cheers - 🍻 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 7
Oct 20, 2021 - 10:28pm

Your therapist is shit. Who uses words like "fantasist" nowadays.

Keep looking, dude. Find someone who has documented proper training in your concerns (trauma, high achieving, grief/loss). A therapist can write whatever they want on their websites; you need to dig for their education and training background. Sad to say it, but due diligence on healthcare practitioners is a thing nowadays because there are too many diploma mill/shitty programs churning out unqualified practitioners. PM me if you need assistance and/or resources. (Source: am therapist)

Currently: future neurologist, current psychotherapist Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
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Oct 20, 2021 - 11:09pm

Sorry for your loss. Things may seem foggy right now but you are capable of getting through this and will thrive.

I echo on seeking therapy. A good therapist will be incredibly helpful. Right now, you do not have a good therapist. Have a chat with a few and hopefully one will jive with you well.

Best of luck

Oct 21, 2021 - 10:48am

Sorry for your loss. Your concern is genuine and I'm afraid you'll struggle to find the type of therapist you are looking for in a place like NY. If you still have contacts in your home country, see if you can find someone there willing to have online sessions.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

Oct 22, 2021 - 11:38am

Online sessions don't work like that. They would have to be licensed to practice in the location OP is currently located in. Highly doubt a therapist from their home country they would have NY state licensure.

Currently: future neurologist, current psychotherapist Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
Oct 22, 2021 - 11:48am

Who is ever going to check?

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

Oct 21, 2021 - 11:21am

Therapy isn't magic. You are wallowing and not focusing on the task at hand. The therapist was trying to tell you that you are being "fantasist" as in you're building up these huge issues that you've built up as something you can't overcome, but you have in the past. Not all therapists are good, but some are quite good. Some will put up with your BS and some won't. 

Western society is so great because we basically don't care about your home life but the work you produce. Sure you could derail your life right now. Or you could work to overcome your feelings and continue on the great path you've been on. You can do both at the same time... I'm some anon poster on the internet, but everyone has trauma. If you let this derail your life then you've earned whatever squalor you end up in.

Oct 22, 2021 - 11:39am

Not everyone wants to be known for the work they produce though. Not trying to speak for OP or anyone else, but maybe - just maybe - some people want to have a fulfilling home life, and aren't willing to give that up for the sake of work prestige.

(I'm still learning about that work-life balance thing, unfortunately)

Currently: future neurologist, current psychotherapist Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
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Oct 22, 2021 - 2:07pm

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