Seeing a Counselor/Therapist Complications

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Seeing a Counselor/Therapist Complications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:59 pm

I am still in law school but will be working at a V10 firm in a major market. Recently I have been struggling with some mental health issues and not feeling myself. Over the summer my mother died and I think I am still having issues with that, on top of the law school stress and competitiveness. I felt that after this break I would feel more motivated and refreshed, but I am back at school and absolutely dreading another semester, something I have never felt before. I took 1 year off before law school, if that means anything.

My question is: what impact does seeing a counselor/therapist (especially one provided by the school) have on C&F, as well as anything related to my firm? I know there have been ATL articles about mental health causing issues for many people on the bar. Even a delay I would like to avoid. Is there anything I should know about keeping this from my firm?

Npret

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Re: Seeing a Counselor/Therapist Complications

Postby Npret » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:19 pm

Seeing a therapist after your mother dies seems like normal mental health care. The bar and your firm want you to be healthy. You won’t get penalized for getting therapy you need to get well.

I would be sure to get the help you need and not worry about this as a C&F issue.

I’m not sure how your firm would even find out about this.

One more thing - unaddressed mental health issues don’t resolve themselves. The sooner you get help, the better for your treatment.

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Re: Seeing a Counselor/Therapist Complications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:24 pm

This won’t even come up on C&f. Absolutely nothing to worry about - do what you need to take care of yourself. As an aside, I’m in biglaw and regularly see a therapist (not work related, just for my mental health and general stuff going on in my life). I make the appointments work, and have never had an issue. I don’t think anyone knows (although may have shared limited details with a few close colleagues), but even if they did I am 100% certain it wouldn’t be an issue.

What would be an issue, however, is not dealing with it and having my mental health impact my work. Long story short - get the help you need, when you need it. It won’t impact c&f or your career. Good luck!

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Re: Seeing a Counselor/Therapist Complications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:43 pm

So, my state asked about mental health, but the question read, "Do you currently have any condition or impairment (including, but not limited to, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, or a mental, emotional, or nervous disorder or condition ) that in any way affects your ability to practice law in a competent, ethical and professional manner?" It's pretty open ended, and I think it's arguable that treated/controlled depression/anxiety/other mental health wouldn't need to be reported. And it doesn't ask specifically about getting therapy.

I went through the federal national security background check, and for that, if you've had mental health treatment in a certain length of time you have to disclose and get a letter from your medical provider answering whether your condition/treatment affects your ability to practice. I had had treatment for anxiety/depression, so I had to say yes, but it didn't affect anything at all. And I'm pretty sure there was an exemption for purely situational treatment like grief counseling or marriage counseling, which you didn't have to report at all. Point being, even one of the stricter background checks out there isn't going to see this as a problem.

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Re: Seeing a Counselor/Therapist Complications

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:43 pm

This is my own experience. I've been suffering from severe mental illness for over 5 years. During law school, I've attempted suicide, involuntarily committed to psych unit, voluntarily committed to psych unit, seen a variety of psychotherapists and psychiatrists, missed many classes, etc. I have a lot more than merely "seeing a counselor" on my medical record. I disclosed everything on C&F and I passed it just like everyone else.

Just remember, even Shon Hopwood (who has robbed 4 banks) can pass C&F, let alone someone who has seen 4 counselors.



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