In Session: Week One of Therapy

I'm no stranger to therapy. This is my fourth time in therapy, but this is the first time I've been when I haven't been in absolute crisis. I'm doing it for my own mental health--preventive care if you will. I'm not even sure yet if I'll go every week (can you say "$$$$$"?), but I do think it's worth the cash. I see it as an investment in myself, something I'm resistant to do but something I'm trying to do more of now.

Living in an urban area, there are literally a bajillion (that's right, a bajillion) therapists around. So, I looked for pastoral counselors (they have clinical and spiritual training), and found a woman (really prefer a woman) who is a Methodist pastor (yay--Methodist like me) and whose office is right by my old workplace. Convenience was a big deciding factor for me. When I lived in CT, I had to take I-95 at rush hour to get to my therapist's office, which resulted in me feeling really on edge and unfocused when I got there. So this time, I was pleased to be able to jump on the Metro without having to worry about traffic except for the tourists who are once again invading. (Grrr--it's stand to the RIGHT people!)

I really over-thought the whole thing beforehand. I was worried that we wouldn't connect, that I wouldn't feel like I could be honest, that I would have my people-pleasing tendencies return and feel like I had to be completely, uber self-aware. Luckily, none of those things ended up being true. I really, really liked her. She was warm, interactive, and safe. And pregnant. VERY pregnant. That means she'll be out of counseling for at least 8 weeks starting in June. Something to worry about in another few weeks.

I was surprised that when she asked me why I had come in that I immediately started crying. For me, this was a good surprise. I never felt like I could cry with my old therapist. I'm not exactly sure why. We had more of an intellectual way of talking about my feelings. Today I felt much more connected to the physicality of my emotions. What I immediately felt was acceptance--she affirmed that this was a hard thing, that learning my relationship was not what I thought it was really sucks, that I had given so much to the relationship and was losing so much now. Thank God. Acceptance. Isn't that what we all want?

Nothing I said was any kind of revelation. I knew everything that I told her already. But I walked away feeling less burdened than when I walked in. That's really what I needed today. I look forward to working with her, to doing my own work outside of session (love that she gave me "homework" to do!), and to learning more about myself.

There's also a Macy's right next store. Thinking next time I'll add some retail therapy to the mix!

5 comments:

  1. Sometimes just TALKING is enough to make you feel better. And retail therapy could DEFINITELY help ;-)

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  2. Absolutely. And crying with something who gets it helps. I just wish I could cry AND talk at the same time. I am basically incomprehensible when I cry.

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  3. I've been wanting to go to therapy for a while now and I definitely fear I'll find someone I can't talk to, because it takes me so much to open up to anyone -- even my own mother! I'm glad you've found someone you can open up to, even if she will be gone for 8 weeks.

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  4. Stephany, I hope when you're ready you'll give it a try. Sometimes it takes trying a few people until you find the right fit. And if you decide to try, you may find it easier to open up to a stranger. Family and friends are close to us and want what's best for us, and sometimes that can get in the way of our honesty. Keep me posted!

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  5. I am so glad you found one so easy to talk to, I need that and I like the spiritual aspect of it that you have taken.

    btw, I dont know if you notice but I comment in bulk lol but I read daily! my phone doesnt let me comment on your blog because you dont have a pop up window =( SO by the time I get home I forget to come back and comment! But today I did! Yay.

    (tmi!?)

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