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!


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

  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.

  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.

  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!

  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.