The winding road of therapy. Part 3.

In the previous parts I described my teenage years and young adult life. At 16 a GP told me hesitant that she thought in the direction of a possible depression. I refused that diagnosis and any medications that possibly would come with that. In college I struggled in silence, almost mute, through an internship and writing my thesis. I did went into counseling which worked out fine for the troubles I encountered at that time. Now I live on my own and I do have a real job. What will life bring?

 

Adult life.

I need to clarify on a ‘real’ job. At that point in time I worked 8 years as a waitress, all the shifts possible and during summer at two locations. To pay for, you know, college, my dorm, books, food, tuition, transport and clothing. But my mum hoped that one day I would find a ‘real’ job. Looking back, I did work. I really did and it was a real job. Just not to her liking. So when I got a job in a psychiatric hospital, again working within the field of addiction but to legal substances this time, I thought she would be finally accepting. That didn’t happen and she told me over the phone that the job would be to straining for me. Was she right? I don’t know, maybe so.

 

I landed a permanent position as an ‘attendant’. I don’t know the correct term in English. I loved doing groups and individual sessions with clients. I worked at different units, met people from the whole spectrum of the DSM. I met different teams, different therapeutic settings and different psychiatrists. I learned so much and was eager to learn much more. It was straining at times, but I was proud! As I moved on from working at the café, I lost those friends. My other friends were also busy with their life.

 

At one point in time I was told to work at the mother-baby unit. I used to work within the field of rehabilitation, which I adored but on the other hand, being rather new, I had my struggles with. I used to read and think a lot about what I did every day. What is the fine line between empathy and becoming too personal with a client? I wondered about the topic of feelings of ‘love’. Nobody spoke about that. What about the effect the clients have on you? Because there is an effect, we are not robots. Didn’t hear anything about that. It felt more like an one sighted approach but we’re all in it together no? Now I like to think that I’ve learned things. I did get used to handle a professional distance but what I am pointing out is, is that someone who comes fresh out of college can struggle with those themes.

 

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JR Korpa

 

When I was told to work at the mother-baby unit, I decided to look for a therapist. I do have a difficult relationship with my mother and I felt that I needed supervision to be more aware of my own history and to prevent blind spots in the therapy that I would provide. It felt like it was the right time to look for therapy both for my personal as for my professional needs.

 

What I clearly remember is that during the third year I was working at that unit, I had a companion. It was a presence that tucked me in at night and greeted me first thing I woke up. Than it commuted with me to work. Three times a day there were thoughts of suicidal ideation. I didn’t realize that was even a thing, that it had a name, before I started blogging. I learned about it reading these and these blogs. I didn’t know it was a thing at the time therefore I never spoke about it. I just remember one day sobbing on the bus. It made me feel uncomfortable. I changed units that year and immersed myself in the world of psychosis, schizophrenia and rehabilitation. I worked as a psychologist. Three years later that ended in a mini burnout. Why mini? Because I ran from it as hard as I could and when I looked back it looked small. I took a two week break, went to Barcelona and started working as an attendant again in rehabilitation. But I digress, dear reader, I wanted to speak about my quest finding help and therapy.

 

I did have a stroke of luck there I believe. Looking for a therapist, I decided to go with psychoanalysis again because it still had my interest. I didn’t want to travel far again so I looked on the internet for the availability in my city and I decided on a male therapist. With the first search I found someone located a few streets away. A psychoanalyst in the tradition of Jung. Great, I didn’t had much knowledge of Jung, so I made the call. He did pick up the first attempt. An appointment was set within a two week span. He explained that the first 3 or 4 session were to see if we could work on my issues together. He told the price and location and that was it. That was all. Perfect!

 

I was nervous for those preliminary sessions because I was a afraid that I wouldn’t be able to speak clearly about my issues. It felt a bit as I needed to be ‘interesting enough’ or ‘worthy to be listened to’ but it went not too bad. During the third session or so, I really started to tell my story hesitantly. Now I believe it is almost 8 years later, I still go every week for a 40’ session. Why? Because I feel it does help me. Because it is one of the few things that don’t take energy out of me (even while having burnout). No matter how tired I am, no matter how shitty I feel, I go. It never crossed my mind not to go. It never feels like a chore. There is no agenda during these sessions, no preparation or homework. It’s all about free association[1]. It means I can speak freely about everything. There is a transference[2] built and it is been taken care of by the therapist. As a result I feel safe.

 

Fast forward to today, see, I told you we would arrive in the present times, due to burnout and depression additional therapy is needed. That is partly my own opinion/need and partly the opinion of others. I will adress present struggles with therapy next Thursday. I thank you very much for taking an interest in my blog and for being here. If you want to catch up you can find part 1 here and part 2 here.

 

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_association_(psychology)

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transference

17 thoughts on “The winding road of therapy. Part 3.

  1. Your ‘attendant’ would probably be called a Support Worker here in the UK. I understand what you’re saying in that you got no help with feelings about and towards clients because we do get them, positive or negative. It’s something we were taught in Mental Health Nurse studies.
    So glad you found a therapist to work with, it’s not always easy finding the right one for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aha a Support Worker, that actually sounds good as long it is also in support of the patient 😉 I’ve been told too about pos/neg feelings. But knowing and put it into practice so it can benefit the therapy is something else. Those feelings can hold a whole team hostage and the patient is not getting the help they need. That was what I wanted to think and talk about but again, that’s me. See why I need therapy? 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello, (I wish I had your name to properly address) Thank you for sharing your story and I’m so pleased you were able to find a therapist to address your onset of depression. I wish you the best of luck moving forward with your therapy sessions.
    Take good care of yourself.
    Beckie

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Tony Benn was a British politician. He lived to a ripe old age, we only lost him in 2014, I think he was 88. In his older life, he addressed the question of the role of older people in society. He came to the conclusion that their role, simply, was to encourage.
    That was also your mum’s role, I think. The trouble is, we have children, and none of us stop to think about the role of being a parent, it just evolves. But Benn’s answer seems to be very reasonable, for that question, too.
    Maybe to share some doubts, not, for sure to sweep them away as if they don’t exist, but at the same time, to encourage.
    That is my own view but you will also have read what a fuckup I was as a parent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love me some encouragement when I was younger. I helps so much but it was different. I do understand that it is not easy being a parent, there is no manual for that.
      I don’t think anyone can be worse than my father (ok they can but) he left before I was born, that is not the best of parenting skills either. But then again I don’t know the full story, my family is full of secrets.
      I also don’t think it is a big problem when you do or address something wrong as a parent, but sometimes when you admit to it or explain that can heal too. Either way, it is a two way street and when one road is closed, what can you do?
      I’ll read your story too, I’ve red a little in the ‘throwback post’ I don’t know it’s called.
      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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