I don’t hold any grudge against therapists, doctors, nurses or the mental health field. Sometimes it just isn’t a match and not everybody is a master in his/hers craft. This is a post in my series ‘The winding road of therapy’.
In July I was on medication for about 4 or 6 weeks and it was time to find me a therapist. My doctor told me it was important to prevent a relapse in the future. I thought so too. I did what I always do and browsed the internet. A lot of fancy descriptions passed my screen, many young ladies who are capable to address a wide variety of life problems. None of them really gained my trust. I thought about ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). That was a group therapy with fixed dates and I also wanted to go on a holiday as soon as it was possible. It wasn’t a fit.
In yet another meeting my doctor concluded that I have gained the all the insights one can get through talktherapy. Hands up for psychoanalysis! His initial opinion was that it is not efficient and time consuming. HA! He referred me to a dramatherapist. ‘To feel more and think less’.
I called the lady several times, every time it went to voice mail. I called on different days, a week later and on different hours. I wanted to make an appointment. A week later I received a text with a few possible dates and the address. No other information, I didn’t know how much it would cost, if I could pay with card or cash. It poured that day and I went. She was nice, there was a place to put my soaking coat and we sat down.
I gave her a brief introduction to my problems and we started. I needed to put puppets on a table and portray my situation in that way. The small doll I chose to represent me was all alone on the table. Tears came up.
‘Do you feel lonely or are you lonely?’ I cleared up the semantics ‘cause I knew very well what she was asking but I also knew what I was saying. I felt belittled. (In Dutch there a two different words for ‘feeling’ and ‘being’ alone).
‘Now we move on to your desired situation’. I place some more puppets on the table. Couldn’t find a dog in the basket so took another animal. There were puppets of color too. ‘You can use them too, it doesn’t matter’. I don’t care what color ‘my’ puppet has, there was no need to put it like that. But maybe I’m being a snowflake.
So we passed very smoothly by my loneliness problems and she asked some more questions. What I’ve studied, how my childhood went and how many hours per week I would be willing to work, ‘because she was not in favor of people being too long on sick leave’.
She asked me what I wanted. ‘I want to be me‘. ‘There is no such thing‘, she answered. ‘Ok’, I thought. That was strange to me because I thought that was one of the main reasons I came. She assured me that she didn’t had a conversation with my psychiatrist but he told me he was giving her an introduction to my situation. I didn’t feel very safe in the session.
I was a child of abuse because my parents split up and are not on good terms.
She stated that ‘I was a child of abuse’ because my parents split up before I was born but they still aren’t on good terms. And ‘that I was continuing the disruptive behavior’. I haven’t told her anything about the real abuse I endured. I was just relieved that the separation of my parents took the blame in this conversation.
She added that ‘I was in a privileged position‘ because I am a white woman with a degree and no children. Well, in my depression I didn’t feel that privileged.
We circled back to my work situation. I needed to think hard how many hours per week I could work. I came up with four, which was clearly not the right answer as she reacted a bit ‘shocked’. But, she continued, it was time to be my own parent now and to take care of myself. I agree on that one. We went down to memory lane and talked about my job. She seemed surprised and told me that I didn’t hold enough boundaries in my job and that I needed to put up a clear context for myself. And that it is my job to do so. She asked me why I wanted to work in the field of psychiatry and concluded that my reasoning ‘because I was curious and wanted to learn more about it’ was a very amateurish reason. She apologized for that word but said it anyways.
Well time was up and she told me more about herself. She said that she normally explained the way she works at the beginning of the session but that she didn’t do that now. She was also only available on certain days because her husband used this office too and on other days she worked elsewhere. The session was 50, she would text me her bank account.
That was it, I was on my way home. The rain stopped and I was a bit angry, dazed and confused. I listened to Thunder by Imagine Dragons as it has the rhythm that I felt inside.
What do you make of this? I’m curious to read your reaction in the comments.
This post gave Ashley from MentalHealth@Home some inspiration, you can read her post here.
Picture credits click here.
Today I have the pleasure to write about some good things. The good needs the bad, for that one you can read my Terrible Therapist post and you’ll understand how my current therapist made all the difference. I told my psychiatrist that I wasn’t happy at all with the lady I’ve met with and … Continue reading The winding road of therapy – the Terrific Therapist. Part 9.