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 that I didn’t wish to continue my therapy there. He understood this very quickly and not much words were needed to give me another referral. He was going to contact the new therapist and she was going to call me. It was August 2019.
I was doing groceries and needed to decide which laundry detergent I was going to pick. Do you know how many options there are? When you sniff three of them your nose is stuffed with all concentrated chemical scents that promise you a rose garden. My phone went off ‘Hello this is Betty from the therapy. When can we schedule an appointment? I’m available just once per month, so next Thursday is going to fit me fine. Are you ok with that?’ Struggling with the sniffles in my nose, the phone and the laundry detergent while finding my planner, I told her I was in store X. ‘Well we can also do next month, if that would suit you better’. ‘I’m doing groceries in store X’, I mumbled. I wrote the appointment down and she would send me an email with all the further information about the address, the time and the payment. What a delight after the previous therapist that left me pretty much in the dark about those things.
September rolled around and I left well in time for the appointment. I had my papers for the intake filled out. It contained the Beck Depression Inventory next to other information about my wishes in therapy, previous therapy and the current medication that I am on.
I was well on my way when I bumped in into an old colleague of mine. He was ill too. Depression, yes yes. Due to sick leave he needed to be in therapy too. ‘For insurance you know’. But it wasn’t for him, he could see right through it. ‘There is nothing that that therapist can teach me’, he explained. He had troubles finding an available psychiatrist but all was better now. He had just some bad days here and there and was astonished that I, as a psychologist myself, couldn’t help me. He talked trash about work and was not planning to work ever again. When he wanted to meet for coffee next time, I reached for my planner again but it wasn’t that urgent he added and biked away.
The therapist was right in time. We sat down and she listened. She really listened, she picked the themes that needed work. She explained that drama therapy isn’t all about talking but about feeling and doing. And we started the first session. I told her about rumination and how it held me in place instead of taking action. I learned how to ‘walk around’ those big hills in my mind rather than to climb them. We put that into motion. What we discussed that session you can read in The Depressed Way Of Thinking. I felt much better after the almost 2 hour (!) session, it felt like I’ve done something to approach the situation in a different manner and I was willing to practice the tools given ‘till the next time.
In October I got the news that my benefits were revoked and this hit me hard. I went from being financially ok to have no income at all overnight. I told Betty the next time I saw her. I was quite upset but we managed to make my situation visible in the room. I sat down on the carpet and a string of wool was laid in a big circle around me. Listening to me she selected a few items that could represent the things that I like to do, like reading, knitting, crochet, blogging. The bad letter was represented like an oil stain on the sea. It was to be contained, it could held some place in my life but it wasn’t allowed to take over. I had the right to worry a bit but I also had the right to keep my fun things. No matter the circumstances I was going to survive and maybe to thrive.
Needless to say that I keep going to Betty as I feel that the therapy is really good for me. I’ll write more about my evolution the next time, thank you for reading and I hope to see you again.
It’s been a long time since I’ve updated on my personal mental health journey. After jumping through some hoops in regards to my former work place and finding out how get my legal papers in order to be able to apply for unemployment benefits, I found some rest in my head. Some rest … Continue reading The winding road of therapy – Recovery isn’t lineair. Part 10.