The winding road of therapy – the Terrific Therapist. Part 9.

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.

 

 

25 thoughts on “The winding road of therapy – the Terrific Therapist. Part 9.

  1. I think that the initial 2 hours is significant, I guess just 1-hour session allocated? Shows she is willing to take the time to get to know you, to take an interest in you. You will thrive, but as you saw from your ex-colleague, you are in a very high-risk business. I suspect it is very common in your profession.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Normally it’s around an hour, today was 1 hour 10′ , sometimes its 1 hour and a half but it is very intense, so around the hour is good enough for me.
      (Mental) Health professionals are in very high risk for burnout, you’re right.
      When I saw the stats it was actually the GP’s who were the most vulnerable for burnout. They have a lot on their plate.
      As for the other illnesses, I think it’s evenly distributed as in the population. But it can be a stressful and demanding job. You’re always sandwiched in the two P’s: politics and patients and there is no easy way out.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes that must be true. After all, nobody goes to see a doctor when they are healthy, so straight away you know that everybody you see, all day, is going to be demanding something from you.
        The surgeries themselves are also madness, I think. Yesterday my wife told me that boxes and boxes of things had arrived because of this corona outbreak. In our little backwater. So she now thinks that the government know something and aren’t telling us 🙂.
        But equally a GP here is a very well-rewarded person, so it is, as I say, a risk they have to balance.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m not up to date with the whole virus but I remember the ‘anxiety wave’ due to the Spanish flu here. Of course hand-cleanse-things sold like crazy but no outbreak to be seen. I know hospitals need to be prepared that is expected. I need to follow up on the news more but I guess I’ll read it on WP too when it’s needed.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. As for GP’s we don’t have enough here, so that’s crazy. As for surgeries it’s really bad in Paris, long long hours in the hospitals, no room available, a whole lot of just logistic problems. It all adds to the stress. It depends from country to country but in Spain it’s also medical staff that is overworked, here we don’t have enough nurses. You need to take care of your wife with her stressy profession! Hugs and maybe cookies can decrease stresslevels 😊 just sayin’ ….

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s just that the tortillas are still there, unopened, from yesterday. I pointed out that because the chilli was not vegetarian, I would not partake. Know any good recipes for vege chilli?
        The cookies lasted 2 minutes, but that was half me! You heard of M&S, right? But I don’t remember seeing them there. A little treat after my volunteering 🙂.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You mean chili con carne without the meat? You make it as you please and replace the meat with vegetarian/vegan minced meat. It is normally not difficult to obtain.
        We had M&S here when I was young, I loved that shop with all the cookies (the butter cookies were the best!) and good stuff. I guess they went out of business a long time ago (maybe 25 yr ago?) and I’ve never seem them since. You’re very right to treat yourself! My therapist told me to do that too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. chilli sin carne! as I learned last night. I have some quorn mince but I have had it frozen for months because I don’t really like quorn.
        I vaguely remember about M&S getting out of Paris, years ago, but I could be wrong. I never saw them anywhere else. The first time I wnt to Paris, about 1990, we headed straight to M&S , just because the labels were in English. Fortunately, my French improved!
        Back on topic, btw, wife has already complained that they try to push extra work her way. I said that she can’t really complain as long as it fits in with her Job Description, and doesn’t encroach on her free time. But they try… She is allocated 10 mins per appointment, which is just about ok, but if she needs to fill out paperwork for e.g. a referral to hospital, no chance!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Would you believe they are still unopened? We have decided to have (vege, cheese and onion) quiche and rice tonight. I eat frozen/microwaved rice a lot, it comes with vegetables, so it all ends up steamed.
        She is going to her choir tonight – all that wailing will de-stress her!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful 🙂 My son Archie just found a therapist that works for him. It’s taken years to find the right fit. So happy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Psychologists and therapists must get so tired of people assuming their profession grants them immunity from mental health issues. 😑 Those things can sneak up on you and they often aren’t simple to deal with even with a strong understanding of the brain and mind. I’m sure it does help, but like any issue, it’s often best if you have someone outside the problem to help navigate. I’m so glad you found a good therapist to aid you!

    Liked by 1 person

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