Therapization: Round One

Comments (7)

Wednesday night, I went for my first session of therapy. I spent the days leading up to that discussing the issue pretty thoroughly with some of you lovely readers, researching the experiences of others at RealMental.org (which, by the way, is a fantastic site), and convincing myself that I could benefit from talking to a real person instead of a text box on Movable Type.

My counselor is a lovely lady. She has that perfectly soft voice that is both warm and comforting, which, when coupled with a comfortable setting (and a cozy couch), has the tendency to make me want to cry. And cry I did. Pools of snot collected all around me, and Noah was preparing to build a second ark to save himself and Nick Pitera from the flood of tears gushing forth from my eye sockets.

(Obviously, Nick tops the list of people who should be spared in the event of a major disaster.)

Anyway, all these tears were unfortunately not indicative of any real progress being made. For a full hour, I shared my frustrations with my life as it is, my goals for the future, and my plans for how to achieve those goals. My counselor would repeat back to me all of these things, pausing to ask, "How long have you felt that way?" or "How does that make you feel?" She did bring something new to the table when she suggested that diet and exercise (as well as my physical health in general) can take a toll on sleep patterns and overall mood. Otherwise, I was a smidge disappointed with her recommendations, as they mainly consisted of repeating back to me what I had already said I was doing.

In fact, my one major assignment for the next session was to write a list of what I like about my life now, what I don't like, what I want, what my dream life would be, etc. She knew of my love of blogging, so giving me a writing assignment was logical. Sadly, however, I had just done this the day before my session. Of my own accord. I told her this, saying, "I thought it would be good to clarify for myself what things were sources of frustration and what things I needed to be pursuing to minimize those frustrations."

She stared for a moment and paused. "Exactly."

Five minutes later, I walked out of the office feeling like I had been ten steps ahead of her the entire time. Now, maybe that's typical of a first session. Maybe I didn't connect well with my counselor. Maybe I just had a really bad week last week and have since recovered from my emotional breakdown through my "home remedy" of watching Lord of the Rings all day and night.

I'm not sure. Until I know, though, I am not going to return for any more therapy. I will stash this woman's card in my wallet and schedule another appointment if I find myself having another bad week. Otherwise, I will stick to the tried and true recipe for happiness — pirates, hobbits, pizza, and chocolate. (It's Rachtastic!)

Neil

Neil

I'm in my ninth session of therapy, and I can definitely relate. I felt the same way you did after the first session, but I talked about it with my therapist, and we made a deal to try it out for at least a month. I'm still having my doubts about the effectiveness of therapy (can't I just talk with a friend?), but it has at least gotten me to thinking about "life goals" and stuff like that. I also asked other bloggers for advice, and a lot of them said that it took a while to "click" with one. It's almost like dating until you meet the right one. One thing I learned is that different therapists belong to different "schools" -- Freudian, behaviorists, etc. -- and that you should probably discuss what techniques the therapist uses to make sure that it is right for you.

TheQueen

TheQueen

I've had several experiences with therapy, both family therapy and marriage counseling, and it's true, the answer is inside you. She's going to keep saying what you already know most of the time. The trick with therapy is that next week, she says to you, "So, did you DO what you already know is best for you?" She's not the to give you answers, she's there so the answers turn into behaviors. Still, you'll be doing all the work.

Thursday's Child

Thursday's Child

Like we discussed before, she might have just been unprepared for you. You're not the typical basket case, you know. You, like me, are generally on top of things, which isn't prototypical of anxiety and depression. I'd say give it at least one more shot to see if things go better now that she's had a chance to gauge you. It's a give and take system, so don't be too discouraged by this first session not going as well as you'd hoped. If it still doesn't feel right, find someone else, and like Neil said, maybe try finding someone from a different psychological school. An approach, maybe, you aren't familiar with, and maybe you should remain unfamiliar with it so you don't go in with your preconceived notions. That way, you can expect only what happens, and judge it cold instead of judging it before hand.

Speaking of Nick Pitera, I ran across the video of him singing "A Whole New World" from Aladdin from the link in my last post. I'm sure you've seen it already, but here's the link to that one anyways. He does both the guy's and girl's parts. It's incredible.

(I'm totally kidding about the whole basket case thing.)

Tez

Tez

Sounds pretty typical for a first visit, beyond the part where you were a few steps ahead of her. I had the advantage of knowing mine before we had a professional relationship, so he already knew a lot about me and I already knew a lot about him. I think you should definitely go at least one more time to be sure.

Chris Magnusson

Chris Magnusson

"She did bring something new to the table when she suggested that diet and exercise (as well as my physical health in general) can take a toll on sleep patterns and overall mood."

If I may, I'd suggest that you seriously consider this bit of advice.

I used to constantly feel like absolute crap, almost to the point that you were/are, and then I got a dog. She likes daily walks, so I started going for a walk with her every day. It became a habit after about six weeks. And then I figured I should start eating better, so I did, but this took some time as well. The combination of better diet and more exercise has really changed my life. My only suggestion beyond these two things is to try to shake the routine up a little from time to time otherwise you'll start feeling down in the dumps again.

Scott

Scott

Hey, did you hear that an agreement has been established to make a movie out of The Hobbitt? Peter Jackson will produce it and New Line Cinema will be its studio.

Deus Ex Fimus

Deus Ex Fimus

I have no idea what a rapization is, but it doesn't sound enjoyable. But, given the title, it seems there is only one (THE rapization)