Thur’rupy Part 2: Intake

It’s only been a day but I’m already having second thoughts about this therapy business.

I should preface this by saying that so far my experience with the actual people has been very good. Warm, friendly, approachable, non-judgmental, and down to earth: all qualities I value highly and respond well to. I spoke to two separate very nice ladies over the phone as part of the process they described as Intake. What was I looking for? How had I heard of them? What were my previous experiences with therapy? With depression? With anxiety? The questions weren’t difficult. The interviews were not unpleasant.

The problem is the cost.

I’m beginning to see why therapy is thought to be a pastime for the rich and self interested: even on a sliding scale, for non-crisis therapy with an intern level professional it was going to cost me five hours of my time for fifty minutes of theirs. Yes, it had to be weekly, no, I couldn’t do it every other week. I said I’d have to talk it over with the Curmudgeonly Lion. They said they wouldn’t be able to schedule me until July anyway.

I began to question my choices.

Throughout the phone calls themselves, I was fine. Afterwards, though, I found my body close to tears: some part of me responsible for keeping the genie bottled up had loosened its grip and I kept finding a lump in my throat and ‘something-in-my-eye’. So there’s clearly something there that needs to be dealt with.

But did I really think therapy was the answer? If I was honest with myself, then: no. I didn’t. I could imagine myself getting sucked into some kind of endless dependency system where I would go and talk and cry and ‘make good progress’ without actually changing anything and then go back a week later to go and talk and cry about the same things all over again.

This is my fear.

What kind of support system do you have in place?” Was one of the questions. I described the family that I had nearby but then struggled to describe the people I considered friends. I’m not a joiner: I’m not part of clubs or a church. I don’t have a confessor or a patron or a mentor or a confidant. Maybe that was the problem: I spend a lot of time breaking of pieces of my problems to distribute around amongst a network of friends and acquaintances as a way of sharing the burden. Maybe that was what I was really looking for: one single person that I could tell everything to.

If it’s going to cost me six hours per week (one hour to do the crying, five hours to earn enough to pay for it) of the best years of my life, I was going to have to really want this. Did I? Would the payoff really be worth it? What was the payoff exactly? A new and better self? A better understanding of the old self? Freedom from conformity? Acceptance and inclusion?

I realized I didn’t know.

I realized that I’d probably better figure it out before deciding whether or not to take the next step.

I have two weeks to decide.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on June 14, 2018.

5 Responses to “Thur’rupy Part 2: Intake”

  1. I forgot to mention I had a problem with it being bi-weekly because my emotions would plummet between sessions. So, by the time I made it to the next one, I had made no progress and felt terrible. I went home with no promise of following directions. I was so torn up from exposing my thoughts, I could barely say I heard what I was told to do. Then a week would go by, and I’d feel like I had to call my friend who wasn’t a friend, and they wouldn’t be there. I’d finally see them a week later and just crumble with humiliation. I missed the stranger who just sat there with a textbook of answers that fit types but not me. I sat there being diagnosed and directed while exposing my heart and not getting better, not feeling heard and understood and starved for companionship. Two weeks between sessions was like a month away from family. And, what time I had was too expensive and short.

  2. If you’ll hear me out, though I know you stopped responding to me long ago, I have two cents to say about therapy (though it’s been many moons since I was a patient).

    Back then, it was expensive, and my family struggled to afford it. In short, I had a bad experience and have been unable to reconsider it since when people tell me I need to see a “professional” because they cannot deal with all that I am.

    When you said you needed it to be weekly, not every other week, my heart leapt. Because that was my feeling way back then. And, I know, if I tried it, again, at my age, I’d have the same problem. I can’t bare my soul, unload all the baggage my mind feels is necessary to have a stranger understand what I am and where I’ve been, without becoming so exposed and emotional that I’d need a shoulder to cry on…a shoulder that professional is not going to be. They are their to listen, diagnose and give instructions on how to correct yourself. And, if you don’t follow the directions, take a pill if need be and report back to them with progress, you’re wasting your time and money.

    When I went long ago, I was helpless and looking for a fast cure. So, I guess, that’s why they gave me the wrong pills and treated me like a minor who was ignored while my parents were consulted though they had no idea what was going through me. I was panicking, depressed, suicidal and nothing like the other patients I was placed with in a group situation. I was lost and alone with my fears. Misunderstood and grasping at straws to stay afloat. Only when my life was put at risk by the treatment I was given did I finally snap a different way, grow a temper and fight to stay alive. But, it cost me so much. And, I don’t just mean my family’s money.

    If I could recommend anything, I’d look into group therapy over anything else. I doubt it’s as expensive because the group shares the cost of the space and the therapist’s time. And, I think the social aspect is more beneficial, even if it’s not going to be as private (which might curb what you feel able to share). I never had much group therapy, but the little I experienced, including my high school senior retreat (which I consider group therapy though it wasn’t officially labeled that), was cathartic, at least. It didn’t cure me, but it helped me open up to others and feel connected better than I’d do going to work or school. It’s just a shame it was so limited. Time ran out.

    Deep breaths. Look to the heavens. Pray for insight.

    • I’m sorry to hear that you also had a

    • A bad experience finding a therapist. It sounds like you were in crisis at the time and really needed the right person listening to set you upright again and didn’t get that at all. I’ve been there in the past and is awful. Right now, though, I actually have the opposite problem: I’m not in crisis and I’d really rather do bi-weekly sessions speak to someone less often rather than more. But my options seem to be either weekly sessions or none at all.
      I’ve considered a group as well, but I don’t think I’d respond well to it: I’m a different person in a group than I am when alone. I wouldn’t be able to turn off my impulse to ‘perform’ which would make it difficult to get beyond my defenses to the underlying vulnerabilities that need the real work. And I’d likely waste a lot of other people’s time by being judgy and impatient while they worked through their feelings. But who knows- it might be a necessary step.

      • I’m still in crisis, in a way, like a volcano that’s just not as active right now. Some would say, “You need professional help” when they hear me open up about what bothers me or how I cannot deal with something, instead of calmly offering what they can. In a world with people being directed to look at little screens and not use their brains, what am I to expect? What are you to expect as you feel yourself edging toward a Need?

        I am so sick of those words, the *right* person and the *wrong* person. I think people would be more right if they were more willing to try than just turn away. And, I fear more and more are turning away and putting prices on things, turning everything into economy instead of teamwork.

        I can’t expect a paid adult stranger to replace a defective parent or absent friend or cold-handed lover. But, I think that’s what most people would want versus a schooled doctor telling them how to adjust their lives down to the emotional core. It’s one thing to take medicine for one’s ills or squeeze in more exercise, but adhering to new routines we don’t adopt ourselves or telling someone to look at life differently before we befriend that person enough to trust them? I think that’s a factor, too, developing trust in your therapist. And, unlike a friend you can call on anytime–if they’re a good one–the therapist is not at beckon call. He/She is a teacher you see for some summer schooling that only has so many classes before it’s over, spaced out over time.

        I thought you said you wanted more time, not the bi-weekly.

        I would have appreciated weekly sessions if it was affordable and the therapist spoke clear English.

        I am a different person in a group, too. But, you have to realize any resistance or change you make in a group is part of the “problem” and confront that in the group. Acknowledging you have that “impulse” is the first step. You’ll feel better if you tell the group, “I must let you know that I have a tendency to “act” in a group, and I need to work on that.” It’s like an AA meeting.

        It’s tough being a group moderator, being sure everyone shares without getting catty or turning on another member.

        On my senior high school retreat, I expected very little of everyone there. But, as these “popular kids” broke their harsh family and abusive stories down, really exposing their woes (before they felt the need to bail and get a smoke…and later vandalize the place), I felt more willing to share my deepest fears and lack of those tragedies (which was kinda humiliating and awkward, not having the troubles they had to share/sympathize yet feeling so pathetic and lost with what “little” haunted me).

        I think many would tell you the same. Prided people don’t want to “waste anyone’s time.” It’s the most sympathetic thing they will say before putting their masks back on and performing, again. You’re not alone, movie maker.

        Understand your judgy behavior would break down in group as long as you don’t cling to your shield so tightly that you refuse to listen to anyone. Also understand that private therapy does not help with what you just described which may also be covering a problem that needs addressing, like leaving a zit to fester.

        I think just by talking in this public space, you’re already in a group setting but without faces in front of you. And, you’re opening up just a little to me, who you cannot see.

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