As you know by now, I started therapy with a new therapist (a clinical psychologist) recently. There isn’t that intense draw to her that I felt with C but she does know how to ask the right questions and I do feel less like I am at risk of being judged by her, so these are good things. We actually covered quite a lot in my most recent session. I told her about the time my parents pulled me out of school because they found out that I was talking to the school counselor. And, talking to anyone outside of our family and outside of God was not allowed. It was strictly forbidden. We talked about how this serves as a block now that I am older and trying to open up in therapy. Somehow we got back around to the idea of cognitive diffusion.
We talked about how we can visualize our thoughts in ways that allow for that idea of diffusion, creating some distance from them. Dr. W described our mind as the river and our thoughts as these leaves that the river carries away. We can choose to pick up and hold the leaf or we can just let it pass. I still don’t know how much I buy into the idea that thoughts and emotions are that easy to control but, nonetheless, it made for a fruitful visualization, so I drew/painted it:
I’m going to attempt to show her my art at our next session but I don’t know how well that will work out because I just seem to clam up in the room with one other human being. It is like the expectation of sharing becomes too overwhelming and I just can’t. But, I am proud of myself for sharing as much as I did. She also seemed pleasantly surprised. She said she didn’t expect that I would open up that much actually and she noted that I came a long way with that even just between session and 2 and session 3. Maybe this is good. Maybe if I stick this out it could be a good thing. I need it to be a good thing because my other option, the one that I really, really wanted, well, she is off the table.
Remember when I asked if she was open to a friendship since the same problems that prevented her from being my therapist in the first place are now problems that would still persist? Well, she ended up writing back. She said:
“It is against my policy to befriend both current and potential clients. I wish you so much good in your life and path of healing.”
Yeah, so, not only does that close the friendship door but it also seems to close the possible therapy client door. Which leaves me with Dr. W. I’m pretty determined to make the best of that though, despite some apprehension. I think that is to be expected, however, given what I went through with C. All the therapists I have spoken with since C have said that they are sort of dumbfounded by how all of that was handled. They have all reassured me that it isn’t something that is wrong with me but rather something that she did that deviates from what is taught and what is deemed ethical in the therapeutic relationship. Because the therapists first concern should always be “do no harm.” And she made a decision which she knew before implementing it that it would do a great deal of harm. Yet, she made the decision anyway. And called me aggressive for calling her out on it. But, I am slowly learning, that wasn’t a me thing. I did feel neglected and rejected. I did take it personally. I did lash out. But, she was caught in her own countertransference and she held fast to it without any regard for my pain. That isn’t on me. I still mourn the loss of that relationship. But I hope that at some point I will be able to process that pain and the pain I went to therapy with originally. Dr. W seems competent and kind enough and consistent enough to be able to handle these things. I hope my intuition is right.