Asking for what we need

I had therapy with K yesterday. I was going to tell her that it had to be our last session, that I couldn’t afford anymore. But then, she just said and did all the right things. I couldn’t walk away. So, we set an appointment for 3 weeks from now, when I should have money again. This left me in a tricky position though: despite saying and doing all the right things, we still lack the connection I need and want and I still wonder if I can find that attunement with someone who is covered by my insurance.

So, I took two steps. 1) I asked K for what I thought I needed. And, 2) I set up an appointment with a therapist on my insurance. I figured, if K said she wasn’t willing to try my idea, at least I would have a back-up plan. Turns out, the conversation didn’t go how I expected.

This was my first email to her:

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I was terrified putting myself out there but I feel like J probably told her I was struggling to connect. K responded well to my request. This was her respone:

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It did feel good to be told she enjoys working with me, though I do find that hard to believe. I’m a pain in the ass. I also thought her question about judgement was smart because that has been a problem for me in the past. I liked that she explained her stance on boundaries but that she didn’t shut me down. And that she provided validation about our session. It made me feel safe taking another step toward asking for what I needed.

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Of course, I wasn’t ready to just come right out and say it because I wasn’t ready to face rejection. But, her response to this was just another gentle push.

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After this, I really wanted to ask what her reasons were for being in the profession. I wondered if she was implying that she has been through hurt and gets it more than I could know. The comment about getting to know what is going on in my head was actually kind of sweet, too. Because we spent my session working on helping me feel like I have a voice. K kept gently pushing me to share my thoughts when I was apprehensive. I felt like she was really working hard to create a safe space for me to share my thoughts and feelings. Anyway, I finally put my idea out there in my next message. And she responded that she was actually willing to give my idea a try (read bottom message first, then top):

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Yup, so, there it is… not at all how I expected that to go. So now, I’m left thinking maybe K and I could find a way to make this work. She is attentive and caring. She tries really hard. She is smart. So many good things. I don’t really want to have to go the out of network route because I don’t get reimbursed as much and it can take up to 60 days for me to see that money again… but, maybe it is a better idea to stay with someone I’ve already started working with and to make that relationship what I need. Rather than, starting from scratch with someone else, just because she is covered by my insurance. I still think I am going to go see H, the therapist on my insurance, but I’ve got to say… I’m leaning toward staying with K.

6 Thoughts

  1. You were very brave to ask for what you need. It’s hard to do that, when we carry so much fear of rejection. I’m really happy that she was willing to hear you, validate you, and say she would try this exercise with you. It gives me hope for the relationship. Whether or not you end up feeling that the hand holding and gazing provides that deeper connection (I so hope it does!), simply asking for something and being heard is already a rich and important experience.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, it felt brave. And so scary. I am trying to keep my hopes in check about the gazing thing. I mean, it is proven to increase intimacy and it definitely worked in yoga teacher training. But it might not work here. It still means a lot that she is even willing to try with me though.

      Liked by 2 people

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