Saturday, April 29, 2017

Finding a Good Therapist

Finding a good therapist can sometime be an uphill battle. When I first began therapy at fifteen I didn't know what it was supposed to be like. I didn't understand the connection and trust that was supposed to be present. 

My first therapist was Dr. C. He was a good guy. I saw him for two years and he kept me alive for those two years. I especially appreciated that he was willing to continuously learn about my new diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder. 

I feel bad for everything I put Dr. C through. For the first little while, I don't even know how long, maybe a couple months I barely talked. I was severely depressed and time didn't mean much to me. I also didn't have the words like I do now to be able to talk about how I was feeling and what was wrong. A lot of our first visits we sat for quite some time in silence. 

Most of the problem with Dr. C. is that I didn't trust him completely. I did trust him enough to work with him for two years. He was also the first person I officially told I was raped; however, I still didn't trust him enough to completely surrender everything. I honestly believe though that at the point in my life where I saw him I didn't have the capability to do that. 

The next therapists that I worked a lot with were B and T when I was in Canon House. For those of you who don't know, Canon was the residential treatment facility I stayed at for 10 weeks when I was 17-18. B was my individual therapist and T was my family therapist. I loved them both. T was the first therapist I completely trusted, although I worked really well with both of them. They were kind and caring, but also knew exactly what I was capable of and didn't let me get away with anything less. They pushed me to be my best self and for that I will always be grateful. 

Working with B and T at Canon taught me what a therapeutic relationship with someone I trusted could really be like. When I went home I sought out a new therapist. This time I wasn't settling. I was going to find the right person. 

I saw a therapist for a month after I came home and honestly I don't even remember her name. We didn't work well together. She coddled me too much and I needed someone who was willing to push me. 

It is vitally important when searching for a therapist to find someone you work well with. You won't click with everybody. If you don't mesh well with the first therapist you see, go see a different one. Trust me you won't be offending anyone and it will work out so much better for you in the long run. 

After deciding that therapist wouldn't work for me I starting seeing the therapist I've been working with now. J is awesome. We've worked together for 15 months and gotten so much great work done. She pushes me to be my best self and helps me see me as I actually am not as my disordered thoughts tell me I am. 

I feel very grateful to have found a therapist that I can work so well with. In some ways I wish I had found her earlier, but I don't regret staying with Dr. C. He was what I needed at the time and got me to where I was. 

There is such a stigma around going to therapy, but it honestly doesn't need to be there. Therapist are there to help you succeed. It is nothing like the stereotypical therapy model that you see in comics and on TV. If you need help, if you need someone to talk to then seek out a therapist. I don't know what I would do without the ones I've had. 

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