A Brief Interlude From All That NaPoWriMo Nonsense and a Question About Psychotherapy Nonsense (What? You didn’t know? Read the Title of the Blog!)

April 22, 2012

My ten buck sessions are up.

The young therapist I’ve been seeing at the university for the last year-and-half is graduating and moving to San Antonio come June or July. She told me this several sessions back, maybe two months ago or so but I wouldn’t remember–these last few months have meshed in my memory.

Fortunately, I’d already gotten in with the psychiatrist at the community hospital I keep talking about (well, the psych is really at one of their branch clinics but whatever). Now that I’m in with that psychiatrist, I was able to schedule with a therapist there–otherwise I would’ve been on a waiting list for months to come–and well, my first session there starts May 3rd. So my last session with Miss Young Therapist who doesn’t look a day older than myself is this coming Wednesday.

Two sessions ago, so two Wednesdays ago, she’d asked me what I thought about what happens after death (because I’d brought L up again) and I told her what I thought. I then asked her, “what do you think?”  I made sure to emphasize that you. And guess what? She answered with, “oh yeah, that’s what I thought you believed, pretty much.”

That’s not what I was asking. Anyway, I let it slide. She’s probably been the best therapist I’ve had since I started going there at the university late 2008, soon after my monumental mental meltdown which I hope to be able to write about eventually. I can’t muster the courage now. (It’s kind of funny actually, in the way mental breakdowns can be. Then again, it’s not funny at all because breaking down mentally is no fun even if I got the “Dotty’s Being Mental and Loving it award”.)

Wednesday when I went to see her, I’d asked her again, what do you think happens, only this time I told her I didn’t want to know what she thought I thought, I wanted to know what she personally thought.

She got quiet and gave me an uncomfortable look, you know the kind a kid gives his mom when he knows he’s not supposed to say something and is looking for approval from her. She said, “you know, I want this session to be about you.”

I knew then that she’d probably been instructed not to talk about her personal beliefs. That’s the thing about newbie therapsits. They’re too linear with their methods. They haven’t loosened up yet.

See, that’s what gets me. I get the therapist-client relationship and that the therapist should refrain from too much personal info so’s not to get attached and other such things. I get it.


All I got out of her that day when I asked and wished her the best in regards to San Antonio was that she’s got her thesis or concentration on Borderline Personality Disorder. Now it makes sense why she drilled so much dialectical behavioral techniques (DBT) into me.

As far as the beliefs go, I told her it was just reassuring to know what other people believed regardless of whether I agreed with them or not. And that I think it would be good for grieving L’s loss.

She asked if I’d told any of my friends, and I’d said I feel I don’t have any right now. Then I chuckled and said, “just Eloise and Maribel.” Maribel by the way, who I hadn’t heard from for months, had called me the Saturday before last to tell me her mother had died; we commiserated. It was good, a sucky bad kind of good and a good kind of bad. So Young Therapist suggested I get in contact with friends, make plans and tell them about L and then ask them what I asked her.

I guess. We’ll see. I plan to.

Anyway, I wanted to ask you guys that are or have been in therapy. I’m really nervous and skeptical about seeing someone new yet again. You know, having to re-tell and re-open (I’ve never been completely open to begin with). It just makes me anxious. And you know how much I already talk about anxiety burning me.

What should I ask this new therapist when I go in, I mean besides the usual thing about how I am currently and a brief back-story? What do you do, may I ask?

Sometimes, I think I should just quit therapy all together. I was ready to be done last July, but I spiraled down again. And then I think of how raw I feel right now.

I’m kind of at a loss.


addendum: I’m going to do my best for today’s NaPoWriMo poem, but there are about  eight people here at the house, EIGHT PEOPLE or TEN! They all just burst in!  That’s not including my mom, dad, myself, my brother and his girlfriend who came by. Aparently my dad finally got a photoshoot gig and latin people like to bring everybody and their momas and their babies and whatnot. Aaaaagh! That’s the downside to a business at home. Then, I heard my dad’s cousins are coming for dinner. uuughhh. They are so nosy and pinchados (upiddy and conceited and haughty and shit), most of them at least.

If not, I’ll post two poems tomorrow.

15 Responses to “A Brief Interlude From All That NaPoWriMo Nonsense and a Question About Psychotherapy Nonsense (What? You didn’t know? Read the Title of the Blog!)”

  1. the howler and me said

    When you find the right therapist… things get a lot easier. Believe me. It took me years to find mine… and she retires next month. BUT honestly, I have made the most progress with her… and she always talked about her experiences, and her coping mechanisms and such.

    BUT then she is pretty much a kindred spirit.. and more of a friend than anything.

    -the howler and me 🙂

    • PAZ said

      Thanks again for your awesome insight. Sucks about your therapist retiring. It’s good you got a lot from her and made progress. 🙂

      I made a lot of progress with this girl, especially around the summer of last year (she says overall i’m one of her best “clients” lol) but things like her not answering a relatively general question such as the one i asked has held me back. Then again, I think I had already learned a lot before I got to her, but of course I’m glad she introduced me to the DBT stuff.

      I think it was the overall irritability i was feeling because when she gave me that look after i’d asked her–i even apologized as i instinctively do in awkward situations–and we had that moment of uncomfortable silence, i just wanted to get up and smack her upside the head and say, “woman, this is our next to last session, if you answer, it’s not like it’ll affect anything since you’re leaving anyway and i probably won’t ever see you again ever. just answer the damn question! please?! i’m not going to open a can of worms if you’re a Christian and i’m sorry if i’ve dogged Christianity all this time but you seemed like a reasonable girl, so just tell me already!”

      It really bothered me. Oh well. I found out the one i’ll be seeing at that community clinic is a guy; i was hoping for a male therapist for some reason since the other three (including Young Therapist) have been females.


      (woah, i just had a moment of deja-vu. have i typed something like this to you before?)

      • the howler and me said

        Nope – you have not written something like this before to me… but i take that as a good sign….

        I have had some pretty “out there” deja-vu episodes… since I was little… ~shrug~ my take on it is the universe is trying to tell you something…

        BUT it is different for everyone.

      • the howler and me said

        Oh and I should mention – that yes, if I had a therapist that wouldn’t tell me their personal opinion on something… I wouldn’t trust a word that came out of their mouth… but that is me

  2. Rarely will a therapist tell what she thinks. If they follow established procedure required by the profession.It would influence you as you are supposed to each your own conclusions and the therapist helps you in that discovery but does not give you answers. Who is to say her answers are valid anyway? It is the protocol of the therapist to be a guide not an instructor. Or an answer box. I think psych is a matter of exploration not a knowledge destination. As the relationship grows she may make suggestions to help you discover and grow in understanding. She may write notes but ultimately you own the pen that writes your life.

    • PAZ said

      I get the established procedure that is required in the profession, which is why I hardly ever (if at all) ask anything personal. And I have pretty grounded beliefs in relation to the question I’d asked. After all, I’d already told her what I thought, so I saw now harm in hearing what she thought. Her answers aren’t necessarily valid or “right” anyway. It’s subjective You’re right about that. But as I stated, it was a matter of comforting. I know therapy isn’t about “comforting” say the way a mother or friend would, but it would’ve helped in that situation.

      My critique is, what’s the harm in answering a question like that? I’ve been seeing her for OVER A YEAR! We’ve been established with each other by now, I hope. And I’m not asking her about her dead relatives or friends or anything like that (if she has any dead relatives or friends to begin with).

      I just think there’s too much restriction, some of which I agree with. But take for example other people’s experience with the practice; I’ve heard other people tell me much as THAM said, that their therapist shared a bit about themselves. A BIT at least! It goes a long way. How am I supposed to open up and work through traumatic experiences with someone, tell them things I don’t even tell friends I’ve known for years when they can’t answer simple question like that, and on our second to last termination session? That’s not building rapport.

      As far as notes, she never took any when I was there. Only before or after. I only filled things out every now and again, especially when I was at my worst. When we worked through things, she generally had me write it out with her or we’d write it on a whiteboard. I think that was fine.

      Thanks for your comment! Good discussion. 🙂

  3. Paz, i don’t recall if i sent u this link or not re death:
    it’s a somewhat short essay called Matter of Life and Death. i hope you get something from it. continue…

  4. here’s the thing. the therapy is for you. i’ll just say that again – the therapy is for YOU.

    s/he asks questions, true. but you don’t have to answer them. also, you don’t have to rehearse your sad story over and over if you don’t want to, and if you do want to you can do it when it feels right for YOU.

    last time i had therapy i was also meditating regularly. that brought me back to the present moment, and i think i spent a lot more time in therapy talking about the present.

    theraputically, there is no topic that is not about you. here’s a psychoanalytic joke;

    bloke goes to a psych. he tells her about his dreams. after several months he says HA! i LIED to you. i didn’t have any of those dreams, i made them up!

    she says – it doesn’t make any difference.

    • PAZ said

      Thanks for your reply Elaine. 🙂

      You’re absolutely right. Therapy is for me and so in the end, it doesn’t matter what my therapists thinks, but it was more of a matter of principle for me.

      I think she asked that question because in previous sessions when she asked how the funeral went and so on and so forth, I mentioned that my friend, Eloise, and I had a brief discussion on life after death and whatnot. Eloise told me she was in “the same boat”. And I guess I was looking for closure in a sense but I realize it may be too soon for that.

      What I did like about Young Therapist is she and I focused a lot on the present issues, the NOW. Which, is really good since I firmly believe in carpe diem and existential philosophy and the mindfulness techniques really fit with that and blah blah. I think one reason we focused so on present issues though was because so much has happened to me in the last three years.

      BUT, I do feel like going through some things in my past is a good thing. After all, it’s my history. No one can erase it, not even me, not entirely at least. And I wouldn’t want anyone too like in that one film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

      The joke was funny.

      Here’s another one:

      “Crazy Person” goes to a psychiatrist. After the session, psychiatrist tells his/her trainee, “Take note, schizophrenics build castles in the sky, manic-depressives dwell in them, and we collect the rent”


      • OOF! that joke!

        my last psych was quite young and defensive about putting himself in the picture. also, when we came to the end he was way more bothered about it than i was. i bought him flowers on my last session.

        i guess we can only do bits of journey with different psychs, unless we get a really good fit and the circumstances allow us to stay for longer. i had mine for a year and a half. i liked him, but being young and male i felt there were things i couldn’t talk about.

        • PAZ said

          I actually wanted a male this time.. I found out I’m getting a male this time, but i may feel intimidated. We’ll see how it goes. My last appointment with Young Therapist is tomorrow! Agh. Stayed up too late writing that poem. Better get to bed.

          “bits of journey” I like that. 🙂 Very true.

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