(and I won’t be offended if you skip this post or back away slowly partway through)
I started seeing this particular therapist because he was assigned to me. I am using the counseling center at the university where I do my admin job, because they have a really good rate for staff. I think they mostly see students, though. My therapist is a Ph.D. student.
It took me a long time to get started. I was extremely depressed over this past winter (strongly related to my experience with Chucklehead RE as well as my annual inadequacy-laden holiday visit to Perfect Brother), to the point I was barely able to function. As I put it in a previous post, my depression became evident to those around me. My friend and colleague suggested I start seeing a therapist; in my more cynical moments I think she wanted me to be a better participant in our rehearsals, but most of the time I think she was just worried about me as a friend and for that I am grateful.
I went down to the university counseling center and was seen for an intake session. I got into the room and I sobbed for an hour straight. Afterwards it took me 3 full days to stop crying. It was so incredibly difficult to first of all start to express myself in front of a stranger, and then to have to shove it all back inside to go back to work. Then they put me on a waiting list. It was almost a month before they had an opening for me, and when they did it was with my current therapist, not the person I had the intake session with. So I had to start all over again.
The paperwork I filled out stated that most clients find their problems adequately resolved after 6 or 8 sessions, which is why I am starting to think I have overstayed my welcome. Also I am just so frustrated with myself for not being able to get past the same old crap. Certainly I’m not as acutely depressed as I was six months ago. I am able to get through the days without crying, I am not completely trapped inside a mental fog, I am functioning.
But I still don’t feel better. I still can’t get away from the same patterns I have always been in. And now that the crisis I was in seems to have lifted (i.e. I’m not a sobbing disaster all the time), I am starting to think there is something deeply wrong with me that’s not allowing me to get past this depression. I think my therapist is also getting very impatient with me, and I definitely sort of freaked him out a couple of weeks ago.
I told him in the session that I was grateful for the opportunity to talk with him and to focus on myself for one solid hour each week, and I really sincerely meant it. He has helped me a lot, drawing connections between thought patterns that I would never have found, giving me exercises that have been really illuminating and centering. I am appreciative and grateful for all of that. But when I told him that he got very weirded out, and now I don’t think he’s as comfortable in our sessions. So I think I definitely stepped over some kind of boundary but I can’t figure out what I did wrong.
So in answer (at long last) to bunny’s question, the reason I’ve stayed is that he really has been extremely helpful, and I don’t know if I would have made it as far as I have without him. Now I just feel like this is one more thing to add to my list of screw-ups. Would it be any different with another therapist? Should I just stop going and try to be less crazy? I don’t know.
I would love some advice if anyone has any, but like I said I won’t be offended at all if no one is reading at this point.