Gosh. If you are ever in need of a psychotherapist, do take your time to talk to several, because no matter what you may see about them or read on their own profiles or websites, the best you will get is only a sense of how they market themselves. Ditto for recommendations and referrals from friends or other professionals—their own bias laces even the most heartfelt recommendation. This is the kind of decision that you can only make on your own.
Today, I found my new therapist. It is like finding a huge weight being lifted. She, no surprises there, has all of the positives of the last one—spiritual, kink-friendly, humorous, but also really nurturing and connective. She puts out the Mommy energy that I respond to and open up to.
She has also already given me a pile of stuff to read, and as she did so, she wryly commented that one of the authors was “rather stern, but you might like that,” before giving a little laugh. Right on.
What amazes me is just how off some therapists can be. One of the therapists I spoke to was deeply uncomfortable discussing gender, gender issues, and sexuality. Apart from having advertised that she was comfortable with those things on her own site, one would think that sexuality is standard stuff for most therapists. Or do I have that wrong?
And the tone matters too. Some of them are not really listening, or at least not absorbing deeply what you are saying…instead they are waiting to hear trigger words, and then coming out with diagnoses. “Have you ever been diagnosed and treated for anxiety?” was my favourite and came about 30 seconds after I had corrected her on the pronunciation of my name. Not kidding. About two minutes later she was wanting me to book her and pay her for a session. Nope.
I am so relieved to have found someone who is such an apparent good fit. First, I owe it to myself. All the things I am doing, feeling, working on cannot be done effectively without one. I feel a bit as if I have been driving a three-wheeled car the past few weeks. Great on the corners, but…
Things she said which really resonated with me. “I am against the concept of diagnosis because it implies that you are broken, and there is something to fix.” She did make the distinction between therapy and mental illness, where a diagnosis, say, of schizophrenia, is necessary. I liked her use of the word “co-creating” and that she sees the therapeutic process as one of making connections…she does not want to dwell on the past, though we will begin with that as it informs the present. Her focus is on the interconnectedness of all things, and asked about spirituality in my life, in therapy, etc. “Your body keeps the score,” she said, and with that, I was comfortable in scheduling my next session.
Mistress has given me a lot of reading to do, and I really cherish it…not just because she has taken the effort and interest to think about and to assign me reading, but also because of what I am learning from it. My new therapist appreciated the significance of this to me, and the value of the structure that such assignments provide and was more than happy to step in with additional recommendations, both on areas of spiritual growth and on the particular therapeutic journey that lies ahead of me. I am sure to review them all as I read them. I feel so supported to have such deeply intelligent women guiding me through life at this juncture. What a blessing!
Second, I also owe it to my family because progress and resolution of anxiety and stress will help me be more present for them in meaningful ways.
And lastly, I owe it to Mistress. She has invested mightily in me and has been a relentless champion of my health and well-being—for which I am deeply grateful. But I also think that she and I will be able to cover much more ground in a substantially more sure-footed way, and without fear, by having a professional “in the room”.
So, once again, as I wrote in the post of what it feels like to have two powerful women holding my hand as I step forward and learn to walk again…I now have four such people, and by Christmas, I shall the fifth, the most important one of all, my wife. The four are: Dominatrix (though I increasingly class her as the High Priestess), Therapist (with whom I do the heavy lifting and dirty work), Ballet Instructor (who fulfils me physically and emotionally like a desert landscape in need of water)—I wrote about her here, and finally a bodywork specialist, who I will write about in due time.
What a blessed 1st of November. If yesterday was the Night of the Dead, the dawn of a new day has given me cause to feel reborn. Where there is hope, flowers will grow.