So yesterday I went back into therapy. I was last in therapy in 2014 when I released my book and ended up in a crisis home. I was a little nervous, more excited than nervous though.
It is a course requirement to have 10 hours counselling but if truth be told I was ready for it.
Therapy for me has in the past brought about some major changes in my life, its opened up many doors and awakened me to a whole new world but it did have its price. Now, many years older and hopefully wiser I knew that I did not want to incur any more costs. Especially if that involved increased tension across different relationships in my life.
I met my therapist at a lovely old building in Sheffield, the property had a great feel about it and I instantly felt comfortable in the building. My therapist was very calming and instantly put me at ease, I was however slightly apprehensive. I had previously visited a counsellor a month previous and I didn’t feel it would work so I decided to not return.
My therapist made me a drink which I thought was unusual, I’m used to offering my clients water whilst on placement. It was a lovely touch and I thought about bringing it into my practice.
We took our drinks upstairs and I sat down, I wasn’t sure where to sit but my therapist said sit where you want. Again, this is not something I do, I like to be in my certain chair where I have access to the clock as there is only one in my setting. But having that power did make me feel even more comfortable. This was something else that I noted.
I outlined what I wanted to achieve from my therapy and I did question whether or not the changes I wanted were possible. The main thing I said I wanted to work on was how much value I put on the opinion of others, basically I wanted to care less about what people think of me. In counselling we would say I have an external locus of evaluation.
My therapist did pick up my uncertainty about whether this was possible or not – I found that a positive. It was good of her to acknowledge that. I also talked in brief about my mental health background but I didn’t want that to overshadow the work I wanted to do on myself in the present.
I mentioned that I have suffered a lot in the recent past with false memories and a form of OCD called Pure-O as well as intrusive thoughts. These are important matters to me but I didn’t want to focus on these, especially in the early stages.
I felt heard and understood, my therapist would step in and clarify with me what I was saying, this was good as it helped me know she got my point and it allowed me to ask myself – is that what I’m really trying to say?
I did ask my therapist what modality she was (I should have took more note when I selected her but hadn’t) and she confirmed she was person centred. This was perfect for me as I would call myself a person centred therapist but at times I do question if it’s enough. If I find my therapy to be useful then it will give me confidence that it’s the right method for me to use in the future. I often find pressure to ‘do something’ to my clients. My clinical supervisor is mainly person centred and I have a brilliant relationship with her and her method is highly effective.
The time seemed to fly by and before I knew it there were only 10 minutes remaining, my therapist left 10 minutes at the end to summarise our meeting. The idea of this initial session was to establish if both parties could work together. I felt I wanted to proceed with therapy, the therapist didn’t say she wanted to work with me straight away and I was panicking thinking she may not want to work with me. But as it progressed it became clear that she did and we agreed on a few matters and the session ended.
I did feel like some weight had lifted from my shoulders after speaking, I tend to offer a lot of myself in a helping capacity for either work, voluntary work or counselling work/study so to have some me time was extremely beneficial.
I am already looking forward to next week to see what things I can discuss.