How did we get here?

I’m not sure quite how this happened, but I may be on the verge of starting with a new therapist.

Like many a therapist, the Wonder T is keen on me having a number of people from whom I can seek support; a “back up”, so to speak. Hence, the Back Up Therapist, who’s had not infrequent mentions on this blog … and earlier (thankfully brief) episodes with pdoc and Stone Therapist. For one reason or another, I’m not entirely happy with Back Up T, so the Wonder T referred me to someone else.

I went to a session with New Back Up Therapist last week, expecting it to be just a “meet-and-greet”; an opportunity for her to see me when I’m not wigging out, so that if I ever see her when I am wigging out, she’ll have a baseline to compare it to, if you know what I mean.

What happened was something more. Something entirely unexpected. I like this therapist – she ticks all the boxes in terms of having a personality, a sense of humour, being a little self-deprecating … oh, and mature, which I’ve realised is important to me because I don’t want someone who’s straight out of school and only just finished reading the chapter on PTSD!

But she also ticked some other boxes, that I didn’t even know existed. I like her approach; I liked the way she drew attention to things I was saying in ways I haven’t experienced before. I liked the way she paid attention to her own reactions and the space between us, in a way the Wonder Therapist doesn’t always do. I also liked that I didn’t have to relive all that heinous sh** from the past all session. I even liked the way she said, “and how did that make you feel?” without seeming like a soggy blanket or hippie therapist from the 1970s. And so I made another appointment. I don’t really know why I did that, I just did; it felt right, I guess.

I don’t know what this means for my work with the Wonder Therapist. And that’s where things start to get wiggy inside. I know that seeing the two of them will do my head in, but whenever I think about not continuing with the Wonder T, I just completely freak out. The Wonder Therapist says I should do ‘what I want to do‘, but what does that mean? I think I know, I’m just not quite ready to admit it or deal with the fall out.

13 thoughts on “How did we get here?

  1. So I’m curious…if you’re not processing past stuff in sessions with New T, is the focus more on what’s happening now, without a (personal) historical context? And if so, might it be possible to tell Wonder T that’s what you need for a while, during this time of extreme stress?

  2. Oh man, this seems like a tough place to be, although it also appears to be an enviable place to be. Do you think you’ll explore this more with Wonder T? And really, does everything have to explored? Can’t it just be?

  3. Maybe you could cut back on the amount of appointments you have with Wonder T, and increase the appointments with the new one. Sort of a transition period?

  4. @ David – funny, the Wonder T and I have focused on current issues for a long time. Of course, when appropriate, we see them through the lens of the past, and when appropriate discuss that lens, but it certainly doesn’t dominate our discussions. So I guess I now have two therapists with whom I’m focusing on present issues. Now I’m really confused! 😉

    @ Normal – Tough, yes, although I’m really REALLY glad it’s come of my own choosing, and not being forced into finding someone new by some other circumstance, as many are. I will talk more to the Wonder T about this, though you’re right, sometimes things should just be able to *be*.

    @ Tracie – I have been thinking about a transition phase, so will talk to both of them about what this might look like. Even that scares me right now, which I guess is also worth discussion!

  5. What a surprise to read! I’m happy for you that you’ve found a connection with another therapist. What you’ve described is how I’ve come to feel about my new therapist as well. It’s nice to have a fresh look at things and have new insight. I’m glad for you too that you can make this choice and aren’t being forced into it. I hope that whatever you decide, that WT works through it with you and is supportive. I know that I would be jealous if I were her, at least on some level, but maybe she won’t be because she’s had this “shared-care” approach from the beginning with you. Looking forward to hearing how this works out for you!

  6. I’m coming at this from the perspective of someone who has changed therapists in a similar way in the past, and I’ll just add that my decision to change therapists had nothing to do with how much I appreciated or respected the previous therapist, but all about how they had helped me to reach a certain stage, and then I realised that I needed something different. It wasn’t anything against them, or their training… it was just that we had gone as far as we could go within the therapeutic relationship, and I realised that I needed a different approach. Now, that’s not to say that is what has happened with you and WT, but just to say what my experience has been.

    I like how light and open you seem to be about all of this – while still acknowledging the fears and looking at the possibilities that are open to you.

    Take care,

  7. @ Sanity – I know! It’s really caught me by surprise as well. I’m really glad you’ve found such a positive connection with your New T. It makes such a difference. I am sure that the Wonder T will be supportive – she’s always said it’s my choice who I see, and is very supportive of the shared care thing. That makes me a little sad, though, that she wouldn’t be sad to see me go. Who said I wasn’t a narcissist? 😉

    @ CG – I was so so glad to read your comment. I think you’re getting close to putting your finger on things for me (or even hitting the bullseye, if I were “man” enough to admit it). The Wonder Therapist is, well, wonderful, and I cannot thank her enough for everything she’s done for me, but sometimes I wonder if there’s something else. Gosh, did I just say that? I think I’m able to be light and open because I’m in denial LOL. Either that or it’s just the right thing – sometimes when things are right there’s a natural flow to how they happen. I’m trying not to freak out, but it’s pretty raw, so no doubt one of those therapist types will come along and let something loose. I’ll keep y’all posted. 😉

  8. It sounds as though you are working this through. Great job. I’m glad for you.

    I don’t know what I would do, but I would hope that I would go with the one that met the most requirements. I hope you can give it a few more sessions and see how it goes. Good and healing thoughts to you.


  9. Hi Kate, thanks for stopping by. I’m trying to work it through, although at the moment it feels a bit too hard. We’ll see how it goes.

  10. Oh wow, this really interests me. I once saw a therapist (for an unrelated to the rest of my life pain issue) who refused to see me at all unless I quit with my long-term attachment related therapist, which I was very frustrated about. I would love to hear how this turns out. Are you going to continue with wonderT as well?

  11. Hi Same Sky – my original Back Up Therapist said that if I switched to her then I would have to give up the Wonder Therapist. The only reason being that seeing the two of them would do my head in. She was right. I think the only time I talked to both of them about an issue, and got slightly different responses, I nearly went mad! Is that why the therapist wanted you to quit your long-term T? I’m trying to just “sit” with all this and see what emerges. For now I’m seeing both therapists – mainly because things are too new with PNT to be of any real use, and because I still need something useful, which I’m getting from the Wonder T (apart from the fact that I can’t yet bring myself to stop going to her, though I’m not admitting to that yet LOL).

  12. Yes I think that was the reason, although we would have been dealing with completely different things. Sitting with them both for a while sounds like a good idea, I’m glad that both therapists are ok with that. 🙂

  13. This definitely sounds exciting, although I know from reading your blog how much you respect, admire, and like WT. Having someone new that you click with right away might take some of the heartache away from leaving her.

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