So my last post was all about how I was heading to see a therapist for the first time. What I didn't know until a couple of days ago is that it was voted one of the Best of the 'Betes blogs! Woo hoo! Yes, dear readers, honesty is the best policy. A lot of you want to know how it went. I'm not going to share all the details of all my therapist visits, obviously, but I do want to share a bit so you know what it's like.
I arrived at the office a few minutes early to fill out paperwork, just like going to any other doctor's office. It was a Friday afternoon, and apparently their office doesn't have a receptionist on Fridays, so various psychologists/therapists/counselors would come in from a hallway door every few minutes. Sometimes their patients were there waiting, sometimes they had to come back. I was immediately made more comfortable by how personable everyone seemed when greeting their patients, but I was still nervous. I am very slow when I'm writing by hand, so the first time my therapist popped his head out the door looking for me, I was not ready. I was a wee bit embarrassed.
He came out again a few minutes later, and I was finally done scribbling. He was smiley, had a very warm friendly vibe about him. It could just be because he had nerdy glasses, and I tend to assume that people who dress like me are mostly trustworthy. He apologized that the room we'd be going to didn't have any windows. He said that being the newest to the practice, he didn't get much of a choice. The room at least had comfy chairs, soothing lighting, and at least two boxes of tissues.
As far as I am able to tell, your first visit to your new therapist will involve filling out lots of paperwork and answering a lot of questions about your background and a little about yourself. Hopefully, like my visit, it will involve feeling honest and content with the person you are seeing. It may involve a tissue or two--I managed to not need any until the tail end. I hope to have an interesting and enlightening experience with my therapist. He apparently is also an art therapist, so of course I thought of Lee Ann when I was there and all the good that being creative can do for people.
We'll see what goes on over the next few weeks. Visit #2 is today at 3:00pm. It's kind of a strange concept when it comes down to it--figuring out how to trust someone who is to be much more than a stranger to you, less than a friend. I'm sure this is why your therapist will probably reassure you a number of times, as mine did, that you are in a safe space and everything you say will absolutely not leave the room. (Unless of course, like in Pennsylvania, the state laws mandate that if you seem a true danger to yourself or others, you will be reported to...someone. The therapist informed me this would not mean the cops would be waiting at my house for me. And don't worry about me, I'm the variety of depressive who just mopes and gets cranky and wants to sleep.)
So I think it turns out your therapist is not someone to get nervous about. You'll do fine. I did.
PS...EEEEEK I AM IN KIND OF AN IMPORTANT POETRY SLAM TONIGHT AND I AM WIGGING OUT, MAN! Whew, just had to put that out there. ;)