Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Therapy. Again.

After getting a bit emotional from the life coach question on what's missing from my life, I decided to officially make a therapist part of Team Jo.  I mentioned in an early post that I have some experience with therapy.  I find it's like riding a bike.  That is, if the bike required you to know it really well to work properly.  And everytime you got a new bike you had to spend like ten weeks getting to know it before you could learn to use the brakes.  Oh, and if every time you rode the bike you cried.  Ok, maybe it's not exactly like riding a bike.

The last time I needed to find a new therapist (when I lived in Michigan), I found interviewing a few in close succession was really helpful.  I could pick the one who I connected the best with and jump in straightaway, rather than dragging out a crappy relationship for too long.  Well I don't know what the hell is going on in Princeton but either therapists only take like three clients at a time, or everyone in Princeton is a headcase.  Because I cannot freaking find a therapist who's taking new patients.  I finally find two and set up appointments, though I'm concerned since they seem to be the only two in time who aren't booked up.  It's like knowing if you call the hair salon the day of and actually score an appointment with someone, there's a good chance your coming out with a whole lotta mess on your head.

Dr. L
I can tell I'm literally going to want to punch the first therapist in the face from our initial conversation.
Me: Hi, I'm [sabbaticaljo].  I'm looking for a therapist in the area that's taking on new patients.
Her: Why do you need a therapist?
Me: Well, I've been in therapy in the past.  I'm getting ready for a period of introspection and think there's some things I probably need to explore and delve back in to.
Her: Like what?
Me: (I'm driving to the mall having this conversation.  All I want is an appointment.  Is she for real?) I've struggled with some family issues.  Relationships seem to be a sticking point.  But I'm not really sure.
Her: So if you're not sure, why do you need a therapist?
Me: (I consider just hanging up at this point.  But no one is taking new patients and I'm desparate.) Look, if you're not taking new patients, that's fine.  I think I'd be more comfortable having this initial conversation in person.
Her: I'm very busy.  I only have Tuesday at noon.
Me: Ok, sounds great.  Look forward to meeting you.

The in-person meeting is, of course, equally awkward.  She's one of these therapists who refuses to say anything first, which just results in a staring contest.  Except I totally cry through the whole session. So, either her tactic works, or I've got so much pent up emotion all it took was sitting next to a box of kleenex to destroy me.  I walk away discouraged about her role on Team Jo, but fully aware that seeking a therapist appears to be the right choice.

Dr. J
As I arrive at the address, I realize I'm pulling up to someone's house.  Which is instantly awkward for some reason.  I call the number I was instructed to phone when I arrived.  She proceeds to give me some crazy directions for navigating to her home office.  It involves a sidewalk, a door, three steps to a basement, another door, walking through a basement with all their laundry out on the table, through another basement room that looks like a scene from Hoarders, up a staircase, and finally into an office.  I am not amused or encouraged at this stage.  But I sit, and we talk.  And she's actually quite warm.  I'm feeling like this could work.  She hones in on my trust issues straightaway, which I knew about but had sort of forgotten.  She also gives me a recommendation for a yoga retreat and a book for my six weeks.  Sessions's over.  I book another session.  But then I have to walk back through the dungeon of dispair and old furniture to get back to my car and I'm sort of freaked out.  I decide I'll keep searching.

Except no one will freaking call me back.  And I've only got a week left until sabbatical starts.  So, Dr. J it is for now.  I'll just try to close my eyes until I get to her office. 

Do you need a crazy therapist too?  Hasta, sabbaticaljo

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