Saturday, March 19, 2011

So there's this appointment on Monday...

I haven't heard from my oncologist about my CT scan so I'm assuming that nothing showed up. I'll know for sure when I see her in about three weeks but for now I'll just go with the idea that nothing has changed. After I see my oncologist I'll start investigating the pain and weird aches in my right side.

On Monday I'm going back to see that counselor to tell her about how I felt after that last session we had. We did that adult attachment inventory thing then, where we were trying to figure out what kind of early attachment I had with my parents. Several times during that session she labeled my feelings and at least one event in my life and other times the clarification questions she was asking were leading.

At one point she'd said that she was trying to make sure that I just wasn't being overly negative in my description and that's why she was taking the approach she did. But if the point of the session is to figure out the relationship I had with my parents, and that relationship was negative, why would she be trying to deny that?

I came out of that session feeling invalidated and reliving my early childhood (which was neutral at best) and feeling generally bad. After a while, I did some research on this questionnaire thing and found a guideline for administering that questionnaire. It specifically said not to lead the person, not to label, and to accept the person's words as given, asking only for clarification like market researchers do: "what do you mean by {that word}?" "can you tell me more about {that word}?" "can you describe a situation where {that} happened?"

I've also spent some time talking to people about my experience and they've all said that I need to get away from that counselor and that the leading and labeling and stuff should never have happened. Part of me just wants to run away from this counselor, which is why I canceled my appointment two weeks ago. However, a greater part of me wants to give her the benefit of the doubt, that she was trying to do well and somehow misread the situation because I'd never talked this way before. We hadn't talked about my childhood and relationship to my parents before that time and I guess if you don't know about all that stuff it can come as a bit of a surprise.

So I'm going to keep Monday's appointment and tell her about how I felt after that session as well as what specifically bothered me. Normally I wouldn't talk about this until tomorrow or Monday but I'm quite nervous about doing this. I know it's the right thing for me to do but doing the right thing is hard. I don't know how she'll react or how I'll feel during or after.

All I have to do is get through the next couple of days and it'll be over. I think I'm going to wait to go back to a counselor until after I'm done the bereavement group... like in the late spring or summer. This experience has spooked me a bit and now I'm questioning whether I should actually see a psychologist instead of a social worker (MSW) because of my early history and the mental illness in my family.

One thing I did get out of this experience was a better understanding of what it was like for my mom when she was uncomfortable with the psychiatrist she was seeing. I get to go and see someone else if I want but she didn't have the choice. I have much more empathy for the way she felt after some of her sessions and I wish she was still here so that I could tell her that.


PussDaddy said...

If you don't like a counselor for whatever reason you are wasting your time IMHO. Better to find someone else probably. I hope everything is ok with your oncology stuff.


Robin said...

I admire your courage in talking to the counselor about why you are having difficulties with her. Good luck :)

manchester fat acceptance said...

glad to hear that the results were most likely clear!!!!

and i hope it goes well with the counsellor. we're rooting for you!