Thursday, August 04, 2011

Therapy has begun

I really like the psychologist I saw today. She was warm, understanding, and non-judgmental, and I especially liked that she was able to clarify my statements without leading me or putting words in my mouth.

I spent most of the appointment rambling about my life. I'd get going on a topic and then I'd start talking about something else and then when she asked a question I'd talk about another thing. At the end, we decided that I need help in three major areas, generally in this order: dealing with my emotions, dealing with the traumas in my life, and healing the relationships in my life. Of course life will happen and we'll need to deviate from this plan but having a plan of sorts will be much more productive than me rambling on.

We figured that I won't be able to deal with the past traumas until I can get a handle on my emotions - especially the ones that seem to come up out of nowhere - so to start she's going to teach me techniques for identifying and dealing with those emotions. And we figure that it'll be hard for me to heal my relationships with other people if I'm not healed myself.

She said that the traumas in my life are complex and layered and that it's kind of astonishing that I'm walking around on my own two feet... and not at all surprising that I feel like I want to "check out" sometimes. Or that I get overwhelmed and don't know what to do. Because of all the layers of stuff going on and the work involved at healing it, I'm looking at seeing her every other week or every week for quite a while... years, most likely. I don't care how long it takes as long as I get better.

At the end of the session we talked about me going to Edmonton, and I decided (and she agreed) that it would be better if I didn't go to Edmonton right now so that I can focus on getting a handle on my emotions first. Going to Edmonton might bring up relationship issues and I don't think I can handle them until I can deal with the emotions that might come up. I hope to have got far enough along in this work to be able to go there sooner rather than later.

It was a very productive session and I think I'm going to enjoy working with her. I don't know that I'll always enjoy the work (it's going to be hard sometimes) but I'm happy to have found someone that I think can really help me heal.

3 comments:

The Hyperlexian Aspie said...

wow, sounds like a great therapist with some helpful techniques.

i also have problems identifying and dealing with emotions (i think it's calle alexithymia), and i tend to identify all of my feeligs as wither "happy" or "upset".

i had a feeling the therapist would suggest that the trip be postponed, and i completely agree with that. you need to to take of your emotional health, first and foremost, and let your visit wait until you feel ready.

good luck an di hope it goes well!

love,
vicki

Chantelle said...

Thanks for your support - I appreciate it. I've been finding that not only am I having a hard time labelling my emotions but they're popping up out of nowhere. I'll be sitting watching tv and all of a sudden a thought like "it would be so much easier if I wasn't around" will pop into my head. It's like this other person is talking in my head.

After I told the therapist this, she started questioning me about whether or not I'm dissociating. I don't know if I do or not. I know I don't remember everything that happens and while I always know that I'm there, sometimes it feels like I'm watching me do something. And other times things feel hyperreal or surreal.

One of my tasks is to track my emotions - especially the ones that come out of nowhere - so that we can figure out what's going on.

Love you,
Chantelle

Jennifer Campbell said...

You are amazing Chantelle. I too have been looking to talk to a therapist. I know when I am not me, the usual happy go lucky...the continued fight with the stage 4 diagnosis and continual feeling ick and pain...it was easier when I saw an end to it...12 chemos and it'll be over...much easier to deal with. You are one brave girl...wishing you peace and hope through this emotional work.