Business with a Twist

Therapy is a business relationship.  Money exchanged for a service.  In the beginning I’m pretty sure that’s how I treated my sessions.  I arrived at her office, she would ask me some questions and I would answer mostly with “I don’t know” or I’m not sure”.  Money would be paid and I would leave to do it all over again the following week.

In these sessions she would ask also me how I was doing and I would answer in my usual cheery, all is fine mode.  I would try to contain my anxiety as much as possible but I don’t think I did a very good job of it.  But still, through it all I would be my cheery all is well self.

At that time the only thing that I was investing in this relationship was my money and my time.  I would talk about everything and anything that didn’t really matter all that much to me.

Business as usual.  Except something happened somewhere down the line.

Therapy became a business relationship with a twist. Another dimension was slowly being built. In my everyday life I am involved in a number of business relationships. But in these relationships I don’t have any deep emotional attachments and so could walk away from them with not much problem at all.

As I started to trust my t and started interacting with her, it somehow became an intimate (did I just write that?) (well, maybe not that intimate, but as intimate as I have ever been face to face) relationship.  Or maybe personal would be a better word?  Personal on my side anyway.

As well as investing my money and my time I started to invest pieces of me.  My answers to her questions became more than ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I’m not sure’. I started talking to her about things that mattered.

But unlike my regular everyday business relationships I seem to have a deep emotional attachment to the pieces of me that I have invested in this particular relationship.  I guess what I am saying is that I started emotionally investing in this relationship. I also interact in my therapy relationship completely differently then in my everyday business relationships.   And I wonder if this is why I have a hard time thinking of my therapy relationship as a business one. Business and intimate became entwined.

I have no clue how this relationship should work; I only know that it confuses me.  In part I believe it’s because I’m very unsure of personal/intimate relationships in general which I don’t think is unusual.

Yeah, I pay for a service but to me it is a whole lot more.  And so all the more harder it is to separate myself from it.

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12 Responses to Business with a Twist

  1. Great post. You really capture the confusing nature of the therapeutic relationship! I’m sure you aren’t alone in these feelings (actually I know, as I feel them myself).

    • lostinamaze says:

      It certainly is confusing and I would venture to say an unique one as well. I am hoping to come to a place someday where it isn’t so confusing or at the very least quit trying to figure it out so much 🙂

  2. Harriet says:

    Very well said. So true, so scary, but hopefully so worth it in the end.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I really hope it’s worth it too. It is scary to invest so much in this not really knowing the end result and of course the pain that is sometimes involved in the journey itself.

  3. I love what you wrote in this post and it is what most people experience. For me, the issue was trust that made it more “intimate.” It scared me to death. I so wanted to run from therapy, but am glad that I stuck it out and talked about being anxious and scared.

    take care,
    CC

    • lostinamaze says:

      It took me a very long time to start to trust as well. The realization that she was slowly making it safe for me to trust her with my ‘stuff”. That ended, with some other things, up being a turning point for me in becoming ‘intimate’. Very hard indeed.

  4. I can definitely relate to what you’ve said.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I am sad but also glad that I’m not the only one. I find the whole therapy thing hard to understand. Maybe if I just quit thinking so much…

      It does keep my life interesting 🙂

  5. Just Be Real says:

    What an awesome post. What you captured is so revealing.

    • lostinamaze says:

      After I read your comment I had to reread my post again which I don’t usually do. It’s like my therapeutic journey in a snapshot.

  6. One long journey says:

    Wow – what a great post – captures my feelings exactly. As hard as it is to start forming that “intimate” relationship with trust and revealing parts of ourselves – I think it has helped with my communication in other parts of life. My T and I have been talking about what it would be like to be at the same party (again a distinct possibility with the holiday season approaching). She told me that it was likely that I would be her most “intimate” relationship at any party we might be at together. That made me pause.

    I’ve been skimming through some posts since I haven’t been online for a week or so. Realizing that my urge to occasionally call during a session or that I bring in written journal pieces could be interpreted as “acting out”.

    Love the new look! 🙂
    OLJ

    • lostinamaze says:

      That is interesting what your t said to you. That would give me pause as well. I can see how it would be true.

      When I read the words ‘acting out’ I flashed back to me as a child. Me doing the right thing by trying to be the perfect child when probably in reality the most right thing I could have done is ‘act out’. Hmmm I will be thinking about this for sure.

      I thought it was time for a different look plus the bigger printing was a real draw 🙂

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