When the therapist asked me to stay a few minutes after the last session I knew they weren’t going to let that one question I answered with ‘almost always’ go unnoticed. That question being ‘I have thoughts of ending my life’.
When I do this questionnaire there are many extreme responses due to my agoraphobia and panic so it pushes my score above the norm anyway. It’s a pain sometimes not being part of the so-called ‘norm’ which the responses on this form are compared to. Who decides what’s normal anyway?
I sat down with the two therapists and to their credit they didn’t bring up the suicide thing again. They asked me how things were, what was going on for me. I told them how the group subject matter opened up a lot of relationship stuff and I didn’t really know how to process it all. I told them how I was with the session on conflict and how it kind of threw me back into the fear like it was yesterday. I said I often experience this even if it’s just a simple argument between two people. We talked about my past and how this was normal considering the violence that I continually experienced. Among another things they asked me when this happens could I know that I’m safe now even when my body says it’s unsafe. I said no I can’t because it feels like it happens instantly and then all rational thought seems to disappear. We talked about this sort of thing for a while.
Then the unexpected happened. The therapist in charge of the group said it wouldn’t be right for my unprocessed stuff to be triggered and to leave me in the midst of it. She asked me about my former t and I ended up telling her some of what happened and that I wouldn’t go back to her. Not because I didn’t like her but because I was still hurt and I didn’t think the trust would be there anymore.
I know this agency has a rule about therapists recruiting clients for themselves so to speak. So now it’s left up to me to ask the right questions. With a bit of ‘hint’ direction on their part I started asking questions. The t said I could make a phone call to the agency and ask to see a therapist. First I mentioned that I didn’t think I could go back to this agency knowing that the counsellors only do short-term type of therapy now. The t looked at me strangely and said that is left to the discretion of the therapist even though the agency leans towards this. She said once again I could call the agency and ask. I finally clued in and so I asked if she would take me as a client. She said she would be willing to work with me. She said I would have to call the intake worker and tell her I would like to see a counsellor and who I would like to see. The therapist said she would talk to the intake worker and let her know I would be calling.
The few minutes that the therapist wanted to see me after the session ended up to be an hour.
This all happened unexpectedly and it took me off guard. I was still unsure of what to do about therapy. And now this falls into my lap. I gave myself a day to think about it and I decided to phone the intake worker. I was so nervous I’m sure I was barely coherent. I have a hard time pronouncing the therapist’s name and I’m pretty sure I botched it when I requested her as the counsellor I wanted to see. The intake worker returned my call and now I’m waiting to hear back from the counsellor. She did say to me in our first conversation that it wouldn’t be until January that we could meet. That’s OK because I need time to get used to the idea of therapy again. If it happens that is.
The same day I heard back from the intake worker I was organizing some papers and happened to see the referral list of therapists my former t gave me. To my surprise the counsellor who I’m requesting is on that list.
Now I have to remember to write out the questions I need to ask her before I risk doing this again.