Happy cats make for happy homes

adolescence Alabama beliefs blogging calm change Chicago crisis crushes dreams family fear flint hills food friends happiness health being a hippie holiday home internship kids loss love magic memories money music parties perfection plants projects relationships relaxation reminiscing ritual school social work issues spirits sports stress style the South violence weather weather worries writing



Go now. Go.

There’s something about Sunday night
that really makes you want to kill yourself
Subscribe to this blog
for e-mail updates

Friday, March 14, 2008

A good lesson

So I've been seeing a counselor this semester, on campus, half to address the massive anxiety I have about my future (i.e., what do I do when I graduate and how do I not completely lose it with the stress?) and half to observe and learn more about therapy. I got matched with a man who, well, I would prefer not to see a man anyway, but also, I could, really, immediately, tell I wouldn't feel comfortable with.

But I'm stubborn, and had already waited 3 months to get to see someone, so I stuck with him once I knew he did a lot of work with cognitive-behavioral therapy. I knew that's what I needed, plus, I wanted to see an experienced clinician administering CBT.

I don't know why I ignore gut feelings. I'm pretty ridiculous about that.

I quickly grew tired of his style, and of CBT in general. But I stayed with it at least a month and a half. At our last session, something else came up (a discussion topic) that I wanted to pursue, and since I knew he also did a lot of interpersonal therapy work (another modality I wanted to see in action), I suggested that direction instead.

I have this idea that because I'm comfortable in general with therapy, it can be successful no matter who I work with. But I had to confront the fact that I really am growing more uncomfortable with him, to the point that I started to dread the appointment we have scheduled for next week.

It's not anything in particular (unless you count that I think he talks too much for a therapist, and sometimes I zone out and miss half of what he says), it's more about a personality fit between counselor and client that's just not working.

This is actually not something I've encountered as a therapist myself--probably because most of the families I see are mandated to see me due to community service, and they don't have much of a choice to see another counselor unless they are very difficult and I defer to my supervisor. The therapeutic relationship (though important) just isn't discussed (though maybe that's only through my failing to bring it up).

Something that does happen a lot, though, is that people will stop coming, not even returning my phone calls, and I don't know why. It doesn't keep me up at night, but closure is nice. And I think I now realize why it happens.

I don't particularly want to talk about it with my therapist. I should talk about it, but I don't feel like it. I just feel like stopping our sessions. So I called the center receptionist and cancelled my appointment. And my counselor called me back to reschedule.

I knew he would. I call my clients, too. Even if they say (as I didn't), "I'm ending my counseling. I'm not coming back."

I don't want to call him back and explain, because I can't even figure out why in the past week, I've gone from being somewhat committed to (though unenthused about) counseling to suddenly being unavoidably uncomfortable with the idea of returning. I just don't feel like dealing with it. I don't need closure, or termination, I just have other things to do with my time.

Yet, because I hate it when clients just stop communicating, I feel some responsibility to him to tell him why I'm terminating. So I know that I'll feel really guilty if I don't call him back.

But I don't want to talk to him! I don't want to feel guilty about someone else's feelings and I don't want that to push me to do something I don't want to. I'd lie and say something came up and I don't have time for it, as one friend suggested, but I know that I would, as a counselor, probably push some more to get my client back in session. And I don't want to go through that myself.

Ugh. I feel like an idiot being bothered by all this.

But it's a fantastic lesson on what my clients could potentially be struggling with as well. It gives me great perspective.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger.
Get awesome blog templates like this one from BlogSkins.com