Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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update and some thoughts on the process (long)

Posted by pegasus on September 10, 2010, at 8:50:15

In reply to starting new T search: T #1, posted by pegasus on August 20, 2010, at 8:52:14

T4 called me back and agreed to slide his fee down into a range I can handle. He implied that if he got another full paying client, he might be able to slide even further. Which was nice. He sounded apologetic that he couldn't slide further. This was all negotiated via email, and we agreed that we should talk about it further in person.

He's going to email me this weekend with info about possible time slots. So, I don't know if that means that he has times open now, or if he's anticipating times opening up soon. He did tell me that in October he's going to be adding hours on a new day of the week, so that will open up some times.

This whole process has been very interesting. And the discussion here about whether choosing Ts with different orientations/emphases necessarily leads to different outcomes. I saw some people who are really different, in terms of how they see therapy. I got the impression that we would work on very different things. For example, one guy who specializes in trauma work emphasized neutralizing the trauma (including reducing hyperarousal by learning particular calming techniques, and creating a meaningful story/lessons to help contain the event, etc.). One guy was all about body-mind connection, and we spent a lot of time on breathing exercises and noticing the effect on my feelings. Three were psychoanalysts, and were all about talking about our relationship, and my past experiences, etc. One seemed to just let me talk about whatever I wanted, and simply held a comforting, attentive presence during that.

Any of those would probably be helpful, but I think in different ways. I was really tempted by the guy who would work with trauma-specific methods. I love the idea of learning some tools in that area, and working through my traumas better. But also, his focus on the methods, and not on me, was a bit off putting. I ended up going with someone who I thought would let me talk a lot about what I wanted to talk about, but also not be a passive listener. I think he'll be the right mix of warm attentiveness and challenge for me.

It was interesting to me that every single one of these guys seemed surprised when I said that I was interviewing several Ts. I guess they don't get that much. They all took it in stride, fortunately. Only one of them told me he would like to work with me (the guy I chose, surprise, surprise).

Only two (again including the guy I chose) gave me his disclosure statement in the initial session. You know, that paper you have to sign at the beginning, that tells you that they have an obligation to report any child abuse, or if they think you're an imminent danger to self or others. Usually they slip in their fees, and any other important policies. One of my old Ts had in hers that she did not work with clients who are often in crisis. I find that those statements can be really informative at times. I was looking forward to comparing them, so I was a little disappointed.

Also, I was surprised, and a little embarrassed, at how much their office affected me. I think I mostly rejected T1 because his office looked like a rent-a-space, in an "empty room", not a "generic homey deco" kind of way. T5's office was a nightmare, and I couldn't even seriously consider him. T6's office was like heaven, and I think I definitely considered him more seriously because of it. Upon reflection, though, maybe it's a fine criterion to use. I mean, how they set up their office does tell me something about how they view their work. Whether they consider the comfort of their clients, whether they have a good appreciation of interpersonal space, whether they take account of the whole situation.

Overall, I do recommend interviewing Ts. It is confusing, though. In my case, there was one person who really stood out. Even so, I pondered whether the fact that I liked him so much was enough to balance the logistical difficulties. I could see doing good therapy with at least 4 of them.

We'll see if my judgment is any good, as the therapy unfolds.

- Peg




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