I want to keep track of my therapy, so I can see week to week what’s going on. So a quick post on this week’s session. I get along well with Ms T – we talk quite easily. I asked her this time what her plan was and what she planned to do with me. She said she isn’t sure yet, she has only met me a few times, but she thinks we’ll do some EMDR for trauma processing and some cognitive therapy. She said the first step is establishing a comfortable relationship with each other so I trust her enough to go deeper.
She wanted more information on the abuse I went through, so I rattled off some details. We talked about the fact that I have trouble expressing my emotions, how emotional displays of any kind were discouraged by my mother. So now I tend to stuff rather than express. Well what else is new for someone in therapy, really? Probably three quarters of the Western world has this trouble.
We talked about my troubles with dissociation / numbing….she suggested listening to some music I like as a way to start coming out of this state. I’m to prepare some music in advance, as being dissociated, I can’t do things like choose music. In general, Ms T is big on listening to music, which I find interesting.
I’ve been experimenting with listening to more pop music, rather than the folk / jazz / classical varieties I usually play. A friend suggested Christina Aguileira, Madonna (yuck), Enya, Britney Spears – girl empowerment music, he called it, cheekily. I found I quite liked Christina Aguileira. I haven’t bothered with Britney yet. And then a real find – Amy Winehouse – beautiful low voice, and she doesn’t posture and primp in her videos the way some of the pop tarts do. I know she has issues, which is perhaps why her music speaks to me especially. Plus major talent, in my uninformed opinion.
The idea is to have stuff with a beat that gets you moving and is not introspective or depressing. So it’s been interesting to learn new things. I know I have a few readers – if anyone wants to suggest a singer / band they like, I’ll rush to check them out on You Tube (my other new discovery – hey, I’m an old lady, what can I say). I may not share your taste, but I might, and I’ll be interested in any case.
Back to therapy – I was asking for homework, as I am an eager beaver, and Ms T told me to check out the self-help section of the bookstore and browse any anxiety workbooks to see if I want to work through one with her. To tell the truth, I am fed up to the eyeballs with self-help workbooks, as I’ve tried them before and I still need therapy. I may just bring along some I already have and see if she wants to use one of them. After all, there’s no point doing some technique from a workbook if it’s not something she’s familiar with.
To sum up, it was a partially successful session. Talking about traumatic things, even just briefly, is not fun for me. So to complete the session, where we moved on to other things, I basically dissociated, or at least pretended it was OK. Then when I got home, I had the usual problems – feeling overwhelmingly tired, falling asleep, waking up in a really bad space….Probably I should be having the feelings at the therapist’s office, not saving them for home.
I wouldn’t say that was her fault, exactly. But I have to stop trying to have her like me, and being chatty, and try and face whatever feelings there are in the office.
I have a feeling therapy is going to be difficult and unpleasant. But the music part I like.
Image: Art Therapy Works