Friday I worked from home, and so took some time out to meet therapist Ron. Ron works from a low rise office building in a nice part of town. It takes me about half an hour to drive there, and more time to find parking on a snowy side street.
I wait in a tiny waiting room, reading my novel. Right on time, Ron strides on out to greet me and take me to his office. No one has left, so I might be his first client of the day. Ron is very slim, tall and with bright blue eyes, in his mid-forties. He actually looks younger than in his web photo.
His office is tiny, but has a window and two armchairs facing each other. Also some modern art on the walls, a bookshelf, and a desk in an alcove. No pets here.
As with Wayne, this is not a therapy session, and it is free. But unlike Wayne, Ron launches into things, asking me about myself and what brought me to see him. Everything he says is kind of thoughtful and soft, as if he’s bouncing his thoughts off of some other extra place inside, rather than saying what’s on top of his mind.
Ron does not show off at all, and I appreciate that. He asks about my issues and my past, and does not talk about himself unless I ask. So after explaining my issues, such as problems with flashbacks, I ask what his approach to someone like me would be.
He says that basically we would be talking. Also, we could look at some dreams if I wished. But essentially, what we’d be trying to do would be to bring those flashback type memories into sessions, where after working through them, they would eventually turn into regular memories. I ask him if he’s had any cures. He said more or less…but that it’s a long process for issues such as PTSD. But that clients have come to a place where they are no longer plagued by intrusive flashbacks.
Because he asked so many questions and seemed interested, I ended up talking a lot more than he did. Which immediately upset me, though I didn’t cry or anything. But I had to back away from most topics that he raised, like my marriage, my son, and the abuse from my childhood. I wanted to keep control here and find out about him.
He said that though this was not a therapy session, I was getting some idea of what one would be like, which was true. There was really no chit chat here, and he seemed ready to dive into things.
Like Wayne, I really liked Ron, but for different reasons. With Ron, there was a very strong connection. I know he manufactured this, as it is a tool of his trade, but it didn’t seem fake. A lot of the 50 minutes was about him listening to me and being interested…even when I wasn’t sure what to say, he’d ask another question about something to do with me.
I would have a concern that I’d develop a crush on this guy. I’m single, probably needy, and he would be kind and caring…His looks are pleasant, and he is in the right age range. That would be very unpleasant for me if that happened. However, I do firmly and truly realize that he would just be doing his job, and there would be no personal intent in his being kind. So hopefully I would not develop a crush.
One thing I really respected. I mentioned how if I was triggered and went into a flashback, I’m catapulted into a depression where I can’t function well. He asked for more details of what that was like…did I become suicidal? Well, most therapists and doctors do not dare to ask that question, it scares them too much. Ron did plunge right in there.
As we talked about some things that were painful for me, I was kind of emotional when I left his office, and went for a walk to calm down. Then tried to shut everything down to get back to work, with only limited success. I’ll need to schedule sessions for end of day I think, if I launch into therapy with Ron.
I have trouble often ‘launching into things’, and Ron would encourage me to talk I think. He didn’t say anything stupid in our meeting…would he continue that way?
Oh, and he doesn’t believe in ‘labels’. Ho hum. Neither did my last two T’s. I don’t believe in that philosophy myself. How can you address an issue if you have no name for it? And gosh, it makes diagnosis easier if we just skip the nasty label. But I think in fairness he meant he wants to treat everyone as a person, not as a case. Which is fine by me. But if I hadn’t been able to tell him I have PTSD, we would have had a lot vaguer discussion than we did.
Ron has 17 year experience, and graduated from the same institute as Wayne. Hmmm….is talking what will help me? Skip the tapping and the EMDR….sit there and talk? It could be.