I asked myself: Is there such a thing as being over-therapized? Because if there is, I think I’m doing just that.
I’ve been seeing my therapist for a couple years now and I feel like I’ve made progress. And then Mr. Darcy moved in and we found ourselves in a bit of an emotional shitstorm so we decided that couples counseling would be a good idea. And it was! It is! We really like our therapist and feel like we’re moving in a good direction. We’re learning a lot about how we operate both individually and as a couple and because of that, our relationship definitely feels more solid, more joyous, more connected.
I’ve continued going to my individual therapist while we’ve gone to couple’s counseling. An important thing to note is that Mr. Darcy and I had only a handful of sessions jointly and then we have been going every other week individually- that’s how our counselor works and it works for us. Except for me that means I am going to two therapists for what is seemingly individual counseling. I suppose I was okay with it when one was for me and the other was for us, me and Mr. Darcy as a unit. Now it just feels like A LOT of therapy.
Add to that fact that my therapists have very different approaches and maybe you can see why I am struggling. As I’ve mentioned, my individual therapist has me lie on a couch while she sits in a chair behind me. I joke that I feel like I am in a Woody Allen film. But it’s useful and her reasoning for suggesting it was valid- I DO tend to “perform” and have trouble really getting in touch with my emotions when I have an audience (she being the audience of one). Conversely, our couple’s counselor has us speak directly to her while looking her in the eye. We’re talking 45 minutes of intense eye contact. It’s part of her method and it’s a startling contrast to my other therapy experience. I see validity in both approaches and feel like I benefit from both but doing both at the same time feels like too much. I’m in therapy so much that I hardly have time to process any of it or put it into practice, I’m jumping from one session to the next.
So I made the decision to take a break from my individual therapist for a month while I go weekly to the couple’s counselor. When I decide to do something, I do it. I’m not a very wishy-washy person. But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t feeling like a girl about to tell her boyfriend she needed to “take a break” from the relationship. Ugh. I felt like a cliché. An anxious cliché. Except she is my therapist, not my boyfriend. But it smacked a bit of “it’s not you, it’s me” which made me very uncomfortable.
But still, I did it. I walked into my session and basically brought it up in the first 10 minutes. And then we spent the next 40 minutes dissecting the deeper reasons why I felt like I needed to do this. It was. . . uncomfortable. I did not enjoy it. At times I felt like I was being asked to justify my choice and that snowballed into over-explaining (it’s a bad habit of mine). I walked out of there feeling like I did something wrong knowing full well that was all my stuff about worthiness, acceptance and people pleasing rearing up.
I’m trying to take away that I at least followed through with a decision I felt was right for ME and did it with sincerity, directness and kindness. I could have just wimped out and left her a half-assed voicemail but I didn’t.
Being a grown up is hard sometimes.