Therapization

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.

Deep breath.

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.

 

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23 thoughts on “Therapization

  1. It sounds to me like you made a really good choice. Too much talking about “stuff” is super intense. Also, huge props for being an adult about it—I’d have gone voicemail, FOR SURE.

  2. You did the right thing. Besides, it only has to be a break. If you end up needing to go back, you always can go back.

    And I totally agree with adulthood being hard. I wish it got easier at some point. Maybe it will?

  3. I think it’s great you both made the decision and informed her the way you did. That IS adult. And hopefully your therapist, though wanting you to examine it a bit, sees the value in you having done that for yourself.

  4. You did the right thing. There are no rules saying you can’t go back to your individual therapist should you feel the need. But for right now, you’ve identified what is best for you (and for your relationship) and you are following through. Be proud of that.

  5. i think you did the right thing. and like you said, you did the right thing for YOU, with kindness and sincerity.
    something similar happened to a friend of mine when she told her therapist she thought she was done for a while. the therapist made her feel like SHE wasn’t ready, like… why would she choose to take a break NOW?, they’ve gotten “so far.” in the end, it’s about YOU, the client, not them. i’d feel the same way as you though, if it makes you feel any more validated. not that you were asking for validation, but im just saying, i get it.

  6. You absolutely did the right thing, and what is more you charged at an awkward situation head-on, and stuck to your proverbial guns, which is admirable and AWESOME.

    Proud of you, friend.

    (And seriously, I love! therapy. Love to talk it out, but sometimes too much talking is just…well, too much talking.)

  7. I’m laughing, because your therapist should be THRILLED — not only were you self-aware enough to recognize the reasons it made you uncomfortable, you didnt’ cave to them. I’m guessing these are issues you’ve worked on in therapy. 🙂

  8. Too much talking/thinking and not enough time to process it could always put me in a tailspin faster than anything else in therapy, so I can relate to the decision to ease off. And props to you – when I decided to stop entirely, I did it via text.

    Um, yeahhhh…

  9. I agree that you made the right choice but I completely understand how uncomfortable you must have been. I tend to do the over justify thing and even when I know I don’t need to I can’t always stop myself.

    You do need time to process things that happened in therapy though, and if you are going too much you just don’t have the time to do that so actually cutting back will make the therapy more meaningful (I think). Good for you for making the choice and telling the therapist about it. I think I told you before that when I quit my first therapist I never told her, I just stopped making appointments (cowardly!)

  10. I wonder if there was a medical reason for your therapist spending the whole session on why you’ve made the decision to take a break. Because, from where I’m sitting, I feel like it’s sort of professionally irresponsible to make you spend so much time justifying a decision that seems very logical. I think you made the right decision for now and hope you’re able to focus on making your relationship with Mr D that much better!

  11. Good for you for standing up for what is best for you. I can’t believe that you had to defend it for the whole time, but maybe she had a good reason? Maybe?

    I would have just called and left a voice mail. 🙂

  12. I’m surprised she made you go into so much detail. It would be interesting to know why she did that..

    I can’t imagine juggling 2 therapists. That does seem taxing and potentially confusing. Glad you cleared that up and I hope you continue to enjoy the other one you’re seeing. I often think of going back to therapy. I miss it! I really think everyone should have to go – the world would probably be a much happier place!

  13. I always tell my clients that it is my job to not have a job with them anymore 😉 Then that means I am doing my job.

    Of course I love to see them though and it is bittersweet when my favorites get to a healthy place and graduate from my couch.

    Moderation in all things.

  14. You did do the right thing! And I wonder if she just had you talk about it because she wanted to make use of the already scheduled appointment?

    I hope this break helps you figure out what you want to do 🙂

  15. Remember when we were kids and couldn’t wait to grow up? I think I’m still struggling with that.

    I’m not sure I’d go back after a session like that… but well, you have to do what’s right for you and that you’re choosing the couples councelling speak to how much you love D’arcy.

  16. “I could have just wimped out and left her a half-assed voice mail. But I didn’t.”

    Bravo! It’s so freakin’ hard to be an adult, but don’t we feel so much better when we are?

  17. yes growing up is hard, but you also get to stay up as late as you want and buy your own food and have pets without anyone telling you no. I try to remember this every time i get pissed off about having to pay a bill.

  18. Two therapists is two too many. You’re a smart woman. Sometimes therapy is a good thing and other times, well, not so much. Too much therapy, and especially therapy from two different therapists would have me spinning. We’ve ALL got our issues — even those therapist telling you how to be a better version of yourself, trust me, they’ve got their own issues too. I guess I just don’t believe in long term therapy. But thats just me. But you’re right, being a grown up and doing growing up things is always hard and that, my friend, rarely if ever changes.

  19. I’m about to find myself in the same position, and I’ve been debating what to do. I think the money issue answers the question for me, but I’ll really miss my individual therapist and, yeah, I’ll probably spend at least three sessions ending things.

  20. I don’t often comment but had to respond to this … completely understand how you feel here. It’s hard! Honestly, I think she should’ve been more accepting of your choice and not made you explain so much; I have friends who are therapists and I know they feel uncomfortable about this practice — your choices are your choices and are OK! Good for you for sticking to it. and ps – happy birthday!

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