Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When Will Therapy No Longer Be Necessary?

The past few visits that I have had with my psychologist have been different from that I have experienced in the past. 

The original purpose of my therapy was to learn the coping skills necessary for my diagnosis of bipolar disorder. After about six months of therapy I felt that we had reached a point in my recovery that indicated that I was able to sufficiently deal with my struggles with less psychological supervision. I scheduled my appointments from seeing my therapist from once a week to every other week as part of my weaning process from counseling.

It seemed like a effective plan. I felt good about my decision. It was a relief knowing that the process of accepting my mental state of mind was going according to plan.

Then a crisis in my life appeared. I lost one of my children to suicide. As a result, my world was turned upside down. I went from a good mental state of being to one of emotional chaos. My number of visits went from my scheduled plan of twice a month to twice a week. The intentions of my sessions changed from one of recovery to one of loss.

In previous appointments I looked at my psychologist's face. I noticed his eyes, his hair, his cheekbones and the way he brought his hand to his face as he listened to me intently. I am obsessed with his hands. His fingers possess an air of elegance.  

The more recent appointments progressed into something different. I went from looking at my psychologist's face to avoiding eye contact at all costs. I find interest in the room around me during our discussions. This usually takes place when I feel the burning of tears welling into my eyes. I look at the reflection of a lamp in the mirror behind his head. I scan the frames on the wall. I study the bookshelf by his chair and try to make out the titles. I consider the style of decor in his office. Did he choose his furniture and its placement or did the room come fully furnished? I follow the pattern on his sweater or the buttons of his shirt. I notice the texture of his pants. I need to make a mental note to look at his shoes at today's session. I do anything to distract me from my emotional pain.


I wonder about the car he drives and if my numerous appointments are funding a vehicle upgrade in the near future. Does he pay rent or a mortgage? One of the most pressing questions is his age. He is an excellent psychologist. When did he graduate from college? What degree does he have; what are his credentials? I haven't noticed any framed diplomas on his wall. This does not give me the opportunity to count backwards from the day of his graduation to the year he was born. I make another mental note to search for a diploma.


Is there a necessity for therapy? I lost my son. Anyone in my condition would be in emotional distress. I know that I will forever feel the loss of my child. I realize that crying is a part of the grieving process. I understand that everything will get easier with time. How many days, weeks, months or years will I need the luxury of the help of a psychologist? If I decide to quit now, can I resolve my issues on my own? Definitely not. My original schedule concerning therapy has changed. It has been redirected towards another path; a path of which I know is  not certain. Whatever the outcome, at the moment, I feel comfort knowing that I do not have to travel that path alone.  
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