MT, my therapist, has turned out to be a very wise woman, and I like her immensely. (I’m a little mad at her today, but I still like her lots). I believe that it is quite serendipitous that I found my way to her office and her couch. I really thought my last therapist would be my last therapist ever. She told me she had the skills to help me heal and I believed her. Well, something went wrong and either she dd not have very good skills or I was not a very good student. I ended up going to another therapist, who really had no experience with trauma, to try to figure out what was making me such a bad client. Eventually, I came to see that I was not a bad client, but that my regular therapist was not a good match for me. So, interim therapist, realizing the amount of trauma I have had in my life, sent me to her own therapist, who happens to have lots of experience with people with lots of trauma.
And so I met MT. Who approached things much differently than any other therapist I ever had. She actually scared me at first. One of the first things she did was to tell me that she NEVER hugs her clients. I had to really think about that. I’ve never before had a therapist who did not hug me. I’ve also never before MT had a therapist that I have not developed a maternal transference with (well, besides my interim therapist). I actually like that MT NEVER touches me. I have learned many self-soothing techniques with her and I can usually take care of my need to be soothed when I am not in her office. Just in case you are wondering, some of those self soothing techniques are breathing, wrapping myself in a blanket, and butterfly hugs. I really like my independence and my new-found competence in this area. My emotional crises with other therapists were always made worse by their inability to respond immediately at all times of the day and night. When they were not available to soothe me, I found myself being angry at them and feeling abandoned and unworthy. With MT, I know that I am very worthy of being soothed soon as I realize the need AND I can do it for myself. It’s not as shaming as I thought it would be to wrap my arms around myself. Because it’s not the present day me that really needs the soothing; it’s some child part of me. I’ve also found other situations with MT’s encouragement where I can get the physical nurturing, like acupuncture and massage.
Another reason I hold MT in such high regard is that she has never said that she can heal me. What MT tells me is that I have all of the knowledge necessary inside me to heal myself. Her job is to guide me on the path to that healing. She has a flashlight. She sometimes holds the map. She tells me when I’m about to fall in a hole. She warns me that the journey will be like walking through hell, but that she will help me to find my way to the healing that already exists in me. She takes my lead, though, as much as possible. If I say I’ve found a new path, we try it out. She’s shown me new ways, like punching the Wavemaster, like allowing myself to cry and cry and cry.
I also like that MT has respect for the other healers in my life. Sometimes she will ask if I have talked to my priest about something. If I do meditation with Jodi, and find a new spirit animal or come to a new realization, MT will incorporate that into my therapy. If I discover something new in my body, with Jodi or acupuncture or a massage therapist, MT will incorporate that into my therapy.
I really like that MT always respects where I am. If I come to her office and cry for an hour, it’s okay. If I need to be quiet for a while, that is okay. If I need to leave early, that is okay. If I leave the room for a few minutes, I do not have to provide an explanation unless I want to. I am okay with MT. I don’t think that I’ve had that experience before…that wherever I am, is just fine, and we will work from that spot. If I want to tell MT the graphic, gross, disgusting details of my abuse, she will listen. If I just want to say that something was awful, and leave it at that, that’s okay too.
The last thing that I want to talk about today regarding the reasons that I really like MT is that she has tailored my therapy for me. She has never done my therapy with somebody else before. She might have done parts of it, but she does not do cookie cutter therapy. She took me to a karate studio to work on anger issues. She had never done that with a client before. She found out I like to be creative, and now she assigns me projects that will help with my therapy and will help instill the healing further in my cells.
I do not enjoy my therapy with MT all of the time, but I really like her all of the time. She has my best interest at heart, and the other day when I told her that I am scared of this healing process all of the time, she told me that she is often scared too…and what she is scared of is that she is not good enough for me. Well, she is. I know I will heal with her as my guide.