Someone recently commented that she had been following my post(s) on seeking therapy, so I thought I would write something of a conclusion to this recent "seeking therapy" segment. I did finally find a therapist, and have been working with him for a couple weeks now.
How did I find him?
I found this therapist through another professional I know. It was not through another therapist, but someone in the "helping professions", so it was a professional contact. The problem, as far as I could see, was conifdentiality and "dual relationship". By dual relationship I mean I wanted to limit my contact with this therapist to just therapy times (which was a concern since there was only one degree of separation between us). I feel I have resolved my concerns.
What is the cost?
A third party affiliated with the clinic this therapist works for is agreeing to pay for part of the first 8 sessions. This third party was generous, so the cost is very manageable for me, and I am grateful to not have to modify my lifestyle for the purpose of going to therapy. If the support were to change and I were to have a greater financial responsibility, I suspect I would continue to see this therapist, but might start to ask for work I could do between sessions to potentially speed up the process.
What is it like?
I have found it enjoyable so far. Therapy is not a mysterious process, so there have not been, and I have not expected there to be any "big reveals" from the therapist (e.g., "You're gay.", "You should have been a landscaper.", "Luke, I am your father.", etc.). As a therapist, however, I have had to set my mind to being a client, which means I try not to calculate, filter, or explain myself without being prompted to do so. It is different being in the other chair.
Does Andrew just need more friends?
The problem with scratching someone's back is you almost always have to scratch theirs. The relationship between therapist and client is one of the closest legal ways we can get to a one-sided relationship in modern society. I talk about my thoughts, problems, opinions and whatever else I want to discuss, and I do not have to then listen to him talk about himself. There is no reciprocation-it is all about me. Friends are great (I do have a couple), but the therapist/client relationship is truly unique.
At this time I am comfortable with being done with this "seeking therapy" discussion. If you have any further questions about my experience, please contact me through my website. In the meantime, I have been asked to be a regular blogger for an online publisher, and that should be starting up in January 2015. Stay tuned for more information about that.