On choosing a therapist.

I booked my first appointment with a therapist last week and had my first session yesterday.

Before I say how it was, I just want to say that I have high expectations for therapists and am overly critical of them. The first time I ever went was when I was doing my undergrad. I used the university’s services. It was a terrible experience. She didn’t pay attention to me; she was scribbling through her agenda on and off the entire time.

When I was recently looking into therapists, the first woman I was emailing back and forth with didn’t use proper punctuation and grammar in her emails. I mean, nothing too serious but used things like “…” and didn’t capitalize her letters (think 16 year old text or bbm messages). So being harshly critical and judgemental, I wrote her off. I just figured that if I’m paying you $150 a session, your communication with me should be professional, no? I mean, given that I’m in social services, I realize that there could be a lot of factors contributing to her seemingly casual style of communication like a learning disability, English as a second language, age (sometimes older people just aren’t good with technology), but given that I’m in crisis right now I don’t think I have it in me to be so forgiving and non-judgemental. Anyways, she’s out.

Then I found another lady. I looked up psychologists online and found a decent profile of a woman who was knowledgable about a variety of approaches (psychodynamic, relational, Cognitive Behaviourial Therapy). Her picture was up and she seemed young and looked to me like a woman of colour. Seeing someone I could relate to was important. Someone that might be sensitive to experiences of ethno-cultural communities, and who understands the role race plays our lives was important.

Our first session wasn’t bad. She seemed a bit younger and less experienced than her online profile indicated. It felt good to talk for an hour. She asked good questions. She was a bit disorganized at the end in terms of booking a second appointment and she rushed off to go downstairs to get her second client, which I didn’t appreciate.

BUT, all in all it was good I think. She offered me a sliding scale. Our initial conversation went all over the map. I have no idea which issues we’ll end up focusing on. I realize I’m seeing her because of burnout, career transition stuff, emotional stress, but am fully aware we might have to delve into my past, aspects of which I may never be ready to talk about but am fully aware that there are potential blocks there.

Here’s to finally getting some help!


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