Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rethinking therapy, again

I was in therapy a bit as a child and as a teenager, for all the good it did me. Not all of the time, but at times. And then, from my sophomore year in college on I was in therapy most of the time until my early thirties. I didn't always find it useful, but I felt like I was "doing something," and trying to get better. With the majority of therapists, I would give them a few months, maybe a school year, and then move on, having not felt like I was getting much from them. But then there were a few who were good and useful, and I stayed with them until I moved, etc.

I often took the summers off, or quit when things were so bad that I know I wasn't going to be able to get myself to my appointments regularly and didn't want to get charged. At least with a psychiatrist, you come out of the appointment with something tangible, a prescription in hand. But getting to a therapist on a regular basis when severely depressed and can't get get off the couch, much less out the door- that is sometimes asking too much.

Once I started working again and was no longer on disability, I no longer had Medicare/Medicaid, and I no longer felt like I should ask my parents to help pay. So for a while I tried finding therapists "in-network" with my new private insurance. And I have generally been disappointed. I didn't put up with them for very long. And for the most part, I have not been in therapy.

But since I have moved to where I am now, I have been pretty socially isolated, and decided to give therapy another try. After trying an "in-network" therapist twice, I agreed to let my parents help me to pay privately for someone. Yes, I have out of network benefits, but the out of network deductible is so high that I might as well not.

And I like her. She has been providing what I need at the moment- which is social support, someone to tell my story of my crazy history to- which is something I seem to feel the need to do periodically, and some good ideas about being in the moment. She was my sounding board during my year of seriously questioning meds for the first time.. She is really a DBT therapist, but I had a bad experience with DBT in the past, so she is not pushing it too much.

I have had every kind of therapy there is: psychoanaysis, CBT, DBT, you name it. I feel like I really shouldn't need therapy anymore. I don't believe in therapy forever. And it seems pretty pathetic that at the moment I am really just paying her to be a sympathetic ear and give helpful suggestions and feedback.

It is rare that I find a therapist I really like. I think she is maybe number 4. And yet, there is a part of me that feels like, if I am in therapy, it means I am dependent, defective, not a grown-up. Somehow, it bothers me even more to rely on a person than on a pill.

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