When I’m onto potential therapist number… twelve? (I lost count) and before official consultation number three in the search for a new therapist, all I’m feeling is… jaded. Blasé. And oh, so weary.
I spoke, unpacked my baggage yet again, but it may as well have been a prerecorded conversation by now, that’s how many times I’ve already repeated it for random healers I contacted.
So you feel you have the secret, that IFS is the way to go? Wunderbahr…
So you want me to give you half my paycheck for an intake? Sure… whatever you say.
And it requires a stop at the bank on the way because you prefer cash over Zelle? At your service.
And I need to fill out a form detailing my entire mental health history and every symptom I can relate to and every personal detail about my life before you’ll even speak to me? Here you go.
You want me to go deep in myself and pluck out my most personal struggles and share them in writing? Whatever you ask for.
My motivation level is at a measly .05. My hope that this is the answer, that this random person can help me, is pathetically low.
So why am I even doing this?
Because I’m struggling. I want to find a way out. I need to figure out a way to live unhindered by what’s weighing me down.
This ridiculous chase, the search for seemingly elusive help, brings to mind something I read in an introduction to the (very technical and heavy, yet spot-on) book about Component-Based Psychotherapy: Treating Adult Survivors of Childhood Emotional Abuse and Neglect.
Bessel van der Kolk writes in the intro that one of his patients once told him the following (and let’s leave the vexing “patient” he refers to clients as to dissect and vent about at a different time).
“I pay, I pay, and I pay. I paid with my childhood. I paid with my innocence. I paid with my adolescence, and I paid for all sorts of different forms of therapy, often by inadequate therapists. I have trained dozens of therapists how to treat people like me, but it was I who had to pay the bills.”
And van der Kolk adds, “But my patient never gave up trying.”
So far, I also haven’t given up.
I hope you don’t give up either.
P.S. As I search for a new therapist I find this meme so relatable. I should consider doing that!