Posted by: Marie | September 9, 2010

(397) And my choice is . . .

Post #397
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, March 17, 2010]

Today, I called each of the prospective therapists to tell them whom I selected. Then, I sent each of them a hand-written thank you note to show my appreciation for the investment they each made in me. My time with each of them was very valuable for me – I learned so much in this process!

I have decided to go with Edward as my new therapist.

Before finalizing my choice, I went back to his website to learn more about him – about his personality, about his process, about his qualifications. And, I researched integrative psychotherapy some more.

After doing all that, and after reflecting on what all happened in the interview, I decided he was the best fit for me.

Photo by Martin Chen

My impression of him is he is highly skilled . . . he has invested years in learning and being coached and polishing his craft. He is apparently very intelligent – his first doctorate’s degree is in engineering, his second is in psychology. (His second doctorate’s is from a non-accredited school so he is careful about listing it as one of his degrees.)

I like that he seemed to be highly attuned to what was going on with me during the interview and that he was able to nimbly adjust his approach in response. It reminded me of a gymnastics coach standing nearby to provide support as a newbie student attempts a challenging exercise – creating plenty of space in which the student can stumble around but sticking close enough to catch the student if he falls.

He is a published writer (books and articles) and has a love affair with words and language.

Of all the therapists, he felt the most “enlightened” and “evolved” on a personal/spiritual level. On his website, he posted an article he wrote about the role integrative psychotherapy has played in his life. In the article, he briefly mentions his own journey of healing from a “relational history of cumulative neglect”. So, he has first hand experience in healing from childhood trauma.

I am really impressed with him. I think there is a good chance he can handle going where I need to go.

Also, I don’t feel a sense of traumatic history with him (or with people like him). When I first met Mark, I could feel all the historical drama from my relationship with my dad rise up and Velcro itself to the relationship. I feel nothing like that with Edward. I feel like there is a clean slate there.

I’m thinking that is a good thing – an absence of enmeshment would be very good.

I also am impressed with the mode of therapy he uses . . . here is a quote from the Institute of Integrative Psychotherapy’s website that resonates with me:

“[Integrative psychotherapy] refers to the process of integrating the personality: taking disowned, unaware, or unresolved aspects of the self and making them part of a cohesive personality, reducing the use of defense mechanisms that inhibit spontaneity and limit flexibility in problem solving, health maintenance, and relating to people, and re-engaging the world with full contact. It is the process of making whole. Through integration, it becomes possible for people to face each moment openly and freshly without the protection of a pre-formed opinion, position, attitude, or expectation.”

If I understand it correctly, this mode of therapy is about causing changes to one’s core character as opposed to simply “managing” (white-knuckling?) one’s outward behavior. That sounds good to me . . . very good.

So, we are going to have our first session in a couple of weeks from now . . on March 30th.

I’m feeling a sense of relief.

I can feel the tension starting to fade and the hope starting to return. The emotions have been pretty intense throughout this process of ending things with Mark and beginning things with a new therapist. As a result, I have been binge eating pretty heavily.

But, today, the desire to binge is fading along with the doubt and despair. I am breathing again.

Speaking of ending things with Mark . . . after not hearing from him for two weeks, I sent an email to him today:

So . . . the silent treatment? Really?

Unbelievable.

Here is your 24 hour notice: I am canceling our session scheduled for tomorrow.

Please bring the three-ring binder that contains my printout of “Hypnotherapy and Childhood Sexual Abuse” to the next networking meeting you attend.


Responses

  1. test

  2. The system kept kicking me out, hence the comment above. Here’s what I really want to say:

    Aha! I knew it!

    It will be very interesting to see how things go with a therapist so different from the one you’ve been used to. And on that note, what the hell is wrong with Mark, to ignore you like that? I mean, yes, we know he’s got some issues, but this is really beyond the pale.

    • Hey, David –

      You crack me up! I figured you knew which direction I’d go.

      Edward seemed to be operating on a different level than the others and that felt really good to me.

      And, yes, Mark turned out to really be a butthead.

      – Marie

  3. He sounds like a good choice. I get really angry when a therapy method seems to just want me to ‘white-knuckle’ my way through life and I get downright savage with therapists who take the ‘don’t worry be happy’ bandaid approach of perpetual pretense. Just like I’ve always said – there is nothing else on offer if the therapist hasn’t done their own work first.

    When you first introduced Edward, I commented that he was the one I would have chosen as well. Cool!! With therapists like Edward there is little need for me to do awful things like belch out loud accidentally / on purpose when I can’t stop myself from showing my disgust and resentment even when I’ve made a mental note to behave. With a person who has done their own work, I can actually be civil and get something out of the therapy in exchange for all the money I have to fork over.

    I hope he is working out well and able to help you in the way you need. I’ll be cheering for you.

    • Hey, EH –

      I laughed out loud when I read about your tendency to belch out loud to show disgust and resentment . . . I love it!

      You and I must have similar preferences in therapists . . .

      Thanks for the well wishes!

      – Marie

  4. This is great news. I’m glad you feel like you can get somewhere with the new therapist.

    • Thank you, Paul. Yes, this was a good turn of events! Thanks for sharing your good thoughts!

      – Marie

  5. I’ll be very interested to see how your relationship with Edward evolves.

    I’ve looked up Integrative Psychotherapy on the web and I find it very stimulating and promising.

    • Hey, Evan –

      I am impressed with Integrative Psychotherapy, also. It seems to pull the best from all the approaches.

      Thanks for your continued support!

      – Marie


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