Friday, 13 November 2009

In Therapy

First session yesterday.

I was kind of looking forward to it all day, in a nervous way. When I got there though, I almost ran off. I’ve fought against doing this for so long that I suddenly felt I couldn’t go through with it.

But, I climbed the steps up to the front of the enormous house, rang the bell and half-expected the door to be opened by a maid with a frilly cap and a feather duster. It was a dusty-looking man who answered though.

"Hello” I said with my practiced smile “I’m here to see Bob.”

“I know you are, Selina. I’m Bob and it’s lovely to meet you” and he shook my hand warmly and invited me to follow him into his huge maze of a house, through the hall, round a corner, down some steps and finally into a cosy room full of books on shelf-lined walls and some mismatched armchairs.

“Take a seat” he said

“Oh” I said, with a ridiculous little giggle, “is this where you judge my personality type by the chair I choose.”

he said, simply.
(I’m so stupid! First thing learned – don’t try and be funny all the time)

Anyway, I sank into a big, squashy leather armchair and he took the seat opposite me. He spent the first few minutes going through various rules: how it was all confidential, that I must give notice if I wanted to cancel a session, that he had the right to finish the treatment if I missed more than three sessions without prior warning, that I had to enter into it seriously, that it wouldn’t necessarily be easy…..He continued for a while but to be honest, I wasn’t really listening because I just wanted to get on. I signed something to the effect of what he had laid out and then he sat back, looked at me with his head to one side and said with his lovely warm Radio 4 voice, “So. How are you?”

And as I went to answer, I suddenly burst into tears! I didn’t expect them at all but they came from somewhere deep within me. So deep, that I couldn’t stop. I don’t know if it was because I suddenly felt safe, or because I was scared of what was going to happen, or because I was angry with myself for needing to be here or just desperate to get all of this stuff inside of me out but I must have sobbed for about three or four long minutes. And he did nothing. Apart from placing a box of tissues on the little table in front of me.

When I eventually stopped, I said sorry and he asked me why I was crying and I said I didn’t know. He just smiled and said it was OK, that I was there to find that out.

I remember then saying something about being there because life was running ahead of me and I needed some techniques to get it back in hand again. And he suggested that actually what I probably needed more was to find out why I felt out of control.

The next three-quarters of an hour seemed to fly by as I just told him about myself – family situation, career, friends…..affairs (which made me cry again). He didn’t write anything down – he just watched me babbling on. It felt like I talked forever and then suddenly he was saying that he was afraid our time was over but that next week, he’d like to concentrate on my relationship with my husband.

And that was it.

I did walk away from there feeling lighter. But I’m already slightly apprehensive about talking about Ewan.


  1. Well done for actually going ahead with this therapy, it must be difficult but i'm sure after a few sessions it will definitely pay off. Good luck for next week and keep us all posted as to how it goes x

  2. You show a lot of strength to have gone through with the first session, it must have felt scary, unknown. Most of us just muddle along pretending, to ourselves & everyone else, that everything's ok. I'm so pleased you felt 'lighter' afterwards. And I'm sure all therapists own stock in tissue companies!xx

  3. Your reactions mirror my own when I had counselling - including the reservations - but stick with it. It helped me enormously and I wouldn't be the sane person I am today without it. Feel proud of yourself too. It's a brave step you have taken.

  4. I recognise this. I think it might have something to do with the experience of being listened to - really listened to - for the first time in a while by someone with no agenda about you whatsoever.

  5. Well done, Salina. Well done.

  6. Good for you, dear heart, for having the courage to take this step. You just might find out it's the best thing you've done.

    "You can't always get what you want ..
    But if you try sometimes, you just might find
    You get what you need."

  7. I read this with interest. I think you have taken a wonderful step. I have been in therapy for just over a year. At times it is very difficult and has left me feeling very raw, but as Dad Who Writes says, being really listened to is an incredible experience. I have found that more beneficial than anything else. Stick with it, it is worth it without a doubt.

  8. You're a brave wee soldier, the hard road is the least travelled but the most rewarding.

  9. I'm trying to catch up, haven't been around for a while. I hope this step you've taken leads you on the road to happiness. Don't worry about the next time, just remember how much "lighter" you felt leaving there...eventually you'll come out of there floating!

  10. Darling - if you can take the step of going to therapy then you can talk about Ewan. You have to. You have to talk about absolutely everything even if you think it won't serve any purpose. It will. Just the thought of releasing everything that you have will be such a weight off you. Keep at it honey. I'm proud of you. xxx