Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Intake Eval

Today was my first day of therapy. I thought I would post feelings and thoughts about it on here so that I can remember things to bring up next week, and to see if you have had similar experiences or what insights you have to offer. 
Should I show her this blog sometime? 

She asked all the normal admittance questions like “were you abused,” “do you have hallucinations,” and “do you do drugs.”
I felt kind of embarrassed answering no to all of them because it reminded me what a blessed life I lead. Literally, I can’t think of a legitimate complaint I can make about my life situation. Everything is going well for me, and everything has always gone well for me. I have no history of trauma, I never got into any (big) trouble, and I had an upbringing which on all accounts should have turned me into a super awesome mentally stable woman. I was wondering whether the therapist was thinking I shouldn’t be there because nothing bad had happened to me.

In my head here’s how the session could have gone:
Therapist: Well, Emily, I don’t know what good therapy can do you.

Me: What do you mean?

Therapist: You say you know all the skills I could teach you. There are no horrible experiences in your past to revisit and get over. You say you’re making progress and I don’t think therapy will be able to help you further than you’ve been helping yourself.

Me: I thought there was never such a thing as too much therapy. I thought therapy could always help even if the problem was small.

Therapist: There’s only so much therapy can do. You’ve done everything and it hasn’t gotten you any better in a long time. Besides, these are just normal stresses. You really think you need a therapist just because you stayed up all night worrying about your new job?

Me: I…

Therapist: I don’t want to waste my time on you. No offense, but what you need is someone to talk to, not insight. I could help you, but there are only so many hours in the day and a lot of patients to comfort.

Me: Ok. (leaves dejected)

It didn’t go like that, obviously. But it was only the first session. There’s plenty of time for her to see that it’s no use trying to help me. 


  1. showing her your blog is of course, up to you.
    what the fuck
    that is not okay as far as im concerned. a problem is a problem whether you've been making progress or not. you deserved that help as far as im concerned.
    i went to my counsellor for depression. shes trying to focus on what types of food i eat and tells me that food x and food y is probably that is whats making me unhappy. fuck her. my mood dictates my eating habits. my eating habits do not dictate my mood.
    there are so many times i've said this to her.
    some people do not get it. it seems like good Doctors are of lacking in this world. just because you're not being dragged down there by your parents does not mean that you do not deserve the help they have to offer. the problem still exists, and that means that you still need help for it.
    asshole bitch cunt therapist of yours.
    -Sam Lupin

    1. Thanks :)
      Don't worry, she wasn't a bitch; it was all in my head. I hear people like that are out there though.
      And yeah, sometimes people just don't get it. I hope you're able to get through to her, or find someone better.

  2. I know what you mean about being in therapy but having had a nice life. I joke to my husband that I have "sad middle class girl syndrome" because on all accounts things look just fine. Until its not, that is what I learned through the years. Looking back at my life I see I had weird issues since I can remember but no omg issue or event that is the cause. I really believe that my brain chemistry is bit off and that growing up in a famliy that didn't show or talk about emoitions compounded the small problem that eventually snowballed. But hey we give our therapist a break from their other patients.

    1. I wonder if we do give our therapists a break. It might be even harder to deal with people with "sad middle class girl syndrome" because there's no obvious thing to focus on. But who knows.

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  4. Part of what therapy will teach you, or encourage you to do, is not to focus any of your precious energy on unnecessary projection of either what could have happened, or may happen. I think a lot of ED sufferers are worriers by nature, panicking about what they might have said or things that will go wrong. In that sense, you're by no means wasting your time in going to see this therapist as you still have that to master...eventually, although the seeds of conversations that might never happen may still sprout, you'll learn to nip them in the bud before they get the chance to grow into anything really counterproductive.

    Anyway, never mind weed analogies. What I really wanted to share with you was something that was said to me in an OA meeting a few years ago, that has stuck with me. Feeling frustrated that your life is comparably amazeballs to that of others is something I can relate to in a HUGE way. No abusive childhood, two parents that adore me, no big worries at all in the grand scheme of things...and I used to sit listening to all these adults with big grown up problems and think "Seriously, pull it together Hope. These guys are overwhelmed, their lives do actually SUCK. You have no reason to sit here nodding along with them." But what I remember hearing that really resonated with me, was this:

    "Your pain is YOUR pain." Essentially, it doesn't matter WHAT that pain is or how it got there. If you feel it, if you hurt, that pain is just as real as anybody else's, whose life on paper could be one hundred times worse than yours. We all deserve to be happy. We all deserve to be free of the fears and anxieties etc. that hold us down. You deserve to see joy at the end of it all just as much as they do. That's all.

    Peace, and love, as always.

    Hope <3 (

    1. Thanks, Hope :)
      I've heard and said things like this before, but hearing it again just made me feel so relieved.

  5. It's strange because I've experienced sexual abuse, divorce, I've been supportive of an addict (not financially, thought I should specify lol), been nearly hospitalized for my ED, mom tried to commit suicide, and I just say, "Well, it could really be worse." And friends will look astonished that I feel that way. I guess it never truly occurs to me that people with clean slates feel guilty because there's people like me. You shouldn't, of course. I think the only risk is that a person can be very judgmental or expect people with trauma to be just fine quicker. I think I feel like I'm more stigmatized than people with regular old lives sometimes, like, wow, she's had a crap life, feel sorry for/judge/overlook her. Then you have to hurry up and get better and stop wasting everyone's time with your little girl issues. You're at least fixable. :P So basically, don't sweat it. :) You don't need to justify needing help; we shouldn't.

    As far as your blog, that's up to you girl, OR take main points from it or print off pages.
    Just don't let that idea that you are unworthy of help get in the way. Xx

    1. We're all fixable! I mean, we can't change situations, but we can make our lives better somehow.
      I hear what you're saying about being more stigmatized. I never thought about it that way because I assume that those are the kinds of things therapists are trained to help with. And to me it seems like the people being told to get better would be people with less issues to get around. I just think it's funny that we're coming at this from sort of opposite sides and we're having the same thoughts about it.
      And thanks for the idea of printing out pages! I wouldn't have thought of it.


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