Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Counseling Wednesday


I am one of those people who can normally go pretty deep in the feelings realm. I can tell you what's bothering me without being accusatory and listen to what's bothering you without getting defensive. I can usually pinpoint what my feelings are, where they're coming from, and deal with them so they don't seep through passively or explode aggressively at a later date.



But I'm going through an intense period right now and my capacity to deal with the emotional thunderstorm is wavering. I started counseling last week, which I initially had mixed feelings about because I've witnessed some heavy bs coming from counselors I've worked with in schools and otherwise known in the past. Counselors can be as subjective, egocentric and misguided as the next person. However, as my brother said, having the perspective of a neutral party is sometimes helpful. And it's fortunate that our family insurance pays for a certain number of sessions per year with a minimal copayment.



I was a little nervous on my way to the appointment. . . wasn't sure what to expect. When I arrived at the office, there was no one in the waiting room. The sound of rushing water came from one of those little white noise machines, probably to blot out the sounds of therapy in the adjoining room. I sat down and looked around at the pamphlets and business cards, wondering if the counselor was going to be new agey. I was a little surprised when the door was opened by a gray-haired guy in jeans with a noticeable New York accent.



I walked into his large office filled with couches, a few chairs, a desk, bookshelves and a dry-erase board. There was a teddy bear tossed on the floor in one corner. He didn't tell me where to sit so I picked a chair. My thought was . . . you'd better not try any teddy bear exercises with me, buddy. The room was dim. The counselor sat across the room from me and was quiet. I pushed away any lingering anxiety as we sat there and breathed. I was proud of myself for not smiling idiotically or giggling nervously.



The hour that ensued was actually pleasant. I talked about some serious stuff but we were able to keep it lighthearted, joking at times. He talked about the theory that within each of us is a parent, adult and child. The parent is the authority figure, the adult deals with information, and the child is either happy or sad. Problems can arise when individuals don't parent their own inner child or they relate to significant others unevenly i.e. parent to child instead of parent to parent or child to child. I found the concept to be personally relevant and left the appointment feeling strong and clear about things. After the appointment, I had a presentation to give at one of the learning centers, and it was the type of thing that might normally make me anxious but I nailed it. Hurray for counseling.



Of course, there's more work to be done . . . last night, I ran some errands, which included a stop at what used to be Long's but now is something called CVS/pharmacy. For some reason, the sudden change really upset me. I've been going to that store for 18 years and it's called Long's. What kind of cold, generic name is CVS/pharmacy anyways? And what's up with the new gray carpet that already looks dirty and why have they've gotten rid of some of the aisles? I walked around the store in tears and when I found myself waiting in line behind a teenager who was clearly on meth, I started to cry and switched to another line. Good thing today is Counseling Wednesday.



picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/evdaimon/1000350041/

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