As I alluded to in my last post, I had an interesting session with Sid this week. (My therapist)
For starters, it was my second therapy session that day. In hindsight, I think there’s a reason people generally only go once a week.
Tiny bit of back story here. Seth and I had a couples therapist, Al*, before Seth gave up on it. I really liked Al. Still do. While we were seeing him, I’d expressed my feelings that I might be unhappy with my current therapist (a woman). So he recommended I try his colleague, in the same practice, Sid. And the rest, as they say, is history. Sid is a pretty damned good therapist, in my opinion. He’s my third since I moved here, and neither of the other two ever felt nearly as effective.
So, last week when I saw Sid, I was talking about job stuff, and how I might want to go into counseling–specifically related to addiction, since I seem to have a new found passion for it. He suggested I talk to Al, because he knows a lot on the subject, and also is the one who started that practice. And the best way, in my head anyway, for that to work schedule-wise, was to do it on the same day.
Yeah, pro-tip. Don’t do that. A second therapy appointment on the same day is not going to be as effective. I thought that because the one with Al was really only going to be career-focused it wouldn’t matter. Wrong.
We’re not far into the session, and I can tell that Sid is being quieter than usual.
Now, I don’t really like silence. I don’t like it in a therapy session, but I think it’s usually just long enough to get me out of my comfort zone… and do *something.* I usually just go with it, since I think he’s really effective, and there wasn’t much silence with my other therapists.
This was more than usual, and felt like too much. So I call him on it. “You’re quiet tonight.” “I am. I know part of that is where I’m at.” Oh. Right. I had the same reaction here that I did at the end of the session I told him about the transference: holy shit, you asshole, he’s a person too! He has thoughts and feelings!
So, he’s bothered by something. I don’t think it’s anything I’ve said at that point. Maybe he’s still processing an earlier session. Maybe something else work-related happened. Maybe something happened in his personal life. Who knows.
Whatever. Everyone has bad days. Even therapists. So he’s off his game. Not every session is going to be hit-it-out-of-the-park major breakthrough! I came away from the session feeling like it wasn’t nearly as effective as previous ones. Then I looked back, and processed it.
He was having a bad day. I think I sensed that early on, and it affected me. HI CODEPENDENCY! I FORGOT ABOUT YOU!
When Seth and I lived together, I noticed that my moods would often reflect his. If he came home form work grumpy, it made me grumpy, and so on, in an endless circle.
So Sid is bothered by something, and I go into “don’t piss off mommy any worse” mode. Which means *gasp* I don’t talk about the things I want to work on, because they could possibly upset him! Amusingly, this is as I’m saying I’m afraid to piss him off because of the example my Mom set. So anyway, I don’t talk about things I need to process, and it’s his fault the session wasn’t as effective!
What’s better is that practically as soon as I get home, I send him an Email to tell him something I forgot! Was it something important I needed to process? NOPE! It was an amusing anecdote from my session with Al, where he’d made a joke about Sid! Because I WANTED TO CHEER HIM UP! BECAUSE THAT’S MY JOB!
So I may have learned more from this “less effective” session than I have from many of our others which I felt were profound.
Therapy is crazy.
How am I not too crazy to help other crazy people, such that I might want to be a therapist?