Last week I met a woman I immediately liked.
She was tall, thin and authentic, with a feline quality about her face and movements but she had this way, unlike a cat, of disarming me. I watched her as we talked and decided I really liked her outfit. She was wearing good quality lounge-wear. I could tell it was more about comfort and texture for her though. She probably didn’t buy her clothes because they were Lululemon but because when she tried them on, they felt nice against her skin. I’m not even sure that they were Lululemon, just my best guess. The colors suited her creamy skin and auburn hair; olives and beiges.
I made a mental note to wear my hair in a side pony as soon as I had the right occasion and felt something close to desperation to lose five pounds. Immediately.
She sat in a wingchair that I could tell had been purchased because it fit her esthetic. Her orange Persian cat lay snuggled in beside her. A few times it yawned and did a cat-like stretch but then settled down again between the outside of her thigh and the arm of the chair. It was odd that it didn’t seem odd to me at all. The cat belonged there and throughout our time together she made not one mention of it.
On second thought, I realized she’d chosen the pieces in the room because it likely made most people feel the way it was making me feel; relaxed and easy.
It’s not an easy thing though, meeting a new therapist for the first time. All sorts of anxieties run through your head. Will I like this person? Do I believe she’s qualified to help me through this particular issue? Will I feel judged so that I end up defeating myself, trying to be a good teacher-pleasing student instead of a fee-paying adult who needs to work through something? Will I act on her advice?
I’ve met many new therapists in my adult life.
Every few years I find myself on someone new’s intentionally chosen couch. Each course of therapy is usually my last attempt at resolving an issue that has come to a head; an issue that surely developed out of the not so simple childhood that was mine. Something that will not be fixed by reading the right book or writing about it or resolving to change.
Sometimes I end up looking at the same issue from several different angles, in several courses of therapy because I just can’t seem to find a neat and tidy solution in five or six sessions. I feel healthier for it. I have absolutely no qualms about getting myself mental help. Talking things through, using cognitive behavioral techniques to change my thinking and actions seems to work for me.
I think I’ll always need to talk to someone when I get lost.
I really liked her. She was empathetic and fair in such a good way. She stopped me in all the right places, asked me some questions that despite my best efforts broke some anciently crafted dam so that I had to stop and cry into my hands, embarrassed and worrying about my makeup.
I’ll go back to see her and work through this.