This morning I had the “intake interview” at the psychiatry office in a tiny town twenty minutes away. I had planned on taking Amy with me, but it turns out Mark didn’t have to be at work until after lunch. (Classes are over; this week is meetings and planning.)

I thought I arrived on time, but I hadn’t realized that this town is in the next time zone, so I was actually an hour early. Fortunately, they weren’t busy and took me in early.

Some basic paperwork — identification info, insurance info, that sort of thing.

Then the interview. I guess it makes sense for an agency providing a variety of services and therapists and all to have an admissions process to figure out which service / therapist would be the best fit. But it still seems odd to me.

I have an appointment with a LCSW therapist next week. I wasn’t able to find out much information about her at the office’s website, other than education, areas of specialty, and the fact that she’s a runner and volunteers with the humane society.

I realize this is essentially unsubstantiated bias, but I confess I think I’m too smart for a social worker to help me. For some reason I think of social workers as helping the uneducated or the poor and so on. I think of the parenting class that the Simpsons were sent to, where the parents were all carefully taking notes as the teacher emphasized NOT to throw trash in the backyard. Plus I think the two therapists I tried in NY, who were not at all good matches for me, were social workers. I suspect that a social worker will think I think I’m too smart and will try to cut me down to size. If she’s good she’ll be able to correct my bias without direct opposition. Well, we’ll see.

Next month I see the psychiatrist. I could just have our family doctor oversee my medications, but the idea makes me a little nervous. I think at least one appointment with a specialist will make me feel more secure. See? There’s my bias again. I am so unique and so complicated and sophisticated that only a highly trained professional specialist can understand and help me. Heh.

Joe respected and worked with my intelligence, my delusions of grandeur, and my inferiority. If I could get a weekly $100 gig…

We’ll see how next week goes, first.


11 thoughts on “Admissions

  1. oh have I been there done that. For the longest time I refused to see any talk therapist that was not in possession of at least one PhD — not a PsyD either. What the hell is that a made up degree by the psych community? Heh, too smart for my own good. The therapist I am seeing now, L, she just has her masters and is a licensed therapist. I am comfortable talking to her. For me it’s all about comfort. The Dr’s never seemed to care much. L does. My meds are watched out for by my psychiatrist. My family doc wont even touch them.

    Good luck.

  2. Funny — your comment made me think about how much more comfortable I was with midwives during pregnancy and delivery, than with doctors. And yet I want a doctor for my therapy. I wonder if part of it is that I sought help from pastors before finding Joe, and Joe was so miles beyond that I got the idea it’s his education that made the difference. But what else makes the difference is his compassion and respect, his insight, the right balance of listening and talking, with the focus on me and what I need, appropriate handling of transference, and the psychoanalytic approach vs. CBT.

    Like I said, we’ll see.

  3. I have my law degree and found myself feeling the same way you do. However, I also deal a ton with the psychatrists in town on a legal basis and was worried about seeing them on a personal basis too. So I went with my current T – she is a LCSW (I think) – I know she has her masters and went to seminary. She’s awesome! I have no regrets. I think it’s more about the meshing of personalities than degrees.

    Good luck!

  4. i think the most frustrating part for me, in dealing with therapists, is that I can see where they are going. I have BS in Psychology. I have worked as a counselor. Heh..It’s sorta frustrating to hear the same things you have said being told to you. I suppose what really bothers me is being on the receiving end of therapy.

  5. It doesn’t have to be true, because there are always exceptions, but I think that having a therapist who is generally at least in your league, mental-process-wise, works better. You don’t want a therapist who cannot understand the cognitive processes that you use. Personality is important, but if they can’t understand what you are saying when you feel you are speaking plainly (and there are some real reasons why this happens that are no one’s "fault") it’s probably going to be a waste of your time. Degree is irrelevant to this, of course.

    Does raise an issue, though. There’s a pretty good chance that you are mentally overwhelming the natives over there. (I say this as a Hoosier.) That can make social relations very difficult for the best of us. If you already feel uncomfortable with people, this can cause debilitating affective disorders. Therapy is of little value in this, except to help with coping skills. Personally, I’ve gotten to the point where I reckon it’s better to fix the broken leg rather than learn to cope with it. If the locals aren’t “getting” you, that could be a really nasty addition to the other stresses.

    And sorry about the time zone issue: welcome to the North End of Indiana. The real fits I always had was trying to remember who was on Daylight Savings Time. ("Okay, what time is it there right now? Does you time change in the next week?") Just remember for Popcorn Fest that Valpo is on Chicago time!

  6. Steve, yes, predictability is not very helpful.

    Manasclerk… well and good, but how exactly do you fix that broken leg? And what about the body of Christ, and loving your neighbor? Mental / psychological differences shouldn’t be such hindrances, should they — Jesus managed to have relationships with all sorts of people.

  7. Marcy,
    just catching up on some reading here…I can totally relate to your “I may be too smart for you to help me thinking”…but having said that, I have to tell you a a family we’ve had more visits to various counseling professionals over the years than I can remember….we’ve paid $140 per hour…$40 per hour and $0…the one that cost the most was the most worthless..and in the end here is what I’ve discovered….when we go to a counselor (whether its a paid professional or a wise friend)..ultimately, we’re going wanting to hear from God on a given issue. This is just little old me speaking…but I could care less (at this point) about a persons’s credentials…some of the most profound and effective counseling ministry in my life has come from the most unlikely sourses…a woman who counsels in a crisis pregnancy center, an older Christian couple w/no “formal” training, and a third couple who does do counseling full time (somewhat on the order of Enola’s husband/wife counselors)…If God can speak through a donkey (Balaam) then he can speak into our lives from someone w/ less than a phd. Just my personal experience

  8. Pingback: Is Your Giftedness Making You Sick? - The Manasclerk Company

  9. Pingback: Is Your "Giftedness" Making You Sicker - The Manasclerk Company

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