I had my first therapy appointment today.
She seems respectful and intelligent and versatile. She did not seem put off or patronizing that I have experience with therapy, nor did she seem to think I’m too smart or uppity.
She did mention a few concrete suggestions that I’m not sure of, but we’ll see where that goes. She suggested I go to Valparaiso (an hour away) where there is a music store that is into folk music, offers lessons, might sell my CD, and so on. People here don’t seem to think anything of commuting that far. She also mentioned she’s heard of a dance studio in the area, and mentioned the horses at Culver Academies.
She is going to talk to Joe.
She tells me she will likely use a self psychology approach with me, and she mentioned the names Kohut and Winnicott. Winnicott is one of the developers of object relations theory. Kohut is more associated with self psychology proper. Both are developments from classic psychoanalysis. Both are deep, not surface / function – oriented like CBT.
Her parting thought was an image of me swimming in a river upstream, bumping into logs; I added that I hurt the logs as much as they hurt me.
The one thing that makes me nervous is that she is not a Christian.
There is so much material in Christianity and my experience of it that — accurately or appropriately or not — makes the search for a whole and true self problematic. Having a Christian therapist, especially one like Joe who has so sensibly and deeply integrated faith and therapy (unlike some Christian counselors who just sort of mix the two together or slap one on the other like a band-aid), can help reassure a patient that the work of therapy is not sinful.
Working with a non-believer means I’ll have to sort that out by myself.
I mean, with the help of the Holy Spirit. Who doesn’t talk in an audible voice or write me personal letters but only speaks in my circumstances, through other people, and through the mechanics of my own mind and heart, and who is therefore difficult to distinguish from other voices.
I go back in two weeks.