On being a therapy veteran

I called the South Bend Samaritan Center yesterday, in my ongoing pursuit to find a new back-up therapist — someone I could go to in case of another crisis or if I ever feel the need to do more deep therapeutic work.

The receptionist I spoke with was patient and polite and attentive. I like that.

When I explained that I wanted to interview some potential therapists, she was a little surprised, and with a little laugh said that they’d never had anyone want to “interview” their therapists before.

(She was willing for me to make appointments with either of the psychologists on staff, but the person I was most interested in was not available on the days Mark is available to watch Amy, so I postponed appointment-making until he and I could work that out.)

Reminds me a little of the place I went to last year — I had an intake interview where I had to talk about my situation to someone who was not a therapist, and especially not my therapist, so that they could determine which therapist I would see. I complained, and they said it was standard procedure.

When I was new to therapy, I didn’t know about any of this stuff, either. I hadn’t read anything that talked about how to find a therapist, questions to ask, warning signs, etc. I count myself blessed to have been referred to such a good therapist for me, by someone I trusted.

I get the feeling sometimes that some therapists and therapy offices don’t really welcome a veteran — they don’t always want to be questioned, or to let the client choose which therapist to see, and so on.

I can understand that, to an extent. Why welcome someone who might be critically comparing you with their previous therapist(s), or constantly wanting you to do things the previous therapist’s way, or questioning you in general.

And yet, I hope I can find someone who will consider my past therapeutic experience a good thing, a foundation to build on.

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