It can be challenging to find, select, & stick with a therapist, especially when issues arise regarding problems between you and your therapist that you are not willing to discuss with him or her openly.
I remember a while back my psychiatrist highly recommended a therapist. After years of fighting the idea of taking on a therapist I decided to give it a try. I went to a handful of sessions and although it seemed to be helping me I continually came across a problem with my therapist.
I’m not money tight by any means but a huge part of why it took me so long to take the recommendation from my psychiatrist to seek therapy was financial. I was never in a position to afford the price of therapy. I considered it a luxury. Moreover, I knew what my problems and issues were, I just wasn’t ready to address them yet, so sticking with a therapist seemed like paying for something I already knew about myself but wasn’t ready to deal with.
Case in point, I was paying a large sum of money for fifty minutes of therapy and my sessions were never fifty minutes. She’d be late five or more minutes almost every time, or would cut the session short. It started to drive me mad! If I’m going to pay one hundred and fifty dollars for therapy I want my full fifty minutes ok? If you are going to give me a shorter session then shave off some of that one hundred and fifty dollars and make it fair! Slowly but surely it got under my skin; finally, as a result, I quit.
The next time I went to my psychiatrist he asked how it was going and I told him I couldn’t afford it anymore. He was disappointed and said he thought it was really beneficial for me. I half admitted why I quit by explaining that I didn’t have the financial means right now but didn’t explain the rest.
Recently a close friend pointed out a valiant point that caused me to reexamine my decision to quit.
“You should have addressed the problem with her and talked about why you couldn’t admit your concerns regarding the time and money thing.”
“I couldn’t. I felt bad.” I replied.
“Precisely, you could have talked about why you had trouble communicating that with her and why you felt bad and discover what is at the root of those feelings.” He quickly pointed out.
He made a strong point. Instead of being honest and forthcoming about my annoyance with the sessions being cut short I walked away. I never found out why I couldn’t bring up that point or what feelings were at the root of it. Maybe my journey of therapy would have been saved if I had the courage to tell her the truth. And whatever feelings deep down inside me that made me feel bad or kept me from voicing my feelings could have been a great platform to start the learning process. In my mind I thought being honest would taint our relationship and cause stress every session knowing I expected punctuality and would be let down should that not occur and cause some tension between us.
Like I said, finding the right therapist is one challenge but sticking to one when issues arise between you and your therapist is a harder challenge. And it is one that you have control over and an opportunity to learn from.
Last week my psychiatrist brought up the subject again and recommended the same therapist. I thought for a moment about telling him all the truth but still felt bad so held back and said I didn’t have money right now for therapy.
I’ll never know what caused me to feel bad and that fact on its own is the purpose of therapy to begin with.