It can be helpful if you rely on yourself, at least in part, to make sure you are getting the best therapy possible. I believe that learning how to advocate for yourself to the best of your ability can actually be an important part of the therapeutic process. A simple evaluation process can be the first step towards self-advocacy.
Everyone in your life—from your boss, to your mom, to your husband—is potentially a part of your therapy. This doesn’t mean they have to come to sessions with you; in fact, it doesn’t mean they even have to know you are in therapy. What it does mean is that
Therapists who are committed to helping patients with their pasts, presents, and futures are the ones who are also committed to ensuring that therapy lasts for a reasonable amount of time.
C.R. writes: In Do We Attract Conflict and Intolerance we got a few comments and one angry email. Baseball 55 wrote: I know a woman who always complains about this *** she encountered and that *** she encountered. I finally asked her, why is it that you encounter all these *** and I never do? She had no idea what I meant. I explained to her that she was often needlessly provocative and argumentative. But she just couldn’t see it. She just thought she was right and others were wrong, so got caught up in a lot of conflict. I find it sad. While it’s true that this may be her “comfort zone,” it makes her unhappy and angry most of the time. And deprives her of friends. I know, I just can’t deal with her anymore. In other words, Baseball 55 confirms that in this particular experience, he notices that a former friend is always spoiling for a fight--and
CR writes: I got a call awhile ago that really made me think. It was from someone I love very much. She's having a hard time with various people. Individuals and groups. The truth is, she really was a target of their outrage. Some of this happened on social media, some via phone. It was because they were associating her with a concept they are against. It was painful to hear about this because it hurt her, and I didn't want her to be hurt. Yet, at the same time I've known her for years, and I've heard many times her knee-jerk attack of others for their beliefs, affiliations, and so on.
Bernard, our upstairs neighbor, had just turned 94 (years old!) when he first began to learn how to use a desktop computer. He would send us an email every weekday morning for almost the entire next four years until he passed away. The email was simple: It contained a brief yet formal, "Good morning," and then a joke, and then his name.
Finding the balance between control and responsibility can be difficult.