Last week when i was poorly, i went to see the nurse practitioner who is my PCP [primary care provider]. She knows my T as they share the office space. After i apparently failed to explain my reasoning behind quitting my pmeds. she asked me if i was still seeing him. In a moment of unusual sharing i said “yes, but it seems like all i’m doing is paying him to talk to me.” She replied, “well, isn’t that the point?”
I don’t know. Is that the point, the only point? I’m still not sure what therapy is about or what is supposed to be accomplished. I have left therapy sessions MANY times, with different therapists, wondering what the hell i was doing. Sometimes, i’m convinced that i’m failing at therapy because i’m not getting anything out of it Other times, i believe it’s all my T’s fault because they suck and i just haven’t found a “good” one.
Changing therapists has usually come as a result of a hospitalization and on the advice of my soon-to-be-history treatment team. “You need someone more trauma focused.” Well, ok, fine but what is that supposed to look like? How is that going to be different?
I’ve had 4 therapists in the last 9 years and have never felt i understood the concept of therapy with any of them. I’ve been with my current T for 5 years and he’s a nice fellow and all but usually after asking me how my week was, we spend the time chatting aboutgodknowswhat. It doesn’t feel therapeutic. It feels like paying for someone to be my friend who can’t be my friend. To be fair, i don’t want him pounding me with questions about my childhood with every breath but some experience-based guided questioning would help me. I don’t know what would help me to discuss. Isn’t that his role?
Certainly, i could find another therapist and try again. After 5 years, it feels a bit like a relationship that hasn’t grown or deepened. But how do i judge something that seems vague and arbitrary. Does therapy have goals, something measurable to help me judge success or failure, a list i can check off? I need guidance and once again i feel lost and adrift, afraid to stay and afraid to go.