Today, I started with a new therapist. She has a way about her that is both inviting and comforting while being off-the-wall and just odd. When I walked into her office, she didn’t have an “office” as such, just a large den with comfortable chairs and sofas, and a small desk with a sign-in book. I was the only one in the room so I walked slowly up to the desk and signed my name, then picked a comfortable looking chair and sat down to wait. There weren’t any magazines or books to read, thank goodness I brought my own. So I sat there, in this cushy comfy chair reading while I waited.
After several minutes (30 to be exact), the door opened and this tiny woman with short blonde hair stepped into the room and said, “Psssssttt……come this way.” Since I was the only one in the room, I presumed she must be talking to me. So I put my book back in my bag and followed her into the next room. It was rather small, the walls had floor to ceiling bookshelves all full of books. There was no desk, only a sofa and a chair (both looked SO comfy). She told me to sit and I sat in the chair. She handed me a cup of tea, she took a cup as well, and she sat on the sofa.
Our first conversation went something like this:
Therapist: “Please take some tea and a seat.”
I sat in the chair.
Therapist: “Why did you choose the chair instead of the sofa?”
Me: “I guess, I felt safe in the chair.”
Therapist: “Because no one can get next to you in the chair?”
Me: “Makes sense.”
Therapist: “I think the chair reminds you of your brother. Always willing to hug you and keep you safe, and you feel comfortable with him, but you’re not willing to let other people get close to you because you don’t trust them.”
Me: “You got all that just because I plopped my butt in a chair instead of stretching out on the sofa?”
Therapist: “Did you come up the stairs or the elevator?”
Me: “The steps.”
Therapist: “Why the stairs but not the elevator? The elevator would have enclosed you much like the chair you selected. So why the stairs?”
Me: “The elevator is a box, much like a coffin. When the doors close, I can’t get out. On the stairs, I can always find a way out.”
Therapist: “You want to feel safe and be able to escape if you feel closed in?”
Therapist: “What book were you reading?”
Me: “A Confederacy of Dunces. And I like it because it’s funny and it’s well written.”
Therapist: “Very good. Did you select the book on your own or did someone recommend it to you.”
Me: “I found it on a $1 rack outside the bookstore. I read the first few pages and enjoyed it. Plus it was only one dollar.”
We went back and forth like this for over an hour. She never asked me about the Grunge, she never asked me what had happened in my past, just all these pointless questions, or so I thought. When our 90 minutes was coming to a close, she wrote a prescription for some Ambien and another one for Xanax. Then she looked at me and said, “I’ll bet you’re wondering about our conversation today. Today was about learning to think beyond your experiences. I don’t know what your experiences are, but your subconscious choices told me quite a lot. What I can tell you is that, while the SOURCE of your issues no longer is a threat, your reactions to the memories are still very much a threat. So when we bring our subconscious to the forefront, our minds will begin to pick apart the PERCEIVED threat from our memories and we will eventually be able to move on with our lives.”
I walked out of her office thinking “DAMN!” and my shoulders felt as if a HUGE weight had been lifted off of them.