Yesterday, I had a follow up therapy appointment. Therapy is new to me, and honestly, I’m not sure what I expect to be getting out of it. During my first appointment, 6 weeks ago, my therapist got an overview of my background, reported that I wasn’t in crisis (which I’m not), and asked what I expected to get out of this – was there a goal I wanted to try to accomplish? We talked some more and arrived at the conclusion that I tend to ‘beat myself up’ and that I needed to work on ways to help address this unhealthy habit. She recommended a book, which is quite good, Radical Acceptance, and has helped me to live more in the moment (so cliché).
Yesterday’s appointment has left me even more confused about the value of therapy – for me. We connected again, and I told her about what I’ve been trying to do in these past 6 weeks – I’ve recommitted to exercise and eating better as a way to help address my depression but also hopefully, to get rid of some of the Abilify weight. I’ve been sporadically using a few apps to help me with meditation and mindfulness. I’ve been keeping lists of tasks and this has helped me to see that I have accomplished things throughout the day. I let her know I’m still very anxious about work (or lack there of) and how I need to take a more direct, pro-active approach at bringing in more projects. To each of these things she was really pleased and said I was definitely taking the right steps – you’re ok. I’m ok? But I’m still having issues (lots of issues) sleeping and some significant mid-afternoon tiredness. I’m not sure if this is my medications or the depression or a result of not sleeping or all of the above. She recommended I try a guided meditation to do specifically before going to sleep and to see if that would help.
But then she surprised me by asking, “Do you think you’re getting anything from coming to me?”
Well, I’m not sure.
The book was definitely helpful and I’m excited to try this meditation to see if it helps me with sleeping – these tools have definitely been helpful. But, honestly, I’m not sure what to talk about when I’m here. As we’ve already discussed, I’m not living with an acute issue at this point (and we talked some more about my dark days of the past and how I never want to go back there again.). And she followed up with, “let’s schedule a follow up, and see – I’m not sure I can do that much more for you because you’re not in an acute crisis and you’re aware of your situation, you’re staying medicated and you’re not a danger to yourself or others.” I’m ok?!
I’m still not sure what to make of all of this – have any of you had similar situations? Could it be because resources are limited at Kaiser that unless one is in ‘crisis’ they perceive that a regular therapy regimen isn’t necessary? Do I have the wrong perception of what therapy is intended to do? How it’s supposed to work? (do I know how it is supposed to work?). I do feel as if medication management is the most important aspect of my journey and that when it is right, I AM OK. …. I guess I’ll see in 6 weeks.