Relax Damit! Talking never hurt anyone….
I keep trying to believe in that sentence. On some levels therapy has been a life saver and yet other times it seems to have opened up wounds that seem to never heal. The process listed below was over the course of several years.
In my daughters Intensive Out Patience program [IOP], she has a therapist, counselor psychiatrist, psychologist and a team of staff working with her. My son has a therapist and we share a psychiatrist. My wife has her own therapist and until recently we had a marriage therapist. I start up with my own therapist next week. On top of that I attend a family meeting at IOP as well as a family support group once a week. The IOP facility is over an hour from our house so time for ones self is a luxury.
When my daughter is not in class she is meeting with therapists or in support groups. I could not do it. I am blown away by the commitment these kids have towards their recovery.
My first step at therapy was attending a Bipolar support group about a week after I was diagnosed. I made it about half way through made it to my car and a panic attack. My reaction was these were freaks. I can’t be like this!!! Eventually I did find a Bipolar/Depression support group that worked some of the time but the Depression suffers tended to dominate the room and I got burnt out.
Next my wife and I shared a therapist for both individual support as well as marriage counseling. Initially this worked great but soon became clear we each needed our own therapist and a separate one for marriage counseling. I continued to see her for years and was disappointed when she retired. I keep an electronic journal and I would send it to her 48 hours before our appointment. This was great because she had an understanding of where I was emotional basis day to day. In a separate post, I’ll post an outline I use for my journal.
During this time we had agreed that it was time for a divorce. We were both at our wits end. No amount of therapy was going to solve our problems. Instead focusing on ourselves for 9 months and cooling did the trick
After a couple of year we started seeing a new marriage therapist was it was a painful miserable experience. I suggest that couples attending marriage counseling for the first time take separate cars. Old wounds were exposed and it felt like we were trying to one up each other and keep score on who had the most grievances. After 3 meetings we decided the therapist was not a good fit plus we needed to find someone in our insurance network.
So now she is seeing someone and I will be seeing someone else. I was pushing for another meeting because the tension between us is extreme. Instead I arranged a time when we could be uninterrupted and talked things out. This works well for us. Instead of striking out in anger we take a calm approach to things.
My hope is that we can apply the communication tools that we have learned though past therapy secessions.
Relax Damit, you have to have faith in the process….