Posts Tagged ‘group therapy’

Take One Step Towards

August 9, 2019

The Universe and the Universe throws hella new clients at you!

Holy crow.

Last Thursday I took a, for me, leap and connected with a woman who has an office in the same building I have my therapy office in.

She had tagged me in a post on social media about having office hours available.

I was really interested in one of the days, but, also, well, nervous, can I take on more rent?

I brought it up last week in Group Supervision and my supervisor interrupted me and said, “Who here thinks that Carmen should rent the office?”

Everyone raised their hands.

EVERYONE.

Ok then.

One of the members in my group succinctly pointed out that I have been steadily adding new clients and building my practice.

At the time of the conversation I had 15 clients.

I had 16 but one client moved.

And.

My group member was right, I have steadily increased my client load and I had the sense of “if you build it they will come.”

So  reached out that day and sent a direct text and inquired.

I got a response that it was available, but/and two other people had expressed interest.

Shit.

But they hadn’t confirmed.  I was adamant that I wanted the office, especially when I found out what the rent was and it was much less than I thought it would  be.

She said to be fair she would re-contact the interested parties and see where they stood and then let me know.

I thanked her and realized that I was ok no matter what happened.

Sure.

I wanted the office space, but really, having taken the action of just reaching out really felt good and positive.

Take action and let go of the results.

She got back the next afternoon.

I got the office!

Apparently my vigorous yes to taking the space swayed her and that I was ready to take on the space this month.

The lease is all drafted and dealt with–connected her to my agency and I get the key tomorrow!

I start with a client in the space next Monday.

I am using it for a client that had to cancel a standing session.

It was so nice to be able to offer the alternative space.

Then it gets crazy.

After the phone call with my new landlord I have my individual supervision and I excitedly share with my supervisor about the new office.

She is surprised and happy for me and adds that she knew I was interested in extra office hours but she didn’t realize how serious I was about it and would I also like to have Thursdays in the office?

HOLY SHIT.

My individual supervisor is also my landlord whom I sublet my office from, we share the office space.  She recently became core faculty at CIIS, my alma mater (my current “mater” for that matter, my PhD intensive is two and a half weeks away!) and has cut back her office hours.

Whoa.

I knew that was happening and I had soft ball pitched wanting extra office hours about a month ago but it didn’t seem like it was going to happen.

Until it did.

She told me to think about it and let her know.

I clapped my hands in glee like a small child in front of birthday cupcakes and said “yes!”

And like that.

I have office hours now Monday-Saturday!

My hope is that once I fill up on clients I will actually be able to stop seeing clients on Saturdays.  I need to right now, I see four clients and that’s a good chunk of change.  But if I can fill up the weekdays I can transition out of working Saturdays.

I haven’t had a full weekend off in years.

Literally.

I have been working six days a week and going to school full time for the last three and a half years.

I am so ready to have my weekends back!

Granted.

I will likely be working on my PhD, but who cares!

Weekends.

And!

I have a potential new client for next Thursday.

That part about saying yes to the office and yes to the Universe, well apparently the Universe heard and I got four referrals yesterday from Psychology Today as well as a referral from my individual supervisor.

I made contact with three of them, leaving the others messages but not hearing back.

I did two phone consultations yesterday, immediately landing one new client.

I also did a phone consult tonight and again, landed the client!

I have another phone consult tomorrow early evening in between clients and feel very positive about it having already made good e-mail connection.

I am over the moon.

I now have 17 clients!

My goal is 30 and then I can stop nannying.

I am so close.

I can almost taste it.

My charges can too, the little lady tonight asked me when I was leaving and I knew it wasn’t about when I was leaving at the end of my shift.

I told her not for a while yet, she was probably going to get me for another five or six months and I was planning on always being in her life and that rest assured she was my favorite client.

She gets very jealous when  leave to go see my clients, let me tell you.

My goal is six months tops.

I would love to be done by the end of the year, that has always been my original goal, but I figure I will just say six months from the first day I am in my additional office.

So by February 12th of 2020 I will be done being a nanny.

Fingers crossed and the river don’t rise.

Bring on the clients.

I am ready.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

To not be a nanny anymore.

Delighted and Dumbfounded

November 15, 2015

I finished my paper.

I finished my Group Dynamics paper.

I FINISHED MY PAPER!

Oh my God.

The relief.

Ten pages, 3,357 words.

In fact, I wrote eleven pages, so I had to cut and that is fine, good really, tightened the work and it’s always better to have a little too much rather than too little.

I was not expecting to get the paper done today.

However.

I realized this morning when I was sitting and doing some writing that though it is not at all about school, turns up to be so important to me being able to facilitate so much of my school work, that I was perhaps going about my school weekend prep plans backwards.

That it might actually serve me better if I wrote the Final Paper project today rather than putting it off until tomorrow.

The paper is not due until the 17th.

But I wont have time outside of this weekend to really devote to paper writing.

I can get into a groove where I do a little reading here and there, and it’s become a lot more reading as the days have progressed toward the end of the semester, but it’s hard for me to stop and start writing a paper.

That was the “dilemma” I faced today.

Do reading for other classes or focus on getting to the final paper, even if it meant cutting it in two segments of time.

I didn’t sleep in.

I wasn’t expecting to.

But.

I had not set an alarm, just in case I wanted to lie about for an extra hour.

Glad I got up.

Glad I got going.

Dumbfounded.

Still.

By how much I got in today.

My regular morning routine, plus the laundry, and marketing, and making food for the week and beyond into the school weekend, meeting with two different ladies, sitting and hearing the end of an inventory, reading for my Human Development class.

And.

Writing the final paper.

I still can’t believe it’s done.

So relieved.

I am going to focus tomorrow on Therapeutic Communications, getting as much of the reading done for the class as I can and also I am going to write the reflection paper as well.

That will leave me with the reader from Human Development, five articles, and all the reading for my Psychoanalytic class.

I mean.

I still have a lot to do.

But.

I feel so much better having this huge paper off and into the world.

Plus, having done my food prep today I don’t have to tomorrow.

I will meet with my two Sunday ladies.

Do the deal.

Get right with God.

Then read away the day.

I promise myself I will take a walk outside and get some fresh air.

That I will also sit in the sun and eat my meals without looking at a text-book.

I will watch the ravens swoop and sing through the air.

Have you ever heard the song of wind through raven’s wings?

Oily.

Thick.

Ruffled.

Heavy.

Dark.

Yet seductive, when I lift my face to the sun, prop my feet in a chair on the back porch and let my eyes close under the warmth of the sun.

I am hoping for sun tomorrow.

I know there was some today.

I did get out of the house for a brief moment to buy eggs and coffee and persimmons from the local market.

Persimmon season’s almost over.

I will miss you my sweet orange pumpkin friends.

I don’t want to jinx it but I am hoping to have all the reading done for the next weekend of classes, um, ha, before classes are in session.

I haven’t manage that yet.

I have managed to stay on top of the writing and I haven’t turned in any papers late, yet.

I hope not to.

There are only two more weekends of classes before the end of the semester!

How did that happen?

Of course.

I can barely see ahead of myself to know how I am going to feel heading into the final weeks of the semester.

Probably feeling that I am still behind.

There’s a lot of work and I have to acknowledge to myself, if only to myself, that I did real good today.

I got the massive amount of reading finished for the paper earlier in the week, I took notes, I made notations all over the book, it was full of little blue post-it notes, I used supplemental materials, and I wrote a really good paper.

I also learned how much I learned.

Which, I feel, is the signpost of a successful class.

I learned as I was writing and I made connections and correlations and my mind was a frenzy of activity.

I may have talked to myself a few times too

Ahem.

I learned that I can be flexible.

Or try to be more flexible.

I went to a friend’s house with a different agenda than what was previously discussed and watched my brain throw itself into spasms trying to figure out what to do.

Then.

I realized.

I was just panicking and looking for a way to not do the paper.

Any excuse will do!

Put it off one more day!

My friend helps me get accommodated and I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, stopped listening to my head, and listened for my gut.

Ok.

This here.

This notebook there.

My laptop here.

This book here, these notes here, my pens, turn off the phone, sit down.

Accept the help and suggestions being offered.

See what happens.

And what do you know?

There was nothing wrong.

I got lost in time.

Forgot that food had been ordered.

Wrote and wrote and wrote.

Took a break when my stomach said, “hey! I’m hungry,” and my bladder said, “yo, bathroom break!”

A bowl of corn and chopped chicken with egg drop soup, and some prawns with snow pea pods.

Yum.

Then back to the paper.

And about 45 minutes, maybe an hour after dinner, I was done.

I spell checked.

I edited.

I tightened.

I clarified.

I opened up my e-mail, composed a note to my professor, attached the paper and sent it out into the Universe.

And now.

I rest.

I actually have a sore arm, shoulder, and stiff forearm from typing so much.

I mean, what with my morning pages, the final paper project, and this blog, I have written over 5,000 words today.

No wonder my head is sore.

But.

It’s done.

I am truly.

Absolutely.

Over the fucking moon.

Another Weekend Down

October 5, 2015

BAM.

Second full weekend of school, excluding the retreat (graduate school boot camp, remember), has now finished.

Of course there is the fall out.

The homework.

It is about to really begin.

I have a lot of papers that I have to do and a lot of reading that I have to do.

That is par for the course, of course.

I’ve got the paper for Human Development, the one for Therapeutic Communications, the one for psychoanalytic class, and now, yes, the one for T-Group.

I have four freaking papers plus I have to do a proposal for my Human Development class in regards to my final project.

Gack.

I got a message today, that I just read in my e-mail: “practice compassion for yourself, grad school is hard, graduate school to be a therapist is RIDICULOUSLY hard.

I laughed.

She was right.

It is hard.

The work load is heavy, but there was some relief today in that T-Group has officially finished.

Yes.

I have to write a big paper for the class.

And.

Yes.

I am sad that it is over.

And not sad.

Not sad at all.

Relieved.

As well that it is over.

Although I gleaned so much for it, so much learning, so much pushing of myself, so much finding the leading edge of who I am and pushing over the other side into territories completely unknown.

I also may have found my graduate school mentor, who is not my graduate school advisor–I haven’t met with him yet, although we exchanged some pleasantries the first weekend over orientation.

Nope.

My T-Group facilitator is the woman of whom I speak.

I approached her after, after having thanked her, thanked the group, and thanked myself, in a way, for showing up and doing the work and witnessing all the work, I imagine that was really hard to, to hold that space for all of us bumbling about as we learned how to do the work of self-investigation and how to resolve conflicts in relationships.

Relationship ruptures and repairs.

Of which I saw quite a few.

Of which I participated in a few.

I got to see where I have assumptions and how that colors my world view.

I also saw, yet again, it just keeps happening.

That I do not see myself the way that others see me.

“You are so smart.”

Yeah.

I know.

But.

I don’t know.

I know too, that there was a little projection onto the facilitator, which happens in group therapy work, the tendency to bring in the family of origin dynamics and play them out in front of the group, whether it is unconscious or not, and how the feelings for the facilitator also had something to do with a positive mother figure for me.

Someone who was unabashedly available to support me and my growth and my leaning without judgement.

And.

All the while seeing me.

“I see you,” she told me.

And.

I felt seen.

I don’t often.

All of that I take responsibility for, I don’t allow myself, even here, to be completely seen.

The fear of what it means to be vulnerable will often overwhelm me.

I could actually feel myself girding my loins, so to speak, and gilding the lily.

Not so much to speak.

But I put on a little mask today, I choose my weapons well and I knew I was doing it.

First, I put up the hair and I made it big.

Then I put on the eyes and made them big.

And.

I put on my favorite pair of tights that are black and have the lyrics to “Be My Little Baby” on them and a pair of blue jean shorts and a favorite shirt and I put on the big dangling earrings.

Meaning.

I put on the Carmen costume.

It’s a costume I know well and it comes complete with full cats eye makeup and eyeliner.

Because that is how I roll.

And I roll well.

My ego.

That is.

But it doesn’t mean that the mask didn’t slip or that I didn’t take it off.

I did.

The mask slipped right off the minute I opened my mouth.

I opened my mouth a lot.

I started off the group and I led with my feelings and I led with my heart.

I was my authentic person and I was more than my authentic person as I learned what else I needed to allow in to fully embrace all that is and was me in those moments.

There’s a lot of me.

A lot of feelings.

Vulnerability.

Love.

Gratitude.

Grief.

Acceptance.

Joy.

Ebullience.

Kindness.

Empathy.

Compassion.

Generosity of spirit.

Confusion.

Anger.

More sadness.

Grief.

Grief.

Grief.

Then.

LOVE AND MORE LOVE AND LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

And maybe even a little more love.

There’s poetry.

That is one thing that I found out about myself and that I thanked my facilitator for–the acknowledgement of my language, the depth of my words, even that I make up words, but that they work, that I am able to negotiate my way through the world, at least through T-Group, but really, I do suspect, through the world, with aplomb, and beautiful words.

When the class ended I said I realized even more fully how much a poet I am.

The language of love.

The language of need.

The Eros of lack.

The desire to be full subsumed in language.

It is my intoxicant.

What I learned from T-Group was another way of communication.

Lead with my feelings, reflect to the person what I am feeling, let them know what the interaction brings up for me emotionally.

Then.

Give them feedback.

And if I need something, make a request.

Most often today it was being a mirror and opening space for my group members to reflect.

But I did do work and I could tell.

The tears they never fully stopped running down my face.

But.

I was not a completely ignorant warrior with my eye make up, the cat eye was elevated so my eyeliner did not run.

The tears flowed.

Like they so often do.

And I learned.

Oh.

Ever so much more.

And gratitude.

Well.

It continues to deepen each day I showed up and each day that I continue to show up.

For my life.

For this page.

For my recovery.

Is the perfect.

(dust)

Storm.

My life imperfection perfected.

Moves a pace.

Grace (full) like a cat.

And playful too.

That soft underbelly of my soul just there revealed, but not reviled.

That warm animal.

Me.

That soft hearted tenderness.

You.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

-Wild Geese, Mary Oliver

Way Past My Bed Time

August 15, 2015

I am so busted.

Up late on a school night.

But.

I had to do it.

There was a social event, a sort of talent show that the students put on and I was persuaded to do a piece and then I was persuaded to stay and hear a piece and the next thing I know it’s 11:30 a.m.

Fuck.

I have to be in bed in a half hour, I need to wash up, brush my teeth, contact a few folks.

And.

Oops.

Write my blog.

I don’t know that I am going to write a very long one, just a heads up, it’s been an extraordinary day, however, I have a lot of work still in front of me–two more days of classes and 9 hours tomorrow of T-Group.

Which is intensive group therapy training.

Eleven of us in a circle confronting each other and learning how to do transference and stay in the emotional middle of the boat and not get overwhelmed and also provide a mirror to the other students, to see, hear, and feel what is happening.

Suffice to say what is said in T-Group stays in T-Group.

Except that I am allowed to talk about my experience as long as I name no names and don’t talk about anything specific in relation to another member.

I have had plenty.

And I do mean.

Plenty.

Of working in  groups and listening and sharing experiences.

However.

I have never experienced people saying stuff back to me, confronting me, then sitting still and working through the conflict.

I had a lot of fight or flight come up.

And yes.

I did cry.

I just oozed tears all day long today.

I suspect I will again tomorrow.

Oh.

And I did it.

I asked for what I want.

I asked my employers to give me off August 27th and 28th so that I can go to Burning Man and do the early arrival thing with my people whom I am helping out.

I wrote a lot about it this morning, I read some things, I asked some stuff, I did that thing I do, I kneeled down, heck, I even asked for a sign.

And.

Yes.

I did get one.

Damn.

It was so obvious it was like I was being directly spoken to.

I opened up my morning reader, or at least one of them and the suggestion to do something uncomfortable just for the sake of practicing doing something uncomfortable was the topic.

Well.

Fuck me.

Ugh.

And yes!

And.

Ugh.

I figured I didn’t have to do anything right away and I also really wanted to have breakfast before contemplating asking for time off on short notice, though, it’s not too short, it’s close to two weeks in advance, and how I was going to ask for it.

I made the decision though to ask.

You know what they say about willingness without action, though, right?

Fantasy.

I forgot about it by the end of the day and was dropping off books and notebooks and grabbing other notebooks and going to the next thing when I realized, as I booted up my computer.

Oh.

I have not taken that action.

All the bravado of I’m going to ask for what I want had not gone completely out the window, but it was a challenge to gather up my momentum after such a full, overwhelming–but I did not die from my feelings, though I thought I might at one moment–and intense day of school work and therapeutic learning.

I sighed.

Am I going to do this or not?

I am.

I can ask.

They can say no.

So.

I sent out an e-mail and I asked off for the 27th and 28th.

It felt good to ask for what I want, this psychology stuff must be rubbing off.

Scary too.

But I am letting go of the results.

Fact is.

I’m going to Burning Man no matter what.

I have the 28th through the Labor Day weekend off from work and I am going.  I have a ticket, I have the early arrival pass.

I may have to negotiate a different ride if my the folks I am going with decided to hit the road before the 28th and that’s ok.

A ride will coalesce.

It always does.

In the mean time.

I am going to cut this brief.

I need to hop, skip, and jump to bed.

I am exhausted and I still have two full days of school to go.

Get thee to bed ladybug.

You got T-Group bright and early.

See you in class!


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