Posts Tagged ‘personal therapy’

And Just Like That

November 29, 2017

I have registered for my last semester of class!

I can hardly believe it.

It feels very surreal.

And.

Fucking amazing.

I will have three classes next semester.

Once a month I will be in class.

Five weekends.

I will be in class from 9 a.m. until 4p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

January.

February.

March.

April.

May.

I will graduate Saturday, May 19th.

Holy fuck.

It’s really happening.

I have to take Integrative Seminar, I really don’t know what that is, and Research Methods, which sounds boring as fuck and like a class that is a box to check off.

The other “class” is my practicum, or what I often refer to as my internship.

I’ll still be seeing the same amount of clients, but I may move some of them around, I’m not quite sure yet.

And that’s ok, that can be figured out later.

I was just looking over the piece of paper that I have been making little check marks on for the last three years.

Here’s a list of the classes I have taken and passed, passed pretty well, you could say, I’ve got a 4.0 thank you very much.

I have taken Group Dynamics.

Therapeutic Communication.

Human Development

Integral Philosophy

Psychodynamics I and II.

The Clinical Relationship.

Professional Ethics and Family Law I and II.

Multicultural Counseling and the Family.

Applied Spirituality.

Gestalt Therapy.

Family Dynamics and Therapy.

Psychopathology and Psychological Assessment.

Child Therapy.

Trauma.

Couple Counseling.

Community Mental Heal & The Recovery Model.

Special Topics in Psychotherapy.

Transpersonal Psychotherapy.

Alcohol & Chemical Dependency Counseling.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

Jungian Dream Work.

Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.

Elder, Spousal, & Child Abuse.

And practicum which includes Individual Supervision and Group Supervision.

Whew.

That’s a lot of reading.

Just reading the list made me shake my head, I did all of those?

Really?

Amazing.

And I just have to do three more classes.

Sure.

I have to finish this semester first, but I will, I will.

OH, and although its a not a “class” I am also required by my program to attend 52 weeks of personal therapy with a licensed MFT.

Today marked 26 weeks.

Half way there.

I’m not actually worried about getting in all the therapy, which is one little thing that I don’t have to stress about, thankfully, my therapist went through my program and she told me that she would sign my paper even if I didn’t get the full 52 weeks.

I get the sense though that I will get the requisite amount of hours.

The therapy is good for me.

I have been getting to work through a lot of things that I never even knew I had to delve into, some of which I probably have been needing to address for years without even realizing I did.

I like my therapist a lot and she really has a good perspective on me and who I am and sometimes there is a lightness and a friendliness and almost a sense of talking to not just a contemporary, but a friend, a friend with a lot of perception.

A lot.

And a really helpful way of reframing my experience and also validating all the work I do.

I do a lot.

In some sense I’m a fucking therapists wet dream.

I do the work, I don’t make her work, I process the fuck out of my shit.

I do a lot of grieving, I let go of a lot and then I jump right back in.

Today’s session left me pretty wrung out and sad.

It was mainly expressed first through anger, which has always been a very dangerous emotion for me, I don’t think it was ever safe for me to express anger in my family and I didn’t often even realize I had it unless I was enraged and that feeling, rage, scared me to death.

Very dangerous and very rarely expressed.

Almost never.

I can remember a few times touching into it and frightened me badly.

I know better now, there isn’t really anything wrong with anger, it’s a sign, and it’s a primary emotion, it’s a top emotion, but there’s generally secondary emotions underneath it and that’s where I need to look, under the covers of anger and see what’s underneath.

Most often for me, it’s fear.

Fear of losing something I think I have or fear of not getting what I want.

I had a lot of fear come up today and it was hard to slog through, but I knew the anger I felt was about fear and eventually it all came out and I felt sick with it, on fire with it, I felt like I wanted to vomit it all out, retch it into the wastebasket, scream it into a pillow on the couch.

I just cried a lot and it moved.

It’s probably still moving.

Ah, all the things I get to work on, so very many.

I have discovered so much about myself from doing my course work and now, in the therapy, getting out the secrets and the sadness and the trauma and all the stuff I carry around like it’s a special knapsack full of rocks.

I just want to let them all go, put them back into the stream and let myself float away.

I have burdened myself for so long with false ideas.

“I failed,” I crumpled into my hands, I buried my face in my palms and just sobbed.

I won’t get into the specifics, they’re not relevant, but I can say in a general sense that I have been carrying around the idea that I failed at something and that I had not even realized I believed about myself, that I failed so badly at something that I ruined another’s life.

A.  Who am I to say I’m God?

I’m just not that powerful.

B. I was a child.

I was a child doing an adults job.

Granted.

A super precocious child who might have given off the impression that she knew what she was doing, but ultimately, at the end of the story, I was doing an adult’s job with the resources of a child.

A poverty-stricken, neglected, abused child.

Smart as fuck.

But a baby.

I was just a little girl trying to hold it all together and I couldn’t, I couldn’t make it work and I have been, for years, decades, even, carrying around this idea that I failed.

I was shocked when that popped out of my mouth.

My God.

Oh, sweet, sweet, baby girl.

You tried so hard, you didn’t fail, you did the best you could.

And you got out.

I could barely carry the burden of taking care of myself.

Jesus Christ.

I’m still in awe of my session today.

That so much got sorted out.

Really astounds me.

Therapy.

Wow.

It fucking works.

It so damn does.

Thank God.

Thank fucking God.

Shorted

October 24, 2017

I totally shorted myself.

By a year!

I have been ruminating over the last week about how I’m just not going to get all my 3,000 hours to get my licensure by the time the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) in California changes its policies.

I must have the hours accrued by the end of December 2020.

I have been telling myself for the last week that I only had two years and there was no way, no fucking way, I was going to get those hours by the time the regulations changed.

Thus shorting me all my personal therapy hours, which count not as one hour but currently count as three.

In 2021 the BBS will no longer count personal therapy hours.

I need 52 hours of personal therapy to graduate my program, that alone is 156 hours toward my 3,000.

And at this point I will take what ever I fucking can.

I can accrue up to 300 hours of personal therapy.

Believe you me, my personal therapy work helps me so much.

I am at a new place in my life in my perception of who I am and of what I can do and of where I am going, the therapy is like Miracle Grow for me in my current stage of life, I feel like I am gaining so much getting to process what I am working on with my therapist and that helps me be a happier person and it most certainly happens to help me be a better therapist for my clients.

The other change is the BBS won’t count Couples as twice the hours, right now one hour of doing Couples Therapy allows you to accrue two hours towards your 3,000.

That’s a big deal.

Especially, I feel, since Couples Therapy is a lot harder than one on one therapy.

I mean.

Fuck.

There’s two people to deal with in the session, it should, I feel, absolutely be counted as double the hours.

Anyway.

I was navigating my feelings around this yesterday as I checked in with my person and I shared that I was just not willing to try to squeeze any more into my schedule.

That there are things and people and experiences that I need to make room for.

I don’t just want my life to be a constant grind of accruing hours.

Life is more than work.

I have this need to always be working, I have a fear that if I don’t I won’t be safe, that I have no one to lean on, that I am ultimately the only one who can take care of me.

I was a parentified child.

I was precocious, smart, attractive, fast to learn and fast to become the grown up, I lost a lot of child hood experiences because I was forced to deal with adult things way too fucking fast.

I didn’t have parents I could rely on.

I had to rely on myself.

I had to be a child doing an adults job with the skill set of a child.

Granted, as I said, a precocious child, but a child nonetheless.

This has left me at times in awkward and challenging situations where I feel there’s no one to trust, there’s no one I can rely on, that I am forever going to be failed and lost and left behind and abandoned and alone.

I have to make it on my own.

But.

Well.

That is unsustainable.

It negates my desperate need, a very human need, mind you, for connection and community.

I don’t want to isolate myself.

I don’t want my sole drive to be my career and getting there as fast as I can.

I want to enjoy my life as it’s happening.

I talked to her, my person, and really accepted that it wold be ok if I didn’t make my 3,000 hours by the time the licensure changes.

“It will just take you a little longer,” she said, “but you’ll do it, it will happen.”

And I gratefully surrendered and acknowledged that I do a fuck load of work and that it is enough.

That I am enough.

I will be ok.

Then today I’m writing my Morning Pages.

I’m reflecting on the conversation, I’m thinking, well, shoot what are my goals, what do I want?

I want my PhD in Psychology.

Yup.

I want to be a doctor.

And I want to have it by the time I’m 48.

Then.

I thought.

Well.

Then I’ll have my goal be private practice by 50.

And something seemed off.

I’m fast forwarding!

I’m not that old!

I’m 44.

I’ll be 45 when I graduate with my Masters.

The PhD is another two years of acadmic work.

Which means I’d be a doctor by 47 and I could start my private practice way before I’m 50 and then all the sudden I was like, what am I not seeing?

I’m missing something really fucking huge.

I looked at my writing.

Sometimes I’m not good with numbers, I tend towards dyscalculia, and then I suddenly realized

Fuck.

I’m turning 45 in 2017.

December of 2017.

I need to have all my hours by December of 2020.

That means I have three years!

THREE!

Not two.

I have three years to get my hours.

Well, fuck me.

I couldn’t believe it.

I’d basically spent a week being a bit anxious about how the hell I was going to manage to get all my hours and then coming to the conclusion I wasn’t and just accepted that it would be ok.

And then today.

In complete acceptance, writing about it, I realize I have an extra year!

Acceptance is the key to all my problems.

Holy fuck.

What a radical idea.

It was like magic.

I laughed out loud at myself.

It’s still a daunting task, but it feels navigable now.

It did not, not at all, feel that way all last week.

Super fucking grateful I got that figured out.

Fuck.

Hahahahahahahaha.

I am my own worst enemy.

Seriously.

Smoky Voice

October 18, 2017

Sultry yes.

But sore and dry throat is tired.

It was smoky again today.

I was disheartened to say the least when I went outside to get on my scooter and head in to my therapy session in Noe Valley.

I was looking forward to seeing my therapist as we had to cancel last week.

She was affected by the fires in Sonoma and Napa.

I have been affected too, but in lesser ways and in ways that I have felt loath to gripe about as my hierarchy of needs have been basically met.

Yet.

There has been suffering and there has been a constant feeling of sickness and showing up for work has been hard, keeping the kids inside all day long for over a week and they all, ALL, of them now have the croup.

It is heart breaking listening to them cough.

The mom has it too.

Knock on wood, I haven’t gotten it and I know that the ugly feeling in my lungs is not from a cold.

It’s from the smoke and whatever nasty particles I have been inhaling.

My lungs feel tender and my throat super sore and raw and my head has been hurting all day.

I also have gotten spacey and a little dizzy a few times.

The EPA had the air quality showing unhealthy for most of the day.

And that’s pretty much how I have felt, unhealthy.

Granted.

I am able to work and able to get myself going, I’ve just not been my best and I’m such a healthy person in general, that I feel a bit depleted.

It was hard to hold space for my clients tonight at my internship and I felt pretty out of it.

I had thought for a moment about cancelling clients tonight, but I figured I would just muscle through.

I did it, but it was tough and I’m really grateful to be home.

I am also grateful that the unhealthy air is projected to be moderate tomorrow, not good yet, but better than today and fingers crossed it will continue to get better.

There are still fires burning, it’s not over yet.

I can’t quite wrap my head around that, fires still burning, fires not contained yet, the fires have been going on now for ten days.

TEN.

It’s hard to fathom.

The losses, the wreckage, the ravaging of the land.

I was praying last night before bed and I was thanking God that the family I used to work for wasn’t in Glen Ellen when the fires broke out.

They have a vacation home there and they’d been there just the weekend before.

I literally started crying when I realized how close they were to the fires, I don’t know if the property made it out, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude that the family, the boys, the dog, hadn’t been there, I would have lost my mind if they had.

Lost it.

So it’s hard for me to fathom those that did lose it all and sad for it, heartbroken.

And also aware that I have to keep my spirits up, that people need me, that I need to take care of myself.

My therapist and I discussed that a lot today, how being a caregiver, being in the helping field, being a nurturer, that I had to focus on doing for myself, because getting sucked into the drama of it or the trauma news cycle via social media, I would not be helping any one at all.

Grateful for her perspective and all the other things that I get to work out with her.

I am super grateful to be back in therapy and I just realized I forgot to add the hour to my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) tracking.

Excuse me a moment, that has to happen right now.

There, that’s better.

Under current BBS requirements I can count my own personal therapy towards the 3,000 hours I need to accrue.

Which is awesome.

And.

The best part.

They count as three hours.

I book one hour and it gets counted as three.

Granted.

I am only allowed to accrue 300 hours of personal therapy towards my license, but I will take any extra hours any where that I can.

I also talked about the stress of getting hours or wondering how I was going to get them all before the licence requirements change.

As of January 2021 the BBS will be changing a number of things.

One of them will be that personal psychotherapy will no longer count.

The other is that Couples Therapy will not count double as it currently does.

So I want to make sure that I can get all my hours done by December 2020.

That’s not that far away.

I have had not anxiety, per se, but a little concern, now that I am in the actively doing therapy process, about how the fuck I’m going to get all the hours.

I am working full-time to support living in San Francisco.

How will I squeeze more hours into my schedule?

I want to vomit thinking about it.

I have so much going on and I want to have a life, a teeny, tiny bit of a life, I need my human connection, I need my recovery,

Ugh.

I can’t speculate on how it will happen, I will just keep practicing faith and I will pick up extra hours here and there whenever and wherever I can.

It will happen.

And thankfully, my last semester of the Master’s degree is only two classes plus practicum (which is for all intents and purposes my internship), so I won’t be running with the same full class load that I am now.

And who knows what will happen.

I could come into money, I could win the lottery, I could get a paid internship, I don’t know, and I don’t have to.

I just know that I will keep trying and keep doing the best I can and I know that I am doing that.

I am holding my own.

Not always with the most grace, but with strength and integrity and valor.

I am doing the work.

And in the end.

Every time I go back to it.

I am so worth the effort.

Therefore I will be ok.

Because.

Well.

I already am.

Just for today.

I am exactly where I am need to be.

Seriously.

 


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