Treatment 101: Therapy | Article F18

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Note: I will be exploring more specific avenues of therapy in dedicated pieces within this series, but I thought I would add some general thoughts on the idea of therapy as a whole. In fact, those avenues I will explore in the future include: DBT, ERP, mindfulness, cognitive distortions and ECT.


Looking back at my teenage years, something I make it a point not to do (I like who I am now much more than my younger self and tend to think of myself as who I became in my late adolescence rather than my earlier childhood) I probably could have benefitted from therapy. At the time I felt uncomfortable in my body having to deal with scoliosis that would later require surgery. I felt a lot of guilt about it; would spend hours ruminating on it and was very ashamed of it and closed off–pretending everything was fine when it wasn’t. Thinking of this now, it’s probably the reason why I’ve embraced my mental health journey and choose to be open about it instead.


The first time I started therapy was actually once every two weeks with a therapist at the Counseling Center who specialized in eating disorders that I received help from for my intense procrastination between summer 2013 and early winter 2014. I really liked the person I was working with and although the sessions didn’t come with results right away, over the winter break I did completely clean, reorganize my room and become more organized overall. From my sessions with this therapist I may have been introduced into SMART goals, breaking the tasks I was procrastinating on into smaller, doable chunks and I still have all the notes and scrawled penmanship stowed away from these sessions. My therapist wound up leaving and for a while whenever I saw a woman with brown curly hair I would think of her.


I will add, this coincided around the time I began the second year of OCD symptoms but I was too afraid of what they could mean that I never brought it up in my sessions with her.


The second time I entered therapy was when I came back to the Counseling Center in fall 2014. This is when I started to see a graduate student once a week for what I fooled myself into thinking was procrastination issues again but what turned out to be a psychiatric diagnosis. We had just covered OCD in my abnormal psych class but I hadn’t made the connection between those symptoms and myself until Steve mentioned it to me and I later researched it, finding an online article that I 100% related to. There were maybe two or three emergency sessions I made with the Counseling Center during this semester when I was duped by the OCD thinking I was actively suicidal when it couldn’t have been further from the truth.


Of course, depression entered the party over the winter break which resulted in my first attempt to end my life. One time I had walked into my session with Steve carrying my chosen suicide method and when I realized that they were going to send me to the hospital, I tried backpedaling so hard but it didn’t work and I was picked up by ambulance. I remember Steve actually doodled with me while the police officers were on their way and the EMT’s came.


From here, I switched over to seeing my OCD specialized therapist in Brookline for two sessions a week for a year. I didn’t like her right away (mainly because she wasn’t Steve) but I did get something out of my sessions with her for a while. When I found out the OCD-Institute involved a three month waiting list I wound up in the hospital again. Towards the end of my year and a half with this therapist I found I was stalling in my recovery so after being inspired from therapy talk in a psychological trauma class in fall 2016 I began the quest of finding another therapist.


In maybe February 2017 I began to see my more current therapist April. I saw April for a year once a week. April was actually the one to recommend Passages to me although my insurance at the time didn’t cover it. 2017 was a tough year for me, and in February 2018 I began my work with Passages.


In May 2018 I transitioned over to my therapist who works at Passages, for the duration of the time I’ll be at their DBT-Intensive program.


Therapy, like medications, will likely be things I have to use throughout the rest of my life, and I’ve come to accept that. Not being nearly as symptomatic has led me to happier days and vast amounts of stability. So, with the right help, it is genuinely possible.

PD A/N: This piece was written October 22 & 31.2018

So, I only JUST found out that instead of having the last week of classes our final paper production, it was LAST week. Which means I end on a cliffhanger so for my own sanity I’m going to write up my true FINAL 3 pieces this week and send them along to be published NEXT semester. So they’ll be from F18 but technically published S19. Good enough for me, that’s what I say!! I’m a little swung around a loop because of this news although I was aware that it’d be strange if they’d publish this week since classes end the 13th, but I hadn’t thought further than that about it. Oh well, we all make mistakes.

My last three articles will be: Treatment 101: Reframing Cognitive Distortions, My Hopes for My Legacy and A Commentary on My Article Evolution. And I’ll probably mention at the start of them when I wrote them in my journey and online here it’ll be easier to keep them all together, as they should be, rather than with the paper deadlines spreading them out further. Okay, sounds like a good plan! I’ll continue to upload my pieces as it were on here. (Although I’m tempted to take the break to not write these articles right away… gwah. Who knows, MAYBE I will take a break for a while. Not sure yet. Gah, indecisiveness!)

About this piece: I think it tells itself, but if you have any questions I’m actually working up on answering more of my messages so I’ll be around! When I’m not studying, lol. Hope you’re all well!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤