I experienced a rising anxiety today as the clock counted down to the journey to see my new therapist. The use of the word new implies I have been to see one or more therapists before. This is half true in that there have indeed been various therapists over the last couple of decades. However, all have been via the NHS and they have predominantly concerned themselves with the prescription of previously untried medication to alleviate my depression and anxiety.
The therapist I met today is a private therapist who will, having briefly discussed my issues, attempt to assist me with a combination of therapies. This includes aspects of DBT but notably without any element of group therapy. Whilst this is not exactly what myself, my fiancé and my parents were hoping for, the combination of elements within DBT and CBT Schema (along with others I have forgotten) were expressed as a promising alternative to beginning my psychological healing solely with full DBT.
What was unexpected and refreshing was that the therapist showed genuine empathy and paid close attention to what we all had to say without interruption (my fiancé and parents were present at the assessment session to provide their views on my needs and problems).
The therapist made it quite clear that between each weekly session I would need to put concerted effort into how I deal with the challenges I face. I anticipated this of course, as talking does not by itself solve problems, but in having it stressed so strongly it finally dawned on me just how hard it was going to be. I am honestly prepared to do anything but I dread what those tasks might be, and how long each will take.
I also need to see a clinical psychologist so that I can be assessed in full to establish a clear and accurate picture of my state of mind. The information gained from that process will be passed to the therapist as an essential foundation of the work ahead, but it will also be used to determine what medication I should ideally be taking. There is strong suspicion within my family that my current medication regime is either partially or completely incorrect. My main task for tomorrow will be to ring the shortlisted candidates and establish for each their availability and cost.
Tonight I’m back to feeling overwhelmed. Alarmingly so. The image of climbing a mountain is present. It is critical that I reach the top…