New Therapist (Intake Part I)

We had our initial intake for a new therapist today. This therapist’s specialty is Somatic Experiencing. Our goal in adding this fourth therapist to our lineup is to extend the mind-body connecting we started in the hospital last fall.

Since fall, we tried contacting five other therapists with some sort of specialty in movement, mind-body, or somatics before we scheduled with this T. Why did it take six therapists and more than three months to find someone?

Three were not taking new clients, one waited ten days to reply and then, after an intake, set a prerequisite of a full battery of psychological testing (that insurance said they would not cover due to irrelevance and that our PsyD said not to take because of adverse reactions in us when PsyD tried to administer one of the tests), and one never replied after our multiple attempts to contact.

We found this one on our own (the other five were recommended!).

That is a lot of content to say that finding a therapist can take a lot of energy in the first place, and when you do not possess a surfeit of energy, the cycle can seem self-defeating.

So how was the intake? Well, it is not over. New T said our intake will likely take 2-3 sessions at the rate of today’s session. This is not a judgment by T or us.

Question: If you have had two therapists and a teenage Child talk to you about your boundaries in the past month, what is not the best way for you to start a potential therapeutic relationship?

…By failing to disclose that you have DID on your intake forms.

Oops.

Does it take having DID to not know you withheld that information?

What we tried to explain during the intake was that we are not (1) dangerous, (2) scary, (3) violent, (4) mean, or otherwise (5) risky to be around and that our prior experience (i.e. the potential T who ordered the full battery of psych tests and then insisted on them even though insurance wouldn’t pay and all the hospitals that exclude us because of our diagnosis) was that we are “guilty until proven innocent.”

We wanted a chance to make a first impression before being judged, which might itself be self-defeating? LOL

So far, T seems to be amenable.

Whew! That was risky/not advisable!

We still have 1-2 more intake sessions to go, and new T is so far theoretically willing to treat us since we are not seeking DID treatment; we are seeking Somatic Experiencing. We have 2 DID therapists already.

This new T was nice, friendly, pretty easy to talk to. We felt comfortable enough to go back next week for Intake Part II.

Having to explain ourselves anew and specifically how our DID manifests was interesting, disorienting, and set off all sorts of alarm bells within our system of me’s. It was like in _Frozen_ when Anna and Prince Hans of the Southern Isles sing:

“We finish each other’s…”

“Sandwiches!”

At one point in the session, we saw a flock of Mallards take off and land again, and Little wanted to start flapping our wings! It probably would have been fine to do so–just not during the first appointment. Ack! Good grief!

We had a regular T appointment today, too, beforehand, which was painful and real. We will choose to see this T less, as soon as possibly next week (from twice per week to once) mostly because of money. Our government-provided disability healthcare does not cover the most widely held therapy license in this neck of the woods.

It sucks having to put a price tag on health, and we get it. We do not appreciate having to choose: fix the car, keep a roof over Younger Child, help pay for Older Child’s college, or try to heal us (no guarantee included!). T and we both seemed to acknowledge that even once per week is not going to last much longer. We think the process of saying goodbye started today. That is why it was painful and real.

The journey with her has been the most painful, the rawest. T often described the early years of our work as though we, the patient, had no skin. Everything was that tender. We cannot yet reflect on what it is now. Not ready to say goodbye.

We have not yet told the other Ts about the potential new T. We could start tomorrow. (Sheepish, boundary-cognizant, toothy grin emoji).

Thanks for reading about this time eventful therapy day. Love to all!

8 thoughts on “New Therapist (Intake Part I)

  1. What is DID? Is it a dissociative disorder? Since you refer to yourself as we. I’m guessing it is. I haven’t known people to have more than one therapist at a time. Do they work together? Do they know about each other? I’m sorry you had a violent parent. I’m sorry to ask so many questions. I just want to understand. I pray for you to find healing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you are right about dissociative disorder. The “i” stands for “identity.” The different parts of self that everyone has are not united in us. They don’t all know each other or have the concept of one, unified “self.” Some do. Maybe we’re trying to help them all

      It was a great adaptation for surviving Traumas. Now, it complicates being safe

      The therapists do collaborate. They are amazing humans. So very different, like humans. One is tough, challenging. One is mild, patient, and still challenging. One is practical and experienced, careful. The new one will hopefully be an expert at feelings.

      It does not seem too common to have multiple therapists. And we have multiple disorders. No one therapist can probably be expert at so much. DID is confusing. Checks and balances, fear, and working a lot at healing are probably contributing factors to having multiple therapists.

      You write books for kids? That feels noble. Kids are important and not always cared for. If someone reads them a safe book, hooray for the kids!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hold a license in mental health but haven’t practiced in over 20 years. It used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder. I knew it had changed but wasn’t sure. I’m a High School Guidance Counselor now. I enjoy working with kids and helping them take the next steps into adulthood.
        Yes, DID is a wonderful adaptation for survival when you grow up with trauma. I had trauma too but nothing compared to yours. I have difficulty with trust in personal relationships but have worked on it. My husband was the only man I ever trusted. I’m learning to lean more on God these days. I always had faith but didn’t realize I wasn’t fully relying on God. I guess I didn’t need to while life was fine. Now with the loss of my husband, I have experienced a deep sadness that I hadn’t felt before. I’m getting better day by day. Gratitude is a huge part of helping me change my perspective from loss to embracing today.
        You sound like you have a wonderful team! What a blessing! You’re right, probably no one human could be expert in everything.
        I do write books for kids. There’s probably a part of me stuck in childhood. I enjoy wrapping positive social/emotional messages in stories with cute characters that children can relate to. My way of giving back or into this world.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for being a helper in your career. Working with kids is so important. Our kids’ HS guidance counselors have made such a difference!

          You sound like you are learning so many lessons from life.

          Thank you for taking time to connect

          Liked by 1 person

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