Finding a Psychologist & Preparing for Therapy
When looking for a psychologist or therapist there are many things to look for! I am going to be frank here, and I’m certainly not saying I am “right” or that this is as comprehensive as I’d like to be– but hopefully my informed views can spur you on to consider things for yourself on a deeper level in this search for a psychologist.
First, we are where we are because we created this situation.
Whatever pattern we keep repeating over and over again in disguised or not-so-disguised-ways, is because we have long-held internal dynamics/patterns.
We have, in certain ways, continued to feed defenses or reactions we formed early in childhood. What I SEE, as a psychologist, over and over, is that people finally seek “help” because the consequences of these continued actions has manifested enough PAIN that the individual is (often temporarily) motivated to change his or her ways. None of us are that invested in changing, usually, or we would have:
“You show what you want by what you do” Dr. Alan Surkis
We aren’t invested because we don’t realize that we can find much, much, much better ways of offering ourselves REAL protection and REAL LOVE.
Stuck = We stick ourselves to our old patterns and thus remain stuck.
What happens, more often than I wish, is that we will go and find a therapist or psychologist that INDULGES our defenses! He or she will sit for an hour (or two) a week & listen to us complain about how our pain is manifesting here (at work), here (at home), here (with the kids– who learn these same patterns!), here (with my way of relating with the Creator/my spiritual life) and HERE (with my spouse & within myself psychologically and physically)!
I could spend absolutely FOREVER listening to each of my clients complain about any one or all of these manifested “piles” — and they may temporarily feel better because someone is LISTENING– but I tell you, unequivocally, it is a complete DISSERVICE!
Imagine an old wagon wheel with all the spokes going out–the spokes represent all the piles of problems we’ve inadvertently created by not seeing that we could take responsibility for our patterns, and change them/really heal. Ok, so, if a person goes into the CORE, or the center of the wagon wheel and heals THAT then all the spokes (outer-piles) will begin to change as well.
Some of my clients get really angry at first because they say “I am paying you to listen!” and believe me, I am listening, but I won’t let them just sit and waste their time, energy, and will — complaining about the piles they have created! That is PLEASING/indulging and it is a cruel practice. (There is an excellent documentary called Buck– where this woman keeps indulging her horse and it literally almost charged and killed her…I know this seems unrelated, but it is not— I’m telling you plainly, when we indulge these old and broken parts of ourselves we torture not only ourselves but others– all while having the “best of intentions”!).
1) Do not go to a therapist who will just indulge you in this:
“I am a victim, please feel sorry for me” place.
You will not get better this way and you will remain blind to the destructive defenses you have been employing & “befriending” for years!
2) Re-read #1! Ha! That’s basically “it” — the word “therapy” in Greek is “healing.” The word psyche = soul —thus, psychotherapy (soul-healing) is MEANT to help you heal-- so that you are re-aligned to the deepest Truth (in your inner man); not live according to this exterior ego/present-day-personality self we become so invested in.
3) I do not recommend finding a “new parent” for a therapist. My job, as I see it, is not to BE my client’s parents– but to TEACH them, reveal to them–the abilities they alreadyhave, that the Creator bestowed to each of us– to be truly LOVING. Not to sound cliche’, but the client gets to learn how to parent themselves in a kind way so that they can then integrate their healed (formerly arrested-development-child-self) with the new kind-(not indulgent)-parent that we “activate” or manifest from the raw materials God already gave us.
Believe me, I know how nice it SEEMS to have someone say:
“It’s all them, none of it is you, you are a poor victim & I am going to be your new parent.” …for 100-200$ a week or whatever people charge these days--but you are worth MORE than that, truly!
Here is an amazing page on Dr. William Callahan’s web site on “preparing for therapy”– an EXCELLENT resource in itself! Skip down to “preparing for a session with me” section:
Dr. Callahan’s perspective