Thursday, September 13, 2007

Is there more still to accomplish?

I went to my therapy session knowing I had little to say. I rambled on about how work is mind-numbingly boring this week. There are always little things to do, going to the library, returning stuff to the store, filling out passport visa forms, getting postage from the post office. I talked about how this was a rather boring simple week.

The silence and exchanges of stares made it clear that I had little to say. I've been coming to this place for almost four years. It's what kept me sane some weeks through getting over Ryan and dealing with the absurdities and frustrations of dating. It's been an opportunity to talk aloud about my issues without looking like one of those homeless people who aimlessly wanders the streets talking to themselves (and answers).

Over the past year, I've been wondering how one is supposed to know when therapy is no longer needed. It's not exactly cheap to pay to talk to someone for an hour every week. It's not that expensive either (given that I don't have a daily $4 coffee habit or cable tv). Still, it's money that I question whether I still need to be spending rather than put in the bank or spend to get a slightly nicer hotel on my next vacation. I started here because I was having trouble coping, but now my life is more stable.

I have spells where there's little I want or need to say to my therapist. It's a funny contrast to Is who I know looks forward to babbling all her drama each week to her therapist. She operates differently than me. She can't stand the idea of sleeping in a tent, and I refuse to wear the skimpy Forever 21 clothing she buys.

Overall, for better or worse, I'm a pretty self-contained person. My understanding of how people socialize and behave may be limited, but I can understand myself pretty well. I know what it is I need to do and why I procrastinate from changing personal quirks that could make my life better.

On the other hand, it is good to have someone who will listen and not judge me, unlike myself or mother. Everyone around me seems to know that I'm very critical of myself and set expectations that are unrealistic (although I think they're totally reasonable, I'm just not willing to work that hard).

So back to the question... how do I know it's time to move on? More often than before we have those pauses where I have nothing to say. There are days where I feel like I have to come up with something to make the hour move. My therapist, at times, thinks that I filter my discussions because I predetermined that some topics are not important. That's when she reminds me, "let me be the judge of that."

There will always be issues to discuss. Everyone has something they could talk about when you have a fight with an SO, have a bad day at work, disagree with a friend. The things I need to work through with Tim are something for me, but I don't think she can directly help me solve them. I feel like what needs to be done lies between me and Tim. We need to work through this together.

Admittedly, there's part of me that just wants my free time back to myself. I hate always needing to leave work early and having to be late to evening events one day a week. I want my flexibility back. I can't tell you how many activities and events I've passed up over the years because of this time commitment.

I think I'm ready to go it on my own. More often in the past year, I've come into the office with nothing to share. Is that not an indication that I'm handling life? Of course, that's easy to say when it seems things are going well. As Is once said, it seems like you only need to talk to your therapist when there's some kind of drama going on in your life.

The weird thing is that this is a business arrangement. Isn't it a conflict of interest to decide whether your patient is ready to move on? I mean, if they say you no longer need to come, they're out money. How do I bring up this discussion?


Sitcomgirl said...

I think your post answers your own question, that it is time to move on. Therapy isn't meant to be something to do just because you started it at somepoint, it's not a lifetime committment (unless of course you have real serious issues that need to be addressed before you harm yourself or others).
As for how to bring up the conversation, I think you just tell the therapist, I think I'm handling life well right now and I've learned the skills I need to manage my things myself, this will be my last session.
I actually broke up with my therapist via voicemail (I'm such a wimp, but also I thought she was terrible) just said I wouldn't be making my next appointment and would call her if I needed to come back. Good luck, but it sounds like you know what the right move is.

teahouse said...

I think if the thought of not seeing your therapist every week doesn't send you into a dizzying panic, then you're probably ok moving on.

But congratulations!! It's great news, and means that you've made progress.

zerodoll said...

i felt the same way. i was actually dreading going to therapy with nothing to share. so i ended it and she knew right when i walked in the door that last time. i've never been good discussing the arrangement, it just felt like i could handle things on my own, like i needed to handle things on my own. it's also nice to know you can always go back if you need to.

mini said...

if you're not entirely sure, what about decreasing the frequency for a short while? go in once a month, if that's an option

Lisa Marie said...

I agree with Sitcomgirl - your post answers your own question. While you *may* be nervous about taking this step, I personally do not think it means you aren't ready to take the step. IF things did not turn out the way you expected after your last session - you can always go back. Do not feel 'trapped' into seeing your counselor just because you think she may know something about you that you don't.

I also disagree with her 'let me determine what important' comment. I believe if its something that bothers you badly enuf, you WILL mention it. There is no need to mention all things in your life so that your counselor can find something that she thinks could be bothering you. Why make something small into alot bigger ya know?

OK, 'nuff said =) Found your blog/post and just figgered I would comment!

Pandax said...

Thanks everybody. (Sorry for the delay in replying. Sometimes I get a weird glitch where the comment window continually refreshes and I can't post.)

I'm probably going to go in and say that I'm taking a break from therapy. As a trade off for myself, I'm hoping to remember to write in my journal each week. I can't wait to have more free time!