Stuart Smalley behind the mirror

I’m not the sort of person to blog about what goes on in therapy, usually. I mean, why would I tell you about that when there are so many more interesting things to talk about, like mammograms and surly children and such? The point is that I generally consider that to be a situation above reproach and somewhat sacred/private.

[Well, usually. There was that one marriage counselor my ex and I saw who sat in an oversize rocking chair, sipping I’m not sure what (tea? bourbon?) from a mason jar and telling us—in the midst of what anyone could see was a badly broken marriage—that if we just went out on a date together everything would be fine. Clearly her advice was spot on, because we lived happily ever after. Um, well, I did, six years later, anyway….]

And then, of course, we have the case of the sweet young thing in the teaching program whom I’ve now see twice. Last time, I told you that I wanted to make her a sandwich and tell her to do her homework. This time, it was much worse.

She had warned me that as a teaching facility, sometimes sessions are observed. Now, my kids have been going there for months and supposedly have never once been observed, but maybe that’s because their therapist is superspecial? (He might be. He claims to be about my age but looks about 20.) (University Counseling Center: Where All The Therapists Are Look Underage!) Anyway, the session rooms have two-way glass and I knew about the observation thing and I said that was fine, because this is how people learn and OBVIOUSLY I have no shame, so who cares if another few people get to watch me cry?

Oh. Yeah, by the way… in case you haven’t figured it out from reading me here, I am a Wee Delicate Flower. And I cry at the drop of a hat. I cry about everything. I consider it a major character weakness, actually, because I AM SUCH A GIRL when I’m upset. Even if I manage to continue thinking coherently and behaving (otherwise) appropriately, the second I’m upset? Bam! Tears.

[Side note: I always thought that was something I’d outgrow. Because I’m a moron. I never did outgrow it, and do you have any idea how embarrassing it is to find yourself weeping during a project meeting with a roomful of (male) engineers? SO EMBARRASSING. So the whole working from home thing may have been written on the wall much earlier than I’d even realized. I hardly ever cry about work in front of important people anymore! Hooray!]

Now, the flip side of being an easy crier is that I KNOW not everything is the end of the world. I know I cry easily; I know that I sometimes (often) cry over small and/or stupid things. It’s not a big deal, I guess.

But I walk into this session yesterday after Chickadee and I had had a HUGE power struggle over something so completely ridiculous that I am not even going to repeat it (again, because I had to tell Young Mild Therapist about it), and I’m told the session is being observed by her supervisor and another student behind the glass, and I say that’s fine, and she says the air conditioning seems not to be working in that room, and I say fine, and then she asks me how things are going and I recount the story of what just happened…

… and the next thing I know, I’m sobbing and also I’m COMPLETELY STUCK TO THE LEATHER COUCH because the room temperature appears to be about 90.

Young Mild Therapist does her best to say the right things, but I am distracted by the fact that she tends to focus on a spot on the wall behind me, just sort of above and to the left of me. I wonder if this is a technique she’s been taught as an alternative to looking someone in the eyes. She’ll glance at me, directly, but then her eyes veer off to that spot on the wall, which is a little strange. I have a hard time not turning around to see if I can find what she’s so intent on staring at.

While her eyes travel around she says things like “That sounds really frustrating,” and “I can understand why you find that upsetting,” and IF ONLY I WASN’T CRYING I think that it would be fun to mess with her and tell her something outrageous just to see her understated reaction. But no, I am being a Good Girl and actually talking about things that are bothering me, because as it turns out, QUITE A LOT OF THINGS ARE BOTHERING ME.

So we go for about 15 or 20 minutes, and then she announces that we’ll take a mid-session break so she can go confer with the observers, and that she’ll come back and tell me what they said. Ooooooookay. Off she goes, and I pull out my phone to check my email.

While I’m browsing through my messages, I can hear the muted “wah wah wah wah, wahwah wah!” coming from the next room as the group discusses the hysterical woman in here. Oh, wait. That’s me. Sigh.

Eventually Young Mild Therapist returns, and her gaze immediately returns to that spot on the wall. “Well, Mir, my supervisor wanted me to tell you that he has an eight-year-old daughter and he can really identify with some of what you’re talking about.”

I blink. Several times. That’s the international language for “That’s… nice?”

“Also, everyone in the room felt it was really clear that you obviously love your children a lot.” I blink some more. I start thinking about all of the other things I could’ve spent today’s session fee on. I could’ve bought groceries for a week. With the right sale, I could’ve gotten THREE fabulous new pairs of shoes. Otto and I could’ve gone out to dinner and a movie. I could’ve bought one of those giant tubs of chlorine tablets for the pool. I could’ve bought myself a LARGE KNIFE AND STABBED MYSELF WITH IT rather than be subjected to “I Am Trying To Gain Your Trust 101,” here.

“And we really think you’re going through a lot, right now, and you’re handling it REALLY WELL. Really.” Here her eyes flicked back to mine, briefly, as I chuckled.

Then there was an expectant silence.

“Oh,” I said, finally. “Um. Thank you?”

We talked another fifteen minutes and then as I was writing her a check (and resisting the urge to write in the Memo field “50 minutes of bland affirmations”), the folks behind the glass beeped the room phone and talked to her for a minute. She hung up the phone and came back to tell me AGAIN how obvious it is that I love my kids and what a GREAT JOB I’m doing as their mom.

I waved at the mirror. It’s hard to convey “Wow, this has been a really patronizing and surreal experience” with a single wave, but I think I may have managed it.

And do you know why? Because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, the people behind the glass really like me.


  1. Megan

    They didn’t mention your shoes though – WHY? I mean, if you’re going down the generalized statements of approval route you should obviously include commenting on the cuteness/appropriateness of the shoes. Also sounds as though they should have offered you a cookie at the end…

  2. chris

    I am sorry, but the image of you weaving at the mirror cracked me up. Maybe next time you should just stare at the mirror they way she stares at the wall. That would be a fun way to mess with her.

  3. chris

    Oh, and you are a GREAT MOTHER.

  4. Caution

    Perhaps they could have paid you for being such an inspirational client??

  5. Headless Mom

    Hmmm, I’ve never been to/in therapy but that sounds like a ‘last session’ to me.

  6. Sue

    LOL “50 minutes of bland affirmations” Ha! Sounds like it’s time to shop around for a new therapist. :)

  7. Leandra

    I have an irrational hatred of people who won’t look you in the eye. It makes me want to stab them with something pokey.

    I’m sending you a link. Hie thee hence, where you will at least get your money’s worth. I think.

  8. Jenny

    Wow, was that supposed to be helpful to you? Because if you want to meet for drinks, I’ll let you tell me all about it and I’ll say the same things (because they’re true, but, duh) and I won’t charge you for it.

    (Hear you on the crying — I’m a anger-crier. I get angry about something and all of a sudden it starts coming out as choked-up words, snot and tears. And I feel like I have to keep stressing that I’m not upset, I’m MAD, dammit, don’t look at me like I’m some kind of big baby, I’m MAD AT YOU. Well, you know.)

  9. Ei

    OMG Mir. I rarely comment here, but I surely hope you are breaking up with her-er-them.

  10. Bikini

    I went through a similar experience with a student counselor-type person also at a State of Georgia-run school… I believe the entire sessions consisted of her asking me how I felt (frustrated) over and over… and obviously I was FRUSTRATED at being asked the same question over and over. Ugh.

    And you are a great mother, and doggone it! two-way-mirror people recognize it!

  11. Jess

    Mir, I hear you on the crying. I cry at fricking cotton commercials. I cry at about 2/3 of the kids’ books I ready my daughter. (She’s five. She LAUGHS AT ME.)

    But, you know what? You’re a GOOD MOM and you obviously REALLY love your kids! ;)

  12. Mom24

    Ummm, I think you could get the same thing here for free. Post your problems, we’ll tell you how wonderful you are, and how much you love your children (because you are, and it’s clear that you do), and at least you won’t feel so patronized…hopefully. I hope she gets better, or you find someone new. BTW–I’ve never been in therapy, so I don’t know if this is done or not, but if you can’t be honest to your therapist, what’s the point? Shouldn’t you tell her how you felt about the session? That really does seem less than helpful to me too. Just sayin’.

  13. suburbancorrespondent

    Geez – you could have heard that from us folks in the blogosphere for free! Stop wasting your money. I’ll comment every day that it’s obvious you love your kids and you’re going through a lot right now. No charge!

    Our kids really know how to yank our chains. Read John Rosemond to find out how to avoid arguments with the little monsters. Dr. Ray Guarendi is good, too…

  14. Sheila

    I think you should go see that Amy Madigan from Grey’s Anatomy. She seemingly got to the heart of the matter with Meredith in roughly four short sessions of about five minutes each. In fact, some of those weren’t even actual sessions, just Meredith barging into her office whenever she had to get something off her chest. And now… she’s cured! Miraculous!

    Next time you have an appointment, just barge on in there and loudly and authoritatively DEMAND your case file. It worked for Dr. Grey. Of course, If you are not a fan of the show, all this means nothing to you, and I look pretty stupid right about now.

    (In sum: perhaps I’M the one needing therapy here…)

  15. All Adither

    I used to cry at the drop of a hat. And then I started taking Zoloft. Now I’m a freaking rock. Not really. But it does help me get through heated conversations with my husband without dissolving into a puddle before his eyes.

  16. Jan in Norman OK

    I wonder what would have happened if you’d asked her why she was looking at that spot on the wall.

    Too bad you can’t have your sessions with Sweet Young Thing’s supervisor.

  17. Melisa

    Weird…about the session, I mean.

    I’m a big crybaby too: anger, frustration, happiness, and sometimes even for totally appropriate reasons.

  18. Jackie


    I had the same marriage counselor here in Texas with the Ex 5 or 6 years ago… DO you think they teach them to buy the big chair and drink during sessions while sputtering about dating. As if that is what has driven you to the point of seeing a counselor… you need more time with the SOB that is driving you nuts! HA!

    About your recent encounter… I also had a therapist to accomplish…. um… there had to be a point to that… seems to have slipped my mind what I actually got out of it…
    Oh… that is right… I quit for the same reasons you stated above. I could have actually spent the money on friends and I having a few drinks… they listen, empathize and they make you “feel pretty”.

    And of course you’re a good mom… don’t have to pay someone to tell you that… look at the love in your kids eyes!

  19. Ann

    Oh – Jenny – welcome to the anger-crier club! It sucks, no? Mir – we should all meet electronically as a support group of good mothers, with margaritas in hand. Extra folks watching thru the mirror is strictly optional. I hope you tell the cheerleading therapist squad how you feel about their effectiveness. After all, they are there to learn a thing or two…

  20. Bob

    Wow. you’re such a good mother, your kids are lucky to have you. I totally know what you’re going through.

    that’ll be $85 please.

  21. Janssen

    I don’t think I would have agreed to the observation in the first place because I am so self-conscious, I would have been paralyzed.

    What a weird experience.

  22. Jamie AZ

    This is really disturbing – you aren’t going there to be patronized for gosh sakes. What’s plan B – new therapist search?!

    I can be a crier at times, too – why were we made this way?!

  23. Deb

    time for a new therapist. Glad you find the humor in it though. And yes, you are a GREAT mom. Btw…I am a crier too, especially when I get angry. It is sooo hard to argue with someone intelligently while crying :-(

  24. Amy-Go

    And this is why I don’t go to therapy. I can get 50 minutes of bland affirmation from my friends for FREE. Mir, Tulip, if that’s what you’re looking for, give me a call!

    Otherwise, time to find a new doctor. :(

  25. laurie

    funny. very funny.

  26. Elena

    I once went to a similar thing–you were seen by a student or what have you junior type person with their overseer, I mean, person above them, supervising–I went in to discuss sexual abuse issues and I had on a leather jacket, extra physical & psychological protection, right? Except the 2 of them spent the whole time discussing how hot it was and wouldn’t I like to take that jacket off? Why no I would like to keep this extra skin on and about fourteen other layers that have already been flayed from me as well thank you very much. Those 2 were full of brilliant insights, let me tell ya. I believe Robin Williams’ character in Good Will Hunting may have been based on their acute and intuitive expertise.
    Good luck with finding someone else, Mir. A girl I know from work was transferred to a male therapist…he had a large poster of Jessica Alba in a bikini on the back of his office door.
    the Old Gray Headshrinker, she ain’t what she used to be.

  27. themuttprincess

    You have much more class than I do. I would have totally made them think I was batshit crazy by commenting on their lack of REALLY understanding.

  28. elizabeth

    yeah, the non-eye contact thing would be a deal breaker for me. not that I have a whole lot of experience with therapists. (a whole two sessions in my life) and really, if you wanted feed back from the observers why not just have them in the room???

    and can I join the the cries at everything club? everything – graduations, weddings, certain country songs and specially when I get mad (and it just makes me madder!)

  29. Undomestic Diva

    I should really try therapy, but livin’ life on the edge is so much better blog material.

    BUT, you have inspired me in a roundabout way. I think I’m gonna get me a cute, younger man to follow me around the house all day and tell me things I want to hear when my husband doesn’t (read: always). I’ll pay for that.

  30. Katie

    Sort of on topic but I’m finding the roles reversed with my 9 year old daughter, I’m the one constantly asking “why?” (Remember when our 2 year olds did that?) She does the most dumbass things and gets hysterically upset at dust and I’m going out of my mind trying to understand her.

    And yeah, searching for new therapist time. I didn’t understand mine (she was my grandma’s age) with the psychobabble but now 3 years later, I get it. It was a helpful experience if even I left more confused after than before.

  31. DR

    The first thought I had when you kept mentioning the spot she kept looking to on the wall was that you were being filmed. I would have had to ask…then probably have paranoid written on my case file!

    You are a good mother. Your daughter will grow out of this. Believe it or not, it’s probably her way of expressing her frustration at the summer’s fractured time. It sounds quite like the “I can’t enjoy what I’m doing now for thinking about having to leave again.”

  32. RuthWells

    Holy cr@p.

    There are times that subjecting oneself to a supervised teaching medical environment makes sense — orthodonture, perhaps, or dermatology — and there are times when it’s just time wasted. I fear that Doogie McTherapist falls in the latter category.

  33. Liza

    I’m a crier too. And it is SO FRUSTRATING when that happens!

    If you aren’t committed to changing therapists already, I would write a letter. This experience sounds like it was not handled very professionally.

  34. Sheila aka Manic Mom

    What the FREAK! This is sooooooo one of the reasons I’m not laying on a couch right now. I started a Blog instead. Sorry that you had to deal with such nut jobs. You can have a chat with me for no charge. And I’ll make drinks!

  35. Stephanie Chance

    I hope you get a discount for having a student therapist. Like going to the cosmetology school to get a haircut. Have you considered telling the supervisor how completely unhelpful that session was to you? I do not like confrontation, so I would probably write a letter. Think of it like you would be saving others from paying that much and listening to the same crap. Because if no one complained, she would go on to become a therapist and not change a thing. Of course it doesn’t say much for the supervisor to not know it wasn’t helpful or to let you continue being a guinea pig.

  36. The Other Leanne

    I cried at work yesterday (because I was angry), and not for the first time. Like you (and all the other commenters above) I cry at the drop of a hat, or even the thought that a hat might drop. Did you know that exuding tears is the body’s way of controlling high blood pressure? That’s why we cry for reasons other than sadness. So I tell myself that it’s a healthy thing, and plow on through it. Did you know that by raising your eyes and looking at the ceiling you can control the tears a little bit? Oh yes, I’ve done my homework on this one.
    Never be ashamed or embarrassed of your tears, they have a reason and a purpose. You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and all these Intertubes people like you!

  37. wafelenbak

    I’m an angry/frustrated crier too. I hate it, because it really undermines the anger!
    I stopped going to my therapist when I realized my friends were giving me the same, and sometimes better, advice free of charge. I hate the thought of ever going back to therapy, though, because I am pretty much done with her but can’t stand the thought of going through that initial history evaluation with someone else again. Gah. Therapy can be enough to drive someone to therapy!

  38. LiteralDan

    To help undo the damage, I think you just might not be good enough, I’m not sure exactly how smart you really need to be, and I bet there are probably more than a few people who don’t like you, for what may or may not be good reasons.

  39. Shalet

    Oh my – not a fun day. I hope you at least got some stuff of your shoulders. :o)

  40. Em

    I don’t know. This bothers me alot (for you). Why did they have to observe from behind glass? You knew they were there, why couldn’t they sit quietly in the room?

    I just figured something out. The wah wah wah – Charlie Brown reference. I was thinking they were making fun of your crying which made me feel really really mad for you but now that I get what you said in the first place, less rage but still WTH with conferring behind glass? I would be feeling like someone was about to offer me a plea bargain or brain me with a phone book.

  41. Heidi

    Well, at the very least, let’s hope you felt better after having a good (but expensive) cry. It’s much, much healthier to express it than stuff it.

  42. Susan

    This post made me cry.

  43. Cele

    I would have called her on the eye contact thing, and then only paid half the bill and charged the rest to the spot on the wall.

    Hallmark commercials kill me, frustration kills me, stress kills me. I cry just because my tear ducts think I should. argh.

  44. Alice

    See, I have to wonder about the clinical efficacy of breaking the session in half so that the student can confer with the observers. That’s ridiculously bad practice, in my opinion.

    As to Ye Olde Blande Aphirmations? Yeah, 50 min of that would be pretty ridiculous. Has she been this bad before, or was she just totally thrown by your killer saline rocket bombs? (aka tears)

  45. Shalee


    I’ll send you my number so that you can call me, cry all you want and I’ll tell you “I know, I know. Life sucks some times, but you’re doing just fine. Hang in there, girl.” I’ll probably cry with you, offer some life experience if I’ve got any to give and then tell you to eat some chocolate. Then you can use that money on whatever you want. Because that is what friends do for each other. The bonus? Even if we do meet, I’m so flighty, I’ll have forgotten all about the conversation and we’ll be able to focus on the good stuff, like wine and how we don’t knit.

    (I did not offer to use our Macs to video conference because most people tell me that I look pretty young for my age. I want you to still like me at the end of the call, okay?)

  46. The Other Other Dawn

    She forgot to tell you you’re PRETTY. She’s a dolt, obviously.

    I would have had to turn around to see what she was staring at. I mean, really. That’s just inexcusable.

  47. BInkytown

    Seriously- the only thing worse than being a chronic cryer (which I am, so I know of what I speak) is not being able to find a therapist worth your time and having to cry in front of a crappy one. Did they really say wah wah wah wah wah? I hope you busted them..

  48. mommytherobot

    0h god. i am such a big cryer too. especially when i am so red w anger. instead of flames tears come out and then every one looks at each other and head out to lunch. no respect i tell ya!

  49. Vane

    I have no experience whatsoever in therapy, but that doesn’t sound very helpful (and yes, you are a great mom who loves her kids very much).

    On the crying thing … See, I’m on the totally opposite side and it completely sucks, I’m incapable of crying in public, even around my friends, which completely blows if you really really need a shoulder to cry on. Alone? I can cry a river … Not healthy, I tell you.

  50. shannon

    that’s exactly why i don’t go to therapy…i hate repeating my story a million times trying to find the right person. i know they aren’t supposed to TELL you what to do, but i want one like that therapist on grey’s anatomy. i want someone to help me figure things out, ask questions to help me see things i’m not seeing, etc… instead of what you experienced. yeah, and without costing a mortgage every month…please, find someone else. don’t waste any more time, unless that’s what you need, someone to hear you vent and confirm your feelings. please =P

  51. jennielynn

    I can see how that would be very frustrating. But it sounds like you handled it well and we all think you’re a great patient.

    Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

  52. ben

    Crap, that sounds worse then the time I had “student observers” at the proctologist. I honestly didn’t know they had so many people that wanted to “drive the camera.”

    Is it too late to stop payment on the check and go to dinner? I’m sure Otto would be glad to tell you “It’s obious, you really love your kids.” Maybe he could throw in a couple of random “Good luck, we’re all counting on you” bits, too.

  53. Joshilyn

    DOOD I cry if the dog looks at me funny.

    *pat pat* You are NOT good, smart, pretty to the pallid degree of ENOUGH — you are an OVERABUNDANCE of all 3. And I heart you unblandly and affimingly.

  54. jen

    Would the wave have been with a single finger? ‘Cause that would have been hard to resist. ;)

  55. Chuck

    I don’t cry easily at all…although I have a tendency to at times at the end of sad movies. If it’s one I’m seeing in the theater, that always embarasses me greatly because in our society men aren’t supposed to show emotion! (OK, I know that’s not true, but that’s the way guys think.)

    I do think it’s maybe time to find a new therapist who is a bit more confident in her own abilities. Also, I would have been tempted to moon the mirror, but perhaps that’s another guy thing.

  56. Sunny

    I also cry easily. It is really hard to be a bad ass when you start crying in the middle of telling someone off.
    I would ask for my money back for that therapy session…cept I might start crying.

  57. Heather

    I’m planning on being a therapist…and I really hope I’m better at it than these people :P

  58. Kritter Krit

    I’m an Angry Crier. And a Frustrated Crier. And a Sick Crier (whenever I’m not feeling good I turn into the biggest baby). And a Worried Crier. Not so much a Sentimental Crier. Yay, me. See, I’m a major toughie!

    Break up with that therapist. Now. Do not give Wall Starer one. more. penny. She clearly has a few issues of her own – like the inability to counsel without help from her posse.


    Or you could mess with her. Every time she stares at the spot on the wall, you stare at an equivalent spot on the opposite wall. She looks…BAM…you look. Shelooksyoulookshelooksyoulook. It’ll be GREAT. And totally worth the money. ;)

  59. Astrogirl426

    Um, yeh, because that’s what you pay them buckets of money for – to be told “you’re a good mom.” Sheesh.

    But I can top that (me, competitive?)! Recently, when I spent about 10 days in a psych hospital (hey, I have no shame too!), I was told by the therapist there that my therapist outside the facility wanted me to attend the outpatient program that the hospital offers after getting discharged. Um, ok, because $6K wasn’t enough money to spend on my mental health, let’s throw in another week at $200/day. Sure. And why did she want me to do that? (wait for it, wait for it…)

    Because she felt that she couldn’t continue our relationship unless I did, because she couldn’t trust me seeing as how I didn’t call her when I took one too many sleeping pills (ergo the recent hospitalization). Um, because of COURSE, the FIRST thing that depressed people do when they’re feeling suicidal is call their therapist. Yeh. And also? Because this is all about her.

    So you can imagine how much I’m celebrating the fact that she’s having back surgery and can’t see me for three months, so I have to see another therapist in her practice. Not celebrating the surgery part (although…), but the chance to see someone new.

    So, I can really identify with some of what you’re talking about? And um… it was really clear that you obviously love your children a lot? Yeh. That “sounds really frustrating”. LOL.

  60. Kirsetin

    Love the Stuart Smalley reference & if only you weren’t so blinded by tears, maybe you could’ve just flipped them all off.

    Oh, what I meant to say was, that the whole thing sounds really nice. You were right to thank them and encourage her in her efforts.

    Seriously, people, you’re getting PAID!

  61. Suzy's Place

    Having sat on the therapists couch in my previous life, I can honestly say… I hate that! I am so sorry you had to deal with that. Thanks for sharing with us so we can give you the REAL positive affirmations!

    (when do we get paid for that? LOL)

  62. Kate

    The punchline to the story is classic. I wish you hadn’t had a reason to write it, but a great punchline nonetheless.

  63. Hecticmom

    You know what else is embarrasing in front of a room full of male engineers and upper management (not a woman to be seen)? Giving a presentation shortly after returning to work from maternity leave and having your breast milk let down in the middle of the presentation. Two big wet spots suddenly appear on the front of the shirt.

    Oh, yes, that would be ME!!!

  64. Dani

    I never cried about anything until I had kids. Now I’m a drippy mess.

    You’re really good about getting price adjustments. Think you can get something off that visit?

  65. Mike Golch

    I had a “marriage counselor” from the same cut of cloth.He made no sence at all.we finally had to admit that thing were not going to get any better and she wanted someone else in her life,and I just quit fighting.So we got divorced.I donot regret that I did not fight to keep things together,I was tired of the fights the silly nonsence that was being thrown in my face about haveing an affair,I never did, but she did on the other had with my best man from our wedding.
    Oh well water under the bridge 5 years was enough.I’m glad that ended and I move back home for I meet a person that has made my live great,Mu Celestine.My friend lover and wife of 28 years.that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  66. Krisco

    Oh, man. That is completely demoralizing. Or….well, for them, I think. For you, man, RIDICULOUS. You might have told her she was worth about a large box of chlorine. But then SHE would need therapy. Or more therapy.

    They need to work on that spot on the wall thing. Why didn’t they tell her to stop doing THAT? That would be a call worth taking.

  67. mama speak

    I didn’t read all the comments cause I need to get to bed (but making sure I got to read your post was more important than sleep! See the Internet’s love knows no bounds!) But may I suggest printing this up and give them all copies at the next visit? You can then watch their heads all pop off; amusement that is certainly worth the cost of two visits.

    I had a dr. (similar situation, young, teaching school, etc..) patronize me for a while until I finally wrote down one of my major freak outs inbetween our meetings. Part of what I wrote was how I was being patronized by her & how I wasn’t sure what good going to her was doing me. It let her know 1)the level of anxiety I was truely having (just because the freak out wasn’t happening in front of her didn’t mean it didn’t exist) and 2)that I thought she was crap; which scared the crap out of her and got her off her ass. Apparently when they’re right out of school they still see it as being graded and I was flunking her.

    Things improved immensley after that.
    (Sorry for lousy spelling & grammer; to tired to correct right now.)

  68. Brigitte

    Yet another crier here. It frustrates me even more because once I was accused with the classic “using tears as a tool” thing, so now when I get mad enough for the tears to flow, I think of that time and I get even MORE angry at both him and myself for being “weak” enough to cry and it all spirals from there.

    From my admittedly limited therapy experience, the only reason to ever go see any official-type person is to get prescriptions. But since I won’t go, I’ll never get any of those prescriptions, that I probably maybe possibly need.

  69. dana

    I am surprised that you stayed after the comments from behind the glass. I am more surprised that you paid! I might have found myself asking her what she was looking at. I think that you might be better served from your online community than the training facility. It sounds like none of them were really aware of what was/is going on with you.
    The most frustrating part of it all is thinking that you are going for help and it seems that you could have helped the doc in training as well as those with the experience.
    Thanks for sharing

  70. sb

    Oh, Mir. How kind of you to give the student therapist such good experience. But, what’s in it for you?

    I did so love the post, though. So, in some small way, it was worth it. But, what’s in it for you?

  71. gwendomama

    omg i am laughing so hard right now. but also not. because i know this affirmation all too well.
    when i asked the former pediatrician of my dead son if there was any reason she thought he was going to die young (THIS WAS AFTER HE HAD DIED), she responded with, “You were GREAT parents!! You never once showed frustration with all the special issues you had to deal with!”

    Umm…..okay? And please shove that up your *ss. thank you.

  72. Suebob

    OMG Mir, your LIFE! It makes such good blog fodder, or maybe you are just a really good storyteller or both.

    I am a big boo-hoo-er too. I cry at commercials, graduations, parades, baptisms, songs, annual performance reviews at work…oh yeah I do.

  73. joe

    she is not a good therapist and you need to find
    a better one. seriously. otherwise you really are just
    throwing your money away. therapy can be difficult; but at the end of each session you should feel like you’re heading toward something real and good…and you should feel that your therapist really “gets” you. what you’re describing is ghastly (even though i see the humor in it etc)–say good bye to her pronto.

  74. Jen

    Another cryer here too. Gad, I hate that about me! As for therapists, my first ever therapist kept her eyes closed during the entire time I talked, then at the end of the session, as she was walking me out, she said she’d double booked my next session and did I mind changing it. I meekly said that would be fine, walked out and next thing I knew I almost stepped out in front of a large truck thundering towards me, not because I wanted to die but because I wanted to go to hospital to be TAKEN CARE OF. Thank goodness, I rationalised it and realised I would probably lose the fight with the big truck and it wouldn’t be a hospital bed but a box that I’d be in. But I digress – the woman made me feel totally insignificant, and I asked my GP to find me another one. He, on the other hand, was great and… a year later I found the courage to leave a very toxic marriage.
    Are you sure you need this therapist? We could definitely listen to your worries and tell you that you are great and doing a fine job as a mom and it wouldn’t cost a thing!

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