Tag Archives: therapists

When You Die

Therapist: “I know you’re overwhelmed and it’s a lot of change. But having a kid is the absolute best lesson in learning how to let go of control. You’ve had many opportunities for this lesson in the past, and it’s always been scary at first but beneficial in the end.”

Me: “Right. Well, I guess with those lessons, there was always kind of an end point. I feel like this time there is no end. Like the second I become ok and comfortable with something, she’s going to change.”

Therapist: “Correct. The lesson is ongoing. It ends when you die.”

Me: url.jpg

Therapist: url.jpg

Me: img_7086-2

Therapist: “K so here’s your August invoice! See you next week!”

 

Oh I See What You Did There

Parent of student: “Why isn’t her math improving more?!”

Me (aloud): “Progress takes time.”

Me (internally): “Little do you know, ‘Progress takes time’ is just my vague, polite, professional code for GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK, LADY– I see your kid one hour a week. If she doesn’t put in the effort between sessions, well…I’M NOT A GODDAMN WIZARD.”


Me: “Why aren’t I improving more?!”

Therapist: “Progress takes time.”

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Afraid

Teaching kid a new math skill…

Kid: “Can you show me one more time? I’m not ready to try.”
Me: “I showed you several times– at this point you will learn best by doing it yourself. Just give it a try!”
Kid: “But sometimes I get afraid to try.”
Me: “There is nothing to be afraid of. Trying is how you learn, and if it doesn’t go the way you want it to, that just gives you good information for how to try again. Learning and success is a process, kiddo!”
Kid: “So you mean if I get it wrong, just learn from it?”
Me: “Yes! You got it!”
Kid: “When you say it like that, it doesn’t sound so scary.”
Me: “Exactly. It really is THAT easy. Just try! I promise you, you have nothing to lose!”

(2 hours later)

Therapist: “So have you taken any steps to pursue a writing career?”
Me: “No. I’m too afraid to try.”

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Literally The One Thing

Therapist: “I’m starting to notice this about you– you tend to start things from a place of assumed failure. You approach new things, even new conversations, or small tasks, as something you’re going to screw up. And immediately starting from this assumption puts you in a space of feeling defensive, like you constantly have to prove yourself. And that’s why it’s so hard for you to get started with things. And, quite frankly, why you’re so exhausted.”

Me: <stunned silence>

Therapist: “Big ‘Aha!’ moment for you?”

Me: “It took you 7 years to notice this about me?!”

It’s literally the one thing I was born knowing about myself

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Donna Chang 

Me: “With everything going on in our country right now, I’m honestly just so horrified and saddened as a human in general– but as a Jew in particular, as I know you can relate–”

Therapist: “Oh I’m actually not Jewish.”

Me: “You’re NOT?! But your last name–”

Therapist: “I know. A common Jewish last name. People often assume I am Jewish.”

Me: “But I feel like I’ve had all these insider only-jews-would-get-this kind of exchanges with you.”

Therapist: “Hmm. I didn’t interpret them that way.”

Me: (silence)

Therapist: “What are you thinking?”

Me: “Oh, oh nothing. This obviously doesn’t change anything.”

I just have to re-think every piece of advice you’ve ever given me.

donna chang

 

Productive Therapy Session

Me: “It really frustrates me when the kids I tutor just blatantly don’t do the homework and then lie about it. I mean, come on. I know you’re, like, 8, but don’t insult me. I can see your lack of progress, kid! I don’t even actually care if you did it or not– just, like, don’t LIE to me!”

Therapist: “That is frustrating. But yes, like you said– they are 8.”

Me: “I know, I know. I don’t know why it annoys me so much. But it does.”

(later in the session)

Therapist: “So last time we talked about your anxiety and the importance of meditating to help relieve it. Have you been meditating more?”

Me: “Yes, every day.”

Not once.

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When She Says It It Sounds So Rational

“Let’s focus more on what makes sense for you, in your life, right now, and less on what makes sense for Kim Kardashian. In fact, as a broader goal, maybe we don’t make the Kardashians a factor in any decisions, big or small, ever.”

— Therapist, after I explained the reason for my current “Should I be freezing my eggs?!” anxiety-spiral.

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A $300 Analysis

Me: “So I think I figured out why I can’t stomach seafood, even though I really want to like it. I try so hard to find seafood I can eat, but I’m just so averse to it. Then this memory came back to me out of nowhere the other day, but it makes so much sense. When I was younger I went on vacation with my family. We left our goldfish at home, unattended, because…well, it was a goldfish, so whatever. When we came back, I was the first one to walk into the kitchen and see, there on the counter, right where we’d snack every day after school, the goldfish– on its side, dried up, shriveled, sad black eye staring at the ceiling. He had probably jumped out of his bowl on day 1, either with a grand plan for freedom or a suicidal death wish, and been crusting over there on the countertop for a week. He was so plastered to the marble that we needed a metal spatula to pry him off. At which point my dad turned to us and said, ‘Fish for dinner!’ Which of course, in hindsight, is hilarious, but at the time I’m pretty sure I was horrified. But anyway, don’t you think that makes so much sense as to why I can’t eat seafood?”

Therapist: “Well do you like the taste of seafood?”

Me: “No.”

Therapist: “So it’s probably just that. You don’t like how it tastes.”

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