Tag Archives: therapy

Reaching

Therapist: “So it seems like all those travel anxieties you had leading up to your Africa trip were, as usual, in vain, because none of them happened.”

Me: “Ummm….were you listening? I got a violent stomach bug,  vomited across two separate countries/airports/airplanes, spent the whole last leg of the trip exhausted and achy– and I in fact STILL don’t feel like myself.”

Therapist: “Right but your fear is always that you’ll feel sick for no real reason. This was an actual REASON.”

Oh you are really fucking reaching today lady.

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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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But I Pay You to Be an Infallible Robot

Me: “I did what you suggested, but I think it made me feel worse.”
Therapist: “Ok, well. That is information.”
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Therapist: “I apologize if it made you feel worse. Sometimes my advice is wrong.”
Me: “What?”
Therapist: “I make mistakes.”
Me: “WHAT?!”
Therapist: “I am only human.”
Me: “YOU ARE?!”

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

 

The Patient/Therapist Relationship

I have been seeing my therapist every week for 7 years. She knows every single detail of my life, every single person who’s ever played a role in it, and every single innermost thought I’ve ever had.

Me: “I obviously want to have kids, and I know we should get on that soon, but I honestly can’t stomach the idea of bringing a human into a Trump-led America. Is that crazy?”

Therapist: “No, that’s not crazy. I felt the same way bringing kids into the world right after 9/11, but it’s important to–”

Me: “YOU HAVE KIDS??!?!?!”

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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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