Too Good To Be True?

I have felt so abandoned over the past 10 days. As soon as I left A's office, knowing it'd be the last time I'd see her for a while I felt panicked. I had already talked to another counselor in my area about transferring, and we had scheduled an initial appointment for that Thursday. I signed a waiver so that she and A could talk. Everything appeared to be in working order. She could treat me 2x a week, was close and was actually going to charge me less than A. Then all of a sudden she calls me and says she won't be able to fit me into her schedule after all. Cue panic.

Over the next 9 days, I researched almost 120 counselors in the area, and narrowed my search down to about 20. I either contacted them on the phone or through e-mail and they all were either not accepting new patients, could only see me once a week, or wanted to charge me $130/hr. I met with two counselors, one that was a former co-worker with A (and a nice 45 minute drive away) and another who worked out of her home (that was weird for me, and had I known this I wouldn't have scheduled the appointment!). A's friend was even more opposed to cutting than A. I really liked her style and personality but I'm not about to put myself in a similar situation where I'm forced into quitting, then thrown out by myself to figure out what to do next if I slip up.

I was starting to panic even more because I was running out of options. I swear I could have shut down the Google servers with all my searches, but in my searching I stumbled across a name that hadn't shown up in my previous searches. I looked over her trainings, and approaches and decided to e-mail her. She got back to me right away, saying she'd call me the next day during my break. She talked with me on the phone for about 20 minutes, telling me about herself and her approach to therapy. I really felt comfortable talking with her and her approach really seems like something I will benefit from. I told her a little bit about why I was looking for a new counselor and the debate/disagreements we had with the cutting. She was really supportive and understanding. She said she would never recommend that anyone intentionally hurts themselves, but when it is established at such a young age (I've been doing some form of SI since I was about 10) it's not something that you can just quit doing because someone wants you to. That right there put me at such ease. With someone fighting against me with it, it almost makes me want to do it more. She stays home with her kids during the day, then works in the late afternoon/evenings. She can see me as many as three times a week and on weekends. She said she likes checking in with her clients throughout the week via e-mail or phone to see how things are going. To her, her job is not just caring about someone for an hour, but helping them to put into practice what is talked about in that hour and following up on it. Wow. Seriously? Was I hearing this correctly?

So I'm thinking, surely there's a catch. She has to cost like $150/hr, right? But no, I lucked out again. She works on a sliding scale and is only going to cost me $15/hr more than working with A, still well under most fees for counseling. And the cherry on top? Her office is less than 2 miles from my house.

I am meeting her tomorrow for an intake session. I pray that she is as amazing in person that she is on paper (and on the phone).


Harriet said...
October 30, 2010 at 7:56 AM

Wow, you worked so hard to find someone, and it has paid off! Well, hopefully, but it sounds extremely promising. I will be sending positive thoughts your way today. Please let us know how it goes.

You deserve someone kind and understanding and patient. Just like you are.

Just Be Real said...
October 30, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Oh Lily I am glad for you here. She does sound like someone that will be firm but truly understands and cares about your well being. Will look forward to what you have to say later on when your sessions begin. Thank you for sharing dear one. Blessings.

Stacy said...
October 30, 2010 at 4:52 PM

I'm new to following your blog, and new to starting my own.
I can really sympathize with your situation about looking for a stable therapist. I've been in the same boat many times and felt very abondon and alone without the support of that person in my life.
I too struggle with the long term effect of sexual abuse. There are the obvious common issue between that initial loss of trust and our current inablity to trust others aren't there?
I look forward to following your blog and seeing how you're progressing in a path so similar to my own.

sarah said...
October 30, 2010 at 8:49 PM

Hey Lily...praying for you..praying it works out and she is the one.....

Paula said...
October 31, 2010 at 1:39 PM

WOW. I am truly impressed. You worked hard to find a different therapist. It shows how determinate you are to push through. Wish I could truly hug and hold you. Lily, I am so proud. And yes, good things happen to.

Anonymous said...
October 31, 2010 at 2:13 PM

I'm reading your post after you would have met her for the intake but I sure hope it went well!