This morning I met Elaine, the therapist who provides EMDR. As I was driving to her office, I started thinking: maybe I can break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most therapists.
I am probably a good candidate for “most therapists at one time.” After all, I still have E, my long-time therapist, and Marie, the sex therapist. And there is C as well. I see her for cranio-sacral therapy, but she is also a licensed clinical therapist and knows what I am working on. Now if I add in Elaine, I’m up to four at one time, which you have to admit is pretty impressive.
Or maybe I should go for the lifetime award. I’m not sure if I win there, because I was an adult the first time I went to therapy, whereas some people got a head start by going as children (sigh, so unfair). But still, I’m not doing badly. There’s Hannah, whom I saw for about 18 months until I moved. Oh, and in that same time period, Miguel and I went to one session of marriage counseling with another therapist. But afterwards Miguel exploded in rage and claimed that the therapist was very biased and only cared about my side of things. That was the end of that experiment.
After I left Miguel and moved a couple of hours away, I saw Francie for six months. She was dreadful and, luckily for me, she moved away. I couldn’t stand her, but I was too needy and too scared to have dumped her myself.
After a pause, I worked with Marlena for maybe a year and a half. Then I moved again and didn’t start therapy right away, but when I did, I found another unhelpful one–chaotic and self-contradictory, she just made me feel worse. After that, I found E and saw her for maybe a year or two, until I ran out of insurance benefits and had to quit.
In 2010, I went back to E, and I’ve stayed with her now for the past nine years, because even though we haven’t always seen the attachment stuff in the same way, she is not an idiot. That’s such a ridiculous understatement I have to laugh as I type it. E is compassionate and creative and smart and caring, and it’s hard to imagine where I’d be in my life without her.
Maybe five years ago, when my elder son was in crisis and dragging the rest of us along with him, we briefly tried family therapy (my husband, my younger son and I) but the therapist clearly had zero idea how to help. She seemed bewildered and had literally nothing to say except, “How do you feel about that?” I’m shocked I could get my family to go back for a second appointment, but it wasn’t any better, so there was no third appointment.
Then add in C and Marie and Elaine, and we are up to a total of ten.
Confident that a lifetime total of ten therapists should put me in competitive range, I checked the Guinness website and searched the term “therapy.” I found the first use of bee venom therapy, most lepers cured, world’s oldest rabbit and largest collection of clowns (all of these under “therapy”!) but alas, nothing about most therapists seen.
I realized that it’s not easy accumulating a record like ten different therapists. So what the hell, I hereby award myself a medal for therapeutic persistence. I deserve it.
Later I’ll tell you what I thought about the session with Elaine. But first I have to crawl under the covers and
hide rest for a little while.