So, How Does Therapy Make You Feel?

Before we get started here, I'd like to say: Date your therapists. No, not like that. I mean, treat finding a therapist like dating. For therapy to work, you are going to need to find someone you trust and who you can connect with. This means there will probably be a lot of different psychologists or counselors you contact or talk with before you find someone who will truly help. Here's my personal experience in finding a therapist. Maybe it will help you set out on the path to finding yours. 

Asking for Help

I walked up the stairs to Rowan’s Wellness Center and, before even reaching the door, promptly walked back down the stairs and crossed the street. I’d try again later.

Asking for Help (The Sequel)

“Hi, Wellness Center! How can I help you?”

Despite some stuttering, I was able to call for counselor. I gave some brief descriptions about what was bothering me and received an appointment date. Unfortunately, I had to wait a couple weeks, but at least I had a start.

Appointment with Counselor

I followed the counselor to her office which was calmly lit with lots of fluffy pillows. I sat on the plush chair in the corner and tried to resist playing “Hot Crossed Buns” on one of the many recorders on the table next to me. Why were there so many recorders?

Previous to this, I took a quiz in the waiting room about how I was feeling and my attitudes towards certain things. Throughout the appointment, I was asked a lot of general questions about why I was there and how I was feeling. I was in a morbidly jokey mood, but my counselor didn’t seem to appreciate it.

After about an hour or so of talking, my counselor suggested that I attend a group session. I was hesitant, but was willing to give it a try — at least it would be something.

Group Sessions

Although the counselors coordinating the group were extremely nice, I had a gut feeling that I was not ready for group therapy. The session was good; however, a lot of the topics did not seem to apply to me.

I gave group a second try. This time, I decided to talk more about how I was feeling and be more open to the group working for me. I discovered the group did not align with what I was experiencing. I decided to find something else that would work better for me.

Asking for Help (The Saga Continues)

I called the Wellness Center again and explained how group therapy did not work for me and I needed some one-on-one sessions. Unfortunately, there was such a high amount of individuals who needed counseling that there was a waiting list. I was told, while I would be put on the waiting list, that it would be unlikely if I would get an appointment in this semester and possibly not until the end of the year. The woman emailed me with a list of counseling practices nearby.

To be honest, I was disappointed and frustrated. I started going through the recommended practices nearby, but they all seemed too cheesy. (I mean, who wants to talk about the disturbing thoughts in your head at a place called “The Peace and Tranquility Center” or “A Better Place.” Come up with better names, people.) I eventually found a practice that was to the point in their desire to help. Worked for me. I submitted an online appointment request and got a call back the next day.

Appointment with Psychologist

Initially, I was nervous. The therapist I was seeing was a man, and although he is the head of the practice, I was unsure if he would be able to relate to me as a college-aged woman. I expected I would need to keep looking for someone after this appointment; however, we seemed to click. Honestly, I was shocked — happy, but shocked. When I made my morbid jokes, he laughed and joked back. I was comfortable talking to him and he asked me what I wanted from this experience. Best of all, he made a plan for us! He brought up multiple options in relation to therapy, as well as how we would talk and work on coping strategies. I obviously wasn't better from one session, but I was definitely hopeful for the progress I would be making.