I started therapy in June 2013. When therapy first started I had a clear agenda in mind, a clear goal that I wanted to achieve through therapy. The Goal was largely to discover myself and build my skills towards being a face to face therapist myself.
Every session, my therapist started by asking me “how would you like to use the time today?” I almost always had an answer to that question, sometimes a clearer answer than others but I always answered the question with something. I had things figured out, I had control in areas of my life and knew of other areas where control didn’t exist. Where I didn’t have control I basically worked to gain control. My therapist continuously challenged the notion of control and highlighted how important it is to me. Reflecting back, my answers were in many ways to drive the session in a direction that gives me access to certain skills and information, as well as self-awareness, to control certain outcomes, and gain control over a given plan.
It was somewhat indirectly but it is ultimately through therapy that I eventually got to SLAA. Check out my “I am a sex and Love Addict” blog post for background.
When I came to SLAA just over six weeks ago I was wondering about the role of therapy in my new found addiction. During the first couple of weeks I got connected to SLA who later became my sponsor. This gentleman always started his phone calls with me by asking “how can I be of help?” and I never know how to answer that question. I am unaware of how to move forward, I don’t know what steps to take and what help to ask for. It was interesting the discrepancy between how I answered my therapist’s question and how I answered (or struggled to answer) my sponsor’s question.
I had one therapy session shortly after I came to SLAA. In that session my therapist asked me “how can I assist you in this journey?” and this time I bounced the question back to her. I shared that I don’t know, and asked “how do you think you could assist me?” She suggested something and we agreed that we will meet a couple of weeks later to attempt that approach. That was three weeks ago. Today was the scheduled session. Half way through the session it became somewhat clear to me that it is time to put therapy on hold. It looks like my therapist saw it too. She asked me, “do you still see therapy to be relevant or would you like to put that on hold?” and I found myself saying that I would like to put it on hold. We managed to spend a few minutes getting closure. I gave her feedback on how our yearlong therapy relationship went. I thanked her for the space she allowed me, for the resources she shared, the transparency she offered in her approach to therapy. She also was able to share words of encouragement and thank me for the feedback and the closure.
This therapy relationship was a wonderful one, it was not something I wanted to end, and I only felt safe to do so because I have my Higher Power, I have my sponsor and I have the SLAA Fellowship.