For the past 4 months, I’ve been juggling meetings with two therapists. When I came across the second therapist, I thought about no longer seeing the first one for financial reasons. I’ve had, let’s call her Francine, for nearly two years, meeting initially my first week back in the US in March 2021, after over 4 years of living abroad, covid in China, culminating the long-distance chapter of my romantic relationship, and emerging back into my old life with not so old ways. It was a very distinct and tumultuous chapter that in itself needed Francine’s guidance in all its glory. The only downside was, I was financing it on my own as I didn’t have insurance, and also I found her in an unconventional way so my insurance wouldn’t even be a way to pay. And as a person with no job, graduate tuition piling up, and uncertainty leading the way, I was forced to reshuffle my planned budget for this year’s student-ployed lifestyle. A friend actually recommended her to me, or more so I desperately asked for her details after learning about his meetings with her.
Since our initial meeting, she’s guided me through moments of culture shock, relearning how to live at home again after so much time away, managing the anger and self-doubt-filled moments as I took time off work to focus on my postgraduate studies and so much more. She truly has seen the positive transition of a short-fused, anxiety-driven woman in a fast-paced Los Angeles community.
Over a year later, I met, let’s call her Greta, through therapy services offered by my job. Free therapy! You know I hopped on that train the moment I discovered the service. I haven’t let go of her since. What I didn’t plan were the distinct roles each therapist would surely have in my journey. I’m sure I won’t need both forever, but right now they are serving me well.
Francine, since she has seen my development and progress for nearly two years now, understands the role my life is taking and unpacking in the grand scheme of things. Work-life balance, relationships with family, relationships with myself, with romantic relationships. It has been warming having a professional be a part of that growth, and I see it too, the influence she’s had in guiding me to be a better person, and to better understand myself in the situations that surround me. I’m learning how to have boundaries of my own, how to avoid spreading myself thin, how to not feel guilty for being stubborn or loud-toned, and how to speak my mind instead of brushing them under the rug until the pile is so big it explodes in my face. Taking things one step at a time and addressing my needs early on.
Greta came into my life when I was trying to force situations that clearly weren’t working. When I couldn’t, for the life of me, let go of bad situations or people who were consistently hurting me, Greta helped reframe situations so that they were digestible, in order to slowly and surely gain back my peace, my mind, and my sanity. I had avoided doing this for years by this point, and the self-prescribed damage that I allowed myself was charging its fee on my mental health.
I understand it’s not ideal to be assigned two therapists, and I admit that some of it does have to do with my attachment issues and inability to let go of what doesn’t serve me, but in my defense-this serves me. But I’m getting there, okay? I’m getting there, through therapy. Therapy is cool.
So yes, I have two therapists and yes I love and need them both. For now. That’s the point of therapy right? To need them until you need them less? I’ll be getting there soon enough, but for now, I’m keeping them right where they are: on the other side of the phone call.