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The Therapist Is a Tool

March 7, 2012

Honey Badger’s therapist comes highly recommended. Honey Badger has been doing better since he started going to therapy. I am grateful, honestly, that we have access to this resource. (This out-of-network resource, and while there is nothing I would rather spend my money on than happy, healthy kids, ouch. Like, kid, could you at least use the full 50 minutes every time? The marginal lowering of the cost per minute would make your mother feel marginally better.)

But.

He speaks in a distinctly calm, soothing voice. I could really do without the soothing voice. Maybe his clients need it; I imagine he deals with a lot of agitated kids and their agitated parents. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that the agitated parents maybe speak in a voice that is not so soothing, and so the very soothing voice is a much-needed reminder that things will be different in therapy, and also a way of helping agitated kids calm down, even if their parents don’t lose their shit. (Some of them don’t, right? That’s an achievable goal, isn’t it?)

But.

When he busts out the soothing voice while talking to me, I hate it. I don’t need to be soothed, at least by him. Arranging for therapy was in some ways something I welcomed: Look, there’s a problem, and I am doing what I can to solve it. Look at me, competently bringing in the expert. (You know, the stranger who is going to reach my kid in a way I have utterly failed to do. I feel fine about that!) And to the extent it wasn’t something I welcomed, it was at least something I was resigned to.

The soothing voice makes me feel as though he thinks I should be someone who needs soothing. I should be wound in knots over how profoundly I have screwed up, probably because I am crazy, and he needs to be very very calm in dealing with me. Stop looking at me like that. You think I’m paranoid, don’t you?

I wish I could beam into his head a recognition of my chosen belief that needing a therapist is fine. I AM FINE WITH THIS. “I don’t need soothing. I didn’t have the tools to deal with my kid. I needed a tool, and you are that tool.”

I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t help, though.

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