Therapy with Steve, the man who changed my life
I started seeing my therapist, Steve Hauptman, in Sept 2015. He is based in New York, and since I’m based in Asia, we had our sessions via Skype.
The reasons I wanted to start therapy at that time:
- To address my longstanding tedious and rocky relationship with my mother. I intended to sort things out before my wedding, so that when I gave my speech and thanked her, it would be genuine and from the heart. Unfortunately, it was too close to the wedding, so not much work could be done to really help the situation prior. But since then, a lot of work has been done regarding my relationship with her.
- I’ve had intimacy issues with my husb for around two years at that time, before marriage. I did not really get to work on this much. Though I did have a glimpse of the possible causes of this, through my sessions with Steve. Aspects of this involved previous date rape and issues with authority (since my husb became my boss).
I attended group therapy with two older ladies (from the UK and Canada) for the rest of my time with Steve. Group therapy had its benefits, though there were a few times I felt I did not have enough air time (I can talk a lot), since the time was divided equally among all of us.
I would credit him as the man who changed my life. I am not kidding or exaggerating when I say this.
He taught me emotional literacy, and everything I needed to know that I should’ve known since childhood (I should do a blog post on this). I was like an infant, learning about the world as it should be. And through him, “given” sisters (group therapy mates) to help with corrective behaviours, like learning to trust people and form healthy relationships (see chapter 63 “Tribe” in his book Monkeytraps: Why Everybody Tries to Control Everything and How We Can Stop).
My life turned for the better. Things made more sense to me. I felt emotional validation and relief. And that was the beginning of something beautiful.
Why I stopped therapy
Reason was simple. Due to financial reasons, I stopped therapy altogether early June 2016.
It was a really tough decision. But I finally bit the bullet, and raised up my concerns with Steve. Having financial difficulty is one of my areas of shame, so it was not easy to bring up.
I negotiated my participation with the group to twice a month, but he said a weekly commitment is required.
So I did not have much of a choice, and had to stop my sessions.
One of my group therapy mates A wanted to keep in touch after I stopped attending sessions. So we have been emailing, and most recently, got in touch via WhatsApp. Ahh, technology!
I do miss seeing my “sisters” via pixels on a screen. But there was no other way.
Feeling like a fraud
It was during my time with Steve that I started this blog to document my journey (and also to create a potential income stream). He is the one to thank for the birth of this blog. (He too blogs, at Monkeytraps.)
So when I stopped seeing him, I felt like a fraud when I continued this blog and my other social media accounts. Because I was not in therapy anymore.
“Girl in therapy” was not in therapy anymore!
Then I realised that anything can therapeutic; “therapy” is not limited to psychotherapy alone.
I’m actually on the road to recovery, and therapy is part of the many aspects of this journey.
Also, if I knew the word “recovery” before I decided on my moniker, I would have likely named myself “Girl in Recovery” (I mentioned this here — see “Recovery”), because that’s more timeless. ?
Starting therapy again
Unfortunately, ADHD is not an area of Steve’s expertise.
So I’ve just started therapy with a therapist based where I am, recommended by my 14-Day sponsor, S. He is well-versed in ADHD issues, and that’s why I chose him. No more Skype-ing, whaddya know!
I had a huge fight with my husband about my inability to work and create an income to help with the household’s finances (this has been an ongoing issue). I wanted to get diagnosed once and for all, so that I can get the treatment I need to become a productive, functional human being in the day-to-day. He eventually agreed to pay for my sessions.
I will write about my first therapy session in another post.
He is actually the 6th mental health professional I’ve sought help from. I saw my first counselor when I was 14 years old. I should probably do a timeline, which may be helpful to some.
Are you in therapy? How is it going? I’d love to hear from you.
Chime in in the comments box below, or get in touch in any way you prefer, I’m on these available channels -> Girl in Therapy on the web.