Psychotherapy; The Prescription and Importance
My practice as a psychotherapist is not sterile. I know what it’s like to sit on the other end of the couch, and when appropriate, share my life experiences to encourage clients.
My blogs will more than likely consist of instances – one of which I’m sharing today – that God used to guide me in my life; one of many that led me to become a licensed therapist.
Our son Zachary was about eleven years old and greatly affected by perseverating behaviors caused by autism. Opening & closing doors, opening & closing & opening & closing. Taking off his shirt, refusing to wear a shirt, demanding the shirts of classmates, teachers, strangers in the mall, his father’s firefighter uniform, shirts from people sitting in front of us at church, shirts he saw on television. On and off.
Bridled with guilt from running him through various cocktails of anti-seizure medications and their sometimes detrimental impact, I chose to make an appointment with yet another specialist to discuss treatment for the opening and closing and shirts.
Arriving late, I dumped myself into a chair while Zach pulled away and stood directly in front of the doctor, laser-focused on the doctor’s lab coat. I explained the issues to the gentleman who listened attentively with what I thought was exasperation at our tardiness. After his consult, he recommended a medication and explained the possible benefits and risks blah, blah, blah. While handing me the prescription he calmly informed me that he was writing a prescription for me, as well.
Taken off guard I became embarrassingly self-conscious of how disheveled I must have presented; both literally and figuratively. But however unorthodox, possibly unethical this transaction was going down, I certainly wasn’t going to reject whatever the man was offering.
He scribbled quickly, tore the script off the pad and instructed me that this was a daily dosage. Akin to riding on freakish Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in Disneyland (for those of you who go back that far) the previous off-guardedness soon made an abrupt jerk into stunned. It took a few moments for my head to register what he prescribed:
“Tell yourself you deserve happiness”.
That’s what he wrote.
“I want you to repeat this to yourself in the mirror every day”.
I looked at him as if he grew horns and began to laugh. I laughed and then I cried.
He saw that I had lost myself; that I had become invisible to my own worth. He saw a woman who was desperate for peace. For the guilt to be gone. For her son to be whole.
I became a therapist for this very reason. There are billions of things of which we have no control, but we can change ourselves. We can ask for help. We can choose to walk in faith. We can choose to use our experiences as tools rather than tortures.
You are not alone. You are not invisible. You deserve happiness.
No prescription needed.
The blog post was written by Kelly Morris, MAPC LPC