Moving back home to California has been fairly stressful. It was suggested that I might want to find a therapist for emotional support, but trying to find one hasn't been as straightforward as I thought it would be.
The ritual seems to be as follows:
Potential client researches potential therapists on the internet. Potential client calls phone number of potential therapist and leaves message asking if they are accepting new clients. Potential therapist rings back within 48 hours.
The first person I contacted phoned me back at 9 o'clock at night on Sunday evening and left a very long-winded message. I didn't call her again.
The second person rang me back and left a message saying she was taking new clients. I returned her call and left another message asking if we could schedule an appointment. I also wanted to verify the address of her office displayed on her website. A website, I should add, that included this salient piece of information regarding her office and its environs: 'from the window one has gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Crissy Field'. I never heard from her.
The third person called me back and we made arrangements to meet. That initial session was a 'see if we gel' appointment. Fair enough, I thought. What I hadn't thought to do was ask about fees and ask whether she accepted insurance prior to our session. The answer came at the end of our 50 minutes in cutting her a check for one-hundred and sixty dollars. None of which will be reimbursed by Blue Cross.
I had an appointment with another person who, after I began sharing personal information, asked me if I'm always 'manic'. I had previously explained that I had been an ESL instructor and had also worked for a number of years as a bartender. Both of these jobs (in the US, at least) require a good deal of animation when speaking. I tend to gesture a lot when I speak. Friends tell me that I can't hide my feelings as my facial expressions always give me away. The therapist was labeling all this as 'manic'. In addition to being 'manic', I must have also appeared much older than my 44 years. I had shared with her the volunteer jobs I'd had while abroad when she told me that if I'd been born ten years earlier, I would have been a hippie. I said, 'Oh, can people born in 1960 be considered hippies?' Her foot went further into her mouth with this: 'Well, I was born in '57 and my older sister was...' I tuned her out after that. How is that relevant to me, someone whose mother came of age during the Summer of Love?
I'm feeling slightly dejected by the whole process, would really rather give up, but won't. However, I might need help in finding help. Ugh.