You Get Some Anxiety, You Get Some Anxiety, Everybody Gets Some Anxiety!

, , , | Healthy | August 26, 2019

(I go to a therapist for anxiety. For complicated reasons, I’m afraid of asking for an OCD and social anxiety diagnosis, so my partner comes with me.)

Therapist: “Okay, you are aware that I am not a couples therapist?”

Me: *nods*

Therapist: “And that [Partner] is not covered under your insurance?”

Partner: “That’s not why I’m here.”

Therapist: “Okay, well, let me just explain what we’ve been doing here.”

(She says her job description, and then talks about my anxiety. To my horror, she starts spilling every secret I ever told her, including unfair, heat-of-the-moment venting about my partner, without explaining the part after, where I acknowledged my unfairness. I start having a silent panic attack. Eventually, she stops talking.)

Partner: *without any hint of annoyance or anything negative* “I’m just here to help [My Name] ask for a referral to a psychiatrist.”

Therapist: “Sure! I can do that right away for you!”

(We leave. I am too terrified to speak. When we enter the car, my partner sighs angrily.)

Partner: “B****!”

Me: *jumps*

Partner: “Sorry, not you. Don’t worry; I tuned her out once I realized where she was going.” *pauses* “When we get your psychiatrist, do we have to go back to her?”

Me: *shakes my head no*

Partner: “Good. I can’t believe she did that. Do you want a hug?”

(We did hug and talk about the anxiety. My partner also has anxiety, and I’ve been trying to convince her to see a therapist. This… did not help.)

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Unfiltered Story #155113

, , | Unfiltered | June 20, 2019

(Because we’re listed as a resource for various companies in the area, we get a lot of people assuming that we’re actually PART of their company. That leads to a lot of calls like this:)

Me: *answering the phone* Good morning/afternoon, [Counseling office], this is [my name]. How may I help you?

Caller: Yeah, hi. I need help with [company/HR related thing, usually regarding medical leave, time off, or disability], and *launches into long spiel about what’s going on*.

Me: *finally managing to cut in* I’m sorry, but we’re not part of your company. We can provide you with counseling, but your issue sounds like something you’ll need to bring up with your human resources department.

Caller: Oh. Well, can you transfer me to them?

Me: No, I’m sorry. We’re not part of your company, so I have no way of doing that.

Caller: Give me their number, then.

Me: I’m afraid I don’t have the number. We are in no way associated with your employer.

(But the most amusing was the out of town call I got a few days ago…I don’t even know where this guy got our number.)

Me: Good evening, [Counseling office], this is–

Caller: I need help.

Me: Certainly, sir. What is it you need help with?

Caller: Well, you know our log in? I can’t get in and I need help resetting my password.

Me: I…uh, sir, we’re a counseling office.

Caller: I work for [out of state company].

Me: We’re a counseling office. In Kansas. I can’t reset your password for you.

Caller: Oh. Who would I talk to about that?

Me: I would suggest your IT department.

Caller: Okay, thanks! I’ll wait while you transfer me.

Me: I…can’t do that. We’re not part of your employer.

Caller: Then I’ll just call them. What’s their number?

Me: I don’t know, sir. We don’t work for your employer; perhaps you can check with a supervisor or co-worker?

Caller: I guess so. *hangs up*

Unable To Identify The Issue Is Not About Identity

, , , | Healthy | May 22, 2019

(I am at a therapist’s office for my first appointment with her. She is not my first therapist, so I have a fairly good idea of what to look for. My name has a very common nickname — I’ll pretend it’s Katelyn and Kate — and people will often start using the nickname without thinking. I am called back to meet with her.)

Therapist: “So, Katelyn, do you prefer Katelyn or Kate?”

Me: “I don’t care; either is fine.”

Therapist: “But which one do you prefer?”

Me: “I mean, when I’m in a situation where there’s someone whose actual name is Kate, I prefer to use Katelyn so people don’t get confused. But other than that, I really don’t care.”

Therapist: “Your name is an important part of your self-identity. I want to respect that. Which name do you want me to use?”

Me: *quite frustrated by now* “I don’t care! Either one is fine! You can call me Kate, you can call me Katelyn, or you can switch back and forth; it doesn’t matter!

(She still didn’t get it. Somehow I made it through the rest of the appointment, but I never went back there. As a therapist, listening is a hugely important part of your job. If you won’t listen to me about something as simple as my name, I’m not going to trust you to listen to me at all.)

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“The Adventures Of Harold, Benjy, And Carmen” Sounds Awesome

, , , , , , | Healthy | August 13, 2018

(I’m in a short-term rehab center, recovering from surgery. A speech therapist comes in with a form in her hands.)

Therapist: “Good morning! I’ll just take a couple of minutes here to see how your speech and language skills are, all right?”

Me: “I suppose.”

(I teach special needs, and immediately recognize the form; it’s the mental acuity screener. BAH!)

Therapist: “Can you tell me where you are?”

(This goes on for awhile, and I’m getting irritated.)

Therapist: “Now, would you name these three animals?”

(She shows me sketch of a lion, an elephant, and a hippo.)

Me: “How about Harold, Benjy, and Carmen?”

Therapist: *silent*

Me: “Well, the task as phrased was to name the animals. If it were stated correctly, you would have asked me to identify the animals, and I would have told you they were a lion, elephant, and hippo.”

Therapist: *silent, but grinning*

Me: “And the number they told me to remember when I had this identical screening in the hospital was 74.”

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Would Be Crazy For A Therapist To Say That

, , , , | Right | January 16, 2018

(I’m a patient, wrapping up a session with my therapist. The appointment cards have crisis numbers on the back in case you need help between appointments.)

Therapist: “Here’s your appointment card, and as usual, our crisis stuff is on the back.”

Me: “…”

Therapist: “Er… Well, even if you don’t need it, it’s good to have in your workplace just in case someone needs help in a crisis.”

Me: “Oh, ‘CRISIS’! I thought you said ‘crazy stuff’!”

Therapist: “Oh, my God, no!”

Me: “Yeah, I was like, ‘Well, that’s a little insensitive.'”

Therapist: “Oh, my goodness, nooooo.”

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