I've been working with a therapist for almost four years now, and we are drawing this season to a close.
I started working with Darlene after I walked into our school counselor's office without an appointment, closed her door, and started crying, almost exactly four years ago. She gave me a referral to this practice, and then the practice paired me up with Darlene.
Darlene has been unlike any therapist I've ever known. She's completely the opposite of a blank slate. Her office is cluttered, I know all kinds of things about her life, and she speaks her opinions quite openly. She gives me a huge hug every time I leave her office, and she always calls me "my dear."
She has been hugely helpful to me. We've worked through some issues from the past that I just couldn't deal with at the time, and then she's helped me through various crises of the last few years.
However, in recent months I have mostly felt that I have my head on straight and my emotions in a good place. I've sometimes strained to think of something to talk about during therapy sessions.
And then, after spring break, FGS had a professional development day for the faculty and staff that featured a psychologist of some local renown. She was super fabulous in all sorts of ways -- not always the case on our professional development days -- but I found most valuable one of the things she said simply as an aside: "One of the jobs of therapy is for you to internalize your therapist's voice." And since then, I've been realizing all of the ways in which I've done exactly that. I pretty much know exactly what counsel Darlene would give me in any given circumstance, and I've come such a long way in taking that counsel.
So this spring, we've talked about wrapping up this season of working together. We met last Wednesday for the first time in a month, and we'll meet again in mid-June after school ends. And that may be the last time we meet.
I'm a huge believer in talk therapy, obviously, but I don't think I need to be in constant therapy, unlike some people who have very real reasons for an ongoing, perhaps life-long, therapeutic relationship. I'm sure there will come a time when I once again feel the need for therapy, and then there will be someone else's voice for me to internalize, but for now it feels like we've done good work and it's time to rest.