Safety in therapy

It looks like I probably won’t be seeing Bean at her house anymore. Well, one last time this coming week looks like, but after that at her official office. It’s probably better that way, but I can’t help but wonder why we couldn’t have worked it out at her home office.

See, Bean’s husband is always there. And he doesn’t hide away when clients are coming and going. He’s right there, smack dab in the middle of things. He apparently even answers the door and lets clients in when Bean hasn’t yet finished with the client before. Just this past session, as I was leaving, he came out of the kitchen and joined Bean and myself, who were standing there saying our goodbyes. I was feeling anxious, and I usually like petting one of her cats – the black and white one who reminds me of my cat – before I leave, especially if I’m feeling scared or anxious. It gives me an extra sense of security. But the husband coming out and joining us, and then mentioning something about the cat (something about how old she is), well that’s just not okay to me. I have enough of a hard time as it is just coming to therapy. Add this extra layer of unpredictability and I just about lose it. Of course I didn’t lose it; I kept my cool, and politely excused myself to leave. However, I was screaming inside.

I wrote her an email saying I just can’t be interacting with him, it’s not acceptable to me, and she wrote back saying yes maybe seeing each other at the other office would be better then. I can’t help but feeling a small bit of betrayal. Wouldn’t she be willing to work, even in the slightest bit, to help me to feel more comfortable at her home office? After all, her home office is only a 10-15 minute drive from my work, compared to a 45 min to an hour drive to her other office. It’s much more convenient for me to come see her at her home office instead.

It seems like there could be other solutions… Like, couldn’t she simply ask her husband to stay away, or to stay in another room during that one time every week that I come around? Couldn’t we figure out another arrangement if she’s in session with someone before I get there, other than her husband letting me in? I’m happy waiting outside in the enclosed garden area…? Does she not value our relationship enough that she’s not willing to make a few minor adjustments? Does the comfort of her husband outweigh my own comfort, despite the fact that she chose to have a home office? Has this never come up amongst her other clients? Are they happy with him being friendly? Greeting them? Starting conversations with them? I can’t imagine I’m the first, but maybe I’m largely mistaken. Maybe I am just overly sensitive and making a mountain out of a molehill. It is my molehill, however, and I will do with it as I chose. I just wish that I felt as though my comfort and safety were a priority to her. I guess only time will tell…

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1 Comment

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One response to “Safety in therapy

  1. I think your comfort and safety ARE priority to her, which is why she wants you to go to the regular office. She COULD make arrangements to fix the whole husband issue, but they wouldn’t be fool proof. As long as he is present, there is a risk you might see him, or that he may need to come out while you’re there, or that you might hear him. That would then jeopardize the trust between you and your T; I know if it were me, I would probably feel pretty angry if I made an agreement with my T about her husband NOT being there, and then it wasn’t being carried out, even if it was just a fluke or an accident. I know it’s inconvenient to drive but this does sound like the best option under the circumstances. I AM glad you have a choice in this matter, and that her home isn’t her only office. I don’t think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill, and you have a right to be upset about this. Unfortunately this is one of those “give a little, take a little” situations. 😕

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