Last Tuesday, my writing partner, Ron, and I were working effectively on our film story — and I was staying at his place — so I cancelled my therapy appointment for that day. It was the first time I had ever cancelled. I called Brenda on the phone and left a message on her machine, apologizing.
After I hung up the phone, I remembered a discussion that I had with Brenda a few months ago. She was explaining that sometimes, a client loses interest in therapy. The client starts cancelling. This happens just as the client is learning important information about himself, and his defense mechanisms want to block his growth. I called Brenda again to assure her that I was just busy, and that there weren’t any “hidden meanings” to my cancelling therapy.
A few moments later, I remembered my first “informational” session with Brenda. She told me that unless I canceled 24 hours before the session, I still had to pay. I immediately sent her an email, acknowledging that I understood that I was still paying for the session, even though I wasn’t showing up. I suggested that since I am paying for the session anyway, she could use “my time” to browse through my blog, picking up some insights on my personality.
I tried to go back to work with Ron, but I was distracted. While I talked about my blog with Brenda during previous sessions, I’m not sure Brenda actually read the posts I wrote about HER. I wrote these posts before I began to take therapy seriously, so the writing is jokey and silly, including the one where I fantasize about making love to my therapist in her comfortable leather “therapy” chair.
I sent another email to Brenda, reminding her that many of the posts mix fantasy and reality, and that she shouldn’t psychoanalyze every single post as “meaning” anything. I was tempted to ask if she was wearing one those colorful sleeveless knit jersey wrap dresses that she looks so nice in while she sits on her chair with her legs crossed, but then I decided not to, worrying that she would just “analyze” that as well.
All this back and forth with Brenda ended up taking more time and energy than if I had just driven to her office for a therapy session. And all that angst set me back weeks in my growth as a self-actualized man.
From now on — no more missed therapy sessions. It is way too traumatic.
A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Nominee of 2007 Nobel Peace Prize