Therapy Anxiety and the Giant Ukulele

Yesterday, I had my first art therapy appointment with T.W.. My homework prior to the appointment was to make a timeline of all of the emotionally significant events in my life so that she’d have some framework around which to develop my treatment plan and diagnosis. I also had to purchase a sketchbook and oil pastels.

Unlike my Psychologist, Dr. B. I have an actual “in writing” treatment plan that focuses on loss, depression, coping with pain and family communication, etc. I’m excited about that. I enjoy plans. I like knowing what to expect, rather than just walking in, sitting down, and telling Dr. B. about my week… which hasn’t really addressed mourning my mother… etc. T.W. then had me draw something that I considered safe and happy, and then we discussed a time when I was faced with a trauma and loss and I had to draw that too. We kept coming back to my picture of the ukulele I had drawn, my ukulele. It’s Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that focuses on coping with trauma. I’m down with that. This girl has had a great deal of trauma. I’d love to deal with my PTSD.

T.W. made an excellent observation when she asked me how I, as a six year old, coped with the death of my baby brothers. I told her that I think it is important for children to understand that death is a natural part of life and it shouldn’t be hidden away. She said that I was six. I was a little girl. I watched them die. How could that possibly feel natural or fair to a six year old? I suppose I will have to talk to her about losing cats, and the dead birds, and having funerals for animals. I will have to talk to her about beloved pets dying in my arms. About stepping on a tiny kitten accidentally and crushing its skull just enough to mess it up in a way that I knew wasn’t good. I will have to talk to her about reaching into cat vaginas when they were breaching because my hands were small enough and pulling out live kitten after live kitten… and then sometimes they weren’t alive. I will have to talk to her about those things. About cats committing suicide. About sliding feeding tubes down their throats. About how life is a delicate and fleeting thing, and how humans are really just big animals and we all have souls.

That should be interesting.

I like her.

Her observation was that I intellectualize but my head and hear don’t always communicate. This is true. Sometimes instead of protecting my heart, which I at times wear on my sleeve and at times lock away behind angst, I simply rationalize rationalize rationalize. I do. This is true. Good show, T.W.

Today, I have my biofeedback intake session. Because I don’t just get to have biofeedback therapy but have to be evaluated for eligibility, I am very stressed. I had a dream last night about opening up to the Psychologist, Dr. W., and suddenly being in a classroom of people including my arch-nemesis from preschool. Essentially, I feel vulnerable and as if I have to prove myself. What if my depression, anxiety, PTSD, HFA, and chronic pain disorder aren’t good enough to get biofeedback? Egads!

Luckily, my husband has a rare paid rain day off, so he is driving me. I will feel less icky icky bleh with his presence.

I’m sure it will go well enough.



3 thoughts on “Therapy Anxiety and the Giant Ukulele

  1. This art therapist sounds amazing and the process seems so much more interactive! And the fact that she has a plan for you makes me think she cares about where you are going and how this journey is going to help you. So cool.


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