Finding Peace — Manuscript Post #1
–Who is this book for?
This book is for anyone that is wondering what it is like to go through the process of therapy. While this certainly includes patients, it also includes anyone connected with the process. If someone you know is about to go to therapy you have many questions and concerns. This book describes the entire process from the onset of symptoms through several years after therapy was completed. If you are wondering why anyone goes to therapy, this book will help you understand why someone would go, what happened during the process and what therapy can and cannot accomplish.
This book is for anyone interested in the process from the patients perspective. During my course of therapy it was suggested that I read two books written by expert clinicians. These two books, which will be described in detail later, were critical to the successful outcome of my therapy. The authors describe various aspects of the process from the aggregate experience they have had over many years and many patients. They don’t describe what it is like to be the patient.
I am not a clinician nor am I any of the professionals you may deal with during therapy. I am not qualified to describe the process from the professional’s point of view. However, I am qualified to describe the process from the patient’s point of view. When I was starting this process, I looked for resources that described therapy from the patient’s point of view and I found none.
This book will tell you what it is like to find you need therapy, select a therapist, go to the sessions, what it costs in time and money and what the outcome was and is, four years after the actual sessions were done.
–How is this book organized?
I have broken up the entire process into the following sections:
–The Books I Read
–A Final Note
–What do you mean by ‘therapy’?
When I refer to ‘therapy’ I mean going to see a therapist to talk about things to help resolve whatever issues you are having. I don’t mean physical therapy that you might have after an injury such as a broken ankle. I don’t mean massage therapy which feels really good but doesn’t address emotional issues.
There are more formal terms such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) but for me, I went to see a therapist and we talked. The therapist was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and she referred to herself as a therapist.
I don’t know of any reason that I couldn’t have received the help I needed from a person with a variety of letters and degrees after their name. I didn’t go looking for a LCSW or any other specific professional. My physician didn’t say I needed to see this or that kind of professional, only that I needed to “talk to someone.”
–What is covered?
All of the steps of the therapy process are covered. This starts with the onset of symptoms followed by the process of determining that I needed therapy. Finding a therapist comes next. Each of the individual therapy sessions are described individually as well as the medical doctor appointments I had during the same period of time. After the actual sessions were completed, I cover what it was like for me during the four years after therapy.
At the same time I cover many aspects of what I was observing and learning as I went through the actual sessions. I describe how various aspects of therapy relate to my life after therapy. I also use what I learned to directly help me with issues that came up during and after therapy.
I cover all of this from my perspective, which is the perspective of the patient.
–Why so much detail?
As I describe the process I include a lot of detail so that the process will seem real to you. I don’t describe it in high-level academic terms that are vague and only one step away from happy talk. I describe each step very personally because it all happened to me in a very personal way. What I describe in detail actually happened to me. It is not constructed to support a point of view or prove anything. The detail is provided to allow you to more fully understand exactly what the process is like. This will allow you to make a much better decision as you consider therapy for yourself or someone you know.
I think the detail is necessary to help reduce the fear of the unknown. If a professional therapist writes that the process is worthwhile and produces good outcomes, that’s fine. But it helps a lot to have much more detail about all the steps of the process so that you as a prospective (or current) patient can learn more about what really goes on. The more detail you have about the process, the more prepared you will be. This preparation will reduce the fear that comes with the uncertainty.
I also provide a lot of detail to combat the negative connotations that can surround the whole idea of getting therapy. The patient as well as those close to them, have many valid concerns. What causes someone to need therapy, how long does it take, what does it cost, do you have to be medicated — these are all valid concerns. I provide detailed answers to all of these questions.
Each individual’s experience in therapy will be different, but, what I describe here will apply to many patients. As I describe later on, I think there are many people that would benefit from the therapy I received. There are patients whose experience will be much more dramatic than mine since they have more serious issues. While my experiences will not apply as much to those with more serious issues, I think many people have issues similar in magnitude to mine.