So, I met with the therapist today. I felt positive coming out the appointment. I had been feeling anxious and overwhelmed about it. I still left feeling overwhelmed, but I felt less anxious.
I'm trying to decide if she is a good fit. I felt she listened well. I felt she was empathetic. I felt validated by her. I didn't feel patronized or like she was pandering to me. She both let me lead, and led the conversation herself.
For those of you who've been to a therapist, here are some questions for you:
How much is appropriate for a therapist to share about herself in the first meeting? She discussed some of her training, her journey into therapy, and the models of treatment she uses. I did ask her several questions that prompted some of what she said. Some of it was spontaneous (like she explained to me that she was feeling jittery, excited, this morning due to just picking up a new truck with her husband and that she wanted to take a moment to settle and calm herself. She took a deep breathe and did settle. And for the record, I didn't find her to be jittery. I would imagine new therapy is difficult for the therapist too?)
She also revealed that her son is a narcissist. While I didn't consider this a red flag, it made me suck in my breathe. For me, narcissists are begotten by narcissists. She spoke little of her son's father, as she seemed to be a single mother who struggled both with her own past FOO issues (some of which she briefly touched on) and financial issues. So, as the primary caretaker, I wondered if she felt she had an responsibility in "creating" a narcissist. I used the word culpability. She said that she did feel she had some responsibility. She discussed that her father was a perfectionist and verbal abuser, who passed these traits onto her. She said that when she began to realize the effects she was having on her child, she immediately went into therapy. (And from there, began a college career in social work and counseling.) She also said that her son's narcissistic (and more anti-social, if you ask me) began to crop up early, around 4.
I felt her responses were appropriate regarding her son. I felt she actually had worked to try and help him (she spoke of the many models of treatment they tried to help him. He was a thief and had many legal issues). Do you all think that a woman who has a narcissist for a son will be of help in my therapy? Or do you think that she will be unable to understand my position?
I felt some of her observations of me were spot on, her ideas for treatments seemed appropriate and tailored to what I need (decrease of anxiety, ability to manage my emotions better, and to be able to stand up for myself, live authentically, and decrease the "shoulds" I put on myself. )
Any thoughts? Any things you would consider important to a therapist? I actually see many similarities between my story and that of this therapist, which I think is both a good and a bad thing. I don't know, I guess my head is just swirling a lot.