Going to see a counselor

March 2nd, 2010

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

(Ether 12: 27)

I went to see a counselor last week.  She was highly recommended by a good friend who liked her a lot.  Even then, I was really nervous walking into that first session.  I’ve never been to a counselor before and as much as I wanted help, it was scary to actually sit down in front of a counselor and ask for it.

But the minute I met Stephanie, my fears subsided.  She was German, she was a grandmother, she was LDS, and she called herself “Shtephie”.  I loved her!

“So, Heidi, what has brought you here today?” was one of the first things she asked me.

“That’s a great question,” I chuckled and looked off in search for the answer.

I wasn’t feeling depressed.  I had never experienced abuse or trauma.  I had experienced loss with my miscarriage last year, but those wounds had healed. I was functioning well in my life and could fulfill all of my responsibilities.  But up in my head, I wanted to change.

So, I just started telling her some of my goals.  Some of the things I wanted to change about myself, but I didn’t know how.  I have been having a lot of anxiety and was wondering if I might have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but Stephanie didn’t think so.

Then we explored my perfectionism.  It had served me well in school and at work, but it was presenting a challenge in mothering.  And it was causing a lot of anxiety.

“Why do you think Heavenly Father made the world imperfect?” she suddenly asked me.

I looked at her.  And blinked.

“I’ve never thought about it like that before,” I replied.

“He could have made it perfect, but He didn’t, why didn’t He?” she continued.  Then she watched as my face registered a series of unexplored insights.  With a nod and a smile, she said, “I want you to write about that.  I give writing assignments every week and that’s one thing I want you to write about.”

We discussed other things.  I told her how much I love being a mother.  How I love children more than anything on earth.  And how I was worried that my perfectionism and difficulties with change would limit how many children I could mother or my enjoyment of it.  (Oh man!  Here come the water works!  It happens every time…).  And she was so empathetic and understanding.

Then she gave me another writing assignment, “Write about the two principles you want your children to learn for governing their lives–to be able to go into life and do well.  There are so many, but I only want you to pick two.”

After that, she tried to define me.  She looked over her list of categories.  Since I was functioning fine in life, I didn’t really fit any of the disorders.

“Your situation is probably best defined as “Self-Improvement”,” she mused, “But you might fit under “Adjustment Disorder”, since you have a hard time with change.  I’ll have to read up on that one again and see if you fit.”

We scheduled our next appointment and as we concluded our session, I reached out and shook her hand. “It was a real pleasure meeting you,” I said sincerely and with gratitude that my initial fears had melted away into emotional reassurance.

“It was a real pleasure meeting you, too,” she replied with a smile and twinkle in her eyes, “I think we’re going to have a lot of fun.”

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17 Comments

Darcy D | 3/2/2010 6:16 pm

Counselors are so wonderful! I’m glad you are comfortable with yours! I seriously wonder if I have adjustment disorder… I don’t react well to change!

Heidi | 3/3/2010 1:58 pm

Really?! I wonder why we’re like that?… I seem to have been born that way.

 
 
Heidi E | 3/2/2010 10:37 pm

I am glad that I am not the only one that has a difficulty with change, and I am so glad you found such a great counselor! They really have a way with opening our eyes to seeing things differently. I love her statement about the world being made imperfect. I never thought about it that way.

Heidi | 3/3/2010 1:59 pm

Thank you! I agree–I felt like I was having one “Aha!” moment after another. It was so great.

 
 
Sarah | 3/3/2010 12:21 am

Jon and I went to Stephie too for couples counseling! She is great!

Heidi | 3/3/2010 2:00 pm

No way! Yeah, I loved her right away.

 
 
Ailene Hert | 3/3/2010 8:38 am

I think perfectionism could be a disorder on it’s own! (I speak from experience… I’m a perfectionist too).

I’m glad that you sought out guidance from a counselor! I’m also glad that you enjoy working with her. I think you two will do awesome things together. :)

Heidi | 3/3/2010 2:01 pm

LOL! I feel the same way! :)

Thank you–I hope so!

 
 
Steph | 3/3/2010 10:24 am

Isn’t that funny? Ben and I saw her too, for couples counseling, and we couldn’t stand her! Personality clash. Different strokes for different folks! :)

Heidi | 3/3/2010 2:01 pm

No way! I wouldn’t have guessed that. I hope you found someone you related to better!

 
 
tearese | 3/3/2010 11:37 am

how brave of you to share this on your blog! I’m sure we could all use a councilor now and then.

Heidi | 3/3/2010 2:04 pm

Thanks, Tearese. I waffled on whether to share it, but finally decided to. It was such a positive experience for me. I kind of wish I’d gone to one sooner. That “talk therapy” is really helpful for me.

 
 
Suzanne | 3/3/2010 4:43 pm

By you sharing that here, makes it a relief to hear. Sometimes I think we all could do with good counsel, just so we can become the people, we want to be.
I saw the school social worker for my daughter just recently and it was my 1st time but I felt so relieved to have someone beside me helping.

 
charlotte | 3/4/2010 6:08 am

I’m so glad you found a great counselor and she was able to help and reassure you Heidi! It sounds like she will be a great blessing in your life:) That was very brave of you both to go to counseling and to write about it! I love you!!

 
Jennifer | 3/4/2010 9:01 am

I have been seeing a counselor also. I am glad you shared this about yourself. I can’t wait to talk when you come to Utah.

 
Whimsy | 3/5/2010 2:50 pm

Heidi,
I think it’s just wonderful that you’re doing this – and that you’re talking about it. I’m a HUGE believer in talk therapy and I think it can really benefit a lot of people just to get a different perspective on how they handle things. Good for you! Enjoy the process and learn as much as you can.

I think you’re fantastic.

 
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