Sessions With A Buddhist Therapist

English: Sky and Buddhist prayer flags,
Sky and Buddhist prayer
flags, waving in the wind. Photo taken in Nepal. (Photo credit:
I entered the door into a small, but very cozy
room, a couch along the right wall, a table opposite with pamphlets
and magazines. The furniture was homely, not a typical office’s
furniture. I sat on the couch and looked at the selection of
magazines, but none held my interest as ambient music played on the
speaker over head, and the white noise machine whooshed at my feet.
I looked up to the see buddhist prayer flags strung
across the top of the door and to it’s side a small landscape
photo. As I drew in the atmosphere, looking to see what the office
told me of what I was to encounter, I heard the familiar snort of a
small dog at the bottom of the door leading into the next room.
Then it was scratching at the door to come out, to investigate me.
The door opened, and out he sprung. A white ball of fur, prancing
and jumping and greeting me as if we were old friends. “Hello
Basil. I am sorry, but does it bother you if he is out here while I
finish up?” “No, not at all” I said as she thanked me and closed
the door behind her. But what if I were afraid of dogs?
What if I came here for that?
Sitting on the conch, with
a happy little bundle of fur rolling all over my lap, I add up my
notices. Pleasant room, soft music, dog, nice happy genuine smile
on woman. So far, so good. I continue to play with the dog and
suddenly he is bored of me and jumps off the couch to investigate
the room, and all the interesting smells he finds in every corner.
Again the door opens, and this time a man in his sixties exits and
looks down at the dog who has now returned to my side as he closes
the door behind him. “Wow, he really likes you. He never greeted me
like that in all the time I have come here. You must be a nice
person” Does that mean that you have judged yourself as
not being a nice person since the dog apparently does not like you,
or do you have a persecution complex?
wonder to myself as I smile at the man without responding and
continue to pet the dog on my lap.The man exists, and I
put one negative into that column. Client privacy. Shouldn’t there
be a bridge of time between clients so that anonymity is
maintained? Or am I just looking for excuses not to go into the
next room? A few minutes pass by and it is now ten minutes after
the appointment time, and the door to the next room opens, and the
portly lady with the bright smile invites me into the room. She
tells me to sit where I like. I glance around the room which looks
like a library in a home, with a roman looking lounge, a recliner
(which she immediately occupies, so that’s not a choice), and a
large chair with a foot stool on the other side near a window. I
opt for the lounge. Maybe the pup will feed me grapes? She
introduces herself and asks if I brought the paper work she emailed
to me. I hand it to her and continue to play with the dog as she
reads through my brief history on the seven or so pages I filled
out before going to the office. I was happy that the dog was there
to fill the awkward silence as I waited and watched her expressions
as she read through my history. “Wow” she said, as she continues to
read. “You have been through a hell of a lot!” I smile and nod in
agreement. I have. I really have been through a lot. “I have” I
reply, “And a lot is still going on” She continues to read my
paperwork and looks up and asks, “What is Sarcoidosis? I am not
familiar with it” I grin at that statement, as I heard so many
times before in my brief time with this disease. But I don’t
begrudge her lack of knowledge, or anyone else’s. After all, I
never heard of the disease until I found out I have it. And so it
began, my first day of therapy with a buddhist therapist,
explaining what is sarcoidosis, and we have a conversation about
it. I talked, she listened, and she talked and I listened. It was
nothing like my first experience with the other therapist that
tried to convince me that my life was horrible and I should really
think about hating myself and be a little more negative. No. A lot
negative. This was different. I didn’t feel like I was sitting with
a therapist, and after four sessions so far, I still feel that way.
We haven’t gotten into any real deep stuff yet, just the medical
stuff. That took for sessions so far. But it is good to things off
my chest. Things I need to talk to a stranger with no history with
me about. I don’t know if this will be the answer to my deep seeded
anger issues with this disease, but I hope so. As I left my last
session she turned to me and said, “By the way, your insurance only
approves 30 sessions in a year. You’ll be covered for this year,
but next year you only get 30” I walked out thinking “Thirty in a
year? Am I that screwed up that you think that i need more than
thirty sessions next year?”


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