Second Look Sunday: Sessions With A Buddhist Therapist

Originally posted October 18, 2013

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 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?” a woman asked.

“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 couch, 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 says. “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? I 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 four sessions so far. But it is good to get 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?”

Update: I did not stick with the therapy. I had about ten sessions and quit because it wasn’t going anywhere.

©️2020 Basil Rene. All Rights Reserved

Please feel free to leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.