At the end of last year, the counselor I had been seeing told me that she wouldn’t be returning in the fall. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, I thought. This coming year was going to be a year of change, choices, and challenges. I felt completely uncomfortable with the idea of starting over with someone new.
My old counselor knew so much about me and my history. She knew about the complexity of my social relationships and the anxiety they bring. We had a bond. Finishing my college career is going to be stressful and that’s just with everything I’m expecting. There’s so much that could go differently and the unexpected always has the power to flip everything on its head. This summer though, I seriously considered never going back to counseling.
A few weeks ago, I learned that I was going to have to interact with someone from my past. Cue the anxiety. I didn’t know what to do, or how to stop my mind from racing so I emailed a new counselor and asked to set up an appointment for the first week of school. She told me though, that she was on campus and could see me in a few days.
Sitting across from a new counselor is a strange thing. It’s a mixture of apprehension, anxiety, and self-consciousness. If all goes well, you spill your soul to them. You tell them things you wouldn’t tell anyone else. It gets personal within a couple minutes and then it’s over.
When I’m nervous I talk really fast and jumble my words. Even though I can hear myself talking like that, I can’t control it because it isn’t just me talking. It’s like there’s an other-worldly force holding me at gunpoint, threatening to shoot if I stop talking. Maybe I’m just scared that if I don’t say it fast, I won’t say it at all.
Seeing a new counselor also means having to fill them in on the back story. It means drudging up the past after I had finally left it there and moved on. I hate this part but it’s necessary because otherwise they have no idea what you’re talking about.
My first session went about as well as it could have and I have a second one scheduled for this week. With time, I think that I could be as comfortable with this counselor as I was with my last one but that probably won’t stop me from walking out of each appointment wishing it was my old one.
Have you changed counselors? Was it a difficult transition? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time,