Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I feel like Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice

This business of finding a new therapist in New York is making me so anxious I want to die. Not really die, obviously. I mean it in the figurative sense. Like I wish I could crawl in a hole, and then come out only after someone else has made the decision for me.

I'm here in Manhattan just for the week to scope things out. I've met with two potential therapists and tomorrow I'm meeting with a nutritionist. The nutritionist seemed nice over the phone and her rate is $120 a session which is pretty decent for NYC, so I think I'm all set with her. The therapists on the other hand, I need to choose between. Both specialize in eating disorders, one of them is a clinical psychologist (Psy D.) and the other is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). The Psy D. was just incredible. She has a very different approach towards therapy than Emily, my therapist in Boston, but she seems really experienced and smart. Her methods are focused a lot on experiential treatment, AKA mindfulness and moment to moment type stuff. She's all about putting yourself right in the middle of what scares you most, and conquering those fears. She said something to me in our intake appointment that just blew my mind. I was talking about how for so long I've avoided trying new things or following my interests because I know I won't be as good as other people, and I know I won't be talented or skilled enough to feel proud of anything I accomplish. She said, "Okay, but imagine how much time, energy, brain-power, and determination you've put into your eating disorder. Think how many years you have invested in the binge/restrict cycle. That takes more ambition than most people have. If you can do that you can probably do anything." I was like, holy shit. I had NEVER thought about it that way. Here is the one big problem though- her rate is $190 a session.

The other lady, the LMFT, was also very good. She's a lot younger, her approach is probably more evidence based and practical. She uses a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy I think. She was very sweet and made me feel really good about myself, just in the brief half hour that we met. She said she could tell I had worked very hard to accomplish so much in treatment, and she said her first impression of me was that I was articulate and bright. That was nice to hear! She is incredibly organized. She said if we start together she would want to be in touch with my treatment team back home and the outpatient program I'm in right now. She thinks group therapy is really important, and she gave me some information on where to find the best ones. I liked her a lot too. Her rate is $175 per session, but she has a sliding scale so it might turn out to be less.

I simply have no idea. NO FUCKING IDEA. I hate this. I want both of them! I think what it comes down to is this: If I choose the Psy D., I'll probably be doing more soul searching and self examination than I ever could have imagined myself being capable of. If I choose the LMFT, I'll get to work with this really awesome, down to earth therapist, who seems to genuinely care about and understand what I'm going through. I will make a decision by Friday. That is the deadline I'm giving myself.

Any thoughts? Advice? I'd love to know how other people went about choosing their therapists.


  1. Wow, that's tough. I don't know what I'd do, probably go with the LMTF, though does she do ED stuff? That would be a must for me. I lucked out with Charro, that's for sure. She may not take bird shit out of my hair, but she's a good T, even if I am a little pissed at her for the moment. I don't know what to tell ya. Question though, do you have to pay for that consultation?

  2. I DID have to pay for the consultation with the Psy D. because it was like an hour and fifteen minutes. The LMFT didn't charge me though. I'm actually leaning towards the LMFT. I like her just as much and she charges less. She does specialize in eating disorders too.

  3. Oh, that's good. I should just go for free consultations with everyone. :)