I believe that I have been to four therapists before I started working with the Now I See A Person Institute. When I first arrived I had so much damage from trauma narratives and the over prescription of both antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication that I swore this would be my last attempt at seeking out a therapist. There was little inward hope that I would be able to find someone that could help me. When I first started working with David, at Now I See A Person Institute, I had sincere apprehension that he would be another therapist that would make me relive the worst moment in my existence over and over under the pretense of treating me. Instead I found someone that respected me, someone who supported me, and believed that I wasn’t broken or damaged.
He led me back to the parts of me that I love about myself and truly thought I’d never see again. I had missed the parts of me that are brave and strong, they had been overshadowed by my own projected insecurities. During our sessions it made abundantly clear that I never had to talk about the rape if I didn’t want to and that my therapist’s goals were aligned with making me as happy and healthy as I could be. We focused on leading me to the acceptance that being victimized is something that happened to me, but being a victim does not define the totally of my life. He truly helped me understand that I am not what happened to me no matter how much that experience informs my thoughts and behavior presently.
After the first couple of weeks, I came to understand that I could sincerely approach my therapist with the horrible things that were eating away at my life. He helped me understand what I was experiencing and gave me a lens to deconstruct my night terrors and PTSD. My previous therapists would instead throw text book definitions at me and there was never an elaboration on how I could effectively reduce these afflictions. It was always the digging, the raw digging into every detail of what happened, hoping the answer would be in the flashbacks. My therapist helped me move forward, and become more independent by helping me find healthy coping mechanisms. He encouraged me to be active, and I found myself doing the things I loved again. Additionally, he introduced mindfulness techniques to help me recognize and counter the things that trigger my panic attacks. He also helped me understand the difference between emotional reactive behavior and being rational and logical when I am triggered so that I can resurface to reality instead of being swept away in what isn’t real. But most importantly, he taught me self compassion with the additional reminder that I have been through so much and I need to be kinder to myself.
During that period of time he called me frequently between sessions to check on me, and after approval from my primary care physician I ceased all use of prescription drugs (Prozac and other medications). Working with him led me to a place of mental fortitude where I could live my life without feeling like a ghost of a person. There after I found that although I was making steps, I found myself frustrated that they weren’t larger, and that I wasn’t “better” already. My sessions really were vital in realizing that there was nothing wrong with me and I wasn’t sick or crazy to begin with. I was hurt, and there shouldn’t be shame attached to feeling that way.
I have experienced so much growth while working with the staff at the Now I See A Person Institute. I was at the end of my rope literally and figuratively after my past bouts with therapy. I never thought I’d ever be this happy with myself or my life, but I’m excited for every moment instead of being filled with dread when I think about the path before me.