Sunday, January 14, 2007

What's in a Name?

I guess I'm wordy tonight.

As a means of dealing with my sometimes unstable emotions, my past, and all the resulting issues, I'm in therapy. I have been for quite some time, though not all with the same provider. I've had bad ones and awesome ones, men (very uncomfortable for me) and women, young and seasoned, status-oriented and altruistic. My current counselor is an open-minded religious Christian, in addition to being a licensed, degreed professional. It's interesting that her not being Jewish helps me figure out exactly where I stand in my own religious observance. It makes me stronger as a Jew.

But that's not what I wanted to write about. I wanted to write about why I call her a counselor. It's because of something I saw the last time I wrote down in a paper journal about seeing someone for psychotherapy. I was writing and crying and dripping tears on the paper and as I was trying not to rip the damp paper but write around it, therapist became the rapist. Even when I went back to the overly syllabic psychotherapist, it became psycho the rapist. And then I couldn't write that anymore. So I went with counselor. Or "doctor" when I'm talking and I don't want anyone to know what I'm doing or where I'm going.

This can't be easy for any professional who provides therapy to read or hear, and maybe they've already seen or heard this before and it hurt or angered or irritated them. I certainly don't think the overwhelming majority of therapists are anything but decent, professional, well-trained, compassionate people.

I just can't write that word anymore.


Ayelet said...

wow. I never noticed that before. But it sure is there! (All the more reason to call myself a Speech-Language Pathologist:)) Btw, how do you describe your level (need better word) of observance re: Judaism? Also, why in heaven's name would you have to convert? If your mom was born to a woman who was born a Jew, you're as Jewish as you can get - no conversion necessary.

Rivka said...

I'll address that in the FAQ.