July 21, 2016

New therapist and new running goals

Today was my first appointment with my new therapist. It took a while to get in to see her, but she was highly recommended by a friend of mine, so I waited almost two weeks for the appointment. I was a little nervous to go, but nothing like I was for my first appointment with my previous therapist. Having already been through it, I knew what to expect.

I immediately liked her. (We'll call her "C" on my blog; I'll refer to my previous therapist as "N"). When I was seeing N, I always felt pretty awkward--she was VERY stoic, never showing any emotion at all--and I assumed this was just how all therapists were. It felt awkward if I would joke about something, and she didn't laugh or smile.

She also liked what I call the "awkward silence technique"--not talking at all until someone feels so awkward that they break the silence. It's very effective--and even knowing that it's a common technique to get someone talking, I still almost always caved in and filled the silence (ironically, the silences caused me a lot of anxiety regarding my appointments with N--and I was seeing her to help with anxiety, haha).

It got to the point where I was dreading my appointments. I just didn't feel like I was getting anywhere in therapy, even though I did learn a lot about myself. I don't think that seeing her was wasted time at all, but I found myself dreading my appointments so much that I finally "broke up with" N. At my friend's recommendation, I made an appointment with C.

What a huge difference! C smiled when she introduced herself, and I immediately felt comfortable. I loved that she smiled and laughed when appropriate, and sympathized at other times--I felt much more comfortable with someone who showed some emotion. I don't think that N's approach was "wrong" in any way--she's very knowledgable at what she does--but our personalities definitely clashed.

C asked me questions about what was going on with me and got some background information. There were no awkward silences, which was a relief. She was very compassionate and understanding, and best of all, she gave me hope that she can help me manage or overcome my depression and anxiety. The hour-long appointment flew by, and I scheduled a few more appointments (her schedule fills up very quickly). I'm actually really looking forward to my next appointment! I'm so glad that I didn't give up on therapy altogether. Like my friend told me, finding a therapist is like dating--you have to go on several first dates until you find one that you mesh with.

We're having a bit of a heat wave in Michigan right now. As I type this post, the dew point is 80 degrees! Just walking outside to let Joey go to the bathroom made me get all sticky. I wish it would thunderstorm, because we really need the rain right now, but so far we haven't had the storm.

I've been trying to think of some running goals to aim for this fall, and there are so many possibilities! A few ideas:

  • A sub-1:50 half-marathon (something I've been thinking about for three years)
  • A sub-23:00 5K (a 7:23/mile pace! crazy)
  • No time goal, but just train to finish a half and run it for fun
  • Continue to heart rate train, and see if I can get my "easy pace" lower
  • Run an ultramarathon (haha, just kidding!)
When I was training for my recent 10K PR, I was loosely following a schedule on RunBritain.com, and I really liked it. It was different from any other plan I'd followed before, and it worked really well. RunBritain has a plan for a half-marathon (for a 1:35 finish--haha!). I could modify that a little, and use that to try and train for a 1:50 half-marathon. Then again, though, I loved training for a shorter distance, and I think doing 5K-specific training might be fun. 

Right now, I'm leaning toward a hard 5K. Then, if I decide I want to run a half-marathon, I could always do that as part of training and just run it very easy (it wouldn't be until November, and I have no idea how I'm going to be feeling then). It feels kind of exciting to think about running goals again!


  1. Hey Katie!!! Been following you for awhile and I am so glad you decided to "break up" with your therapist and find a new one. I am a therapist myself and tell my people that I work with that "I could be the best therapist in the world and still not be the right one for you." While all of us have techniques that we believe in and use, what keep being proven over and over again to be the key to success is the relationship between therapist and patient/client. I wish you so much success in overcoming anxiety and depression ---but there is definitely so much hope --- I have seen many people able to rise above them. Good luck!

  2. Therapist shopping is such a bear, but when you find one that you connect with the impact is so amazing. I was blessed with one for two years in college and it completely changed my life! I'm thinking about trying to find one again now and it sounds overwhelming, but I try to remember how great I felt seeing my college therapist to motivate me.

  3. YES YES YES! This is exactly right! Therapy is exactly like dating and it takes some time to find a good match! I had one therapist who was always pushing me to talk about sex- it was very bizarre, especially given that at the time, I couldn't even tolerate a hug from anyone. I ended up having a panic attack in the waiting room at an appointment one week after another male client tried to strike up a conversation with me. She actually charged me for "not showing up" as I was hyperventilating in the parking lot. I never saw her again. I wish I had complained more forceflly. (The guy in the waiting room had been an issue for weeks/months and would cause me to be late every week, which she knew,but she offered no suggestions on how to deal with it. It was infuriating, in retrospect. We could have just changed my appointment, or started 10 minutes after the hour.

    ANYWAY... I am so glad you found someone who meshes better! NO not all therapists are the same! My mom is a therapist and she's a happy, friendly, chatty lady, and so was the lady I saw after the one I didn't like! (Until I got all better!) I hope this one continues to help and you love her!!!

  4. PS: I know you get withdrawal after completing a goal, but maybe if you brainstorm a way to deal with the AFTEREFFECT, rather than eliminating the goal-making, maybe that will work better! Because you love goals! And they work for yoU!

  5. Oh man, the right therapist is SO hard to find. I've lost count of how many I've had over the years. I've been with my current therapist for about 3 years now, and she's the best of the lot by far. When I lost my job, she even insisted that I keep coming for free and pay her back later. Wow!

    I'm not sure that depression (and anxiety, I assume) can actually be cured. But I think we can get much better at managing it, and I give a lot of credit to my therapist for helping me.

    I'm so glad you found someone you are comfortable with!

  6. So glad to hear you found a therapist that you mesh well with! We're also having a heat wave here in Wisconsin. Got up to 100 degrees yesterday! I LOVE the hot weather but I don't love running in it. I think over the winter and into next spring, I would like to run a sub-2:00 half marathon. My PR right now is 2:10 so I would think if I give myself plenty of training time I could do it

  7. I appreciate how kind you are. It would have been easy for many people to bash their "N" therapist and put them down.

  8. What weather app do you use? I like it!

  9. Katie, do an easy half marathon here in St Louis in October so I could meet and maybe be able to keep up running with you. :) - Charmaine

  10. AnonymousJuly 22, 2016

    Thank you for sharing this. I, too, have felt like I was getting nowhere in my therapy after a point, and I stopped going. I've toyed with the idea of finding a new therapist and trying again (because the dark moods are pretty dark when they come), but I'm hesitant. I'm not sure why.

    1. AnonymousJuly 25, 2016

      Sometimes the biggest step is making the appointment! About three years ago, I was in the throes of a really dark time. I had the number of a therapist I wanted to call and waited 6 weeks to make that less-than-5-minute phone call. I cried afterward. But after our first session, I started thinking that I could get better (again). Now, I just wish I'd not waited those 6 weeks.

  11. Sometimes I think about going to see a therapist but then I just talk to my friends. I wonder if it's much different? I've never been to therapy so I have no idea.

  12. Finding the right therapist is such a good thing. As with any doctor if you don't connect it won't benefit. I started going to therapy when I was diagnosed with Crohn's and just needed an outlet. It was amazingly helpful. Even now in remission it is so nice to have an impartial person to speak with.
    Good luck choosing a goal for the fall!


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