INSIDE THE POET’S MIND-LITERALLY !
Some of you may be aware that I was a pretty poorly badger recently, pushed almost to the point of a nervous breakdown by some very ‘bad ass’ medication. As part of the recovery treatment I agreed to go for CBT, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and my initial assessment is what this post is about. Although psychology, along with a few other ‘ologies have greatly interested me over the years I refrained from obtaining a ‘Google Diploma’, preferring to go in cold for maximum benefit.
I was expecting a leather recliner in a plush office adorned with books and ethnic tribal artefacts. I wondered what school of psychology I would face. I was hoping for Rorschach ink blot tests, word association even a bit of hypnotherapy, all under a suited and booted expert with an Austrian accent.
Yeah this isn’t what I got at all ! What I got was an hour’s ‘there, there’ chat, conducted by a lovely bloke with a goatee and a star earring in an office resembling a storage cupboard decorated with a poster for the Bavarian fairy tale castle of ‘mad’ (oh the irony !) King Ludwig called Neuschwanstein and a couple of thank you cards. Oh and the leather recliner was a threadbare stackable chair.
After an hour, with all the seriousness he could muster. He announced that my problem, apart from dangerous drugs, was that I’m apparently struggling to cope with having an incurable, degenerative brain disease that’s slowly turning me into a living statue ! No shit Sherlock !
As I’ve already said, this therapist was a lovely man and I honestly believe he is skilled, genuine and truly cares but he should be able to say there’s not a lot we can do.
For example, he said what do I hope to achieve from these sessions ? Well we’ve just established it’s my slow demise from Parkinson’s disease that’s the problem so I’m going to ‘wing it’ and say rid me of illness ! Which unless he was born in Bethlehem and mum was a virgin would seem a bit of a toughie for a councillor to achieve.
I must warn you, should you at any time give me cause to believe you may harm yourself I am legally bound to involve other ‘professionals ! I said I understood and not to worry as I’m always being told “I can’t believe what you’ve just said” At the intro bit he asked what I preferred to be called, Mr Smith, Nigel, Nige etc. “Sebastian” said I “or Seb if you prefer “ It was at this point I realised CBT therapists have no sense of humour.
He asked how I fill my time, I replied writing poetry and that I have a penchant for sonnets and crude limericks ! A bit of a split personality I chuckled, briefly ! As he started writing and asking “do you express yourself through your poetry ?” I thought this guy’s a gift from the comedy gods. Carrying on the split personality theme I replied “ he does” while glancing over my shoulder.
Changing tack, I said also my son and I enjoy shooting. We’ve joined an air rifle club and health permitting go regularly as it helps my hand eye coordination issues plus father/son time is always nice. Anything else he asked ! Isn’t that enough ! Have you a drink problem ? he now asked , “yes “ I replied “on a bad day I spill most of it !” Again nothing
to be maybe continued.