I hardly ever look at my psychologist. There’s lots and lots of reasons why, but for now I’ll settle for I just can’t. As with most people I can’t look at, I recognise her form rather than her face and can often sense her presence without seeing her. I have an idea of what she looks like, I have looked her full in the face a few times, either at her request or because I need to check she’s being honest but I’d be hard pushed to describe her.
So imagine my surprise when I was scrolling through the facebook page of the NHS Foundation Trust that provides mental health services in my area and there, looking out of my phone screen at me, is my psych. And as her picture is looking at me, I’m looking at her. My first reaction was to look away, my second to leave the page, my third to turn my phone off. All completely illogical because she couldn’t see me although I could, obviously, see her.
I went to make a mug of tea, then sat down and read the information with the picture – my psych and a group of her colleagues have been given a Living the Values Award for ‘making a difference’. I’m not surprised, my psych has made a huge difference to me. But I was drawn again to the photo, to see the person who has had such an impact on my life. Except I couldn’t look at her, could only recognise it was her by looking slightly past her. I showed it to K and she confirmed that yes, it is my psych.
This is something we return to every so often in therapy, and I have no doubt we will again until one day I might be able to look at her comfortably. And not be freaked out by finding her photo on facebook!