I went in to the waiting room prepared with a list of questions I wanted to ask: Do you have experience treating AvPD? What about addiction and recovery issues? What about queer issues? There were also plenty of things about my past and my current state of mind that I knew she needed to know.
I planned ahead for the anxiety. I asked a family member to drive me to the appointment so a) I wouldn’t have to freak out about traffic and b) I wouldn’t bolt before the appointment began.
All the pre-planning sort of worked. I mean, I made it to the appointment. Once I sat down in the office across from her, though, it all kind of went out the window. I remembered all the things I wanted to say and ask her. I just couldn’t do it.
First appointments are bizarre. I don’t know how you’re supposed to handle divulging all these intimate things to a person you just met. Especially when you’re very preoccupied with judging this person. Does she seem nice? Understanding? Are there any signs of boredom or impatience? Is she professional without being too professional – too detached, too impersonal?
I think it went all right. I didn’t ask my list of questions, but 2 out of 3 of those issues came up in the course of conversation anyway. I couldn’t tell her everything about my past, of course, but I think we reached a good starting point.
It’s so hard to judge from one session. There were some good signs, though. She didn’t push AA on me (I prefer non-12 Step programs personally, although I have nothing against AA). She seemed to understand what I was trying to tell her about my thought processes. She was familiar with the types of therapy I have found helpful in the past.
We’ll just have to see, I guess. I feel fairly hopeful right now.