I get excited about new things. When I get a new car, I get kinda giddy. I even name my vehicles. When I get a new cell phone, I spend hours playing with it to figure out all of its features. New clothes go into my regular wardrobe rotation immediately. (When I bought a new belt, I put it on in the car before driving away from the store.) This seems a little different though. I was never that excited about my previous therapists.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I went to talk to them, I just don’t think excited was the right word. With Jeff Robinson, I was scared. Going to see him was the one thing that kept me from being excommunicated. Even then, there was no guarantee that it wouldn’t happen anyway. When I went to see my second therapist at LDS Family Services, after moving away from UT, I was beginning to be involved with “Kevin.” Since I was doing things with Kevin that ran in the opposite direction that the therapy was leading, it was difficult to have the therapy have a meaningful effect.
I wasn’t all too excited when I first met this therapist either. When I first saw John, yes, that is his real name, I thought to myself, “Great, an overweight man is going to help me with my compulsive sexual behaviors which focus on overweight men.” That being thought, I wasn’t going to walk out of the appointment just because the guy had a certain BMI.
Once we got talking, I found it was relatively easy to open up to John. He was all the things a therapist should be. Kind, caring, non-judgemental, patient. I decided I liked him. He talked about things that made sense to me, like brian chemistry. We talked about how the brain can rewire itself over time, eliminating previous connections and forming new ones, assuming the previous connections are not continually reinforced. John told me that while not all guys with homosexual desires were also sexually compulsive, the correlation ran about 70%. I liked the way he presented that. (I like correlations, they make me happy, so long as causality is not assumed…)
John suggested that I get involved in the LifeSTAR program. The program is designed for those with compulsive sexual behaviors, who want to get rid of them. He asked me to read through a couple of things on their website. One was a First Steps Booklet. It talks about compulsion, addiction and gives some ideas of where to start. The other is the Healthy Living Booklet. It talks about brain chemistry, and what can be done to replace compulsion with what they call conscious living.
The program involves three different types of group therapy. I’m not exactly thrilled about the prospect of being entirely exposed, even in a small group setting. I am thrilled about the prospect of eliminating my compulsion though. Because of the excitement of the prospect of that, I am going to ignore the apprehension, and do the program. John will be the one leading it, and I already trust him, so I will trust the process he suggests.
All in all, I think this is the first therapist I have ever gone to that I actually look forward to working with. Hopefully it’ll turn out the way I expect it to.