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2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Treatment 101: Therapy

Note: I will be exploring more specific avenues of therapy in dedicated pieces within this series, but I thought I would add some general thoughts on the idea of therapy as a whole. In fact, the avenues I will explore in the future include DBT, ERP, mindfulness, cognitive distortions, and ECT.
Looking back at my teenage years, something I make a point not to do (I like who I am now much more than my younger self and tend to think of myself as who I became in my late adolescence rather than my earlier childhood), I probably could have benefited from therapy. At the time, I felt uncomfortable in my, body having to deal with scoliosis that would later require surgery. I felt a lot of guilt about it and would spend hours ruminating on it, was very ashamed of it and closed off—pretending everything was fine when it wasn’t. Thinking of this now, it’s probably the reason I’ve embraced my mental health journey and chosen to be open about it instead.
The first time I started therapy was actually with a therapist who specialized in eating disorders, once every two weeks at the Counseling Center that I received help from for my intense procrastination between Summer 2013 and early Winter 2014. I really liked the person I was working with and although the sessions didn’t come with results right away, over the winter break I did completely clean, reorganize my room, and become more organized overall. From my sessions with this therapist, I may have been introduced to SMART goals, breaking the tasks I was procrastinating on into smaller, doable chunks and I still have all the notes and scrawled penmanship stowed away from these sessions. My therapist wound up leaving and for a while whenever I saw a woman with brown curly hair I would think of her.
I will add that this was around the time I began the second year of OCD symptoms but I was so afraid of what they could mean that I never brought it up in my sessions with her.
The second time I entered therapy was when I came back to the Counseling Center in Fall 2014. This is when I started to see a graduate student once a week for what I fooled myself into thinking was procrastination issues again but what turned out to be a psychiatric diagnosis. We had just covered OCD in my abnormal psych class but I hadn’t made the connection between those symptoms and myself until Steve mentioned it to me and I later researched it, finding an online article that I 100 percent related to. There were maybe two or three emergency sessions I made with the Counseling Center during this semester when I was duped by the OCD thinking I was actively suicidal when it couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Of course, depression entered the party over the winter break which resulted in my first attempt to end my life. One time, I had walked into my session with Steve carrying my chosen suicide method and when I realized that they were going to send me to the hospital, I tried backpedaling so hard but it didn’t work and I was picked up by ambulance. I remember Steve actually doodled with me while the police officers were on their way and the EMTs came.
From here, I switched over to seeing my OCD-specialized therapist in Brookline for two sessions a week for a year. I didn’t like her right away (mainly because she wasn’t Steve) but I did get something out of my sessions with her for a while. When I found out the OCD-Institute involved a three-month waiting list I wound up in the hospital again. Towards the end of my year and a half with this therapist, I found I was stalling in my recovery. So, after being inspired from therapy talk in a psychological trauma class in Fall 2016, I began the quest of finding another therapist.
In maybe February 2017, I began to see my more current therapist April. I saw April once a week for a year. April was actually the one to recommend Passages to me although my insurance at the time didn’t cover it. 2017 was a tough year for me, and in February 2018, I began my work with Passages.
In May 2018, I transitioned over to my therapist who works at Passages for the duration of the time I’ll be in their DBT-Intensive program.
Therapy, like medications, will likely be something I have to use throughout the rest of my life, and I’ve come to accept that. Not being nearly as symptomatic has led me to happier days and vast amounts of stability. So, with the right help, it is genuinely possible.