Mr. P.! Wow!
I didn't tell you yet, but I went to see a new counselor. He is more like a life coach, though. At first, I was skeptical. My last counselor looked great in the beginning, but the end of out relationship was very puzzling to me. My best theory of, why she, for example, forgot a point of our last conversation (that was all we discussed that last session), along with her slurring her words while talking to me, is that she, alas, drank something other than coffee while talking to me. I could be just paranoid, of course!
A few of my friends began telling me about this guy that they saw. It was still when I was with the previous doctor. I was not sure if I wanted to leave her yet. Then my husband changed his job, we got a new insurance - Kaiser - and I found out that there I would meet my personal counselor only once a month, and the rest of the time I would have to do the group therapy. Anything to save Kaiser a buck! So, that new guy that my friends recommended began to look better and better!
The first time I met Pablo was at a diner. The second time - in a room at a public library. I guess, he saves a lot on the overhead expenses. The difference between him and the previous counselor was obvious: he is more into the practical solutions for dealing with the problems that we face. He gave me precise instructions of how to deal with Park or any other person who is out of control.
OFNR. What is it?
O - observe. "I noticed that you are yelling at me instead of speaking respectfully."
F - feel. "I feel upset that you don't let me finish what I am saying."
N - need. "I need you to calm down and try to treat me the same as you like to be treated."
R - request. "Would you try to afford me some dignity and respect? If not, we'll have to finish it when you can calm down."
I tried it on Park. When he began to shout at me, I told him all that. I had to raise my voice a fraction to stop him from interrupting me ("No, you will let me finish talking, and I will listen to you after that. This is how it's usually done!"), but he shut up after that.
Pablo is Hispanic. He carries the pride and passion of his people, but as I looked at him for the first time, I guessed that he is also a descendant of the Jews who escaped from Spain in the middle ages. He confirmed my theory. I just hope that he wasn't just trying to humor me!
The things that I took from the last session with Pablo:
1. We can't become what we want to be by remaining who we are.
2. "Condemning my imperfections has never enhanced my appreciation of life or helped me to love myself more." This is from a Daily Reader - a book of inspirational quotes.
3."We may not control our circumstances but we can control how we chose to respond to them." This is from Victor Frankl, an Austrian Holocaust survivor.
4. Take what you need and leave the rest. That means that I can chose what helps me in conversations with Pablo and in my daily life and forget the rest.