Apparently, before a psychologist starts really twisting your screw (not a euphemism) you have to have a clear set of boundaries and feeling of safety. Neglecting this step is, I hear, so not a good idea. People do things like jump off bridges if they aren't stabilized enough to handle the hardcore stuff.
Think she knows we have a bridge in our town? Probably, but a jump into the Fox River would either get you caught by someone's fish hook or killed by the pollution. That doesn't make for a very dramatic headline, nor a good legend. Virginia Woolf putting rocks in her pockets, walking calmly into the River Ouse is a tough act to follow. She sure set that bar high.
So, anyway. Safety and boundaries. Since my doctor's been reading this book about "identifying your body parts as your own," she sent me home with the book (including a CD!) and the suggestion I follow his plan. Basically – and this sounds kinda weird, so bear with me – you touch various body parts (not those, naughty!), like your foot, and say, "This is my foot. It belongs to me." You can also mention the various good things your foot does for you, like kick the dog.
To make sure I had the idea, she had me do one:
Me: This is my ass. It's mine, but I'd be happy to give it away. It fills chairs to capacity, blocks sunlight when I bend over, and jiggles in ways that maybe it shouldn't. Look, when I do this (shake, shake) it jiggles!
Doctor: (pause) I feel a headache coming on. And your time is up.
One therapy appointment: $ 150.00
Amount insurance picks up:$ 144.40
Our co-pay: $ 5.60
Making your doctor run for the Tylenol bottle: Priceless