I think the therapist may be a lesbian. Even if she isn't, she certainly exhibited some traits that I have come to associate with lesbians. (She wore a purple top and she dressed casually. She also wore 1980s-style metallic "fishing-tackle" earrings. Her voice was kind of husky, too. She has a daughter, who was actually in labor today, but that doesn't mean she's not a lesbian.)
I think it was a pretty good first session. I was able to summarize some of what has been going on and some of the older threads connected to it.
She has been to Amma's public programs at least once. She said that she has a friend who is really into Amma. I told her that, while I had formed emotional attachments to a couple of my friends in the org, and while I had received some emotional support from the satsang during the final stages of my mother's illness, on the whole I found that, after my mother's death, I wasn't receiving what I felt that I needed from the satsang and so I began to distance myself gradually. I have since come to regard the org as a cult. The therapist said that that didn't surprise her, as she had had some questions about it based on her limited experience.
I was able to run down the list of therapists and the Rosen worker that I have worked with, and that felt safe and appropriate, which I took as a good sign.
One of the things that came up was that I felt that my involvement in the Amma org might have interfered with the therapeutic work I was trying to do at that time, as the highs and lows and dramas of being in the org occupied a lot of my attention. Also, the nature of my emotional attachments to my devotee friends led me to question whether there might not more interesting alternatives to the relationship I've been in. I characterized those as typical "40s" questions. Now that I am in my 50s and my life is relatively drama-free, my set of questions is different.
She does have a somewhat contemplative and perhaps focusing-oriented component to her work (as in Eugene Gendlin's focusing practice), and we got into that kind of space a little bit today. She sees some possibilities for "going deeper" and perhaps anchoring myself more deeply in my own experience and within my inner resources. I told her, perhaps, but from a somewhat negative perspective I feel as I have been trying to deal with multiple losses and disappointments with the resources that I have developed up until this point, and I find myself feeling strained and tired. Perhaps this means tapping more deeply into inner resources that I may not know how to access. It may also mean reviewing the supports that I do have available at present, some of which I may not be accessing because I have been taking distance from people as a way of trying to avoid repetitions of some of the patterns I have experienced in the past.
The open question seems to be: what is support? What does it require from me, and what does it require from others?
Overall, it is feeling good to take some time out to focus on my experience, and to take breaks from the cycle of compulsive overwork.