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Re: Our Right Hemispheres (long) Pfinstegg

Posted by Crooked Heart on February 8, 2004, at 14:45:03

In reply to Re: Our Right Hemispheres Crooked Heart, posted by Pfinstegg on February 8, 2004, at 10:06:47

I'll try to answer your questions but it's a bit difficult to give details because the terror was so great and so irrational and definitely there in the transference, and if other people were feeling similarly I wouldn't want to maybe make it worse?

I did have the father and mother of all transferences (unintentionally appropriate choice of words :)), very attached/obsessed/whatever. Anyhow at one point in therapy I was OK during therapy sessions and totally my usual self when around other people, and completely, literally shaking in my shoes terrified when on my own. Without going into details, the fear was to do with believing that I mattered absolutely not at all to my therapist. Who was skilled and conscientious, and always kind and compassionate although at that time I couldn't let myself be 'warmed' by that. It was weird though, because I knew all those things perfectly well and yet there was this part of me that was prostrate with terror and anguish that she was a complete monster of indifference. What you describe does sound a bit similar?

Anyhow, losing that fear was the best thing that happened during therapy and the best 'inside of me' experience in my life. It wasn't till it was gone that I realised how frightened I'd been all my life. But it took time, and it still gets better. Now I'm afraid of physical pain or danger and have the normal worries for those I love but that's about it. (Touch wood someone, that last sentence is just asking for trouble!)

My therapist certainly wasn't perfect, although I idealised her (at the same time as believing for a while that she might be a callous monster!). She was reliable, tactful and kind, usually brave, not too many hang-ups of her own, or if she had she generally kept them out of the consulting-room well enough. She didn't always get it right, she always did her best. I'm not quite sure how it all worked, my therapist said she didn't know either (horticultural therapy, Gardenergirl?). It was enough and I'll always be grateful. But does that in some way answer your question about the caring trusting relationship?

Regarding things like eye-contact, I don't know. I used to lie on a couch so there wasn't much. To be truthful, my lying on the couch was more to suit my therapist's preferences than mine (being a Good Patient). My guess is that it was the repeated and most of the time not very dramatic experiences of kindness, reliability and acceptance that did the re-modelling, although now I wonder if maybe more eye-contact might have helped things along a bit?

Have you talked about your fear with your therapist, Pfinstegg? I was too scared at first in case my worst terrors were confirmed, and then oh happy day when I realised they were nonsense I sort of didn't want to. I wish I had now though.

I hope that this rambling's been of some help? Anyhow, please feel free to fire away any more questions.




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