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Re: I hate therapy (rant) (long) Elle2021

Posted by fallsfall on March 14, 2004, at 9:59:07

In reply to I hate therapy (rant), posted by Elle2021 on March 14, 2004, at 2:57:47

*** Elle,

*** Your session doesn't sound like it was a lot of fun.

*** Can I ask you a couple of questions? Some of the things that you said sound pretty familiar to me - and I'm wondering whether some of the stuff that goes on in my therapy might be going on with you. Of course, none of what I say may be relevant at all - so please feel free to listen to things that sound relevant and discard the rest! (This is wicked long... [she says with embarassment])

> ...I told my T that I would only be able to see her twice a month... She seemed upset at me... Anyway, I felt like she was mad at me.... :( ...Then she seemed to get even more irritated, even when I tried to make it clear that I didn't hate her, I hated the way therapy is making me feel.

*** There have been many, many, many times when I have felt that my (current and former) therapist have been mad at me. For the longest time, I just freaked out silently, and did whatever I could to "fix" my badness so that she wouldn't be mad at me. The phrase from the DSM description of BPD seems to fit me well at these times - "Frantic effort to avoid abandonment". When I switched therapists and felt the VERY SAME feeling with him, I knew that it was transference. He was able to help me look at it, and we spent a lot of time talking about how and why I thought he was mad, and how he really was feeling (which wasn't mad). He did finally convince me that just because *I* thought he was mad didn't mean that *he* WAS mad. After that, I started to check with him - to tell him that he seemed mad to me, was he mad? And we would go through the whole thing again. I have progressed to the point where, when I feel like he's mad at me, I can try to think of alternate explanations and then I can keep myself together (not freak) until my next session when I can check with him to see if he is really mad. Just knowing that there are alternate explanations (and that in all likelihood he isn't mad) allows me to control the freaking. Did you *ASK* her if she was mad or irritated? It was very helpful to me to find out what *he* was feeling (as opposed to what I thought he was feeling).

> I don't feel like she understands me.

*** This comment may be completely off base, but when I read this my first thought was that this is how you feel about your mother. Are you projecting that feeling onto your therapist? (Maybe I've been reading too many psych books...)

>...I told her that I hated it because there were things I wanted to tell her, but couldn't yet because I don't know how to deal with the feelings yet. We talked about how I am completely 100% out of touch with my feelings. She wants to start "working on that." Uh-huh... I can see that happening.

*** I am the kind of person who likes no surprises. I love to plan. I will go over an issue so many times in my mind until I can say it just the right way - or I'll write it down (and then get annoyed when he doesn't want me to read it - Gee, these words say *exactly* what I want to say, why can't I use what I wrote?). It sounds like you don't want to talk about things until you have worked them out and are comfortable with them. I certainly can relate. However. Not knowing "how to deal with the feelings yet" shouldn't keep you from talking about something. The whole point of therapy is to explore areas that you don't understand and get some help from your therapist in handling these areas. You aren't *supposed* to know how to handle everything - if you did know how to handle everything, then you wouldn't need to be in therapy. She *IS* there to help you figure out how to deal with the feelings - but she can't do that if you don't talk about the issues.

*** In the "old days", I used to journal a lot. Before a session, I would reread all of my journalling, make a list of the things I wanted to talk about (and the order to talk about them), I would rehearse the entire session in my mind until I was comfortable with it. There were whole sessions with my old therapist where she really didn't say anything at all - I was "reporting" my life to her. What value was she adding? My current therapist has worked hard to try to get me to plan less. He won't let me read stuff (there are times when I can read stuff - but it is really the exception), he doesn't want me to have an "agenda". He wants the sessions to go whereever they go, and he doesn't want me to "control" the session. I still write a bit (though more here and in IM/emails with friends), I don't review it usually before a session (well, sometimes I do - but at least now I feel like I'm studying for a test - how much detail can my brain actually remember? and I know that this isn't so helpful), unless there is a mega-tough issue, I don't rehearse it, sometimes I don't even know what my opening sentance will be (but I think it really is OK to plan that much...). It's a different way of looking at therapy - instead of "presenting" myself for her approval, I am *living* in the session (and we are both observing what that "living" looks like). This change was incredibly difficult - but it also has made an incredible difference to the effectiveness of therapy. This may or may not be the way that you see therapy, but it might be worth asking your therapist about the planning vs. spontaneity question.

> We talked about my manic episode and she had *nothing* really to say about it. She asked me a few questions about why I felt manic, what I did during, and what I tried to stop it. Then she never gave me any idea on whether it really was a genuine episode or not.

*** Did you ASK her if it was a "genuine episode" or not? Usually, I think of these kinds of questions 5 minutes after I walk out the door (frustrating!).

> Now I miss Burt (my pdoc). I left a message a WEEK ago with his secretary to call me and he still hasn't called. That always hurts my feelings.

*** Call him again. Burt is too sweet to not return your phone calls. I bet the message got lost.

> I feel depressed.
> Elle

*** ((((Elle)))) Can you talk to her about these frustrations? I know that you have tried, but sometimes you have to keep on trying. These kinds of interactions with your therapist really do say a lot about how you see the world and your role in the world. And that is a very important topic for therapy.

 

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