Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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Posted by Racer on May 24, 2004, at 12:56:06

In reply to Re: Wrong therapy for depression?, posted by tabitha on May 23, 2004, at 1:17:57

You know, Tabitha, I'm not a good hugger, in real life or online, so the fact that I gave you a cyberhug on the subject line is profoundly meaningful for me.

{{sigh}} This is so hard, because I can't separate out what I'm projecting onto you from my own situation, from what you're actually going through. It may be totally distorted, but as long as you know it, you can add liberal salt, right?

When you wrote:

"... I don't think she has issues with being right or wrong. Actually she's finally got me convinced that nobody is right or wrong, we all just have different perceptions and different filters. It's my twisted perception you're picking up. I hear her trying to make me wrong, but she isn't. She explained it all pretty well once-- she's trying to challenge my criticial parent, but I'm so identified with those critical thoughts, I feel as if I'm being attacked."

That's all really, really good -- if it's sincere. Not if *you're* sincere in believing it, but if it is a sincere development within a safe, appropriate therapeutic environment. That means that the therapist has to be sincere on her side, too, when she judges how ready you are for a push, versus how much support you need through a topic. That balance really has to be reset session by session, and sometimes minute by minute within the session. If she has "convinced" you, then that may not be entirely real, you know? I mean, you may be convinced only within the boundaries of the therapeutic moment, and it may still feel incongruent for you because of some deeper issues that are not being addressed. And I think gardenergirl said that it sounded as though your therapist may be trying to jump from A to D, without realizing the importance on B and C. That's what it sounds like to me, too.

As for the question about your prefering the therapist to be honest with you, even though she thinks you're wrong, guess what? You're right -- there's a sincerity issue there, too. My own situation is pretty much on point, so I'll tell you a bit of what happened at our last session. She jumps around too much for me, never following up on some of the most important things to me, going instead to her own concerns -- that's frustrating and not really relevant, but I really wanted to vent about it ;-) Anyway, she said something along the lines of, "We're all trying so hard to help you, what is it you want from us? If you'll tell us, we'll try to do it." First of all, I was in so much distress at that moment -- something that a better match of a therapist for me might have caught on to, and put off something like that for a better time -- that I couldn't have answered that question at all, even if I trusted her enough to try. But the thing that I *need* -- not want, but NEED -- is to be able to trust them. If I say, 'this is what I need you to do' and they start doing it now, I'm going to *know* that it's not genuine, it's not sincere, and it'll add to my distrust, not diminish it. Does that make sense?

I think, overall, that if I got to make decisions for you, and money and so forth was no consideration, this is what I'd tell you to do:

Take a week off from therapy and group and work and school and housekeeping and all the rest. Then go to your own private island, where you have the full on spa treatment: facial, body wrap, manicure and pedicure, have someone brush your hair twice a day, let the heat of the day sink through to your bones, run on your private beach with the sand tickling your toes, wander through your private art collection, whatever it is you would do if you could do anything at all with no worries. At the end of it all, ask yourself if you're afraid of changing therapists because it's so frightening to make such a major change, or if you really think that this fit -- despite the problems -- really is the best for you at this time. Then make a decision about what to do.

As for driving us crazy, at least we've got great company and lovely scenery, eh? Your confusion sounds par for the course to me -- 'course, I'm nuts so what do I know? -- and the conflict between your problems feeling heard by her and your defense of her just sound painful. I -- nolo me tangere -- wish I could hug you into feeling safer, but the best I can do is say that I think I hear you and anything you feel is real, even if it's not objectively accurate. And in this case, what you've described sounds as if it's probably more accurate than she's allowing you to process.





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Psycho-Babble Psychology | Framed

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