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Re: trying to know, knowing I don't » ElaineM

Posted by Lindenblüte on October 29, 2006, at 15:09:02

In reply to trying to know, knowing I don't » caraher, posted by ElaineM on October 29, 2006, at 13:03:56

Hi Elaine,
Have you ever told him some of the stuff you've told us here? Things like- you REALLY want to be able to help, but you are terrified of saying the wrong thing? That you are naturally a very kind supportive person, but that it really hurts you when someone is in need and you feel that your help is not making any difference? Could you tell him how bad you feel that there is something specific about you (Elaine) that is causing him to have all of these reactions? How guilty you feel that you have caused all of his problems?

I'm just wondering.

I don't know crap about clinical psych work. I don't even know what the client is supposed to be doing, much less the therapist! I only know that your "therapist" is not putting enough of his professional training to use when he works with you. I feel really sad when my friend Elaine isn't getting the help she deserves to feel better.

Thanks for your long post, though. It helps me understand the dynamic better. My guess is that the reason why he has picked YOU to confide in is because he has sensed that you are a very caring, nurturing person. He also knows your vulnerabilities, however, and he certainly wouldn't be confiding in you if he had a fear that you were going to cause his professional organization or licensing bureau to investigate. He probably wouldn't confide in you anymore if you kept on telling him dumb, stupid stuff either, or if you started saying hurtful things to him. He probably understands you well enough to know that if something "goes wrong" you tend to take all the blame, and leave the other person feeling shining and unblemished.

So, I'm torn- why should I give you any advice on the "right" things to say to him, if it means that he will just continue to abuse your kind heart? If you started being unsupportive, maybe it would be a wake-up call to him that he is asking the wrong person for help (trust me, he is!). My only concern is that your entire notion of this therapeutic relationship revolves around helping others, even at the cost of slowly sacrificing your own mental health and stability.

Can you survive a seismic change in the therapeutic relationship? One where your "T" walks in one day and says- listen, Elaine, I don't think it's appropriate for me to tell you about my personal problems. What if he were to change OVERNIGHT, and become the T that his other clients experience? Would you be devastated, thinking that he had found out that you had "betrayed" him (or some such nonsense- no confidentiality agreement demands YOUR silence!!!). Would you be devastated that he decided that you weren't important enough or smart enough, or kind enough or whatever, for him to share his issues with you?

I see him as sucking the life-force out of you. You are suffering so much unneeded anxiety and trauma. I wonder whether the cutting and physical pain you suffer from are symptomatic of your deteriorating therapeutic relationship with this man. I honestly wonder whether you would be better off with no T at this point, but I don't know how much of your own self-esteem you have invested in making this relationship "work". Only you know what is best for you.

Just don't lose track of the big picture, and don't lose track of your own personal goals. This time, next year, what do you want to be doing? Perhaps you would like to go back to school, or work in a library, or be a tutor to kids in need, or live in a nicer apt., or make 2 new friends? Maybe you will have as a goal to make it to the babble-conference thingie which is supposed to take place in San Diego- I don't know if that's a long way for you?- or maybe a vacation with a special friend?

There's more to life than therapy. I promise!

I just want to help you understand that you have SO much to offer the world outside your window. Even though you don't believe in yourself sometimes, you have SO many gifts. I think it's selfish for your T to limit your ability to experience the wide world out there. I so dearly wish you could be free of this man.





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