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Re: Very partial response... Racer

Posted by girlnterrupted78 on September 11, 2007, at 13:40:27

In reply to Very partial response... Girlnterrupted78, posted by Racer on September 10, 2007, at 16:41:39

> What I meant is that when you -- the generic 'you,' or one, rather than you specifically -- attribute emotional states or reactions to others, it's not necessarily their actual states you're responding to. Often, you're "projecting" something onto them.

Umm, I guess it can happen. Not sure where in my T this would apply. Most of the "guesses" I made about her turned out to be right, or very close to right.

When I was certain that she was annoyed, I had a loooong talk with her and told her just how I felt about her. I said it was important for me to know why she was annoyed because I felt uncomfortable in therapy if she was annoyed, and I could not trust her if she wasn't honest to me. It took all THAT (in addition to MY opening up fully about my feelings in therapy) to make her open up and speak. Consider that therapy is supposed to be an open space for honesty, yet the actual THERAPIST seems more comfortable pushing things under the rug (she claimed she was NOT annoyed 2 or 3 times, and then ended by saying: What is the point of knowing if I am annoyed or not? What is the relevance?)

So this is how "open" she is in therapy, and how honest she is to her patient. So I hope I'm not projecting anything here--it is HER who is not being honest with me, and I'm not making any interpretation of her behavior, I am stating the facts as they happened.

When she finally spoke, she didn't use the word 'annoyed.' (Who would? It doesn't sound too professional anyway!) She claimed she felt'uneasy' because she felt I was attacking her. I used to have this kind of "talk" with my previous T--one where we'd challenge each other to get to the root of a problem. So I guess I just tried the same approach with her; I was trying to engage her in the same way to get to the root of the problem, and she took it as an attack and reacted by giving me an angry look and using an angry tone of voice. Does this sound more like HER projection on me?

> Is it "just your imagination?" I don't think of it that way at all. You're applying one interpretation to her behavior, based on a lot of things in your history, experience, emotional reality, psychological make up, etc. None of that is imaginary -- it's all any of us has, and we all do it. What I am saying, though, is that it's not necessarily based on your T's actual experience.

Well, I'm sure you're right on that. But like I said before, I seek explanations from my T. She refused 2 or 3 times and kept asking what was the relevance of knowing if she was annoyed (read: What is the relevance of my behavior as a T in therapy!??)<-- that's her actual statement!

But eventually, when I was brutally honest with her--I told her I expected the same honesty. And at that point she admitted that she was 'afraid' of asking me certain things because she felt I'd be offended or I'd feel as if she were judging me. So I was right in that this T feels insecure around me. I sensed it.

> Defence mechanisms are helpful and, if used in a proper manner, are healthy. However, if misused, the defence mechanisms may also be unhealthy

Where would this apply? Who is using a defense mechanism? Myself? if so, how?

> Since we can't see your T's face, or watch her body language, we can only go by our own experiences in responding to your posts. To me, based on my own background, psychological make up, etc, some of what you've described of your T's behavior has a very different interpretation than the one you attribute to it.

So what would be your interpretation of my T's behavior based on your own psychological makeup? I'm sure I'd benefit from an outsider's opinion, so I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on this.

> Maybe you're right, maybe I'm right, maybe neither of us are anywhere near the mark. But often, the same events look very different to different people.

Yeah, that I know. You could find my T's method helpful, and the fact that she barely gives feedback helpful too, so you wouldn't need to figure out why she does what she does. For me, I find her method useless, so I began using a more challenging method. And then I began to sense her discomfort, and the fact that she could never answer my question (I asked her how her therapy worked, and she gave me a definition from a book) which angered me because the therapy wasn't working for me, and when I requested more info, I didn't get it, so I began to sense that she was unprepared and/or insecure about the whole thing, and later when she claimed she was afraid of making comments to me because she felt I'd be offended, then I realized that she both, doesn't know how her therapy works, and is afraid of commenting on my situation. In other words, I'm only paying for her sitting at her chair.

My interpretation is that she is insecure and unprepared. What would be YOUR interpretation of this? I could be projecting, but so far, her answers have cleared my doubts on the matter. Then after this "talk" she shows up furious and begins lying. What am I supposed to think of her behavior in general? How could this be projection, when I always have facts to back myself up?

> Transference in therapy is very often a very good thing. There is also negative transference in therapy, where we transfer negative aspects of a previous relationship to the therapist -- and from what you've written, it sounds as though you may be experiencing that with this therapist.

Well, the only thing I told this T is that I had a similar relationship with my stepmother. Some of their behaviors are very similar. And unfortunately, those behaviors are NEGATIVE. They both take things very personally, they both are way too sensitive, and they both are incapable of ever facing a problem with full honesty; Instead, they push things under the rug and pretend everything's perfect even though things obviously aren't. My stepmother would take EVERYTHING as an attack too, and never had the guts to have a talk about it. She guilt tripped me

It's not that your therapist reminds you of your stepmother -- only that you may have "transfered" certain aspects of the relationship into the therapy.

But the only thing she has in common with my stepmother is that she is overly sensitive and thinks I'm attacking her when I make a challenge related to the therapy. I didn't "bring this into the therapy" they just happen to be similar women--women who are too sensitive and take everything personally. My problems with T began due to her sensitivity--when I asked something challenging, she took it the wrong way--as an attack. Same with my stepmother--everything would be taken the wrong way and instead of TALKING about it, she'd act like a martyr and storm out of the room acting all hurt. I was a child. She never had a TALK with me about it. That would have resolved everything, but she'd rather act hurt and make me feel guilty, than figure out what I actually meant by my comment.

> Overall, though, the only thing I've read here that raised any concerns on my part was something (can't remember what) that made me think she may not have a huge amount of experience. Doesn't mean she's bad, just means maybe she may not have a lot of experience. And I could be wrong. There was something you recounted that sounded to me as though she may have gotten a consult with another T -- which is actually a good thing, since it would mean she's trying to improve her interactions with you.

You also mentioned that she has a good deal going on for her? What did you mean by that, Racer?

> Anyway, I hope that makes what I was trying to say a little clearer. I'd also like to reiterate something I think may not have been clear earlier: I have had very bad experiences with Ts. I don't think it's possible to work with any T who walks into the room. Heck -- I've spent thousands of dollars over the years going to initial appointments with Ts looking for the right fit. You're not in a position to do that right now, I know, but it may be possible to transfer to another T within the agency. You may find a better fit. (Remember, though: it may actually be worse... I speak from experience.) All I'm trying to say in all of this is that it may not be that your T is a terrible person, it may just be that you're not a good fit together. Just trying to show another point of view, apparently rather clumsily.

Thanks. I know what you're saying. I never thought she was a 'terrible' person. I just think she has no clue what she's doing and she seems to resolve her problems with anger, and by never speaking about them, even though therapy is an OPEN space--do you realize how disappointed this makes me? And she brings those problems into the therapy--which is obviously a disadvantage for me, because I'm there to deal with MY issues, not with my T's issues.

Thanks a lot for your response. If you could simply tell me what's your interpretation of my T (you said at some point she has a good deal going on for her.. and that you'd get back at me later..) I just would like to know what your interpretation of her behavior as I've described it would be from a third party--yourself!

Thank you again, I really appreciate your time :)




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