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Re: Very partial response...

Posted by Dinah on September 14, 2007, at 9:12:07

In reply to Re: Very partial response... » annierose, posted by girlnterrupted78 on September 14, 2007, at 2:27:37

> Fine. But answer this question: Is it really impossible to find a therapist that doesn't feel comfortable talking and that instead expects her patient to do the job? Is that something impossible? Because what I get from everyone's comments here is that it's simply IMPOSSIBLE that there could be a neglectful, unprepared therapist on the face of earth, and the patient who dares have that impression, is SURELY projecting. There's no other possibility, because every T on this planet is qualified, fair and prepared, the only explanation for any problems is projection of the patient. Sounds as if the T wasn't human to begin with. As if it was an expectation that they had no baggage or were superhuman.

That’s not what I’m getting from people’s comments at all. Of course it’s possible for a therapist to be neglectful and unprepared. I’m sure there are many of them. I think we’re not necessarily seeing that from what you describe. We’re seeing a therapist who is doing things not so differently than many of our therapists. The difference is that our therapists managed to establish a therapeutic relationship with us that was positive. Your therapist hasn’t. It might yet happen or it might not. I’d be inclined to cut losses and move on. My therapist has always said that what you say doesn’t matter if you don’t say it in a way the client can understand and accept. I can understand that you’d like people to see in her what you see in her. And maybe if we were in the room with her, we would. But we’re not in the room with her. I really do understand if you’re upset with our responses though. Sometimes I come here really wanting to have people validate that my therapist has done something terrible (or wonderful) only to discover that others have interpreted things differently.

> For example, she told me (after *I* began a whole session of OPENING UP and speaking on how we feel in therapy)--she confessed she felt afraid that her comments might offend me, so, on many occasions she kept her thoughts to herself. So I think that's a problem of hers. Therapists shouldn't restrain themselves out of fear (I think.)

Here’s an example of something my therapist *has* done many times. He doesn’t do it out of fear. In the early days he would have considered it more important to establish the therapeutic alliance than to speak every thought in his head. He’d have concentrated on a few thoughts he thought would most directly address what brought me to therapy. Even now he doesn’t consider it necessary to tell me everything he thinks. And frankly, I think that’s for the best.

But in a situation such as that you describe, he might have said something about my wanting him to speak openly about how he feels, and then he replied that he felt like he couldn’t speak as openly as he might because he senses I get angry with what he says, and that I got angry at what he said in response to my request to openly share. I might or might not feel he'd captured the moment accurately, and he might or might not have. But he's said that sort of thing to me many times.

> I didn't get a sense that she was acting out of knowledge or therapeutic style, but rather, out of being incapable of doing her part.

See, given the medium of the written word, and a second person account, there’s no way for us to get a sense of that. We’re only hearing her words and actions, and for the most part those sound pretty standard to some schools of therapeutic thought. But it’s possible that she does sound so textbook because she *is* inexperienced. How long has she been doing this?

> I don't know if it's the approach, or if it's her. I honestly don't like her. Can you imagine having to talk to a person you don't really like, and on top of that, having to begin the conversation about YOUR life, with a T you don't like or trust?

IMHO, this is the crux of the matter. I can’t imagine doing therapy with someone I dislike. I wouldn’t do therapy with someone I dislike. I have walked out of therapy for just that reason. Approach aside, research has shown that nothing as important as a good therapeutic relationship. If you don’t have it with her, surely it’s worthwhile finding it with someone else? If you discuss this therapeutic relationship with your next therapist, you could still get many of the benefits you would by staying with her. Less maybe for it not being immediate, but more maybe for your not disliking the person saying it.

> Thanks again for your comments
> GI78

I hope you still feel that way. :)




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