Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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No Hugs for me

Posted by DAisym on March 20, 2008, at 19:49:57

I've had a really complicated week but things kind of merged and shifted and I handled it all really well. I was feeling really proud of myself and strong - and I had a session yesterday that was all about feeling strong and good. We were connected and laughing together, he teased me about writing a book together, things were just good. When I got down to my car I sort of realized that this was one of those times when I really wished I could have hugged him when I was leaving. Not him hug me - me hug him. Because I felt good and grateful and connected. Nothing complicated about it - no layers - just a "thank you for helping me" hug. As I left I told him that we should probably skip the session tomorrow (Thursday) so we didn't wreck this good feeling. He said "nah - we'll just breeze through it."

I think he was trying to keep it light today but we ended up talking about yesterday. I told him that I was surprised to find myself thinking I would have liked to have given him a hug - because I don't hug and because he has a policy about it. So we talked about hugs and touch - he said yes, he does shake hands with some of his male patients, but that is "just" a form of greeting. I disagreed, saying that touching your therapist meant lots of different things, including that they are real, flesh and blood people. He asked if I thought it would be healing to get a hug and I said I believed it would - depending on the session and the circumstances. We talked about some of the wishes that went with that and a very old dream I had, where we sat on the floor together, backs to opposite walls but toes touching. I told him that it is hard not to believe that he never wants to touch me because I'm repulsive and because of what he knows about me. He said that was in no way true, and I needed to keep reminding myself that this was a global policy for all his patients.

I did say at the end that I wasn't criticizing, I knew he'd thought about this policy carefully, I just wished it was more flexible and allowed for spontaneity sometimes. And he replied, "I don't take it as a criticism. I did think about it very carefully and I just feel there are some things I have to do to kind of hold myself as a therapist - what I'm comfortable with." I understood that too. But for some reason this sentence hurt. Like he still needs to hold himself apart from me - or us - or this work we are doing together. And I guess it highlights a certain sort of separateness - and reminds me of the limitations and boundaries again. So I feel sad - not angry or destroyed or anything. Just really sad somehow. And I didn't want him to see how sad I felt about this separateness so I made a joke as I was leaving.

"What do you mean don't take it personal, it isn't about just you? Of course it is about me and is personal - because you don't have any other patients - right?" He laughed and said, "Right. Exactly - no other patients."

But tonight I feel a little wounded and some of the good stuff has moved away. I wish I hadn't opened this topic.




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poster:DAisym thread:819091