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Re: I hate him wittgensteinz

Posted by Dinah on September 26, 2010, at 10:39:29

In reply to Re: I hate him Dinah, posted by wittgensteinz on September 26, 2010, at 4:56:41

> Do you think his repeated promises (and failure to keep to his promises) regarding the work on emetophobia is in any way linked to your feelings of boredom and the idea of cutting back to once a week?

I think a large part of it is that there are no huge stressors in my life right now, and I'm fairly stable. If any huge stressors crop up, I'd probably find twice a week therapy more useful. We've explored just about every part of my past there is, and I don't think there's anything I could say that he wouldn't respond "I know".

He doesn't push in therapy. He says he won't push, that's not who he is. So he doesn't really push on areas where I've been reluctant to change. That generally works well for me. He gently suggests, we talk about it, I think about it, and I come to see things differently (and don't even always recognize that they weren't my ideas to begin with). But at times like this, I think a bit of pushing on those areas where I remain firmly entrenched might be helpful. I'm certainly not saying my mental health is all it should be, or that there's nothing I need to work on. For example, I really really overuse avoidance. Although... I'm pretty sure he does too, so doesn't feel like it's something that needs that much work. He also has a tendency to say he doesn't know how to help me with this or that problem that is remaining.

> It seems that there are two distinct issues to process with him, and maybe the handling of the emetophobia (and his resistance to personally engaging you in treatment for this) needs to be worked through first before any question of cutting back? By promising and not keeping to these promises, he is prolonging the possibility of resolving this issue - it's a big problem for you and something that you want to work on but he, for whatever reason, is resistant. If together you can find out 'why' this is then maybe a solution is possible - either him directly helping you with it or you both coming to an understanding of why he cannot and what might be an alternative.

I think that's true. I have the two ideas enmeshed in my mind. That somehow reading the handouts was a test, and that by not reading them, he failed. He'd likely read them in session, but that wouldn't lead to him passing the test. I know. It's silly. This is a test that he's bound to fail, given who he is. It probably doesn't mean he doesn't care at all. I know he cares, in the context of what clients are to him. Certainly it means the caring is lopsided. He insists that it's lopsided, not one sided. But it's also partly a function of who he is. He once had me scheduled for a phone session, when he was in a different town. He broke a tooth, made a dental appointment, scratched me off his calendar, and neglected to inform me.

> As for cutting back on sessions. I'm sure it has been something on and off your mind for a very long time in one way or the other - for example in reaction to how you are feeling about the therapy and perhaps to practical circumstances. But to what extent did you prepare for the last session with your therapist? It's such a huge thing to do (I think) - that surely there should be quite a process involved in first working through all the feelings that are likely to arise. From your posts, I get the impression that you went to the session, suggested reducing the sessions to once a week and he agreed - almost like you had to do it quick to force yourself into it?

I thought about it a long time before I brought it up. I had some fear that if I brought it up, something awful would happen. Fear that was reinforced when shortly after concluding I didn't need him as much, Katrina hit and forced a separation. My magical thinking would be much easier to cure if it didn't keep getting reinforced.

We've been talking about it for three or four sessions, but I'm not sure he took me seriously until the last two. Maybe the last one. He's not really very good with talking about the feelings underlying the move. He tends to back way far off and become extremely neutral so as not to influence me. He's so concerned about that that he doesn't even think about the things that would likely come naturally to an analyst. He rarely does long term therapy, and never therapy as long as I've had. I just don't think he thinks in those terms. And there might be some feelings of rejection on his side too, that causes him to be more stiff and neutral than usual. After all, he's human too and likely doesn't like to hear that a patient is bored senseless. Especially a patient who has adored him consistently for years.

> I reduced the frequency of my sessions earlier this year. It wasn't something I really wanted to do but for practical reasons there was a conflict (not enough time in the week, essentially - I was finding myself becoming stressed sometimes because I'd have a session when really there wasn't enough time). The frequency now is 'good enough' (although I still miss the higher frequency) - but cutting back was a very difficult, conflict-ridden, process. It took a good half year before it was instigated and much going back and forth - and it took a further 3 or 4 months before I'd adjusted to the new frequency.

That is very interesting. You did eventually adjust? I tend to think that if I could get past the original pain, I'd get used to it. But on the other side of the coin, I also think it's the beginning of the end. I don't hold on to him well between sessions. I think he'd become less and less important in my life, until I forgot who he was to me emotionally. So to some extent, I see cutting back as a prelude to termination. And not that long a prelude.

> I suppose what I mean to say is that it's a very delicate process and likely to evoke strong emotions in you. I would take your time and process it before actually cutting back - this might be painful but probably very helpful in the long run.

I might bring your post in and read it to him. Because he isn't analytic in training, and he doesn't deal with long term therapy very often, I don't think he's skilled or knowledgeable in these matters. It's always been an issue with us. Long term therapy for him is a year, or two years. We're fellow travelers when it comes to long term work. If he can be brought to understand that it is something to work on, not just a "Well, ok. I'll see you in a week then." it might go better between us.

> You don't have to do it - and you're the one wanting to do it. If you hadn't brought it up, your therapist wouldn't have - he's responding to you (albeit his response triggered a lot of hurt). He's been there for you all these years and not pushed you out the door. I very, very much doubt he is indifferent toward you or sees you as a talking wallet. I'm not writing this because I think you have been unreasonable - whether something is reasonable or not is not so relevant - I guess I just want to react to your comments in an earlier post about your feeling that he doesn't care about you. I'd feel hurt/angry too if my therapist had promised to do something for me (repeatedly) and failed to do so - I think you need to tell him how that makes you feel. Can you re-schedule your 2 sessions for next week? Having no session next week will probably only intensify these feelings.

He answered one of my many angry calls to him Friday, and suggested that I talk to him Tuesday. So as of now, we're scheduled for twice a week. In one of those strange twists of fate, I may not be able to see him Tuesday because of a deadline at work that just isn't going well. Why do computers always seem to act worst when you need them most?

> I hope you see him this coming week and talk this all through with him. I also hope he stops making empty promises or else gets down to reading the articles instead of his newspaper! - Or perhaps ask him to read it in session (or highlight the parts that are most important for him to read?).

Thank you. :)

I think part of why this is so problematic for me, and I act out so badly, is that I'm pretty split on what I want to do. My rational self sees this as something so obvious as to be barely worthy of thought. My emotional self is bored in session, and recognizes that I'm doing better, and thinks I probably ought to cut down. But apparently there's also a lot of feelings inside about rejection and loss and being alone. I'm not all that verbal when I'm in that state, and tend to lash out and act out instead of struggling to find words to inchoate feelings. The cooler and more rational he gets, the angrier and more frustrated I get.

You gave me a lot to think about. Thanks.




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