Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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A story for the book

Posted by Daisym on February 23, 2012, at 0:32:58

You know that "issues and episodes in therapy" book we are writing as a group - I have another episode to add.

I've written before that I see my therapist in two offices. One is my favorite, the other is fine but offers a couple of challenges. It is in an old beautiful building but sometimes the therapist on one side is noisy and the therapist on the other side is my therapist's wife. I hate running into her - especially when I'm in one of those states of feeling clingy and needy about my therapist. I see him there 1x a week, usually in the morning.

Things have been kind of rough in therapy - my therapist has been pushing me, and as I resist he has expressed frustration. So last week, I had to reschedule my usual session to a time later in the day. The session was going in the same tense direction and there were about 15 minutes left. I've retreated into silence and he is once again frustrated. Imagine both of our surprise when we hear a key in the door. He snaps to attention and I can tell we are both thinking, "wait...what? No - what is that?" The door starts to open and my therapist leaps up, saying, "no, no, no" and puts his hand on the door and pushes it closed again.

What would you do here?

Me - being me - pretend like nothing has happened. Because I simply can't take it in. Inside, I'm freaking out - but somehow it seems necessary to look unflustered and to keep going. So I start talking.

My therapist has returned to his chair - he looks completely flustered. But I'm talking. So he tries to listen to me - tries to find his place again - and he doesn't say anything about the door either. But his frustration, which was already high, sort of boils over and he says something about being mad at someone in my family, in response to something I've offered up. I snap at him, start to cry and leave upset.

When I open his door, his wife's "out" door is wide open (they are across the hall from each other) and her "in" door is also wide open to the waiting room. Hard to sneak away under those circumstances. I have no idea how I got down the hall and down the stairs to my car. It was so overwhelming that I just couldn't breathe.

He started the next session (in the other office) with, "we should talk about what happened yesterday." My response was, "which thing? Several things happened." He then explains that his wife did not know he was in his office, the thermostat is in his office and she was boiling in hers and wanted to turn the heat down. He apologizes and tells me how bad he feels about the breach and how glad he is that he caught the door before it opened all the way. (You could not see me from the door when it opened a little bit.)

I accept his explanation, tell him it wasn't his fault and I'm not really sure how I feel about it all yet. And we talked about what happened at the end of the session - clearly he was upset over the space being invaded.

I'm not sure I wanted to know who it was at the door. Part of me wanted to pretend it was the cleaning service. But I think I already knew so I wouldn't have wanted to have been lied to either.

So what do you think? What would you have done?




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