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Re: trusting your T Rockerr

Posted by Tabitha on July 9, 2016, at 12:51:51

In reply to Re: trusting your T Tabitha, posted by Rockerr on July 8, 2016, at 21:05:38

> Tabitha what you've written is so interesting.
> I said exactly this to my therapist. If I do not trust or believe you then I need to discount my own perceptions in order to be > helped. And yes him saying he would leave made
> Me really question why I stay.
> Question for you- when you went down this road what happened

During my last therapy, I had frequent doubts about whether it was helping or not. Even if I assumed that it was helping, I wasn't sure if it was worth the downsides-- it cost more than I was comfortable spending, and it was isolating since so much of my life was bound up in it, yet I wasn't comfortable talking about it or even admitting I was in therapy with most people. Plus the therapy itself created a lot of emotional distress. I'd cry through the sessions, I'd cry after the sessions, I'd miss work the next day due to being emotionally exhausted. When it got really bad, I'd need to process the sessions with third parties. The archives here are full of my struggle.

At the time, I felt miserable and desperate and believed therapy was the only viable route to lasting self-improvement. And of course my therapist encouraged me to think therapy was necessary, and that my struggle against it was resistance. So at some point I decided to just assume that she knew better than I did, and go with her recommendation which was to stay in therapy and believe it was helping even when it didn't feel like it was helping.

The ultimate result was the situation went on for 19 years, and my struggle with it only got worse. Even when I had decided I no longer wanted to play, I wanted to terminate, I stayed for many more years because she wouldn't agree with me that I was "done". By then I was afraid to terminate without her approval, since I had believed she knew better than me for so long. I ended up wasting a lot of time and money (10-20% of my gross income for many years).

Plus in hindsight I think it impeded my growth as a person because she so often pressured me to doubt my perceptions, beliefs, and values. She and I are just very different people, and trying to navigate life the way she does would not work for me. She was not able to help me identify my values, strengths and weaknesses and work with those. Instead, it was all about me moving from "unhealthy" to "healthy" where those evaluations were sort of a mish-mash of ideas from her training as a therapist and her personal qualities. She was eclectic and intuitive in her approach, and though I admired that in the beginning, it was ultimately damaging to me to be expected to emulate her style of thinking.

> and what road did you go down that felt better?

What felt better was finally terminating therapy (against her wishes) and relying more on medication to manage my emotional distress. And getting more involved in social groups that aren't therapy or recovery or support groups, and relationships with people that aren't therapy-style relationships. In short it felt better to just shed the whole enterprise and explore other options. If I still need to vent or "process" I do it with writing, not by paying someone to listen to me talk.

> I should clarify, the issue with my T was he said that there needs to be a feeling of caring from therapist to client and client needs to feel T cares for them in order for therapy to progress. It was me who used the word trust not T.
> I don't really care if I trust people more my main goal is to trust myself more and to be more understanding and tolerant of myself.
> I'm afraid if I don't believe in my therapists ability to help me I can't be helped that's my main issue.

I understand that's a very scary place to be. It can seem like there's no place to go for help if therapy doesn't help.

I joined group therapy (three times) and stuck it out when it was utterly miserable, because I thought group therapy was my only chance to learn social skills. In hindsight it seems absurd that I thought that, but I did. Group therapy teaches you to fit into group therapy. It doesn't necessarily teach you anything about blending into normal social situations.

> If every T I have had seems like someone who doesn't really get it and is just doing a job and tries to care and understand but can't really and doesn't really then how can I be helped if I feel like every T I have had has let me down. That's how the thoughts go.

Well, even if therapy can't help you, that doesn't mean you can't be helped. People are resilient, they grow up with or without therapy, and there are always other resources to draw on.

Over my long long time in therapy, I assumed that people who weren't in therapy couldn't grow and change (I really thought this). I had a friend who wasn't in therapy, who seemed to grow up as much or more than me over the same years. How could this be?

Then I met my husband who had never had therapy or done recovery or any of the therapy stuff. He seemed to have no significant conflict with his family. I assumed he must have some secret issues he hadn't faced. That anger must be under there somewhere. Now I think his family was just a notch more stable than mine, and he hadn't been pressured to think his family had damaged him and that he needed to work to dig up some anger toward them. I am embarrassed that it took me some time to accept that he didn't need my "help" digging up the hidden dysfunction in his family or his groups of friends. There are other ways to navigate relationships than what I had learned in therapy.

My conclusion is that there is more to life than therapy. I think therapy is more akin to religion than health care. It's fine if you find one that fits and works for you (and you can afford it), but it's is not the only road to happiness and functioning and it does not hold the ultimate truth about people.




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