Posted by kiddo on March 7, 2001, at 21:29:06
In reply to Re: Jealousy, posted by JennyR on February 25, 2001, at 18:05:21
I know this is a late response, but hey, I just showed up :-) Have you ever thrown his words back at him? I remember an incident with my therp/pdoc that was almost word for word to yours. Scary! The difference was "I'm only human" instead of "I'm not a machine". Then tried to throw me off by saying "The real issue here is your need to hear it." as well. My reply? "I'm only human." It has been the only time in my entire therapy that he has shown any kind of reaction. It was actually awesome.
> Wow, that's amazing to me, that she has said those things. It's been 3 years with my therapist. We "clicked" very well. He has given me positive feedback, but never phrases it as his feelings, like "Good for you" rather than "I'm proud of you." Or he'll say it was really good that I did such and such. So he is supportive, but in a way where it's never him saying it as his feeling. I guess it's his training, because I do feel the warmth and caring, and I know I couldn't have shown all the sides of me I have if there wasn't a strong bond there. But it always does bother me a little that he will never express a feeling toward me. My mother-in-law's therapist says things like yours, and has actually hugged her a number of times (both women). I guess a man does have to be much more careful about misinterpretation, and better to steer clear. I don't want the hugs, just a very occasional expression of his evident good feelings toward me. When we get into hassles about it, I experience him as so withholding. He calls that my pain about feeling need. I think he's too restrained in this way, but otherwise great. His good feelings are only implied in what he says;I want the occasional point blank positive statement of feelings. A couple of times when I've expressed very positive feelings about coming and about what we do and the changes, and I was put off a little by him not reciprocating at all, I said "I don't know what this is like for you, but I can't imagine that touching someone's life the way you have mine doesn't touch you in some way." His answer was "I'm not a machine." I said "what does that mean?" He said "machine?". I said "I know what the words mean, but what are you saying?" He said "I"m not a machine, I have feelings" but would not elaborate and just put it on me about my need to hear it. I hate that. He has said on occasions that I work so hard, that I am courageous, and even (the closest to a feeling) that he enjoys working with me. But that's still different than saying he likes me. One time when we got in a hassle about this (it's happened 3-4 times over the 3 years I said that when he doesn't say this stuff, it makes me kind of doubt things, that he gives the impression of caring, but it might just be good technique, designed to make me spill my guts." He looked genuinely surprised and said "you doubt the caring after all this time?" (it was a year then). But of course he wouldn't just say "I do care." Yet the caring does show through his actions. And one time when I said the lack of his expressing anything positive was hard for me, he said I should judge by his actions. We have a great rapport otherwise. I think he just thinks it's good technique to 100% keep his feelings out of it. Frustrating to me at times, though.