Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 332291

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Re: my grandma died today crushedout

Posted by DaisyM on April 5, 2004, at 19:41:18

In reply to my grandma died today, posted by crushedout on April 5, 2004, at 17:53:58

Crushed, I'm sorry for your loss. I hope she didn't suffer and wasn't alone.

I believe that God calls his children home at really special times of the year and Easter/Passover is such a blessed time. I hope you can find comfort in knowing that.

You, and she, are in my prayers today. Take good care of yourself and do something that would make her smile.
Daisy

 

Re: my grandma died today crushedout

Posted by Raindancer on April 5, 2004, at 19:54:43

In reply to my grandma died today, posted by crushedout on April 5, 2004, at 17:53:58

So sorry to hear of the loss of your grandma. You are in my thoughts and prayers. A part of those we love always stays with us and I hope you will be comforted and given strength at this sad time.

Raindancer

 

thank you daisy and raindancer

Posted by crushedout on April 5, 2004, at 19:58:04

In reply to Re: my grandma died today crushedout, posted by Raindancer on April 5, 2004, at 19:54:43


I am sad, but I got to tell her I loved her just before she died, and I know she is inside of me. I remember her very fondly. I am going to be with my family tomorrow and I think it will be really nice. She was a really funny, tough old bird, and I will miss her.

 

Re: my grandma died today

Posted by Joslynn on April 5, 2004, at 20:01:56

In reply to my grandma died today, posted by crushedout on April 5, 2004, at 17:53:58

Oh no! I am so sorry. A sad thing of course, and then of course there is the timing factor on top of everything else.

 

Re: my grandma died today crushedout

Posted by gardenergirl on April 5, 2004, at 21:11:23

In reply to my grandma died today, posted by crushedout on April 5, 2004, at 17:53:58

Oh crushed, I'm so sorry. My grandma died on Easter Sunday three years ago. It was very hard for me, but I think of her with me whenever I am singing in the shower or along with the radio, as she really loved to sing.

I'm sure you will miss her and grieve, but she will always be with you.

((((crushed))))

gg

 

thanks everyone

Posted by crushedout on April 5, 2004, at 21:20:37

In reply to Re: my grandma died today crushedout, posted by gardenergirl on April 5, 2004, at 21:11:23


i'm really okay. sad, but in a good way. it's almost better, i find (as twisted as this sounds) when i have an actual *reason* to be sad, than when i'm just depressed and have no clue why. do you know what i mean? i hope i don't sound callous. i'm really not.

anyway, i wonder if i should bring up the termination thing tomorrow after all. i'm tempted to, but it's kind of scary right now. i guess i'll just see how it goes.

 

Re: my grandma died today crushedout

Posted by All Done on April 5, 2004, at 21:53:29

In reply to my grandma died today, posted by crushedout on April 5, 2004, at 17:53:58

Sorry to hear about your grandma, crushedout. Make sure you take care of yourself during this difficult time.

All Done

 

Re: I'm very sorry for your loss. (nm) crushedout

Posted by Dinah on April 6, 2004, at 8:32:27

In reply to my grandma died today, posted by crushedout on April 5, 2004, at 17:53:58

 

Re: my grandma died today crushedout

Posted by terrics on April 6, 2004, at 11:36:11

In reply to my grandma died today, posted by crushedout on April 5, 2004, at 17:53:58

Sorry about your grandma. ((((crushed))))
terrics

 

Redirect: my grandma died today

Posted by Dr. Bob on April 6, 2004, at 20:18:23

In reply to Re: my grandma died today crushedout, posted by terrics on April 6, 2004, at 11:36:11

> Sorry about your grandma...

I'm sorry, too, but I'd also like to redirect follow-ups about loss to Psycho-Babble Grief. Here's a link:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/grief/20040220/msgs/333506.html

Thanks,

Bob

 

had therapy today it was so painful

Posted by crushedout on April 6, 2004, at 23:31:00

In reply to Redirect: my grandma died today, posted by Dr. Bob on April 6, 2004, at 20:18:23


Well, I went to therapy today. We spent the first half talking about my grandma and my family but then I brought up the termination issue in the second half. It was really weird and confusing. I explained that I felt like it wasn't really working anymore, that therapy was causing me more problems than helping me at this point, and I didn't feel like we were making any progress on working through my transference. Quite the opposite, in fact: I felt like it was getting worse and more painful.

She looked mad. I asked her if she was mad but she said she wasn't -- she was just sad for me. She wished she could make the process go faster for me but she couldn't. She felt like if I stopped therapy, I would be missing an important opportunity to work through some stuff about my mother (I really don't see the connection, which I told her, and she looked annoyed). She said she would support me whatever I decided and that she didn't necessarily disagree with me that it was a bad idea. For example, she said, she thought I should stop if (a) I was having trouble feeling invested in the rest of my life (umm, yes) and/or (b) my feelings about her were making me feel so "dysregulated" that the only way I could cope with them was to cut (um, yes also).

This is a brief, haphazard summary of what happened. I almost cried a few times (rare, for me) and she seemed very unempathic (unusual, for her). But that could have just been my perception, I suppose. She scooted me out of there in a way that made me feel really bad (we had run over).

Then I left to travel to see my family far away (where I am now). At my layover airport, I started crying (it felt like really, really deep grief, but not about my grandma -- about my T) and couldn't stop. It was so painful. I ended up calling her and leaving a message. She didn't call me back.

I'm really depressed and confused and lost. I don't want to stop seeing her at all because she's the most important person in the world to me. The only person in the world who makes me feel understood (most of the time), safe, who I respect and love dearly. I don't know. It's going to be sooo painful to give her up. But she also causes me sooo much pain that I think I should. But maybe I *am* passing up an important opportunity. And this bond we've developed -- a bond I've *never* found anywhere else in my entire life -- how can I just walk away from that?

Plus, there's the whole matter of finding another T. I am so picky, especially now. I'll never find one. I feel pretty miserable, hopeless even. help.

 

Re: had therapy today it was so painful

Posted by gardenergirl on April 6, 2004, at 23:38:44

In reply to had therapy today it was so painful, posted by crushedout on April 6, 2004, at 23:31:00

Crushed,
I can imagine how hard this session was for you, and how raw you must be feeling with everything going on.

I think your T's reasons for you when a person should terminate make a lot of sense. Yes, you may be missing out on working through a maternal transference, but I would ask her overtly what she means by that.

And also, termination, in situations when it is agreed upon by both, can take several sessions to come to conclusion. What do you think about continuing to see your T to process termination while you "shop" for a new one? That way you can have an outlet for dealing with the pain it brings up, you can try to gain some closure, and you can still feel understood by somoeone. The only caveat to this is if you would put off finding a new T because you are having too much trouble breaking away from your old T even if you decided to.

At any rate, please take extra special care of yourself. Try to focus on YOUR needs, and less on your T's reactions and feelings. You are in the therapy relationship for your own needs. If they are not getting met, then it makes sense to try someone else.

gg

 

Re: had therapy today it was so painful gardenergirl

Posted by crushedout on April 6, 2004, at 23:49:52

In reply to Re: had therapy today it was so painful, posted by gardenergirl on April 6, 2004, at 23:38:44

> I think your T's reasons for you when a person should terminate make a lot of sense. Yes, you may be missing out on working through a maternal transference, but I would ask her overtly what she means by that.

you're right. I will.


> And also, termination, in situations when it is agreed upon by both, can take several sessions to come to conclusion. What do you think about continuing to see your T to process termination while you "shop" for a new one? That way you can have an outlet for dealing with the pain it brings up, you can try to gain some closure, and you can still feel understood by somoeone. The only caveat to this is if you would put off finding a new T because you are having too much trouble breaking away from your old T even if you decided to.

Yes, that's sort of what I was envisioning (shopping for a new T while we go through the termination process) but I think the concern you raise is also a valid one. I think it would be so easy for me to get sucked back in, or never be able to find anyone who compares if I don't just break away from her.

Thanks so much for your support, gg. It really helps.

 

Re: had therapy today it was so painful crushedout

Posted by fallsfall on April 7, 2004, at 7:59:29

In reply to Re: had therapy today it was so painful gardenergirl, posted by crushedout on April 6, 2004, at 23:49:52

Crushed,

You were very brave to talk to her about termination. I commend you on that.

You said: she thought I should stop if (a) I was having trouble feeling invested in the rest of my life (umm, yes) and/or (b) my feelings about her were making me feel so "dysregulated" that the only way I could cope with them was to cut (um, yes also).

So, in effect she is saying that based on HER criteria you should stop.

My situation 9 months ago had some similarities to yours. Perhaps you can learn from my experience.

I was in immense pain, and my old therapist was not dealing with that pain. I found out, at the end, that she did not have any clue of how much pain I was in for the last 4 months that I saw her. That was the final blow for me - she was not even aware of the most important thing in my life. When your therapist says that you need to work through a maternal transference - I am a little confused. I thought your transference was erotic. Aren't those different things? IS she aware of exactly what you are feeling? Or is she, like my old therapist was, seeing things in a different way than you are?

I saw her for 8 1/2 years - she was my first therapist. I believed that she and only she could understand me. I believed that I would die without her. I didn't start looking for a new therapist until I was suicidal - I decided that if I was going to take my own life if I stayed with her that perhaps seeing someone else couldn't be WORSE. My new therapist is very, very good. He understands me in a different way than she did, but I think that is a good thing. She and I were stuck in a groove. Changing therapists has allowed me to get out of that groove. I do feel very connected to my new therapist, and I think that we are making a lot of progress (on stuff that I never would have been able to work on with my old therapist). I do believe, now, that if something happened with my new therapist that I could find another therapist who could be very good for me (and yet different from either of my first two). I certainly did not believe this was possible while I was with my first therapist.

My old therapist brought my case to her supervision group. They said that if I was still as miserable in 3 months that she should terminate me. I agreed that if I went through another 3 months in that much pain that termination would be an appropriate thing. Please note that I had always envisioned "forever therapy". But even I knew that being in that much pain for 7 months couldn't be helping me. This started me thinking about the possibility of changing therapists, and suddenly there was some hope in my life.

I told her that I was going to look for a new therapist because I couldn't stand the pain any longer. She supported me in that, and said that I could see her until I was established with someone else. Later I found out that she thought I was leaving because "she had taught me everything she knew". We had completely different ideas about why I was leaving. This wasn't clear until a month after I told her I was leaving.

When I interviewed new therapists, I knew that I HAD to leave her. I think that was critical for me to be open to the interview process. I was surprised at how easily I could tell if I would have rapport with each candidate. After 8 1/2 years I knew what therapy was, and I had definate ideas of what I was looking for (some things I was looking for were things that my first therapist had, for some other things I was looking for something different). The interview process was not fun - but I knew that it was critically important.

When I was telling her about the interviews (I valued her opinion of who I should see - she knew me better than anyone else), that was when I found out that we had been on two different planets - that she didn't know I had been in pain, and that we had different ideas of why I was leaving. That was the last time I saw her. I figured that if she were that out of touch with me that she couldn't do me any good - and it broke my heart that she WAS out of touch with me.

I started with a new therapist, and after about 3 weeks he agreed with me that a "goodbye session" with her would not be constructive. What a relief. I didn't have to face her and tell her how much she had let me down. It has been 9 months now, and my pdoc's office is across the hall from her's. I see him today, and because of the timing of my appointment I may see her for the first time since that last session. I'm terrified.

So, with this long story (which I think I have told you in some sense before) I am hoping that you will see a couple of things that were true for me, and may well be true for you. First, just because I thought that she understood what was going on with me did not mean that she necessarily did. Second, no matter how strongly I felt that I couldn't live without her, I really can. Third, changing therapists has had really beneficial outcomes. Fourth, I had enough experience to identify and choose an appropriate new therapist. Fifth, a new therapist can make me feel as understood as my old one did (though perhaps in a different way). Sixth, the process was completely terrifying, but I did live through it.

YOU know best what you need.

P.S. I feel like I've told this story 17 million times. When you guys get tired of hearing it, please do me the favor of telling me so.

 

Re: had therapy today it was so painful fallsfall

Posted by EmmyS on April 7, 2004, at 9:21:43

In reply to Re: had therapy today it was so painful crushedout, posted by fallsfall on April 7, 2004, at 7:59:29

Falls - Can you clarify one part for me? You saw her for 8 years. Then the transference moved to the erotic/romantic variety and became emotionally painful for a 7 month period? Do I have that right? I'm just wondering if something caused that change? or did the relationship just simply grow in intensity for you?

It's good to hear about a T change that worked out well for someone. Emmy

 

Re: had therapy today it was so painful fallsfall

Posted by crushedout on April 7, 2004, at 9:26:43

In reply to Re: had therapy today it was so painful crushedout, posted by fallsfall on April 7, 2004, at 7:59:29


fallsfall,

I, for one, appreciate you telling this story very much because it gives me hope and clarity on what I should or can try to do. And each time you tell it, I learn something new. So, thank you.

> You said: she thought I should stop if (a) I was having trouble feeling invested in the rest of my life (umm, yes) and/or (b) my feelings about her were making me feel so "dysregulated" that the only way I could cope with them was to cut (um, yes also).
>
> So, in effect she is saying that based on HER criteria you should stop.

Yes, although I didn't tell her that I thought I met the two criteria. I only realized this afterwards.


> I was in immense pain, and my old therapist was not dealing with that pain. I found out, at the end, that she did not have any clue of how much pain I was in for the last 4 months that I saw her. That was the final blow for me - she was not even aware of the most important thing in my life. When your therapist says that you need to work through a maternal transference - I am a little confused. I thought your transference was erotic. Aren't those different things? IS she aware of exactly what you are feeling? Or is she, like my old therapist was, seeing things in a different way than you are?

I'm sort of wondering the same thing. Yes, it is an erotic transference. There's certainly a maternal aspect to it (I don't think they need be separate) -- for example, I long for her to take care of and cuddle me. But for me, what bothers me about this, is she says it has something to do with *my* mother, and there are no similarities whatsoever between my feelings for her and my feelings about my mother. That's not to say that indirectly this doesn't link back somehow to the relationship I had with my mother, but I don't feel like we've really talked about what it has to do with that, and, as I told her, I don't feel we've been making any progress dealing with my transference. It's only been getting worse.

And yes, I feel she has been unable to help me deal with my pain. I feel like I can imagine her saying that there's nothing she can do to help --this is something I just have to go through in my own time. But is that true? Aren't they supposed to help?

I find myself getting really angry at her today, at how she's failed me, and I'm starting to have this severe "sour grapes" thing where I'm telling myself that she's really been a terrible therapist (and maybe even a bad person) all this time. I think maybe I feel I need to do this to move on but I'm sure she would say that I was enacting something from my past, or that this was not productive for me (because I will have to reject her completely and not internalize and use the parts of her that have been helpful to me) -- and THIS, guys, reminds me of stuff with my mother.

Which leads me to an interesting thought, which I think gardenergirl first pointed out: that by terminating, I may actually be starting the "working through" that we have not been able to accomplish so far. Because it's in leaving her, rejecting her, that I need to do work. But I guess I need someone to help me do this the "right" way, and not the way I've always done it in the past.

 

Re: had therapy today it was so painful

Posted by crushedout on April 7, 2004, at 9:27:50

In reply to Re: had therapy today it was so painful fallsfall, posted by EmmyS on April 7, 2004, at 9:21:43


Yes, I actually had a similar question: what caused that sudden intense painful experience after all that time? It's curious.


> Falls - Can you clarify one part for me? You saw her for 8 years. Then the transference moved to the erotic/romantic variety and became emotionally painful for a 7 month period? Do I have that right? I'm just wondering if something caused that change? or did the relationship just simply grow in intensity for you?
>
> It's good to hear about a T change that worked out well for someone. Emmy

 

Re: had therapy today it was so painful crushedout

Posted by terrics on April 7, 2004, at 9:49:50

In reply to had therapy today it was so painful, posted by crushedout on April 6, 2004, at 23:31:00

Crushed, I think you are amazing. It is hard to even get that far. AlI can wish you is the best for you. Think about you. terrics

 

Re: had therapy today it was so painful/p.s. terrics

Posted by terrics on April 7, 2004, at 9:53:36

In reply to Re: had therapy today it was so painful crushedout, posted by terrics on April 7, 2004, at 9:49:50

Just thought I would mention that I do not think we are going to get what we think we want; And even if we do I think it will cause more pain then we have now. I doubt there is comfort in this message, but felt I had to say it.
(((((Crushed)))))

 

Re: had therapy today it was so painful crushedout

Posted by Dinah on April 7, 2004, at 10:02:33

In reply to had therapy today it was so painful, posted by crushedout on April 6, 2004, at 23:31:00

Crushed, that was the bravest thing I've heard in a long time. I'm pretty sure I couldn't do it.

Whatever your decision, keep as your main priority keeping yourself safe and emotionally as stable as possible during what would be a difficult time for anyone. If that means finding a therapist that you think you can work with before terminating with this one, please do that.

Gaining as much therapeutically as you can from a termination (or from whatever your decision is) is a wonderful thing to do. But as in anything in therapy, make sure the relatively healthy coping skills and support system is in place as you go along.

 

Re: had therapy today it was so painful

Posted by joslynn on April 7, 2004, at 10:22:06

In reply to Re: had therapy today it was so painful crushedout, posted by Dinah on April 7, 2004, at 10:02:33

Crushed you are very brave. I know this therapeutic relationship has caused you pain and with some of the things your therapist has done, I think I would have felt similar confusion as you.

Personally, I find it very painful to leave someone, even when it is for my own good. It is like a grieving process I guess.

 

Re: had therapy today it was so painful crushedout

Posted by DaisyM on April 7, 2004, at 10:28:18

In reply to had therapy today it was so painful, posted by crushedout on April 6, 2004, at 23:31:00

crushed,

I can't add too much more than what everyone has advised. Please take care of yourself and go slow. You ARE grieving, for your grandmother and for your Therapist...and for your dreams. Letting go of what these important people also means letting go of many fantasies and wishes. This takes time.

I'm thinking of you.
Daisy

 

thank you all so much

Posted by crushedout on April 7, 2004, at 10:56:58

In reply to had therapy today it was so painful, posted by crushedout on April 6, 2004, at 23:31:00


I don't know if I could be doing any of this without you guys. In fact, I'm pretty sure I couldn't.

 

The Rest of the Story (long)

Posted by fallsfall on April 7, 2004, at 12:19:41

In reply to Re: had therapy today it was so painful fallsfall, posted by crushedout on April 7, 2004, at 9:26:43

OK, you asked for it...

My therapy started with a dependency issue that I had with my best friend. My therapist helped me live through breaking up with my friend, and I developed a dependence on her (and, gee, I'm still battling dependency issues...). We went through 7 years of positive-feeling therapy. She does CBT, and I learned a lot about psychology and coping skills, and how to let someone take care of me, and that I had limits and couldn't do everything that I wanted to do. That was a lot of learning.

About 6 years into the therapy I was doing well enough to return to a full time job in my field (Computer Science). I was still depressed, but I was functioning.

7 years into therapy there was a time when I was feeling unstable, I was probably seeing her every other week at this point. For some reason, there was more stress than usual, and I felt that I "needed" her. I needed her strength to help me through this period. Since so much of our work had revolved around dependency, she tried to discourage me from calling between sessions - she believed that if I HAD to handle things on my own that I WOULD handle them, and then I would believe more in my ABILITY to handle them. So I was sitting at work one day, missing her - needing her - needing a connection to her. So, I googled her. She is a fairly technologically savy therapist, and is involved with some national committees. I also looked outside of Google, to some resources that I had (which I had done nothing special to obtain). I ended up with her married name, address, phone number, husband and children's names, and her AOL screen name. I put her on my AOL buddy list and watched when she went online and when she signed off. The next time I saw her I confessed almost all (I never did tell her about the other resources and how I used them, she still doesn't know how I found her address etc.). She was quite upset. We talked about what her boundaries were (if I had gone to her house, contacted her family, phoned her house, emailed her - those would be violating her boundaries. I did none of those. Watching her on my buddy list was getting close to the edge). She said she had to think about it for a week, and discuss it with my Pdoc (whose office is across the hall). She came back the next week and said that we could still work together, that I hadn't violated her boundaries. I was incredibly relieved.

My job lasted for another year past then, before I crashed again and went back out on disability.

A month after I went back out on disability there was a snowstorm the day of my appointment. I really needed the appointment that day, and though neither she nor I had ever cancelled due to the weather I started panicking that I wouldn't see her. I googled her again, and read an article that quoted her, and one that she had written. There was a committee list, and her name was a link - so I clicked on it. What I really was looking for was a picture. But it was email (the same AOL address I found before) - as soon as I saw that I closed everything down and knew that I had to stop. I did see her later that morning, and I told her exactly what I had done. My need to Google her was a symptom of what we were trying to work on - I thought she needed to know.

She was angry. She told me that she wasn't angry (again, I had NOT violated her boundaries), but I could tell that she was. She said that she thought that it wasn't a problem, but that she would tell me for sure the next week. The next week she said it was OK, that we could keep working together, but I felt that she was still angry. She denied being angry (after all, there was no logical reason for her to BE angry, I didn't violate her boundaries). Three weeks after the snowstorm she admitted to me that she was angry.

I spent the next month or so trying to show her that I was working hard, trying to give her some satisfaction in her job, trying to make it up to her. I felt like I was doing all the work. Nothing I did seemed to be any good. If I suggested something she would agree, but then wouldn't help me to do it - it seemed like she was still mad at me. So I tried harder. This was called "frantic efforts to avoid abandonment". I believed that she was mad, and that I had to be "a better patient" to get back in her good graces. I was panicked so much that I went to see an old group therapist of mine (without telling my therapist). The group therapist was able to calm me down a little and told me that therapy relationships can get rocky, but that often they can be worked through. I did then tell my therapist that I had been to see her (she didn't have a problem with me going to see the group therapist, at least she said that it was OK). A month later, she talked about my case with her supervision group. They recommended a 3 month trial. That if I was still as unstable in 3 months (I interpretted this to mean that if I was still in so much pain - from feeling that I was failing her all the time), that she should terminate me. I had to agree that if I were in that much pain for the 4 months so far, plus 3 more, that I clearly would AGREE to change therapists. They suggested that if I was doing better (I think that she interpretted this to mean less dependent), that we should reduce sessions to every other week. Reducing sessions has always been incredibly painful for me.

So I tried to come up with a plan that would reduce my dependence without reducing sessions, and told her that I hoped that I could show her that I *could* reduce my dependence, and that we didn't *have* to reduce sessions. I wanted to figure out WHY I was dependent, and then work on the REASON, rather than just attacking the symptom (the dependence). And I did. I was dependent because she defined whether I was "good" or "bad" - she determined my self esteem. This is not a good plan - and we talked about self esteem and why it is unwise to put your self esteem in someone else's hands. Through this exercise, though, I was doing all the work. It seemed like she was just waiting for the 3 months to be up so that she could terminate me. It seemed like she was still mad, and it didn't matter what I did, she was going to continue to be mad.

And as I looked at the time between the first Google and the second, it seemed like she was "detached". She didn't have her heart in what she was doing, like she so clearly had for the first 7 years.

I became hopeless and seriously suicidal. I am alive only because I have an obligation to my daughter - I decided that no matter how much pain I was in, I couldn't leave her until she was out of high school. I told my therapist of my future plan. A couple of weeks later, I accused her of not really listening to what I was saying. Her response was "Well, I could concentrate better if I didn't have to worry about you killing yourself." Needless to say, my panic increased.

I've already described why I looked for a new therapist, with her blessing. I had narrowed the choice down to two (my current therapist and my old group therapist). I was describing my interviews for her when she asked what I had told them about why I was leaving. I talked about the never ending pain. She then told me that she thought I was leaving because she had nothing more to teach me. I asked her if she knew that I was in a lot of pain from the time of the second Google incident - and she said that she didn't know that I was in pain (for 4 months, leading to a near suicide attempt). I then asked for her opinion of which of my last two candidates she would recommend. She picked my current therapist. I asked if I could see her before my next regular appointment, and she said that she didn't think that it would be good for me to do that (it would encourage the dependence). Clearly, she STILL had no idea how much pain I was in.

About 6 weeks into seeing my new therapist (twice a week, by the way), we reinacted the same transference - where I was sure that he was mad at me, and nothing I did was making a difference. But with him, I could talk about this, and we worked on it, and he did convince me that he *wasn't* mad. And I was able to stop panicking. I probably had never been very clear with my old therapist - I didn't understand the transference until I was describing the relationship during my interviews. But, she also "didn't work that way".

So, no, there was never an erotic transference. The downfalls of my therapy were precipitated (as far as *I* can tell) by my Google actions. To this day, I don't know if she *was* mad during the 4 months (or the year before that). I haven't seen her since I left the last session saying "You are not understanding me" - probably the deepest insult I could utter.

My depression lifted a bit in the first couple of months with my new therapist, enough so that I took a 10 hour a week job at the library. Now my energy levels and optimism seem to correlate directly to whether my therapist is pushing me, or supporting me (so that I can recover from the pushing). It seems clear to me (now) that my depression has more to do with my therapist than it has to do with biology (though I do need meds to stay at a level where I can do any work in therapy). My old therapist was contributing dramatically to my depression.

 

Re: had therapy today it was so painful crushedout

Posted by fallsfall on April 7, 2004, at 12:36:56

In reply to Re: had therapy today it was so painful fallsfall, posted by crushedout on April 7, 2004, at 9:26:43

> > So, in effect she is saying that based on HER criteria you should stop.
>
> Yes, although I didn't tell her that I thought I met the two criteria. I only realized this afterwards.
>
*** I often don't figure out things like that until I have left the session and had an opportunity to reflect on what went on.

> I'm sort of wondering the same thing. Yes, it is an erotic transference. There's certainly a maternal aspect to it (I don't think they need be separate) -- for example, I long for her to take care of and cuddle me. But for me, what bothers me about this, is she says it has something to do with *my* mother, and there are no similarities whatsoever between my feelings for her and my feelings about my mother. That's not to say that indirectly this doesn't link back somehow to the relationship I had with my mother, but I don't feel like we've really talked about what it has to do with that, and, as I told her, I don't feel we've been making any progress dealing with my transference. It's only been getting worse.
>
*** I would suggest that you try to be very clear with her on how you are feeling, and ask for her to explain why she thinks it is a maternal transference. I wasn't as clear on my transference when I was seeing her as you are on yours - you might be able to take this opportunity to clear up a misunderstanding.

> And yes, I feel she has been unable to help me deal with my pain. I feel like I can imagine her saying that there's nothing she can do to help --this is something I just have to go through in my own time. But is that true? Aren't they supposed to help?

*** YES. They ARE supposed to help. As I have said in the past, sometimes their therapeutic orientation plays a role in making them more or less *skilled* at helping (and even less inclined to think that it is an important task in your therapy). When my old therapist couldn't/didn't help, I found a new therapist who *DID* help.
>
> I find myself getting really angry at her today, at how she's failed me, and I'm starting to have this severe "sour grapes" thing where I'm telling myself that she's really been a terrible therapist (and maybe even a bad person) all this time. I think maybe I feel I need to do this to move on but I'm sure she would say that I was enacting something from my past, or that this was not productive for me (because I will have to reject her completely and not internalize and use the parts of her that have been helpful to me) -- and THIS, guys, reminds me of stuff with my mother.

*** I was able to take what I had learned in the first 7 years and separate that from my feelings of abandonment in the end (isn't splitting a wonderful tool?). I have (at this point - stay tuned for developments in the future) decided that she didn't *want* to hurt me, but that she was unable to help me. I certainly understand about the "bad person" feeling - for me, that has lessened with time. And I try to believe that in most cases she is a competent therapist, but that she wasn't competent with me. It still breaks my heart.
>
> Which leads me to an interesting thought, which I think gardenergirl first pointed out: that by terminating, I may actually be starting the "working through" that we have not been able to accomplish so far. Because it's in leaving her, rejecting her, that I need to do work. But I guess I need someone to help me do this the "right" way, and not the way I've always done it in the past.

*** I can't encourage you strongly enough to find a competent therapist to help you through this. It is only in the last couple of months that I have started to work on new issues that I hadn't touched with my old therapist. I would encourage you to look for a therapist who will talk about transferences, sees them as an important part of therapy, and seems like they have experience helping people work them through. (My experience says that you are more *likely* to find this with a Psychodynamic therapist than a CBT therapist - but every therapist *is* different.)

*** It has taken me a long time to move past that termination. I thought I might see her today after my pdoc appointment. I was scared. But my pdoc was running late, so she picked up her next patient while I was in his office.

Good luck in deciding what is best for you, Crushed.


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[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

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