Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 481725

Shown: posts 1 to 18 of 18. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Recipe for disaster?

Posted by pinkeye on April 8, 2005, at 17:22:36

I am just thinking back and realizing that the limited contact that I had with my ex T worked out so very much to my advantage. I only had maybe about 10 sessions face to face with him over a course of 2 and half years, and the rest thorugh emails.. him replying maybe once in 2 - 3 months.

I am now realizing that my ex T was very wise in choosing to reply only sporadically, and never tried to be too warm or affectionate or gave me the feeling of relying on him. He almsot always from the very beginning asked me to be self reliant, and that I should be independant without relying on him.

And in retrospect, I think what he did was very very wise. If he made me rely too much on him, and replied to each of my mails and was there all the time when I needed him, my feelings for him would have totally gone out of control for me. Even for this much of contact I came to like him so much. What if he had been much more warm and caring? I don't think I would have ever been able to let go of that person and move on..

I see lots of therapist who go beyond and are extremely warm and caring towards their patients? Wondering if that is just a recipe for disaster for these patients? How will you ever leave a therapist like that if you come to be so dependant on him?

 

Re: Recipe for disaster?

Posted by happyflower on April 8, 2005, at 17:42:23

In reply to Recipe for disaster?, posted by pinkeye on April 8, 2005, at 17:22:36

This makes a lot of sense to me. It is easier to lose someone that you don't have a strong attachment to. But who doesn't like all the attention! lol

 

Re: Recipe for disaster?

Posted by Poet on April 8, 2005, at 18:00:03

In reply to Recipe for disaster?, posted by pinkeye on April 8, 2005, at 17:22:36

Hi Pinkeye,

You've posed an interesting question. My T told me that some dependence is strength, not weakness as I see it.

If I allow myself to be more dependent, I will be allowing a trusting relationship with someone. She said that she hated the feeling of being dependent when she was in therapy (wonder who her therapist was, maybe I can get an appointment- lol) but she understands why it's important for a relationship.

I don't know as I am still trying hard to be independent, but everytime I say I want to quit therapy, back I go.

Poet

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long

Posted by daisym on April 8, 2005, at 20:02:29

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster?, posted by Poet on April 8, 2005, at 18:00:03

I think the disaster could come about if/when the therapist didn't handle the dependency/attachment well. My therapist has this whole soap-box speech about how the world would be a better place if we were all inter-dependent -- not dependent and not independent. But if we allow ourselves to rely on each other when we need to, then we would all have more support, etc. etc.

Society worries about dependency on therapists a lot. When people learn that you are in therapy or counseling, and that you are attached to your therapist, there is an immediate judgement that this is unwise and dangerous. And it could be, if the therapist was unethical or unaware of their own "stuff." But somehow the definition of "dependent" in therapy has come to mean that you can't make a decision by yourself, you can't get through a day by yourself and you need permission from your therapist to make a change, a move or whatever.

Truth be told, emotional dependency is necessary in some cases to build trust and to learn to emotionally trust others, IRL. For some of us, it absolutely feels like life and death, right now. I think because we have no strong core and we need their emotional strength to shore us up. In an EMOTIONAL sense. We talk often about the developmental stages of emotions and security. Toddlers learn to separate from their mothers, slowly. They return often to touch base, to check in and to draw security and strength. And they venture further and further out into the world, knowing they have a safe base to return to.

Good therapists know that clients will develop enough to leave the nest, eventually. That doesn't mean that the very real emotional connection, love, trust and caring, won't still exist. It does mean, like grown children, they move away and also, will want, or need, to return and check in. I think that should be OK. And some of us need to stay in the nest for a very long time or forever, because we are wounded or need the more support than we can internally generate. I always think of it in terms of the spectrum of children I work with. Some will never leave home, others will go far away. Therapy clients span the spectrum too.

There is not doubt in my mind that the termination phase will be painful. But I can't imagine doing this deep work without someone who is warm, caring and connected to me, who allows me to need him as much or as little as I want and who even encourages clinging (metaphorically, of course) tightly during these more turbulent times. I'm blessed. I'm scared of how much I'll eventually miss him. But what a shame it would have been to miss this relationship for fear of what is down the road. I'm glad he made me see that.

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long daisym

Posted by pinkeye on April 8, 2005, at 20:22:19

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long, posted by daisym on April 8, 2005, at 20:02:29

hmm.. I understand what you are staying.. as long as the dependancy remains platonic, I can agree with you. But when you develop sexual fantasies and attractions and the dependancy is still there, I think that turns out to be quite painful.. You are confused, never sure of what the other person thinks of you, whether they think of you as a nuisance, or you are interfering in their lives, and whether to allow them to interfere in your marital relationships, and if you want to prevent it, but not being abel to pretend it.. all sorts of complications. And the therapist is most likely not going to develop any of these feelings towards you, becuase you are much more vulnerable, and they will be more indifferent than you, and it hurts and feels like a rejection..

See my point? If it is just fatherly attachment or non sexaul attachment, I don't see too much of a problem. But in many cases, it turns into a deep sexual attachment and trust, and it leads to lot of pain.

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long

Posted by daisym on April 8, 2005, at 21:08:38

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long daisym, posted by pinkeye on April 8, 2005, at 20:22:19

I think the intensity of the feelings that come up for most people during therapy almost guarantee at one point or another that they will get sexualized. Fantasies and dreams occur, in the very least. Good therapists know this, work with it and help the client gain perspective and ease the pain. It is hard, but THERAPY is hard. The issues are painful, working it all out is painful so sometimes the relationship is painful. I think it gets most painful when the feelings are kept a secret. Then you suffer alone.

I think we all wish our SOs would listen to us the way our therapists do. But I've heard stories here about therapists as husbands, or wives, and they behave as humans, not as therapists.

It feels like there is a lot of fear in your post about attachments being hurtful. They aren't all...something I'm learning slowly.

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long pinkeye

Posted by Dinah on April 8, 2005, at 21:11:20

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long daisym, posted by pinkeye on April 8, 2005, at 20:22:19

But not everyone develops sexual feelings about their therapist. It depends a lot on the client. Especially the really regressed ones (like me) see their therapists as a surrogate parent, and sexual feelings toward them would not be acceptable. I'm not a very sexual person in general, so I can't see that it would be likely with *anyone* for me to develop sexual feelings.

If I ever did, my therapist would probably see it as a huge step forward developmentally. lol.

But I admit that if I were meeting a new therapist, and he looked like Dr. Drew, I probably wouldn't contract to see him. There's no point in borrowing trouble.

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long pinkeye

Posted by Dinah on April 8, 2005, at 21:15:46

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long daisym, posted by pinkeye on April 8, 2005, at 20:22:19

Which doesn't mean that disaster doesn't loom for me anyway.

I was telling my therapist today that when he suddenly announces he is going out of town for a week, it sort of reminds me that he could just as easily suddenly announce that he wasn't going to do therapy anymore, or he was moving for personal reasons or something.

He didn't get it. He said he was sorry I felt that way, because it must be painful. But that he didn't understand why such a remote possibility would come to my mind when he was leaving for a trip. (Duh. Little abandonment leads to fear of big abandonment. Is he really that dense?) And that most of his clients just say "OK" when he tells them he'll be away.

He's such an imbecile sometimes.

Disaster doesn't seem all that out of the question.

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long Dinah

Posted by 10derHeart on April 9, 2005, at 11:37:39

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long pinkeye, posted by Dinah on April 8, 2005, at 21:15:46

>>But that he didn't understand why such a remote possibility would come to my mind when he was leaving for a trip. (Duh. Little abandonment leads to fear of big abandonment. Is he really that dense?) And that most of his clients just say "OK" when he tells them he'll be away.

> He's such an imbecile sometimes.

Gosh I hate to agree with you there, Dinah, but he IS dense and has quite a blind spot if he *really* can't see the connection. I mean, it isn't even a hard one to get.

Hmm, I wonder if he really means that, or is he defensive around that issue with you? So he deflects it all with this sort of puzzled little response? And therefore, those aren't his *actual* beliefs? Just thinking out loud here - I'm sure I have no clue about your T. But with the different aspects your T. has, and you've shared a lot with us (thank you!), he seems generally bright to me. So he'd have to get this on some level...wouldn't he? Or it is too purely emotional is some way....?

I just realized why I probably latched onto this, other than the mere fact it's amazing he denies seeing this obvious connection. I think I just want hope this subject can be understood on both sides. My T's been away for a week, and although I've done OK if not great, I have some "being gone" issues to discuss with him. This is the first time he's been away since we started (4 months now). So I imagine because of that, this post grabbed my interest.

I'm curious - do you think there's any chance that was a bit of a b.s. comment?

Oh, and the remark about what other clients do probably would have elicited much rolling of eyes and complaining from me. I'm the type to ask for an explanation as to what on earth *their* reactions have to do with me, or our therapy relationship. Not that I don't know people can share similar reactions, but because if he's going to throw that little "fact" in as part of his case for being puzzled at my supposedly *unusual* reaction to his sudden trips, I'm going to want to make him work hard at justifiying it. ;-)
--10der (dubbed "challenging" by former T. - jury's still out with this one, but I'm surely working on it :-)

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? (10derHeart)

Posted by happyflower on April 9, 2005, at 13:42:14

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long Dinah, posted by 10derHeart on April 9, 2005, at 11:37:39

it. ;-)
> --10der (dubbed "challenging" by former T. - jury's still out with this one, but I'm surely working on it :-)
>

My T says I am a challenging patient also. I wonder if they learned to use that word in their training instead of a pain in the butt! lol Isn't it great to get under their skin from time to time! lol

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long 10derHeart

Posted by Dinah on April 9, 2005, at 21:04:40

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long Dinah, posted by 10derHeart on April 9, 2005, at 11:37:39

Well, I did answer his comment about other clients. I said maybe he wasn't their therapist/mommy and he did acknowledge that I had a different relationship with him.

He can be defensive when he's not paying attention to what he's doing. And he's also stressed right now. So between the two, I guess he's not at his best. It's so unbelievably obvious that it's hard to believe that not only did he not see it on his own, but he didn't grasp it when I explained.

I guess I'll write it off as a bad day on both our parts.

(But he really can be dense sometimes. I ought to have him read the board posts more than I do.)

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long Dinah

Posted by 10derHeart on April 9, 2005, at 22:55:49

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long 10derHeart, posted by Dinah on April 9, 2005, at 21:04:40

> Well, I did answer his comment about other clients. I said maybe he wasn't their therapist/mommy and he did acknowledge that I had a different relationship with him.

Well, that's good at least. Sounds like he was able to pay attention to that remark :-)

It has to be extra tough for you with all the stress he seems to be under. I hope whatever that's about will ease up soon. I'm not sure you should be having to expend that extra energy with everything else you face at work, etc.

We do take care of them, to some extent. It's the *extent* part that worries me, sometimes. But I suppose the two of you will get through this time as you have other difficult times in the past.

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long daisym

Posted by pinkeye on April 11, 2005, at 13:29:39

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long, posted by daisym on April 8, 2005, at 21:08:38

what you have said is true.. I am scared of all attachments and them being hurtful.. especially with men..Maybe it was the same pattern with my ex T also.

But maybe we need to reexperience and then learn a different outcome to heal totally.

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long Dinah

Posted by pinkeye on April 11, 2005, at 13:30:54

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long pinkeye, posted by Dinah on April 8, 2005, at 21:11:20

Dinah,
Is it possible you have really really repressed your sexual feelings?
Pinkeye

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long pinkeye

Posted by Dinah on April 11, 2005, at 20:37:56

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long Dinah, posted by pinkeye on April 11, 2005, at 13:30:54

Towards my therapist?

No.

Fortunately he's really not my type. I don't actually feel much sexual attraction towards the sort of people that make me feel warm and nurtured.

In general? Perhaps. After all, I haven't been attracted to a live person of either gender since college. But even then, they weren't the sort of people who made me feel warm and nurtured.

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long pinkeye

Posted by Dinah on April 11, 2005, at 20:39:09

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long Dinah, posted by pinkeye on April 11, 2005, at 13:30:54

And believe me, I tried. It's such a stereotype that I thought I'd be missing out on something if I didn't fantasize about my therapist.

But no. Nothing. Not a twinge.

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long Dinah

Posted by pinkeye on April 12, 2005, at 14:50:13

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long pinkeye, posted by Dinah on April 11, 2005, at 20:39:09

I find it little strange that you haven't had fantasies towards anyone.. Have you tried talking to your T about this? Or try another form of therapy specifically for this?
There could be some reason why you are so averse to sexuality?

 

Re: Recipe for disaster? long pinkeye

Posted by Dinah on April 12, 2005, at 22:23:56

In reply to Re: Recipe for disaster? long Dinah, posted by pinkeye on April 12, 2005, at 14:50:13

I said *real* people. I have the average share of fantasies about celluloid people. Or people in books even. Or people I've made up.

Just not real ones.


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