Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 486548

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Bad Session with T

Posted by cricket on April 19, 2005, at 17:04:46

Relatively new to posting here.

Just got through another bad session with my T. Did you ever feel that your T just had contempt for you?

It's not always like that but for the past few sessions it has been. I've been struggling to open up to him. I even gave him something to read last week, which I have never done.

But he is so cold. He just seems to hate me. And I know he's not like that with everyone because once I heard him greet another patient in this warm, enthusiastic voice "Long time no see." And I know it's stupid but it just broke my heart. I so wanted to be her and get that voice, that smile.

But for me it's a scowl.

Then today, I was in major grief over a dream. I know just a dream but it was a bad one. Hands trembling, sobbing and he just said, "Let's put a comma on that until next week." And my time wasn't even up yet and we had started late.

I've invested 3 years with this guy, and the conclusion seems to be that maybe I just was too neglected, too abused at too young an age to ever be anything other than a zombie.

But maybe it is just him that I can't be open with. Maybe with someone else, I wouldn't be so defective.

I'd appreciate any thoughts anyone has on this.

Thanks for listening.

 

Re: Bad Session with T cricket

Posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 18:33:04

In reply to Bad Session with T, posted by cricket on April 19, 2005, at 17:04:46

It doesn't sound as if you're a zombie with him. Crying with someone implies a certain openness.

"Long time no see" might imply a patient who's terminated and is coming in for a checkup. Maybe your therapist is one of those that believes the blank slate approach is the best.

The first five years of my therapy were like a different therapy entirely. I tested him and I couldn't figure out why I kept coming back because my thoughts about him were almost entirely negative.

But there was something about him that I needed. A certain solidness at the core. When I eventually saw that I could trust him, at least in many areas, everything changed.

But part of that was asking myself and him a whole lot of questions. Including questions about our floundering (at the time) relationship. And it was in those questions that I finally found the answer to whether this was a relationship worth working on.

Have you ever talked about those things with him?

"Sometimes when I'm here, I feel.... and I wonder how much of that is true and how much is my perception." "When I see you in the waiting room with other clients you seem...., and I feel a bit... and wonder if there's anything about me that causes you to feel differently about me."

It's scary. And you have to be ready to hear any answers he's willing to give, or none if he's not willing to give them. But what he does or doesn't say is likely to give you more information to decide whether this is a relationship worth fighting for. They're not all worth fighting for. But some are.

And no matter who you are or aren't with him, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you, or that you're too damaged. It might mean that you're not ready, or it might mean that he doesn't have the right qualities to bring out those aspects of yourself that you want to bring out.

 

Re: Bad Session with T cricket

Posted by pinkeye on April 19, 2005, at 18:43:25

In reply to Bad Session with T, posted by cricket on April 19, 2005, at 17:04:46

If you feel you are not treated warmly by your T, and if you feel you need it, then I think it is time to give up on this one and move on to a better one.

My current T is pretty cold - in fact I haven't seen anyone as cold as she - but I don't need any warmth from a T right now. In fact I prefer the coldness, because it saves me from heartbreak later on.. But I did receive a fair amount of warmth and caring on a professional level with my ex T and I desperately needed that at that time. A cold T at that time would have just not worked out for me.

And besides, if your T is really cold after 3 years and has been that way for sometime, I don't think it is really worth fighting for. Mabye someone else more empathetic and willing to be open to you and who would like you will be good for you.

 

Re: Bad Session with T pinkeye

Posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 19:48:38

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T cricket, posted by pinkeye on April 19, 2005, at 18:43:25

But if I'd have done that, I'd have quit in those first five years.

I dunno. It's always hard for me to give advice because of that. :) I'm biased, I guess. And I don't suppose there would be many if any therapists I would have a rapport with as quickly as three years.

But maybe that *is* just me.

I also dated my husband for over ten years before marrying him.

 

Re: Bad Session with T Dinah

Posted by pinkeye on April 19, 2005, at 19:52:46

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T pinkeye, posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 19:48:38

But did you perceive your T as being cold towards you in the first 3 years? I am not sure of that. If you feel he or she is cold, it is time to quit, as far as I can see - even if that is within the first 3 months. You need some display of empathy and warmth from the therapist. (Not in my case though, because I really don't need empathy and warmth right now.. I just want a real cold person who is good at what she does. But my case is different.)

 

Re: Bad Session with T pinkeye

Posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 20:02:43

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T Dinah, posted by pinkeye on April 19, 2005, at 19:52:46

I don't know if I thought he was cold. I thought he didn't like me. I thought he didn't want to like me. I thought he actually felt contempt for me.

I thought he was a psychobabbly idiot, a real life Stuart Smalley. I thought he was unbelievably irresponsible at times (forgetting to call me back when we had scheduled a call at a time I was suicidal in postpartum depression). I hated him for a while for telling my psychiatrist whatever he told him to lead him to believe I was schizotypal and for the psychiatrist to tell me that I would never be able to feel the things that normal people feel.

I was angry enough with him to try to see another therapist, who wouldnt' see me till I had seen a psychiatrist friend of hers for an evaluation. And that idiot told me that everything I was feeling about my therapist was transference. When I yelled at my therapist that it wasn't all transference, that my therapist had done some stupid things and it was just totally unfair that therapists could write off all their mistakes, my therapist calmly agreed with me. He said he probably had done some stupid things and not all of my feelings for him were transference, and it wasn't fair for therapists to write that all off as transference and he wouldn't do that.

He was smiling as if he were amused, but he was also sincere.

And I knew that however psychobabbly and irresponsible he could be, and even though he might not trust me and might think unpleasant things about me, that I could trust him to be honest and kind with me no matter what he thought or felt about me. And eventually I knew I was safe with him, in some ways at least.

 

Re: Bad Session with T

Posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 20:10:21

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T pinkeye, posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 20:02:43

Funny thing is that he almost never acts like a psychobably idiot anymore, and he's gotten much more responsible. I think he likes me well enough now. He doesn't think I'm at all flat in my affect. He'd still say I was schizotypal probably, but not for the same reasons as before.

I'm not saying it was transference on my part that I ever thought him all those things or countertransference that he ever thought me all those things. I think how I treated him and how he treated me all blended together to make his perceptions and my perceptions quite reasonable under the circumstances. But that when I changed my behavior, he changed his behavior, and our opinions of each other changed accordingly.

Now that's not transference, is it?

 

Sorry Cricket

Posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 20:11:00

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T, posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 20:10:21

Got a bit off topic. :-)

 

Re: Bad Session with T Dinah

Posted by annierose on April 19, 2005, at 22:01:17

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T, posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 20:10:21

No, I think that is called growth, on both your parts. I liked reading the beginnings of your story with your T. It's interesting how these relationships get started. I'm glad you trusted your gut and stuck it out with him.

 

:-) annierose

Posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 23:51:28

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T Dinah, posted by annierose on April 19, 2005, at 22:01:17

I like telling it, although I'm never quite sure what the story says about me. My therapist tells me from time to time that I've helped him grow as a therapist. And I *like* that, an awful lot. Perhaps too much. :)

I hope Cricket finds a little something in my story to help her figure out the direction she wants to take.

 

Re: :-) Dinah

Posted by annierose on April 20, 2005, at 6:48:23

In reply to :-) annierose, posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 23:51:28

I would like that too if my T told me that I helped her grow as a T. I do think they learn from their clients.

When I first went back into therapy with the same T, and we quickly went over why I quit mid-session, she said something like, "I hope next time you feel that way you'll feel you can talk me to about it." I replied, "Well, I'm more mature now so I think I could do that." And she said, "And I'm a better therapist now too."

I smiled inside when she acknowledged that.

 

Re: Bad Session with T Dinah

Posted by cricket on April 20, 2005, at 9:59:23

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T cricket, posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 18:33:04

Thank you Dinah.

I can't believe that I am in such pain over this. I even took off from work this morning, something I never do, because I cried in grief all last night.

The thing is I don't think that he's a blank slate. I think that he is a warm, emphatic, wise and caring man. I've seen him talk in public, before he was my T and I've seen him a bit with other clients and I've heard him on the phone. But with me, especially lately, it's mockery and sarcasm and what feels very much like contempt. Something about me just brings out the worst in him.

Yesterday, he said, "well you have had ample opportunity to leave and I really don't understand why you don't." Which feels awful in and of itself. But then my question back and I really hope I can get a tiny bit of your bravery, Dinah, to ask it next week, is "And why haven't you terminated me? You've had ample opportunity to do it. I've always asked for you please to tell me if you thought that this wasn't working."

I am doing everything I can just to shut down on this so I can get through the rest of the week. Of course the huge temptation is just to call him, something that I've only done once and it was not a pleasant experience, and ask like a 5 year old, "But why do you hate me so much?"

 

Re: Bad Session with T pinkeye

Posted by cricket on April 20, 2005, at 10:12:43

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T cricket, posted by pinkeye on April 19, 2005, at 18:43:25

Hi Pinkeye,

I do feel like I need warmth and empathy. Once in a while, and this may be my ego and big fat need talking here, I think may be he does care a bit about me or something but he makes sure to hide it very carefully. Wishful thinking, I guess.

I congratulate you on getting to the point where you don't need that. I think maybe much more could get accomplished if it could just be like a business partnership or something.

You're also right that this relationship may not be worth fighting for and I am very inclined to leave him a voice mail saying since you obviously hate me I am terminating. Your check will be in the mail.

Of course, I know that he will just breathe a sigh of relief and not even call me back. So maybe I want one last chance to tell him in person.

Now just to get through the week.

 

Re: :-) Dinah

Posted by cricket on April 20, 2005, at 10:17:03

In reply to :-) annierose, posted by Dinah on April 19, 2005, at 23:51:28

Please go ahead and take the topic wherever you want. I am trying to figure out all I can from you guys.

 

Re: Bad Session with T cricket

Posted by Dinah on April 20, 2005, at 10:43:35

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T Dinah, posted by cricket on April 20, 2005, at 9:59:23

Cricket, there was a time or two when my therapist said something to that effect, but he never said it in that way. That sounds incredibly hurtful.

I can only tell you what I would do in that situation, and I have no idea if it would help because your therapist is clearly not like mine in style.

I would, and have, call him and tell him how much what he said hurt, and ask him if you could possibly schedule an earlier appointment to talk about what he said, why he said it, what he thinks of the possibilities of this relationship working. It may well be that he doesn't have the commitment to the relationship needed to work things through. But it could still possibly be a learning experience for you to see it out a bit longer and discover all you can about what went wrong.

If I were you, I'd totally discount his public manner. People's public demeanor often can't stand up to week after week of contact.

And whatever happens, you're not at fault. If he's frustrated, it's his job to seek counsel and supervision. And it's his job not to lash out at you in frustration. Mind you, my therapist has done it from time to time, but...

At any rate, you've invested three years in this relationship. You at least might get out of it some knowledge of how he perceives your interactions with him, and possibly some knowledge of the shortcomings he has that you might want to avoid in the future. It's worth another session or two to try, don't you think?

And there's something remarkably freeing about having a relationship at such a low spot that you don't have to worry as much about asking the hard questions.

 

Re: Bad Session with T Dinah

Posted by cricket on April 20, 2005, at 11:31:43

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T cricket, posted by Dinah on April 20, 2005, at 10:43:35

It was hurtful. And you're right, if he is frustrated and overwhelmed he either should refer me on to someone else or get help. I know that his wife just had a baby a couple of weeks ago but once again not my issue not my problem.

And I need help. I am dealing with some, big scary things right now and he's got to know that.

I won't call him. I almost didn't survive the one phone call I've made in 3 years. He has a remarkable way of twisting things back onto me. "I get one sentence a month out of you. And everything you do say is a conversation stopper. 85% of you doesn't want to be here."

There have been moments when it's been better, but it really feels like he has reached the fed-up stage.

So I will go in there next week and try to speak my mind. I will say, "I know that I have a problem opening up and maybe I haven't said a lot but I think that you are so fed up with me that you don't hear anything I say anyway."

How does that sound? I am so bad at these things.

And you are absolutely right there is something freeing about a relationship being at such a low point. That's what's helping me get through this day. I can say what I need to say because it can't possibly get any worse.

It's funny as I left yesterday in tears and shaking. He said, "What is all this grief about?"

I didn't really know at that point. But now it occurs to me that it's about him. I lost the possibility of a relationship with him. That's what the grief was about.

Sorry for going on and on. I'm just trying to work it all through.

 

Re: Bad Session with T cricket

Posted by pinkeye on April 20, 2005, at 13:45:20

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T Dinah, posted by cricket on April 20, 2005, at 11:31:43

Get out of this T. It is of no use to you anymore whatsoever.
It doesn't matter if he is frustrated with you or you are frustrated with him, the relationship is just not working. And I think you need to end it asap. And find someone else. And a T relationship is not something you should fight for.. it should help you fight other problems in your life.. not fight for this relationship itself.

 

Re: Bad Session with T pinkeye

Posted by Dinah on April 20, 2005, at 18:12:23

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T cricket, posted by pinkeye on April 20, 2005, at 13:45:20

> And a T relationship is not something you should fight for.. it should help you fight other problems in your life.. not fight for this relationship itself.

I'm not saying that it's necessarily untrue in this case, but my experience is that this statement was not true in my case, and may not be true in many cases.

Any relationship worth having is worth fighting for. And learning to fight for relationship within therapy teaches us how to fight for it outside therapy.

It depends a lot on the type of therapy you're undergoing.

The question is always whether it's worth fighting for. Only Cricket can answer that one.

 

Re: Bad Session with T cricket

Posted by annierose on April 20, 2005, at 18:23:36

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T Dinah, posted by cricket on April 20, 2005, at 11:31:43

Cricket -
Your T sounds rude. I hope you have the courage to tell him how much he has hurt your feelings. By letting him know how his behavior is affecting you, only then, by his reaction, will you know if this T relationship is worth fighting for.

I think at some point, all clients and Ts will come across an impasse. And how they work it out together, as a team, tells a lot about their relationship. Having just gone through a struggle with my T, I will tell you, once you are able to explain how you felt, and the T explains their position ... that conversation can be fruitful and worth the struggle.

I agree with Dinah, that being at a low point in the relationship is freeing. What do you have to lose? It sounds as if he is frustrated with your silence. Give him an earful next session!!

And, keep us posted.
Annierose

 

Re: Bad Session with T

Posted by cricket on April 21, 2005, at 7:59:27

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T cricket, posted by annierose on April 20, 2005, at 18:23:36

Thanks everyone for listening and responding.

I am still this morning crying over this. My eyelids are so swollen at this point.

I don't know if there is any relationship to fight for at this point. I'd be more than willing to give it another shot but I think he has given up on me and dismissed me.

I do want to tell him how he has hurt me though and for that I want to go next week.

I want to say, "Listen, there was no reason for you to allow us to get to the point where you have nothing but contempt for me. I know I've been wasting your time but all you had to say was "this isn't working," and I would have gone away without one word of protest. I would have paid you what I owed you and gone. I even asked you to let me know when it wasn't working, the one thing I think I have ever asked for.

But instead you let it get to the point where you can't stand me, where you say cruel things that you must know aren't true - you're an efficient machine, you're daring me, it's all a game to you, you don't want to work at this, you expect everything to be perfect.

If there was any testing at all, it was simply to wait and see if you thought there was anything inside of me worth your time and energy. You know that I don't think that there is, so I was waiting for your judgment before I said too much.

I'm not blaming you. I know that I never paid you enough. I know that your time with me has probably been exhausting. I just think that you could have stopped this in a way that hurt me a lot less."

Ugh, I don't think that I can say all that. And I can't possibly imagine going to sit on that couch again. It would be easier just to send it to him in a letter with his final payment.

But then he wouldn't see the hurt in my face, my eyes if I just wrote to him and I think for his own sake, and for the sake of any future difficult clients, he should see that.

Why can't I get over this?

 

Re: Bad Session with T

Posted by annierose on April 21, 2005, at 9:58:51

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T, posted by cricket on April 21, 2005, at 7:59:27

Because it is painful.

If you could bring in the post you just wrote to your next session, I think his eyes would open up to the pain you are feeling. You have nothing to lose. I am sorry you are so hurt. Are you able to call him for an earlier appointment?

 

Re: Bad Session with T annierose

Posted by cricket on April 21, 2005, at 11:19:54

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T, posted by annierose on April 21, 2005, at 9:58:51

Thanks AnnieRose.

No chance of an earlier appointment. I think he just sees patients 3 afternoons a week. I think I will make it through to Tuesday. Trying hard not to SI although the temptation is so great.

I might try to print out my post just in case words fail me, which is certainly possible.

It's hard to imagine sitting on that couch without going back into silent, teary mode and as you all can see, he's certainly not one to coax me out of that.

Did anyone ever talk to their T standing up? It's a strange picture but I feel like I have to go in there, stand tall, hands on hips, look him in the eye and say you really hurt me.

 

Re: Bad Session with T cricket

Posted by Dinah on April 21, 2005, at 11:24:25

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T annierose, posted by cricket on April 21, 2005, at 11:19:54

Talk to us here if the urge gets strong. The anger will be most useful if you keep it fueling your outrage and belief that you deserve better.

My therapist hates it when I do anything other than sit in my place. :) But I know other therapists are less rigid about that.

 

Re: Bad Session with T cricket

Posted by gardenergirl on April 23, 2005, at 23:58:55

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T annierose, posted by cricket on April 21, 2005, at 11:19:54

> I might try to print out my post just in case words fail me, which is certainly possible.

I had my post in my purse in case I needed it. I think it's comforting to have as a backup.
>
>
> Did anyone ever talk to their T standing up? It's a strange picture but I feel like I have to go in there, stand tall, hands on hips, look him in the eye and say you really hurt me.

I can just picture this. Actually, I wanted to sit in HIS chair, and make him sit on the couch. I should tell him that. Wonder what he will make of that. But I suppose if you wanted to pace or stand, without getting in his face, per se, it might be okay. And if it's not okay with your T, well, that's something to talk about, eh?

Good luck.

gg
>
>

 

Re: Bad Session with T gardenergirl

Posted by littleone on April 25, 2005, at 15:28:10

In reply to Re: Bad Session with T cricket, posted by gardenergirl on April 23, 2005, at 23:58:55

> I can just picture this. Actually, I wanted to sit in HIS chair, and make him sit on the couch. I should tell him that. Wonder what he will make of that.

Hi gg, I thought this was really interesting coupled with the fact that you were so insistent to hear his thoughts of your last session before sharing your own. Not sure what it means, but just very interesting. Hope things get a little easier for you.


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