Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 674530

Shown: posts 1 to 15 of 15. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Dependent on a stranger

Posted by All Done on August 7, 2006, at 12:09:11

I would trust him with my life and I don't even know him. In any other situation, that would be considered crazy. Why is it okay in therapy? Is it okay?

I hate this.

 

Re: Dependent on a stranger

Posted by Declan on August 7, 2006, at 14:15:19

In reply to Dependent on a stranger, posted by All Done on August 7, 2006, at 12:09:11

If you've got a good therapist it's OK.
If you don't it's not.
I was concerned about this too.

 

Re: Dependent on a stranger All Done

Posted by Dinah on August 7, 2006, at 15:55:29

In reply to Dependent on a stranger, posted by All Done on August 7, 2006, at 12:09:11

It's a risk.

I guess part of therapy is learning to take those risks.

You do know him, though. You know lots about the him you see every week. You just don't know that much about the him at home. It would impossible to see him so often for so long without knowing some fundamental truths about him.

 

Re: Dependent on a stranger All Done

Posted by fairywings on August 7, 2006, at 15:58:59

In reply to Dependent on a stranger, posted by All Done on August 7, 2006, at 12:09:11

I guess sometimes you just know in your gut. If you've found your judgement of people to be accurate, and you feel that secure, something's going right.

fw

 

Re: Dependent on a stranger » All Done

Posted by fallsfall on August 7, 2006, at 16:53:59

In reply to Dependent on a stranger, posted by All Done on August 7, 2006, at 12:09:11

We never really "know" anyone. We only see a subset of each person who we see. With therapists, we only see their professional side. Does knowing whether he puts his socks in the hamper or on the floor mean that you can trust him more or less than if you know that he is engaged with you every time you see him?

What's going on?

 

Re: Dependent on a stranger

Posted by Karolina on August 7, 2006, at 20:35:12

In reply to Dependent on a stranger, posted by All Done on August 7, 2006, at 12:09:11

I think there can be a lot of different perspectives on this.
I agree with what fallsfall said about how we don't really 'know' anyone. I also agree with how everyone has a sort of professional facade they feel that they have to put on. Like if we were to have bad days at work and let it show and let people know how we were *really* feeling, it might have a very negative effect on the people we work with or consumers/clients we are in contact with.

And I forget sometimes that Ts are just as human as we are. That probably there are somedays my T is sitting there thinking 'I really wish I didn't have to sit here and listen to Karolina b*tch about this or that, I'm tired, want to go home, etc' But if they were to *show* that they felt that way, it would also have a very negative effect on us.

But on the other hand, I totally agree that sometimes it really does feel like they are strangers. My T once said "you really don't know me" and I remember it kind of stung, but I knew he was right. And it does seem unfair that there is such an imbalance, how it can feel like a huge one-sided friendship or something. But I think that is just the nature of therapy, that they are completely and totally dedicated to helping *you*, and don't bring in their own personal needs or problems. And they create a safe, trusting environment where we can express our feelings and not have to worry about what they may think.

In some ways it might even be *better* that we don't see the 'other side' of our Ts. I tend to see my T as almost perfect but the truth is that he may actually be a pretty boring guy. Or it would ruin it for me to know if he had some raging temper or acted obnoxious at parties.

But I can really understand how you feel. It's a frustrating feeling/thing to comprehend. I think it would be an interesting topic to bring up with him maybe.

-Karolina

 

Re: Dependent on a stranger

Posted by vwoolf on August 8, 2006, at 2:59:42

In reply to Re: Dependent on a stranger, posted by Karolina on August 7, 2006, at 20:35:12

It's really hard, this one. I mean, they are just human, and they must at times behave in ways that are not integritous (is that a word? what I mean is "full of integrity")

How would you feel if, at a party say, you overheard someone talking about your t and saying things that made you feel that he/she had acted in ways that were not kind or generous. For example, if he/she was getting divorced and you heard some of the details of the settlement, which showed that he/she was actually quite mean and grasping. Would that shake the way you felt about him/her in therapy?

 

Re: Dependent on a stranger Declan

Posted by All Done on August 8, 2006, at 3:50:03

In reply to Re: Dependent on a stranger, posted by Declan on August 7, 2006, at 14:15:19

> If you've got a good therapist it's OK.
> If you don't it's not.
> I was concerned about this too.

Does it make it okay because he knows how to handle my dependency?

I think he's a good therapist, but I still worry about trusting my gut. And one reason is all the "what if's" that come to mind. What if he's not so dependable in real life?

You aren't concerned about this anymore? Did something help you with your feelings? Are you still in therapy? (Forgive me if you've posted about your therapy, I haven't been reading much.)

Thanks for responding, Declan.

Laurie

 

Re: Dependent on a stranger Dinah

Posted by All Done on August 8, 2006, at 3:56:47

In reply to Re: Dependent on a stranger All Done, posted by Dinah on August 7, 2006, at 15:55:29

> It's a risk.
>
> I guess part of therapy is learning to take those risks.

Ick. I'm not big on risk-taking. ;)


> You do know him, though. You know lots about the him you see every week. You just don't know that much about the him at home. It would impossible to see him so often for so long without knowing some fundamental truths about him.

But what if the him at home can't handle or hates my dependency on him? What if the him at home isn't very dependable in general? How does he reconcile the two without ending up really hating me for burdening him?


 

Re: Dependent on a stranger fairywings

Posted by All Done on August 8, 2006, at 3:58:40

In reply to Re: Dependent on a stranger All Done, posted by fairywings on August 7, 2006, at 15:58:59

> I guess sometimes you just know in your gut. If you've found your judgement of people to be accurate, and you feel that secure, something's going right.
>
> fw

I'm in trouble then. I've found myself to be overly trusting to a fault.

That said, I do feel secure with him. More than anyone sometimes.

 

Re: Dependent on a stranger fallsfall

Posted by All Done on August 8, 2006, at 4:08:17

In reply to Re: Dependent on a stranger » All Done, posted by fallsfall on August 7, 2006, at 16:53:59

> We never really "know" anyone. We only see a subset of each person who we see. With therapists, we only see their professional side. Does knowing whether he puts his socks in the hamper or on the floor mean that you can trust him more or less than if you know that he is engaged with you every time you see him?

The thing is, while he's almost always engaged with me when I see him, I feel dependent on him almost all the time, whether I'm with him or not. Actually, I feel more dependent when I'm not with him.

I know it shouldn't make a difference, but for example, I wouldn't leave my son with a babysitter who does a great job when she's watching him but does drugs when she's not, you know?

> What's going on?

I don't know. I miss him and I'm mad that I miss him when it's only going to be a week. :(

Thanks for being around this afternoon, (((falls))).

 

Re: Dependent on a stranger Karolina

Posted by All Done on August 8, 2006, at 4:26:14

In reply to Re: Dependent on a stranger, posted by Karolina on August 7, 2006, at 20:35:12

> I think there can be a lot of different perspectives on this.
> I agree with what fallsfall said about how we don't really 'know' anyone. I also agree with how everyone has a sort of professional facade they feel that they have to put on. Like if we were to have bad days at work and let it show and let people know how we were *really* feeling, it might have a very negative effect on the people we work with or consumers/clients we are in contact with.
> And I forget sometimes that Ts are just as human as we are. That probably there are somedays my T is sitting there thinking 'I really wish I didn't have to sit here and listen to Karolina b*tch about this or that, I'm tired, want to go home, etc' But if they were to *show* that they felt that way, it would also have a very negative effect on us.

Right. And I would wonder how long before the negativity seeps through without anyone really noticing? Or, comes busting through on accident.


> But on the other hand, I totally agree that sometimes it really does feel like they are strangers. My T once said "you really don't know me" and I remember it kind of stung, but I knew he was right. And it does seem unfair that there is such an imbalance, how it can feel like a huge one-sided friendship or something. But I think that is just the nature of therapy, that they are completely and totally dedicated to helping *you*, and don't bring in their own personal needs or problems. And they create a safe, trusting environment where we can express our feelings and not have to worry about what they may think.

(((Karolina))) - That would have stung for me, too.

I guess I'm afraid of him doing something that would shake my trust in him. I know sometimes my work persona has a difficult time keeping the "real" me at bay. It's hard not to mix up the two, but if I do, it doesn't usually have the effect of hurting someone else.


> In some ways it might even be *better* that we don't see the 'other side' of our Ts. I tend to see my T as almost perfect but the truth is that he may actually be a pretty boring guy. Or it would ruin it for me to know if he had some raging temper or acted obnoxious at parties.

Exactly, though. I think I wouldn't feel as free to trust him, if I knew he had a raging temper. And it doesn't feel fair, if he's essentially hiding something like that from me.


> But I can really understand how you feel. It's a frustrating feeling/thing to comprehend. I think it would be an interesting topic to bring up with him maybe.
>
> -Karolina

Thanks, Karolina. I've brought this up once before. I told him I sometimes wondered if he's an a*****e in real life. It just turned into a discussion about my definition of an a*****e and I think I ended up going on about my ex-husband (go figure ;) ). I'll try the topic again and see how it goes.

 

Re: Dependent on a stranger vwoolf

Posted by All Done on August 8, 2006, at 4:34:42

In reply to Re: Dependent on a stranger, posted by vwoolf on August 8, 2006, at 2:59:42

> It's really hard, this one. I mean, they are just human, and they must at times behave in ways that are not integritous (is that a word? what I mean is "full of integrity")
>
> How would you feel if, at a party say, you overheard someone talking about your t and saying things that made you feel that he/she had acted in ways that were not kind or generous. For example, if he/she was getting divorced and you heard some of the details of the settlement, which showed that he/she was actually quite mean and grasping. Would that shake the way you felt about him/her in therapy?

I think it would. There's only so much of a person's real self they can hide for any length of time. And even if he's really good at hiding it, that in itself seems kind of unfair and deceptive to me.

I realize that it's best for me to not know all about him. I certainly wouldn't expect to know all about my GP or an ER doctor and I could be literally trusting them with my life. I guess this is so different because it's such an interpersonal relationship.

Nice to see you here vwoolf.

 

I may have figured out where this is coming from

Posted by All Done on August 8, 2006, at 4:43:16

In reply to Dependent on a stranger, posted by All Done on August 7, 2006, at 12:09:11

At least partly...

In my last session, my T made a comment that touched on a pretty sensitive topic for me. I think he was trying to see if I wanted to explore that particular topic some more. He knows how difficult it is for me to even bring up although I've told him it's something I want to work on.

Anyway, what he said sort of felt like it was coming from a more personal place. Perhaps it felt like that becase it's so sensitive for me. Or maybe because he was introducing the topic instead of me. I don't know. In any event, in any other situation, I probably would have been taken aback by the comment. It just doesn't fit my mental picture of him.

Sorry I'm being so cryptic. It's just too difficult to post the details.

 

Re: Dependent on a stranger All Done

Posted by Dinah on August 8, 2006, at 8:29:16

In reply to Re: Dependent on a stranger Dinah, posted by All Done on August 8, 2006, at 3:56:47

> But what if the him at home can't handle or hates my dependency on him?

From what you've said about him, that seems very very unlikely. He's acted in ways that pretty much rule this out. (And I have some experience on this topic.)

> What if the him at home isn't very dependable in general? How does he reconcile the two without ending up really hating me for burdening him?

Maybe he is undependable at home. It wouldn't surprise me about my therapist, that's for sure. But think about the accountant who doesn't balance their checkbook, the doctor who smokes, the minister who can't make time for his kids. It happens. It doesn't affect who they are at work.

The him you interact with every week is a constant him, and the real him in therapy.

It's disappointing to learn that they aren't like that everywhere, everyday. But likely they aren't.

I just figure I get the best part of mine.


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