Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 696572

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connection with T?

Posted by sunnydays on October 21, 2006, at 15:45:19

Do any of you find that at times you seem to lose a connection with your T and that it's because of you, not because of anything going on with them? I'm going to bring it up with my T, but I just haven't felt the connection lately, and he seems to be just as present and available as ever, I think it's me somehow. It may be the depression. But I hate it because I feel so alone and I can't remember the connection. It may have something to do with my dissociation increasing lately, too. So does anyone have this experience? And does it get better? (Please, please, please, i hope so)

Thanks,
sunnydays

 

Re: connection with T? sunnydays

Posted by bent on October 21, 2006, at 16:40:00

In reply to connection with T?, posted by sunnydays on October 21, 2006, at 15:45:19

I do this a lot. Most times it takes a few weeks before i notice that i am disrupting the connection. I think for me its mostly a defense. A pulling back of my feelings, and severing the connection a little. Probably because I get afraid of being hurt or rejected, even though I am certain my T isnt going to do that. Sometimes I just feel so young and react that way. Thats how I make sense of it anyway.

I think you are on to something with the depression part though. I think I am less willing to open up to my T at first, when I feel my depression coming back. I think that sitting there in a session with something like depression (or anything you might not be saying but is in your mind) getting worse, defintely breaks up the connection. I guess thats why its important to be so honest with our T's. Easy to say.

I am glad you plan to talk to him about it. I would have to say that is the best thing I have done to restore that missing connection. I usually find that it comes back quickly. I hope it will for you.

 

Re: connection with T?

Posted by Racer on October 21, 2006, at 21:19:48

In reply to Re: connection with T? sunnydays, posted by bent on October 21, 2006, at 16:40:00

I get it, too. For me, it seems to come as part of a continuing cycle: I'll go through periods of very intense work, with lots of crying, lots of anxiety, lots of inner turmoil -- finally some sort of resolution of it -- a short period of calm with more superficial but still beneficial sessions -- disconnection, which always leaves me wondering what's wrong with me -- and then I go back to the beginning. The biggest difference is that the cycles are a bit different in terms of length now: used to be the first part lasted longest; a year and a half later, there's a bit more balance between the horrors and the resolutions.

No matter how often it happens, though, that I hit that disconnection phase, I still wonder what's wrong with me? Why can't I maintain that sense of connection with my T? I think that what's really happening is something different. I think I'm resisting the connection, because I'm just not very good at intimacy -- and there's an element of intimacy to therapy, after all. I think I reach a place where I've never been any farther, so I am frightened to proceed, and it's coinciding with the fatigue and catharsis of that crisis/resolution phase. So, I suck back.

Connection is a topic in therapy when I go into bad patches in my life. I've called my T for help outside of sessions about four times -- and every single time it's been upsetting for me, with all sorts of negative self-talk types things going on. "You could have waited for your next session, you know." "That really wasn't important enough to call about." "She'll be annoyed that you called, and tell you that it could have waited until your next session." (There was only once that I didn't go through that -- something happened that I couldn't understand, and I called her because I needed the contact, even if it was only voicemail.) My T has told me several times that it's OK to call and leave messages, that she likes getting voicemail because she can choose when she listens to it, that she would consider it a good thing for me to call, etc. And yet, I still do the above. (I just incorporate some new things, like: "Well, she said to call, but this might be abusing it by calling too often...") I think some of the disconnect is because I'm getting to feeling too connected at those times.

Of course, it could just be that I'm completely failing this therapy thing, but I don't think that's it ;-)

I hope that helps. It really does always seem to pass for me...

 

Re: connection with T? sunnydays

Posted by Dinah on October 22, 2006, at 13:27:09

In reply to connection with T?, posted by sunnydays on October 21, 2006, at 15:45:19

Absolutely there are times when the connection feels nonexistant because of me. And other times when it's because of him. In order to feel the connection, we each have to put energy into the space between us. And if either of us doesn't, the connection just isn't there.

In fact right now, I'm thinking how easy it would be to just break all my appointments and eventually drift away, as opposed to actually saying goodbye and terminating. But I know that's a reflection of where I am right now, my malaise, and not anything he's doing.

 

Re: connection with T? bent

Posted by sunnydays on October 22, 2006, at 16:38:52

In reply to Re: connection with T? sunnydays, posted by bent on October 21, 2006, at 16:40:00

Thank you bent. I cringed when I read the word defense, just because I hate the thought that I could possibly ever be defensive (although I know I am all the time...) because this challenges my wish to be the perfect therapy client. Because in my world the perfect therapy client wouldn't have defenses. But I realize they can be protective and adaptive (my T and I have talked about this). I just have to figure why I feel so defensive right now? Could it be because I cried in session for the first time about two weeks ago? Hmmm.... maybe I'm on to something.

sunnydays

 

Re: connection with T? Racer

Posted by sunnydays on October 22, 2006, at 16:40:59

In reply to Re: connection with T?, posted by Racer on October 21, 2006, at 21:19:48

Thanks. Yeah, calling is hard. I've debated calling several times in the past few weeks but always decide that no, it's not really 'bad enough' to call, I'm just being a baby because I want to hear his voice, I shouldn't bother him for something this trivial, etc. It's a tough situation. I hope things start to get better if we talk about it.

sunnydays

 

Re: connection with T? Dinah

Posted by sunnydays on October 22, 2006, at 16:43:14

In reply to Re: connection with T? sunnydays, posted by Dinah on October 22, 2006, at 13:27:09

Thanks Dinah. I'm not sure if it's that I'm not putting energy into it, as I feel like I still am actually putting a lot of energy into it, but it feels like I'm grabbing at nothing and nothing is enough to reassure me because he feels so far away. And I'm pretty sure it's me, not him. I think as the depression gets worse, I just can't feel the connection as much.

Good luck with your situation with your T. You've been with him a long time, so if you were to decide to leave, I think you deserve to give yourself a proper goodbye with him.

sunnydays

 

Re: connection with T? Dinah

Posted by Pfinstegg on October 22, 2006, at 22:13:56

In reply to Re: connection with T? sunnydays, posted by Dinah on October 22, 2006, at 13:27:09

Oh, Dinah, I hear that this is the way it feels now, but I remember an exactly opposite post from only a few months ago, describing a very natural, strong connection, during which you felt at ease, were sharing laughter and a range of emotions. Do you have any idea what has changed? I know you haven't felt too strong physically, or rather energy-wise, recently- that could be related to the diabetes. Would it be worthwhile to focus on getting that under really good control, perhaps with a nutritionist? The other thing- could it be a flare-up of depression? One could be related to the other.

I hope it changes soon. Remember that he recently said, I think, that, of all his clients, you were the one he would never drop. I think that's so neat- but you can't drop him either!

 

Re: connection with T?

Posted by Dinah on October 22, 2006, at 22:34:34

In reply to Re: connection with T? Dinah, posted by Pfinstegg on October 22, 2006, at 22:13:56

I think it's maybe depression or stress or physical malaise. I'm not planning on acting on the thoughts. It just occurs to me that it would be very easy and painless right now. But I'm not planning on acting on it.

I see it in other areas of my life as well, so it's not therapist specific.

 

Re: connection with T? Dinah

Posted by Pfinstegg on October 22, 2006, at 22:46:44

In reply to Re: connection with T?, posted by Dinah on October 22, 2006, at 22:34:34

Yeah. I've had that a lot, too- thoughts but not intentions. They're horrible. Any plans about what to do - what would help the most?

 

Re: connection with T? Dinah

Posted by Daisym on October 22, 2006, at 23:22:37

In reply to Re: connection with T? sunnydays, posted by Dinah on October 22, 2006, at 13:27:09

I feel that exact same way right now. But I'm not sure if I'm not running away from some very hard material or if I've actually reached a stopping part for awhile. Something just feels different between us. Like I've grown up and don't really need him.

Which is kind of sad...but I'm in such a weird space I find myself not really all that upset. I keep going because I know I should, but I'm missing a lot of sessions these days, which a few months ago, would have been unthinkable.

Sad, huh?

 

Re: connection with T? Daisym

Posted by Pfinstegg on October 23, 2006, at 0:07:17

In reply to Re: connection with T? Dinah, posted by Daisym on October 22, 2006, at 23:22:37

Daisy, my experience is sort of like yours. I used to miss my analyst and long for him every moment when I wasn't with him. I used to really dread leaving the office, and he was on my mind every waking moment- and many dreams were about him, too! Gradually, this has lessened; I think I'm not so regressed, among other things. More of my thoughts and interests seem to have naturally focussed elsewhere.

I do feel sad; I've lost part of such an intense relationship. But, with three and a half years of going mostly five days a week (which I still do), a lot of the worst things which were bothering me have either disappeared or lessened. It's so mysterious- the workings of one's unconscious and all its parts. It seems far more mysterious and beyond my voluntary control now that I know a little bit about it.

Without a doubt, it's sad to begin to lose such a close, intense relationship- unlike any other we've ever had. I'm not sure if that's what Dinah is talking about, though. For her, it may be, at least in part, that her energy levels are really low now.

And you may be enduring one of those disconnected times, rather than a permanent separation. That happened to me all the time; I always thought that it was permanent, but instead, it was always because I (or some part of me) was detaching in order to avoid really feeling and looking at things. Who knows, it could easily happen to me again at tomorrow's hour!


I'm sorry you've had to miss sessions: I hope you are able to get back to regular ones soon. Since I think it's generally agreed here that you have the most outstanding therapist in terms of offering support and genuine warmth and caring, and, most importantly, in being able to hear and deal with painful, angry or critical things, he's someone you can count on to talk over these feelings you've been having lately.

 

Re: connection with T? sunnydays

Posted by Dinah on October 23, 2006, at 9:38:47

In reply to Re: connection with T? Dinah, posted by sunnydays on October 22, 2006, at 16:43:14

I understand that feeling too. When I was very depressed, I couldn't "feel" the love for a little dog I had that I knew I loved very much. I tried and tried, but couldn't feel that special feeling inside that I associated with loving him.

Don't give up, and make sure you address your depression. It *will* come back, those good feelings.

 

Re: connection with T? Pfinstegg

Posted by Daisym on October 23, 2006, at 10:37:27

In reply to Re: connection with T? Daisym, posted by Pfinstegg on October 23, 2006, at 0:07:17

I think one of the more challenging aspects of these feelings is that I feel sort of like sunny said she does - like HE'S changed in some way. I intellectually know this isn't true, he is steady and available. But I want to stomp my feet and insist that he "feel" the same as he did before.

I think you are right. What I am feeling is the ambivalence of a three year old. The world is so exciting and has so many interesting things to do...and yet the safe, nurturing closeness of a loving parent is what I want as well. I imagine it is easier when you really are three, without the cognitive overlay.

But I'm glad to know I'm not alone. (Did I tell you I'm training with Allan Shore in January? :)

 

Re: connection with T? Daisym

Posted by Pfinstegg on October 23, 2006, at 19:07:19

In reply to Re: connection with T? Pfinstegg, posted by Daisym on October 23, 2006, at 10:37:27

All of us seem to react in such similiar ways! I guess we're all just human. Today I had the distinct feeling that my analyst had changed his personality (towards me alone, of course), and was less understanding and empathetic than he had been. It was such hard work to really understand that it was me, and how I was seeing and feeling him through my transference- it's so REAL!

I do remember that you said you were going to take a seminar with Alan Schore- that's so exciting! You must give us an account. By coincidence, my analyst spent the past weekend in a seminar, or workshop, with him. He had never met him before, and, although he just mentioned a few things in passing, I could see that he was very excited and impressed by what he heard.

 

Re: connection with T? Daisym

Posted by Raindance on October 25, 2006, at 17:24:17

In reply to Re: connection with T? Dinah, posted by Daisym on October 22, 2006, at 23:22:37

I have this a lot with my T and when I talk about it, he says that I want the connection so much but that I'm deliberately pushing him away because I fear it (or fear to lose it when I have it. Does that make any sense? I think perhaps it does in a way.

R


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