Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 697139

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The Therapy Relationship

Posted by Daisym on October 23, 2006, at 22:55:58

Today I talked with my therapist about feeling sort of sad about the difference I feel in our relationship lately. He said he's noticed that I've been saying that I think he is bored or doesn't want me to continue therapy for a few months now. But we always find a way to reconnect and move forward. I agreed. I told him that I've been wondering what it feels like on his side - does the intensity ease off for him too? Sort of like: he has new patients to get to know and to worry about more, and with me, he sort of knows what to expect and how we work together. There isn't so much tension - right? He asked a lot of questions, but he never really answered my question. He told me that he thinks I'm projecting and that there is a lot of anger and disappointment in the field between us - and most of those feelings are embedded in the old stuff we are talking about.

I agree. But I still feel huge amounts of annoyance from him, like I'm bothering him. He wondered if I was picking up his frustration of not being able to reach me sometimes, or help me when I'm struggling. He used last Thursday's session as an example. That was a tortuous session - too much silence and I couldn't let him in, no matter what he tried. And he really tried. I was just in a very bad place. He asked me today to try to describe where I was last Thursday.

I told him that I see myself as a young girl, just having been rolled by an ocean wave. (You know - those sleeper waves that crash over you and you don't know up from down and think you'll never get your head above water again? ) I was standing alone on the beach, shivering and scared, but I didn't know how to get dry or what to do next. What i wanted was someone to swoop in with a big, warm towel and wrap me up and soothe me until I could calm down enough, emotionally and physically (no shaky feelings) to think again.

He nodded and said he could see it with me. And then I told him that it was hard for me to know that I wanted and needed this physical comfort and he couldn't or wouldn't give it to me. He won't hold my hand or wrap me up and sit next to me. And I understand why he has made those choices in his practice. But it still hurts and it is still what I needed last Thursday. He said he could totally see that and he felt bad on the one hand that I needed something I couldn't get. But he also said that he really knew that his decision to not "touch" clients was the right one for him. And then I said that while I respected that, hearing it put like that made me feel like one of the bunch, not receiving individualized care and not special. He said he was trying to be there for me is so many other ways. I know that. I think we both felt sad. And then we were out of time. And I'm going to be gone most of this week, so there isn't time to get back to a better place for a little while. So -- more sadness.

I can't help but think tonight about what is written in "In Session". I do think therapy is like getting your heart professionally broken. :(


In Session correction

Posted by Daisym on October 23, 2006, at 23:21:57

In reply to The Therapy Relationship, posted by Daisym on October 23, 2006, at 22:55:58

"In Session -- Women and their therapists"


Re: In Session correction Daisym

Posted by annierose on October 24, 2006, at 6:52:52

In reply to In Session correction, posted by Daisym on October 23, 2006, at 23:21:57

I don't remember that particular quote but I like it.

On the other hand, therapy can be a wonderous love affair. Finally, there is a person who listens attentively, patiently, empathically --- and no matter the sex, age, physically appearance of the t, feelings of love are often generated. Then we feel left behind. Ultimately they cannot give us what we missed out on as children. But like Dorothy's shoes in the "Wizard of Oz", they can help us discover that we had the power all along.

I do not like living in that space of disconnect with my therapist. I feel anxious, maybe it's fear that I'm losing her, or that I don't matter. Whatever, it's so hard Daisy. And you always remind me that it will come back.

It sounds like he is there for you, waiting, knocking, waiting for you to let him in. He is standing outside and little Daisy is hiding in the best place possible, the closet, whispering, "Go away, I don't want to play today," but he does. He wants to know why you are pushing him away, what are you thinking about, why are you mad? What does his lack of physical touch feel inside for you? For me, (since my t has the same boundaries) it feels rejecting. When I had this go-around a few months ago, one thing she said to me that helped, "I couldn't be your therapist anymore if we became friends. I like being your therapist and the special intimacy we have created right here. Yes, I grant you that it's a very different complicated relationship unlike any other in the real world, but in this room, you get to explore so many different thoughts and feelings and I get to help you with all of it."

So at the end of the day, I wouldn't want it any other way.

I'm around all week if you need me. Sorry that you cannot see your T this week. That makes it so much more difficult. The lingering feelings with no place to process them. Call him if you need to and I am around to listen.



Re: In Session correction

Posted by SatinDoll on October 24, 2006, at 9:02:52

In reply to Re: In Session correction Daisym, posted by annierose on October 24, 2006, at 6:52:52

(((((Daisy)))))) I wish I didn't understand the pain you are going through, but I do. You are so brave to openly talk about it, and your T talks to you about it, that is amazing to me.
Plus he is so honest with you about how he feels. I am sure he feels like scooping you up, and comforting you. Sometimes the boundries really suck for everyone I think. I understand why they are there, but it still hurts.

For me, it would help me really get in touch with my feelings if I felt safe enough to cry in front of my T. BUt since his boundries of touch is the same as your T, I hold back. I just can't help it. Him not touching me when I am upset makes me not trust him completely and the feelings of if he didn't comfort me is enough to keep my distance from going there with him. Sometimes T's should make exceptions I think.

Having your heart professionally broken is how I feel too. It is so damn bittersweet that they help you go on with you life in a better state than when you started, but then to not have them in your life, does set you back I know at least for me.

I have maybe 5 sessions left and I am not looking forward to it. I think I will die of of missing him so much. I let him become important to me, and now it will break my heart.

I am glad you are able to talk about it Daisy, I am "speachless" when it comes to talking about this with him.

Do you have anyone in your life that can hold you Daisy? I wish I did. How are you and the kids dealing with the separation? My heart is breaking for you Daisy. I don't have any advice at all, but all I can do is let you know , that I am also feeling this too.


Re: The Therapy Relationship Daisym

Posted by sunnydays on October 24, 2006, at 9:14:18

In reply to The Therapy Relationship, posted by Daisym on October 23, 2006, at 22:55:58


I know how you feel, at least somewhat. I have wanted that physical comfort too. You're so brave to even talk about it --- I'm not there yet. And from my earlier post you know that I'm having a hard time with the relationship too. It's a hard, hard thing. I'm anxious to hear my T's thoughts on it when I next see him. Try to hang in there. I think you'll reconnect again and it will get better.



Re: How are you doing?

Posted by annierose on October 25, 2006, at 20:07:09

In reply to The Therapy Relationship, posted by Daisym on October 23, 2006, at 22:55:58

Been thinking about you and wondering where you are at right now --- a good place or not so good? Of course I hope its the former but I worry its not so.

Camp Comfort is getting ready for its winter guests --- camp fires, s'mores, and warm snuggly blankets. We can draft falls to stock the shelves with wonderful engaging books that aren't too heavy emotionally, but thought provoking nonetheless.


Re: How are you doing? annierose

Posted by Daisym on October 26, 2006, at 0:50:10

In reply to Re: How are you doing?, posted by annierose on October 25, 2006, at 20:07:09

I've been away again -- and missing sessions. I came back tonight specifically for group because last week was such a disaster there. I told the group that I was completely disassociated last week and confused and lost and so 9! They were all very kind but almost dismissive in a kind of "oh yeah, this has happened to me before, why are you surprised?" kind of way. I found myself sinking into the sadness. What did I think "confessing" would do? I wanted them to "hold me" and recognize how scared I was.

My last session with my therapist was actually Ok but very intellectual. He said my sadness has been lingering with him and he really wants to understand why I keep feeling like he doesn't want to keep working with me. So we talked about self-psychology and concepts of merging, core self and Bowlby's work on dependency. We also did an exercise that essentially mapped the web-page that is Daisy -- he wanted to know what areas I was neglecting or choosing to not bring into therapy. So we mapped the stuff I think about and then looked at it with notes that said, "don't want to talk about it," or "talk about it too much." I think he was surprised at the things on the list I don't want to talk about, like body image or my separation. It was a longer list than I thought too.

Anyway -- long answer to a short inquiry. I'm fine, is the short answer. I'm hope you are doing well also.


Re: How are you doing? Daisym

Posted by annierose on October 26, 2006, at 6:49:11

In reply to Re: How are you doing? annierose, posted by Daisym on October 26, 2006, at 0:50:10

Thats sounds like an important exercise. Gee, maybe I'll make a "don't want to talk about list" too. Wonder what I'll put on it. First that pops into my head is sex.

I'm glad your last session wasn't one that pulled you away from him. You have had too many of those. It is important for him to understand why the sadness lingers. You forget that you are likable for who you are --- not what you do or don't do, just simply for being the essence of daisy.


Re: How are you doing? annierose

Posted by Daisym on October 26, 2006, at 19:25:52

In reply to Re: How are you doing? Daisym, posted by annierose on October 26, 2006, at 6:49:11

I should have not gone today that way I'd have the previous session to end the week on. Why do they bring up hard stuff at the end of the week?!

My knee jerk reaction is to quit -- I've had enough therapy induced melt downs! But I'm telling myself that by Monday I'll regret it if I call and leave that message.

So - now I have to fill up three days to combat the anxiety. Think I'll just stay in bed. :(

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