Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 769361

Shown: posts 1 to 11 of 11. This is the beginning of the thread.


The key

Posted by Dinah on July 13, 2007, at 12:18:05

Often and often I feel that talking with my therapist is like searching for the right key to fit a lock. I can say things a dozen times or a hundred times, and he just doesn't understand. Then I say what sounds to me like exactly the same thing, but I change a few words that apparently open the lock. I can almost hear the mechanism clicking.

Telling him I had ordered the Ungame opened the lock I've been working on for so long. I told him my concerns that we needed a gimmick, and that that might mean that we had taken therapy as far as it could go. He responded by saying it wasn't something he was really enthusiastic about, but since I seemed to want it he was willing to go along with it. Then he suggested that I might be trying to use the game as a distraction to real work that needed to be done.

I told him what I've been telling him for months. That I've been *trying* to work on issues, but that every time I do, it seems like I end up repeating what I'd already said, or he would smile and say "I know", and for whatever reason it felt like it was been there, done that.

I said that I knew he was reluctant to push me, and was careful in what he said to me, and that I even understood why.

It was like finding the right key for the lock. Everything clicked.

He said that therapy could be about changing the things in my life, not just understanding them. And I said I was more than willing to work on that.

I mentioned that I'd really like to work on social skills training, but that it seemed impractical in that I wasn't anxious with him, and because my main problems came with groups of people and conversational rhythms.

So we ended up talking about sex, much like I did with T3, the sex therapist. Only it was so much better because he wasn't judgmental. He didn't tell me that I needed to "grow up", like T3 did. He actually gave me some hope that things could get better. Because he understands me so well, he didn't insist on things that wouldn't be helpful. And he was very encouraging, making me feel like I was capable of having a satisfying sexual relationship with a person, at least a person who was willing to be flexible and open.

And even though parts of the conversation were terribly embarassing - particularly because I know him so well, and I kept using euphemisms, while he seemed to be trying to challenge the euphemisms by using more direct and less clinical slang, we also laughed a whole lot which helped a lot.

It was all so... right. So therapeutic. And in the past, my experience with him is that when the key finally turns the lock, he remembers and adjusts accordingly.

Maybe things will be ok, and maybe the game will have done its job even if I never open it.


Re: The key Dinah

Posted by JoniS on July 13, 2007, at 14:36:13

In reply to The key, posted by Dinah on July 13, 2007, at 12:18:05


Sounds like a great session. It sounds similar to one that I've had now and then, and I'm need ing again. I love it when they can be a helpful T AND a real person with personality and humor, etc.

Thanks for sharing that.

Take care,



Re: The key Dinah

Posted by annierose on July 13, 2007, at 16:06:50

In reply to The key, posted by Dinah on July 13, 2007, at 12:18:05

It does sound like the ebb and flow of your relationship is at a more comfty "pre-katrina" level. It took some time, but you did get back there.

I know you wrote that you didn't feel like your previous session was exactly warm and fuzzy, yet you did describe it that way ... or at least it did to me. There is a definite warmth in your relationship and I'm glad you can feel that warmth too.

This morning was our last session for 3 weeks and despite me feeling anxious about it going perfectly ... it did go extremely well. I left feeling connected and that the three weeks will go by, and I will be okay.


Re: The key JoniS

Posted by Dinah on July 13, 2007, at 18:33:53

In reply to Re: The key Dinah, posted by JoniS on July 13, 2007, at 14:36:13

Thanks Joni. :)

I needed a session like that too. Why is it that some of the best sessions are the ones where you really didn't expect much and didn't have anything important to talk about?

I hope you get one of them soon.


Re: The key annierose

Posted by Dinah on July 13, 2007, at 18:36:58

In reply to Re: The key Dinah, posted by annierose on July 13, 2007, at 16:06:50

Oh, I wouldn't say that we haven't been comfortable and warm lately. But I've also been frustrated in that I needed something more than that at the moment.

This was perfect in that it was both warm and useful. And all those years of work seemed to contribute to the outcome.

I think it's so great that you're ready for her three week vacation! You must really feel like you've internalized her. I look forward to that day. :)


Re: The key

Posted by my-cup-of-tea on July 13, 2007, at 19:14:08

In reply to Re: The key annierose, posted by Dinah on July 13, 2007, at 18:36:58


What do you mean to internalize our T's? You have been with your T a long time and have you interlized him yet? Just curious.


**above post for Dinah*** (nm)

Posted by my-cup-of-tea on July 13, 2007, at 19:23:38

In reply to Re: The key, posted by my-cup-of-tea on July 13, 2007, at 19:14:08


Re: The key Dinah

Posted by TherapyGirl on July 13, 2007, at 21:00:53

In reply to The key, posted by Dinah on July 13, 2007, at 12:18:05

That's so cool, Dinah, although I know it must be frustrating in moments, if not entire sessions. But I like hearing how the two of you work it out over time and numerous issues. Thanks for sharing this with us. And please keep us posted about how it goes from here.

And about the sex thing -- a few months ago I had a raging crush on someone from work (honestly, I still do, but I'm trying to control it). I talked to T about it and how attracted I was to this person because that level of attraction has only happened to me one other time. Anyway, when we were talking about all this and how I couldn't sleep, etc., she asked me if I woke up having fantasies about my crush. I just looked at her and said, "I'm sorry -- that is NOT a conversation I'm ever going to have with you." She just laughed. Of course that was before our recent disconnection.

But good for you for talking about the hard things!


Re: The key my-cup-of-tea

Posted by Dinah on July 13, 2007, at 22:32:10

In reply to Re: The key, posted by my-cup-of-tea on July 13, 2007, at 19:14:08

I know it more by its lack than its presence. But yes, I think I'm getting there slowly but surely. It's not an easy thing for me.

I find more and more that when I get upset between sessions, I don't need to call him as often. And I can often have long conversations with him in my head. He laughs that probably the imaginary him does a better job. :)

I can hold on better to the fact that he cares about me, subject to the limitations of our relationship. And I can picture him a bit better in my mind. That one is still hard for me.


Re: The key TherapyGirl

Posted by Dinah on July 13, 2007, at 22:40:33

In reply to Re: The key Dinah, posted by TherapyGirl on July 13, 2007, at 21:00:53

It *is* frustrating, those eleven through ninety-nine times. But in a way it makes me value what we work to achieve more. I've always liked to work for my rewards. I'm not nearly as good at accepting unearned grace. As long as there is eventually a payoff, I am encouraged to keep working at it.

I think I stop short at fantasies. We've discussed the technicalities of the physical things, but the fantasies are mine and any sharing I do with that is limited to what I think he needs to know. Physical stuff is much easier.

The nice thing is that it looks as if it will have benefits IRL. :)


Re: The key Dinah

Posted by Honore on July 14, 2007, at 10:22:20

In reply to The key, posted by Dinah on July 13, 2007, at 12:18:05

I had a conversation very much like that with my T, too, when we resolved some of the anger and fighting that we went through for almost a year.

I think he realized, finally, that I wanted to move forward, and that my seeming not to was more on the surface, or how he was perceiving ( or misperceiving) my reluctance to say so-- out of some type of magical thinking or self-protectiveness, I think.) When he realized that I was much more positive and open, we talked about how he needed to be more forceful and even sort of "forcing" me to do things-- so I would believe that he really wanted me to do them.

My parents were often very dishonest-- and wouldn't want me to have friends or do things, even though they would claim they did. So I needed him to find ways of showing that he really really did want me to make progress-- as opposed to them.

It was like your T's key-- a completely different way of seeing what I needed, and how to work together. Our way of getting stuck was to have horrible misunderstandings that escalated into these bitter arguments-- but we were paralyzed around some point of not knowing how to work anymore= the old ways weren't enough, but the new way wasn't clear.

It is because he'd known me for so long-- and we're so close-- that he's willing to move out of his usual more analytic style-- and be more practical and forceful-- and even insistent. But it's really been working for both of us-- because he sees how open I am to doing things, and how much more progress and how much better our conversations, and deeper our understanding can be-- and even more importnat, that I"m making progress in terms of taking risks, and going into social situations.

I can see how unused he is to doing it-- and how much, in a way, he has to risk it each time, because it is so unfamiliar, and against the usual analytic attitude he works with.

It's really fascinating that the key can be so elusive-- but necessary to find-- at a certain point. And that there can be a lot of unforeseen change afterward. I'm seeing changes-- and really hopeful of more for myself.

And for you-- because your T also seems to be thinking, adapting, trying to find that way for the two of you.

It's kind of amazing to me-- how obscure the answer can be-- even when it's right there and not really anything strange or extreme-- just different.


This is the end of the thread.

Show another thread

URL of post in thread:

Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ

[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD,

Script revised: February 4, 2008
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.