Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 817373

Shown: posts 1 to 23 of 23. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

What kind of chair ....

Posted by vwoolf on March 11, 2008, at 14:00:17

Any thoughts about this? http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/06/garden/06shrink.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

 

Re: What kind of chair ....

Posted by caraher on March 11, 2008, at 14:29:07

In reply to What kind of chair ...., posted by vwoolf on March 11, 2008, at 14:00:17

I didn't read the article, just gave it a glance, but anytime I enter a therapist's office, especially for the first time, I feel as if choosing a place to sit is kind of a test they're running on me. "Why that seat? Why not that one? What does your choice say about you?"

Not that I've ever actually been asked this!

 

Re: What kind of chair ....

Posted by annierose on March 11, 2008, at 14:55:15

In reply to Re: What kind of chair ...., posted by caraher on March 11, 2008, at 14:29:07

Okay - I replied to this thread and then it went "poof".

THANK YOU for attaching a link. I found it an interesting read. I love the fact that 200 therapist came to a "In Treatment" seminar in NY. Then they sat around and critiqued the show ... as if it is "real" therapy. It's not a documentary people!! Everything is speeded up ... the pace of the therapy ... and his clients? OMG ... so aggressive. But I love the show.

Anyway, my t sits in a barker lounge chair. She has two different couches for her clients to sit on. Nothing too exciting, nothing revealing, just kind of basic.

 

Re: What kind of chair .... annierose

Posted by Phillipa on March 11, 2008, at 15:12:47

In reply to Re: What kind of chair ...., posted by annierose on March 11, 2008, at 14:55:15

Mine is modern and has couches and chairs. I never know where to sit either. Usually do something in the middle drive the same way middle of the road. I bet it means something. What??? Anyone know? love Phillipa

 

Re: What kind of chair .... Phillipa

Posted by annierose on March 11, 2008, at 16:20:00

In reply to Re: What kind of chair .... annierose, posted by Phillipa on March 11, 2008, at 15:12:47

I do know where to sit. I don't think your t is trying to confuse you. Maybe she/he just offers you options of places to sit to fit your comfort level ... why don't you ask.

 

Re: What kind of chair .... annierose

Posted by Phillipa on March 11, 2008, at 20:14:53

In reply to Re: What kind of chair .... Phillipa, posted by annierose on March 11, 2008, at 16:20:00

I usually say where would you like me to sit she says anywhere so I plop down. Love Phillipa

 

Re: What kind of chair ....

Posted by Emily Elizabeth on March 11, 2008, at 21:45:43

In reply to Re: What kind of chair .... annierose, posted by Phillipa on March 11, 2008, at 20:14:53

My current T has these awful wicker chairs with pillows on them. They look pretty, but they are so uncomfortable! I feel like I need to sit up straight and can't really settle back into the chair. I don't know how she sits in a chair like that all day.

Whew! It was good to vent. I mean I can't really tell her that I hate her furniture!!!

Best,
EE

 

Re: What kind of chair ....

Posted by obsidian on March 11, 2008, at 22:16:53

In reply to What kind of chair ...., posted by vwoolf on March 11, 2008, at 14:00:17

it's got to be soft...and I like the arms too
so I like the red cushy looking one
I like my T's chair...it's soft with arms and it even rocks a little and twists

 

Re: What kind of chair .... annierose

Posted by Dinah on March 11, 2008, at 22:35:05

In reply to Re: What kind of chair ...., posted by annierose on March 11, 2008, at 14:55:15

My therapist finally got around to watching a couple of shows of In Treatment. He says he thought it was pretty good and he likes the therapist, except for his behavior with Laura, and of course punching a client.

I asked him which week it was, since the therapist seems totally different from week to week. One week he's losing it, the next week he's being very assertive.

My therapist has captain's chairs and a matching loveseat. He used to be pretty flexible about where he sat. But I notice lately he's keeping his stuff by one of the chairs so that it looks like it's supposed to be his. He's encouraged me to switch with him though, when I've got a headache and the light is bothering me. So he must not be overly territorial.

I think if I were a therapist, I'd make my chair the least comfortable so that I'd be awake and able to pay attention.

 

Re: What kind of chair ....

Posted by gardenergirl on March 12, 2008, at 8:49:03

In reply to Re: What kind of chair .... annierose, posted by Dinah on March 11, 2008, at 22:35:05

Sigh, I only get basic cable. I'll have to wait til a season is out on DVD and then rent it.

I think I mentioned long ago about how uncomfortable the chairs were at my last office. Truly awful basic, inexpensive office side chairs. I wouldn't even put them in a waiting room, let alone in a therapist office. Of course I also occasionally had to use a therapy room which had the chair that swallowed it's occupant. It was nearly impossible to get out of that one. Imagine what that felt like for a client who just wanted to get out of there. :)

My former T has two upright arm chairs, not overly stuffed or anything, I think with wooden arms. I never sat in one of the chairs, mainly because it would put me right next to the door with my back to it, and I don't like that position in a room. Instead, I always sat on the right end of the couch. It was pretty nondescript, reasonably comfortable, and in a good location. Initially I thought it was too far away, but I guess I got used to that.

I've thought about how I could practice out of my home someday, but I just can't work out logistically how it could be okay. The house isn't made for using separate entrances that well, unless I leave the garage door open and the clients come in through there to a "someday I'll get around to finishing it" basement office. I wouldn't like that, so I assume my clients wouldn't, either. But coming in the front door puts them right into the living room. We don't have any kind of entrance or foyer. And of course I live on a dead end street with little traffic, so if there were always different cars parked out there, it might seem sort of self-conscious for some. Hmmm, the other two entrances besides the front door are in the back of the house. Folks could park behind the house in the driveway there and come up the steps into the family room. Hmmm. But oh! If I could have a lovely sitting area in a well-done garden for days when the weather was nice...that would be ideal! :)

Great article. Lots to think about.

gg

 

Re: What kind of chair ....

Posted by raisinb on March 12, 2008, at 9:25:20

In reply to Re: What kind of chair ...., posted by gardenergirl on March 12, 2008, at 8:49:03

My T has a very, very small office with her desk facing a window. She turns around in her chair and faces the client's chair, which is a basic upright chair. In difficult moments I stare at the upholstery, which is black, and wonder whether the hairs on it are mine or the previous client's.

I swear the fact that it's small and the fact that she's directly in front of me, with little space between us, ramps up the intensity.

When I'm upset, I tend to twist around in the chair so I don't have to face her. I feel like a pretzel, and I keep joking with her that she needs a couch so that I can wiggle around. She says she's trying to get one for the new office.

 

Re: What kind of chair ....

Posted by sassyfrancesca on March 12, 2008, at 10:59:35

In reply to Re: What kind of chair ...., posted by raisinb on March 12, 2008, at 9:25:20

I sit directly in front of my t....I pull the chair up only inches from him......I need to feel that connection; sitting on the couch feels like he is miles away.

 

Re: What kind of chair ....

Posted by Poet on March 12, 2008, at 11:45:45

In reply to What kind of chair ...., posted by vwoolf on March 11, 2008, at 14:00:17

My expdoc practiced out of a home office. It was gorgeous. He and patients (who didn't lie on the analyst couch like me) sat on soft leather chairs with ottomans to put our feet up on. Not that I did, he always did. His office entrance was separate from the house entrance so I never saw or heard anybody else there.

Current pdoc has a rather cluttered office above a movie theatre and stores. She sits in her desk chair, patients sit on a loveseat.

T sits in an overstuffed chair, I sit on a loveseat that really needs to be either replaced or at least cleaned. I've told her to get a new lamp as the one next to her that I look at has a crack in it and the shade is dingy. Maybe it's time to tell her to get a new loveseat or buy her some fabric cleaner.

Poet

 

Re: What kind of chair .... gardenergirl

Posted by Lonely on March 14, 2008, at 1:01:57

In reply to Re: What kind of chair ...., posted by gardenergirl on March 12, 2008, at 8:49:03

Wow, that's interesting (the article)!!! I had no idea that so many T's worked out of their homes. It would seem to me that security would be the number 1 issue and maintaining boundaries another. Then of course there are other issues already brought up.

I did go to a T once who worked out of her home. The parking was very inconvenient - it was on a residential street next to an electric pole and no sidewalk (i.e., read muddy). Someone else parked behind her garage door - I remember seeing that patient charge out of there very angry. The T's home was very lovely - she told me over the phone to go in and where to go inside. I was very inhibited about opening the door to someone's private home - it just seemed all wrong. There were multiple stories in the home and inside there was a sign telling me I could go to the second floor to get juice or whatever. I never did - just too inhibited. There was a powder room on the ground floor I believe (not sure) and think there was another on the next floor.

The "therapy room" was nicely homey (mildly contemporary) and open to the hallway in which I had entered. It had a door so there was privacy. Can't remember the chair distinctly but it was reasonably comfortable with a large coffee table in front for the juice or anything else I might have wanted to lay out there. I remember looking around actually in awe and the T asked me if I found everything ok. That bothored me because she completely misinterpreted my intentions. Actually I saw a tiny leak in the ceiling and wanted to say something about having that problem myself but felt too put off. A similar thing happened in another T's office that was in a regular professional office building (but no leak).

I never went back - just felt too weird somehow. Maybe it was lack of sleep or being in an unfamiliar area of town or maybe the grief. It just didn't feel right. Perhaps in a different home under different circumstances it would be ok.

 

Re: What kind of chair .... Poet

Posted by Lonely on March 14, 2008, at 1:07:25

In reply to Re: What kind of chair ...., posted by Poet on March 12, 2008, at 11:45:45

I couldn't help laughing! My T has a rather grungy chair that also really needs cleaning. It is contemporary but has a very rough fabric and many times after seeing her during warm weather (I was wearing shorts) I found I had a rash. Ok, I have very sensitive skin but still wonder if keeping it clean might not be better! This T is in a non-professional bldg too w/no water fountain. At first I thought it was charming ... now I'm not so sure ....


> My expdoc practiced out of a home office. It was gorgeous. He and patients (who didn't lie on the analyst couch like me) sat on soft leather chairs with ottomans to put our feet up on. Not that I did, he always did. His office entrance was separate from the house entrance so I never saw or heard anybody else there.
>
> Current pdoc has a rather cluttered office above a movie theatre and stores. She sits in her desk chair, patients sit on a loveseat.
>
> T sits in an overstuffed chair, I sit on a loveseat that really needs to be either replaced or at least cleaned. I've told her to get a new lamp as the one next to her that I look at has a crack in it and the shade is dingy. Maybe it's time to tell her to get a new loveseat or buy her some fabric cleaner.
>
> Poet

 

Re: What kind of chair .... Lonely

Posted by Dinah on March 14, 2008, at 1:59:29

In reply to Re: What kind of chair .... gardenergirl, posted by Lonely on March 14, 2008, at 1:01:57

It seems perfectly reasonable to me for you to feel uncomfortable.

I admit that I may be overfond of the boundaries, but seeing my therapist in a neutral location where his private life isn't waiting outside the door is *very* important to me.

 

Re: What kind of chair .... Dinah

Posted by mair on March 16, 2008, at 21:47:06

In reply to Re: What kind of chair .... Lonely, posted by Dinah on March 14, 2008, at 1:59:29

I don't think I'd care for therapy in a home office either.

I had a pdoc years ago who regularly maintained an office at a university - but I had to go to his house once for therapy when he was recovering from some surgery. It just felt too strange.

I don't mind having my back to the door but i do have to be in whatever chair is closest to the door. I don't like having my T be between me and the door.

She has a loveseat and a couple of not-overly-stuffed arm chairs. I think many of her patients sit on the loveseat, but it looks to me like it sits too low and it has a coffee table in front of it which looks hard to slip around.

I always seem to need an exit strategy and it doesn't involve sitting on a couch which I couldn't get off of gracefully and quickly.

mair

 

Re: What kind of chair .... mair

Posted by Dinah on March 16, 2008, at 22:38:00

In reply to Re: What kind of chair .... Dinah, posted by mair on March 16, 2008, at 21:47:06

Mair, I felt that way when I was in his first office. Both his loveseat and the chairs are easy to get out of, and not too mushy. But I always wanted to be closest to the door in case I needed to make a run for it. And I think I perched in one of the chairs, and he took the loveseat. I usually prefer to perch.

 

Re: What kind of chair ....

Posted by Emily Elizabeth on March 17, 2008, at 17:54:27

In reply to Re: What kind of chair .... mair, posted by Dinah on March 16, 2008, at 22:38:00

It's funny that several people mentioned wanting to be closest to the door. In grad school we were taught that the T should sit closest to the door for safety reasons (so the T can make a quick getaway if a client becomes violent).

I guess we all have safety needs, huh?

Best,
EE

 

Re: What kind of chair .... Emily Elizabeth

Posted by Dinah on March 17, 2008, at 18:03:54

In reply to Re: What kind of chair ...., posted by Emily Elizabeth on March 17, 2008, at 17:54:27

lol.

I guess my therapist didn't think I looked like a threat, because he didn't object. Mind you, he's enormous in comparison to me, so the threat is slight.

I used to eye the door quite frequently (and visibly) in the first many years of therapy. And occasionally make a break for it. I suspect my therapist didn't know quite what to do. But he handled it well enough by never preventing my exit, and merely saying calmly that he'd like me to stay. And generally I'd pause one legged at the knob, and hear him out and eventually tentatively inch towards the chair.

In retrospect I find my behavior quite amusing, although at the time of course I was quite distraught.

 

Re: What kind of chair .... Dinah

Posted by Lonely on March 17, 2008, at 18:34:11

In reply to Re: What kind of chair .... mair, posted by Dinah on March 16, 2008, at 22:38:00

I've always wondered about that - safety issues for the T. One T informed me she could handle anything. That would really scare me about being a T - and I'm not a T and no plans for such a career.

I'm small too and although I can get very angry no T has ever been in danger because of me. I did notice, though, that one T was visibly shaken when I walked up to her chair to show her how another T was treating someone close to me. There was no physical contact at all and I explained what I was doing before I walked the 4 steps - it was just leaning a bit into the other person's space and strong eye contact. It was not typical of me so maybe that shook up the T. Poor T !


> Mair, I felt that way when I was in his first office. Both his loveseat and the chairs are easy to get out of, and not too mushy. But I always wanted to be closest to the door in case I needed to make a run for it. And I think I perched in one of the chairs, and he took the loveseat. I usually prefer to perch.

 

Re: What kind of chair .... Dinah

Posted by Lonely on March 17, 2008, at 18:44:02

In reply to Re: What kind of chair .... Emily Elizabeth, posted by Dinah on March 17, 2008, at 18:03:54

Hmmm, this is interesting. Except for a first visit that was obviously never going to work I've never attempted to walk out. Actually I've never walked out at all but did tell one T that he was not going to work for me after the first few minutes of the one and only visit and I wasn't getting anything out of it. There was no charge for the abbreviated session.

It's intersting to me to hear what happens during sessions and how others react. I'm wondering if walking out is appropriate at times? I guess I suspect they might not let me back! Also, I'm more likely to "fight back" in a manner of speaking (verbally) when maybe I should be more ready to terminate. Maybe not. Maybe I see the T as too much of a parental figure and don't dare walk out. This would make a whole interesting thread!


> lol.
>
> I guess my therapist didn't think I looked like a threat, because he didn't object. Mind you, he's enormous in comparison to me, so the threat is slight.
>
> I used to eye the door quite frequently (and visibly) in the first many years of therapy. And occasionally make a break for it. I suspect my therapist didn't know quite what to do. But he handled it well enough by never preventing my exit, and merely saying calmly that he'd like me to stay. And generally I'd pause one legged at the knob, and hear him out and eventually tentatively inch towards the chair.
>
> In retrospect I find my behavior quite amusing, although at the time of course I was quite distraught.

 

Re: What kind of chair .... Lonely

Posted by Dinah on March 18, 2008, at 18:04:19

In reply to Re: What kind of chair .... Dinah, posted by Lonely on March 17, 2008, at 18:44:02

It's hard to believe that I'm the only one who did that. Although I asked my therapist today, and he said that it wasn't typical behavior, or something like that. Which I think may be his way of saying no one else has ever done it to him.

Surprising to me really...


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