Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 818119

Shown: posts 1 to 24 of 24. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Ups and downs

Posted by crushedout on March 15, 2008, at 14:48:44


I emailed my T yesterday to say I wanted to take her up on her offer to continue for *at least* one more session. She didn't write me back, which is not usual. She doesn't usually write me back if I'm just expressing feelings in emails, but she does if it's appointment-related.

So I didn't overreact--I assumed she either hadn't received my email or that she hadn't yet had time to respond, most likely the first one. So I called her on her cell today and explained that. Now she hasn't gotten back to me and I'm trying not to panic that she has decided to dump me. :(

I was totally calm about this two hours ago. Actually felt ok with whatever happens--if she wanted to end it, it wouldn't really be the end of the world. I feel ok without her, which has been very reassuring in a way. It's been a reassuring experience to allow myself to see that I really *could* leave her, that I really *would* be fine without her, even if staying is the better option for now.

So, basically, I'm doing ok, but right now I'm feeling a little panicky about the possibility of getting rejected, and this surprises me.

 

Re: Ups and downs crushedout

Posted by Phillipa on March 15, 2008, at 15:19:25

In reply to Ups and downs, posted by crushedout on March 15, 2008, at 14:48:44

Oh I understand so many calls when in pain to both therapists and pdocs and been left hanging when all I needed and wanted was a response. I feel for you. Hang in there. Although babble is quiet someone will show up yoou feel you know better than me. Love Phillipa

 

Re: Ups and downs Phillipa

Posted by crushedout on March 15, 2008, at 15:22:32

In reply to Re: Ups and downs crushedout, posted by Phillipa on March 15, 2008, at 15:19:25

You're sweet, Phillipa.

 

Re: Ups and downs crushedout

Posted by Phillipa on March 15, 2008, at 18:04:46

In reply to Re: Ups and downs Phillipa, posted by crushedout on March 15, 2008, at 15:22:32

Thank-you I try to be. Phillipa

 

Re: Ups and downs Phillipa

Posted by Maxime on March 15, 2008, at 19:18:50

In reply to Re: Ups and downs crushedout, posted by Phillipa on March 15, 2008, at 18:04:46

> Thank-you I try to be. Phillipa

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

 

Re: Ups and downs

Posted by raisinb on March 15, 2008, at 20:28:56

In reply to Ups and downs, posted by crushedout on March 15, 2008, at 14:48:44

Even when I've decided I definitely *don't* want to be in a relationship with someone, the rejection/abandonment fears still kick in if I don't get to be the one doing the rejecting.

I'm sure she's just busy. It's the weekend. She wants to work this out with you, and even if she felt termination was the answer, she'd at least call you back to schedule and ending session (she sounds like a good therapist, and good therapists do that).

 

Re: Ups and downs raisinb

Posted by crushedout on March 15, 2008, at 23:55:30

In reply to Re: Ups and downs, posted by raisinb on March 15, 2008, at 20:28:56

Well, she got back to me. She had received my email, but didn't apologize or anything for taking so long. And then she said my Monday appt. was no longer available but offered me another appt., on a different day.

That kind of hurts a little. It also makes me think she's mad and kind of acting out. It feels like she's punishing me for not agreeing right away to continue therapy with her. Because this isn't her typical behavior. Her fear of rejection might be kicking in. :(

 

Re: Ups and downs

Posted by Abby Cunningham on March 17, 2008, at 12:16:28

In reply to Re: Ups and downs raisinb, posted by crushedout on March 15, 2008, at 23:55:30


I can certainly identify with you. I am the one who got dumped by my therapist, only AFTER I had told her the week before that I was thinking of quitting therapy. IOW, she dumped me before I could reject her, I guess. Sorry this is happening to you. I hope you can work it out together if you feel this therapeutic relationship with her is worth saving.

> Well, she got back to me. She had received my email, but didn't apologize or anything for taking so long. And then she said my Monday appt. was no longer available but offered me another appt., on a different day.
>
> That kind of hurts a little. It also makes me think she's mad and kind of acting out. It feels like she's punishing me for not agreeing right away to continue therapy with her. Because this isn't her typical behavior. Her fear of rejection might be kicking in. :(
>
>

 

Re: Ups and downs

Posted by crushedout on March 17, 2008, at 13:54:05

In reply to Re: Ups and downs, posted by Abby Cunningham on March 17, 2008, at 12:16:28


I wrote her back and rejected the other time she offered me and proposed alternatives. She still hasn't gotten back to me.

Either she's in the middle of a personal crisis that has nothing to do with me, or she's treating me differently because of our rupture, which is not very smart for her to do as a therapist.

Argh.

 

Re: Ups and downs

Posted by raisinb on March 17, 2008, at 15:46:16

In reply to Re: Ups and downs, posted by crushedout on March 17, 2008, at 13:54:05

Ick, that sucks. I hope she gets back to you soon.

This is probably cold comfort, but is there anything you can learn about yourself by analyzing how you're reacting to this? Sometimes if I think about my fears, my assumptions about my T's feelings and reactions, etc., I am grateful for it later.

Not to say that she isn't being a jerk (she might be, or she might just be busy). But maybe you can kind of use the situation to your own ultimate therapeutic advantage by realizing things about your own responses. Sometimes I've had real "aha" moments by looking at what I assume my T is feeling at a certain point.

Of course, that doesn't help feeling nervous and abandoned right now :(

 

Re: Ups and downs raisinb

Posted by crushedout on March 17, 2008, at 15:52:03

In reply to Re: Ups and downs, posted by raisinb on March 17, 2008, at 15:46:16


Good advice raisinb. I've kind of been doing that. It's like I'm trying to be my own therapist. That might be the only one I have for awhile.

She did finally get back to me, by email. She didn't directly answer my question as to whether or not she'd already given away my time but indirectly it appears that she has. She offered me two other times a week from today (this Thursday she said she couldn't accommodate me).

We have never in three years had trouble scheduling a session. It is REALLY hard to believe that this isn't personal.

I called and said we needed to talk because email wasn't working. I wanted to know why she gave away my time if she said she wanted to continue working on this with me and I left things saying I needed to think about it.

She hasn't called me back. I don't really want to go in if she's going to be acting out. I need her to stay the therapist here.

> Ick, that sucks. I hope she gets back to you soon.
>
> This is probably cold comfort, but is there anything you can learn about yourself by analyzing how you're reacting to this? Sometimes if I think about my fears, my assumptions about my T's feelings and reactions, etc., I am grateful for it later.
>
> Not to say that she isn't being a jerk (she might be, or she might just be busy). But maybe you can kind of use the situation to your own ultimate therapeutic advantage by realizing things about your own responses. Sometimes I've had real "aha" moments by looking at what I assume my T is feeling at a certain point.
>
> Of course, that doesn't help feeling nervous and abandoned right now :(

 

Did she call back? (nm) crushedout

Posted by Dinah on March 19, 2008, at 12:34:43

In reply to Re: Ups and downs raisinb, posted by crushedout on March 17, 2008, at 15:52:03

 

Re: Did she call back? Dinah

Posted by crushedout on March 19, 2008, at 13:24:14

In reply to Did she call back? (nm) crushedout, posted by Dinah on March 19, 2008, at 12:34:43


yes, she did. on Monday. i was having dinner with my family and had my phone off but she left a message saying i could reach her the next day.

but i am so hurt that she just gave away my time slot that i haven't been able to bring myself to call again. it feels like a set-up for more pain. it seems better to just avoid her. i think that's what she wants me to do, anyway (although that's not *why* i'm doing it).

 

Re: Did she call back? crushedout

Posted by Dinah on March 19, 2008, at 13:46:47

In reply to Re: Did she call back? Dinah, posted by crushedout on March 19, 2008, at 13:24:14

Different therapists have different ways of operating. Is she one of those therapists who books from week to week? Where you might have a time slot, but she's also flexible? Or is she one of those therapists who assigns each client a timeslot and you pay whether or not you can come?

I have to say that if I don't positively say to my therapist that I will be using next week's timeslot, he'll very likely give it away. He books week to week, and giving away my time next week doesn't mean it's given away forever. If I don't take the timeslot, he needs to fill it because this is his livelihood. If he was the other sort of therapist, where a client in effect reserved a certain time period until therapy ended, it might be different.

Their point of view is of necessity different.

I wouldn't take it as a sign she wants you to quit.

My therapist has been angry with me many times. But we've worked through it. If she's been a good reliable and helpful therapist, and if you think you it isn't yet time to terminate, that you two are able to work through this.

Do you think that some part of this issue is about power? That you might be angry with her for responding as she did initially, and giving away your time, and you need her to act now in a certain way in order for you to come back?

It's certainly understandable. But my experience with my therapist is that I never ever can gain that sort of power. The relationship just isn't set up for it. He'd likely refuse to respond as I wished, if it wasn't how he'd ordinarily respond, if only because he would think it wouldn't be good for me therapeutically.

 

Re: Did she call back? Dinah

Posted by crushedout on March 19, 2008, at 14:01:15

In reply to Re: Did she call back? crushedout, posted by Dinah on March 19, 2008, at 13:46:47


Lots to think about, Dinah, thanks.

She is the kind of therapist where people "own" their slots, and the assumption is that it is your slot (and you will pay for it) unless you cancel in advance and give her time to fill it. We've never gone over it specifically but I've always assumed it was a 24-hour cancellation policy.

She also has some flexibility so you can usually add extra sessions or change your time--I've rarely had trouble doing this when I've needed to.

The previous week, when I actually CANCELLED, she still kept my time and called me the night before and said she had still kept it open, even though I cancelled, and urged me to use it.

So I did, and at that session, she urged me to keep coming. I expressed A LOT of anger during the session, but then at the end told her simply that I "had to think about it." I emailed her that Friday asking if the time was still available. I hadn't necessarily expected her to save me that Monday's time, but at least didn't expect her to give it away permanently. Then, not only had she given away *my* time but she didn't have any other time available and THIS HAS NEVER happened before in three years. She also has never taken more than a few hours to get back to me by email, and this time she took about a day and a half.

How do I not take all this personally? You see?

You are right, I think, in some way, Dinah, that this is about power, and I agree I can never get her to respond in the way that I want/need her to at this point to not feel abused or mistreated or stupid. Which is why I give up. I'm out. That's all I can come up with.

But I do think she's acting out. And I don't think she's going to take responsibility for that unless I pay her and insist on going in whenever she'll have me. Which I'm not sure I'm willing to do.

It feels pretty sh*tty but I try not to think about it, and there's a huge part of me that's mostly just relieved and ready to move the f*ck on. I'm sorry for cursing.


> Different therapists have different ways of operating. Is she one of those therapists who books from week to week? Where you might have a time slot, but she's also flexible? Or is she one of those therapists who assigns each client a timeslot and you pay whether or not you can come?
>
> I have to say that if I don't positively say to my therapist that I will be using next week's timeslot, he'll very likely give it away. He books week to week, and giving away my time next week doesn't mean it's given away forever. If I don't take the timeslot, he needs to fill it because this is his livelihood. If he was the other sort of therapist, where a client in effect reserved a certain time period until therapy ended, it might be different.
>
> Their point of view is of necessity different.
>
> I wouldn't take it as a sign she wants you to quit.
>
> My therapist has been angry with me many times. But we've worked through it. If she's been a good reliable and helpful therapist, and if you think you it isn't yet time to terminate, that you two are able to work through this.
>
> Do you think that some part of this issue is about power? That you might be angry with her for responding as she did initially, and giving away your time, and you need her to act now in a certain way in order for you to come back?
>
> It's certainly understandable. But my experience with my therapist is that I never ever can gain that sort of power. The relationship just isn't set up for it. He'd likely refuse to respond as I wished, if it wasn't how he'd ordinarily respond, if only because he would think it wouldn't be good for me therapeutically.

 

Re: Did she call back?crushout

Posted by rskontos on March 19, 2008, at 14:04:00

In reply to Re: Did she call back? crushedout, posted by Dinah on March 19, 2008, at 13:46:47

Crushout, I wanted to say something along the lines of Dinah. The part she mentioned about giving up timeslots to those that say they need them. My therapist is the same way. He does not just keep them open and charge you, he will give it away at the first hint too. He needs all the slots he can get.

First, I completely understand why and how you would feel. I would project those same feelings myself. And have done so many times.

But I'd to offer a new way to think about it is to own the feelings you are feelings as yours not necessarily hers because you don't really know how she feels maybey you are projecting or just guessing and basing this in part on how it has or has not happened before. And while that is a good basis, it doesn't mean it is accurate. She could be doing all you are saying she is. And she could not be. I have done exactly the same as you only to find out I am wrong, very wrong. So I just offer this to you that you are being emotional in your response to how it affects you, while she is just being a busy therapist trying to answer the needs of all her patients and not answering yours exactly as you need her to at this moment. I don't think she wants you to quit. I have based trying to quit my therapist as well on his behavior when it was not his intent far from it actually. Being sensitive to others actions is tough when actions are not always conductive to how another person is feeling when they don't wear their feelings on their shoulders. (that is how I feel I am sometimes, wearing my feelings on my shoulders, when most therapists don't.) And you may feel more like you do(that is wear your feelngs more opening like me at times). Maybe not. And if I am rambling just ignore me. But I got the sense that maybe your point of view in this and your therapists' point of view is way off, and you both really need to meet face to face and swap those views. I hope this happens. It is often hard not to take certain things not personally but we do. Try to take a step back from all of this until you can get that face to face. Good luck, I hear your pain and believe you really need to meet with her to resolve it.

let us know how it goes.

rsk

 

Re: Did she call back? crushedout

Posted by Dinah on March 19, 2008, at 14:12:30

In reply to Re: Did she call back? Dinah, posted by crushedout on March 19, 2008, at 14:01:15

It isn't your *only* option.

What I have found can be immensely helpful in situations like this (and yes there have been) is to tell her, with as little confrontation as possible, what you're feeling in terms of wanting certain things from her and feeling like you need certain things from her. And then explore those wants and needs, and whether they're the only way to get past an impasse in an otherwise good relationship.

While you're angry or while she's angry may not be the best time for it. Strike while the iron is cold is a very good relationship strategy.

If your relationship with her in general has not been good, or if you think (when you put aside anger and hurt) that you are ready to terminate, that's different.

But mightn't it be good to explore different ways to relate?

 

Re: Did she call back? Dinah

Posted by crushedout on March 19, 2008, at 14:18:26

In reply to Re: Did she call back? crushedout, posted by Dinah on March 19, 2008, at 14:12:30


Wait. I'm confused. What isn't my only option?

I might be being dense. I'm not being facetious. I'm just really confused.

Are you saying I should wait till I'm not mad anymore to call her?


> It isn't your *only* option.
>
> What I have found can be immensely helpful in situations like this (and yes there have been) is to tell her, with as little confrontation as possible, what you're feeling in terms of wanting certain things from her and feeling like you need certain things from her. And then explore those wants and needs, and whether they're the only way to get past an impasse in an otherwise good relationship.
>
> While you're angry or while she's angry may not be the best time for it. Strike while the iron is cold is a very good relationship strategy.
>
> If your relationship with her in general has not been good, or if you think (when you put aside anger and hurt) that you are ready to terminate, that's different.
>
> But mightn't it be good to explore different ways to relate?

 

Re: Did she call back?

Posted by Dinah on March 19, 2008, at 14:25:36

In reply to Re: Did she call back? Dinah, posted by crushedout on March 19, 2008, at 14:18:26

>
> Wait. I'm confused. What isn't my only option?

You said

> Which is why I give up. I'm out. That's all I can come up with.

I was offering something else to come up with.

I hope you'll forgive me for saying this still sounds very emotionally charged for you. Which makes me wonder if it might not be a good idea to spend some time with her on the issue.

And what I was suggesting about striking when the iron was hot was that frank discussion is not easy when one or both parties are really angry, because it can turn into confrontation and defense rather than exploration.

But before I continue in this way, has your relationship with your therapist been a good one? Is she supportive and helpful in general? I realize she reacted badly to something you said. I'd find that very hurtful too. But did this happen in an otherwise good relationship? Or is it a symptom of an otherwise troubled relationship.

 

Re: Did she call back?crushout rskontos

Posted by Dinah on March 19, 2008, at 14:27:14

In reply to Re: Did she call back?crushout, posted by rskontos on March 19, 2008, at 14:04:00

I've had the same sort of experience.

And I've found it helpful *to me* to explore it.

It sounds as if it was also helpful to you. :)

 

Re: Did she call back? Dinah

Posted by crushedout on March 19, 2008, at 14:35:02

In reply to Re: Did she call back?, posted by Dinah on March 19, 2008, at 14:25:36


Oh. Right. Thanks, Dinah. Sometimes I feel so slow!

You are absolutely right that this is very emotionally charged for me. I have no idea what the "right" thing to do is, so I TOTALLY appreciate your input, just because you are not me, so you can be more objective, and I respect your mind, and also you know what it's like to be a long-term therapy patient.

Here's the thing: she has never been able to help me. She's made a couple mistakes in the past, and has taken responsibility for them, which made me respect her. They weren't huge mistakes, in the scheme of things (see, e.g., my last T). But she basically has simply been unable to really help me. And I just have a sinking feeling that if I stay something bad is going to get worse. And I also have a very hopeful feeling that if I quit therapy right now, that would be the best thing for me. It is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE for me to know how much of this is motivated by the emotionally charged situation I'm in, though, you know?

In any event, what's the harm in taking a step back and letting myself cool off for awhile? I may or may not go back. But quitting isn't irreversible, is it?


> >
> > Wait. I'm confused. What isn't my only option?
>
> You said
>
> > Which is why I give up. I'm out. That's all I can come up with.
>
> I was offering something else to come up with.
>
> I hope you'll forgive me for saying this still sounds very emotionally charged for you. Which makes me wonder if it might not be a good idea to spend some time with her on the issue.
>
> And what I was suggesting about striking when the iron was hot was that frank discussion is not easy when one or both parties are really angry, because it can turn into confrontation and defense rather than exploration.
>
> But before I continue in this way, has your relationship with your therapist been a good one? Is she supportive and helpful in general? I realize she reacted badly to something you said. I'd find that very hurtful too. But did this happen in an otherwise good relationship? Or is it a symptom of an otherwise troubled relationship.

 

here's a thought Dinah

Posted by crushedout on March 19, 2008, at 14:37:36

In reply to Re: Did she call back?crushout rskontos, posted by Dinah on March 19, 2008, at 14:27:14


Maybe I should hire a really good short-term therapist to deal with terminating from my current T, like for 8 weeks. Then I'm out. I dunno. It seems like a vicious freakin' circle this therapy thing. How do I end it? I just want out!

 

Re: Did she call back? crushedout

Posted by Dinah on March 19, 2008, at 18:38:17

In reply to Re: Did she call back? Dinah, posted by crushedout on March 19, 2008, at 14:35:02

Quitting generally isn't irreversible with today's therapists.

I did manage to annoy a pdoc into refusing to take me back. :) But since I had just started with him, he had no way of knowing it was the Wellbutrin, not my personality.

I think if she hasn't been useful to you, that argues more for leaving than any one incident in the context of a long term relationship.

 

Re: here's a thought - long crushedout

Posted by mair on March 19, 2008, at 22:36:29

In reply to here's a thought Dinah, posted by crushedout on March 19, 2008, at 14:37:36

Crushed

Excuse me for jumping in late here.

If you genuinely feel she has been of no use, maybe you are better just moving on. However, from some personal experience, I think there is a harm in leaving a T when you have alot of unprocessed anger.

Several years ago, I expressed some anger at the very end of what was supposed to be my last session, at least for awhile. My then-T got upset and urged me to come back to talk about it. I did, for one more session; I apologized; he never really encouraged me to explore why I was angry. After that, and for probably another year and a half, I continued to see him but only intermittently, when I was at my depressed worse. Seeing him, however, never again felt like real therapy, and I always felt that he acted differently towards me after the outbreak.

I've spent countless sessions processing with my current T, what happened with my last T. She has been very critical about what she perceived to be the failure of my last T to own up to his part in what happened. She feels that because of this experience, and probably earlier experiences as well, I have difficulty expressing my anger because on some level I think it's going to alter how others feel about me.

I've been going thrugh a stretch for awhile where I've been upset with my T and totally confused about our relationship and probably not coincidentally, feeling like therapy is a waste because most of the torment of therapy seems to be caused by my anxiety over our relationship. Several weeks ago, I had a particularly awful session where I was telling her how pointless I thought therapy had become and where I thought she was sort of agreeing with me. Driving back to work afterwards, it occurred to me that I was starting to feel like I was re-enacting what happened with my last T.

I went on vacation right after that session, and the time and distance allowed me at least to calm down enough to feel that I should let her know what might really being going on. In my first session after I returned, I managed with great difficulty to convey the thought that it was possible that my anger was a big contributer to my feelings that I should quit seeing her. What she told me (pretty emphatically) was that under no circumstances should I stop seeing her or cut back on seeing her until I was at least able to fully express and process my anger.

I'm almost ashamed to say how relieving her insistence was -It sort of conveyed the message that she cared enough to make sure that I didn't quit without having my own clear understanding of why I wanted to go. I don't know whether I was so relieved because I wasn't going to have to go through what I went through with my last T, or whether i was relieved that she was taking control of this aspect of my life. [probably a subject for my next session (< ; ]

This is a very longwinded way, I guess, of suggesting that you should talk some of this through with her. I wonder all the time how much the situation with my last T maybe set me back, and how things might have been different if he had really gone out of his way to help me process why I was so upset with him. I know the way things ended up with him had a huge impact on me because the topic of how I left him comes up from time to time in therapy sessions with my current T and I start feeling angry all over again - with him, but also with myself for not pushing the issue with him.

I don't think seeing someone else to process what's happening with your T is at all as valuable as trying to process it with her.

Good Luck

Mair


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