Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 830468

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dream interpretation needed

Posted by raisinb on May 22, 2008, at 9:52:37

I've been thinking I don't miss my therapist, and don't need to go back, but I had a vivid, kind of upsetting dream about her last night and it has stayed with me today.

In the dream, I went to therapy, but to my therapist's house, not her office. She lived in a frame house off near a coast, and there was a big lighthouse right outside her door.

I'd thought I'd have an individual session with her, but inside there was a big circle of people and I realized it was group therapy. During the session, a forceful, loud man stood up and started telling me what to do and what was wrong with me. I didn't know this man's face, but his first name happens to be both the name of my therapist's husband and the name of the therapist I saw when she had to go on maternity leave a couple of years ago. His manner of speaking (lots of sentences starting, "you need to...") was very much like a good friend of mine who can be overbearing and tells me what to do to fix my problems, without knowing much about them.

He was going on and on, and I cut him off. I said, "X, you are just a flawed human being just like everyone else here, nobody knows more than anyone else, all of you have issues, and I am not going to just take this from you and trust your advice." I think that shut him up.

Later, I came back to see if I could have an individual session with my therapist. Her sister or cousin opened the door; my therapist was in the background on the phone with her husband. When she came to the door, I told her I wanted a session in the lighthouse. She said that she could get me in in the next couple of days, but that the lighthouse was only open in the fall, when the light came in just the right way.

I woke upset. Any wisdom?

 

Re: dream interpretation needed

Posted by rskontos on May 22, 2008, at 10:10:57

In reply to dream interpretation needed, posted by raisinb on May 22, 2008, at 9:52:37

raisinb,

my first thoughts are that in telling that man how you feel you stood up to him and to your therapist saying you are ok and doing fine. Your mind is working through the issue of her not being in your life right now and it is ok. You can stand up for your self and do it well.

The second part where you went to her and ask for an individual session could have many interpretations one I thought first was that your mind might be saying that if and when you go back she might not behave in a manner that is best for you and you will be strong enough to know and act accordingly. That you are strong enough to decide at this point. She is acting according to her own ideas which may or may not be in line with your needs at this point in time. That maybe you have outgrown the need of her.

That she can't fulfill your needs at this time.

I see this dream as a positive one though. Especially the first part. The second too in that although she might not act and compile with what you need you can speak up for what you need exactly right now. You are now empowered. I think your mind is trying to tell you this.

I might be wrong but I do see much progress from you and I take hope from it.

rsk

 

Re: dream interpretation needed raisinb

Posted by Dinah on May 22, 2008, at 11:41:51

In reply to dream interpretation needed, posted by raisinb on May 22, 2008, at 9:52:37

I guess I agree with rsk. Admittedly I'm not very good with this, but a lighthouse would represent guidance and wisdom? And while she has it, she's not making it available right now?

How did you feel about her in the dream? Sometimes I find that what a dream is trying to tell me isn't necessarily what it says. If my feelings toward the people in the dream don't match the action, so to speak.


 

Re: dream interpretation needed Dinah

Posted by Phillipa on May 22, 2008, at 12:30:36

In reply to Re: dream interpretation needed raisinb, posted by Dinah on May 22, 2008, at 11:41:51

Yes a lighthouse would be a guide for boats and the light is illumination. So agree with above. Second part maybe just means that at some thime you will go back but for now you doing well and can wait at least a few day to see her. Love Phillipa

 

Re: dream interpretation needed Dinah

Posted by B2chica on May 22, 2008, at 14:31:06

In reply to Re: dream interpretation needed raisinb, posted by Dinah on May 22, 2008, at 11:41:51

> I guess I agree with rsk. Admittedly I'm not very good with this, but a lighthouse would represent guidance and wisdom? And while she has it, she's not making it available right now?


see THIS is why i love this site...i originally was thinking ok house by the shore, lighthouse, isolation.
but duh! a lighthouse is guidance.
thanks Dinah.


 

Re: dream interpretation needed raisinb

Posted by Daisym on May 23, 2008, at 0:43:33

In reply to dream interpretation needed, posted by raisinb on May 22, 2008, at 9:52:37

I think this is an anxiety dream, and it might be about your inner truth - a truth you might not really want to believe yet.

**In the dream, I went to therapy, but to my therapist's house, not her office. She lived in a frame house off near a coast, and there was a big lighthouse right outside her door.

I'll take this to mean that therapy has many (perhaps too many) personal elements from your therapist. It is her house - not her office - not "your" space. The lighthouse (guidance) is outside of her house...outside of your therapy.

**I'd thought I'd have an individual session with her, but inside there was a big circle of people and I realized it was group therapy. During the session, a forceful, loud man stood up and started telling me what to do and what was wrong with me. I didn't know this man's face, but his first name happens to be both the name of my therapist's husband and the name of the therapist I saw when she had to go on maternity leave a couple of years ago. His manner of speaking (lots of sentences starting, "you need to...") was very much like a good friend of mine who can be overbearing and tells me what to do to fix my problems, without knowing much about them.

It sounds like therapy is not what you've come to expect - or wish you had. A big circle of people could be the different aspects of you...or of your therapist. Do you experience her one way sometimes and another way, other times? I'm not sure about the loud man - except that it speaks to enmeshment - her husband (her real partner instead of you - someone who "deserves" her time? Or demands it; another therapist could be her shadow side and the friend might be her bossy side or your perception of her acting more like friend than a therapist. The most interesting line here, "to fix my problems, without knowing much about them" - sounds like therapy isn't deep enough, clear enough or after all this time, she still doesn't understand at least some aspect of you.

**He was going on and on, and I cut him off. I said, "X, you are just a flawed human being just like everyone else here, nobody knows more than anyone else, all of you have issues, and I am not going to just take this from you and trust your advice." I think that shut him up.

Tell me how you really feel about your therapist right now - Shut him up? Or another thought - your inner critic who keeps telling you that you NEED therapy - are you arguing with yourself here?

**Later, I came back to see if I could have an individual session with my therapist. Her sister or cousin opened the door; my therapist was in the background on the phone with her husband. When she came to the door, I told her I wanted a session in the lighthouse. She said that she could get me in in the next couple of days, but that the lighthouse was only open in the fall, when the light came in just the right way.

So now your therapist has gate keepers that you have to go through to get to her - she is busy with her "real partner" again. (I'm curious why her husband is so intertwined in this dream.) You want her wisdom (an individual session) but it isn't available except at a specific times - which sounds like you are asking for her to be at her best as your therapist but she can't be right now - she is in a different place (her home) and won't be the wisdom you need for awhile. Fall is often a symbol for dying - especially anxiety around dying. It might be that she can't be who you need until the therapy (or you) are in critical need and then she pulls it out at that last minute.

To me, overall, it seems like you are really arguing with yourself about therapy and its effectiveness and whether you need it or not -- perhaps you only need it if you are suicidal?

Just my two cents, fwiw.

 

Oof

Posted by raisinb on May 23, 2008, at 7:25:05

In reply to dream interpretation needed, posted by raisinb on May 22, 2008, at 9:52:37

Ever since that dream, I haven't been doing as well as I was. I am sad and angry and all the feelings for my therapist are rushing back. I am horribly hurt and angry and I miss her and I'm sad and I HATE THIS.

The dream seems to be saying, you should leave, raisin, and me, consciously saying, "No wait! I can't! Don't make me!"

Thank you everyone for your interpretations. I think they are all very wise.

 

had another bad one last night

Posted by raisinb on May 23, 2008, at 7:30:03

In reply to dream interpretation needed, posted by raisinb on May 22, 2008, at 9:52:37

(I have an older Saab that I love. In dreams, it's often a symbol of my self.)

So, in this dream, the tailpipe of my Saab was rusted out, making a horrible noise. I couldn't understand this, because I paid a lot of money recently to get the entire exhaust replaced. I was furious at the repair shop who'd given me the exhaust and the warranty. I stood in the parking lot of my building, angry and not knowing what to do, when a fat young man with a ponytail and glasses showed up and offered to tow it for me. I said, "oh, okay, sure," because I didn't know what else to do. He asked if I wanted to go with him. I said no, being so overwhelmed all I wanted to do was go in and go to bed.

Later in the dream, I realized that I hadn't even told him where to take it. I called and called the repair shop, but the car never showed up, and I realized he'd probably just taken off with it and I'd let him do it. Now it was gone forever. I couldn't believe my own stupidity.

 

Re: had another bad one last night raisinb

Posted by Dinah on May 23, 2008, at 9:32:17

In reply to had another bad one last night, posted by raisinb on May 23, 2008, at 7:30:03

That dream sounds angry to me. If there is an internal dialogue going on about whether your therapist was good for you or bad for you, what would the negative voice say? Could your dreams be trying to tell you something you don't want to hear?

It doesn't mean in the end you have to agree with the dreams. I don't always find that my subconscious trying to communicate with me in dreams necessarily has the *right* answer, or is any wiser than waking conscious me. Sometimes it's just the opposite. But I generally find acknowledgment helpful.

 

Re: had another bad one last night Dinah

Posted by raisinb on May 23, 2008, at 10:23:29

In reply to Re: had another bad one last night raisinb, posted by Dinah on May 23, 2008, at 9:32:17

What would the negative voice say? Whew...

It would say:

--She's made me worse, not better.
--She's meeting her own needs in sessions, not mine (which is why she gets emotional or withdraws); her persuading me to stay is about her ego, her wanting to do this big, intense therapy, not what is best for me
--She can't meet my needs, but is not honest enough with herself or me to admit it, so she continues to defend a damaging therapeutic relationship
--She abandoned me when I needed her most, more than once
--If my goal is to learn to love and accept myself, she's not helping by rejecting me and being so inconsistent
--She denies my perception of her emotional inconsistency, not because I'm not right, but because she is defensive and/or she doesn't think I have the right to expect more
--She doesn't care enough about me to really do what will make this work
--She will never understand me--we are too different
--I had a breakdown a couple of weeks ago and could have died partly because of her
--My attachment to her--the fact that I keep returning to her--is part of me hating myself and submitting myself to emotional punishment
--We'll never work through this stuff; it keeps coming up over and over. I remember having this same argument over a year ago.
--I want her punished for the pain she has caused me and I can never cause her to hurt as much as I do.
--Admittedly, I haven't been successful in sustaining a romantic relationship, but all my other relationships are fine--going very well, in fact--so how can this be all me?


Many of these might be incompletely true or downright wrong, but that is how the negative part of me feels.


> That dream sounds angry to me. If there is an internal dialogue going on about whether your therapist was good for you or bad for you, what would the negative voice say? Could your dreams be trying to tell you something you don't want to hear?
>
> It doesn't mean in the end you have to agree with the dreams. I don't always find that my subconscious trying to communicate with me in dreams necessarily has the *right* answer, or is any wiser than waking conscious me. Sometimes it's just the opposite. But I generally find acknowledgment helpful.
>
>

 

Re: had another bad one last night raisinb

Posted by Dinah on May 23, 2008, at 13:01:41

In reply to Re: had another bad one last night Dinah, posted by raisinb on May 23, 2008, at 10:23:29

That sounds in keeping with the dream.

Ok, this will sound weird, but it's something I do myself, and it may or may not be useful to you.

I listen to what the negative voice says, and putting aside the objective correctness of it, acknowledge that it is right now a subjective truth for me, or part of me. I try to keep a respectful, open, and interested stance. Because trying to sort out the truth of it just makes the opposing voices more strident in defense, at least in my case. Then I listen to what comes to mind after that and maintain the same stance. Sometimes, for me, once the negative stuff is accepted as at least subjective truth, sometimes a deeper level of truth comes out. Something that often surprises me. And if I stay open to it, every once in a while I'll reach the state where I hear a quiet voice that seems to speak wisdom more than truth. If that makes sense.

It may sound a bit weird or mystical or something. But it doesn't feel that way precisely. It feels more like I'm being a good therapist to myself.

 

Re: had another bad one last night

Posted by Daisym on May 23, 2008, at 20:26:32

In reply to Re: had another bad one last night raisinb, posted by Dinah on May 23, 2008, at 13:01:41

I like what Dinah said. But it seems clear to me that your unconscious is not thrilled with your theraputic relationship. Usually the opposite occurs - we dream about being helped even as we resist or run away from the help IRL.

Perhaps you need a consultation. Sometimes a fresh perspective can help you understand better what it is that is keeping you in a relationship that isn't good for you. I'm worried about what you said about allowing yourself to be hurt by her as punishment. This really could be what is happening - I know someone who stayed with a therapist he hated for 5 years because he was used to being abused by his mother. After a lot of work with a different therapist, he can now see why he couldn't leave for such a long time.

No matter what your tapes say, you do not deserve the pain this is causing you.

 

Re: had another bad one last night Daisym

Posted by Phillipa on May 23, 2008, at 21:10:07

In reply to Re: had another bad one last night, posted by Daisym on May 23, 2008, at 20:26:32

Daisy that is really interesting as I bet that's the same thing I'm doing. You opened my eyes. Love Phillipa

 

Re: had another bad one last night

Posted by rskontos on May 23, 2008, at 22:51:12

In reply to Re: had another bad one last night, posted by Daisym on May 23, 2008, at 20:26:32

raisinb,

for what it is worth, i am in agreement with Dinah and Daisym. It would seem that any relationship and especially a supposedly therapeutic one would not cause so much anguish. For me, when it goes over into my dream state then I know the relationship must be examined or when it causes me so much anxiety during the day I must use xanax. I think IMHO that this relationship, much like my own T relationship, has caused you a great deal of anguish.

In reading the above post that you have expressed to her how she is not meeting your goals, needs and wants even as far back as a year ago, I believe your mind is trying to help you work through a relationship that seems to be more damaging than good for you.

I know ultimately only you can decide but when an issue invades your dream state I believe that your subconsciousness is trying to help you work out an issue that is extremely vital to your well-being. I think it is an important issue and I think that probably only in an separation will you be able to gain the perspective necessary to truly see the extent of the net gain in this therapist/therapee relationship.

But since the dreams are being consecutive, it does seem like you need outside guidance perhaps, and definitely a break from her or possibly a whole new outlook.

It would be totally harmful for you to stay as punishment and I hope that is something you can reconcil so you don't do this.

You do need to listen to this inner voice. Take it from me those inner voices do have alot of good advice. I know I would not be alive without mine.

rsk

 

To everyone

Posted by raisinb on May 27, 2008, at 9:28:01

In reply to Re: had another bad one last night, posted by rskontos on May 23, 2008, at 22:51:12

Thank you for your feedback. I'm in grade-crunch right now, and don't have time to respond to everyone individually, but everyone has been very helpful.

I'm still conflicted; I've taken a three-week break from therapy, and I think I will extend the break another week and a half. For the first time, lately, I feel like I don't even want to work it out with her. I feel a bit disgusted with all the drama. But then, those feelings are immediately followed by a rush of fear and abandonment.

I have learned so much about myself through this, but right now, my subjective impression is that my therapist hasn't helped much with that. Instead, I've worked it out on my own, because it was causing me so much pain that my feet were held to the fire, so to speak. I also wonder if the most wonderful thing I can learn from therapy is how to leave for the right reasons. I wouldn't trade the experience; I don't regret it or believe it was a mistake (in fact, I have the sense that somehow the universe led me there, to learn something important), but it may be time to see it for what it was, and move on.

Right now I just do not know. But I'm doing well, for the most part, and I can see just how much of my aloneness, fear, and hatred for my therapist was part of my depression. I think I'm in the process of making a lot of things about myself--including depression, anger, and loneliness--"ego dystonic" instead of "ego syntonic" (I read those terms a few years ago and they make sense to me).

As for the dreams, I think they really aren't that different from ones I have been having all along. And I have had wonderful dreams about her mixed up in those. I guess she isn't good or bad, and I have to learn that, accept it, and make a choice anyway.

I might get a consultation, but I've already had several, and in the end they didn't help much. I don't think it was the consulting therapists' fault--I just think I don't want anyone's truth but my own--or nothing else is going to feel quite right.

I'm right on the verge of some kind of insight, lately--that what I loved, wanted, and longed for in her is really part of me or has to come from me somehow. I'm not sure how that would look, but...

Thanks again everyone!


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