Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 964144

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My therapist liked what you guys said

Posted by Dinah on September 28, 2010, at 19:26:16

All different aspects of it.

I also gave him an excerpt of Witti's post. He really liked it, and I'm hoping it will help him keep in mind what cutting back really is.

He said more or less the things I had said in my more rational posts. That he didn't have formal analytical training, although he was exposed to some of the ideas in supervision. That he didn't have any experience with very long term therapy, and that we had to work out some of the problems together.

He said it was important that we were able to keep talking about it. Which was a very charitable spin on the multitude of phone calls I made Friday...

I apologized for behaving badly, and said that I recognized that I had put him in a no-win situation.

He said he should have been more aware that "Ok then, see you next Friday" wasn't the ideal response.

We talked about how his natural response to feeling upset, angry, anxious, etc. was to pull back to assess the situation. And that the more intense anger I showed him, the more he pulled back to think. And how my reaction to his pulling back was to get angry. He told me not to blame my reaction on his actions, and I said no, it was just a situation where everything snowballs. I asked him if he could try not to pull back, because it makes me more and more angry and scared. He said something about my not getting so angry, because anger makes him pull back. He asked why I was so special. I reminded him that I was so special in that hour because I was the client, and I paid him, and the hour was about my issues, not his. I liked that he understood the terminology I used to describe how I perceived his reaction. He used to never understand, but now he understands easily.

We agreed to talk about it some more. About what cutting back means to me, and about my needing to feel like a daughter. I asked him if that was a bad thing, and if I was supposed to be my own father or something. He laughed and suggested I ask my friends with knowledge of analysis. He said he didn't know whether not needing him as much was a good thing or a bad thing, because how can you know what the future holds?

He looked at the handout, and seems happy that it's just exposure therapy, which is well in his skill set. He said he'd read it before, and found notations from when he did, but that he'd forgotten. I think we're going to talk more about it later.

I'm not hating him right now. I'm not angry. I'm maybe a wee bit disappointed. But I guess those disappointments are part of leaving the nest...

 

Re: My therapist liked what you guys said Dinah

Posted by gardenergirl on September 28, 2010, at 21:39:36

In reply to My therapist liked what you guys said, posted by Dinah on September 28, 2010, at 19:26:16

Clapping hands here. :)

 

Re: My therapist liked what you guys said Dinah

Posted by wittgensteinz on September 29, 2010, at 3:16:25

In reply to My therapist liked what you guys said, posted by Dinah on September 28, 2010, at 19:26:16

This all sounds rather positive. A feeling of disappointment is probably far more livable than feelings of hatred and anger - last week was a difficult week for you. But sometimes it takes such an onslaught of powerful emotions before we realize what we really feel about something.

I'm glad you are going to take your time and talk about cutting back - the more you explore it, the more you'll be prepared for the feelings that arise if and when you actually do it.

I think your words about being the client and that during the session it is about YOU not him were well put. I get the feeling you can be a good advocate for yourself - that's quite an accomplishment.

Even though rationally you have a lot of insight into your therapist, the therapy and yourself, it is good that he was able to state his limits in terms of his experience and knowledge. Sometimes these things need to come from him, even if you already knew it yourself.

No therapy relationship is perfect and therapists are human (in their own way!) - but I sincerely believe your T is one of the 'good guys'.

I was looking through the archives the other day - reading my earlier posts was a bit like looking back through a journal. Almost 2 years ago I had a very rough patch with my T (not that I'd forgotten but reading the posts I wrote at the time brought back some details that had faded in my mind). I think he made some mistakes at the time - he was probably under a lot of stress (I had attempted suicide) and probably felt a mix of emotions toward me at that point. Happily that event and the aftermath seem quite distant now - although not fully resolved (like a wound that has healed leaving a little scar), moving on is possible - even from the worst of situations - the relationship now seems to be better than it has ever been. I think there is also a lot to be learned from these ruptures (even if the immediate emotions are difficult to bear).

Witti

 

Re: My therapist liked what you guys said

Posted by annierose on September 29, 2010, at 16:43:10

In reply to My therapist liked what you guys said, posted by Dinah on September 28, 2010, at 19:26:16

Sounds like you are on much better footing. Glad to hear the session went well. I've been thinking of you.

 

Re: My therapist liked what you guys said annierose

Posted by Dinah on September 29, 2010, at 22:18:53

In reply to Re: My therapist liked what you guys said, posted by annierose on September 29, 2010, at 16:43:10

The one thing we've always done well is rapprochement and relationship maintaining. I think I've learned as much as I might from marriage therapy.

 

Re: My therapist liked what you guys said wittgensteinz

Posted by Dinah on September 29, 2010, at 22:34:18

In reply to Re: My therapist liked what you guys said Dinah, posted by wittgensteinz on September 29, 2010, at 3:16:25

That's often true of me. I have absolutely no idea what I feel about something until it becomes horrendously obvious. The rational thoughts are far closer to the surface.

I'm still not sure what he had in mind by that comment about my being special. It still strikes me as a bit strange. I might have missed the point in my surprise and answered too hastily.

One of his strengths is admitting his limitations. And being willing to stretch as needed. But I sometimes am a bit wistful when I think of the advantages of having a long term therapist who has received a lot of training in long term therapy. But then he wouldn't be him. And however enraged I may be with him, in general he's been good for me.

Was that two years ago? I'm glad you feel like you've been able to move past the rupture to a deeper relationship. The mends in a relationship may actually make it stronger.

 

Re: My therapist liked what you guys said gardenergirl

Posted by Dinah on September 29, 2010, at 22:35:59

In reply to Re: My therapist liked what you guys said Dinah, posted by gardenergirl on September 28, 2010, at 21:39:36

:)

It would be even better if we could keep it from happening. I understand his patterns. He understands mine. Yet in the moment, it replays over and over.

 

Re: My therapist liked what you guys said

Posted by Daisym on September 29, 2010, at 23:21:48

In reply to Re: My therapist liked what you guys said gardenergirl, posted by Dinah on September 29, 2010, at 22:35:59

Nothing easy about cutting down. Leaving the nest is a really scary thing. You need him to be a sturdy, safe base and you need lots of reassurance that he won't move the base if you see him less. He needs to practice being solid for you, even when you aren't there.

And I think you are learning (again) that you can't train your therapist to be something he isn't, even as much as you've already trained him. You yourself have said he isn't perfect - but he is the right fit for you. It just might be in your best interest to play to his strengths right now and not try to "fix" him. Like all relationships, this is the hard part.

And I'm reminded that when you get bored in therapy, you sometimes pick a fight...hmmmm

 

Re: My therapist liked what you guys said Daisym

Posted by Dinah on September 30, 2010, at 0:35:39

In reply to Re: My therapist liked what you guys said, posted by Daisym on September 29, 2010, at 23:21:48

> And I'm reminded that when you get bored in therapy, you sometimes pick a fight...hmmmm

That's occurred to me. It's also occurred to me that when I feel bored, it's a sign that the connection and intensity is too low. And that conflict brings intensity. Or that perhaps when I cannot regain the connection, and perhaps when something happens to make him break it even more, I lash out.

Seems so alien to me, though. Usually I prefer my relationships to be comfy rather than intense.

The hard part is in recognizing what I need as what I need changes. He has been what I needed. But maybe its' possible that at some point I'll need something different?

Apparently not yet. But someday it might happen. And how will I know?

Who he is to me changes. I wish it weren't so, but it is.


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