Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 1049989

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Re: Ideal Therapist Twinleaf

Posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 1:42:42

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist Poet, posted by Twinleaf on September 1, 2013, at 18:54:10

Yes, humor can be good. I can get carried away sometimes with the focused intensity and deep seriousness... Sometimes it is good for me to have a bit of a laugh at that. Snap out of it a bit. See that life is good. Or something...

I wonder what you mean by 'I personally don't care for a huge amount of empathy; I like it to be real between us.' Do you think of empathy as agreement and the idea is then that you like to be disagreed with / challenged a little sometimes? I'm not sure I understand what you mean.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'moments of meeting', either. Can you describe that a bit more?


 

Re: Ideal Therapist baseball55

Posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 1:50:59

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist, posted by baseball55 on September 1, 2013, at 19:50:22

I have a special kind of transference that I get with older guys, too. In my case I think is because I attached to my father as a relatively safe figure. Well... Distant rather than invasive. And it is nicer to long to be closer than to feel invaded, I think. If one really had to choose.

> I think he understood at the outset that I was not going to be an easy patient.

That makes me think that he was careful with you. And perhaps understanding / forgiving of your transference issues.

> I would have left my husband for him in a heartbeat, but he wasn't even remotely available.

It does seem to be a human phenomenon that we most want that which we (only just) cannot have.

> He was always compassionate and kind, but he talked always about what we were working on and reminding my that this was work, not just a fantasy friendship for hire.

That makes me think that he had your interests in mind. I think that is important. That is also rare. Really very hard to find.

> I could go on and on. I have never loved or respected anyone in my whole life as much as I loved and respected him.

That is wonderful. I'm so happy that you have had a good experience with that. 6 years is a long time... Opiates is a hard one. Sounds like you have done really well, indeed.

 

Re: Ideal Therapist Dinah

Posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 2:01:38

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist, posted by Dinah on September 1, 2013, at 22:51:21

I've come to think that "good enough" isn't so much about coming to terms with the fact that nobody is perfect... As it is about that is what is "perfect" or "required" in order for the client / patient to make psychological growth / to get better.

It is like there is this gap or this hole or this failure... This void maybe, even. And something has to fill it. Something... Negative. Something... Positive. Or at least neutral. And the client can't do it. Because they haven't been modeled that enough / taught how. So the therapist helps teach them... But then there have to be gaps in order for the client to see that now they CAN do it. If there weren't gaps then the client wouldn't be able to extend their new ability. Stretch their new wings. Or whatever.

I think Kohut saw it that way, anyway... Pretty sure I read that somewhere.... Because some therapists misinterpreted it as they were supposed to TRY and create these empathetic failures and he said NO - they would happen all by themselves by the very best therapists...

> "Veterinarians aren't like washing machines, are they?" and it was just the right thing to say - to me. Because to me it was really a very big deal, and a very real loss.

That is wonderful. And I see how it was the perfect thing to say to you. Shows that he really knows you and pays attention to what you say to him. And empathizes. And some of that is about being stretched...

I keep thinking of you stretching me with your talk about coral colonies... And the whole washing machine thing, too... Sometimes I feel like we are two sides of a coin... So different... Yet so much the same...

Perhaps.

> I see these paragons in the occasional movie or TV series. I don't think I'd much care for them in person. So maybe I think an ideal therapist would have to have the occasional breakthrough of humanity and flaws.

Ahaha that is funny. I wonder what is wrong with the 'perfect' ones. They seem... Artificial? Contrived? Cold? Not in tune with their own emotional responses?

>Oh, and ideal therapists (or good enough ones) should have an excellent self awareness and/or a really good supervisor or therapist. They have to be aware of what is their stuff as opposed to what is their client's stuff.

I wonder sometimes if the whole therapy thing... Might really be about working through the client-therapist encounter. That the issues are client-therapist issues. And some of them the client experiences with other individuals, too. And some of them the therapist experiences with other individuals, too. I wonder if it is more that the process of working through... Gets easier with practice. Or something like that...

 

Re: Ideal Therapist Partlycloudy

Posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 2:03:10

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k, posted by Partlycloudy on September 2, 2013, at 10:14:18

Taking sides?

Can you say more about that?

 

Re: Ideal Therapist Phillipa

Posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 2:09:06

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist Partlycloudy, posted by Phillipa on September 2, 2013, at 11:36:01

Hmm... I've never had much sympathy for medication (in my own particular case). Perhaps because of my history of drug abuse. My thought was always 'if you are going to have a drink then have a DRINK!' or whatever... And I basically took that approach with psych meds, too. So there were periods early on where I was happy enough to be sedated practically into a coma or... Whatever... And then when I quit my drug abuse (mostly) I sort of quit psych meds along with it...

But there is something that I read yesterday (and I need to spend more time doing a more careful reading) that talked about findings for different relative transmitter levels and different global processing that seemed to go along with those... And there might possibly be something useful there for me...

I see how it might be useful to have a p-doc who was appropriately sensitive to what was going on (by spending some actual time really talking to you about how you are finding things) doing medication adjustments.

I do wonder about psych meds... I am going to need to learn more...

 

Re: Ideal Therapist

Posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 2:11:16

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist Phillipa, posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 2:09:06


> I do wonder about psych meds... I am going to need to learn more...

sigh.

and of course a huge part of it was the whole conspiracy theory drug company thing... which is of course partly true... but also often conceals a lack of science background. part of the whole arts / humanities / social sciences running down science because they don't understand how it works enough (ie *why* it is so successful and that of course there are very real limits and there is actually a *lot* of humility over there)

 

Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k

Posted by Partlycloudy on September 5, 2013, at 11:06:05

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist Partlycloudy, posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 2:03:10

> Taking sides?
>
> Can you say more about that?
>

Presenting alternative viewpoints, some of whichI might find upsetting. She isn't confrontational, but if my state of mind is so distorted - say, by a bad depressive episode - she will point out other ways to look at what I consider to be a distressing situation without ever offending me.
It's funny, she often remarks on how very civil I come across when I am describing an argumentative situation. And I think to myself, "thank goodness she hasn't read the archives at Babble" where she'd see the very dark and sick side of me.

PC

 

Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k

Posted by Twinleaf on September 5, 2013, at 11:42:30

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist Twinleaf, posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 1:42:42

I think that I meant that I like a quiet, very respectful response to the most painful feelings that I express. I like the silences, when I feel very understood and connected. I guess I like the way my therapist does it.

I think "moments of meeting" are another way of describing that. It refers to those wonderful moments when one's anxiety calms, and you feel safer, closer, more connected. I think they are probably instances of growth and the formation of new connections in one's right hemisphere because of the unconscious things which go on between therapist and patient. Afterwards, I always feel I have taken a step in the right direction.

 

Re: Ideal Therapist Partlycloudy

Posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 22:58:56

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k, posted by Partlycloudy on September 5, 2013, at 11:06:05

Ah, I see. I wondered if you were talking about couples therapy...

It is funny, isn't it, how some therapists can get away with raising things that would typically be hurtful or distressing or upsetting... And do do without causing offense. I guess it is about the background relationship.

I don't remember you being particularly black / dark here...

 

Re: Ideal Therapist Twinleaf

Posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 23:03:28

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k, posted by Twinleaf on September 5, 2013, at 11:42:30

Ah...

My last t...

Used to lean in when I was hurting. I would always look down... Can't look at anyone... But he would look straight into my eyes. Empathetically. Like he was... There with me. Willing to be there with me in my pain. It was too much for me. I needed to back off or squirm away or whatever... Change the feeling. Was the only thing I could do. Say something. Change the subject.

Maybe if I was little I would have thrown my arms around his neck and clung to him (it would have been okay for me to stay there and feel it because he couldn't have seen my face) but as it was... Things felt too intimate or something somehow...

But it helped. That he was willing to do that. Even though I couldn't tolerate it.

Don't know if that makes sense. And I'm not sure what it was about. Maybe it is similar... I don't know.

 

Re: Ideal Therapist Twinleaf

Posted by Twinleaf on September 6, 2013, at 7:07:49

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k, posted by Twinleaf on September 5, 2013, at 11:42:30

You have actually described them perfectly. Even though it was very hard to bear, that particular therapist sounds as though he was doing just what you really needed him to do. If you had had more time with him, you would have become more comfortable and able to return his gaze, as has happened with me. Maybe in the future you will be able to find another therapist like that. Or find that one again if you move to Australia?

 

Re: Ideal Therapist

Posted by Dinah on September 6, 2013, at 8:31:14

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist Partlycloudy, posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 22:58:56

T3 was like that. She had an absolute genius for saying things that appeared on the face of it very confrontational or hurtful, but saying them in a way that really wasn't confrontational or hurtful at all.

Then she went a bit too far, and in addition to the hurtful thing she said that day, a score of other really hurtful things she had said came to mind. I wasn't so much really hurt by them as amazed that I hadn't been at the time.

She was very good at beveling and polishing the truth, as I much prefer. But in the end, it added up to too high a number of "truths", and I was unable to escape the conclusion that she didn't much like me.

Even the best beveler and polisher needs to make sure to balance negative and positive to some degree.

 

Re: Ideal Therapist

Posted by Dinah on September 6, 2013, at 8:50:27

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist, posted by Dinah on September 6, 2013, at 8:31:14

To be clear, it is apparent that PC's therapist doesn't share the weakness of T3. It's just that when I read about that particular talent, I was reminded of T3. It's funny. She wasn't even particularly warm. I don't think I could pinpoint how her skill worked at all.

But I can appreciate it, and recognize that she would be an excellent therapist if she had a client that was a better fit.

Maybe that's the ideal client! The one that is a proper fit for what the therapist offers. And of course, also pays and is respectful.

 

Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k

Posted by Partlycloudy on September 6, 2013, at 12:01:32

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist Partlycloudy, posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 22:58:56

>
> I don't remember you being particularly black / dark here...
>
>

I have said things on the board here that I would never dream of saying to someone face to face. I have learned a lot in my participation here. What not to do. What not to say. How to alienate people in one simple step. Argh, what a steep learning curve for me. No website or forum should affect me to the point of making me so upset that I cry.
PC

 

Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k

Posted by Poet on September 6, 2013, at 13:41:51

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist Poet, posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 1:36:59

Hi Alex,

I'm very sarcastic and people who don't understand it think that I am being serious and they feel offended. They respond with things like "I can't believe you said that." I'm like, said what? You took that seriously?

My therapist responds to my sarcasm with something like "sarcasm understood."

Why do you think your NC T thought you were a selfish little bitch? I complain all the time in therapy, I think it's the nature of the game. If I were happy, happy, happy I wouldn't need a therapist.

Poet

 

Re: Ideal Therapist Twinleaf

Posted by alexandra_k on September 6, 2013, at 20:01:33

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist Twinleaf, posted by Twinleaf on September 6, 2013, at 7:07:49

I don't know. I didn't like him looking at me like that. I mean... I don't like anybody looking at me like that. I... don't much like to be looked at. I think that is why I'd prefer to lie down and have him sit behind me. So he isn't looking at my face. It feels... Too intimate. Inappropriate. I don't like it.

Is that weird?

 

Re: Ideal Therapist Dinah

Posted by alexandra_k on September 6, 2013, at 20:09:00

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist, posted by Dinah on September 6, 2013, at 8:50:27

> Maybe that's the ideal client! The one that is a proper fit for what the therapist offers.

Yes, I suspect that is probably right.

It might just be me but I think that females tend to be less warm and more judgmental than male therapists. I suspect that I feel that way because I am female. If I were male I expect I would find the reverse. Or perhaps it has more to do with my particular interactions with my parents.

I had a female therapist who I liked a lot... But it took some time for her to start to like me, I think. She could be a little bit biting to start. Or maybe it was just her coming to terms with just how sensitive I could be about certain things. I don't know.


 

Re: Ideal Therapist Partlycloudy

Posted by alexandra_k on September 6, 2013, at 20:09:59

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k, posted by Partlycloudy on September 6, 2013, at 12:01:32

Oh. I think I missed a lot of that, I'm sorry. I used to get to reading the archives sometimes but I don't really anymore. It is possible to get lost in there...

 

Re: Ideal Therapist Poet

Posted by alexandra_k on September 6, 2013, at 20:20:04

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k, posted by Poet on September 6, 2013, at 13:41:51

Hmm. You have me curious about your humor now... I think... Well... I just don't think she understood where I was coming from, particularly. Or that she empathized particularly. I guess... I didn't feel that she had much of a conception of the 'therapist role' she was supposed to be playing. Even... Even less so than the counselors I've seen. Or even the people who run the AA / NA type meetings. I suspect I may have been the first client she was told to 'just listen to her' and it was a bit awkward for her, really. She wasn't quite sure what things were about.

And of course she didn't invest anything. I expect I'm emotionally draining. Like being wrenched about for a bit. I swear sometimes she was rolling her eyes... I was trying to figure out / work through what was wrong... Turned out my flatmate was not the easiest person to get along with... That my living environment (surprise!) again, was toxic for me. I wish... She could have helped my working through a bit more... I could have moved out, even.

 

Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k

Posted by Twinleaf on September 6, 2013, at 21:18:05

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist Twinleaf, posted by alexandra_k on September 5, 2013, at 23:03:28

Usually, if a person doesn't like what's going on in therapy, the therapy is not right for them. But you did say that that intense degree of interaction helped; I guess it's both helpful and very hard and uncomfortable to do. I think it probably is for everyone...

 

Re: Ideal Therapist Twinleaf

Posted by alexandra_k on September 6, 2013, at 22:17:11

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k, posted by Twinleaf on September 6, 2013, at 21:18:05

I'm not sure. Sometimes it is helpful to do things that are hard. Other times it isn't. It just felt... Too intimate. Eye contact is like touch for me... In the sense of prolongued forms with deliberate intent feeling extremely intimate. Clinging to him... Side on... Would feel to me like a step down from that, if that makes sense. But that would (by most people) be considered inappropriate. It would feel safer for me, though, since he couldn't see my face. I'm not entirely sure what it is about.

I'm normal with my eye contact in my teaching and my interactions with my friends. When I talk about stuff that is hard for me then I can't do eye contact, though. Most of my therapists go through a phase of wanting to talk to me about why I won't look at them (after greeting them appropriately in the waiting room for the first few sessions, anyway). I've had some think that I was being deceptive or holding back... It is more that not looking at them... Is what allows me to be honest and forthcoming.

I wonder if it is something that would be good for me to work on... Or whether it is a way of being... That I am able to me more intimate in other ways because of it. I don't know.

 

Re: Ideal Therapist

Posted by alexandra_k on September 6, 2013, at 22:18:58

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist Twinleaf, posted by alexandra_k on September 6, 2013, at 22:17:11

I suppose I've answered myself, really. It is about trust. But... Well... Trust is intimate. I don't think one person should ever trust another person completely.

 

Re: Ideal Therapist

Posted by alexandra_k on September 6, 2013, at 22:43:13

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist, posted by alexandra_k on September 6, 2013, at 22:18:58

How intimate should one be in a relationship with such an imbalance built in... As an adult.

?

(Talking about what is right for me, I mean)

 

Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k

Posted by Dinah on September 7, 2013, at 10:28:36

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist Dinah, posted by alexandra_k on September 6, 2013, at 20:09:00

I get the same feeling.

But I'll admit to being more comfortable with men than women, on the whole. Because I've only been a girly girl in nontraditional ways, I always approach women with the expectation of being judged. And of course the bullies in middle school were all girls. The guys were either totally uninvolved or casually polite.

 

Re: Ideal Therapist alexandra_k

Posted by Poet on September 7, 2013, at 11:42:53

In reply to Re: Ideal Therapist, posted by alexandra_k on September 6, 2013, at 22:18:58

Hi Alex,

I have major trust issues going way back to being a child who trusted the wrong people. I trust my therapist probably more than I trust anyone else besides my husband, but do I really trust anyone 100 percent? I don't think so.

My sense of humor is a cross between Woody Allen and Groucho Marx though I'm not as clever as either one.

Poet


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