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Does your Therapist get mad at you?

Posted by daisym on July 9, 2004, at 13:55:10

Yesterday, I told my therapist that I had been dreaming about our last couple of sessions. In one, he was very angry with me for being so ambiguous about my attachment to him and for continually testing his trust worthiness. In the dream, his anger was apparent, he expressed it forcefully and it scared me.

So, he wanted to know what it would mean to me if he really did get angry with me. I said I thought it would be "fairly devastating." We wondered around the topic of anger for a while and he noticed I was gone...floated away completely. He called me back and asked me what happened. He said I looked like I was about to cry...yeah, well, anger is a scary topic for me on lots of levels. At one point he said, "I guess we won't know how you will react until it happens." That was it. That's when I floated away. I never connected therapy and him to anger before. I don't want to now. It is supposed to be my safe place. I don't want to have to worry about his anger. I told him that and he said he wasn't saying he necessarily WOULD get angry with me, that in fact, it was much more likely that I would get angry with him. But, if it did happen, we would talk it through and it wasn't the end of the world.

I asked him what he looked liked angry, how he typically expressed it and he answered pretty honestly. But he did say that he would try to never yell at me, that he knows it would be a very big mistake, given my background. He suggested we look at the dream as all the characters in it being me -- meaning I was mad at myself for being ambiguous, etc. He tried to get me to talk about why I didn't get angry very often, but I couldn't do much with it, I was too far gone by then.

I do like the way we ended though because it reminds me that he is figuring out how my brain works. He said, "In 2 hours I do not want you to be thinking that we talked about anger today because I'm mad at you. That was your dream and it isn't true. So don't even go there. I'm really glad you were able to tell me some really hard things this week about how you are feeling about me. I'm not mad at all." :)

I guess I'm curious everyone's experience with their Therapist's anger. How do they express it? Do you just pick up on it? Did it change the way you deal with each other?

It's such a huge issue for me. I'm not sure I'm ready to dive deep into it yet.




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