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Re: Therapy increasing shame?

Posted by JenStar on August 8, 2004, at 19:21:46

In reply to Therapy increasing shame?, posted by tabitha on August 8, 2004, at 14:47:56

hi Tabitha,
sorry to hear about your troubles.

I suppose from one rather lofty-mountaintop kind of perspective, ALL of our anger & emotions are wholly our fault b/c they are our way or responding to outside stimuli...and to quote the oft-over-quoted E. Roosevelt, "noone can make me feel inferior without my consent."

But on a more human level, other people DO have the power to make me (us, everyone!) angry, sad, happy. Otherwise how could we possibly get along in this world, without affecting the emotions of others?

It would make me mad if my T. suggested that my anger at someone else was completely unjustified. I mean, what are we after all, robots? What are we supposed to do....go around saying "processing, processing, processing" and NOT get emotional? There are times when people act like jerks - and I feel that it's OK to be mad at them.

It's possible that your anger at the group IS entirely justified, but also unnecessary because it's too painful to YOU. Maybe she's trying the 'tough love' approach to get you to move past the anger to something else?

If she's been your T for a long time, she must surely know that you'd be feeling shame when consistenly given negative feedback. Although the shame might not be the end goal, only a side-effect of getting to the goal, she MUST realize it's happening....right? Can you ask her about this?

About suicidal thoughts: Sure, it's "bad" to hear about it, because I feel powerless to help. It's also "bad" to hear about the war in Iraq, and about cancer, and about people losing jobs, and about all kinds of things that often get discussed in a group, because I'm powerless to help there, too. But I still want to hear - because I care, and I can try to offer consolation, even if it's kind of lame and ineffective.

Why is your problem taboo? Is the group so fragile that they can't handle that kind of talk? If they are so fragile, is it possible they shouldn't be in this group? I thought that EVERYTHING was open for discussion -- and should be -- in group, because it's therapeutic to react to others and see them react to you.

Did she actually use the exact word "bad" about you discussing suicide?

Also, what does it mean to not support someone's pathology?

People change over time and go through bad patches. Maybe she's having a rough time at home, love, life...and isn't doing her usual good job. Not an excuse...but the problem may not like entirely with you.

Maybe she's tapped out. I know piano students switch teachers after a while b/c they've learned all they can from one person. It doesn't mean that teacher is no longer 'good', just not best for that student. Is it possible that you and this T are just burned out on each other? Time to switch to a fresh pair of eyes?

I feel for you. I hope things get better! I want to kick your T in the butt (I know, inappropriate anger...!!!)

Take care. And I hope your Monday is a fine fun day!





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