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Re: Therapy increasing shame?

Posted by gardenergirl on August 10, 2004, at 3:13:24

In reply to Re: Therapy increasing shame? tabitha, posted by Racer on August 9, 2004, at 18:20:27

> (Just because I know that you care about this therapist, I'm also going to stick up for her here: it's very possible that she's just so excited about the possibilities of CBT that she's just in a phase of overdoing it right now. It can happen to any professional, but that it's natural doesn't mean that it's any less damaging for the client -- especially in psychotherapy.) (Oh, and you deserve better than to be damaged by any professional's enthusiasms. Not "you" as in "one", either. You, Tabitha, deserve better than that.)

You know, I think that Racer has a good point. When I first started using DBT, it was hard to maintain my usual self that I think really helps foster the relationship. And I also had a less experienced student working with me who was doing the skills training part with the client I saw for individual supervision. At one point we talked about how much we loved DBT, but felt a bit like robots when we had to stick to the technique. The other student actually "read the rules" about skills training to the client, which was very off-putting.

So I think the enthusiasm can get in the way. You want to use the techniques perfectly, as they are outlined in the book. And DBT does have a component of change/challenge which can be tough if not combined with the validation. I think the art of it, which comes with more experience, is the balancing of these two.

Just my two cents. But I feel for you Tabitha. It would feel terrible to me to feel stuck in a therapy relationship that was making me feel worse. Please consider the entire situation...her role and yours, as I know you will, when deciding what to do.

And take care. This is, I'm sure, a very stressful time.

> Also, if you feel strong enough to do it, you might also get a feeling of empowerment by taking notes on her "reframing" or her other criticisms of you, and then applying the techniques you've learned through that process to them. If you're honest with yourself at every step of the process, it might help ease your shame.
> Now for the personal note you knew was coming. You know that I quit The Therapist From The Black Lagoon, after really agonizing on it. Mind you, I know that she was quite short term, but it was still agony. So was deciding to quit The Intern From The Planet Clueless, for that matter. Those two experiences together did not go on nearly as long as your group experience has, and yet I'm still angry -- and ashamed. I'm still in worse shape than when I started with TTFTBL. And I've gotten outside reality checks on that statement, too. My husband has brought it up -- he's angry, too, and his support has really helped. And I've had a professional reality check, too, from our marriage counselor, who brought up a few times that something is really wrong, because I have gotten so much worse since she started working with us in November of last year. (Mind you, our marriage has gotten *much* better in that time, so I trust the MC's judgement on that.) The point I'm trying to make is that this sort of problem really can be damaging, and the whole idea is for you to *get better* -- which you have, although it's mostly showing up in negative ways, like recognizing that you're moving from anger to shame in your sessions and not because you should be ashamed. Honestly, Tabitha, the best thing my new therapist said to me the first session was that she saw the goal as improved mental health, *not* identification of specific pathologies.
> You've made progress, Tabitha. Maybe this is just as far as you can go with this therapist? It doesn't mean that the progress you made with her isn't real, and it doesn't mean that you're being disloyal to her.
> Just occurred to me: have you gone back over your older posts lately? Sometimes it helps me to read some of my old posts to remind myself of how far I've come.
> I really hope you resolve this soon. It worries me to see you in such pain.




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