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Re: Questions Every Therapist Should Ask daisym

Posted by mair on September 28, 2004, at 22:00:24

In reply to Questions Every Therapist Should Ask, posted by daisym on September 28, 2004, at 19:07:56

>" I also think each therapist should begin with new clients by clearly addressing some house keeping issues, like yes or no to food/drink, feet on the furniture is Ok, books can be borrowed, or not, how to reach between sessions and what their phone policy is. I know, some theories believe that how the client negotiates these things is revealing, but I think it is just common courtesy. "

Daisy, I've written on this before but i think the phone policy stuff goes way beyond common courtesy. My therapist never brought this up at all and I took her silence to mean that she didn't want to be called between sessions, or certainly at home. I clung to that stubbornly, though one crisis after another for a couple of years - even when i could acknowledge to myself, on an intellectual level anyway, that of course she'd want me to call her if I was about to hurt myself. And I, also stubbornly, never raised it. My own feelings about her failure to give me any guidelines only came up when she made a casual comment to me one day to the effect of "of course you have my home phone number." Well I did have it because she's listed, but it was huge to me that she never gave it to me. We've hashed this issue over countless times ad nauseum since then. She told me, in her defense, that at the time I first started seeing her, she was more protective of her personal space because she had been stalked fairly recently, and that I started out anyway as a prospective short-term CBT patient (that's a laugh now). My point was that she should have revisited this when she realized that i wasn't the kind of person to abuse a privilege of calling, and when things were clearly going down hill for me. By that time she probably just presumed we'd talked about something we had not.

My god, I didn't realize until I just read what I've written here, that this still bothers me some. I think this is sticky for Ts because when they might rather set a policy after they have a sense of whether the patient is going to be a constant caller or a person who's loathe to ask for help. So, like my therapist, maybe they don't say anything, and it sort of gets lost in the shuffle.





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