Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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Have you ever done Show and Tell in therapy? (long

Posted by daisym on September 30, 2004, at 20:09:22

Today I took something from my childhood with me into therapy. It is a very old stuffed animal, loved so hard and dearly that she is falling apart. She has been with me since I was seven, she went to college with me and attended my wedding with a white bow on. Each of my children in turn took her to bed with them when they were young, until they either found their own comfort object or were old enough to give her back. Even my husband treats her with respect because she is incredibly special to me.

We've been talking about trust and needs this week in therapy and how they weren't met. I've struggled again with the dependency issue and have researched the topic to death. My therapist just remains steady in his belief that this is a developmental stage that will ease off when my younger self is sure that he will indeed be a consistent safe base. He is not rattled at all by the intensity of the need that flares up. His suggestion, as always, is to add in a check-in call over the weekends to keep me steady.

Yesterday we talked about my mother, a dangerous subject, as far as needs go. I ended up coming apart, sure that my therapist, like my mother, would label me "just" an unhappy person (child) and give up trying to meet my needs. OR, he would agree that they were just too big and too overwhelming and reject them, or me. But, he is strong in his stance when he reminds me that these are projected feelings that have nothing to do with our relationship. He isn't going anywhere. Still...last night was so hard. My youngest self was out and missing her mother and wanting to be held and comforted. So out came the stuffed animal. And for some reason, it became important to share that in therapy today. I think I even promised somewhere in the middle of the night that if she would just let me sleep, yes, she could bring her.

So, despite my embarrassment over taking this in, I made myself follow through on the impulse. I arrived with a pillowcase and he joked about me bringing my laundry. I explained what I that I had no idea why I needed to bring her, but that it felt important and I hoped we could figure it out together. He asked if he could hold her, told me she was beautiful (she's not anymore) and was so respectful and tender. And I told him that I was glad he held her, that I wanted that picture in my mind. And I told him he held her wrong, but that was OK. He seem to totally understand all of this. He said he wasn't sure how he should hold her, he didn't want to bring her too close, that he could see she was really special to me. So we talked about some of the physical needs children have to be held in a safe way and how substitutes are often found. And he thinks that what I really brought in was my need to be held, but not touched. And he talked about all the ways he could do that for me and wanted to know what felt right to me, all the parts of me.

It was one of the best sessions we've had in a while. And he said I should bring her back anytime I wanted to. I'm shocked that I don't feel stupid right now about it. But I don't. It just reinforced again for me that I've got the right therapist for me.

Anyone else done this?




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