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The Introduction (In Session)

Posted by Dinah on May 16, 2005, at 19:29:08

In reply to Re: So should we wait till Monday?, posted by pegasus on May 16, 2005, at 15:12:22

I've included quotes for those who haven't gotten their books yet, but not page numbers because I think there's a paperback book out now, and the pages are probably different?

I had brought this book to therapy on the same day we were talking about Babble and about how I sometimes say things about him here that would do our relationship no good whatsoever. He told me that he was glad that I had somewhere to process what happened in therapy.

It fit in perfectly with the introduction to this book. In particular one of the paragraphs I highlighted (I'm reading the book with a highlighter this time, and might use post it notes as well.)

"Being one-on-one in the therapy room could lead to a dizzying loss of perspective, an inability to trust oneself. Bringing another person into the room, even after the fact, could clarify matters. In fact, talking about our therapy together proved to be one of the most therapeutic aspects of the whole process."

Her descriptions of the unofficial gatherings after the official writers' group remind me so much of Psychological Babble. It's one of the things I like best about this place. I don't lose perspective anywhere near as much with a group of friends to talk about what can be really confusing. I also find I bring things up in therapy because I've already normalized them here.

I also really liked the descriptions of transference, while she also kept in mind that not all reactions within the therapeutic relationship *are* transference.

"A single question - "How do I know if it's me or my therapist?" - was the source of much of our agonizing within my writers group."

I was reading the other day somewhere else that research shows that clients react better if therapists admit that discord in a relationship might be partially due to them, as well as transference or totally due to the client. I think that's one of my therapist's greater gifts.

I also really liked what she writes about boundaries.

"Some of the most moving poetry ever written was composed within rigid forms."

That is very much in keeping with my own thoughts on therapy. That it is the limitations of therapy that we sometimes rail against that actually provide what we need. Friendship is a lovely thing, but the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship allow for a relationship unlike any others in our lives. One just as valuable and precious as the ones with less obvious and artificial barriers. (Since it's hard to think of any relationship with no boundaries at all. Just less obvious ones.)

I guess I didn't like this paragraph, which most of you probably endorse and understand, but that I still reject with vehemence. But that may say more of me and my developmental stage. :)

"There is something inherently tragic about the client-therapist relationship. The therapist can never bring all of herself into the room, the client will long for what she can never get, the relationship is doomed to end. But treating the bond as either ordinary friendship or as a strictly professional exchange of goods and services only diminishes its therapeutic potential and hurts the client."

I like that my therapist just brings the best of himself into the room. I don't want anything more than therapy (forever therapy, but no other sort of relationship). And if I'm lucky enough to die first, there's no reason for the relationship to be doomed to end.

I've always thought the story of Anna O. (chapter one) was such a sad one. Dr. Breuer so clearly offered so much more than he was willing to deliver that that particular relationship looked more like a monumental tease than a cure. Hence today's boundaries, I guess.




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