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Arousal in therapy

Posted by Dinah on May 22, 2005, at 9:07:21

Well, that was an important tangential component of my discussion with my therapist Friday.

My concern was whether my rate of arousal was too frequent. Another time when a femaile therapist would have been handy. I think arousal is absolutely no big deal at all, because it happens all the time. The computer vibrations go down to the floor and vibrate my chair. Warm baths. Clothes that feel nice. Having to go to the bathroom. And to the point of therapy, anxiety. So I do get aroused in therapy, because I get anxious. But I also get aroused in many other situations where I get anxious. So I tend to not pay too much attention to it, other than to note its existence and move on because it's a rare day it doesn't happen several times.

Thankfully, my therapist didn't take it at all personally. He agreed with the reasons I gave and added the intimacy of the therapy situation. That the intimacy could bring on feelings of arousal that weren't necessarily directed at anyone in particular, but from the situation. I tend to think it comes more from anxiety in my case. Or possibly the subject matter lately.

He thinks that I'm probably on the high side of normal, but that that is in keeping with my general nervous system sensitivity. Along the lines of feeling overstimulated. And as he noted, I'm verrry sensitive to all sorts of stimuli.

It was nice to get it out into the open. It gave him a better view of the phsyicological nature of my illness (it gets really bad when I'm hypomanic and he found that informative). And I don't have to worry that if he notices any involuntary signals, he'll get freaked out or take it personally. Instead he can probe for anxiety or feelings of intimacy. Because I don't find him sexually attractive, and it would be awkward if he thought I did.

Moreover, he threw in some assurances that if a hypothetical client should be aroused by him, that wouldn't freak him out either. It wasn't necessary, but he's thoughtful that way.

On the other hand, he's not the least diplomatic. We were discussing my mother, and he was concurring with my assessment that she was no less genetically predisposed to a psychotic break than my aunts or cousins, she just didn't have the same life stressors. And I was telling him how scared that made me, as if I were standing on a fault line, because I was afraid I had inherited that.

Did he reassure me or tell me that he didn't think I inherited the predisposition? No! He congratulated me on taking as good care of myself as I can so that life stressors wouldn't overwhelm me. :) I feel muuuuch better now. lol.

And 10derheart, nothing succinct about this post, was there? :)




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