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Re: How therapists think or feel (trigger) alexandra_k

Posted by daisym on October 9, 2005, at 16:59:33

In reply to Re: How therapists think or feel (trigger), posted by alexandra_k on October 8, 2005, at 21:34:32

sorry daisy, i just realised that i was distracted from your concerns onto my particular gripe...

***No, I found it interesting to read -- you've obviously been thinking about this. I want, almost desperately, to debate the theory and find the flaws in it.

because what you really want to know...

is: does my therapist really care about me through this, or is he angry with me?

***I think what I really want to know is how to go forward and use therapy when all I want to do is check out. I think it might be easier to move through my life numb if I didn't have sessions that opened up the wanting and needing. I don't doubt that my therapist cares a great deal, but I'm also sensing frustration and perhaps anger. It does feel like crying wolf, you know?

so here i would say...

that it depends on how he is seeing the situation.
if he thinks you are attempting to engage in some kind of power struggle or something like that, then i guess he is likely to feel frustrated.

***I don't know what he thinks. I'm good at setting up re-enactments but I tend not to engage in power struggles, that's not my style. I learned very young to keep your thoughts to yourself and find a way around the obstacles, not to plow over them and prove you have the upper hand. It is OK to have it without the other person knowing you have it. I'm truly hard to read if I don't want to be read.

(though linehan has a much better conceptualisation of 'power struggles' too imo)

could you maybe have a chat with him?
if he accepts your reasons behind your ideation then i would say that it would be very unlikely indeed that he would feel mad at you.

***I think he accepts the reasons. He is the first one to say that I'm juggling too many balls at one time. I think it is more the idea that I can't stop bringing the ideation into our conversations. Is this manipulative? Am I trying to communicate something? Am I really seeking his complete attention or control his responses? Most of the time I just think I feel really bad but I am willing to look for other motivations and see if they fit. Am I talking about suicide so I don't actually do anything? I just don't know.

another thing...

i would say that the reaction formation stuff (if that is indeed what it is) is supposed to warn therapists that anger / hostility / frustration might underlie BAD BOUNDARIES. and so here i'm thinking of such things as letting someone call you at any time (even at 4am) or spending lots of session time holding a client or things like that. that those are the kinds of 'caring behaviours' that they are saying might come from repressed hostility.

***Hate those boundaries. He has very good ones, though he is open to me asking for anything and us talking about it. Rarely does he deviate from his usual rules and responses. I do have his cell number for emergency. I've used it once. I think he gave it to me knowing that I would really need to be in trouble to even think about using it. I think I'm wondering if he comes to resent the worry I cause when I talk about this stuff. And I know I should reach out to other supports when I feel like this but I just can't. I pull in and try to retreat from all of my close friends who might notice I'm not OK. So he ends up being my primary support which is really hard on him.

(though even here i would want to say that it is still more about fear of powerlessness - but try and find a psychodynamic theorist who is willing to admit to that ha!)

***Mine did. When we went through this before, we had a session where he pulled out every thing he could to knock me upside the head, including "in your religion this is a sin, and the boys will never get over this." He even told me he might have to turn over his notes. I was so upset. He called later and said he knew he was rough on me and upon reflection it came out of his own anxiety about what was going on. He tried to talk me into the hospital and openly said not only would I be safe but he wouldn't be so worried because as things were right now he felt powerless. Since I refused, he then asked for daily check ins, again saying partly they were for his anxiety. I did appreciate his honesty and I felt horrible for making him worry.

i think i'm raving more than anything...

***No -- it is totally OK. I started it...




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