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Re: How therapists think or feel (trigger) » Tamar

Posted by daisym on October 9, 2005, at 17:36:26

In reply to Re: How therapists think or feel (trigger) » daisym, posted by Tamar on October 9, 2005, at 16:12:17

And I also think your therapist isn’t angry with you.

But if you are worried, do you think you can ask him? Can you say that you have been reading literature that talked about therapists’ anger towards suicidal patients and you want to know how he thinks about it and what he makes of the theory?
***I'll tell him tomorrow. And I have had several dreams I need to tell him. I'm cataloging in my head things he is doing different and I'm applying them to my "he's upset with me" theory, so I do need to check all this out with him. Don't anyone say "negative transference!"

I’ve always had the impression that your therapist is willing to allow you to name your experiences and he’s prepared to accept that your feelings are real and authentic and not some kind of attempt to manipulate him. I do think there are therapists who understand that people are sometimes suicidal because life is sometimes sh*t.
***I think the origin of the feelings are easily accepted. It is the ongoing need to keep talking about suicide -- why am I doing this? It seems to me that I should either act or shut up. Am I keeping it going for some unidentified reason? (I don't think so but does he?)

One thing about theory: it’s aimed at therapists, rather than clients; it’s written in textbooks and journals that require a formal academic style; and it pulls no punches. There’s nothing in the style that recognises the extent of the client’s distress (it seems to me). I’m sure I’m not saying anything you don’t already know. But I do understand that it can be very disturbing to read theory when it doesn’t appear to take adequate account of client feelings. I tend to hope that therapists reading the theory are going to examine their own practice honestly and openly to see if, for example, they have feelings of anger toward suicidal patients.
***I've been trying to put myself in his place with my own clients. If I had a mom in trouble, would I get upset? I want to say "no" -- but if it was chronic, I can't help but feel that I might get tired of it. The bluntness of it all doesn't bother me, it is the assumption of negative motivation that seems to permeate all of the theory. I think Alexandra named it: it all feels judgemental. But how could it not be? If it wasn't negative, it wouldn't be pathological.

If you want to know where the answers are hidden, I’d suggest they’re hidden in individual relationships between therapists and clients. There’s probably something of the White Knight in every therapist and they probably want to believe they can help even the most suicidal of patients. The good ones know that they can’t rescue us but they can help us as much as possible therapeutically. The good ones don’t get angry or resentful, because they understand that we’re not yanking their chains; we have some seriously bad cr*p to deal with every single day. But it’s all in the relationship. My therapist might not be able to help *you*; your therapist might not be able to help *me*. The important thing is your relationship with *your* therapist.
***It strikes me that I need to examine what that relationship is right now. I know I'm pushing him away, but maybe it is time to do that. I'm just not finding therapy helpful right now and yet I can't seem to give it up either. I know enough about myself to ask if I'm shielding myself from him to protect him. If I can't hang on, how do I make it "not his fault."

Your ability to be honest about suicidal feelings probably depends on your level of trust in your therapist. If you’re having doubts about your therapist’s ability to understand you, then I really hope you will talk to him about it. It’s only through that kind of discussion that you can determine whether you can continue to trust him.
***I trust him. Like I said before, I don't want to hurt him. I know I'm not in charge of his feelings but I'm not nieve enough to think that I don't have an impact on him.

I hope very much that you will talk to him, because from everything you’ve said about him so far he has risen to the challenge of therapy. I like Dinah’s term: ‘fighting to relationship’. It is a struggle sometimes. I hope you get through this in a way that you find satisfying.
***Interesting choice of words -- satisfying. I don't know what I want anymore. I'm so tired... But I know I need to talk to him about all my concerns. the one thing I know I can still do is push myself in therapy. STill -- Monday seems so far away.




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