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

Posted by Tamar on October 9, 2005, at 20:01:47

In reply to Re: How therapists think or feel (trigger) » Tamar, posted by daisym on October 9, 2005, at 17:36:26

> ***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!"

OK, I won’t say it! Yeah, do check it out with him.

> ***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?)

Well, I don’t know as much about suicidal feelings, but I know I wanted to keep talking to my therapist about my desire to injure myself. For me there were two reasons. First, I felt if I talked about it I was less likely to injure myself seriously. Second, I really (quite desperately) wanted him to understand how severe my pain was. And I thought he would understand best if I told him how much I wanted to hurt myself. I really don’t think shutting up is the answer. If it’s how you feel, then he needs to know. He wants to know how you’re feeling so he can do everything in his power to support you. I think it worries him much more if you don’t tell than if you do. Hasn’t he said as much?

> ***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.

Yeah, judgmental is the word. And yet, even if you have a mom in chronic trouble, wouldn’t you find it easier to understand her if she was honest with you about her situation and her feelings? I had a very difficult student once; he really p*ssed me off… and eventually I learned that he was going through a huge crisis with his sexuality. As soon as I knew what was going on with him it was easy to be sympathetic. And it was so much easier to support him because I knew what kind of help he needed. I think it’s similar with therapists. When they’re good therapists, compassion comes easily. And if they know how we’re really feeling, it’s really an outpouring of love; it’s not judgmental at all.

> ***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."

If you’re not finding therapy helpful, perhaps you really need to talk about that. It does sound to me as if you’re trying to protect him at the moment. And I suspect there’s something very profound there. Something you need to work out with him. If you can’t hang on, it’s nobody’s fault. Not yours; not his. There’s no blame in not hanging on; there’s only intense sadness. But he can help you hang on if you keep talking to 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 agree. You certainly have an impact on him. And you’re a good person; of course you don’t want to hurt him. And yet… since you’re thinking of it from his perspective… He spends his life working with people who are hurting. His pleasure in his work comes from being able to support people who are hurting. But he can’t do that work to the best of his ability unless people are honest with him.

I know he’s been fairly honest with you about his concern for you. And maybe that engages your transference in a way that’s not ideal for you, so that you feel the pressure of responsibility too strongly. Do you think it would have been better if he’d never admitted that he cares about you so much? Or was it always inevitable that you would feel some responsibility for his feelings, no matter what he said?

> ***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.

Monday… still many hours away. Yes. Can you get some sleep? I really hope things go well for you.





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