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Re: Frustrated and unhappy with T Girlnterrupted

Posted by Wittgenstein on September 10, 2007, at 4:03:58

In reply to Re: Frustrated and unhappy with T Wittgenstein, posted by girlnterrupted78 on September 10, 2007, at 2:19:23

GI,

I would suggest you do what you can to find a new T and work through all these feelings about the experience you have had with your current T. It's clear this has had a huge effect on you and by working through this with a caring and open therapist could help you a great deal in many ways.

When looking for a therapist, you should go prepared - ask them where they trained, what school of therapy they offer, how they work with the client (i.e. are they interactive and relationship-focused) and test them out - see how you feel. Many offer a free first session. There needs to be a click in therapy - you are working closely with this person and how can anyone expect you to trust her and be open with very personal things if you don't feel comfortable and safe with her. That's a given in my opinion.

The question of whether your T is unethical or not: I imagine people are hesitant to say yes or no because there hasn't been a violation in the traditional sense - i.e. overstepping her professional boundaries (sounds like she has been keeping too tight a set of boundaries). It does sound very much like her behaviour is untherapeutic. I wonder how her other patients find her - of course there's no way of knowing. I certainly wouldn't stick around with such a T - I would find it damaging and NOT therapeutic.

I had one nasty experience with a T - I fortunately only saw her twice. Her behaviour was verging on unethical but it was more a matter of unprofessionalism and obvious lack of experience - she just wasn't a good T.

Perhaps some clients find your T very different - perhaps the pair of you are just a bad match and somehow she is responding to you negatively (and don't see this as being your own fault, it isn't) - which is very unprofessional - a therapist should deal with their own feelings (countertransference) in a professional way and not let them contaminate the therapeutic relationship.

One thing though - you said she sometimes claims to have forgotten what you said in earlier sessions. I admit it is weird that she later angrily says that of course she remembered what you had said - sounds like she's just setting you up so that she can vent (not good!). However, my therapist often implies he has forgotten something when really he hasn't - I tend to write him mails when I can't bring myself to talk about something. It's getting to a point where I really need to be able to talk about these things and so he asks me to explain again what was in the mails. "Can you remind me what was in that mail you sent me?" Of course he knows what's in the mails but it's a way of making me go over it without avoiding an issue.

Analytic style therapy doesn't have to feel cold. When you enter therapy you will naturally bring with you assumptions (or patterns of thinking - projections/transferences) from your early relationships with key figures in your life. If you experienced hostility and anger from a primary care given (and I'm being very simplistic here), you may have a tendency to approach all relationships with the fear that the other person is harbouring hostile and negative thoughts toward you.

In normal everyday life you can deal with these fears by testing the relationship and gaging the response of the other person. In therapy, such fears can be intensified by the lack of a response from the therapist - far more is left open to question. If you have an analytic style therapist they will tend to hold back - let you project these fears onto them - this way your patterns of thinking and the underlying causes can be examined closely. A good therapist realises this, doesn't take a patient's fears or distrust to heart in this way but does his/her best to reassure their client that these fears are not the case and then to explore them therapeutically.

Hope this helps. I think the best thing is to get out. It's clear your T's not helping you - probably lack of experience. Why is it so important for you to validate that she has done something wrong? Surely by moving on and finding someone who is compassionate and effective is a clear message in itself. You need to work through these feelings with a new caring T.

Good luck,
Witti


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