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Re: Very partial response... Honore

Posted by Girlnterrupted78 on September 12, 2007, at 8:53:23

In reply to Re: Very partial response... girlnterrupted78, posted by Honore on September 11, 2007, at 16:11:46

> It's hard to say, but my interpretation of your T's behavior is that she probably thought you understood her approach to therapy--which you may not have initially.

She never spoke about it, so I never really "understood" it. Our first sessions were spent with my intro. As in, why I'm here, what are my symptoms of depression, family history, etc. Eventually, we ran out of topics, so we were like... now what? That's when she became quiet and I had no clue what else to bring up, but she always had this expectation from me, and I didn't know what to do. Yet she said nothing, no guidance, no suggestions, just silence.

> She may have thought you were having trouble talking, but didn't want to start things, because what was important to you mattered and she didn't know what it was.

I guess she could have explained that to me. Communication is key, right? No communication here. Or hardly so.

> She believed that if she was patient and waited, you would find those things, and it was better to give you the space.

No clue what she believed. There was a point where we knew we had gotten "stuck" yet, I brought up the reason why we were stuck: I wasn't happy with the several times she had been annoyed, and I couldn't continue talking to her because her annoyance interfered with my ability to trust her. I was totally uncomfortable and partly angry at her because of her attitude. I expected that if I had done something to annoy her, she'd discuss it. But nothing. I felt ignored and disrespected by that. I knew something was wrong, but she'd avoid discussing it. When you have a friend and you known they're annoyed at you, the normal thing is to TALK about it. It is the same with any other person. I wanted to clarify things with her, but she refused. So she shut me down and I refused to talk.

> Then you were what seemed more angry at her, and she wasn't sure how to handle it, but tried to remain within her way of handling therapy, despite what possibly felt like your pressure, or even defensiveness (in that you might be feeling judged or uncomfortable with her silence).

Like I said, it was not so much her silence, as her attitude and my sense that she was annoyed at times and I had no clue why. I felt the need to clarify things, but she'd refuse to. This made me more uncomfortable and it made me shut down. I can't open up emotionally to someone I know is uneasy or annoyed at me. I requested an explanation, and I was ignored again. Then I was pissed.

>She could have felt confused and uncertain how to proceed in a constructive way. But you did seem very dissatisfied with her, and this made her also somewhat uncomfortable. Probably she wasn't sure what had caused it all, or whether you were ready or able to talk about what might have caused your feelings about her.
Well, she couldn't know if I was ready if she didn't try. I think it was important to have a conversation at that point about our relationship. But since she would simply NOT start it herself, I had to do it myself, and I did.

> She didn't think her emotional state (like annoyance) was the issue, because but rather looked for some explanation in your emotional history and how you see the world.

Annoyance in therapy should be discussed, I think. IMO, this could potentially ruin the relationship, especially if things aren't dealt with at the time they happen. How can a relationship flourish if there's no open communication? Especially in a therapeutic environment, where open communication is so important? That's *my* view. But if my T was looking for some explanation in my emotional history--she was then ignoring our relationship and ignoring the current problems, allowing things to get out of hand and risking a falling out.

> I'd tend to think she didn't feel annoyed, so it seemed that your feeling this was imported from some old relationship, pehraps that with your grandmother. Even if she wasn't like your grandmother in all ways, you could, in her mind, have been seeing her partially through the lens of your experience with your grandmother.

Well, maybe she was not annoyed, but she was clearly uncomfortable and it happened more than once, so I felt the need to know why, as a way of improving our relationship and the therapy. When I was met with resistance, I was angry. Why, you may ask? Because once again, my belief is that therapy is a space for OPEN and HONEST communication. I needed to know what was wrong in order to (a) correct it, and (b) get to know my T better, (c) continue therapy in a more positive way. The reason I was angry is because I interpreted her unwillingness to talk as a weakness on her part, and as neglect of the therapeutic environment, because I NEEDED to know what was wrong in order to continue to feel comfortable talking to her, and she denied me that need without stating a reason. Basically, I felt she ignored my needs. This I interpreted as lack of professionalism, and from there things went downhill, because I began to lose respect for her.

> That, at least, would be my guess about what your T was thinking during the therapy. Of course I could be wrong, and it doesn't mean that her approach is at all good for you. There can be mismatches in style and temperament,which can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications that are hurtful and baffling to both participants. I very much hope you find someone who radiates more warmth and responsiveness and who can engage you in as good a way as your prior T.

Thanks a lot. It was indeed a bad experience trying to be honest with her and trying to fix our differences. She first replied to my questions, but in the end, she showed up furious after our talks--something that I never understood WHY, and something that I can't forget, and probably will never be able to discuss with her because I risk another angry session. Not sure if she understood that I needed an honest relationship in order to continue trusting her. For her, my attempts at honesty were met with resistance and anger, even though I was simply attempting to have a more satisfying and open relationship with her.

> Honore

Thanks again, Honore




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