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Re: Very partial response... » Dinah

Posted by Girlnterrupted78 on September 14, 2007, at 19:44:06

In reply to Re: Very partial response..., posted by Dinah on September 14, 2007, at 9:12:07

Thank you so much for your long and thoughtful response, Dinah.

> Of course it’s possible for a therapist to be neglectful and unprepared. I’m sure there are many of them. I think we’re not necessarily seeing that from what you describe.

I just get the feeling that people pick and choose from what I write. For example, nobody ever commented on the day she came furious to our session, and first pretended she didn't remember about our last 3 sessions (important and MAJOR sessions!) and later claimed "of course I remember!" I mean, that was totally rude and inconsiderate of her, and I see that not a single person considered that particular incident. Everyone focused on the positive to be able to say "she is just normal and YOU are the one projecting."

Or the fact that she would not open up when I needed to talk. If I ask whether she's upset or annoyed, it's because I need to know (in order to continue the therapy, and I said this to her.) But I recall, I think it was Racer (who made some great points, by the way), who said that if I asked over and over, then *she* might have been the one annoyed at my insistence. What about me?? That means I matter so little.. and she matters so much that she can refuse a patient's question 3 times and even be annoyed about it! I wouldn't need to ask over and over if I didn't think it was extremely important. I asked because I knew that if I didn't get an answer, that was the end of therapy. Her behavior had shut me down and I was no longer talking because I felt totally uncomfortable, so it was absolutely necessary to hear what was going on.

Or when I claim she was annoyed.. people claim I'm projecting. Isn't that almost saying that I am a pretty bad judge of character, unable to tell whether someone is happy or angry? If someone tells you "My best friend is pissed" would you answer: "I think you're projecting. She couldn't be pissed.." ??

> I'd be inclined to cut losses and move on.

Thanks for the suggestion. I am totally torn apart on that decision. My previous T (the good one) suggested that a difficult relationship with a T might signal some problems to work through, which might be beneficial. That's one opinion. Other opinions, such as yours, are opposite. I myself don't have enough knowledge of therapy to know. I fear that in a year or so, I will realize opinions like yours ("things might never work") will prove to be true, and all the time and money I might have wasted will be dreadful. It's so complicated that I have no idea what to do.

>I can understand that you’d like people to see in her what you see in her. And maybe if we were in the room with her, we would. But we’re not in the room with her. I really do understand if you’re upset with our responses though. Sometimes I come here really wanting to have people validate that my therapist has done something terrible (or wonderful) only to discover that others have interpreted things differently.

Well, I'm not really all that upset, the only thing that kind of got to me was the fact that people seem to pick and choose among incidents, and exclude some major incidents while using her positive attributes to form their opinion of her. Like the issue I wrote about in my response above--regarding her coming to therapy, angry and lying, the session following our OPEN UP session. That was a major turning point in my therapy, since it was the first time she finally spoke up, and she CLOSED completely the topic of our relationship not working out. After that day, I fear bringing ANYTHING up. Now I know I can't.
So, that incident nobody even considered. Why is that? How could a therapist come and use anger and lies with a patient, and even pretend she doesn't remember the last 3 sessions.. But later, (once I expressed shock at her not remembering) she admits she DOES in fact remember? Again, this is something I wrote in previous posts, but which people dismissed as totally insignificant, to only talk about her positive attributes. I felt her behavior was unacceptable. How come nobody considers this when they get a picture of this T? Or maybe nobody thinks it's wrong? I am really confused about people's ways of picking certain incidents and not others in order to form their opinions.

Her unacceptable behaviors were either ignored/justified, while all the good ones were quickly used in her favor. I sense some bias here, in favor of using "projection" to explain any therapeutic relationship. I might probably be biased too because I'm the one *in* the situation.

People don't have to agree with me, but they should see the whole picture, not just the good things. Or maybe they think it's normal T behavior to show up furious and lie? When I said she was sarcastic, someone said "she doesn't sound sarcastic to me!" lol. I guess they can also claim to know how she sounds in order to justify her.

> But in a situation such as that you describe, he might have said something about my wanting him to speak openly about how he feels, and then he replied that he felt like he couldn’t speak as openly as he might because he senses I get angry with what he says, and that I got angry at what he said in response to my request to openly share. I might or might not feel he'd captured the moment accurately, and he might or might not have. But he's said that sort of thing to me many times.

Well, THAT sounds like he is being honest and very open. Were you really angry? It took my T a LOOONG time to admit this. More than 3 sessions of myself opening up with her for her to finally say how she felt. And before admitting it, she gave her angry session. So was your T giving you no feedback at all when you asked him to speak openly?

With my T, I noticed her silence, so I began to ask for her input, and that's where the problems began. That's when she began to seem annoyed. I guess I was sort of expecting an open relationship with her, similar to the one I had with my previous T, so I thought I could just talk to her openly and ask questions. But instead, she felt I was crossing her barriers. That's why I was shocked. I was trying to engage her by asking her what she thought of a specific situation, and one time she even said I was "insecure" because I needed her reassurance. Geez. That pissed me off because I wasn't asking for reassurance, but simply trying to engage her and start a more lively conversation than the annoying monologue I was giving.

> See, given the medium of the written word, and a second person account, there’s no way for us to get a sense of that. We’re only hearing her words and actions, and for the most part those sound pretty standard to some schools of therapeutic thought. But it’s possible that she does sound so textbook because she *is* inexperienced. How long has she been doing this?

I've never asked her how long she's been a therapist. At this point I fear asking. That would be sort of crossing my boundaries and the barriers she has set. I feel as if she had these barriers I can't cross, and I have to make sure my dialogue always excludes her COMPLETELY, so I always leave her out of my monologues, and allow her to talk only when she decides to. Basically she has to have her little bubble, and I can't go near. I talk about my life and she comments when she wants, but I can't ask her.

> IMHO, this is the crux of the matter. I can’t imagine doing therapy with someone I dislike. I wouldn’t do therapy with someone I dislike. I have walked out of therapy for just that reason. Approach aside, research has shown that nothing as important as a good therapeutic relationship.

Really? Hmmm.. Do you happen to have a link on that? The only reasons I have stuck it out are (a) My previous T (the one I had a great relationship with) told me that a difficult relationship might be beneficial because it could signal issues that I need to work on, and (b) she's making an effort to make things work--so I'd feel bad to terminate it despite that.

But if there's research showing that what I'm doing will be negative, damaging or worthless in the long run, and that I'm wasting my money, then I'd have to re-think my reasons for being with her, and possibly begin looking on how and when to terminate this. Thanks a lot for that info, Dinah.

>If you don’t have it with her, surely it’s worthwhile finding it with someone else? If you discuss this therapeutic relationship with your next therapist, you could still get many of the benefits you would by staying with her. Less maybe for it not being immediate, but more maybe for your not disliking the person saying it.

Yes, I guess you're right. But I also run the risk of ending up with someone worse! I can imagine that sliding-fee clinics like the one I go to don't have the best doctors/therapists around (just consider my shrink--he prescribed me an overdose of Nardil, denied it was an overdose despite the reaction I had to it, and later denied Nardil's side effects and said: "that's not Nardil--go see your primary doctor." I later found in the actual Pfizer website--in the doctor's manual for the care of patients on Nardil!--that the side-effects were in FACT, caused by Nardil, and most people on this website who are on Nardil had them!!! Talk about doctors who know what they're doing!!)

So I guess I'm not going to be very excited about going to someone else.. but hopefully I'll feel more comfortable..

Thanks a lot for your response. I'll keep you posted on what I end up doing.





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