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Re: Pdoc/Real Me asked why I wouldn't shake hands antigua3

Posted by Dinah on October 26, 2007, at 9:46:01

In reply to Pdoc/Real Me asked why I wouldn't shake hands abov, posted by antigua3 on October 23, 2007, at 16:08:58

I remember you said a while back that you found his approach helpful in some ways. That his words may have been harsher than you were used to, but they shocked you into a new way of thinking. That might not terribly helpful for me, but I know that many people do find that helpful.

It worries me a bit more when you talk about training him to be different than he is now. Or in terms of what you wanted from your father. I think Twinleaf is right there. That usually only works if a therapist is able to *change* the results of the experience. If he truly is like your father, might it just be traumatizing again?

Your therapist apparently approves, and she's closer to the situation than I am. So that makes me a bit less worried.

But, IMO, people never fundamentally change from outside influence. If they change it's for some reason of their own. And it seems like a lot of our suffering comes from wanting something different from someone than they are able to provide, and banging our heads over and over trying to get it. I think a comedian once said that people aren't fixer uppers. They come as is.

I know I talk a lot about training my therapist. And I suppose I have in some ways. But not in bone deep fundamental ways. If he wasn't who he is, he wouldn't have been open to trying to understand me better, or to trying to understand his own issues better in how they apply to our relationship. If it wasn't in him to be open to new ways of experiencing things, all my efforts to change him would have come to naught.

And I don't think in that respect I was trying to work through other problematic relationships. I stayed with him partly because he was totally unlike my parents in the ways that it was important he be nothing like them. He's phlegmatic where they were volcanic. He doesn't rely on me to settle his moods. But he does allow me to recreate some of the better parts of my experience with my father particularly. I'm not saying he does it by design. But his temperament is such that it comes naturally to the relationship.

If you get something helpful from your pdoc's more ummmm.... "direct" style, that's great. It is possible that resistance helps some people to look at things differently and enables change. (For me, it's lack of resistance that does that. I push if pushed, and it's only if there is nothing to push back that I stumble forward, pick myself up, and sheepishly consider change. My therapist's lack of resistance coupled with his strong core is perfect for me.)

But please be careful if your goal is something more. I trust you, particularly since your therapist is aware of what's going on, to know what's best for you.




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