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Re: crappy session today raisinb

Posted by Dinah on May 29, 2009, at 6:47:58

In reply to crappy session today, posted by raisinb on May 28, 2009, at 21:43:59

It sounds as if she's not at her best since she came back. It's funny. We don't want them to not come back just because they're not at their best, but when they come back, we sort of wish they hadn't.

It's hard to have a baby in the house. Exhausting at times. Or maybe her hormones are still out of whack.

As you know, I've gone through my therapist really trying to be real and present, and failing. I think in a long term therapy relationship that happens from time to time. If it happened in a short term therapy relationship it would be easy enough to walk away or look for another therapist and write this one off. With a long term therapist, it's harder.

In the circumstances you describe, where I'd told my therapist he could take his time about calling me, my experience is there's a good chance he would have waited to call. I'm not sure if it would give me time to cool off, or him time to cool off, or what. But I don't know that it means she is planning to tell you she doesn't want to see you again - especially if you had a good session just a few days ago.

How open is your therapist about talking of her own difficulties in being present as a therapist? It's hard to communicate with our therapists at that time. To tell them how angry and hurt and frustrated we can be. Walking out is a way to do that, and I've done it, certainly. Unfortunately with my therapist, he will definitely understand that I'm angry, but his track record of figuring out exactly *why* is poor. I try to resist the urge to communicate by actions, and instead to communicate with words. To fight for the relationship openly. Not necessarily to plan out what I want to say, but to open myself to whatever feelings I'm having at the moment, and communicating them to him.

Of course, it only works because he's willing to do that. He's willing to own up to the fact that he might not be present, or at his best. He's willing to see how that's affecting me and work with me.

I told him last time that I'd rather quit going and have him not present with me than go into sessions and have him not present with me. And I meant it. But we were able to work it out so that he struggled to be present and I struggled to let him be a mess for a while. It resolved itself relatively quickly that time. But it took vulnerability and openness on both our parts.

And it sadly did take an ultimatum on my side for him to put aside his delusion that he was just fine and I was the only client complaining. That he was hiding the effects of his personal life just fine from his clients. I really did mean the ultimatum. I didn't think I could go through another long period where he wasn't really present.

In all likelihood she's not herself right now. And might not consistently be at her best for a while. It might well be best for you to stay away until she doesn't feel so scarily lacking in presence. But I think it's worth one or two angry sessions to reach for connection and fight for relationship. Or fight *to* relationship as I often say.




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