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Re: Managing a therapeutic relationship emilyp

Posted by seldomseen on August 6, 2009, at 9:04:02

In reply to Managing a therapeutic relationship, posted by emilyp on August 4, 2009, at 23:00:25

After giving this thread some thought, I've decided that key to managing the therapeutic relationship - or any other I think - is mastering distress tolerance.

I know I certainly would go to great lengths to avoid any kind of relational distress, but in therapy I found that there was this man, he wasn't going anywhere, and I was going to have to negotiate it or quit - which I did several times at first.

I felt like the process was hurting me, and *he* was hurting me. Everywhere there was just pain. It was a lot to tolerate and integrate.

Yet he repeatedly said "It's okay you feel this way, it's not going to overwhelm you, it's not going to take you under, it just is". I was outraged. How *could it possibly be okay that I felt that way*.

But in the end, he was right. I think it is about accepting the way you feel rather than fighting it, recognizing it for what it is - just a feeling, expressing it and being heard, and carrying on anyway. Dinah calls it radical acceptance. I think some sort of mindfullness training, or DBT should be part and parcel in therapy for some people. I know I would have benefitted greatly from it.

These therapists are not mind readers or miracle workers, though I suspect that they do harbor some magiks. I'm sure they are not out to deliberately cause us pain, but definately are with us in a situation where we do.

We are ultimately the ones that have to tolerate it.





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