Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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The Other Side of the Relationship

Posted by Daisym on August 7, 2009, at 1:25:33

We were talking above about how to manage so many of the hard things that come up from being attached to a person with whom there are limits - especially limited contact. I'm wondering if we can share experiences about how our therapists manage their feelings about us.

This came up for me especially strong this week. I've been more depressed lately and under a huge amount of pressure. It makes me want to lash out - hurt myself or others. My therapist and I talked about this dark side of me and the more we went into it, the more upset I got. I left super upset and stayed that way. I was so upset that I skipped therapy yesterday - I went but couldn't make myself get out of the car. I had my phone off and it took me 2 1/2 hours to call him. By this time, he'd left me three messages, and looked for me all over town. He finally emailed me late last night, asking me to please tell him what was happening. We traded emails several times and he convinced me to come in today and talk it out.

It was a heavy discussion. He told me I scared him, which I'd already realized. But then he told me that he was also hurt. He felt brushed aside, like he didn't matter. The not calling really bothered him, as much as he tried to understand. But he said his anxiety won out over his hurt and he felt he needed to keep reaching out to me. He said he struggled with wanting to give me space but also letting me know he was worried. And he said he also need to touch base for himself - to calm his own worries. It surprised me - this show of caring. I figured he would be mad. And I think he was, some. But it really surprised me that I could hurt him - again, if he didn't care, it wouldn't hurt. We talked about that a lot. He said in all relationships, eventually there is hurt. But hopefully the good times have provided enough credit to get through the tougher stuff.

I'm learning that I can have an effect on my therapist, just like he has on me. It isn't that it ever crosses the boundaries, but he seems as invested in this relationship as I am. The intensity differs, but not the commitment to it.




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