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Re: Is there life after psychoanalysis? (trigger)

Posted by violette on July 17, 2010, at 19:58:27

In reply to Re: Is there life after psychoanalysis? (trigger) violette, posted by ralphrost2 on July 17, 2010, at 17:03:46

Hey Ralph,

"So now there is a huge gap between people and me. I've been living very distant from people (in an emotional sense)."

That could be depersonalization (sometimes described or thought of the numbness that goes with PTSD)...which also commonly coincides with anxiety disorders and with fantasy DMs that sort of develop as a result of your temperment.

"I think that the self-esteem issue has more to do with seeing that I lived most of my life creating coping strategies to avoid the pain. Like fantasies...and I didn't really face reality."


I didn't have that experience and am unsure what to think about that except you are 'stuck' right now (duh, right?). My process, while I went through awful pain, now seems to be more like an awakening to me as I look back. An ongoing awakening that has given me new life energy (will) and hope. Thus I have no interest in going 'back' there-even to that state where I was functional-undepressed and outgoing. But as I said, I was feeling really badly, I mean close to a mental breakdown, by the time I got to T...

"It's like each time I let feelings emerge (when I'm talking to someone for example) I feel mostly sad. How can we socialize being so negative and melancolic?"

I'll tell you some things about my therapy, hoping it will help you in some way...I am still trying to regain my social life, but have other priorities to catch up on right now. But I'm feeling better now-starting to be naturally more social again and ease back into relations with my friends. It's working by itself as I am not 'trying'. I quit listening to the negative stuff that comes from my superego, which has been hugely beneficial to me. The release of my superego's grasp eventually came from T continually accepting me.

How it happened for me, how I came out of the despair: it was falling in love with my T after about 9-10 months into therapy. I was extremely fearful, but T gave me continuous reassurance, earned my trust, and worked with me in a way that enabled me to develop a secure attachment. I let go in some ways, went with the resistance instead of letting it get too out of hand. In the therapeutic process, 'therapy love' can lead to the ability to process/talk about things differently and leads to self-acceptance which 'grows' self-esteem.

It's really something you have to experience to grasp fully-and this is not something simply unique to me-but basically, the love is contagious I feel it that way-it flows then gets internalized and grows outward, sort of infiltrates your way of thinking and spreads to the other areas of your whole life-bit by bit.

"And I'm often afraid of releasing feelings because I fear entering into a depression spiral, like you said."

I thought that was happening to me a few days ago-that I was spiraling into a depressive state again-but it totally disappeared. Still having anxiety issues and triggers, more unrelated to T, but I was totally worried about the same thing. Well, it didn't happen and now I feel even stronger after overcoming a brief potential spiral back to my previous state...It subsided on its own, resulting in a feeling of being much stronger than I was prior to that feeling.

Ts love is giving me strength now as since I had the in love feelings, I noticed how I keep getting stronger...It's only been less than a couple months when i noticed the love, but it really feels like a contagion here. In session, T doesn't tell me to make something positive out of a negative (doesn't direct my development of healthy DM's) - it's occuring on it's own. I noticed I've been turning negatives around to positives like crazy without thinking about it. It's not that I'm just using new DMs, it's an overall positiveness that is growing and strengthening me-it really came from Ts acceptance of me.

"Maybe this has to be a very gradual process."

I really think what helped me along (aside from T himself) was reading about object relations, self-psychology, attachment theory, etc. Though I initially used this more as a rationalization DM and protection (from T who I did not yet trust)--it ended up speeding up the process, I believe. I learned how psychoanalytic therapy focuses on the relationship between the T and patient, rather than 'being a recipient' of therapy, and found out all sorts of things about myself from reading. While I have felt guilty about being obsessive about it-now that my superego eased up--I realize how much it really did pay off. So here I go again, turning the situation to a positive...

Also, my T is eclectic and has adapted his methods, mannerisms, boundaries, etc., alongside changes with psychodynamic theories and from many years of experience. He keeps current with research, is truly dedicated to his job, curious, open minded, creative and individualizes therapy for his patients overall. And I see from what he says of other patients that he truly does care about us.

Although it's the case with other Ts, I came to realize how overall, psychodynamic Ts seem to have more personal qualities that I value, such as creativity, curiousity...that gives me more of a foundation of relating than prior Ts. I have high regard for my Ts personal characteristics and we get along great as '2 people' when we are not in therapy mode, having some common interests in philosophies, politics and other areas. Having a good match in a T is very, very important...Maybe consider if you and T are a good match, and your Ts level of experience and how you feel about her personal qualities.

Hopefully something I said can help you out. I understand how terrible you are feeling. If I (member of totally crazy family) could overcome this-you can too. You just need to get 'unstuck'-talk to your T about what you said here-see if T can help you get unstuck. Does your T know all these feelings? If not, I'd talk candidly about this and where the diretion of therapy is going.

I still have a difficult time discussion childhood pain, though better than at first, but seems since I really trusted T, I can now approach him directly and honestly with whatever feelings or concerns arise from our relationship. The discussions about the feelings about the relationship are what lead to discussions about those childhood feelings which produce insights, which leads to change. However, you have to have a strong alliance to begin with. If you do-I think you will get unstuck. If not, I'd re-examine it.

When you can open up, that therapy love just grows and grows...All I can tell you is to try to let go of fears a little with your T; work with the feelings and not against them...think of it as a relationship rather than being 'treated for therapy' and build up courage to discuss the feelings that do arise..I wonder if your T needs to give you more reassurance (as opposed to focusing on your resistances) as you are still very fearful with opening up. Ts doing this is partly how I came to trust him. Some psychodynamic Ts will frown on reassurance.

However, if you don't ever get to that level of trust-the resistances will not release-you will be instead, stuck...I'd talk to your T about reassurance if she will enable you to talk from your unemotional side too. If your T is too rigid with her methods either out of habit or from beliefs, that could be contributing.

I probably won't be sticking around here much anymore, but if I don't run into you somewhere else, take good care and please hang in there.




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