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Re: Embracing the pernicious inner voice

Posted by Solstice on October 9, 2011, at 9:37:07

In reply to Re: Embracing the pernicious inner voice Solstice, posted by annierose on October 9, 2011, at 7:34:05

> I would like to believe that to be true .... that the caring is on more equal footing than the need. But I think our level of caring runs so much deeper - my t is my inner voice of truth and reason - like a healthy mother would be to a child. Your thoughts give me comfort.

:-) It can be hard to differentiate between the feelings of affection and caring, and the strong feelings of 'need.' They were intertwined for me, forever! It's really only been during the last few years that I've been able to separate them. And when they are intertwined like that, I think it's the 'need' that drives the intensity of what we are calling 'care.'

As for a therapist's care.. I think it says a lot when we recognize that the very fact that they spent time longing to even be a therapist - and those that got their master's or phd's invested a huge amount of time, money and work just to be able to spend time with people, helping them on their journey. So your therapist 'cared' before you did! During the time he or she is with you, they are focused on your needs. They set their own aside.. and your needs are their entire focus. Between sessions, they muse over our pain, searching their training, experience, and creativity for insight. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't show up in their dreams at times... we are on their minds as they talk with their peers... we are the reason they get up and go into work.. we are their 'purpose.' It might be a different kind of 'care' than what we feel for them, but I think that at the point that we are able to separate our 'need' for them from our feelings of affection, the relationship becomes more stable. That's how it happened for me, anyway. I care for my therapist, and my therapist cares for me. My therapist's need for this relationship is limited to T's personal need to *be* a therapist - the sense of professional well-being it provides. My 'need,' however, is rooted in my 'need' to be cared for.. my need for wounds to be tended to.. my need to experience a safe attachment.. my need to heal. So maybe our 'need' is what makes it feel more life & death. Their need to be a therapist is not as survival-related, or as personally directed, as our need for this particular therapist to provide what we weren't provided earlier in our life. I think the way my therapist talked about things helped me eventually make the differentiation between need and care. T talked very intimately (which was just excruciating for me at the time) about how I needed to be attached. That was a specific goal T had for me. Here is a therapist, telling me that what I need to do is feel attached - to them... specifically to them. omg.. just the concept was almost traumatically scary for me. I fought against it mentally and emotionally. But over time (a long time).. experience after experience... my therapist did things.. responded to things.. behaved in ways that enveloped me in safe caring. It wasn't about my therapist expressing affection for me. That's never happened. It was deeper than that, actually. It was about my realizing that T *knew* who I was.. accepted me.. delighted in my growth... recognized goodness in me that I overlooked... and maybe most importantly of all.. my therapist put our relationship First. T was very attuned to me.. and I could not hide misgivings, feeling unsettled, being 'off.' At times it could feel like being under a microscope.. but ultimately.. it allowed me to believe I was cared for. Me. Solstice. With all my idiosyncrasies.. all my faults.. my personality as it is - the good and the less-good. Any time my quirks or personality interfered with our relationship, T worked it out with me. And as for attachment, I denied even having the capacity. I did not even know what 'attached' looked like or felt like. Now in retrospect, it was funny when T would suddenly stop me after I'd made a comment (I wish I could remember them!) and would say "That's attachment!" in a celebratory way. I would squirm - because T had called it accurately. I didn't think I 'felt' attached - but some of the things T pointed out as 'signs' that I *am* attached couldn't be denied. Little by little I began to recognize it - and be comfortable with it. Maybe because T talked about it so much.. it was certainly acceptable for me to be and feel attached.

No doubt, I have Needed this relationship. And T has cared enough to be there.. to tend the relationship.. to be mindful of where I am developmentally, of who I am, of what I need therapeutically. That's some pretty deep care, if you ask me :-)





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