Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 779884

Shown: posts 1 to 25 of 55. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Magic Moment - very long

Posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 2:19:15

I have been trying to figure out how to write about the experience I had in therapy a few days ago. I want to share it because I believe that this is the best of what therapy has to offer. And because I shared it with someone IRL and his response wasn't what I expected at all. I'm open to all opinions here, even though I know I already feel somewhat protective and defensive about my therapy and my therapist.

We've been talking about my mother a great deal again lately. She's been around a lot and I really like her - we have fun together. But she has never completely approved of me - she wishes for a different kind of daughter, one who is less sensitive and silly and not such a bleeding heart. She wants me to make money, not save the world. *sigh* My therapist gets all righteous sometimes when we talk about her, he has this whole "can't she see all that you've done?!" speech that is very sweet and makes me feel very protected. One of the things that really drives him crazy is that she has this way of negating what I want and talking me into believing that I really want what she wants. And as I talked about this during the session, I felt this wave of grief come over me.

My therapist doesn't make very many interpretations. It isn't his style. But when I told him I was feeling sad, he said, "it makes sense to me that your mother has been so present in our sessions because you have been thinking about writing again. Which takes you further away from whom she wants you to be. So you took a step toward your dream and now you are terrified of her disapproval. What would happen if she saw you for who you are?"

My immediate response was to go small and feel very young and answer, "I'd be in big trouble."
T: "for what?"
me: "she'd know it was my fault."
T: "and then what would she do?"
me: "she'd hate me."
T: "maybe she'd hate your dad..."
me: (completely astonished by this idea) "really? But she said you aren't allowed to hate."
T: "but you just said she'd hate you."
me: "yes, but...that is different." (in a whisper): "is she allowed to hate?"
T: "oh yes. If someone did this to her child, she is allowed to hate them."
me: "then can I hate?"
T: "yes. Most definitely. You can love and hate at the same time."
me: "I never thought of that."

It went on like this for awhile. The ideas that were being exchanged were important, but more important was that the room had narrowed and time was suspended and he and I were wrapped in this bubble. I felt young - 7 or 8 and I was truly astonished by the idea that my mother might hate my dad and not me. And if she could hate, then by-gosh so could I. Normally I'd feel really stupid to not "know" this - but it wasn't like that at all. This part was completely safe to talk to him and he responded with answers, a few questions and even a few challenges but not in a threatening way. It was just us, in that office, with nothing else pressing in. At the end of the session, he very gently pulled us back and then worried a little about me having to go back to work. I stayed a few extra minutes and left with tears, but not the bad kind.

When we talked about this yesterday, he said he felt something really important had shifted and it wasn't just in the content of our discussion. I told him what I felt, like being in a safe bubble and he said he felt that too. I described it as psychically (is that a word?) merging - never touching and yet being in each other's space in a way that made me not alone. I wasn't just seen by him - I was felt. Meaning he could sense my feelings, my questions and my fears and he was OK with them. He said it was a "moment" of perfect attunement. They don't happen very often and you can't force them. But in this profound connection that we made, there is healing. And the idea that my mother could hate my dad, and not me, is an idea that frees up the little girl to tell her mother, instead of fearing the loss of her mother's love. He said he was both a stand in for my mom in those moments, as she should have been the one attuned to me at 7, and he was himself, the person who does know how awful it was for the little girl and who won't leave her to carry all these memories alone.

I was explaining all this to a friend last night. He said that while he knows this kind of connection and merging feels good, he believes it is gratifying an infant/toddler wish to re-merge with their mother after they've begun to separate and it could cause a client to actively seek out this gratification instead of doing the work that is more painful. I asked him how? I can't recreate that intense-connection since I don't know how or why it happens sometimes. In fact, this surprised me because I'd begun to think that we've worked together for so long that it wouldn't happen anymore. It isn't that I don't feel connected most of the time, but it is rare that it goes so deep like that. And my friend said Dan Stern would say (from the book "The Present Moment") not to discuss these "now" moments, it will ruin them. Both parties, having shared a moment, know it and just leave it alone.

But I talked about that with my therapist today and we decided we both disagree. By talking about our share experience, it enhanced it for me because he felt it too. So I guess it validated it, but more, I then knew it was a shared experience and that was OK. There wasn't a need to "take it back" or get all stirred up about being intrusive or doing therapy wrong, etc. He said he wants me to trust my own gut more about my experiences, and not let someone take them from me or call them into question for me. He asked me if I could hold onto to the connected feeling we'd created after the session. I said I could for awhile -- I didn't feel so alone. But in some ways it sharpened the loneliness now. He asked if I would prefer that those "moments" didn't happen. And the answer is a resounding "no." In fact, I wish everyone could have an experience like that in therapy - of really feeling completely with another person, of being seen and understood and just...allowed. Allowed to be who you are with the questions and sorrow and love or whatever.

It makes the rest of the struggles worth it.

 

Correct Book link

Posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 2:26:46

In reply to Magic Moment - very long, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 2:19:15

sorry - here is the right book:

"The Present Moment" by Daniel Stern.

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym

Posted by sunnydays on August 31, 2007, at 7:29:53

In reply to Magic Moment - very long, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 2:19:15

That is absolutely wonderful Daisy. I'm sorry I can't say more, I'm going through a rough time, but that was absolutely wonderful. I love that feeling, and you're right, it happens very rarely. I think it's a moment to be treasured.

sunnydays

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym

Posted by JoniS on August 31, 2007, at 8:39:23

In reply to Magic Moment - very long, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 2:19:15

Daisy

You have this way of getting right down deep into the heart when you write these posts of of your therapy experience. It's difficult for me to describe, but I feel deeply touched.

Daisy:
"...When we talked about this yesterday, he said he felt something really important had shifted and it wasn't just in the content of our discussion. I told him what I felt, like being in a safe bubble and he said he felt that too. I described it as psychically (is that a word?) merging - never touching and yet being in each other's space in a way that made me not alone. I wasn't just seen by him - I was felt. Meaning he could sense my feelings, my questions and my fears and he was OK with them. He said it was a "moment" of perfect attunement. They don't happen very often and you can't force them. But in this profound connection that we made, there is healing..."

These are the incredible moments that happen in t that I think is difficult, maybe impossible for others who haven't been in therapy or maybe just haven't connected so deeply, to understand.

These times are what makes t all worth it, and they are, I agree, the best that therapy has to offer.

My T sees these times as deep spiritual bonding. He sees the whole therapy relationship as a spiritual relationship. All I know is that when I have that feeling, I can't really think of ANYTHING better. These are the moments that last for eternity, and I can't say that about any other kind of connection, physical or otherwise, no matter how good it feels at the time.

I am very glad for you that you were able to learn and see so much about your relationships and yourself from that session.

Thanks so much for sharing it.

On another note, have you ever considered writing a book about your experiences? I know that these are your private moments and there are probably many reasons why you wouldn't want to. But, I honestly believe that you would produce a wonderful work that could help others, immensely. .... just a thought....

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym

Posted by JoniS on August 31, 2007, at 8:47:07

In reply to Magic Moment - very long, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 2:19:15

I forgot to mention that so often when I read your posts, I could swear that we see the same T.

I guess that probably means that they have a lot in common. Especially their counseling style, their consistency and their ablility to practice their profession in a way that produces the ultimate desired results.

Dont know if that makes sense. I really struggle to communicate -in writing as well as verbally.

take care and thanks again for posting :-)

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long

Posted by Dinah on August 31, 2007, at 11:22:05

In reply to Magic Moment - very long, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 2:19:15

Daisy, I doubt anything I (a client who openly wants forever therapy) would say could influence your friend. But I think he's missing a salient point. It's those moments that are actual catalysts to see things differently, to do things differently. Change doesn't come with understanding something intellectually and doesn't even come all the time with struggling to think of things differently or to do things differently.

A lot of times change comes with small or large moments of grace. With things that touch us. At unexpected times even.

My therapist is fond of saying that Siddhartha might have found enlightenment when he quit looking for it and sat under the Bodhi tree, but that he might not have found it without the years of preparation he put in.

I think of therapy as being the same way. The hard work prepares us, but the special moments, large and small, change us.

My biggest changes have come from 1) a wince, 2) an unscripted glance, and 3) saying something to someone in chat that my therapist had likely said to me a million times but with the sudden bone deep realization that it applied to *me*.

What you described was one of those special moments of attunement. I've experienced them, although my therapist is not as likely to acknowledge them (or remember them). And of course I'd like to have them again. I might even seek to have them again. But that doesn't mean they can't effect deep change. They can.

I'm not sure what you described was a matter of gratification. But why is gratification necessarily bad? Even soothing and feeling good, which admittedly we could potentially begin to look for from our therapist, can if used wisely be a way of teaching us to self soothe. And this wasn't even that.

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym

Posted by Dinah on August 31, 2007, at 11:23:06

In reply to Magic Moment - very long, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 2:19:15

And also...

Thank you for sharing that. It was very special to read.

I'm glad you're taking steps to write. You really have a gift.

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym

Posted by annierose on August 31, 2007, at 16:16:15

In reply to Magic Moment - very long, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 2:19:15

I loved your post and am so happy that you shared your special moment(s). I'm sorry your friend's comment doubted the moment you experienced.

I loved what the other posters wrote, espeically Dinah's. These are the moments that change your reality. She is so right when she wrote about knowing about something intellectually doesn't necessarily change the feelings you have around a subject area. But experiencing the change at the same time of understanding a truth ... now there is a moment to hold onto for a lifetime.

And yes, please write, write and write. You have a wonderful way with words expressing exactly what you are thinking. I love that about you.

 

Re: Magic Moment Dinah

Posted by annierose on August 31, 2007, at 16:18:56

In reply to Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym, posted by Dinah on August 31, 2007, at 11:23:06

Dinah -

You are a gifted writer as well. I always am inspired by you and Daisy with your choice of words - it's a wonderful gift - and the ability to put them in a full sentence!!

I thought of you on Tuesday. Did you remember that it was my son's birthday on that dreaded day?

Annie

 

Re: Magic Moment annierose

Posted by Dinah on August 31, 2007, at 17:33:37

In reply to Re: Magic Moment Dinah, posted by annierose on August 31, 2007, at 16:18:56

Thank you!

I think your son's birthday is a far better reason to remember that date than that Katrina.

I think I avoided TV that day. It's all just too discouraging. So I avoid.

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym

Posted by fallsfall on August 31, 2007, at 18:10:34

In reply to Magic Moment - very long, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 2:19:15

I'm so glad that you have new understanding. I hope that it can give you some peace. You and your therapist both do a great job in your therapy.

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym

Posted by honore on August 31, 2007, at 18:27:44

In reply to Magic Moment - very long, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 2:19:15

I have a longer response, but my first reaction, on reading your description, was Yay!!!! that's so fantastic.

and I'm so so glad you weren't derailed by your friend! You can know what you want and need and value-- and you can hold onto it, even if someone else doesn't approve. That's so great-- and even greater that you and your T have reached such a place, where you can acknowledge together the deep, so magical, and so true importance of those moments-- how much they carry, for the future, and how much they do heal.

That you can feel something different in the room is just so wonderful-- I know it will last, even if it becomes more "ordinary"-- the ordinary wonderfulness of such a deep sharing that deepens over time.

Honore

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym

Posted by RealMe on August 31, 2007, at 21:23:05

In reply to Magic Moment - very long, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 2:19:15

I am really happy for you Daisy. My T talks about this too, the intimacy being part of this, and I wish I could say I feel it with him. Not yet. Upsetting theray session today, got into stuff and had a hard time really getting into the emotional part; I started to, and then I think I dissociated and then got into my head. Nevertheless, he was nice to say I took two big steps today by sitting closer to him on the couch and starting to talk about the painful stuff in more detail so as to get to the emotions.

I am happy for you, and I would say more; I just can't right now; hurting too much.

RealMe
(OzLand)

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long sunnydays

Posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 22:03:43

In reply to Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym, posted by sunnydays on August 31, 2007, at 7:29:53

I'm sorry you are having a tough time of it. It seems to go like this doesn't it? Up and down, always with the background fear of loss.

I hope your teeter-totter is up soon.

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long

Posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 22:11:45

In reply to Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym, posted by JoniS on August 31, 2007, at 8:47:07

"I forgot to mention that so often when I read your posts, I could swear that we see the same T."

OK - come clean.:) We need to compare notes geographically or perhaps at least physical descriptions? I'll go first - I'm in Ca and my therapist is probably 5'8", medium build, dark hair and eyes, nice looking and has been in private practice for nearly 25 years.


And thank you for your other response. I think spiritual is a wonderful way to describe the relationship, on so many levels. I can tell you've had these moments by what you wrote.

As far as writing a book, I think that would be really fun. But I'm afraid the one I want to write might be called, "Here is what your clients/patients wish you knew." And those that needed to read it never would. *sigh*

 

Magic Moment - 2 'Near Perfect Ts' in this world

Posted by JoniS on August 31, 2007, at 22:35:30

In reply to Re: Magic Moment - very long, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 22:11:45

Yours sounds adorable!

I'm in TN. Mine is 5'8", medium build, light (thinning) hair, blue eyes. Nice looking, has been in practice about 12-15 years.

So, now we know there are at least 2 nearly perfect therapists in US. I thank God I see one of them!

Dont completely dismiss writing the book. We'll keep after ya!

Joni

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long Dinah

Posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 22:39:39

In reply to Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym, posted by Dinah on August 31, 2007, at 11:23:06

"I think of therapy as being the same way. The hard work prepares us, but the special moments, large and small, change us."

This is very wise and is true for most things. I've read that once change, or progress, in therapy starts to happen, it can happen seemingly very rapidly. But it happens on a foundation that took a long time to lay down. So quick is relative.

"I'm not sure what you described was a matter of gratification. But why is gratification necessarily bad? Even soothing and feeling good, which admittedly we could potentially begin to look for from our therapist, can if used wisely be a way of teaching us to self soothe. And this wasn't even that."

Hey - yeah! Who said gratification was bad? It is just that word - gratification, instead of meeting a need. It sounds like a giving in, instead of something beneficial. One of the things I really have come to know from this whole process is the feeling inside when I feel secure and how important that must be to young children. It has changed how I work with families.

I think that I just learned again that sharing my therapy experience needs to be done very judiciously. It is hard to understand some times, particularly for people who are CBT oriented. When I told my friend I go 4x a week he actually gasp.

And thanks for the writing encouragement too. Annie's right - you write beautifully and thoughtfully. You should write the book.

 

Re: Magic Moment - 2 'Near Perfect Ts' in this world JoniS

Posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 23:00:14

In reply to Magic Moment - 2 'Near Perfect Ts' in this world, posted by JoniS on August 31, 2007, at 22:35:30

I lived in TN (memphis) for awhile as a kid. We walked by Elvis' house everyday coming home from school. Of course, he was alive then.

I'm glad you have one of the near perfect T's too. Do you know his orientation?

 

Re: Magic Moment annierose

Posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 23:04:16

In reply to Re: Magic Moment Dinah, posted by annierose on August 31, 2007, at 16:18:56

I knew you'd understand what I was trying to write. I think it is just hard when you have no frame of reference to understand the connection and not dismiss it as pathological dependency.

I've been studying the idea that mother's and babies "co-create" their relationship - there is mutual regulation going on. I think it is the same for therapy. When you hit that plane of syncronicity, you are co-creating something very cool.

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long fallsfall

Posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 23:07:01

In reply to Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym, posted by fallsfall on August 31, 2007, at 18:10:34

Peace is fleeting. I'm trying to hang on to it. I hate three day weekends. :(

Therapy is a dance isn't it? And sometimes, when we get it right, I feel like those 80year-old couples at weddings who glide around the floor together effortlessly. They just know each other so well that they bob and weave, completely together. It makes you ache to watch them

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long honore

Posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 23:10:19

In reply to Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym, posted by honore on August 31, 2007, at 18:27:44

"the ordinary wonderfulness"

I love this term, I want to steal it. Because I think that is what feels so right about these moments. It isn't the content but rather the knowing of the emotions which is shared between both people.

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long RealMe

Posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 23:40:18

In reply to Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym, posted by RealMe on August 31, 2007, at 21:23:05

I'm sorry you ar hurting. Opening up the old stuff can be very hard sometimes. I think you are really working hard at healing. Just keep taking those baby steps.

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym

Posted by Dinah on September 1, 2007, at 9:54:47

In reply to Re: Magic Moment - very long Dinah, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 22:39:39

lol. That was my childhood dream.

Funny, yesterday my therapist laughed that we should write a book together. Therapy from a therapist's point of view/ therapy from a client's point of view. He said/she said.

He loves my stories of babble because really he knew surprisingly little about what was going on on the other side of the therapy space.

 

Re: Magic Moment - very long DAisym

Posted by Dinah on September 1, 2007, at 9:56:07

In reply to Re: Magic Moment - very long, posted by DAisym on August 31, 2007, at 22:11:45

Funny, my mental picture has always been of a sandy haired therapist. :)

 

Re: Magic Moment 3 'Near Perfect Ts' in this world

Posted by sunnydays on September 1, 2007, at 10:39:28

In reply to Magic Moment - 2 'Near Perfect Ts' in this world, posted by JoniS on August 31, 2007, at 22:35:30

I would like to also nominate my T! I had called him on Wednesday evening hoping he would be able to call me. I knew he'd be out of town on Thursday. He called me back yesterday and said if I needed to talk to call him. So I did. I had pretty much given up that he would get the message, but he called me back at 11pm! And we talked and there wasn't anything specific that was wonderful, but it was nice to know for sure he wasn't mad at me and to just talk to him for a few minutes.

sunnydays


Go forward in thread:


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.