Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 220332

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Re: Forever therapy- fallsfall

Posted by judy1 on April 21, 2003, at 13:59:42

In reply to Re: Forever therapy, posted by noa on April 21, 2003, at 12:41:33

I really have to agree with noa- I think you would do a lot better with a therapist who isn't afraid of dependency but has boundaries to protect you both. you mentioned feeling comforted by the 'group leader'- perhaps you could try a few sessions with her and eventually switch over your care. I can't imagine getting very far in therapy if you feel your therapist is 'mad' at you. I have my pdoc's home phone # and e-mail address- I don't abuse either but I know he is there for me and that is enough. I really can't stress how important boundaries are, and I think Dinah's book suggestion was an excellent one. I wish you all the best-judy

 

Re: Forever therapy - All

Posted by fallsfall on April 23, 2003, at 12:10:14

In reply to Re: Forever therapy- fallsfall, posted by judy1 on April 21, 2003, at 13:59:42

I looked for Dinah's book in 2 libraries and 2 bookstores, but didn't find it. Maybe I'll get it online.

I saw my therapist yesterday. We seemed to make some progress in her understanding of the issues I see in the relationship. I still don't know if I'm not being clear or if she's not hearing. I think we each have significant assumptions about the other, and that those things may no longer be true.

I told her that I was willing to work on the dependency issue, but that cutting back to every other week didn't seem like the best solution. I made a counterproposal: We would identify the needs that I have that she is meeting (or that I want her to meet) and then we will identify other ways of meeting those needs. Then I can transfer needs slowly and hopefully less traumatically. She said that this plan would be OK. Next week I'm supposed to bring a list of needs.

I had given her journalling telling her how she could word it when she kicked me out, so I would be able to handle it. Basically, she would need to say that _she_ needed to terminate. Since I'll do anything for her, I would do that, too. She didn't bring anything up in the session about that. This week I gave her a summary of where I am (since we are communicating so poorly, I wanted to put it all in one place). This ended with a paragraph about all the things I have learned. But she isn't ready to force termination (she is concerned that "she isn't helping me") yet.

So things are marginally better (though it took 24 hours for me to be able to post this). It is nice to know that I have the group therapist in reserve - either for a single session of advice, or for long term.

Thank you all for your support. It really helps.

 

Re: Forever therapy fallsfall

Posted by Dinah on April 23, 2003, at 19:10:53

In reply to Re: Forever therapy - All, posted by fallsfall on April 23, 2003, at 12:10:14

I am really impressed with how hard you are working at this. I hope your therapist is as impressed. I also hope she recognizes the maturity behind what you are doing.

I think I ordered the book through Amazon, although I think I'll check out my local library and donate it if it isn't there. It should be required reading for all long term therapy clients, IMHO.

 

Re: Forever therapy fallsfall

Posted by noa on April 24, 2003, at 5:56:00

In reply to Re: Forever therapy - All, posted by fallsfall on April 23, 2003, at 12:10:14

>>I am really impressed with how hard you are working at this. I hope your therapist is as impressed. I also hope she recognizes the maturity behind what you are doing.

I agree! You are working so hard on this! And I am so impressed that you are responding in this way, given the hurt feelings you have had.

Keep us posted.

 

Re: Forever therapy - Dinah noa

Posted by fallsfall on April 25, 2003, at 23:41:21

In reply to Re: Forever therapy fallsfall, posted by noa on April 24, 2003, at 5:56:00

Thanks for the encouragement. I really do want this relationship to work. I think she does too.

I'm feeling better about the dependency stuff.

Thanks!!!

P.S. I still think I want Forever Therapy, though.

 

Re: Forever therapy

Posted by allisonf on April 26, 2003, at 0:56:19

In reply to Re: Forever therapy, posted by Dinah on April 21, 2003, at 12:01:09

Hi...I haven't posted here in so long, I don't know why. I do ck in now and again, and tonight I had thought to post a new thread on the bd asking for support. Tonight I have been paying for Wed's hypomania with persistent suicidal thoughts.

But I had to post when I saw Dinah's reply, fallsfall. I am that woman Dinah wrote about who drove by her therapist's house and then told her about it. That was a little over a year ago, and my feelings for her are just as intense. We have discussed them up and down...and I write pages about it. I try to read everything I can about the transference phenomena to try to resolve it (which you obviously can't just do by reading about it, but still...), but I feel like there's not really that much out there that isn't all intellectual and Jungian and judgmental. *Except* that book "In Session" that Dinah recommended by D Lott! It is definitely worth reading--it looks at transference through many different angles. I got it thru Amazon.

It sounds like you really are working hard to communicate with your therapist and come to a mutual understanding. I actually think you are being much more accommodating to her needs that she should expect. I know that therapists have to expect (and even count on) these dependency/transference type issues to come up (it certainly is grist!), so I think they have to be prepared that clients are going to have strong feelings, want to feel close to them, be curious about them personally, etc. Not that I condone driving by a therapist's house or searching for them on the internet (which I have also done btw)(and I've searched for her husband, her sisters & brothers, etc.), but if you are strong enough to be honest about it, that warrants support. Good luck with everything.

P.S. I like the name of the thread too! All total I've been in therapy 5 and 1/2 yrs and still counting!

 

Re: Forever therapy allisonf

Posted by Dinah on April 26, 2003, at 7:26:15

In reply to Re: Forever therapy, posted by allisonf on April 26, 2003, at 0:56:19

Allison, It's good to see you again. I always wondered whether you were able to work that out with your therapist, and I'm glad you were. It was a scary moment for me that something that seemed so minor would disrupt a relationship. I think I'm becoming much more assured myself that he probably won't terminate me against my will unless he moves or quits his practice. I still get terrified if anything happens to disrupt it though.

It's amazing how much real work can be done when that fear is dealt with.

I think I just reached my eight year anniversary. :D (Hey, don't I get a pin or something soon? Or does he deserve that instead. grin.)

 

Re: Forever therapy

Posted by fallsfall on April 26, 2003, at 9:34:37

In reply to Re: Forever therapy allisonf, posted by Dinah on April 26, 2003, at 7:26:15

Allisonf, it is nice to meet you. I work so hard because I'm afraid that if I don't I won't be worthy to be her patient. It is comforting to know that other people have clung (fused?) to their therapists. I also read a lot. I live in a University town so I have access to their library and all of their technical books. My therapist thinks that I could probably get a Masters in Psychology with what I have read.

Each year on the anniversary of our first session I bring in cupcakes or donuts, usually with the number of the anniversary written in icing on the top. The first year she was a little skeptical, but then she decided that it wasn't a present for her, but a party for Us, that it would be OK. We celebrated our 8th anniversary in January.

 

Re: Forever therapy

Posted by mair on April 26, 2003, at 10:06:05

In reply to Re: Forever therapy allisonf, posted by Dinah on April 26, 2003, at 7:26:15

I picked up on this thread late. I frequently worry that I'm not making enough progress in therapy because I'm not fully committed or haven't allowed myself to form a strong connection with my therapist. I also sometimes tell her that i think she's the only one working in our therapy sessions. I've seen her for 4+ years now and twice a week for about 2 of them. She continually reassures me that she sees progress, that I shouldn't worry about being the "perfect patient," that I'm not her longest-running patient, and that she doesn't think I'm going to be there forever. When I'm looking at things more clearly I can see the progress too but I get frustrated by how slow the process is. She's also pretty convinced that it would be a huge mistake for me to terminate therapy and has jokingly said she'd go to great lengths to keep from letting that happen.

I started going 2x a week coming off a period when I was in very bad shape. I've come to see however that her desire to have me there that frequently has less to do with my sometimes precarious mental state and far more to do with the difficulty i have getting over the trust hump. I think she's trying to help me form that stronger connection and would view my becoming more dependent as a good sign.

I'm not at all thrilled about talking to her about our relationship, but fortunately she is and I do have to say it's getting easier for me to have difficult conversations. She's not obsessive about boundaries - there are lots of times when she shares information with me, particularly when we're comparing notes on managing things as working mothers.

But all that being said, I don't like that therapy is such a difficult process for me and I still wonder a lot of the time whether there's anything she really can do for me. Sometimes I question whether her confidence in my ability to get stronger through therapy is not grounded in reality as much as it is an outgrowth of her own overly optimistic view of what therapy can accomplish. I mean if therapists can't believe in therapy who can? Also sometimes I think she'd never terminate me even if she thought therapy with me wasn't a worthwhile exercise for me because she wouldn't want to trigger all of the rejection issues I have. Also when you have as much invested in a relationship or a process as I do, who wants to suddenly decide that it's all been a huge waste of money?

I have no easy answers for any of this. The bottom line is that I have to fall back on the notion that she knows what she's doing - so it all comes back to the "T" word (trust).

Mair

 

Re: Forever therapy Dinah

Posted by allisonf on April 26, 2003, at 19:01:32

In reply to Re: Forever therapy allisonf, posted by Dinah on April 26, 2003, at 7:26:15

Dinah, it's good to connect with you again too. I was really going thru a rough time last night and it was kind of a neat thing to see your post referring to our old transference thread!

My therapist and I did work things out about the "drive by". After her initial anger (which she did try to hide, but...), I think she was really able to deal with whatever anger/fear/hurt feelings she had about it outside of our therapy. While she knows all about my feelings for her, it is still really hard for me to confess when I do things like look her up on the internet, etc. I never go beyond the "public domain" as someone (noa?) brought up earlier, but I still feel kind of sleazy about it. More than anything, I just have a hard time reconciling these feelings. Everyone says you need to go thru this to grow in therapy, but does all this dependency really lead to a healthy outcome? How long does it have to take?

Eek! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to go on like that. It was just good to see a familiar name last night--thank you.
Take care--A

 

Re: Forever therapy fallsfall

Posted by allisonf on April 26, 2003, at 19:32:26

In reply to Re: Forever therapy, posted by fallsfall on April 26, 2003, at 9:34:37

fallsfall, nice to meet you too. I totally feel for you. I have thought sometimes that the only way to deal with my attachment feelings is to go cold turkey and never see her again...but I can't imagine a) this is a healthy thing to do, and b) how I could deal without the sound of her voice.

That's a fun idea to have an anniversary celebration. It's great that she goes for it. I have often thought of just bringing her a birthday present type thing to one of my sessions saying that since I don't know when her birthday is (I really don't--I didn't go that far on the internet stuff :) ), I just picked a day. It sounds like your therapist doesn't accept any gifts? I know the APA says no, but sometimes my therapist will accept a small gesture. Tho...I gave her a bracelet for Hanukkah and now I am sometimes preoccupied cking for it during my sessions. When she wears it (which she does a lot)...sigh. I guess this is why the APA says no gifts, huh? :) And no, we haven't talked about my bracelet issue yet.


Take care--A

 

Re: Forever therapy mair

Posted by Dinah on April 27, 2003, at 13:58:52

In reply to Re: Forever therapy, posted by mair on April 26, 2003, at 10:06:05

So you don't want forever therapy, Mair? :)

Four years isn't really all that long. My first five years were pretty much a waste of time. No, not true. My first five years were an ongoing struggle for me to trust. One that I don't think he'd ever quite experienced before. I think he came close to giving up more often than I did, although he only tells me that in retrospect. I challenged him, tested him, was truly obnoxious in some ways. And he was always professional and accepting towards me no matter how I behaved. He tells me now that I never did *behave* all that badly; he just never felt like he was getting through to me.

But when the moment came where I admitted to myself and to him that I trusted him, that I was dependent on him, when I allowed myself to be vulnerable to him, it was a complete and total change. It took him a year or so to catch on that what I had said previous to that was no longer true (if it ever was) and that my attitude had changed. Even now he sometimes has flashbacks to that period, although I've mostly forgotten it. After that moment, I was actually able to do the work of therapy, and it was amazing how much I had soaked up when neither of us thought I was listening.

I too wonder sometimes if there is any lasting value in therapy. Sure, it keeps me together at times I'm falling apart, but am I growing? I'm still not sure. I'm kind of hoping others see it before we do. But when I start to wonder about the long term benefits, I start looking at some on the board who've been in therapy for a while. Noa, Pfinistegg, Tabitha, to name a few. I don't know if it came naturally to them or they're therapy success stories, but they seem grounded in a way that I really admire. And I hope to be grounded one day myself that way.

And when I'm in doubt about the money and time, I do remind myself of one thing. My son (and husband) don't see even a fraction of the craziness my parents unleashed on me because I unleash it on my therapist instead. If no other good than that came from it, it would be worthwhile. (Boy, do I wish my parents had their own therapists.)

Do you see any ways that therapy has already helped you? Either by bringing about changes in your attitudes, or by helping you cope better day to day?

 

Re: Forever therapy allisonf

Posted by Dinah on April 27, 2003, at 14:12:01

In reply to Re: Forever therapy Dinah, posted by allisonf on April 26, 2003, at 19:01:32

I'm really glad to hear about the outcome, so I'm glad you posted. I admire your therapist's professionalism in coping with her feelings on her own time. Have you found that your feelings towards her have changed at all? Do they get in the way of other therapeutic work?

My therapist has always been relatively transparent. He talks about his private life in the casual way aquaintances do. He doesn't burden me with his troubles, but he's certainly not a blank screen. I think I'd be a lot more curious about the real him if he were a blank screen. So I guess I miss out on some of the classic transference stuff, but I think his style suits me better.

 

Re: Forever therapy Dinah

Posted by allisonf on April 27, 2003, at 21:50:38

In reply to Re: Forever therapy allisonf, posted by Dinah on April 27, 2003, at 14:12:01

You know, my feelings for my therapist haven't changed all that much since I posted a year ago. But I should explain more...I actually think (and my therapist agrees) that what's going on with my feelings for her are not just about classic transference. I was diagnosed bipolar II (rapid cycling) about 1 1/2 yrs ago. That's when I started therapy again with the main focus being stabilization of my mood and then dealing with my other issues.

When I had seen her for therapy in the past, it was usually b/c I was having difficulty with a relationship--not my primary romantic interest, but other mentor-like relationships I had developed (a professor or a man I was working with...). I would start to get close to them emotionally, and then I would develop infatuation like feelings...sounds rather Freudian, huh? So, we spent a lot of time looking at where this was coming from, how to think about and handle it, etc. But what we weren't seeing at the time was this energy factor that was associated with these relationships. When I had encounters with these people, I would be unable to sleep almost all night long, doing sit-ups or running outside late at night, writing in my journal about that person, thinking over and over of what I would say to them next, replaying what had happened with them, etc.--an incredible engery that we now have a name for--hypomania.

So, this time around in therapy b/c I had to deal with being vulnerable and dependent (I thought it was interesting in your post how you talk about this happening 5 years into therapy...and having to put your therapist thru a lot to get there) in a way that I never had to before I was "sick", I developed this infatuation for her. She says that she has experienced transference issues with other clients, but that my feelings are much more intense. And her style really does sounds a lot like your therapist in that she isn't really a blank screen and often does self-disclose very casually, and sometimes about very serious things...

I do know that a lot of what is tied up in my feelings for her is also tied up in my hypomanic tendencies. When I am in the normal part of a cycle, I barely think of her at all. Even when I am depressed, I sometimes wish for her comfort, but it's not that intensity that I feel for her when I am on the upswing. So, she keeps saying, if we can get me stabilized and in remission, perhaps these feelings will quiet down too.

In the meantime, to answer your question, these feelings sometimes get in the way of other therapeutic work, but sometimes affect it positively. Clearly, that bracelet thing is getting in the way. Also, when she self discloses things, it triggers the "I am special to her" thing, which just makes me take off. But she has said things that make me react like I would to my mother, and then we get to deal with those issues. Also, she's Jewish, and I have a Jewish background, and b/c of her I started to deal with a lot of my issues re:religion. I know it may not sound like it, but when I go thru a 4-6 week period of no cycling, we do get a lot done!

What kind of therapeutic orientation is your therapist? It sounds like he was also very professional when you described that process you went thru starting to trust and depend on him. Did something happen that made you start going thru that process at that time (you had said it was 5 yrs into your therapy)?

 

Re: Forever therapy allisonf

Posted by Dinah on April 28, 2003, at 12:22:41

In reply to Re: Forever therapy Dinah, posted by allisonf on April 27, 2003, at 21:50:38

That makes perfect sense to me. In fact, pragmatist that I am, it sounds wonderfully adaptive and clever of you. If you have problems with developing attachments to people during your hypomanic phases, diverting that attention to your therapist is safe, she understands it, and overall it is far better than the alternatives. It may not be the perfect long term solution, but until your meds take care of the hypomania or until you are able to put to rest that recurring theme, I think you should congratulate yourself.

If particular things that disturb therapy like the bracelet come up, you can discuss them with her. Did you ever talk to her about how her self-disclosure makes you feel? I don't think that my therapist's makes me feel special in any way. I rather suspect he self discloses the same way with everyone. And in his openness he manages to discourage any thoughts about specialness. The things he says sometimes!! It's a good thing I have a sense of humor about it.

I don't know what his theoretical orientation is. I think whenever I ask he says something like eclectic. I know he was very CBT oriented when I first went to see him, but he adjusted his style to the fact that CBT was not going to be really worthwhile to me straight up. He slips it in, but he doesn't push it. I think he's mentioned a few times that his goal is now providing a "good-enough" parenting experience for me. Teaching me that anger or being bad doesn't lead to rejection. That sort of thing.

I'm not really sure that I know why I learned to trust him after 5 years. It was an ah-hah experience. I had just come out of a meltdown where I was what I considered to be exceptionally annoying towards him. It suddenly occurred to me that he always treated me professionally and respectfully no matter how many times I quit therapy or called him hysterically or whatever. And I also realized that like it or not, I was attached. All I was accomplishing by denying it was a lot of turmoil. The deed was done, I might as well accept it. And he was safe (or as safe as any paid professional can be) to trust. I don't know really. I've had a few moments like that in my relationship with my husband. One where I realized that we actually were good together, and that all the differences I railed against were pretty minor in comparison to other people. I just didn't have anything to compare against. Again when I decided it was time to set a ring and a date. It was just a sudden shift in perspective. Same thing. Actually, I had those same sudden shifts with my parents too (in a negative direction), so it must be a personal relationship characteristic of mine. Hmmmm.... Interesting. :)

 

Re: Forever therapy Dinah

Posted by noa on April 28, 2003, at 16:20:18

In reply to Re: Forever therapy mair, posted by Dinah on April 27, 2003, at 13:58:52

Chiming in to this interesting thread....

Thank you Dinah, for seeing me as grounded. I think that I do owe whatever groundedness I have to all the therapy I've had, and (shall I also say?), to the work I have done in therapy.

I have had waves of depressive illness of varying severity, but my "baseline" before I ever started therapy also was problematic--I was a basket case of anxiety and lack of self esteem, and probably what is now termed "social phobia". OK, these are still "issues" but nowhere near what they were before therapy.

I do believe it helps but I also have at times felt like it was hard to see progress or that the progress was too slow, and feeling really frustrated with myself. But usually, those feelings were during depressed times. Or, when I was not quite ready to deal with some stuff that I was afraid would overwhelm me. Going to twice a week helped because it is easier to open up hard issues knowing that I don't have to close up for a whole week again. Overall, I most definitely see progress and how much therapy has helped me.

However, I think a good "fit" with a therapist is key. I think not only can progress not happen with a therapist who is a bad "fit", but it can make things worse. I saw this with a good friend of mine who got more and more depressed over time. What she had told me and another friend about her therapist had always kind of disturbed us, and when we saw her going way down hill fast, we just urged her as strongly as we could to get out of the therapy and find someone else. She did get out, and it has been taking a while to heal from that experience, but it was pretty clear that she was better off without therapy than with that particular therapist. She is just starting to look for a new therapist after taking a year and a half off from therapy.

 

Re: Forever therapy noa

Posted by Dinah on April 28, 2003, at 20:13:27

In reply to Re: Forever therapy Dinah, posted by noa on April 28, 2003, at 16:20:18

You should definitely also say the work you've done in therapy. :) I'm sorry I didn't add that. I'm sure it's possible to go to therapy interminably and not improve at all if you don't use it wisely.

But that leads to the big questions. What does hard work in therapy really look like? How do you know if you're really doing it? My therapist usually congratulates me on my hard work when I've emoted all over the place or when he's pushed me to the point where I lose my temper. Is that really what hard work is?

And also, how do you know if your therapist is the right fit for you? I know that sounds like a silly question, but like with romance, when you're in a relationship it's hard to judge it objectively.

Is a good session where you feel better than when you came in? Or is it when you walk in feeling fine and leave sick and shaky? How about a reasonable mix of both of those?

Sometimes I think it would be nice if therapy wasn't quite so private. If maybe once a year or so you went in for an exam, where a third party evaluates what's going on. On the other hand, I'd rip the throat out of anyone who jeopardized my therapuetic relationship (metaphorically of course).

 

Re: Forever therapy- Noa Dinah

Posted by mair on April 29, 2003, at 21:20:07

In reply to Re: Forever therapy noa, posted by Dinah on April 28, 2003, at 20:13:27

Dinah, those are all good questions. I'm frequently baffled by my inability to really quantify the benefits of therapy - other than the obvious benefit of having someone who sees that I'm slipping into a deeper depression far sooner than I do and who is there when I'm pretty much falling apart.

Most of the other benefits are those recognized in retrospect. Something routinely traumatic will happen and I'll realize that I haven't reacted as badly as I would before. We've spent alot of time hashing through work issues and while all of those issues are still there, I just seem to be able to distance myself from office turmoil better than I used to.

But of course the benefits are obscured by periodic episodes of depression, and by the difficulty I still have opening up to my therapist on all sorts of fronts. The relationship issues which seem to be interconnected to my very low self esteem are still troublesome, and since I'm so reluctant to really tackle these in therapy, I continually think it's just beyond my ability to progress as far as I need to.

I've also wondered about the "fit." I like my therapist alot and think she's very competent, but I'm rarely blown away by her insight or her intuitiveness. It's been a struggle for me to form a bond or connection to her. But I think all that says more about me than it does her, and more about why she wants me there twice a week. Lacking all that, what keeps me going, I guess, is her incredible patience and unending optimism that we can get where I want to go.

Mair

PS: I too, have no clue what hard work is. I've told her before that I frequently feel that she is the only one of the 2 of us who is actually working. She seems mystified that I could feel this way since therapy is often just very difficult for me. But i don't equate hard work with being very uncomfortable. The fact that I spend an inordinate amount of time in many sessions staring at the clock or figuring out how I can get out of there as soon as possible, (a trapped animal comes to mind), doesn't mean I'm working hard but rather that I'm trying to avoid working.

 

Re: Forever therapy- Noa Dinah mair

Posted by Dinah on April 29, 2003, at 22:54:54

In reply to Re: Forever therapy- Noa Dinah, posted by mair on April 29, 2003, at 21:20:07

I'm trying to decide if I have ever stared at the clock. Except to see how much time I had left. It never seems like there is enough time. Whatever issue we are discussing takes up the full session, and I usually have things I want to ask from the previous session as well. I don't know how I did it at once a week.

He likes to leave me with at least one question to think about from one session to the next, although he isn't obvious enough to be irritating about it.

 

Re: Forever therapy- Noa Dinah Dinah

Posted by mair on April 30, 2003, at 7:39:21

In reply to Re: Forever therapy- Noa Dinah mair, posted by Dinah on April 29, 2003, at 22:54:54

I guess "stare at the clock" isn't precisely accurate. Like you, I do have many sessions where I glance at it and see that there's far less time than I might want. But I also have sessions where I'll glance at the clock at a difficult moment and be horrified to see that there is too much time left. I won't then start at the clock, but I will continually glance at it and my therapist does notice this. I've also fended off difficult questions with a remark that there is not enough time to answer it.

When things are more difficult, I have a great deal of trouble maintaining eye contact. If I'm not staring at the clock, my eyes are locked into something else, like a point on the arm chair I sit in or a point in a picture on the wall. I definitely try to withdraw.

I'm amazed you can "chew" on things between sessions. It's horrifying to me how much I forget from one session to the next - I may remember how I felt when I left, but can't seem to put my finger on why. It's good that she takes notes.

My tendency to forget (and to avoid cogitating about what we talked about) is a liability to progress, and yet another thing I can criticize myself for.

Mair

 

Re: Forever therapy- Noa Dinah mair

Posted by Dinah on April 30, 2003, at 7:59:22

In reply to Re: Forever therapy- Noa Dinah Dinah, posted by mair on April 30, 2003, at 7:39:21

Don't criticize yourself for that, Mair. "Forgetting" is a self protective measure and probably enables you to go to work and function ok, which I'm not always able to do if the subject matter is difficult. And I am fuzzy on a lot of details sometimes, again depending on what was discussed. I guess my mind just picks up on a question he asked that I wasn't able to answer and in true obsessive fashion, focusses on it.

As far as eye contact - I have only a rough idea of what my therapist looks like. But I can describe in detail his office, his rug, and most especially his shoes. (grin) His voice is what I focus on. I'm pretty sure it's not uncommon to have difficulty making eye contact.

Mair, don't be so hard on yourself. You've made a lot of progress, from what you've said. Not spinning as far out of control over things is a big improvement. Does your therapist think you're making progress?

 

Re: Forever therapy

Posted by fallsfall on April 30, 2003, at 9:56:46

In reply to Re: Forever therapy- Noa Dinah mair, posted by Dinah on April 30, 2003, at 7:59:22

I saw my therapist yesterday and I am still alive to write about it. My homework was to make a list of the needs that she satisfies (describe the way in which I am dependent). I was terrified - terrified that I would be right and terrified that I would be wrong and she would think I was an idiot (she found that funny in an endearing kind of way - she hasn't thought me an idiot in 8 years, why would she start now?).

The needs go like this: I need her to verify my worth - my goodness. I used to define my worth by what I accomplished (work, kids, ice skating). But these days I don't accomplish anything, so I look to her for my worth. If she were gone, I would be neither good nor bad - I would be empty. I would have no self because my self is defined by her. I would have no goals or future because I had no self. I would be worthless because I would have no self, so I would be unable to do anything.

She was clearly impressed by the work that I had done. She seemed to be in agreement. She said that to create/find (?) myself that I need to get out in the world. That messages from the world would help me define who I am. It seems strange that something so simple (getting a life) could fix something so fundamental.

She had also presented my case to her peer supervision group - I guess I'm her problem child. They suggested reducing to every other week in September. They also said that if I am still this distressed in September that I should switch therapists (I agree with that).

For now, I am keeping my mind busy so I can't think. I read Psychology books that I get at the University library. If I let my mind think, I cry.

Somehow I don't think I'll get my forever therapy.

Thanks for listening

 

Re: Forever therapy fallsfall

Posted by Dinah on April 30, 2003, at 10:21:47

In reply to Re: Forever therapy, posted by fallsfall on April 30, 2003, at 9:56:46

I am so sorry. I can't quite imagine what her supervisory group is thinking. This sounds more like her problem than yours. But I guess it's right in that if she can't professionally handle your dependency needs, you should find another therapist who can, for your own sake.

I need to be even more appreciative of my therapist now. (Is that even possible?)

 

Re: Forever therapy Dinah

Posted by fallsfall on April 30, 2003, at 10:51:28

In reply to Re: Forever therapy fallsfall, posted by Dinah on April 30, 2003, at 10:21:47

They are saying that if I am still miserable in September that she is not helping me. I have been miserable for 2 months now, if I am still miserable in 4 months, I think that is enough. This pain level is extremely high. I don't want more than 6 months of it.

It is getting better (slowly) so I don't think that will be an issue. I'm feeling like she understands a little better - that she is listening better.

So I take a deep breath and try to decide if I will think too much if I take my dogs for a walk.

Thank you, Dinah.

 

Re: Forever therapy

Posted by allisonf on May 1, 2003, at 16:21:15

In reply to Re: Forever therapy allisonf, posted by Dinah on April 28, 2003, at 12:22:41

Thanks, Dinah, for seeing this crazy stuff with my therapist in a positive way. This is why I haven't tried to switch therapists. I'm convinced that this is some mechanism to deal with my hypomanic energy (even tho the obsessive thinking that goes on isn't very pleasant)and that I will just end up in love with the next therapist the same way. That's why, fallsfall, it just seems unfair that your therapist wants to go to every other week or to terminate in Sept. if you're not feeling better about the dependency thing. And you've been with her 8 years! The fact that *she* (or her supervision group) is instigating it makes it seem like she's the one with the issue to work out there. I think it's marvelous that you were able to be so honest with yourself about your self definition/self worth and then be so open with her about it. That's what I think is good work in therapy. I have an optomistic view that stuff like that really helps you function better outside of therapy in the long run.

I am so sensitive to this issue b/c I've been going thru something sort of similar with my therapist, tho my dependency on her is packaged in a romantic infatuation rather than the more honest way yours is. I was inspired by you and Dinah and this week, and I did talk to her about the transference issues in therapy. I didn't end up discussing the bracelet tho I did talk about the self-disclosure piece which she already knew anyway. BTW, Dinah, it was really interesting to me that self-disclosure doesn't really affect you the same way. I swear, we need more books like In Session. Therapy is too private an experience (like you said in an earlier post) and I am always wondering if other clients go thru what I do. Like not being able to make eye contact. Until you all were posting about it, I thought I was the only one.

Anyway, therapy was kind of a bummer, b/c even tho our rapport was good, I got the impression that she was uncomfortable with the topic. Like she ended the session 5 minutes early. She has *never* in all the years I've known her, ended early & she routinely keeps me about 10-15 minutes late. I ended up having a 1/2 phone session yesterday to clear things up. That went really well. She assured me that I can discuss my feelings for her in therapy, and that I shouldn't worry about making her uncomfortable b/c she has other people to go to if she needs support. And no, I didn't bring up the ending early b/c she ended up keeping me a lot later than 1/2 of a session on the phone. (And I chickened out). The whole thing made me really want to work thru this tho...and my plan was exactly what you have been talking about, fallsfall: getting a life. I'm hoping there's something to that. That if I was in school or had a job (I'm home with my kids now), and had less time to obsess about therapy & less time to write about my therapist, that I would get past this dependency thing quicker. Oh, I don't know...


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