Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 310138

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I spoke about this board today

Posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 11:04:42

With my therapist. About all the self disclosing on the part of therapists. He said he had never told anyone he had sexual fantasies about them, or in any way disclosed a sexual interest, although he might tell someone he thought they were attractive.

He also tends to think that clients who obsess about sex, or in my case dependency, are trying to avoid real therapeutic work. I disagreed with him on that one, as my take is that those obsessions are part of the client's problems and thus grist for the mill. For example, I now see him as a secure base, but it took years of obsessing about abandonment before I was able to do that. And I think that *is* therapeutic work.

He also thinks it's a client's responsibility to disclose if the attraction to the therapist is part of their normal way of relating to people. I sort of thought that therapists were trained to at least ask about that sort of thing, and not assume that they were so intrinsically desirable that they were the only one the to whom client ever related sexually. He says that if a therapist is experiencing sexual desire that he might not be able to see what would ordinarily be visible. Now there's where I get lost. I can't quite grasp that sexual attraction thing. To me it shouldn't be different than any other feeling. (wrinkled brow, puzzled look)

Which led us to the topic of supervision. He says that he's always been in supervision, but that it's difficult to talk about sexual attraction because it's embarassing and also because it feels good to enjoy the titillation of a sexually charged relationship. But he at least allowed me to believe that he wouldn't give in to the weakness, and would seek supervision. Of course in discussing all this he inadvertantly implied that he does indeed feel sexual attraction to clients, although he was careful to let me know that he didn't fantasize about me. Which is both reassuring and obvious, I'm afraid, since I'm not particularly fantasy material.

Now, if you've read this far, I'll let you in on my terrible secret. I admitted that while I didn't want a sexual reaction from him, I did want to feel special to him. And that I liked it when I got an emotional reaction from him and may in fact even try for one. He asked me what it meant to me if I got an emotional reaction from him (duh!). I told him that getting an emotional reaction meant he was emotionally engaged and that it felt good to know he was emotionally engaged. He told me it was ok to want anything from anyone and it was ok to ask for it, and that it was also ok that sometimes the answer would be no. I asked if it was ok to ask for emotional engagement, and he replied that husbands and wives and family members asked for it all the time. I asked him if it was ok to ask for it from a therapist, and he said yes. I asked him if a client would be told no, and he said not necessarily, or that maybe the answer would be yes, or something like that. I sure as h*ll am not going to ask. :D

(He too was shocked that four percent of those psychologists surveyed thought it wasn't necessarily bad to disrobe in front of a client.)

 

Re: I *have* to stop obsessing

Posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 11:42:33

In reply to I spoke about this board today, posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 11:04:42

We stopped today because we ran out of time, and I didn't get a chance to tell him that what I *read* from him with regard to how he feels about me is a mild revulsion based on his own transference problems with dependent women (tho I am NOT a woman, and refuse to be one). And also a mild disgust of the way I groom myself, of the sort you might feel for a slovenly housekeeper (I'm glad he hasn't seen my house, come to think of it).

It is going to seem like forever till Tuesday when I can tell him and guage his reaction.

 

Re: I *have* to stop obsessing Dinah

Posted by antigua on February 6, 2004, at 12:05:03

In reply to Re: I *have* to stop obsessing, posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 11:42:33

Maybe you should call him to get it out of your mind.
antigua

 

Re: I spoke about this board today

Posted by Miss Honeychurch on February 6, 2004, at 12:39:39

In reply to I spoke about this board today, posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 11:04:42

>
> (He too was shocked that four percent of those psychologists surveyed thought it wasn't necessarily bad to disrobe in front of a client.)

You're kidding!!! Dinah, where did you read that?

I think your therapist handled all of the questioning very professionally. I thank my lucky stars for Bean evry day, especially after some of the tales told here.

 

Re: I spoke about this board today Miss Honeychurch

Posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 12:45:53

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today, posted by Miss Honeychurch on February 6, 2004, at 12:39:39

http://kspope.com/ethics/research4.php

It's an interesting read.

It's funny that it was a topic of therapy that had nothing ostensibly to do with me, and yet we managed to connect it in several meaningful ways to my own therapy. I like it when sessions work out that way.

 

Re: I *have* to stop obsessing antigua

Posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 12:51:37

In reply to Re: I *have* to stop obsessing Dinah, posted by antigua on February 6, 2004, at 12:05:03

I can't. :( Although it occurred to me. But I have to be there in person to feel his response.

Because that can be telling. I asked at the end of today's session if I could ask him something. And I didn't get my usual reassuring yes, but rather some hemming and hawwing. And I could just "feel" his fear that I would confess that I wanted him madly. rofl.

Where really I was taken aback by the implication that he actually felt sexual desire sometimes, never mind to whom.

 

Re: I spoke about this board today

Posted by Fallen4myT on February 6, 2004, at 13:03:48

In reply to I spoke about this board today, posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 11:04:42

Hi I think it is really good that you told him about wanting to be special to him and his reply was good. I know I am kind of special to my T for reasons I am afraid to post on the boards lest people rip me and him for it but I wish he would just say it so I would be 100% sure. You were brave :)
Lol and I don't know about that disrobing dealio bit thats kind of funny to think of

 

Re: I spoke about this board today

Posted by shortelise on February 6, 2004, at 13:07:28

In reply to I spoke about this board today, posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 11:04:42

I feel reassured when I get an emotional response from my shrink as it feels like I pull him out of shrink mode when I do that.

It used to feel awful. I wanted him to be completely strong and composed. When his eyes would redden with tears if I told him something particularly awful, it felt like he was weak, and I neeed strength in him. But in fact, it's part of empathy and doesn't mean weakness. When I have angered or frustrated him, it felt good because I was so upset myself. Hm. That doesn;t sound very nice of me, but do we have to be "nice" to our therapists?

Shorte

 

Re: I *have* to stop obsessing Dinah

Posted by Penny on February 6, 2004, at 13:10:58

In reply to Re: I *have* to stop obsessing antigua, posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 12:51:37

> Where really I was taken aback by the implication that he actually felt sexual desire sometimes, never mind to whom.

Yes, I can understand that, since your T is a eunuch, right?

I have discussed with my pdoc and T about the topics on this board regarding self-disclosure of therapists. I think both of them pretty much draw the line at disclosing things about themselves of a sexual nature.

And that stat, about disrobing in front of clients ... ummm ... at what point in a session would that ever come up? How did someone even think to ask that question in a survey? Oh my...

(((Dinah)))

P

 

Re: I spoke about this board today Dinah

Posted by DaisyM on February 6, 2004, at 17:00:34

In reply to I spoke about this board today, posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 11:04:42

>>>>He also tends to think that clients who obsess about sex, or in my case dependency, are trying to avoid real therapeutic work. I disagreed with him on that one, as my take is that those obsessions are part of the client's problems and thus grist for the mill. For example, I now see him as a secure base, but it took years of obsessing about abandonment before I was able to do that. And I think that *is* therapeutic work.

<<<<I have a friend who is a retired Therapist and she thinks the same thing. When I talk about fears of abandonment or being overly dependent, she always asks, "and how much time did that take away from the "real" issue?" I agree with you though. It is part of the issue, because if you can't establish trust how could you ever get to any "real" issues. Plus this type of thinking assumes that the client already knows what their issues are.

I hope you know you are special - both to your Therapist and to us here. You Therapist must think so after all this time. Emotional engagement is not something I've thought about a lot because I just expect it. And then worry about it!

I think most of us wonder if our Therapist's EVER think about us between sessions. I feel like I had that questioned answered this week. On Monday we talked about using a workbook for writing assignments but my Therapist couldn't remember the name of the book he wanted to recommend. He said he would get it for me, if I wanted him to. I gave a pretty low key, "that would be great" expecting him to forget about it. He had the name of the book by Wed and he had checked to see if one of the local bookstores had it. (they did). So, I guess they *do* think about us too.

 

Re: I spoke about this board today

Posted by alexandra_k on February 6, 2004, at 18:38:32

In reply to I spoke about this board today, posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 11:04:42

I love to get a genuine emotional reaction too. Because then it is like yes, they are human too and it shows that they care, they care enough to be upset or mad or happy or whatever.

I have never thought to ask for this though. How can you just ask someone to be emotionally responsive??? Can you give or withhold it at will? Well, I guess you sort of can but I think that the best sort of emotional response to get is the one where they are kind of suprised into it unawares. Not all the time or it is no fun at all, but it is nice to see a bit of humanity from behind the professional veneer of aloof, objective reason. Just every now and then...

Can anyone think of a plausible reason where it may be appropriate for a T or p-doc to disrobe in front of a client???? I am trying really hard, but I can't think up anything even remotely plausible though would be somewhat reassured about those 4% if I could. otherwise there are a fair few more nutters out there then one would have supposed is all i can say about that.

 

Re: I spoke about this board today

Posted by Fallen4myT on February 6, 2004, at 18:46:10

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today, posted by alexandra_k on February 6, 2004, at 18:38:32

Unless they were about to have consensual sex with the client I cannot think of a reason for a T to get naked in front of a client either....This makes me lmao. If my T just took his clothes off to show me SOMETHING like a mole or *something* I think I would laugh forever

 

Re: I spoke about this board today Fallen4myT

Posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 18:58:32

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today, posted by Fallen4myT on February 6, 2004, at 18:46:10

lol. me too. Although (ok, this is confession day) I did lift my shirt a bit one day with his permission to show him some self injury that I was rather worried about. Not high enough to show my bra or anything.

But I would hope he would never find the need to do anything similar.

This was a survey of psychologists. Do sex surrogates have a degree in psychology?

 

Re: I spoke about this board today DaisyM

Posted by Penny on February 6, 2004, at 19:02:19

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today Dinah, posted by DaisyM on February 6, 2004, at 17:00:34

>I think most of us wonder if our Therapist's EVER think about us between sessions.

When I returned from Thanksgiving, my T actually said, "I was thinking about you, and your having to deal with your family, over the holiday." And I have no doubt she was.

How could they not think about us? I'm not a therapist, but I'll be darned if I can completely not think about my unimportant work when I'm not there. Our T's do important work - they would have to think about it in between sessions...

It's nice to know.

P

 

Re: I spoke about this board today DaisyM

Posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 19:05:28

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today Dinah, posted by DaisyM on February 6, 2004, at 17:00:34

> <<<<I have a friend who is a retired Therapist and she thinks the same thing. When I talk about fears of abandonment or being overly dependent, she always asks, "and how much time did that take away from the "real" issue?" I agree with you though. It is part of the issue, because if you can't establish trust how could you ever get to any "real" issues

In my case, my inability to trust *is* a central issue, in and out of therapy. It took me five years to get to even start obessing about losing him because it took me that long to trust him enough to start admitting any concern. Then it took me another three years to get past the fear of trusting, because he might abandon me. :) The rest of my life is the same. I'm afraid to do anything for fear of losing what I gain. How he can say that isn't therapeutic work! (shakes head wonderingly) I'm quite wrung out just thinking about it.

>
> I hope you know you are special - both to your Therapist and to us here. You Therapist must think so after all this time. Emotional engagement is not something I've thought about a lot because I just expect it. And then worry about it!
>
Your therapist seems very emotionally engaged. Mine doesn't. The pdoc from H*ll (standard disclaimer, I'm sure he isn't actually from H*ll) told me once that he was a bad therapist match for me because he stays too much in his head. Of course, said pdoc scared the living daylights out of me. I only get very very brief glimpses of emotional engagement. Other than anger, which isn't really what I'm aiming for.

 

Re: I spoke about this board today alexandra_k

Posted by Penny on February 6, 2004, at 19:05:48

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today, posted by alexandra_k on February 6, 2004, at 18:38:32

>Can anyone think of a plausible reason where it may be appropriate for a T or p-doc to disrobe in front of a client???? I am trying really hard, but I can't think up anything even remotely plausible though would be somewhat reassured about those 4% if I could. otherwise there are a fair few more nutters out there then one would have supposed is all i can say about that.

Perhaps if something was on fire and there was nothing to smother the flames, then the T would take off his shirt? :-b

Sorry, I couldn't resist being a bit silly - the thought that 4% would say that is frightening to me!!! I hope I never meet one of them...

Or maybe they were referring in particular to sex surrogates, which, I guess, are a type of therapist...

But, anyway...I'll shut up now. :-(

P

 

Re: I spoke about this board today Penny

Posted by Fallen4myT on February 6, 2004, at 19:16:36

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today DaisyM, posted by Penny on February 6, 2004, at 19:02:19

My T has told me he was thinking of me over dinner and stuff like that and thinking who do I go to for help cause I am so sweet and kind so they do think of us..and he has told me I made his blood pressure go up when and so on..


> >I think most of us wonder if our Therapist's EVER think about us between sessions.
>
> When I returned from Thanksgiving, my T actually said, "I was thinking about you, and your having to deal with your family, over the holiday." And I have no doubt she was.
>
> How could they not think about us? I'm not a therapist, but I'll be darned if I can completely not think about my unimportant work when I'm not there. Our T's do important work - they would have to think about it in between sessions...
>
> It's nice to know.
>
> P

 

Re: I spoke about this board today alexandra_k

Posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 19:18:14

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today, posted by alexandra_k on February 6, 2004, at 18:38:32

> I love to get a genuine emotional reaction too. Because then it is like yes, they are human too and it shows that they care, they care enough to be upset or mad or happy or whatever.
>
Exactly!! Though he gets angry often enough that it really isn't what I'm looking for.

> I have never thought to ask for this though. How can you just ask someone to be emotionally responsive??? Can you give or withhold it at will? Well, I guess you sort of can but I think that the best sort of emotional response to get is the one where they are kind of suprised into it unawares. Not all the time or it is no fun at all, but it is nice to see a bit of humanity from behind the professional veneer of aloof, objective reason. Just every now and then...
>
Yeah, I was thinking of the asking part myself after I posted. I mean, how can you *ask* for that? It's either there or it isn't. I do know that he thinks I'm too passive in therapy and may be encouraging me to be more active. So I thought of a way to be more active without asking for something that you really can't ask for (and that he said he may or may not say no to). It occurs to me that I may not appear emotionally engaged myself. And since my therapist doesn't appear to have a problem with emotional engagement in general, perhaps my manner is inhibiting him. So I'm going to ask him if I appropriately reveal my emotional engagement with *him*, and if not could he give me some feedback to help me express myself better.

All that being said, he's told me he cares about me a lot of times, including times I know he's flat out lying because he's a lousy liar. But the times I surprise a southern drawl out of him are the times that make my session.

Am I awful? It's just that I care a lot about him, and it would be nice if he at least had some fondness for me. Especially after nine years at between two times a week and two times a month. Although I suppose I spend more time than that with people at work, and I don't have a discernible amount of fondness for them.

Sigh. I guess it's too much to ask for. I pay for his time, not his caring.

 

Re: I spoke about this board today Dinah

Posted by Fallen4myT on February 6, 2004, at 19:22:09

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today Fallen4myT, posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 18:58:32

HAHAHA I think it must be a form of shock therapy :) It would bust me outta ANY anxiety attack or depression and I know I would lmao into tomorrow.....I cannot believe you lifted your shirt I admire a lot of people in here cause you all have guts..I will confess I have worn short short shirts and oops shown some...well flashed but did it like it was an accident. I can see some T just getting up and while talking taking his clothes off hahahaha too funny


> lol. me too. Although (ok, this is confession day) I did lift my shirt a bit one day with his permission to show him some self injury that I was rather worried about. Not high enough to show my bra or anything.
>
> But I would hope he would never find the need to do anything similar.
>
> This was a survey of psychologists. Do sex surrogates have a degree in psychology?

 

Re: I spoke about this board today

Posted by Fallen4myT on February 6, 2004, at 19:26:29

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today alexandra_k, posted by Penny on February 6, 2004, at 19:05:48

LMFAO don't shut up youre making me lol and I needed that :)

> >Can anyone think of a plausible reason where it may be appropriate for a T or p-doc to disrobe in front of a client???? I am trying really hard, but I can't think up anything even remotely plausible though would be somewhat reassured about those 4% if I could. otherwise there are a fair few more nutters out there then one would have supposed is all i can say about that.
>
> Perhaps if something was on fire and there was nothing to smother the flames, then the T would take off his shirt? :-b
>
> Sorry, I couldn't resist being a bit silly - the thought that 4% would say that is frightening to me!!! I hope I never meet one of them...
>
> Or maybe they were referring in particular to sex surrogates, which, I guess, are a type of therapist...
>
> But, anyway...I'll shut up now. :-(
>
> P
>

 

Re: I spoke about this board today Fallen4myT

Posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 19:28:37

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today Dinah, posted by Fallen4myT on February 6, 2004, at 19:22:09

Well, there was no particular sexuality about that incident, and the sight of my stomach at the time would tend to decrease rather than increase libido. But I do think it was nice of him to let me show him what was scaring me, because I was scared that I was totally losing my mind. And on another occasion he touched a scab on my lower arm. It meant a lot to me that he wasn't too repulsed. Well, frankly he was repulsed, so it meant a lot of it that he was able to put his feelings aside.

 

Re: I *have* to stop obsessing Penny

Posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 19:30:33

In reply to Re: I *have* to stop obsessing Dinah, posted by Penny on February 6, 2004, at 13:10:58

> > Where really I was taken aback by the implication that he actually felt sexual desire sometimes, never mind to whom.
>
> Yes, I can understand that, since your T is a eunuch, right?
>
Yes, thank you for reminding me of that. :) It was a bit in question today, but now I am regaining my confidence in that fact.

 

Re: I spoke about this board today

Posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 19:32:58

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today, posted by shortelise on February 6, 2004, at 13:07:28

> I feel reassured when I get an emotional response from my shrink as it feels like I pull him out of shrink mode when I do that.
>
> It used to feel awful. I wanted him to be completely strong and composed. When his eyes would redden with tears if I told him something particularly awful, it felt like he was weak, and I neeed strength in him. But in fact, it's part of empathy and doesn't mean weakness. When I have angered or frustrated him, it felt good because I was so upset myself. Hm. That doesn;t sound very nice of me, but do we have to be "nice" to our therapists?
>
> Shorte

I've always felt that the therapeutic relationship was wonderful because we can trust our therapists to take care of their own needs. :) Not that I'm "frustrating" on purpose, but I don't try to be someone I'm not, either.

 

Oops. Above for (nm) shortelise

Posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 19:33:23

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today, posted by shortelise on February 6, 2004, at 13:07:28

 

Re: I spoke about this board today Dinah

Posted by Fallen4myT on February 6, 2004, at 19:40:00

In reply to Re: I spoke about this board today Fallen4myT, posted by Dinah on February 6, 2004, at 19:28:37

Wow you are worse than me you knock yourself down hard. I bet he was NOT repulsed at all and he sounds sweet and caring to help rid of your fears my T would do the same but I am toooooo shy no matter HOW scared I was


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