Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 373996

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Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club! tabitha

Posted by Dinah on August 6, 2004, at 23:32:05

In reply to Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by tabitha on August 5, 2004, at 1:41:36

My vote is that you're more than welcome. What could make you miss your therapist more than having her replaced by the alien pod people? The only problem I foresee is the countdown. Perhaps we can replace it with a count-up? And try to research the average length of therapist alien replacement programs. :(

I am sorry you're having to go through this though. It's got to be tough.

 

Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club! pegasus

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 7, 2004, at 0:54:51

In reply to Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by pegasus on August 4, 2004, at 12:27:54

My T is going away October 1-15, so he's later than everyone else's T, but I'd love to join anyway. Let's see...

Coping while away: We're mounting a counterattack by flying to Wales to explore and hike. It helps a lot to be leaving also, and because he's an analyst, I have to pay him if I take more than two weeks away per year while he's at work. So we try to arrange our vacations around his. I also take my journal with me on these trips, and write to him, or about him, in it every day. Sometimes writing and remembering wonderful therapy moments is the biggest help of all. I also write him postcards, which always arrive in a bunch after I'm back at work with him! When asked, he always says missing and remembering is much healthier than feeling alone or abandonned, so I try to work towards that.

The best thing: a vacation for me from the work of going EVERY day, and saying everything that flashes through my mind.

The worst thing: he is so important to me right now that I feel almost heartbroken when i can't see him- it just aches.

How am I doing? Much better! No more Lexapro, which has allowed me to feel much more strongly about things- both joyful and sorrowful (and has given me back a sex life). No need for TMS for the last six months. Less anxiety. While the therapy gets harder and harder, the rest of life is really getting a lot better.

I love the idea of sharing our most wonderful moments in therapy as a way to soothe ourselves while they are gone.

 

Mine had an emergency -- at the same time I did

Posted by Racer on August 7, 2004, at 13:21:01

In reply to Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by pegasus on August 4, 2004, at 12:27:54

So, my emergency came up just in time for my therapist to leave on a family emergency, and our marriage counselor to go on vacation.

Not exactly a therapist's vacation, but can I be an honorary member?

 

Fun Threads

Posted by mair on August 7, 2004, at 16:37:56

In reply to Mine had an emergency -- at the same time I did, posted by Racer on August 7, 2004, at 13:21:01

I like the idea of sharing pet peeves. Also, a couple of years ago we had a thread about words that seem to only (or mostly only) be used in therapy.

It might also be fun to have each of us describe our therapist's office - both its external and internal setting.

Just some ideas -

We need to collect these potential threads in the same way that I'm starting to collect books to read while I'm on vacation.

Mair

 

Re: Mine had an emergency -- at the same time I did Racer

Posted by Dinah on August 7, 2004, at 19:46:24

In reply to Mine had an emergency -- at the same time I did, posted by Racer on August 7, 2004, at 13:21:01

Certainly! I found that even more distressing than a vacation. My therapist's mother died last year, and between missing him for the two or three weeks he was gone and worry about him and worry about whether he would really be a good therapist for a while, I was a wreck.

So honorary status granted.

 

Re: Countdowns pegasus

Posted by Dinah on August 7, 2004, at 19:50:56

In reply to Countdowns, posted by pegasus on August 5, 2004, at 12:46:40

Ok, I've got the figures. But I insist on using my idiosyncratic therapist absence count down method. (Can't say vacation since mine will be gone on business *again*).

Mine leaves on the 21st and comes back on the 28th. I don't count weekends so that is only five days. I sleep 8 hours a day (or lets pretend that's the average). So 8 times five is 40 hours. Forty hours is close to two days, so my therapist will only be gone 3 to 3 1/2 days. I can manage that. I often go 3 to 3 1/2 days without seeing him.

 

LOL - by your method, I'm practically done! (nm)

Posted by pegasus on August 7, 2004, at 22:06:15

In reply to Re: Countdowns pegasus, posted by Dinah on August 7, 2004, at 19:50:56

 

Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club! pegasus

Posted by fallsfall on August 7, 2004, at 22:39:27

In reply to Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by pegasus on August 4, 2004, at 12:27:54

Well, I'm a little late, but that is because I was on vacation - because my therapist is on vacation.

> When did T leave on vaca?
I saw him last on 7/23

> When is T coming back?
I see him on 8/9 - Wow - that's day after tomorrow!

> What coping strategies will you use?
I saw my pdoc during the first week he was gone, and went on vacation myself the second week.

> List one good thing about your T being gone:
I could go to my parents' cottage on the lake without missing any therapy appointments.

> List the worst thing about your T being gone:
I need him.

> How are you doing right now?
I'll make it until Monday. Then I will completely fall apart in his office. I thought I was going to "fragment" during the first week. I had to stop driving because I wasn't driving safely (no concentration). I've been taking extra meds (Ativan, for sleep and also during the day, and Ritalin to try to help the driving - not particularly successful). I had a horrible nightmare this past week. I had to deal with my parents for 2 days. My 16 year old was totally "bored" the whole vacation - I would have been too, if I had refused to do as many things as she did. I'm completely exhausted now. The good thing is my 21 year old wanted to cuddle a lot this week (that was heaven).

35 1/2 hours until I see him. He actually may be home now!

 

Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!

Posted by lulula on August 7, 2004, at 23:13:08

In reply to Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by pegasus on August 4, 2004, at 12:27:54

Yes, August is the month of vacations for therapist ... there was even a book entitled "August" out 20+ years ago ...
Anyway, my T leaves next Wednesday for 2 weeks.
Best thing about missing therapy ... $$$ saving
all that money.
Instead, I plan on treating my family out for dinner at least once. And I'm picking up more hours at work to keep busy.
Worse part: the support. I see her twice a week, so it will be a little tough.
I like everyone's suggestions. Good Luck everyone!

 

I guess math does come in handy in the real world! (nm) Dinah

Posted by Aphrodite on August 8, 2004, at 7:17:15

In reply to Re: Countdowns pegasus, posted by Dinah on August 7, 2004, at 19:50:56

 

Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!

Posted by lulula on August 8, 2004, at 8:22:43

In reply to Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club! pegasus, posted by Pfinstegg on August 7, 2004, at 0:54:51

Phinstegg - I really liked your message that missing or remembering is healthier than feeling lonely or abandoned ... good thought. Pet peeves? Sometimes my T sense of humor is out of place. I think she shares a funny story to help me see the humor in a similar situation, but I'm not ready to joke about it yet. OH ... biggest pet peeve .... even though she doesn't answer her phone during sessions, she does leave the ringer on. It stops after the 2nd ring, but why leave the ringer on at all?
A few months ago, she received a text message on her cell phone (presumably from her children). She told me she had to return the call, and left the office for about 5 minutes. It was so tempting to be alone in her office and see what she writes in her book, or see if I recognize any names in her appointment book, BUT NO, I just continued laying down. My conscious is stronger than my need to snoop. T did add an additional 10 minutes to the end of the session.
And I do think she is compassionate and supportive and appropriate 99% of the time.
Our last session before a 2 week vacation is tomorrow. Wish me luck.

 

Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club! lulula

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 8, 2004, at 19:16:52

In reply to Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by lulula on August 8, 2004, at 8:22:43

I do wish you the best possible luck during this time.

 

Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!

Posted by lookdownfish on August 9, 2004, at 6:22:36

In reply to Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by pegasus on August 4, 2004, at 12:27:54

I'm joining:
When did T leave on vaca?
21st July
When is T coming back?
7th Sepember - a whole crazy 6 weeks without her.

Coping strategies:
Some long and involved daydreams about going on holiday with her / stuck in a lift with her etc.
I must confess to cycling down her street once a week (blush).

List one good thing about your T being gone:
I can take a step back and see a few improvements in my life, probably as a result of therapy, that are long-term and sustainable.

List the worst thing about your T being gone:
Cannot process the bad days with anyone. End up moaning at poor husband who can only take so much... and tries to fix the problems.

How are you doing right now?
7/10

 

He came back!

Posted by fallsfall on August 9, 2004, at 16:02:49

In reply to Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by lookdownfish on August 9, 2004, at 6:22:36

Just wanted you all to know that my therapist DID come back from his 2 week long vacation, and I made it to my appointment to see him.

It was a grueling 2 weeks - harder than I expected, due mostly to stress caused by my 16 year old daughter. I had a friend drive me to and from the appointment because my driving has been unsafe recently (concentration issues).

He was tanned and smiling (but wearing a regular tie - not a bowtie like I had hoped). His blank slate face seemed to be a bit out of practice. He was nice to me - just asked clarifying questions, and then mentioned that I did survive his vacation (though he did seem to understand that it was pretty hard).

I hope it is a long time before his next vacation!!!!!

 

Re: He came back!

Posted by pegasus on August 9, 2004, at 22:58:20

In reply to He came back!, posted by fallsfall on August 9, 2004, at 16:02:49

Yay! Thanks for letting us know. Do you know where he went? Somewhere sunny I guess.

Congrats for making it through, despite the difficult things going on. I hope your concentration improves soon.

I hope you'll stay in the club to help the rest of us deal with vacation season, too!

pegasus

 

Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!

Posted by pegasus on August 9, 2004, at 23:00:05

In reply to Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by cubic_me on August 5, 2004, at 5:18:21

Sorry newcomers for no welcome yet. I'm a little behind. But I'll update the countdowns soon. Feel free to suggest your own method of counting down (a la Dinah or otherwise). For example, you might want to only ever have one day left. One day at a time works well for a lot of folks. I'll count 'em however you need 'em.

pegasus

 

Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!

Posted by Joslynn on August 9, 2004, at 23:16:14

In reply to Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by pegasus on August 9, 2004, at 23:00:05

I know I have asked this question before: Do a misproportionate number of therapists seem to go to Maine or is it just my imagination? What's that all about? Should Maine license plates say: The Therapist State? What is the deal with Maine?

I know someone who lives in NYC and he said that everyone is in a crabby mood in NYC in September because all the shrinks are on vacation that month.

My question, sort of the reverse: When YOU are on vacation, do you miss your therapists? Sometimes if I am on a plane for a business trip or vacation, I do imagine they are sitting with me, because I get a little anxious and nauseous if it's a bumpy trip.

 

Pegasus and Joslynn

Posted by fallsfall on August 9, 2004, at 23:32:21

In reply to Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by Joslynn on August 9, 2004, at 23:16:14

He was sailing off the coast of Maine...

 

Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club! Joslynn

Posted by gardenergirl on August 10, 2004, at 2:59:11

In reply to Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by Joslynn on August 9, 2004, at 23:16:14

> My question, sort of the reverse: When YOU are on vacation, do you miss your therapists? Sometimes if I am on a plane for a business trip or vacation, I do imagine they are sitting with me, because I get a little anxious and nauseous if it's a bumpy trip.

When I was on vacation over the holidays last year (gone for three weeks), I didn't realize I missed my T until I got back. Then I couldn't figure out why I was depressed after coming from such a long vaction! :) It was, in part, due to not having a regular outlet and opportunity to grow.

And I love that you said you sometimes imagine your T with you. I recently said something very similar to my T. I often imagine he is somewhere "around" where he can kind of watch over me from a distance when I am out and about. It used to make me feel very needy and kind of nuts, actually, but he seemed fine if not pleased by my disclosure. He normalized this for me, thank goodness. And you just did, too! Thanks for that. I thought I was the only one who did stuff like that. :)

Take care,
gg

 

Re: Maine fallsfall

Posted by gardenergirl on August 10, 2004, at 3:06:10

In reply to Pegasus and Joslynn, posted by fallsfall on August 9, 2004, at 23:32:21

> He was sailing off the coast of Maine...


How funny is that? I'll have to ask my T where he was.

Falls, I'm so glad he came back. I hope your session went well. Thanks for letting us know that one of our greatest fears didn't come true!

Take care,
gg

 

Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!

Posted by Lulula on August 10, 2004, at 19:49:46

In reply to Re: Please join therapist-on-vacation club!, posted by pegasus on August 9, 2004, at 23:00:05

Hi everyone -
I'm enjoying your thoughts on this subject.
Yes, I do miss my therapist when I am on vacation as well ... but in a good way. If I feel a certain way, I'll say to myself, "I'll have to remember this for therapy when I get back" ... and it's always interesting a week or two later if it is still significant or not. My last session was yesterday (two week break). I'll miss going, but I think I'll be okay. This board is very helpful. Thanks ...

 

Re: Fun Threads mair

Posted by JenStar on August 11, 2004, at 1:50:56

In reply to Fun Threads, posted by mair on August 7, 2004, at 16:37:56


hi Mair,
my previous T (I'm still shopping for a new one) had a touchy-feel new-agey office.

The waiting area had overly-dim mood lighting (others might consider it soothing), and a rather depression corner for kids to play in. I say depressing b/c the light was poor and the toys consisted of a sadly dented 'push the balls around on the metal wire things' device that is omnipresent in any office, whether it be dentist, doctor, etc, as well as a few VERY grubby ripped books. If I were a child I would HATE that play corner!

The coffee table had an excess of magazines of all kinds arranged in a fan display, and several boxes of tissue were scattered around in case of tears (I suppose.) There were some woodsy-crafty art projects on the walls and some tapestries that had woman-stick-figures and lots of colors. Overall I didn't like the feel of it.


The office itself had a couch that I'd sink in too far, and I hate sinking in too far, because I feel awkward and grasping when I try to get out. Her decorative style couldn't be further from my own.

But if I had liked her, I'd probably be describing the office in much more positive or at least neutral tones. (even the sinky couch!)

How about you?

JenStar

> I like the idea of sharing pet peeves. Also, a couple of years ago we had a thread about words that seem to only (or mostly only) be used in therapy.
>
> It might also be fun to have each of us describe our therapist's office - both its external and internal setting.
>
> Just some ideas -
>
> We need to collect these potential threads in the same way that I'm starting to collect books to read while I'm on vacation.
>
> Mair

 

My T's Office JenStar

Posted by mair on August 11, 2004, at 8:43:28

In reply to Re: Fun Threads mair, posted by JenStar on August 11, 2004, at 1:50:56

A couple of years ago, my therapist moved her office from the center of a fairly big nearby town, to a rather rural setting in the town she lives in. It's actually now easier for me to get to so I don't mind the move. Her office is located on the first floor of an old house. Aside from the waiting room, she has 2 rooms, a room where she meets patients and a very small office. I have to walk through the office to get to the other room.

My T has a pretty artistic eye and things are nicely and traditionally decorated. There is a small couch with its back up against a bank of 2 windows which look out on the walkway into the building, and 2 wing chairs which face the couch at different angles. I love what you said about the couch, because my T sits on the couch (which does sink down some) and I sit on the chair that has the staightest back. I do this because she gave me the option of where to sit when we first met. It never occurred to me until a few months ago that I was the exception, not the norm. I think with most of her patients, she sits in the chair I use, probably because she can look out the window and see when her next patient arrives, and maybe because it doesn't sink down. I don't think I could switch seating now because I, too, don't like to sink down in couches. Also, frankly, the chair gives me a much easier and quicker exit, and sometimes I really can't seem to get out of there fast enough.

In between the couch and chairs is a coffee table. There is nearly always a small arrangement of fresh flowers on the table. She's an avid gardner, and all the flowers come out of her garden, so I always like to have her identify the ones I don't know. Behind the couch is a high window ledge on which she's placed a large pot of geraniums which she transplanted a few years ago. It really likes that window, because at last count, there were 8 or 9 flowers on the plant.

The walkway (ramp) into the building is on the southern side of the building too. There are a couple of truly spectacular white phlox plants which seem to stay in bloom for awhile. These plants pre-date her tenancy but she knows how much I love them. Earlier this summer, she was thinning out the phlox she had planted at her house and she brought me (in a black plastic garbage bag) a huge piece of a phlox plant, so big in fact that I had to cut the roots to separate the plant further. I've transplanted my cuttings and while they're pretty feeble now, I'm hoping for better things next summer when they will have had time to recover from the move.

I like that the room is always sunny, if there is sun, of course. The chair faces south and she frequently has to adjust the blinds so I'm not blinded.

There's an eclectic collection of art work on the walls of her office and the waiting room including some framed photographs she took. However my favorite thing is this very large 3 dimensional sand colored wall piece which almost looks like a piece of fresco taken from an ancient Roman building. It's just very interesting and maybe meaningful to her because her now-deceased father gave it to her.

The other thing I like is that there is a second entrance I can take when I leave her office. This way I don't have to wander by her waiting room, and it is a much quicker way out too. (-;

Mair

 

Re: My T's Office

Posted by Klokka on August 12, 2004, at 13:35:28

In reply to My T's Office JenStar, posted by mair on August 11, 2004, at 8:43:28

The clinic where I see my pdoc is located in an oddly shaped building just alongside a highway. It's convenient because I can easily take 4-5 different buses to and from appointments. It's on the second floor of said building, and there are two doors at the top landing. One leads to the waiting room, the other to a set of offices.

The whole place is very bland, but especially the waiting room. To the left there's this room with plenty of chairs, a coffee machine, and, I hear, buyable food. I've never been in there for some reason. The waiting room itself has more chairs, a coffee table littered with worn magazines, and signs advising parents/patients to check in with the receptionist and to not leave children unsupervised. I've been asked who I'm waiting for by clinic staff so often that I think it's supposed to apply to older teens, too - or maybe I just look young. (Not that I can do a thing about that, anyway.) There is a play area for children and a mirror in each corner, I assume so the receptionist can keep an eye on things.

My pdoc's office is a little ways down the hallway. It has pink walls and is fairly bland, too, though some decoration makes it better. There is a window directly opposite the door with horrid metal blinds. In one corner, there's a tall bookshelf (a dark brown, I think) with some odd-looking dolls(? don't think that's the right word for what they are) on the top, some books on the top shelf, and mostly toys/games on the shelves below. He tends to sit in front of said bookshelf, and my chair is at the other corner next to the window. In the middle of the room, next to the bookshelf, there is a print of a Renoir painting up. I forget which one, though I'd probably recognize it immediately if I saw it elsewhere since I basically spent the first months staring at it. Underneath that is an end table with a lamp and usually a book or two and/or a box of Kleenex. In the centre of the room is a low table with one or two (I forget) childsize chairs around it. I'm forever tripping over this when I enter the office. There's usually a few toys or games scattered about here as well. Behind that there is some artwork of a sailboat. In the corner nearest the door, there's a desk with a computer (usually), calendar, and various junk including a mug or two. Near that there are some postcard sized images of landscapes. At the other corner near the door, there is a file cabinet, a collage of children's pictures with some quote on it, and usually a kettle. I've occasionally seen some coffee grind there, but refuse to believe he uses it with the kettle, because no pdoc of mine would drink instant coffee, of course. :) Oh, and the ceiling is made of really nasty panels like at my old high school.

Between this and the number of times I think someone looks like my pdoc and then realy doesn't, I think it's official: I spend wayyyy too much time staring at random stuff in his office.

 

Re: My T's Office Klokka

Posted by JenStar on August 16, 2004, at 17:52:18

In reply to Re: My T's Office, posted by Klokka on August 12, 2004, at 13:35:28

great description! You have a good eye for detail. :)

You said that you think you spend way too much time staring at stuff in the office, but I think it's normal! I'm remembering back to places I have strong visual memories about: piano lesson room, gradeschool "homeroom," study room in the library at college, etc -- these are all places I spent a ton of time and my eyes would just search and search as I randomly thought. I can still describe some of those places pretty well, although not as well as your office description.

Maybe it's a way of helping us relax and focus on what we're saying, or thinking, or studying? It's almost like the visual distraction and focus helps free up the mind to associate with other things.

Anyway, thanks for sharing! :)

JenStar


> The clinic where I see my pdoc is located in an oddly shaped building just alongside a highway. It's convenient because I can easily take 4-5 different buses to and from appointments. It's on the second floor of said building, and there are two doors at the top landing. One leads to the waiting room, the other to a set of offices.
>
> The whole place is very bland, but especially the waiting room. To the left there's this room with plenty of chairs, a coffee machine, and, I hear, buyable food. I've never been in there for some reason. The waiting room itself has more chairs, a coffee table littered with worn magazines, and signs advising parents/patients to check in with the receptionist and to not leave children unsupervised. I've been asked who I'm waiting for by clinic staff so often that I think it's supposed to apply to older teens, too - or maybe I just look young. (Not that I can do a thing about that, anyway.) There is a play area for children and a mirror in each corner, I assume so the receptionist can keep an eye on things.
>
> My pdoc's office is a little ways down the hallway. It has pink walls and is fairly bland, too, though some decoration makes it better. There is a window directly opposite the door with horrid metal blinds. In one corner, there's a tall bookshelf (a dark brown, I think) with some odd-looking dolls(? don't think that's the right word for what they are) on the top, some books on the top shelf, and mostly toys/games on the shelves below. He tends to sit in front of said bookshelf, and my chair is at the other corner next to the window. In the middle of the room, next to the bookshelf, there is a print of a Renoir painting up. I forget which one, though I'd probably recognize it immediately if I saw it elsewhere since I basically spent the first months staring at it. Underneath that is an end table with a lamp and usually a book or two and/or a box of Kleenex. In the centre of the room is a low table with one or two (I forget) childsize chairs around it. I'm forever tripping over this when I enter the office. There's usually a few toys or games scattered about here as well. Behind that there is some artwork of a sailboat. In the corner nearest the door, there's a desk with a computer (usually), calendar, and various junk including a mug or two. Near that there are some postcard sized images of landscapes. At the other corner near the door, there is a file cabinet, a collage of children's pictures with some quote on it, and usually a kettle. I've occasionally seen some coffee grind there, but refuse to believe he uses it with the kettle, because no pdoc of mine would drink instant coffee, of course. :) Oh, and the ceiling is made of really nasty panels like at my old high school.
>
> Between this and the number of times I think someone looks like my pdoc and then realy doesn't, I think it's official: I spend wayyyy too much time staring at random stuff in his office.


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