Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 375362

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Re: Therapy increasing shame?

Posted by JenStar on August 8, 2004, at 19:21:46

In reply to Therapy increasing shame?, posted by tabitha on August 8, 2004, at 14:47:56

hi Tabitha,
sorry to hear about your troubles.

I suppose from one rather lofty-mountaintop kind of perspective, ALL of our anger & emotions are wholly our fault b/c they are our way or responding to outside stimuli...and to quote the oft-over-quoted E. Roosevelt, "noone can make me feel inferior without my consent."

But on a more human level, other people DO have the power to make me (us, everyone!) angry, sad, happy. Otherwise how could we possibly get along in this world, without affecting the emotions of others?

It would make me mad if my T. suggested that my anger at someone else was completely unjustified. I mean, what are we after all, robots? What are we supposed to do....go around saying "processing, processing, processing" and NOT get emotional? There are times when people act like jerks - and I feel that it's OK to be mad at them.

It's possible that your anger at the group IS entirely justified, but also unnecessary because it's too painful to YOU. Maybe she's trying the 'tough love' approach to get you to move past the anger to something else?

If she's been your T for a long time, she must surely know that you'd be feeling shame when consistenly given negative feedback. Although the shame might not be the end goal, only a side-effect of getting to the goal, she MUST realize it's happening....right? Can you ask her about this?

About suicidal thoughts: Sure, it's "bad" to hear about it, because I feel powerless to help. It's also "bad" to hear about the war in Iraq, and about cancer, and about people losing jobs, and about all kinds of things that often get discussed in a group, because I'm powerless to help there, too. But I still want to hear - because I care, and I can try to offer consolation, even if it's kind of lame and ineffective.

Why is your problem taboo? Is the group so fragile that they can't handle that kind of talk? If they are so fragile, is it possible they shouldn't be in this group? I thought that EVERYTHING was open for discussion -- and should be -- in group, because it's therapeutic to react to others and see them react to you.

Did she actually use the exact word "bad" about you discussing suicide?

Also, what does it mean to not support someone's pathology?

People change over time and go through bad patches. Maybe she's having a rough time at home, love, life...and isn't doing her usual good job. Not an excuse...but the problem may not like entirely with you.

Maybe she's tapped out. I know piano students switch teachers after a while b/c they've learned all they can from one person. It doesn't mean that teacher is no longer 'good', just not best for that student. Is it possible that you and this T are just burned out on each other? Time to switch to a fresh pair of eyes?

I feel for you. I hope things get better! I want to kick your T in the butt (I know, inappropriate anger...!!!)

Take care. And I hope your Monday is a fine fun day!

JenStar

 

Re: Therapy increasing shame? Tabitha and Dinah Aphrodite

Posted by fallsfall on August 8, 2004, at 23:19:30

In reply to Re: Therapy increasing shame? Tabitha and Dinah, posted by Aphrodite on August 8, 2004, at 15:53:32

I went for a "consultation" when I was having a crisis with my therapist. The woman I went to had been a group therapist of mine years before (recommended by my then-current therapist). She asked if my current therapist knew that I was seeing her, and said that she would see me that time even though my then-current therapist didn't know. But that if I wanted to see her again, that I had to tell my then-current therapist.

I did tell my then-current therapist at our next session that I had been to see the group therapist - and she was not angry.

When I started interviewing replacement therapists they did all ask if my then-current therapist knew that I was interviewing (which she did). Many of them encouraged me to try to "work things out" with her. They were willing to interview with me, but I'm sure that none would have seen me at the same time I was seeing her (other than a short transition).

Tabitha - Shame is extraordinarily painful. I wish for you a life without shame.

 

Re: Therapy increasing shame? JenStar

Posted by Racer on August 9, 2004, at 17:59:36

In reply to Re: Therapy increasing shame?, posted by JenStar on August 8, 2004, at 19:21:46

Just in case there's still any misunderstanding about our first encounter here -- I just want you to know that, after this post, I'm joining your fan club in a big way.

 

Re: Therapy increasing shame? tabitha

Posted by Racer on August 9, 2004, at 18:20:27

In reply to Therapy increasing shame?, posted by tabitha on August 8, 2004, at 14:47:56

Dear Tabitha -- and make no mistake, you are very dear to me and to many others here.

As usual, I don't really want to tell you what I think should happen now, because it's only my view and -- while I think you're absolutely strong enough and healthy enough that you wouldn't let someone else's opinion influence you -- I just worry about that sort of thing anyway. My own issues coming up.

I agree with Dinah all the way, and think that, as usual, she's given you the best advice in the world. And, also as usual, I'm gonna add a few words, too.

First of all, you really don't come across here as any sort of a well of pathology. Do check with someone you trust, if you can, for a reality check. If what we see here is anything like an accurate portrayal of you, then the distortion is not on your side. (Just because I know that you care about this therapist, I'm also going to stick up for her here: it's very possible that she's just so excited about the possibilities of CBT that she's just in a phase of overdoing it right now. It can happen to any professional, but that it's natural doesn't mean that it's any less damaging for the client -- especially in psychotherapy.) (Oh, and you deserve better than to be damaged by any professional's enthusiasms. Not "you" as in "one", either. You, Tabitha, deserve better than that.)

Also, if you feel strong enough to do it, you might also get a feeling of empowerment by taking notes on her "reframing" or her other criticisms of you, and then applying the techniques you've learned through that process to them. If you're honest with yourself at every step of the process, it might help ease your shame.

Now for the personal note you knew was coming. You know that I quit The Therapist From The Black Lagoon, after really agonizing on it. Mind you, I know that she was quite short term, but it was still agony. So was deciding to quit The Intern From The Planet Clueless, for that matter. Those two experiences together did not go on nearly as long as your group experience has, and yet I'm still angry -- and ashamed. I'm still in worse shape than when I started with TTFTBL. And I've gotten outside reality checks on that statement, too. My husband has brought it up -- he's angry, too, and his support has really helped. And I've had a professional reality check, too, from our marriage counselor, who brought up a few times that something is really wrong, because I have gotten so much worse since she started working with us in November of last year. (Mind you, our marriage has gotten *much* better in that time, so I trust the MC's judgement on that.) The point I'm trying to make is that this sort of problem really can be damaging, and the whole idea is for you to *get better* -- which you have, although it's mostly showing up in negative ways, like recognizing that you're moving from anger to shame in your sessions and not because you should be ashamed. Honestly, Tabitha, the best thing my new therapist said to me the first session was that she saw the goal as improved mental health, *not* identification of specific pathologies.

You've made progress, Tabitha. Maybe this is just as far as you can go with this therapist? It doesn't mean that the progress you made with her isn't real, and it doesn't mean that you're being disloyal to her.

Just occurred to me: have you gone back over your older posts lately? Sometimes it helps me to read some of my old posts to remind myself of how far I've come.

I really hope you resolve this soon. It worries me to see you in such pain.

 

Re: Therapy increasing shame?

Posted by JenStar on August 9, 2004, at 18:32:21

In reply to Re: Therapy increasing shame? JenStar, posted by Racer on August 9, 2004, at 17:59:36

me? a fan club? Cool! :) I'm a member of your fan club, too. I really enjoy reading your posts. :)

I'm sorry if I was offensive when I first joined the board. I'm trying to take the advice I gave to Rod and 'tone it down' a bit. I'm often so excited to help that I blurt out stuff w/out thinking twice. I'm working on that...

JenStar

> Just in case there's still any misunderstanding about our first encounter here -- I just want you to know that, after this post, I'm joining your fan club in a big way.

 

Re: Therapy increasing shame? JenStar

Posted by Racer on August 9, 2004, at 19:58:26

In reply to Re: Therapy increasing shame?, posted by JenStar on August 9, 2004, at 18:32:21

You weren't offensive in that post -- it was just my protective instincts towards Tabitha coming up.

Glad you like the fan club. One day we'll teach you the secret handshake...

 

Re: Therapy increasing shame?

Posted by tabitha on August 10, 2004, at 1:18:27

In reply to Re: Therapy increasing shame? JenStar, posted by Racer on August 9, 2004, at 19:58:26

Thanks for your thoughts everyone. So I guess nobody is going to say, "Oh silly girl, therapy is supposed to feel that way-- you're right on track. You're probably on the verge of a huge breakthrough!" Just kidding. I know it doesn't sound right at all, what I'm describing.

I think I need to extricate myself from this mess. It really feels as though I don't have a therapist anymore. I was down this weekend and could have used a phone session. I realized there was no way I'd call for a phone session with things the way they are now. It would feel like calling the ex-boyfriend looking for something that isn't there anymore.

I considered making a criticism list. Just listing all the criticisms I've picked up from this experience-- things they said, things she said, things I assumed they thought, the whole mess. All the criticisms I've picked up during this. That's what I did the last time I was having a hard time letting go of a breakup. Somehow it helped to see it all listed. And I answered them all too.

I thought about my therapist. I know almost nothing about her. I've never seen her outside her office. I wondered what she was like in high school, and if I would even have liked her if I'd known her. I wondered if I'm smarter than her. Isn't it nuts to give her so much power? But it seems I had to do that, to make therapy work at all. You have to do that, right? You have to assume they can see things you can't see. Otherwise you might as well read a self-help book.

She's really making some mistakes with me lately. She's bludgeoning me with my issues. She's insisting I take responsibility for things I can't even see. If I could see them, I wouldn't be doing them. She did this before, in 2000, when she kicked me out of the other group. She kept telling me I wasn't taking responsibility for my projections. She said I needed to own them. Well how could I do that? If I could *see* my projections, then I could just let them go, and they wouldn't even be there.

It's like something a hack therapist would do, bluntly confronting someone with their alleged issues. Whether she's right or not, it just doesn't work. How can I take responsibility for something I can't see that I'm doing? It's crazy to expect that of me. It's terrible therapy technique. I thought she was better than this.

 

Re: Therapy increasing shame?

Posted by gardenergirl on August 10, 2004, at 3:13:24

In reply to Re: Therapy increasing shame? tabitha, posted by Racer on August 9, 2004, at 18:20:27

> (Just because I know that you care about this therapist, I'm also going to stick up for her here: it's very possible that she's just so excited about the possibilities of CBT that she's just in a phase of overdoing it right now. It can happen to any professional, but that it's natural doesn't mean that it's any less damaging for the client -- especially in psychotherapy.) (Oh, and you deserve better than to be damaged by any professional's enthusiasms. Not "you" as in "one", either. You, Tabitha, deserve better than that.)

You know, I think that Racer has a good point. When I first started using DBT, it was hard to maintain my usual self that I think really helps foster the relationship. And I also had a less experienced student working with me who was doing the skills training part with the client I saw for individual supervision. At one point we talked about how much we loved DBT, but felt a bit like robots when we had to stick to the technique. The other student actually "read the rules" about skills training to the client, which was very off-putting.

So I think the enthusiasm can get in the way. You want to use the techniques perfectly, as they are outlined in the book. And DBT does have a component of change/challenge which can be tough if not combined with the validation. I think the art of it, which comes with more experience, is the balancing of these two.

Just my two cents. But I feel for you Tabitha. It would feel terrible to me to feel stuck in a therapy relationship that was making me feel worse. Please consider the entire situation...her role and yours, as I know you will, when deciding what to do.

And take care. This is, I'm sure, a very stressful time.

gg
>
> Also, if you feel strong enough to do it, you might also get a feeling of empowerment by taking notes on her "reframing" or her other criticisms of you, and then applying the techniques you've learned through that process to them. If you're honest with yourself at every step of the process, it might help ease your shame.
>
> Now for the personal note you knew was coming. You know that I quit The Therapist From The Black Lagoon, after really agonizing on it. Mind you, I know that she was quite short term, but it was still agony. So was deciding to quit The Intern From The Planet Clueless, for that matter. Those two experiences together did not go on nearly as long as your group experience has, and yet I'm still angry -- and ashamed. I'm still in worse shape than when I started with TTFTBL. And I've gotten outside reality checks on that statement, too. My husband has brought it up -- he's angry, too, and his support has really helped. And I've had a professional reality check, too, from our marriage counselor, who brought up a few times that something is really wrong, because I have gotten so much worse since she started working with us in November of last year. (Mind you, our marriage has gotten *much* better in that time, so I trust the MC's judgement on that.) The point I'm trying to make is that this sort of problem really can be damaging, and the whole idea is for you to *get better* -- which you have, although it's mostly showing up in negative ways, like recognizing that you're moving from anger to shame in your sessions and not because you should be ashamed. Honestly, Tabitha, the best thing my new therapist said to me the first session was that she saw the goal as improved mental health, *not* identification of specific pathologies.
>
> You've made progress, Tabitha. Maybe this is just as far as you can go with this therapist? It doesn't mean that the progress you made with her isn't real, and it doesn't mean that you're being disloyal to her.
>
> Just occurred to me: have you gone back over your older posts lately? Sometimes it helps me to read some of my old posts to remind myself of how far I've come.
>
> I really hope you resolve this soon. It worries me to see you in such pain.

 

I'm smiling for you, and even sending a {hug} (nm) tabitha

Posted by Racer on August 10, 2004, at 11:35:26

In reply to Re: Therapy increasing shame?, posted by tabitha on August 10, 2004, at 1:18:27

 

Re: How'd it go today? tabitha

Posted by Dinah on August 10, 2004, at 20:35:37

In reply to Re: Therapy increasing shame?, posted by tabitha on August 10, 2004, at 1:18:27

If I remember your schedule correctly...

I really feel for you Tabitha. I can't imagine what I would do if my source of support changed so radically.

I did want to say that I thought your comparison to a boyfriend relationship was interesting, and it might be interesting to see what she said about continuing to try to get what isn't (or doesn't appear) to be there anymore.

If you find making that list of criticisms and responses empowering, please do it! I think moving back to a position of power and healthy anger would be a good thing for you.

 

Re: Therapy increasing shame? Racer

Posted by JenStar on August 11, 2004, at 1:40:46

In reply to Re: Therapy increasing shame? JenStar, posted by Racer on August 9, 2004, at 19:58:26

I think it's nice to know that you are protective of friends on babble. It's very caring. I hope to become friends with you guys over time and inspire that same kind of trust & affection. :)

JenStar

> You weren't offensive in that post -- it was just my protective instincts towards Tabitha coming up.
>
> Glad you like the fan club. One day we'll teach you the secret handshake...

 

Re: How'd it go today? Dinah

Posted by tabitha on August 11, 2004, at 2:24:36

In reply to Re: How'd it go today? tabitha, posted by Dinah on August 10, 2004, at 20:35:37

I did it-- I quit group. I announced it tonight, and said I don't want to do the 6 weeks, but I'll come back for one more. So it's a 2 week notice, like someone here suggested (you or Racer?).

I don't know what I'm going to do about individual. I'll complain about how I think she's been doing a bad job with me lately and take it from there.

The session wasn't too bad. I felt detached since I know I'm leaving, so it was all easier to take. Even Mean Woman had lost some of her power. I felt peaceful afterward. Then I started thinking hey, maybe I don't need to quit. Maybe I just need to adjust my detachment level somehow. Then a few minutes later I realized I had started obsessing and feeling bad about the session. So I do need to quit. I know I need to quit. My Inner Wisdom says QUIT DANG IT! QUIT! Then it says Ahhh, thank you so much for quitting. I now reward you with peace and contentment, and a good night's sleep, and intestines that don't hurt for no reason.

Maybe my T is partly right-- maybe it's an intimacy thing making me so reactive. But regardless, I can't switch it off, and my individual sessions aren't soothing my upset, and I can't take it any more right now.

So I've quit!

 

Re: How'd it go today? tabitha

Posted by Dinah on August 11, 2004, at 9:09:18

In reply to Re: How'd it go today? Dinah, posted by tabitha on August 11, 2004, at 2:24:36

I'm glad you were able to do what felt right for you. :)

And the fact that your body is rewarding you is a good sign.

I've always found that actually making the decision is the hardest part. Maybe it'll go easier from here.

 

Re: Therapy increasing shame? JenStar

Posted by Racer on August 11, 2004, at 11:57:45

In reply to Re: Therapy increasing shame? Racer, posted by JenStar on August 11, 2004, at 1:40:46

> I think it's nice to know that you are protective of friends on babble. It's very caring. I hope to become friends with you guys over time and inspire that same kind of trust & affection. :)
>
> JenStar
>

Trust me, JenStar -- if someone attacked you here now, you'd be defended. ;-)


> > You weren't offensive in that post -- it was just my protective instincts towards Tabitha coming up.
> >
> > Glad you like the fan club. One day we'll teach you the secret handshake...
>
>

 

Re: How'd it go today? tabitha

Posted by mair on August 11, 2004, at 12:17:36

In reply to Re: How'd it go today? Dinah, posted by tabitha on August 11, 2004, at 2:24:36

Congrats. I'll be curious to see how your T deals with this - I hope she's able to accept your decision as a constructive one. Keep us posted.

Mair

 

Re: How'd it go today? tabitha

Posted by Racer on August 11, 2004, at 14:26:16

In reply to Re: How'd it go today? Dinah, posted by tabitha on August 11, 2004, at 2:24:36

Congratulations, Tabitha! I know that this is a major step for you, and I'm so very, very glad that you felt able to make a decision for yourself about it. Regardless of any future consequences -- which may never arise -- being able to make a decision and act on it is A Very Healthy Thing. It constitutes Progress. I very much hope that you can hold onto that shiny medal whenever any self-doubts arise for you about your decision.

As the others have said, I'm curious about what your therapist's reaction to this will be. I hope it's OK for you, whatever it is.

If it helps any, I've done the same thing in quitting therapy and in quitting a group. (That group was in the distant past, and I just announced one day that I was quitting, that it was my last session, despite the 'you have to attend all sessions, no matter what' short term group agreement -- it wasn't helping me, it was demoralizing me, so I quit for my own good. But it was hard to do it, I agonized over it, and did a lot of 'I shouldn't quit, I agreed not to quit before the group even started, etc' self-recrimination. And, I did a fair amount of self-bargaining about both sitatuations: "I won't quit, I'll -- grow a beard!" You know, I think, what I mean.) And quitting therapy with that therapist was agonizing. I'd been seeing her for years, we'd done some GREAT work together, I adored her, and I really thought that she was the best possible fit for me. And you know what? She *was* the best possible fit for me -- up to a point. We reached that point, and quitting was better than staying. (<<But that's hindsight, you know? Took years to get there.)

Tabitha, I wish we could give you a party, with cupcakes with lots of frosting, and balloons. I'm so very, very happy for you, for feeling able to make a decision about this for yourself. THAT, my dear, is priceless.

 

Re: How'd it go today? mair

Posted by tabitha on August 11, 2004, at 14:32:03

In reply to Re: How'd it go today? tabitha, posted by mair on August 11, 2004, at 12:17:36

last week I wore her down and she said OK I didn't have to do the 6 weeks termination. She also said that I don't have the ego strength to do group right now. So she gave permission for me to quit, but in a way that makes it sound like it's all my problem. Great, I lack ego strength. Woe is me.

But I suspect she'll tell me she's proud of me for doing the 2 week notice, and tell me I did well in the session.

I just don't get it. In my individual sessions, when I talk about conflict with other people, she advises me to tread so carefully, and word things kindly, and balance the criticism with praise, and basically weasel-word it to death so it isn't too harsh. The message seems to be, criticism is hard for people and you need to be very careful with it if you care about the relationships. Yet I'm supposed to be able to tolerate heaping helpings of angry criticism from group members and just shake it off? It's a contradiction to me. Just one of the many mysteries of this experience.

 

Re: How'd it go today? Racer

Posted by tabitha on August 12, 2004, at 0:23:03

In reply to Re: How'd it go today? tabitha, posted by Racer on August 11, 2004, at 14:26:16

Thanks for the tasty cupcakes. Yes, it feels good to no longer be stuck on this.

I suspect maybe my T isn't such a good fit for me anymore either. I don't know if this is therapy adolescence and I'm ready to leave the nest, or I just need a different one. I've never quit a T, except for some ones that never really took hold. Maybe it's not supposed to be forever.

 

Re: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkk!!!!!!!

Posted by Dinah on August 12, 2004, at 0:27:16

In reply to Re: How'd it go today? Racer, posted by tabitha on August 12, 2004, at 0:23:03

Sorry, Tabitha. You scared me. :)

 

Re: How'd it go today? tabitha

Posted by fallsfall on August 12, 2004, at 8:02:37

In reply to Re: How'd it go today? Racer, posted by tabitha on August 12, 2004, at 0:23:03

It was a positive thing for me to leave my old therapist (but completely gut wrenching at the time). Not an easy time for you, for sure!

(((Tabitha)))

 

Re: Therapy increasing shame? tabitha

Posted by crushedout on August 12, 2004, at 17:02:28

In reply to Re: Therapy increasing shame?, posted by tabitha on August 10, 2004, at 1:18:27


Wow, tabitha. It sounds like you're seeing things so clearly. That's really great. I can identify with what you're going through a lot. So much, really.


> Thanks for your thoughts everyone. So I guess nobody is going to say, "Oh silly girl, therapy is supposed to feel that way-- you're right on track. You're probably on the verge of a huge breakthrough!" Just kidding. I know it doesn't sound right at all, what I'm describing.
>
> I think I need to extricate myself from this mess. It really feels as though I don't have a therapist anymore. I was down this weekend and could have used a phone session. I realized there was no way I'd call for a phone session with things the way they are now. It would feel like calling the ex-boyfriend looking for something that isn't there anymore.
>
> I considered making a criticism list. Just listing all the criticisms I've picked up from this experience-- things they said, things she said, things I assumed they thought, the whole mess. All the criticisms I've picked up during this. That's what I did the last time I was having a hard time letting go of a breakup. Somehow it helped to see it all listed. And I answered them all too.
>
> I thought about my therapist. I know almost nothing about her. I've never seen her outside her office. I wondered what she was like in high school, and if I would even have liked her if I'd known her. I wondered if I'm smarter than her. Isn't it nuts to give her so much power? But it seems I had to do that, to make therapy work at all. You have to do that, right? You have to assume they can see things you can't see. Otherwise you might as well read a self-help book.
>
> She's really making some mistakes with me lately. She's bludgeoning me with my issues. She's insisting I take responsibility for things I can't even see. If I could see them, I wouldn't be doing them. She did this before, in 2000, when she kicked me out of the other group. She kept telling me I wasn't taking responsibility for my projections. She said I needed to own them. Well how could I do that? If I could *see* my projections, then I could just let them go, and they wouldn't even be there.
>
> It's like something a hack therapist would do, bluntly confronting someone with their alleged issues. Whether she's right or not, it just doesn't work. How can I take responsibility for something I can't see that I'm doing? It's crazy to expect that of me. It's terrible therapy technique. I thought she was better than this.
>

 

Re: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkk!!!!!!! Dinah

Posted by tabitha on August 12, 2004, at 23:34:04

In reply to Re: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkk!!!!!!!, posted by Dinah on August 12, 2004, at 0:27:16

Never fear, Ms Forever Therapy, I think she may have wooed me back. Not to the group, but at least to individual. I told her I thought she'd been incompetent lately and she was so OK with it. I just had to think Dang, I'd like some of whatever she's on.

Oh, and she snarked on my ex-boyfriend. That really earned points. All is right with the universe. Well, a little more right anyway. Right enough to last another week.

 

Re: Whew! ;) tabitha

Posted by Dinah on August 13, 2004, at 0:49:14

In reply to Re: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkk!!!!!!! Dinah, posted by tabitha on August 12, 2004, at 23:34:04

Mine is always great at admitting when he screwed up. One of my favorite things about him, and an excellent role model.

Whatever happens, Tabitha, in your relationship with your therapist, I think you should be pretty dang proud of yourself for trying something new, sticking out a difficult situation, and then asserting yourself to act in what you considered to be your best interests.

 

Re: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkk!!!!!!! tabitha

Posted by Aphrodite on August 13, 2004, at 7:34:54

In reply to Re: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkk!!!!!!! Dinah, posted by tabitha on August 12, 2004, at 23:34:04

> I told her I thought she'd been incompetent lately and she was so OK with it.

But did she say she would change????

I hope so! Glad things are looking up for you -- you deserve it!

 

Re: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkk!!!!!!! Aphrodite

Posted by tabitha on August 13, 2004, at 14:28:50

In reply to Re: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkk!!!!!!! tabitha, posted by Aphrodite on August 13, 2004, at 7:34:54

> > I told her I thought she'd been incompetent lately and she was so OK with it.
>
> But did she say she would change????
>

Not exactly. We're still arguing about it. I'm certainly not getting the intended message from her tactics lately. I still blame her for the miscommunication. I also blame her for not adequately warning me that she was going to be using completely different methods with me in processing the group interactions. It was like she just switched into tough love mode with no warning, so I ended up feeling picked on, blamed, and shamed. I got the message that having any anger or judgement toward group members was simply unacceptable.

When I describe all this, she says 'so you were hearing black and white', which again feels blaming to me.

She'll say 'I'm sorry you're suffering', 'I'm sorry I haven't been able to help you lately', and even sometimes 'I'm sorry for sending the wrong message', but never quite 'I'm sorry I screwed up'. But I have to ask myself if it's really good for me to expect her to feel guilty and doubt herself. We're having a lot of arguments about what constitutes an acceptable apology.


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