Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 393540

Shown: posts 1 to 18 of 18. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

group termination session #5

Posted by tabitha on September 22, 2004, at 0:29:55

long story, but I ended up agreeing to do the 6 termination sessions, and she didn't count the one where I announced I was quitting, then there were a couple weeks where group didn't meet, so I still haven't finished with group.

Tonight was session 5 of 6 and it was hard. We'd been off for 2 weeks, and I didn't even have individual last week (T vacation), and I think I'd forgotten what a minefield it is in there.

I don't even want to describe it-- it's the same old story, crazy-making, upsetting junk, and I know in advance I'm wrong about it, and I'm wrong for feeling wrong, because nobody wants me to feel wrong. But I'm certainly not right about anything.

Did termination with the last remaining guy, and to me this guy is a therapy true believer, kind of an idiot about it, he can't grasp why I'd want to end the useless soul-destroying pain of group, I tried to explain it again, no comprehension. I feel like I'm leaving a tiny cult.

The last couple sessions weren't so bad. Tonight I came out feeling humiliated, angry, confused, guilty, hurt, the usual stuff, cried for a couple hours and went straight to bed. Now I won't sleep without an extra pill and tomorrow I'll feel awful. Mad at the T for not directing the session differnently, but I know better than to go in Thursday and gripe about it to her. Some part of me remembered oh yeah, that's always a mistake, so I don't have that outlet. Push the pain away, somewhere else, somehow. Feels awful.

This is why I'm leaving. Maybe I just needed a reminder. Yeah, thanks.

 

Re: group termination session #5 tabitha

Posted by Aphrodite on September 22, 2004, at 8:06:01

In reply to group termination session #5, posted by tabitha on September 22, 2004, at 0:29:55

Wow, this sure has dragged out for a long time, hasn't it? I'm so sorry it has tormented you for such a long time. Do you think you'll be able to pick up where you left off in individual therapy? I hope she will help you get past this experience.

 

Re: group termination session #5 tabitha

Posted by lookdownfish on September 22, 2004, at 8:19:46

In reply to group termination session #5, posted by tabitha on September 22, 2004, at 0:29:55

I don't know what to say except this sounds like pure torture. Surely your individual therapy has to be a safe outlet for you to process all of this? Does your T understand why you're leaving and can she give you any validation for the way you're feeling? Sounds like not. Do you think she feels guilty for introducing you to group, so she doesn't want to hear about it?

 

(((Tabitha))) (nm)

Posted by fallsfall on September 22, 2004, at 9:19:10

In reply to group termination session #5, posted by tabitha on September 22, 2004, at 0:29:55

 

I'm sorry, Tabitha. :(

Posted by Dinah on September 22, 2004, at 11:58:47

In reply to group termination session #5, posted by tabitha on September 22, 2004, at 0:29:55

At least there's only one more to go. Do you think your primary relationship with your therapist will get back on track once it's over?

 

Re: puffy eyes?

Posted by tabitha on September 22, 2004, at 14:07:39

In reply to group termination session #5, posted by tabitha on September 22, 2004, at 0:29:55

the worst part is waking up the next morning with the grotesquely puffy eyes. There's this big shiny bulge over each eyelid, and the upper and lower eyelids are swollen and pink. I iced but it didn't help enough. I'm trying some ibuprofen cream-- it's anti-inflammatory, right?

I end up going to work and I'm sure my eyes are advertising to everyone that I had a crying jag the night before.

I've heard that models use Preparation H on their eyes for puffiness, but I was too embarassed to buy some.

 

Re: puffy eyes? » tabitha

Posted by 64bowtie on September 22, 2004, at 14:33:20

In reply to Re: puffy eyes?, posted by tabitha on September 22, 2004, at 14:07:39

Tabitha,

I hope it gets better... You deserve better...

Rod

 

Re: puffy eyes? frozen tea bags

Posted by RosieOGrady on September 22, 2004, at 21:09:17

In reply to Re: puffy eyes?, posted by tabitha on September 22, 2004, at 14:07:39

after you make tea freeze the tea bags and they work wonders for puffy eyes. I'm sorry you feel bad, the group sounds awful. I left a horrible group once and it still was hard to leave-I felt abandoned even though it was my decision. And I think it was hard to give up my fantasies about how that was the best solution to my problems and the pain was something I had to go through to get better-the group was telling me that. But it was the very best decision for me. I know that now.

 

Re: puffy eyes? frozen tea bags

Posted by saw on September 23, 2004, at 2:07:52

In reply to Re: puffy eyes? frozen tea bags, posted by RosieOGrady on September 22, 2004, at 21:09:17

I love the way you describe your puffy eyes. I thought you had snatched mine through the computer screen!

I often use ice cold slices of cucumber resting on my eyes for about 5 minutes, followed by cotton wool soaked in cold milk gently dabbed around the eye area for a couple of minutes. It does not take all the swelling away, but it reduces much of the redness. The sadness, however? that remains.

Wishing you strength
Sabrina

 

Re: Thanks, and Follow up.

Posted by tabitha on September 24, 2004, at 14:29:10

In reply to Re: puffy eyes? frozen tea bags, posted by saw on September 23, 2004, at 2:07:52

First thank you for your replies. I felt a lift from reading them.

So I had my individual session. We talked on and on about how awful I felt after the last group, and the overall effect of group. She didn't use these words, but I got the message she thinks I'm just too damaged to have relationships. She said I've had so much pain, blah blah blah, and I function well when I'm alone, but I can't get close to anyone. I said well if this is true why hasn't therapy helped much, and she said I haven't let her do what she needs to heal my trauma. I'm like Huh? and she says she wants to do more EMDR. This was news to me. I don't even know what trauma she's talking about. I don't have abuse history.

So I'm thinking, well, here it is, the therapist's siren song. You're special because of all your pain, I can make sense of it, I can heal you. Just another couple hundred sessions. But no guarantees, of course.

This idea that I'm too damaged to have relationships makes me feel really hopeless. If I dwell on it much I get suicidal. I'm sure that wasn't her intent. Yet that's how I feel. The only way to keep that hopelessness away is to reject her interpretation.

I don't think group is a fair reflection of my ability to have relationships. It's a weird little microcosm, and the good parts of relationships are missing. It isn't based on fun or enjoying each other or just the pleasure of chatting about things, or joking and laughing together. It's all just talking about heavy pain and having permission to say whatever bugs you about everyone. This is supposed to be helpful feedback, or ways to get closer, but to me it feels like criticism, and it hurts. She says well this is what happens in relationships, you need to be able to handle it. But somehow it just feels worse in there. I never felt free to be myself, I didn't feel like myself at all. I felt like my worst therapy self, inhibited, miserable, and staring at the floor.

I guess I'm still trying to justify to myself that my experience with group doesn't mean what she says it means. Because I can't accept that I'm so damaged and incapable of relationships, and I don't believe EMDR is going to be some miracle cure. I just want to get away from her diagnosis, which is making me feel worse about myself, and more hopeless.

I keep feeling like I'm trapped in a cult that tells you your problems are way bigger than you thought, but don't worry, the cult has the answers.

 

Re: Thanks, and Follow up. tabitha

Posted by mair on September 24, 2004, at 23:06:08

In reply to Re: Thanks, and Follow up., posted by tabitha on September 24, 2004, at 14:29:10

I've never participated in group therapy but i totally agree with what you say about it not having much to do with real relationships. And really, in true relationships, you're not spending tons of time analyzing what you like or don't like about someone. Maybe it's an excuse on her part for her own failings as the group facilitator. Did all of the other people in the group see her for individual therapy as well? If so, don't you wonder what she was saying to them?

Every now and then it's helpful for me to have my T review what we've done and what she thinks she can accomplish with me. I'm pretty dense about these things and I need to be reminded why she thinks that it's important that we talk about the things we do. It's similar to needing to look at the road map. My old T never did that so I really didn't have a clear sense of what his role was other than to listen to me.

Sometimes my own dim view of my future is easier to take when I know that her view is rosier. It's like her confidence rubs off on me.

It's possible that your group experiences are just a temporary set back. Can you look back over your time of working individually with this T and see some improvement, even over a lengthy continuum?

 

Re: Thanks, and Follow up. tabitha

Posted by Dinah on September 26, 2004, at 0:56:06

In reply to Re: Thanks, and Follow up., posted by tabitha on September 24, 2004, at 14:29:10

Clearly your therapist doesn't get around much. Or all her relationships are with other therapists. Trying to turn regular relationships into process groups seems like a sure recipe for people suddenly remembering a phone call they need to make when they see you.

Even the skills I learn with my therapist seem to have little applicability in real life. Sure, sometimes they work, but more often they don't really. I think that most people are more comfortable with a certain level of superficiality.

Not that I have a wide range of experience. It just doesn't seem that my skills have worked more than once or twice.

 

Re: Thanks, and Follow up. Dinah

Posted by Lonely on September 27, 2004, at 12:03:40

In reply to Re: Thanks, and Follow up. tabitha, posted by Dinah on September 26, 2004, at 0:56:06

I tend to identify with your experience. I used to find my mind drifting off to other places because the therapy really didn't mean much.

Therapy skills need to be explained and understood in their unique setting. That is, they shouldn't always be imitated in real world settings. For instance, in college, my counselor was always trying to get me to be more open. Well, that didn't translate well when I had a job at a summer camp, a camper said she was homesick and I said I was too! The owner went ballistic! There were other ways in which I feel I was "set-up" for failure. Not intentionally, but because of a strongly "I know what's best" arrogance on the part of the therapist.

My concern here is for Tabitha as her reaction is similar to some I've had. In a sense it's iatrogenic disease (doctor induced - evoked) and in my humble opinion that should not be happening. I'm glad she can see there's something wrong with the T's response to her. Now, if she can just find someone (probably a T) who will, in the emotional sense, provide an antidote to the toxicity she's experienced with this current T and help her to move on to a healthier plane.


> Clearly your therapist doesn't get around much. Or all her relationships are with other therapists. Trying to turn regular relationships into process groups seems like a sure recipe for people suddenly remembering a phone call they need to make when they see you.
>
> Even the skills I learn with my therapist seem to have little applicability in real life. Sure, sometimes they work, but more often they don't really. I think that most people are more comfortable with a certain level of superficiality.
>
> Not that I have a wide range of experience. It just doesn't seem that my skills have worked more than once or twice.

 

Re: Thanks, and Follow up. Lonely

Posted by Dinah on September 27, 2004, at 12:11:30

In reply to Re: Thanks, and Follow up. Dinah, posted by Lonely on September 27, 2004, at 12:03:40

Maybe they should be required to take field trips to the real world on a regular basis? :)

Although in all honesty, I think in your case the owner of the camp was wrong. As a mom, and as a former child, I can't think of anything more reassuring than a camp counselor who put an arm around me and agreed that she was homesick too. Then maybe after a minute or two of shared homesickness pointing out some things that could be done to alleviate it. It sure would beat someone smiling brightly at me and telling me that I had no reason to be homesick, and look at all the fun stuff that could be done.

 

Re: Thanks, and Follow up; Lonely

Posted by Susan47 on September 27, 2004, at 18:02:05

In reply to Re: Thanks, and Follow up. Dinah, posted by Lonely on September 27, 2004, at 12:03:40

The part about the summer camp, the owner going ballistic .. how long ago did that happen (just generally, 10, 20 years ago, last year, five?). I'm curious because I remember stuff from a *long* time ago; I mean, stuff that changed how I relate to the world. One-time incidents, like the one you're describing. I just think that's terribly sad for us.

 

BTW Dinah's a smart lady and I think she's right (nm)

Posted by Susan47 on September 27, 2004, at 18:04:03

In reply to Re: Thanks, and Follow up. Lonely, posted by Dinah on September 27, 2004, at 12:11:30

 

Re: Thanks, and Follow up; Lonely Susan47

Posted by Lonely on September 27, 2004, at 20:48:20

In reply to Re: Thanks, and Follow up; Lonely, posted by Susan47 on September 27, 2004, at 18:02:05

It was back in the summer of '69 in New England. I'm far, far, far from there now both literally and figuratively!

I guess my point is, that things can be talked about, and talked about in a way that just isn't done in "normal" company when one is in therapy. If one tries the same thing in public, the workplace, church,etc., then it's called (now, anyway) "spilling one's guts." I think the difference is important to learn but I never got that from therapy. Actually, I think there should be a place for learning socially appropriate behavior (like etiquette and polite conversation making) in therapy as well as other places but doubt most therapists do it.

I'm still a bit embarrassed over that incident but have gone on to other things plus I realize the time, place, and circumstances that give it a certain perspective. But, you are so kind and much appreciated for your sympathy and understanding.

> The part about the summer camp, the owner going ballistic .. how long ago did that happen (just generally, 10, 20 years ago, last year, five?). I'm curious because I remember stuff from a *long* time ago; I mean, stuff that changed how I relate to the world. One-time incidents, like the one you're describing. I just think that's terribly sad for us.

 

Re: Thanks, and Follow up; Lonely

Posted by Susan47 on September 28, 2004, at 1:12:14

In reply to Re: Thanks, and Follow up; Lonely Susan47, posted by Lonely on September 27, 2004, at 20:48:20

Well now that's my point exactly, I mean, why were you ever embarrassed about it, to be honest with you, I think what you said was really cool and really honest and nowadays we'd realize that that type of an honest remark by a counsellor would make a kid feel like he had some company. (!)


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