Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 396486

Shown: posts 1 to 6 of 6. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Is my T doing this right??

Posted by shrinking violet on September 28, 2004, at 18:54:11

Hello everyone,

This may sound like such a dumb question, but this is the first time I've been in therapy and so I have no basis for comparison.

When my T or I bring up a topic, she seems to sort of gloss over it, and not go into it as deeply as she could. For example, we're currently working with a book that talks about childhood neglect/abandonment issues in the hopes of triggering some issues for me and make it easier to open up about some stuff. So, tonight we started a bit...I brought up the incident when I was five years old and talking to my grandmother (about what, I have no idea...how important could it have been, I was only five!); during the conversation, she had a heart attack and died. Now, to me, this would be fodder for at least a good 20 minute conversation (how I felt, how I feel, if I thought I caused it, etc). But, my T mentioned it a bit in the context of how my parents never talked to me about it in any way (not to ensure I didnt blame myself, not to talk about my first real experience with death, etc), and that was pretty much it. I was sort of dumbfounded, because she probably could have gotten a pretty good conversation out of it. She tends to do this with almost everything I bring up to her, whether in written form or verbally; she'll make some comments, maybe ask a few general questions, and then move onto the next page or topic.

Am I wrong? Do I not know enough of therapy to see that she's on target? Or is it MY responsibility to keep talking about the topic if I wanted to (a problem, as I usually let her lead in sessions, and I find it very hard talking about anything, let alone taking charge).

I don't know...I guess I feel like we never really work through anything, you know? But, considering my lack of therapy experience, I thought maybe it was just me being too critical or confused. Plus, she's a college T, and she doesn't usually work with clients long-term, let alone who have multiple complex deep issues. So, maybe she just isn't used to working with clients like me? Not that she's a bad T... she isn't perfect by any means, but I know she wouldn't purposefully harm me....just that maybe she is only experienced working with more surface-type issues?

Any input would be appreciated.

Oh, and a good thing: tonight she asked if I wanted to work with her past December (which means probably until May, when I graduate); up until now I thought I had to end with her in December, so it looks like I have a bit of a reprieve from termination! At least I hope....I keep wondering if I imagined it, or if she'll change her mind... :-/

Thanks :)
SV

 

Re: Is my T doing this right?? shrinking violet

Posted by Annierose on September 28, 2004, at 19:16:40

In reply to Is my T doing this right??, posted by shrinking violet on September 28, 2004, at 18:54:11

I don't think there is a "right" answer. But I certainly agree with you that the one example you gave would be worth exploring in greater detail.
I work with a psychodynamic T and yes, she would explore it in depth with me (again and again).
I do think you should say (if you are comfortable), "I really want to talk more about ....". Once I did say this to my T and she responded quite postively.
All our interactions are so individual, and I do not think there is a right or wrong approach.
I know from past posts, you really like your T very much (and visa versa). That is one of the most important components to successful outcomes.
So happy for you that you can stay with her until graduation. Great News!!

 

Re: Is my T doing this right?? shrinking violet

Posted by daisym on September 28, 2004, at 19:28:14

In reply to Is my T doing this right??, posted by shrinking violet on September 28, 2004, at 18:54:11

My first thought is that there is no right or wrong in therapy, but of course there is, as far as therapist's go. Not that anything you wrote made me think your therapist is doing anything "wrong." It strikes me that she might be very CBT oriented, checking on your thoughts about events, making sure distortions don't linger and that you don't ruminate about things. This way of working can feel very surfacy...but it isn't the orientation to do deep work, like psychotherapy. And, if it IS short term work, then I'm fairly certain that she won't dive deep. If you want to keep talking about something, you'll have to keep bringing it up. As always, if it bothers you, you should ask her.

 

Re: Is my T doing this right??

Posted by Speaker on September 28, 2004, at 20:32:43

In reply to Re: Is my T doing this right?? shrinking violet, posted by daisym on September 28, 2004, at 19:28:14

I have the same question often! If I don't come away feeling streched in some thinking I always wonder if they are doing it right. I have had two different T's and I have questioned both. However, I was glad to read the post and see that it can be the type of therapy that makes the difference. I was with a CBT first and it was more surface...I am now with psychoanalist and it is much more intense and what I need. Thanks for posting the question and I would go back and say I would like to hear what you have to say about my grandmothers death. I often pose a question when I don't feel we have covered a topic well enough. Hope this helps.

 

Re: Is my T doing this right??

Posted by shrinking violet on September 28, 2004, at 22:25:44

In reply to Re: Is my T doing this right?? shrinking violet, posted by daisym on September 28, 2004, at 19:28:14

Thanks for the responses. :)

Hm, well, my T isn't a CBT therapist. She's a clinical social worker who practices psychotherapy...I don't really think she's "into" any one method over another. She has tried to incoroporate some DBT and has tried to get me to do outside DBT work (I tried a few groups/treatments, but ultimately refused to continue, based on my own opinions of DBT). She's also a Buddhist and has tried to incorporate some meditation/mindfulness into sessions also, but like most else she hasn't stayed with it past 1 or 2 sessions. She's never really mentioned CBT by name at all, and she doesn't seem to overly focus on my negative thought patterns (I have many, and she knows this, especially concerning her perceptions of me, but other than telling me to try not to know what she's thinking, she hasn't done much to help me fight my negative thoughts either).

I know I should / could probably either push issues I want to keep talking about, or ask her about them, etc, but I know myself, and I probably wouldn't be able to do either. I'm just trying to figure out what we *are* doing in therapy, because it doesn't seem like much (I know most of it is my fault, because I can't engage or open up with her like I'm supposed to, but at the same time I think that would be all the more reason for her to grab onto the few things I do manage to bring up.

Oh well.

Thanks everyone.

 

Re: Is my T doing this right?? shrinking violet

Posted by Dinah on September 30, 2004, at 21:04:28

In reply to Is my T doing this right??, posted by shrinking violet on September 28, 2004, at 18:54:11

Two thoughts. One is that if it doesn't seem right to you, especially if it doesn't seem right in your heart and your head, then it probably isn't right *for you*, and it doesn't matter if it's right for other clients. I'd mention it to her.

Second, my therapist is really gung ho on my therapy being my responsibility. Unless he has something he thinks is life or death, he follows my lead. He would expect me to decide how long to talk about it, and if the topic lapsed he might move on. If I wanted to go deeper, he'd expect me to say "Wait, that was just a pause. I'd like to go deeper with that."


This is the end of the thread.


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.