Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 444959

Shown: posts 1 to 20 of 20. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

At the risk of weirding people out again

Posted by Dinah on January 20, 2005, at 22:42:55

My therapist met with me at my rational self today, and would like to do it more often, on a regular basis. He appears to be concerned at the level of stress I'm operating at, and feels that seeing him would be helpful.

I didn't find seeing him particularly helpful. He didn't say anything I didn't already know. No magic answers for sure.

I don't know that it's all that beneficial to see him at that level, to discuss work concerns and stress. I think I know what I need to do, and I have a reasonable plan of action. And he's not particularly keen to discuss what will happen if that plan of action fails, which is the only possible benefit I could see to going. I guess he doesn't want to be negative or something.

So I don't think it's worth the time or the money to see him in an extra session regularly, or worth the inevitable distress if I attempt to turn one of my regular sessions to this purpose.

But some tiny, very tiny, part of me wonders if my therapist really might have my best interests rather than his income stream in mind. If he really does see something in me that concerns him, and feels there is a reason to monitor the situation more closely. A very small part, but big enough to wonder if I should follow up on the issue somehow. And then wonder how vigorously I should pursue it.

Of course the bigger part of me says that that is ridiculous. That he can't do anything concrete to help me. And what I need is concrete help. A dietician, a work schedule that incorporates breaks, stuff like that.

 

Re: At the risk of weirding people out again

Posted by daisym on January 21, 2005, at 0:48:04

In reply to At the risk of weirding people out again, posted by Dinah on January 20, 2005, at 22:42:55

The thing that pops out for me is that "rational" you might get suicidal and calmly work out a plan and not reach out for help. Emotional you made a promise and is connected at a much deeper level to your therapist. I also think that he may want to monitor how much the stress is effecting your willingness to take care of yourself.

The tiny voice is right and somewhere you know this. But I also wonder if emotional you isn't helping to sabotage his concern because of the sharing sessions aspect that crops up.

I'm sorry things are rough at work right now. I think all of you should lean on your therapist, no matter who's out.
Hang in there.
DAisy

 

Re: At the risk of weirding people out again daisym

Posted by Dinah on January 21, 2005, at 7:08:39

In reply to Re: At the risk of weirding people out again, posted by daisym on January 21, 2005, at 0:48:04

I guess it's worth at least following up on what he means by more frequently. But I know it will cause a lot of internal turmoil, and frankly I'm not sure he's worth it. His suggestions were terribly mundane; I'd thought of more original ones myself. And if I could do some of the things he suggested, I wouldn't be having the problem to begin with. I think I often feel worse when I leave than when I arrive at his office, because it seems like there's another possible solution that really isn't a solution at all. When you're feeling desperate, it feels kind of good to know there are options you haven't tried. When you try them and they're disappointing, that's just another layer of hopelessness.

 

Re: At the risk of weirding people out again Dinah

Posted by fallsfall on January 21, 2005, at 7:23:21

In reply to Re: At the risk of weirding people out again daisym, posted by Dinah on January 21, 2005, at 7:08:39

Rational you is expecting that meeting with him will give you concrete solutions for problems. While he does do CBT a lot, that is not all he does.

What if rational you needs to learn to attach to someone? He could teach rational you how to do that.

 

Re: At the risk of weirding people out again

Posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 21, 2005, at 9:33:21

In reply to Re: At the risk of weirding people out again Dinah, posted by fallsfall on January 21, 2005, at 7:23:21

Dinah,

I am a firm believer that not all things require deep introspection and analysis, etc. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

You seem to know what would make things go better for you - a nutritionist, etc. Therapists can't really tell us how to eat or organize things.

Is finding a nutrionist and other people to help get you on track, financially feasible?

 

Re: At the risk of weirding people out again Dinah

Posted by judy1 on January 21, 2005, at 14:03:43

In reply to At the risk of weirding people out again, posted by Dinah on January 20, 2005, at 22:42:55

I have to agree with Miss Honeychurch here. I've been in a similar situation as you- where a therp felt I should see him 3-4 times a week to work through my stress. and honestly- the idea of that just added more stress to me. so I do get a great deal out of working out, that wonderful endorphin high that comes- something I never have gotten from a therp. you sound really logical to me, maybe it's worth a try to see a dietician, trainer, etc.
take care, judy

 

Judy and Miss Honeychurch

Posted by Dinah on January 21, 2005, at 16:27:30

In reply to Re: At the risk of weirding people out again Dinah, posted by judy1 on January 21, 2005, at 14:03:43

I really think that you two are right. The idea of wasting hours going to a therapist to talk about being unable to work seems bizarre. If he could help me tangibly it would make more sense.

So far, no tangible help.

 

Re: At the risk of weirding people out again fallsfall

Posted by Dinah on January 21, 2005, at 16:34:49

In reply to Re: At the risk of weirding people out again Dinah, posted by fallsfall on January 21, 2005, at 7:23:21

I think his goals are far more immediate than that. Sigh. Enough stuff came up today that I think I scared him. I just don't know if he can help me in the way I need help, or if I even want him to help me in the way he wants to help. I don't see any way out of this work disaster. I figure all heck's going to break loose over the next ten days to one month. And I'm way too scared to face it. I need help averting it or avoiding it, and I don't think he's offering either.

 

Re: At the risk of weirding people out again Dinah

Posted by mair on January 21, 2005, at 17:48:38

In reply to Re: At the risk of weirding people out again fallsfall, posted by Dinah on January 21, 2005, at 16:34:49

Dinah - I've gotten alot of help from my T with work issues. Her understanding of the kind of place I work is limited and of course her tangible advice is sometimes of limited value. But she's helped me to be a better advocate for myself and things I have needed to say to the people I work with seem to be easier to say after I've been over them umpteen times.

Probably more importantly, when I first started seeing her I had an enormous amount of anxiety about my work - not my work environment. Some of those basic CBT skills, which have proved so worthless in addressing most of my other issues, were helpful in addressing the anxiety. I do an awful lot of the "what's the worst thing that can happen" analysis. When I first started, doing that kind of analysis on my own, it wasn't particularly helpful, but doing it with her was. We'd analyze every horrible thing I could come up with and generally, after looking at them closely enough, I'd see that I could survive even if they did happen.

And then of course there is always the sanctuary benefit - when work just got to be so overwelming, it was a relief to be able to escape to therapy.

Mair

 

Re: At the risk of weirding people out again mair

Posted by Dinah on January 21, 2005, at 18:12:17

In reply to Re: At the risk of weirding people out again Dinah, posted by mair on January 21, 2005, at 17:48:38

I wish my therapist would do the worst case scenario thing with me. I think he wants to stay "positive". But the problem is that I can't imagine any way to survive the worst case. I need to be less positive and figure that out. His "We'll figure that out if it happens." really isn't helpful.

Right now I'm facing abject failure. Being unable to make necessary deadlines. That terrifies me beyond belief.

When I first came to him, my fears were work related but different. My OCD was about making a mistake that would bring shame to my family. I made some life changes that minimized the chances of a big impact, and we also did all the CBT things, and the fear got to be under control.

Now my fear isn't that I'll make a mistake, but that I will finally be unable to beat the failure that's been gaining on me for years. At this point, I can't see how that could possibly be bearable.

 

Failing

Posted by Daisym on January 21, 2005, at 20:46:46

In reply to Re: At the risk of weirding people out again mair, posted by Dinah on January 21, 2005, at 18:12:17

My biggest fear is a huge public failure. I NEVER FAIL. I'm not being egotistical. I don't do things I can't do well. (OK, so maybe I "fail" at risk taking.) I know my skills and I know what I can fake. The reason I'm not divorced is because I DON'T FAIL. I truly do not know how. I sometimes think that is why I push myself so hard in therapy because, gosh, darn it, I'm not failing at this!! So I totally understand what you mean when you say you don't see how you can face it.

Maybe you have to first look at your willingness to accept failure in others. If your son failed a class, would you love him less? Would he be a failure at EVERYTHING if he failed this one class? I can see you shaking your head no. Of course not. You would love him anyway. Who he is is not about what he can accomplish.

Somehow, this needs to be accepted as a truth for you (and me) too. If you fail...get fired...it doesn't change the person you are, the mom you are, the wife you are, the friend you are. It changes who you might think you are, but that isn't always a bad thing. Economically there is an impact, of course, I'm not completely a Pollyanna.

I can tell you from experience. My husband's brother committed suicide 20 years ago, just before his 30th birthday. He could find a way to be "successful" in his chosen career of law. I can tell you that his family would love to have the chance to tell him what he was worth to them, not as a lawyer, but as a brother, cousin and son.

I say this, with a big dark shadow that comes over me when I think about failing at my career. It would be so public...shudder. But, but...

THIS is what your therapist can help you face. That you are more than what you do and you would survive. This would be very hard work. But together you can do it.

 

Re: Failing Daisym

Posted by Dinah on January 21, 2005, at 22:22:51

In reply to Failing, posted by Daisym on January 21, 2005, at 20:46:46

It would be hard work. I hope my therapist is up to it, instead of trying to convince me I won't fail.

I'm humiliated to admit that he talked me into a Saturday session. I couldn't promise him I wouldn't leave town before Monday. He called me when I was half asleep to make sure he had been insistent enough about seeing me tomorrow, and managed to get an assent. When I woke up enough to think I called him back and offered to promise him really and truly this time to keep my Monday appt., but he convinced me it was less trouble to see me tomorrow.

When he called me back about my cancelling the session he bullied me into making monday, i was looking into train reservations out of town. I know it sounds stupid, but as I was driving home, either that or my plan seemed like the only options. Failing isn't a viable option.

 

Re: Failing Dinah

Posted by fallsfall on January 22, 2005, at 6:41:11

In reply to Re: Failing Daisym, posted by Dinah on January 21, 2005, at 22:22:51

(((((Dinah)))))

I'm glad you will see him today. Make sure that you go. And go on Monday, too.

I have every confidence that you will make it through this period. They wouldn't have given you the raise if things were as dire as you sound.

As a former manager, I wasn't thrilled when my engineers were behind schedule, but it was part of my job to manage those things. When someone would come to me and say "Ummm... I'm not going to have it done when it needs to be done..." I would say "Argh! Are you sure you can't get it done? What is the exact current state of things?". Then they would explain enough so that I would know what needed to be done still. Then I had a couple of options. I could give them guidance on how to finish on time (a technical tip, or advice on how to restructure things), or I would ask someone else to help them (and either tell each what role to play in the collaboration, or let them figure it out themselves), or (and I don't know if I ever did this...) take the task away from the person and assign it to someone else. At this point in time, my focus was on understanding where the task was and figuring out how to most expeditiously get it done.

Unless the employee was on written warning that they had to have something done on time, this was simply part of my job. Work is not predictable. People are not predictable. A manager's job is to smooth out the unpredictable-ness and get everything done.

Only after the crisis was over, and the work done, would I address the issue of the lateness of the work. My focus would be to find out what went wrong with the employee - where did they get stuck or confused, what information did they need that they didn't have, what process could we put in place so that we would see these problems earlier (when it was easier for me to fix them)?

I might say to the employee "You should have done XYZ" or "You should have told me when..." or "Next time, I want you to..." or even "Sigh. This is a mess. Let's not get into this mess again, OK?"

You said that you talked to them a couple of weeks ago and told them exactly where you were on things. If you were honest with them then, there hasn't been time for you to get into a situation where things are impossibly bad. Life happens. Managers get paid to shuffle resources and have contingency plans and remove obstacles.

Maybe they haven't had to do that for you before (because you will pull the allnighter to get things done). But that doesn't mean that it isn't *reasonable* for you to need them to do that for you now.

The most important thing to me was having my people be honest with me about where they were on the task. I would factor in information about the particular person - if Person A said they were on time, I didn't worry, if Person B said they were on time I would ask some questions to find out if they really were - since they tended to be overly optomistic. And there were times when people surpised me - maybe Person A would, uncharacteristically get into trouble, or Person B would *really* be on schedule. But it was my job to figure out how to help get the job done. By helping the person, adding resources to the task, or reassigning the task.

My guess is that you are one of those people who, when you said something would be done, would always have things done on time. But you have already warned them that things are difficult right now. They said "We expect you to get them done anyway" - maybe because in the past that was all that was needed to "fix" whatever problem you have had in the past. If they need to do more to help you get through this assignment, they will be surprised - maybe annoyed - but it is *part of their job* to do that.

Your shame at getting into trouble is probably a lot more than their anger. Be honest with them. They can't help you get out of this if they don't know all the facts.

Having your work done on time is not a life or death matter. It may cost someone (your customer or your firm or you) money if you don't get things done. But money *is* just money. You are Dinah - you are much more important than money.

Please take care of yourself.

 

Re: Failing fallsfall

Posted by Dinah on January 22, 2005, at 8:06:28

In reply to Re: Failing Dinah, posted by fallsfall on January 22, 2005, at 6:41:11

I can't bring myself to talk to them again. It went too badly last time.

 

Re: Failing Daisym

Posted by mair on January 23, 2005, at 0:06:49

In reply to Failing, posted by Daisym on January 21, 2005, at 20:46:46

The fear of public approbation gets me every time. I live in much too small a town.

Mair

 

Re: What is distressing

Posted by Dinah on January 23, 2005, at 7:47:49

In reply to Re: Failing Daisym, posted by mair on January 23, 2005, at 0:06:49

Is that everyone assumes it just won't happen. Maybe my office is beginning to conclude that it might.

But my husband thinks it's just silly old Dinah, same as high school, agonizing over getting an "F" and ending up with the highest grade in class. My therapist *just* stopped refusing to look at anything but the positive and started thinking possibility of negative outcomes. But even now, his stock reply is "We'll deal with that if it happens." I know he means it to be comforting because of the "we", but it's not really. At least he's acknowledging that maybe I really am not capable of doing it right now.

The tyranny of high expectations. I was disciplined by it; I do the same to my son I fear. Because it's all either my husband or I know.

Of *course* you can do it. You've *always* done it before. You are a smart girl. If you just put your mind and attention to it, you can do anything you like.

Subtext: If you don't do it, it's because you're not trying hard enough (which is, of course, bad). Your not being able to do "it" is something so horrible as to be unspeakable. Failure isn't an option. We expect better of you than that.

There's a behavioral corollary to this achievement motivational tool. "You can come home whenever you like. I trust you to do what's right."

There's a fair amount of pressure involved to all that trust. Failure seems like more than just failure even - not that failure isn't horrific enough on its own.

We were talking about failure yesterday in therapy. My therapist doesn't understand why I see no particular difference between making a "C" and making an "F". When the goal is making an "A", failure is failure. And the goal has always been making an "A". And the expectations have always been that I'll make an "A", because, well, I can. And if you *can* make an "A", it would be wrong not to. And it would be extra special wrong to cause anyone else any inconvenience or distress by not being able to do what you can do.

But there's no room in there for not being able to do what you used to be able to do.

To be fair, no one expects me to win Olympic Gold, run in a marathon, or remember my son's dental appointment without prompting. Their expectations are based on prior history.

 

Re: What is distressing Dinah

Posted by fallsfall on January 23, 2005, at 9:09:48

In reply to Re: What is distressing, posted by Dinah on January 23, 2005, at 7:47:49

I ***SO*** understand.

 

Re: What is distressing Dinah

Posted by gardenergirl on January 23, 2005, at 15:27:17

In reply to Re: What is distressing, posted by Dinah on January 23, 2005, at 7:47:49

Dinah,
That does sound distressing. And a huge boatload of pressure. I think that rational you can look at what you wrote and pick out the irrational messages, so I'm not going jump on those. (Although you sound just like a client I had who was very perfectionistic...we used to spend many many sessions on the ideas of competent and good enough versus doing the absolute best you can).

I do want to offer emotional Dinah some support. Standing up under all that pressure is tiring to say the least. I'm sorry you are in this situation right now. I wish I was there to help you with the load.

And please remember that when we are the most stressed, the choices available to us can seem very limited. There might be more options out there, even if they seem impossible or the outcome abhorrent.

I'm thinking of you,

gg

 

I'm trying to get work out before dark

Posted by Dinah on January 23, 2005, at 15:55:17

In reply to Re: What is distressing Dinah, posted by gardenergirl on January 23, 2005, at 15:27:17

Although it's getting iffy. I'll be able to answer tonight. But I wanted to thank you, and let you know that I'm doing better than I was.

 

Re: I'm trying to get work out before dark

Posted by sunny10 on January 24, 2005, at 12:38:04

In reply to I'm trying to get work out before dark, posted by Dinah on January 23, 2005, at 15:55:17

I've been trying not to post and get even more people upset with me, BUT I just wanted to offer my perception of the story.

I am not a T. I only read and utilize my own experiences to "perceive" what is being said. I word this in this strange fashion because I don't want anyone to think I am saying I KNOW anything concretely.

My perceived feeling is that your T wants to work with your rational self to help you realize that being the best 100% of the time in your chosen specialties (worker, mother, wife, et cetera) is not healthy for you. I think T wants to help you with "what we will do if you fail" NOT because "you might/will" like I infer you suggest, but that to "fail" sometimes is normal.

I think that T wants to impress upon you that life is not black and white, fail or succeed.

Take a breath, work and/or money is never most important. How you feel about yourself is always much more important.

Just my 2 cents,
Sunny10


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