Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 454458

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Re: A dependency on your T Susan47

Posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:39:33

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T, posted by Susan47 on February 7, 2005, at 16:35:21

What's the difference to you between emotionally dependent and emotionally trusting?

 

Re: A dependency on your T

Posted by tryingtobewise on February 7, 2005, at 17:06:19

In reply to A dependency on your T, posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:06:55

I definitely resist becoming emotionally depending on my T. I hate good-byes, and knowing that therapy can't last forever inhibits me from developing an attachment that will cause great pain when "good bye" comes.

Also, I tend to be somewhat obsessive and I don't want to find myself in a situation where the time in between appointments is just a count down. Years ago I had a T., who I was more dependent on than I liked, and that is how I felt.

So for now, I keep it as a very warm & friendly "business deal".

It will be interesting to see how people respond.

Kim

 

Re: A dependency on your T

Posted by rubenstein on February 7, 2005, at 18:09:50

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T, posted by tryingtobewise on February 7, 2005, at 17:06:19

Maybe we need to be dependent on our t's at times. This is so hard for me, but I think that if I don't do it, I will never get better...
but that's just me
and for once I think being needy might be ok
rubenstein

 

Re: A dependency on your T mair

Posted by bent on February 7, 2005, at 18:38:40

In reply to A dependency on your T, posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:06:55

I agree that for many people you need to be dependent to work through hard/regressive stuff. I dont know about others but to me and in my therapy there is a big difference between dependent and attached. I am not dependent on my T, but I am attached (like superglue). I love my T, I have seen her as my perfect mother, and I have become very attached over the years but I dont feel overly dependent. I know underneath it all I dont NEED my T. I want her but I dont NEED her all the time. I know I could live without her, boy would it be painful, but I could do it. Maybe this is way off the original topic but I always feel more attached than dependent.

 

Re: A dependency on your T

Posted by Susan47 on February 7, 2005, at 18:39:21

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T Susan47, posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:39:33

Emotionally dependent, on its own, means to me that my mood, my emotions, depend on how my relationship with my therapist is. And if I'm having a bad relationship with him (we're going back to the past here) then I feel bad about myself, and I don't like feeling bad about myself so then I go out to change that by trying to change the relationship. Now I'm dependent. I can't let go of that relationship; it defines me.
Emotional trust means that no matter what I perceive the relationship to be, I believe that there is enough respect and caring that I don't need to prove anything; I will be seen as who I really am, and still be cared for. Now I'm not dependent; I'm just trusting.
Hmmm. What did I just say? In any case, they go together in a framework of dependency, in a way, because if I trust and my trust is broken, suddeny I feel bad about myself, and I'm dependent.

 

Re: A dependency on your T mair

Posted by Dinah on February 7, 2005, at 20:11:49

In reply to A dependency on your T, posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:06:55

This is a really tough subject for us. And while we tend to talk about it a lot, I'm not sure it's in terms that would be globally helpful.

You know my therapist has a problem with dependent women? And that I have immense problems with trust, that even now interfere with our relationship from time to time.

I can't imagine anyone more dependent on their therapist than I am. Not for day to day stuff. I don't live from appointment to appointment. The time when he occupied much of my waking thoughts is long since past. But the idea of him not being in my life anymore is too scary to contemplate.

His attitude (now) is that it is a very good thing that I am attached to him. He tends to skate over the dependent, especially since it's only a termination sort of dependent. He sees the attachment is a very good thing. He sees me as someone who in general has trouble attaching to anyone with less than four legs. And he thinks that the few attachments I have are positive things. He's ok with being the strongest leg on my support stool, though he encourages me to add legs and strengthen them.

Since he chooses to see it as attachment and not dependence, I imagine that influences his idea of whether it's a good thing or not.

What exactly are you afraid of, dependence wise? Are you afraid of needing her, not a generic therapist? Is it a fear of becoming dependent and then losing her? Or is it a fear of becoming dependent, losing your individuality, and spending far too much of your time and energy thinking of her? If it's the latter, I think it's like romantic love. The intensity passes and you're left with something less exciting, but equally satisfying.

Isn't it natural to grow attached to someone you've known for so long? And in such a quasi-intimate session? And as I'm fond of saying to my therapist, and he's fond of saying back to me, therapists aren't like washing machines. You can't easily move to the next one if this becomes unavailable. It's a personal relationship to a certain extent, and attachment to the person filling the role is natural and even healthy.

 

I just found this mair

Posted by judy1 on February 7, 2005, at 20:59:02

In reply to A dependency on your T, posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:06:55

and it's the question I asked on the earlier thread to you. I've been burned so I don't become dependent anymore- although admittedly my last termination threw me for a couple of months (I'm fine now). I think it's really a fine line between a healthy and unhealthy dependency and I guess it's up to the therp to maintain the healthy part. I trust the female therp I see occasionally (haven't seen her in a few months) but obviously I'm not dependent on her at all. I think that's the best (for me) realtionship to a therp- one of trust and not dependency. It's a real positive situation and hasn't hindered any progress that I am willing to make. note the 'willing' part- I can be pretty obstinate when it comes to my mental health. do you feel it has been a barrier to your therapeutic progress?
take care, judy

 

Re: A dependency on your T

Posted by namaste on February 7, 2005, at 21:04:27

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T mair, posted by Dinah on February 7, 2005, at 20:11:49

For me the therapy alliance is an opportunity to practice an intimate relationship, one of caring and nonjudgemental attention as the only one I have ever known before was abusive. Hopefully in the future as i heal i will transfer that intimacy with my T to another.It is a powerful feeling when someone really listens to you.,

 

Re: A dependency on your T

Posted by namaste on February 7, 2005, at 21:09:45

In reply to A dependency on your T, posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:06:55

oops, I mean transfer my learned intimacy to another relatiionship outside of a therapeutic one one day.

 

Re: A dependency on your T mair

Posted by thewrite1 on February 7, 2005, at 22:46:01

In reply to A dependency on your T, posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:06:55

I'm both dependent on my T and attached. I feel that it's not really healthy for me. At some point that relationship will end and I can't see that being any less painful than it would be now.

However, I also realize that I wouldn't have been able to work through as much stuff as I have without being dependent and attached. It is new for me. I've been attached before, but made it a point to not be dependent on anyone. I have quite a lot of trust in her. It gets challenged sometimes and sometimes the foundation shakes, but I always come back around. For me, the trust is directly tied to the dependency/attachment.

 

Re: A dependency on your T

Posted by Smeegle on February 7, 2005, at 23:46:50

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T mair, posted by thewrite1 on February 7, 2005, at 22:46:01

I don't see myself ever becoming dependent on my T. We have an excellent rapport, I feel that he is genuinely concerned about my mental health and personal safety. I know his door is open any time I feel the need to call. He has stressed repeatedly that if I feel the need I should NEVER hesitate to call. I have come close, but have never called outside of normal business hours (and even then, just to move up an appt). It took me a long time to open up to him and now that I have, it would certainly be beneficial for him to remain my T. And I hope he does. I don't feel that my world would end if he moved or whatever. I know that I may have to go thru a couple of other pdocs before I find another that fits with my personality and communication style. It wouldn't be a pleasant transition, but I can't see falling apart or being that unrealistically dependent on their presence in my life. I wouldn't think it would be fair to him. I have trust and mutual respect. Oddly enough, at first I thought he was aloof, impersonal and downright cool for a long time. I see how wrong I was. I just don't see how someone else's existence in your life can be productive in moving forward. It sounds more like filling a void. Just my perspective on it. Don't take me wrong, I've never walked in your shoes and have no clue what anyone else's issues/dx are. I just know that I would be disappointed, but I would just move on and keeping at it until I find another T that I can feel comfortable with.

Smeegs

 

Re: A dependency on your T mair

Posted by Shortelise on February 8, 2005, at 0:33:58

In reply to A dependency on your T, posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:06:55

Dependence, huh?

I don't know if I'm dependent on him or not.

There was a time when I felt as though he was my lifeline, a tether holding me to the earth without which I'd have floated away.

Now he feels more like an ally, someone who is o my side, and advocat for the person I am striving to be.

He seemed to make a decision sometime last year to stop with the transference stuff, and to enter into our "real" relationship with me.

I have never wanted to love him, have never let myself expand my definition of what I feel for him to love, but kept it at attachment, a word I can live with. If I were to love him, leaving him would be untenable pain. Attached, it will hopefully be tenable pain.

Like many of us here, I have an "attachment disorder" - in fact, a lot of that has to do with how my mother "mirrored" when I as I was growing. So that I would strive not to get attached to someone who is not mine to keep, well, small wonder, eh?

WhenI finally gotto a point in therapy that I trusted that my T would be kind to me, would not betray my trust, and would not leave me, then I could settle into the wonderful feeling of being safely attached and things got MUCH easier.

Forgive me if Ihave just contradicted myself, I think I may have, but, well, I'm full of contradiction, being human, yknow.

ShortE

 

Re: A dependency on your T mair

Posted by rainbowbrite on February 8, 2005, at 1:15:43

In reply to A dependency on your T, posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:06:55

FOr me therapy is as someone else mentioned, very much like a business deal. There is not much emotion between us. I am sure I am holding back and I am the reason for this, what this has resulted in is a lack of dedpendency. I have read so many post about T and patient cloeenss and I wondered for awhile if I was in a werid relationship and I prolly am but i don't think I want to be dependent on anyone, I actually hate that feeling ....and btw I think I just experienced a eurika moment :-) I keep alot of people at a distance hmm. sO I am not sure as to wehther dependence is positive or negative. I feel my independednce is positive and I save money that way too lol. It is only negative when those rare sessions occur where RAIN has actually dealt with soemthing, then maybe dependence would come into play but at taht point it is know longer accepted by T maybe cause of my wall. did that make aysense I wonder. Im not a huge fan of dependency with Ts but maybe it is helpful for others. Im on a lot of sleeping drugs right now so hopefully this will come out clear. those are my thoughts.

 

Re: A dependency on your T

Posted by daisym on February 8, 2005, at 2:08:43

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T mair, posted by rainbowbrite on February 8, 2005, at 1:15:43

Ah, the internal struggle. I think I prefer the word "attachment" too...

What does it mean to you to be dependent? We talk about this a lot in therapy...I depend on him to be consistent and to provide a secure framework for me to explore some really hard feelings. I depend on him to help me contain these feelings and I depend on him to tell me the truth and guide me. I don't depend on him for every little thing, especially daily living stuff.

But, my attachment is strong and makes me needy for contact. I think this is (obviously) the securely/insecurely attached stuff. This is the part that makes me crazy.

I just don't see how you work through some of this stuff without depending on your therapist to help you with it.

 

Re: A dependency on your T

Posted by Dinah on February 8, 2005, at 8:05:24

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T mair, posted by Shortelise on February 8, 2005, at 0:33:58

> There was a time when I felt as though he was my lifeline, a tether holding me to the earth without which I'd have floated away.

That's a phrase I use a lot. Not just with my therapist though. I think attachment to others is what keeps me tethered to the earth. It's not a bad analogy because of my dissociative tendencies. Life is sometimes so choppy and disconnected. It's my attachment to others that provides a thread that holds it all together.

It just happens that my therapist is one of my main, and few, attachments.

And of course, he's my safe harbor. That makes for a lot of attachment right there.

 

Above for (nm) Shortelise

Posted by Dinah on February 8, 2005, at 8:05:54

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T mair, posted by Shortelise on February 8, 2005, at 0:33:58

 

Re: A dependency on your T

Posted by Miss Honeychurch on February 8, 2005, at 8:44:41

In reply to A dependency on your T, posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:06:55

My T believes one of the worst things that can happen in therapy is for the patient (he calls his people patients and not clients)to become dependant. The topic came up about 3 months into my therapy when I told him I was really paranoid about him dropping me or leaving me or whatever. So he went off on a 5 minute speech about dependance, etc. and how "bad" it was. Needless to say, I was pretty quiet the rest of the session. Not our best moment.

ONe way he tries to keep the dependance down is through pretty strict boundaries. Only handshakes, calling between sessions is not encouraged, he lets me call him "Dr. X" (which I like). I can honestly say that all of this has prevented me from becoming dependant. I believe I would easily have felt more dependant if hugs were doled out or if he gave me physical compliments or even called to check up on me (I am so jealous when I read about people whose Ts do this!!!). In short, I knew any dependance would not be tolerated on his part, and since I adore him, I have worked hard not to feel this way.

That being said, we have a wonderful "therapeutic alliance." And I have grown to trust him 100%. ANd I trust very few people. I have a proclivity to grow attached to pretty much all authority figures in my life. Maybe he knows this and therefore nipped it in the bud with me.

I feel this is the best approach with me as I do not feel absolutely desperate to see him if there is a long separation. And I know that when termination occurs, while it will be hard, will not be the end of the world.

 

Re: A dependency on your T

Posted by Susan47 on February 8, 2005, at 9:46:05

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T, posted by Susan47 on February 7, 2005, at 18:39:21

Okay what I said is incomplete. Even with trust, there is a dependency, trust is a type of dependency, yes ... obviously I have issues around trust ... I didn't trust my therapist so the dependency I did develop was very negative. Trust your therapist if you can, and relax into the dependency. But if you can't relax about feeling dependent, then you probably don't trust your therapist mair, and that is not good. I guess I learned my lesson.

 

Ah, yes, I learned my lesson!

Posted by Susan47 on February 8, 2005, at 14:11:59

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T, posted by Susan47 on February 8, 2005, at 9:46:05

Of COURSE, THAT's why I suddenly feel like I can totally love my therapist blah blahblah all the sh*t I've been going through lately of Course, of course that's it now I think I get it I felt I needed to learn to trust because that's the thing I FAILED get it, I failed at trusting him initially and treated him like dirt, absolute sh*t really, and now I'm trying to make up for all of the bad behaviour and the lack of trust by trusting him even though I KNOW it's already too late. The already too late part is all about my dependence, the emotional dependence ... I'm trying to prove over and over and over again that I'm not the bad person he thinks I am because I couldn't trust him .. oh sheesh this self-therapy is tough. Enough, Susan. Grab a valium.

 

Re: A dependency on your T mair

Posted by Aphrodite on February 8, 2005, at 16:16:13

In reply to A dependency on your T, posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:06:55

I think about this *a lot* and I've always been such an independent person. I believe whether dependency is "good" or "bad" may depend on the person, if it should even be defined that way at all. My T says he does not have a cookie-cutter approach. For some, he discourages this. If it has been that person's life pattern, he guides them toward independence. For me, he completely and totally encourages attachment and has even bluntly stated he's trying to foster dependence.

If I don't call him, he calls me. He wants me to attach. He seems happy when I regress and "cry out" for him because he says then the guard is down and he can access the pain and actually get some work done. But it feels so uncomfortable for me. We discussed this recently, and he said, "You don't need therapy to learn to be a functional, independent adult. You need therapy for the wounded little girl inside, and for that, you need to trust and depend on me." I asked him again about phone calls, how much is too much, etc. and he gently replied, "When you *need* to call, just call. When you *want* to call, call then too. I'm here as much as you need." It all seems wrong somehow, but maybe getting me out of my miss-little-can-do-it-all-myself mode is the way to overcome and do the trauma work.

 

Re: A dependency on your T Aphrodite

Posted by Susan47 on February 8, 2005, at 20:18:37

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T mair, posted by Aphrodite on February 8, 2005, at 16:16:13

Ooooh you lucky girl. I have no idea what that might have looked like for me. It might have been much much easier.

 

Re: A dependency on your T mair

Posted by fallsfall on February 9, 2005, at 9:59:32

In reply to A dependency on your T, posted by mair on February 7, 2005, at 16:06:55

> I've wondered recently whether not wanting to become dependent has actually retarded my therapeutic progress.

I was very dependent on my first therapist (CBT, 8 1/2 years). She saw the dependence as a "thing to be worked on", and her solution was to stretch the time between appointments so that I would "learn that I could stand on my own two feet". So, when I wanted to see her 2/week, I could only go 1/week. When I got comfortable with 1/week, I could only go every other week. It was excruciating for me *all* of the time.

I switched to a Psychodyanmic therapist 1 1/2 years ago. He started out wanting to see me 2/week (she was pushing for every other week at that point). We did 2/week for a number of months, but it didn't feel like enough. Finally, I asked if I could see him 3/week, and we made that change. 3/week feels right to me (in the same way that having 2 kids wasn't enough, but having 3 was plenty). I no longer feel like I'm just holding myself together until my next appointment. I still feel like I have more to talk about than there is time to talk, but it doesn't have the same urgent feel to it. We have settled into a very productive phase.

So, in my case it was my therapist who was fighting the dependence, not me. But I think that her fighting *did* prevent therapy from being productive.

So, yes, "not wanting to become dependent" *can* retard therapeutic progress.

 

Re: A dependency on your T

Posted by Smeegle on February 10, 2005, at 0:02:34

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T mair, posted by Shortelise on February 8, 2005, at 0:33:58

I agree with the comment about him being my ally. He's my advocate. By learning to open up with him (and even admit to a lot of things I never thought I would EVER admit to), I have slowly started to open up in other relationships in my life. He's helping me move forward and actually I hope one day that it is ME that one days gets to say that I don't think I need to see him anymore. Maybe, maybe not. Just a hope I have. I am over independent and one of my main issues has always been internalizing, which I mostly think we are making progress with (always with backsliding, but overall I think we are moving in the right direction). It's nice knowing someone is in my corner who can be completely objective and help guide me to help myself. Not sure if I mentioned it before but I see both a psychologist (I prefer to refer to him as my counselor or pyschologist...and we do the first name thing) and a psychiatrist (though I see him primarily for the meds, I think my sessions with him are far more productive and satisfying than with my counselor. Not that I don't like or trust my counselor, I just feel more open with my pdoc. And I am damn glad I am seeing him tomorrow. It's been a heck of a week! So much to talk about.

Smeegs

 

Re: A dependency on your T Smeegle

Posted by mair on February 10, 2005, at 20:44:30

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T, posted by Smeegle on February 10, 2005, at 0:02:34

Do you consider yourself to be in therapy with both your pdoc and counselor? How often to you see them. You don't find that too confusing?

Just curious

Mair

 

Re: A dependency on your T thewrite1

Posted by mair on February 10, 2005, at 21:01:20

In reply to Re: A dependency on your T mair, posted by thewrite1 on February 7, 2005, at 22:46:01

I can see the relevance of trust. I must be trusting my T alot more because there's no question I'm raising things with her I might never have talked about before. So the risks must feel safe...to a point.

But dependency and attachment are trickier for me to sort out. Of course I'm dependent on her -I'm dependent on her to be a certain way and respond in certain ways. If I couldn't see her anymore, I think I'd be devastated, but not necessarily because I missed her, maybe as much because I've got so much time and money invested in a process that to my way of thinking will have a natural end. If it came to a premature end, I'd feel a sense of waste and frankly I don't think I'd have the energy to start all over again.


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