Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 491935

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I'm soooooo pleased with me!! fallsfall

Posted by Dinah on May 6, 2005, at 18:21:42

In reply to Re: Yeah, Dinah!!!, posted by fallsfall on May 6, 2005, at 17:35:07

(Probably annoyingly so)

I've been wriggling all over with excitement and thumping my leg on the floor.

I'm glad the timing works out well for you. I think that's a perfect thing to be thinking about when those darn old therapists desert us to go have a relaxing time. :)

I brought "In Session: The Bond Between Women and Their Therapists" in to my session today to share my excitement with my therapist. We ended up talking about how many of us thought it should be required reading, along with the Psychology Board. Except for him of course, re. the Psychology Board. He's ok with my talking about him here, not always nicely. He says it's good that I have somewhere to process therapy. So I pointed out the part in the book that said that. :)) He seemed sort of interested, and there's at least a snowball's chance in h*ll that he'll read it himself someday.

But here's the other part that I'm soooo pleased with me about. Get ready?!!!

I told him I couldn't loan him my copy because he never returned my copy of that book that I lent him when he agreed to read it for his usual session fee per hour because it was so important to me. I thought I'd never ever ever ever have the nerve to mention that!!!

Ooooh, my pleasure with myself is ever so great this week. If you add it to my pride at the hard work I did in therapy, I just may become insufferable. I haven't felt this dang good about myself since my Wunderkind years.

 

Re: I'm soooooo pleased with me!! Dinah

Posted by fallsfall on May 6, 2005, at 18:35:42

In reply to I'm soooooo pleased with me!! fallsfall, posted by Dinah on May 6, 2005, at 18:21:42

You are making me grin!

Face it - you are GOOD.

 

Re: I'm soooooo pleased with me!! Dinah

Posted by annierose on May 6, 2005, at 22:52:16

In reply to I'm soooooo pleased with me!! fallsfall, posted by Dinah on May 6, 2005, at 18:21:42


Way to go Dinah - what was his reaction when you mentioned the book? Did he sheepishly admit to putting the book in a pile of forgotten reading material?

 

He had no recollection whatsoever. :) (nm) annierose

Posted by Dinah on May 6, 2005, at 23:17:53

In reply to Re: I'm soooooo pleased with me!! Dinah, posted by annierose on May 6, 2005, at 22:52:16

 

Yes! D*mn good, amazing Dinah! (nm) fallsfall

Posted by 10derHeart on May 7, 2005, at 0:06:28

In reply to Re: I'm soooooo pleased with me!! Dinah, posted by fallsfall on May 6, 2005, at 18:35:42

 

My book arrived yesterday!

Posted by gardenergirl on May 10, 2005, at 14:34:26

In reply to Yes! D*mn good, amazing Dinah! (nm) fallsfall, posted by 10derHeart on May 7, 2005, at 0:06:28

I didn't open it yet, because I was absorbed with my school work, but it's here!

We are here, we are here, we are here!

(sorry, I'm in a Who-ish mood.)

gg

 

Re: Looks like In Session?

Posted by Susan47 on May 10, 2005, at 19:28:28

In reply to Re: Looks like In Session?, posted by Dr. Bob on May 5, 2005, at 22:19:09

Okay that does it now I'm returning my library copy and buying the book .. Lott a guest expert? Oh, my.

 

Re: Looks like In Session?

Posted by LadyBug on May 11, 2005, at 13:19:37

In reply to Re: Looks like In Session?, posted by Susan47 on May 10, 2005, at 19:28:28

I'm so excited to have Lott be a guest!!!! I love this book. I have about worn my copy out from all the reading. I wish more books were written from the clients perspective.
Maybe we should all get together and compose a book with our experience of our therapy or therapists.

LadyBug

 

So should we wait till Monday?

Posted by Dinah on May 12, 2005, at 21:36:50

In reply to Re: Looks like In Session?, posted by LadyBug on May 11, 2005, at 13:19:37

Or start Sunday. I suppose I'd better start reading.

 

I'll start talking Sunday. lol. (nm)

Posted by Dinah on May 13, 2005, at 17:55:39

In reply to So should we wait till Monday?, posted by Dinah on May 12, 2005, at 21:36:50

 

Re: So should we wait till Monday? Dinah

Posted by Tamar on May 13, 2005, at 18:39:20

In reply to So should we wait till Monday?, posted by Dinah on May 12, 2005, at 21:36:50

> Or start Sunday. I suppose I'd better start reading.

My copy hasn't arrived yet, though I ordered it ages ago. Sigh. But I can catch up.

 

Yikes, I better start reading (nm)

Posted by gardenergirl on May 13, 2005, at 18:41:54

In reply to Re: So should we wait till Monday? Dinah, posted by Tamar on May 13, 2005, at 18:39:20

 

Re: So should we wait till Monday? Tamar

Posted by Dinah on May 14, 2005, at 10:37:05

In reply to Re: So should we wait till Monday? Dinah, posted by Tamar on May 13, 2005, at 18:39:20

Rats.

I'd rather everyone had their books in, but I guess the intro and chapter one aren't that long, so anyone who joins us along the way can probably catch up.

In fact that's probably important for those friends who are just about to discover Babble... and us. We'd love to have them join in.

I'll try to post excerpts so you can follow?

 

Re: So should we wait till Monday? Dinah

Posted by Tamar on May 14, 2005, at 16:05:47

In reply to Re: So should we wait till Monday? Tamar, posted by Dinah on May 14, 2005, at 10:37:05

> Rats.
>
> I'd rather everyone had their books in, but I guess the intro and chapter one aren't that long, so anyone who joins us along the way can probably catch up.
>
> In fact that's probably important for those friends who are just about to discover Babble... and us. We'd love to have them join in.

Well, if my experience reading Yalom is anything to go by, I'll probably read Lott cover to cover as soon as I get it. Then I guess I can re-read it more slowly. So catching up shouldn't be a problem.

> I'll try to post excerpts so you can follow?

That would be great. Thanks.

I'm really looking forward to this!

 

How are we going to do this?

Posted by daisym on May 14, 2005, at 17:50:43

In reply to Re: So should we wait till Monday? Dinah, posted by Tamar on May 14, 2005, at 16:05:47

I've been rereading today -- and there are sentences or paragraphs that strike me. Are we going to post questions of each other or our observations? Or both? (Yes, I need my life planned out 10 years in advance and I need to get an A!)

Also, I thought it would be great if we could try to meet in Open and chat once in awhile. We could try to pick a time kind of in the middle of East/West Coasts. Or Saturday mornings. I'm open to suggestions.

 

Re: How are we going to do this?

Posted by Dinah on May 15, 2005, at 7:59:43

In reply to How are we going to do this?, posted by daisym on May 14, 2005, at 17:50:43

> I've been rereading today -- and there are sentences or paragraphs that strike me. Are we going to post questions of each other or our observations? Or both? (Yes, I need my life planned out 10 years in advance and I need to get an A!)
>
Not sure. Anything goes? Both or either or anything anyone else thinks to do?

> Also, I thought it would be great if we could try to meet in Open and chat once in awhile. We could try to pick a time kind of in the middle of East/West Coasts. Or Saturday mornings. I'm open to suggestions.
>
>

That sounds like a great idea! My new computer doesn't do chat all that well (something about Microsoft and Java), but I'm willing to give it a shot.

 

Re: So should we wait till Monday?

Posted by All Done on May 16, 2005, at 11:00:25

In reply to So should we wait till Monday?, posted by Dinah on May 12, 2005, at 21:36:50

Hmmmpfff. I've lost my book. I have one more place I can think of to check for it tonight. If I don't find it there, I'll get a new copy tomorrow and catch up with you guys then.

 

Re: So should we wait till Monday?

Posted by pegasus on May 16, 2005, at 15:12:22

In reply to Re: So should we wait till Monday?, posted by All Done on May 16, 2005, at 11:00:25

Oh, dandy! I've been off babble since I posted my approval of the idea of a book club. Fortuntately, I already have In Session, and have recently reread it. Plus my schedule has been recently freed up, so I should be able to check in every couple of days. Yay! Yay! I was thinking of this while I was babble-less, and hoping I hadn't missed all the fun. I'm going to go review chapter 1 and see what I might have to say about it here. What a great book to pick for the first one.

pegasus

 

The Introduction (In Session)

Posted by Dinah on May 16, 2005, at 19:29:08

In reply to Re: So should we wait till Monday?, posted by pegasus on May 16, 2005, at 15:12:22

I've included quotes for those who haven't gotten their books yet, but not page numbers because I think there's a paperback book out now, and the pages are probably different?

I had brought this book to therapy on the same day we were talking about Babble and about how I sometimes say things about him here that would do our relationship no good whatsoever. He told me that he was glad that I had somewhere to process what happened in therapy.

It fit in perfectly with the introduction to this book. In particular one of the paragraphs I highlighted (I'm reading the book with a highlighter this time, and might use post it notes as well.)

"Being one-on-one in the therapy room could lead to a dizzying loss of perspective, an inability to trust oneself. Bringing another person into the room, even after the fact, could clarify matters. In fact, talking about our therapy together proved to be one of the most therapeutic aspects of the whole process."

Her descriptions of the unofficial gatherings after the official writers' group remind me so much of Psychological Babble. It's one of the things I like best about this place. I don't lose perspective anywhere near as much with a group of friends to talk about what can be really confusing. I also find I bring things up in therapy because I've already normalized them here.

I also really liked the descriptions of transference, while she also kept in mind that not all reactions within the therapeutic relationship *are* transference.

"A single question - "How do I know if it's me or my therapist?" - was the source of much of our agonizing within my writers group."

I was reading the other day somewhere else that research shows that clients react better if therapists admit that discord in a relationship might be partially due to them, as well as transference or totally due to the client. I think that's one of my therapist's greater gifts.

I also really liked what she writes about boundaries.

"Some of the most moving poetry ever written was composed within rigid forms."

That is very much in keeping with my own thoughts on therapy. That it is the limitations of therapy that we sometimes rail against that actually provide what we need. Friendship is a lovely thing, but the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship allow for a relationship unlike any others in our lives. One just as valuable and precious as the ones with less obvious and artificial barriers. (Since it's hard to think of any relationship with no boundaries at all. Just less obvious ones.)

I guess I didn't like this paragraph, which most of you probably endorse and understand, but that I still reject with vehemence. But that may say more of me and my developmental stage. :)

"There is something inherently tragic about the client-therapist relationship. The therapist can never bring all of herself into the room, the client will long for what she can never get, the relationship is doomed to end. But treating the bond as either ordinary friendship or as a strictly professional exchange of goods and services only diminishes its therapeutic potential and hurts the client."

I like that my therapist just brings the best of himself into the room. I don't want anything more than therapy (forever therapy, but no other sort of relationship). And if I'm lucky enough to die first, there's no reason for the relationship to be doomed to end.

I've always thought the story of Anna O. (chapter one) was such a sad one. Dr. Breuer so clearly offered so much more than he was willing to deliver that that particular relationship looked more like a monumental tease than a cure. Hence today's boundaries, I guess.

 

I promise I'll post on Tuesday

Posted by gardenergirl on May 16, 2005, at 21:27:49

In reply to Re: So should we wait till Monday?, posted by pegasus on May 16, 2005, at 15:12:22

(I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!) :)

Spent the day unexpectedly at work and the evening with my hubby since he is going out of town. I didn't get to read yet. :(

I'm intentionally not looking at Dinah's post. I'll read and then read any posts and post my own tomorrow.

sorry,
gg

 

Re: The Introduction (In Session)

Posted by gardenergirl on May 17, 2005, at 22:01:58

In reply to The Introduction (In Session), posted by Dinah on May 16, 2005, at 19:29:08

> "Being one-on-one in the therapy room could lead to a dizzying loss of perspective, an inability to trust oneself. Bringing another person into the room, even after the fact, could clarify matters. In fact, talking about our therapy together proved to be one of the most therapeutic aspects of the whole process."
>
> Her descriptions of the unofficial gatherings after the official writers' group remind me so much of Psychological Babble. It's one of the things I like best about this place.

I was thinking the same thing! I also do this occasionally (not as much now) with a friend who sees the same T as me. Sometimes if both of us are struggling at the same time and not finding him as helpful as usual, it helps to hear it's not just me. And I do think that normalizing the therapy process and experiences is so useful. I almost want to refer my clients here, but um, I'll pass. :-D

So far the book is really making me think about my own behavior in sessions with clients. Like if I get a haircut and they comment on it, and times when I use self-disclosure...times when I react to something they have said immediately out of my gut...um, at least I'm being genuine there. And it's usually a validation of what they are feeling, too...at least I hope. What if I have dark circles or a cough? I never really think about this, but I realize that I do tend to notice if my T seems sleepy or distracted. Or if he is wearing something very different from his usual attire I wonder what's up....never felt the seat warm from another client, though. That would be really yucky!

> I also really liked the descriptions of transference, while she also kept in mind that not all reactions within the therapeutic relationship *are* transference.

I agree. She really makes transference clear, and also describes (at least so far) aspects of the real relationship that are important.
>
> "A single question - "How do I know if it's me or my therapist?" - was the source of much of our agonizing within my writers group."
>
> I was reading the other day somewhere else that research shows that clients react better if therapists admit that discord in a relationship might be partially due to them, as well as transference or totally due to the client. I think that's one of my therapist's greater gifts.

I know that with my recent struggles in therapy, I really NEEDED him to acknowledge some role in what happened in that really bad session. Even discussing that need that I felt and how I felt it was not met at first was good fodder for therapy, and it also tends to match a pattern I have with others.

This reminds me of how she talks about Freud's "stereotypical plates" "According to Freud, people had a tendency to unconsciously create and then globally apply these templates, which had been forged in early childhood relationships. These internal models shaped people's perceptions and expectations in all the signficant relationships that came afterward. They influenced how we picked our lovers, how we responded to criticism from an authority figure, how we interpreted the unspoken cues between strangers. In short, these templates provided the emotional rules for how to function in relationships." (from the introduction)

Boy howdy did this resonate with me. A lot of what I am talking about recently has to do with my reactions to authority figures, being very sensitive to criticism, and my father. It's all linked. I'm not sure I agree that these templates are as global as she states Freud described them, but I am starting to see similar "emotional rules" at work in my important relationships, particularly with men.
>
>
> "There is something inherently tragic about the client-therapist relationship. The therapist can never bring all of herself into the room, the client will long for what she can never get, the relationship is doomed to end. But treating the bond as either ordinary friendship or as a strictly professional exchange of goods and services only diminishes its therapeutic potential and hurts the client."

I reacted to this as well, from both sides of the couch. I have had heartfelt sadness and also happiness for a client when the client terminated after working with me for about a year. I always enjoyed sessions with this client, although I suspect that there was an aspect of the client trying to be "the good client" at work there. But at any rate, this is someone with whom I could imagine being friends with if the circumstances of our meeting were different. That feels like a loss to me, too. My T said something similar when I was very sad and also angry at him (irrationally) because I could never work with him as a professional due to our therapy relationship. He said it was a sacrifice on both sides, which was very touching, and one of the only times he has allowed his personal feelings into the therapy space. I treasure that statement--which fits with when Lott mentions the longing clients can have to really believe in the genuine caring that seems apparent in the relationship versus feeling as if the T is paid to care.

The Anna O story certainly is extraordinary, although for an experiment and a first attempt at "talk therapy", I suppose you can't expect what we do these days. It did remind of when my T and I were discussing increasing to twice a week, and how that had a big potential for more intense feelings on my part. I felt like all the cautions he was presenting were an atte,pt to warn me off of increasing. He admitted that he might be coming across that way because T's can be frightened about deepening with a client just like a client can, but it's up to the T to manage that fear in order to do the work. (I sure hope he wasn't really being scared off...maybe just leery?)

Enjoying this so far...

Anyone else?

gg

 

Re: The Introduction (In Session) gardenergirl

Posted by daisym on May 17, 2005, at 22:52:54

In reply to Re: The Introduction (In Session), posted by gardenergirl on May 17, 2005, at 22:01:58

"We felt the same urgent need to get every detail straight, every word right..."

I think this is why we all find Babble so valuable. We can write and rewrite until we have it the way we remember it. And long or short, accounts of sessions are eagerly embraced here. In other settings you have to watch yourself or you could begin to raise eye brows when you say too often "and THEN my therapist said!" On babble, we all want to know what your therapist said. (Thank goodness!)

"The so-called "boundaries" of therapy, the rules of the game, were also bewildering."

NO KIDDING! Which is why I've been insisting for 2 years that I need the rule book. I wish therapist understood better how hard it is for some of us to begin this process with no prior experience. In no other setting can I think of would you learn what to do or not do as you go along. How can you not feel judged or at least provincial as you try to navigate the maze?

I think the most important thing that she wrote in the introduction is that therapy done well is a profound gift to the client. She states
"For all its flaws, I do not believe we have yet found the alternatives to replace psychotherapy--not in psychotropic medication, not in self-help programs, no even in the currently popular spiritual movements." What a relief to know that this powerful and incredibly painful process I'm going through is the right thing to be doing!

I think we should debate what she wrote about therapists' authenticity. She offers that much of her group worried that their therapist was different outside the consulting room. And later, she goes on to say that "good therapists are able to bring the essence of their real selves into the therapy room without having their needs compete with the client's. They are able to be authentic while maintaining clear boundaries." I agree that they should keep their needs out of the room. But, does it matter if they act differently outside of the consulting room if they are consistent with us? If so, why? Aren't we different outside the therapy room than we are in it? Don't we put on our "therapy patient" hat, just like they put on their "therapist" hat? Don't you think we all, to some degree, play roles in certain settings? And, do you think men are better at this than women? Universally it is believed that men can go to work and leave their personal lives at home, unlike women. Do you think this applies to therapists as well?

 

I won't be able to post in this thread. No book daisym

Posted by pinkeye on May 18, 2005, at 13:23:27

In reply to Re: The Introduction (In Session) gardenergirl, posted by daisym on May 17, 2005, at 22:52:54

Guys,
I enjoy reading your posts. I just skimmed throught this book and read all the relevant parts in a fast paced - 2 hour rush in Barnes and Noble. And I don't remember each of what she had written except that the book was awesome.

I enjoy now reading all your posts.

But I am no way going to buy this book and bring it to my home. I have enough problems wiht my hsuband as it is. He sees me reading a book like this - I will be getting a divroce the next week. So I will refrain from posting here.

 

Re: The Introduction (In Session)

Posted by pegasus on May 18, 2005, at 17:10:18

In reply to The Introduction (In Session), posted by Dinah on May 16, 2005, at 19:29:08

Yes, such interesting things to discuss here. Daisy, I tend to agree with your comments about therapist authenticity. I guess as long as they are consistent with each client, it is fairly irrelevant to the client whether they act differently away from the office. But I think to the therapists themselves it might make a difference. My thinking is that if they're putting on a persona in the office that isn't their natural self, it'll show through in some way or another and the therapy will suffer. I think to be a good therapist, one would need to be pretty authentically themselves in some form in the office.

Dinah, oh, I have to disagree with your stance on the paragraph about therapy being tragic! I've always felt that way very strongly. It's part of what charges the relationship for me. Maybe the difference between us is that I do expect to one day stop seeing my therapist. If only because of lack of money. My life isn't stable enough to sustain therapy forever. And anyway, I think the therapists generally do expect to terminate with each client eventually, for one reason or another (your therapist excepted - I know he expects to see you forever, so you're safe). So, that being so, I wish they could more often acknowledge the tragedy in forming such a close relationship that is expected to end.

The thing that hit me hardest about the intro is the discussion about how all the literature about therapy is from the therapists' point of view. I always thought that was a bit goofy. Who better to comment on the effectiveness, or even the effect of therapy than the client? I don't have the book in front of me, but she mentions at one point how therapy theories are often proposed and implemented without checking in with the clients who've experienced those methods. Whatever evaluation is done is based on external metrics that are observable by the researcher, not on what the client says about their therapy. What an oversight!

Makes me think about Irvin Yalom's book "Every Day Gets A Little Closer", where he and a client write notes about their sessions independently. I loved reading both sides. In particular, the client writes her notes *to* him, and he writes his notes to himself. Says volumes.

pegasus

P.S. I just read Yalom's new novel "The Schopenhauer Cure". It's essentially about an idealized therapy group, where every member is a perfect, idealized group member. (Well, allegedly it's about a collision between Schopenhauer's philosophy and modern psychotherapy, where therapy wins, of course.)

 

Re: The Introduction (In Session)

Posted by Daisym on May 18, 2005, at 19:24:46

In reply to Re: The Introduction (In Session), posted by pegasus on May 18, 2005, at 17:10:18

Do you think that the reason, up until very recently, clients didn't write about their experience is because they weren't sure if their experience was more or less typical? I mean, what if *I* am the only one that can't handle my therapist going on vacation? What does that say about me?

I think what she says about how dizzy the experience makes you is so very true. How can someone who feels pretty competent in most arenas turn into such a blithering mess in the consulting room? And feel so Da*n dependent!? All of that would be hard to admit to the world at large. I think the internet has changed things dramatically, which is a question I intend to pose to Ms. Lott...now that we all talk to each other, do you think therapists are more aware of how clients really feel about things?

And as I type that, I think, my therapist has always seemed so aware of how I might feel or react. He normalizes things for me; he just doesn't alert me ahead of time about some things. But I can remember when he was changing his furniture and he told me ahead of time, and I was kind of outraged that he thought *I* would react to such a "minor" thing. But he was right. It was weird and uncomfortable for awhile. It must be part of his training and orientation, but I also think it is his experience. It would be interesting to see if "new" (younger?) therapists are more or less aware of these things. Is it age, or experience? And (or?) is that since therapists are required to undergo therapy now, not analysis, perhaps they don't have the same intense experience that we do. Just some thoughts...

I also agree about the tragic nature of the relationship. It is hard to know that you are investing heavily in something that is time limited. I bring this up now and then. He never tells me it won't end, he just says, "I don't think we're there yet." And then goes on to reassure me that he will be around as long as I need him. Which for now, is enough.


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