Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 502345

Shown: posts 1 to 11 of 11. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Wow. It's not just my therapist.

Posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 16:52:55

We had a appt today with my son's play therapist. There is going to be limited family therapy. Not therapy really (well, not openly anyway), but play sessions with the whole family. She says she gets a good idea about roles and interactions that way. She really wants to videotape it, but I'm afraid of that and refused. I really hate myself on film.

It wasn't a bad appointment. My husband and I had a minor argument, but it managed to convey what I was trying to express in real time. I was trying to tell the therapist what my husband does, he was trying to explain what he thought he was doing, and he ended up exhibiting the exact behavior in session. He's so obliging about showing what he does. The play therapist is very very very gentle in her interventions, but he got the majority of the gentle interventions. I got a few, but must were initiated by me. (I like to step in and say what I'm doing wrong before they have a chance.)

I ended up as zapped as after individual therapy!! I never thought that would happen. I thought it had to do with the therapeutic relationship or something. My therapist called to schedule an appt on my drive home, and I was so zonked I couldn't process what he said and had to call him back to confirm. When it turned out he hadn't left room in his schedule to see me before he left for his vacation, or when he got back, I was as petulant as a schoolgirl, although we worked it out. Then I fell asleep at my desk trying to work. Literally. Just like after really bad therapy sessions.

It wasn't bad. I didn't get fussed at. There was a bit of a small argument between me and my husband, but nothing horrible. I did have to explain why anger physically hurts, which many people seem to find odd, but it wasn't that bad.

And still, Zonk. Just like after my worst sessions. Soooo overstimulated, and falling asleep.

I'm still a mess.

Apparently it isn't specific to my therapist. Put me in a therapy situation and Zonk.

 

Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. Dinah

Posted by pinkeye on May 24, 2005, at 17:27:17

In reply to Wow. It's not just my therapist., posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 16:52:55

Is it possible you are too over invested in this therapy - "mental health" - "growing up emotinally" kind of thing?

Sometimes I feel that way about myself too, that maybe I focus too much in it. Maybe I shouldn't do too much of this digging into myself and just focus on other issues. But I am never sure of what the right balance is. This feels monumentally important as well - what is the use if I am not happy and I end up being everything else. But other times I feel, no matter how much I invest my time in emotional well being - it is just not for me. That I am going to struggle more than others anyway. But I am never sure

 

Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. pinkeye

Posted by pinkeye on May 24, 2005, at 17:29:15

In reply to Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. Dinah, posted by pinkeye on May 24, 2005, at 17:27:17

I realized I missed the main point in my post. I was going to say, that the reason you feel zonked after therapy is perhaps that you invest too much of yourself into it.

Maybe you need to take it more lightly. Like if a student is extremely concerned about her grades, even a little bit of underperformance will unsettle the kid right? Like that maybe you give too much of importance to therapy.

 

Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. Dinah

Posted by JenStar on May 24, 2005, at 18:02:15

In reply to Wow. It's not just my therapist., posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 16:52:55

hi Dinah,
you describe the family therapy situation rather lightly, as if it were not too big a deal, but it seems to me that it would be a very stressful situation! First of all, you're there with the entire family - which is new and different. I don't know if you're the kind of person who wants to impress people like T's (I am!) but even if you're not, doesn't just the idea of being on "display" for a new person seem kind of daunting? And then you and the hubby had an argument, which was small, but still it seems very important to you that the therapist see the issues he was doing. And then you were always trying to point out your own flaws first, which means you have to be on-guard the entire time, paying strict attention. That alone sort of indicated to me that maybe you were concerned with your appearance and wanted to impress the T, which to me seems a very normal feeling, but also draining.

And then on top of it, there are probably the concerns about your son, and the hopes that therapy will be beneficial.

If those things are in fact true (not just in my head!) then that's a lot to keep floating around and deal with. It's enough to cause a TON of mental fatigue!

I think you should give yourself more credit for going & doing this. It's hard work, even if it doesn't hit you until later. Kind of like a therapy "hangover."

Anyway, congrats for doing this!
take care,
JenStar

 

Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. pinkeye

Posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 18:03:19

In reply to Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. pinkeye, posted by pinkeye on May 24, 2005, at 17:29:15

Perhaps, but this was unexpected. I've been to see the play therapist a couple of times before, with no problem. She's always affirmed me as a good mother, so I wasn't afraid about that.

I think that... maybe... this was the first time I wasn't all rational and intellectual there. I actually said something from the gut. I told her that I liked the little boy she described, and I wished my son felt freer to be authentic with me. That I was jealous of the greater intimacy it implied.

Maybe there was more in that statement than I realized.

It seemed ok at the time. She told me that it was possible for me to learn to interact with my son in such a way to increase the authenticity. And when I repeated the statement later, as part of expressing willingness to engage in family play therapy, she told me that we needed to think about the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship. That it was natural for my son to feel freer to show his negative sides around someone who he only saw once a week for an hour. And that that's what good therapy was about. Not having to worry about your counselor so that you can leave a lot of negative stuff in the therapy room, knowing that your therapist only has to see you once a week too, for an hour, and can tolerate having you leave that stuff there.

So maybe it was just that I revealed something of the authentic me that I almost always keep hidden that threw me into Zonkdom.

I mean, the *nice* thing to say would have been "I'm glad my son has someone he feels free to do that with." not "I'm jealous. I wish my son felt free to be authentic with me." For me to have said that not once but twice...

I dunno. Maybe it's more that than the argument. I had thought it was the argument maybe.

 

Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. JenStar

Posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 18:09:08

In reply to Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. Dinah, posted by JenStar on May 24, 2005, at 18:02:15

Hey, you're right.

My husband had been tense going in, for fear we'd gang up on him, and I was worried about how he would react, and if he'd agree to family play therapy. I'm really worried about the play therapy. Not the family part, but I'm lousy at playing. I'm already having performance anxiety.

And yes, I don't know if I'm wanting to impress as much as afraid of criticism. I really do worry about being "bad". Parenting is a situation where it's almost impossible to not be bad somewhere.

Get some idea of why my son is in therapy for anxiety and being too hard on himself? :)

Thanks, JenStar.

 

Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist.

Posted by Jazzed on May 24, 2005, at 22:43:21

In reply to Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. JenStar, posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 18:09:08

>, but I'm lousy at playing. I'm already having performance anxiety.
>
> Parenting is a situation where it's almost impossible to not be bad somewhere.
>
LOL, I was thinking, when I read your original post, "No way would I do play therapy, because I really suck at playing!" How old is your son?
Our kids are 14, 12, 8, and oops! I mean and 2! LOL I'd rather walk the 2 year old for hours on end than have to play Buzz Lightyear or something.
Jazz

 

Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. Jazzed

Posted by Dinah on May 25, 2005, at 0:19:50

In reply to Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist., posted by Jazzed on May 24, 2005, at 22:43:21

He's nine.

She's really done a lot of good work with him, so I want to give this my best. Not that there's anything hugely wrong. Just coping skills that he needs to learn that he could learn better from someone who has actually mastered them. :)

But I hope all sessions don't have this effect on me.

(She swears I can be the puppet that doesn't talk.)

 

Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist.

Posted by Jazzed on May 25, 2005, at 11:16:17

In reply to Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. Jazzed, posted by Dinah on May 25, 2005, at 0:19:50

> He's nine.
>
> She's really done a lot of good work with him, so I want to give this my best. Not that there's anything hugely wrong. Just coping skills that he needs to learn that he could learn better from someone who has actually mastered them. :)
>
> But I hope all sessions don't have this effect on me.
>
> (She swears I can be the puppet that doesn't talk.)

LOL, I'd pick that also - the puppet that doesn't talk. My 8 yo son starts therapy tomorrow. He's not going to play therapy, I'm not sure how she'll do it, but I'm hopeful. She's worked with our 2 yo, and seems to have a good understanding. Our son worries about too many things, and he has low self esteem. I hope she can help him. Gotta nip these things in the bud while they're young.
Jazz

 

Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. Jazzed

Posted by Dinah on May 25, 2005, at 12:58:43

In reply to Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist., posted by Jazzed on May 25, 2005, at 11:16:17

Yeah. My husband and I were joking about it as we left the office yesterday.

"It's too late for us!!! Save the boy!!!"

 

Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist. Jazzed

Posted by Dinah on May 25, 2005, at 13:00:44

In reply to Re: Wow. It's not just my therapist., posted by Jazzed on May 25, 2005, at 11:16:17

BTW, good luck tomorrow.

I've been nothing but impressed with this therapist. We had one consultation with a child psychologist we couldn't stand who didn't "get" our son at all. This one really seems to get him.


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