Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 615378

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Phone therapy with ex-T?

Posted by pegasus on March 3, 2006, at 9:53:18

I've been thinking that I need to get back into therapy, after a break of about 4 months from my most recent T (T2). Some longer term problems are coming forward again, and I find myself really wanting to continue some of the work I'd been doing before T2. With T2 I mainly worked on specific things that were urgent. Such as the previous T (T1)'s move to another state, and stuff about being pregnant, which I was for most of my therapy with her.

So, here's the problem. I don't really want to go back to T2, who I saw for a year and a half. She was good and nice and all, and I did some good work with her. But I worked with her for a year and a half, and I don't feel any attachment. I know, that's *good* in some ways. But the stuff I need to get into is pretty deep, and there is a reason (that isn't conscious) that I never got into it with her. I always felt a distance from her, so that when I touched on the BIG BAD stuff it didn't feel . . . helpful.

Enter my neighbor. She is currently in therapy with a T who is in a different state. My neighbor used to live in the same state as her therapist, and then moved. She suggests that I contact T1 to see if he'd be willing to do therapy over the phone with me. The thought is mighty appealing. He's the one I really want to do therapy with, not T2, or any of the other 7 Ts I interviewed when he left.

But . . . what if he says no? I don't want to hear him say that he's not here for me anymore.

Plus . . . even if he said yes, wouldn't I just have to spend tons of time processing with him our previous ending, which was very painful? Is that why the idea seems appealing to me? Is that bad? Wouldn't I have to do that with whatever T I do see?

Do any of you have thoughts about doing therapy over the phone with a distant T? I could probably see him in person once a year or so, as he now lives in my home state and I do visit there often.

thanks much
peg

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?

Posted by TherapyGirl on March 3, 2006, at 9:58:33

In reply to Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by pegasus on March 3, 2006, at 9:53:18

Have you kept in touch with your ex-T at all? How have those contacts been? I'm new here, so I'm not familiar with how it ended and why it was such a hard ending.

It makes sense to me that you would rather do therapy over the phone with a T you have a bond with rather than try to find someone new. But I'm not sure how well that would work for you, especially since you'd be working on the really hard stuff. Would you feel supported enough to do that over the phone? Would it just make it worse that you couldn't see him regularly?

I wish I had some advice for you -- I do feel that this is a tough decision. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?

Posted by B2chica on March 3, 2006, at 10:31:08

In reply to Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by pegasus on March 3, 2006, at 9:53:18

hey peg
just a thought but telemedicine is really trying to get a jump start these days. see if that's maybe an option, i know i'd like to try it. i know my T left out of state recently and i miss him terribly. i'm seeing a different T in his office but it's just not the same. i'm not that comfortable with her but i feel she's a link for me. although part of what might be making your new relationship not work is the grief you are still having over old T.
i don't know that i'll ever be able to open up to my new T the way i did him so i guess what i'm saying is it would be worth a try...maybe give it a closing date in say four months, if you aren't feeling better or working on stuff you need to maybe phone stuff won't work.

i'd like to hear others opinions on this too.
b2c.

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? pegasus

Posted by Dinah on March 3, 2006, at 10:43:59

In reply to Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by pegasus on March 3, 2006, at 9:53:18

We've talked about it and he says he's willing to try it with me, since we have such an established relationship. He's not in favor of it in general.

But he also reminded me that he's not so good on the phone, and that I have frequently expressed that seeing him in person is what I find helpful.

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?

Posted by LadyBug on March 3, 2006, at 11:23:44

In reply to Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by pegasus on March 3, 2006, at 9:53:18

My personal experience has been that I don't do well when talking to my T on the phone. She's been ok with it, but I like to "see" her. I'm better at explaining myself when I am with her. On the phone, I stumble around.
But if I didn't have any other choice, I guess I'd be willing to try it. If it didn't work, I would stop. I'm always willing to try something before I decide if it would work or not. You don't know until you try!!! Go for it, if your T is willing.
LadyBug

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?

Posted by Tanzanite on March 3, 2006, at 12:53:03

In reply to Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by pegasus on March 3, 2006, at 9:53:18

If you feel that this would be comfortable for you and worth a try why not. I say go for it and see what happens. I myself wouldn't mind doing phone therapy with a therapist after I had met them in the past if that were the better option as opposed to seeing a therapist I didn't care for. Just my opinion. Wishing you the best
Tanzanite

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?

Posted by Emily Elizabeth on March 4, 2006, at 0:15:13

In reply to Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by pegasus on March 3, 2006, at 9:53:18

I vote against it (sorry if that wasn't what you wanted to hear). The major reason that I think it isn't a good plan is that I think that you will find a phone relationship unsatisfying after having a close relationship in person. I fear that it would just be a shell of the therapy that you experienced before. When you cannot see your T and your T cannot see you, you lose so much of the interaction.

The only experience that I have had w/ therapy over the phone was when I was going through a crisis and I needed to talk to my T on days when she wasn't in the office. On one hand, I was helped by the listening/empathy/advice that I recieved by the contact. On the other, it was nothing like therapy in person. Like I was only getting a part of her and only part of the comfort. Totally different from the real thing.

Also, I wanted to add that it is my impression that T's who will agree to doing regular phone therapy are the exception rather than the rule. So, if you ask and get turned down, please don't take it personally (as much as that is possible!)

However, please don't go back to T2 if s/he is not helpful with the issues that you want to address. It might make sense to start the search for T3. Perhaps T1 and T2 could help you find the person who is the right fit.

Best,
EE

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? TherapyGirl

Posted by pegasus on March 4, 2006, at 9:24:59

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by TherapyGirl on March 3, 2006, at 9:58:33

Hi TG,

I've been in touch via email. At first substantial emails every week or so, then gradually less often. Now I send brief emails once every few months. He seems to respond to every other email. I sometimes wonder if that is on purpose. :) At first he gave full responses, and now they're very brief. In general he's been pretty good at distance communication. When I've talked to him on the phone (before during regular therapy, and once after he left) he was pretty good. I felt the connection.

I guess my thoughts are that therapy hasn't been going the way I want it to in person anyway. I've *really* looked for a new T, and haven't had luck. And I think therapy over the phone with someone I want to be doing therapy with is better than therapy in person with someone I'm lukewarm about.

Thanks a lot for your impressions and your thoughts. It does help.

peg

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? B2chica

Posted by pegasus on March 4, 2006, at 9:28:56

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by B2chica on March 3, 2006, at 10:31:08

Hi B2Chica

What is telemedicine? Is that a movement, or a particular service. I'll look it up. Thanks for the tip.

I think you're right about the grief. I don't know what to do about it. Do I wait until it's less to try again? Do I work on it more with a T I don't connect that well with? Do I try phone therapy with my ex-T?

I like your idea about a trial period. Maybe another ending with the same guy wouldn't be as bad if it was just over the phone anyway.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts anyway. I'm sorry you miss your T so much. This whole business is really hard, isn't it? Sigh.
I'll figure something out.

peg

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? Dinah

Posted by pegasus on March 4, 2006, at 9:31:10

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? pegasus, posted by Dinah on March 3, 2006, at 10:43:59

Hi Dinah,

Yeah, I think a key to the whole concept is that both parties have to be good on the phone, and willing to try overcome the potential problems they might have in that mode. Your T does not sound like a good candidate for this. You seem to go backwards half the time you talk to him on the phone. :(

peg

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? LadyBug

Posted by pegasus on March 4, 2006, at 9:34:20

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by LadyBug on March 3, 2006, at 11:23:44

Hi LadyBug,

I think I'm pretty good on the phone. I've had some good sessions with various Ts that way. When I had the flu, and just after my baby was born, etc. I found it quite helpful. Maybe almost as much as being in person. Maybe even more, because it's easier to feel protected and be more brave with my words. Uh oh. Maybe that's something I should think more about.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your experience.

peg

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? Tanzanite

Posted by pegasus on March 4, 2006, at 9:37:03

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by Tanzanite on March 3, 2006, at 12:53:03

Thanks Tanzanite,

I appreciate your understanding and encouragement. I guess the only thing I really have to lose is the pain of having him potentially say no. Which would hurt. And I guess then I'd have to decide whether to start the big search up again. My current inclination is that I probably wouldn't any time soon. Maybe sometime in the future if I had more time and energy.

Thanks for your good wishes.

peg

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? Emily Elizabeth

Posted by pegasus on March 4, 2006, at 9:41:58

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by Emily Elizabeth on March 4, 2006, at 0:15:13

Hi EE,

I appreciate your thoughts on this. I guess my thinking is that the therapy I've been having is just a shell of my former therapy anyway. And I've done pretty well on the phone with isolated sessions in the past. It seems like it would be better than going back to T2.

But you're right that there's no guarantee he'd agree to do it. I can understand why Ts wouldn't prefer that mode, and might just refuse to do it. I guess that's my biggest fear - that he'd "reject" me again.

Oh, which is unfair to him. He didn't reject me the first time. He just abandoned me. ;) And I'm sure he wouldn't see it that way. He did as much as he could to transition me to another T. It just didn't help that much, which isn't his fault.

You're right that I need to not go back to T2. She was helpful, but I need more than I could get with her.

peg

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? pegasus

Posted by TherapyGirl on March 4, 2006, at 13:17:31

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? LadyBug, posted by pegasus on March 4, 2006, at 9:34:20

> Hi LadyBug,
>
> I think I'm pretty good on the phone. I've had some good sessions with various Ts that way. When I had the flu, and just after my baby was born, etc. I found it quite helpful. Maybe almost as much as being in person. Maybe even more, because it's easier to feel protected and be more brave with my words. Uh oh. Maybe that's something I should think more about.
>
Peg, I just wanted to add here that this is true of me, too. In my early years with my T, I'd sit in silence during the session and then call her between to tell her things. At one point, it got so bad that she looked at me during one of our completely silent sessions and said, "Would it help if I picked up the phone?"

It is much easier for me to say the really hard things over the phone. I think because I always, always worry (even now, after 21 years and with lots of evidence to the contrary) that my T will have a look of impatience or disgust or something on her face when I tell her something hard.

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? pegasus

Posted by Poet on March 4, 2006, at 14:45:38

In reply to Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by pegasus on March 3, 2006, at 9:53:18

Hi Pegasus,

I think that as long as you realize that your T might say no and how hurting that could be you should talk to him about it.

My T has always been good about talking to me on the phone, but I don't know if she would be willing to do long term phone sessions. Did your neighbor say how often she has the phone sessions and how long she's been having them? I'm wondering if it's a short term thing.

Poet

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? Poet

Posted by pegasus on March 4, 2006, at 18:01:46

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? pegasus, posted by Poet on March 4, 2006, at 14:45:38

Thanks Poet,

I appreciate the encouragement. My neighbor was doing weekly sessions for at least a year. She's in the process of terminating now, and it sounds just as hard as it would be in person. She does get to see her T in person about once a year. It sounds like her experience has been pretty good, which I think is why I started even considering this.

Thanks for helping me think of the right questions. :)

peg

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? TherapyGirl

Posted by pegasus on March 4, 2006, at 18:06:58

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? pegasus, posted by TherapyGirl on March 4, 2006, at 13:17:31

Oh, wow, that's good to hear. I've been wondering if it was unusual to be more free over the phone, and what it would mean. I think I've decided that it's just fine. Maybe working over the phone would be good for a while?

And I could always set up a video chat! Ha Ha! Therapy over video chat would be very weird. I do it sometimes with my family, and it's great for that. Especially so they can see the baby. But it has its issues. For one thing, you hear everything you just said echoed again when it comes through at their end. What a therapy nightmare! And what about those times that the video cuts out on one end or another! Oh boy. I better stop thinking about that.

I like your T's sense of humor.

peg

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?

Posted by caraher on March 5, 2006, at 16:39:20

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? LadyBug, posted by pegasus on March 4, 2006, at 9:34:20


> I think I'm pretty good on the phone. I've had some good sessions with various Ts that way. When I had the flu, and just after my baby was born, etc. I found it quite helpful. Maybe almost as much as being in person. Maybe even more, because it's easier to feel protected and be more brave with my words. Uh oh. Maybe that's something I should think more about.

It sounds like you should try the phone therapy given this. I actually don't consider myself very good on the phone but still found phone sessions useful after I moved away from my T.

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?

Posted by pegasus on March 6, 2006, at 8:44:34

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T?, posted by caraher on March 5, 2006, at 16:39:20

Hi caraher,

Thanks for your feedback. It's good to hear that you found it helpful, even though you're not at your best on the phone.

I think I'm going to sit on this decision for a little while longer. I've pretty much decided that I want to ask him if we can try phone therapy. But I've discovered now that I don't have the nerve to actually ask, just yet. And I still have a few nagging doubts . . .

Peg

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? pegasus

Posted by B2chica on March 6, 2006, at 10:31:32

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? B2chica, posted by pegasus on March 4, 2006, at 9:28:56

telemedicine is a network process. it is sort of a movement that is trying to get kick started in several medical fields. psychology is one of them. its basically interacting with a tv and microphone. the medical person (team) is say on east coast when you are on west coast and you set up times to meet like normal and have session via video and mic.

there are several downfalls, most of which not many people are doing it, others disagree with it (security and such). but if their set up is done right it is completely secure. also they are having difficulty figuring out how to bill for this and let's face it money is the heart of the issue here. once they figure that out i'm sure it will pounce forward.

best wishes.
b2c.

 

Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? B2chica

Posted by pegasus on March 8, 2006, at 8:58:35

In reply to Re: Phone therapy with ex-T? pegasus, posted by B2chica on March 6, 2006, at 10:31:32

Oh, wow, I don't think I'd like that. Have you done video chatting? I have, and it just seems like a bad way to do therapy. You don't get a stellar picture of the other person usually, and they're washed out in color. I always hear my own voice echoed when it comes through on their end, which would mortify me during therapy. I'll look it up, though, to see if they've maybe solved some of those problems.

Thanks for the tip and the info.

peg


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