Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 701683

Shown: posts 1 to 9 of 9. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

The Relationship

Posted by toojane on November 8, 2006, at 15:49:18

I've been reading the board for awhile now and I've noticed all the people searching for therapists and all their various misadventures and heartbreaks with duds and it makes me think of people searching for a marriage partner almost.

Then I was thinking about Daisy and how everyone seems to covet her therapist and I was wondering if all his patients think about him the way she does, if he is this amazing perfect therapist for everyone or if he is that way for Daisy only and I noticed something else. If you read all of Daisy's posts about her therapy, her bravery is what stands out; her willingness to be open and vulnerable with her therapist despite the fear and pain.

Do you think that could be an essential part of what makes her therapist so wonderful? Daisy herself. Because people can search and search for a perfect therapist but maybe they will never ever find him or her if they aren't willing or able to be like Daisy. Therapy is a relationship and Daisy holds up her side of that relationship, works hard on her part and because she is able to do that so well her therapist is able to meet her in a place other people can't seem to get to? Maybe they create that place very much together and neither one can do it alone, no matter how skilled a therapist may be? That instead of wishing for a therapist like Daisy's maybe it would be worthwhile to look at how Daisy is and acts within her therapy relationship, at the risks she takes, and contemplate taking some of those same risks too? Could many therapists be potential Daisy Ts and all they need to show that side of themselves is patients as brave as Daisy?

 

Re: The Relationship toojane

Posted by sunnydays on November 8, 2006, at 17:43:29

In reply to The Relationship, posted by toojane on November 8, 2006, at 15:49:18

I think that is a brilliant way of stating it, toojane. I really think that my therapy would not be as intense if I wasn't willing to take the risks to make it intense. My therapist might even still try to push me, but if I didn't take the risks, I wouldn't feel nearly as close to him as I do. I thinking taking risks and being brave is a huge part of the therapeutic relationship. I suspect many babblers are very very brave and just have T's that don't quite click personality-wise, like wishingstar and her T, but I think that for sooo many people, if you can find someone you generally click with, you also have to open up and most will be able to meet you where you are.

sunnydays

 

Re: The Relationship

Posted by Daisym on November 8, 2006, at 19:59:29

In reply to Re: The Relationship toojane, posted by sunnydays on November 8, 2006, at 17:43:29

Thank you for the compliment. I don't feel brave at all in therapy though. My friends (so many here) know how often I want to run from therapy, how hard they have pushed me to "just tell him" and how darn needy I get.

But I think the major point of your post is well taken. If the client can't be open and honest it makes it hard for the therapist to truly understand what that person needs. But let's not forget that being open and honest means so many different things to different people. And the other major, MAJOR thing to not forget, is that I am absolutely blessed to be able to see my therapist 4 days a week. I don't know how anyone opens themselves up to all the hurt and pain and longings if they have to wait a week or two weeks between sessions. Folks who can do that are way braver than I am. I fall apart and get to go right back in and say, "I'm falling apart." If I'm upset with him, we put in right in 3 or 4 sessions, which is a week -- not a month.

But all that said - my therapist is a long-term, trauma specialist with years and years of experience. He knows how to ask the right questions, he calls if he thinks I might be having a hard time and he reaches out to me, he doesn't just wait for me to reach out and then react. I've certainly been mad at him for stuff and I wish he were different in some ways. But he is special, it isn't just me, or even mostly me.

 

Re: The Relationship Daisym

Posted by toojane on November 8, 2006, at 20:22:42

In reply to Re: The Relationship, posted by Daisym on November 8, 2006, at 19:59:29

> My friends (so many here) know how often I want to run from therapy, how hard they have pushed me to "just tell him" and how darn needy I get.

But you don't run, you do tell and you acknowledge your neediness. That is brave - you "feel the fear and do it anyways."


> And the other major, MAJOR thing to not forget, is that I am absolutely blessed to be able to see my therapist 4 days a week. I don't know how anyone opens themselves up to all the hurt and pain and longings if they have to wait a week or two weeks between sessions.

OK. That is very interesting. You believe that the reason you are able to do the work you are doing is because you go so frequently? Do you think it is possible for someone to be as close to their therapist/do such intense work going only once or twice a week? Or is almost daily contact necessary to foster the sense of trust needed to do deep work with trauma?


> he calls if he thinks I might be having a hard time and he reaches out to me, he doesn't just wait for me to reach out and then react.

Do you think that reaching out towards you has made it easier for you to reach back? Many therapists won't do that, believing it interferes with the patient's autonomy.


 

Re: The Relationship Daisym

Posted by Dinah on November 8, 2006, at 21:48:33

In reply to Re: The Relationship, posted by Daisym on November 8, 2006, at 19:59:29

> But all that said - my therapist is a long-term, trauma specialist with years and years of experience. He knows how to ask the right questions, he calls if he thinks I might be having a hard time and he reaches out to me, he doesn't just wait for me to reach out and then react.

Yes, this is what I meant. My therapist is really a good match for me in many ways that your therapist might not be. Mine seems softer than yours (not in a bad way on either side, but maybe you know what I mean), and more likely to let me figure things out on my own or with Babble help, which tends to suit me.

My therapist says he cares, but he does wait for me to reach out and then reacts. And in practice, he doesn't always react with that much caring. It depends a lot on what's going on with him. He *certainly* wouldn't reach out to me no matter how hard a time I was having.

And I'm his only really long term therapy client, so I can't say he specializes in it, or has tons of experience in it, and sometimes that shows.

So sometimes it's hard not to make comparisons.

Thinking that your therapist is special in reaching out in particular is the thing that I most long for.

But also that Falls' therapist seems to have really meaningful insights. Or that Pfinstegg's therapist seems really knowledgeable.

I do agree that it's important to make the sort of contributions to the relationship that you make, and that even the most gifted therapist couldn't build the same sort of relationship with someone who didn't contribute a lot of energy. Well, of course they don't build the same sort of relationship with any other client, but you know what I mean.

Fighting to relationship has been one of the greatest indirect benefits of therapy. I'm not sure if he taught me, or vice versa, or a little of both.

 

Re: The Relationship toojane

Posted by Daisym on November 9, 2006, at 0:14:06

In reply to Re: The Relationship Daisym, posted by toojane on November 8, 2006, at 20:22:42

I can only speak to my experience, but going more did allow me to open up more and trust grew. But I'm admittedly hard to keep attached, my therapist says that also. At the beginning it was starting over everytime. I think other people have commented on how different 1x a week therapy feels from 2x a week and so on.

We've talked about my therapist checking in with me. I never feel like he is giving me the message that he thinks I can't function without him. And it doesn't happen with huge frequency. I know the whole autonomy thing and asking for what you need, etc. But I can think of two very specific times when he called me and it meant the world. When I first starting talking about the abuse, which I had never, ever done, I was so worried that he would hate hearing all my horror and transfer me. And then one day, I think on a Saturday, he called, just to check in and say, "our session was pretty hard for you. I'm thinking about you. How are you with all of this?" THAT allowed me to go deeper and yes, it made it much easier to reach back. Another time I was seriously, seriously suicidal. We had check in calls set up for the weekend, but he called during the evening, after my session, and left me a long voice mail about hanging on. He said he did it for his own anxiety, which was pretty honest of him and he said he needed me to know that I was in his thoughts and not alone. When I tried to brush it off as cya, or some kind of theraputic manipulation he was so hurt - genuinely hurt, that I couldn't receive his caring. And not hurt in some punishing, guilt imposing way. Just surprised and hurt of what I accused him of.

The other thing I was going to say but forgot above, is that we talk all the time about "our" relationship. When I worry that I spend too much time on the relationship part and not enough time on the "real" therapy issues - he always says, "Daisy - this IS the real issue for you. Our relationship and trust."

 

Re: The Relationship Dinah

Posted by Daisym on November 9, 2006, at 0:36:09

In reply to Re: The Relationship Daisym, posted by Dinah on November 8, 2006, at 21:48:33

There are so many good therapists discussed here. And I'm so glad. I know that what is good for me, wouldn't be good for you, etc. There are a number of things I'm always jealous about when I read about other people's therapists. I think the whole fighting to relationship part is a huge part of successful therapy and something I take from you all the time.

The other thing I struggle with is that I simply can not "play" with my therapy relationship. I tease my therapist and he will tease me back - it isn't that I don't have a sense of humor. But I can't fool around with a fantasy about him, my feelings are too strong and complicated. I always feel like such a stick in the mud about that. I've learned to just not read those threads, though we haven't really had one for awhile.

 

Re: The Relationship Dinah

Posted by toojane on November 9, 2006, at 8:35:57

In reply to Re: The Relationship Daisym, posted by Dinah on November 8, 2006, at 21:48:33

> Fighting to relationship has been one of the greatest indirect benefits of therapy.

I've seen you write about fighting to relationship before. Reading what you said in older posts I think I truly saw for the first time that the patient also has responsibility in the therapy relationship, that it wasn't about a magical therapist fixing a passive patient.

Could you explain what you mean by "one of the greatest indirect benefits of therapy"?

 

Re: The Relationship toojane

Posted by Dinah on November 9, 2006, at 9:31:27

In reply to Re: The Relationship Dinah, posted by toojane on November 9, 2006, at 8:35:57

I suppose I was trying to keep in mind that I'm in therapy primarily for anxiety, and then some later issues that crop up.

And that to some extent, fighting to relationship is something I already knew how to do, although the number of people I've chosen to do it with are, well, maybe three or four in my entire life. Usually I don't have the courage, or the faith in the other person, or the feeling that the level of potential intimacy is there to make fighting to relationship a good rather than an intrusive thing. And of course, I never did it as consciously as I have done it in therapy, where what you're doing is made part of the conversation.

So I'm acknowledging that this is perhaps not what I was primarily in therapy for, and that it is maybe more the method to obtain the therapy I needed than the purpose of the therapy, but that frankly it's rewarding and enjoyable in itself.

I think maybe I did go into therapy thinking that my therapist could fix me, but my therapist soon set me to rights on my own obligations. :)


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