Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 872683

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Re: what do you think? raisinb

Posted by obsidian on January 7, 2009, at 22:53:30

In reply to what do you think?, posted by raisinb on January 7, 2009, at 21:26:24

I say ask. I have an unusual attachment to appointment cards ;-).

I carried around a note my therapist gave me for the longest time.
I wonder when or if I will ever not need those things. Don't we always need to hold onto things? for lots of reasons and in different situations.

ask if you can borrow your file...you can edit it as necessary
or maybe the box of tissues
or...is there a plant? maybe it needs to be taken care of!
don't listen to me...
but do ask
-sid :-)

 

Re: what do you think? raisinb

Posted by fleeting flutterby on January 7, 2009, at 22:59:52

In reply to what do you think?, posted by raisinb on January 7, 2009, at 21:26:24

Do you know if your therapist/clinic has a website?

When I feel I need constancy(or whatever it's called) I go to the website and there is a list of T.s at the clinic and a picture of each one. somehow my anxiety lowers just by going there and seeing T.'s picture....... my mind thinks-- "Phew, she really does exist, she is still around!"
sometimes I go there once a week and sometimes once a day-- guess it depends on the stress in my life at the time.

I hope your T. has a website-- or maybe T. would let you take a picture of her?....

I think the "object" idea might be good too-- but I don't think that would be of much help to me. for me an object is not the person(that's how my mind thinks anyway).... don't think I would feel much comfort -- but then-- every one is different and some are further along than others...

whatever happens, I hope it's something that works well for you-- keep us posted- k?

flutterby-mandy

 

Re: what do you think? raisinb

Posted by DAisym on January 8, 2009, at 0:09:15

In reply to what do you think?, posted by raisinb on January 7, 2009, at 21:26:24

I don't think a transitional object is a "gift" so ask away!

I have several things my therapist has given me, including his talisman. Tomorrow I'm facing something very difficult and he sent me an email saying, "remember to take the talisman, keep it hidden in your pocket and when you are stressed, reach down and feel me giving you extra strength and energy to get through it." I find it really helps.

But I wonder too if I'll ever not need it. I hope so...

 

Re: what do you think? raisinb

Posted by workinprogress on January 8, 2009, at 1:11:04

In reply to what do you think?, posted by raisinb on January 7, 2009, at 21:26:24

I so relate! I was lucky in that I said something about connection or something... way back when... and my therapist said "oh, it sounds like you want a transitional object". I think it was around a voice mail. And she did it. But she said, do you want something more tangible, something you could hold. I said that seems childish and little... she said it's ok to be little with me. Several weeks later, I sheepishly said... yes, I'd like something. I have a little bear... teeny tiny, fits in the palm of my hand, or therabouts. Since Oct of 2007 it has gone from the grips of my hand while I sleep to my bag for the day and back. I have a couple of voice mails. And, I have a picture of her with a note on the back. Some nice words that she said to me and I said... can you write that down. And another picture she gave me when I went away on to a music festival for a week and was afraid to take the bear bc I might lose it. We have a good dialoge about this stuff now, but it was hard before.

It felt weird. I felt weird, but, it is helpful and comforting. Just the other day, when I went into my "I'm too needy, my T has finally figured out I'm repulsive and needy"... place.... I pulled out the picture with the note. It stopped the flooding. So helpful.

I think if your T is willing to do any sort of bending of boundaries, even the slightest, you two could figure out something. But, even if she won't, she'd get it and it would be a good conversation to have. I'm sorry she hasn't brought it up, that makes it easier. BUT... the preciousness of the object, the safety, the security... for me... worth all the fear. You don't know though until you try... and the unknown is scary. I SO GET THAT. Happy to talk more if you like...

HUGS!!!!

WIP

> My therapist is going on maternity leave soon. She will be gone for six weeks, from mid-February to the first week of April. It will be very, very hard for me. I don't know how I'll get through it; I'm just trying to trust that I will somehow, and maybe it will be a good opportunity to test my wings, in a way. She keeps trying to get me to see another therapist in the practice (whom I've seen before--nice guy) but I just don't see how it will be worth my time--and might just make me feel worse.
>
> Anyway, as the time grows closer, I find myself wanting a "transitional object"--like a tape with her voice on it, or an object from the office--just *something*--you know, like a small child with a blanket. I don't even know if this will help. But I understand the desire of a toddler for that blanket, I can tell you.
>
> I know therapists traditionally cannot give their clients gifts, and it's weird to "ask" for something like this anyway--and how would I even bring it up? And what to ask for? Is this a weird request? What do you guys think?

 

Re: what do you think? raisinb

Posted by TherapyGirl on January 8, 2009, at 6:38:48

In reply to what do you think?, posted by raisinb on January 7, 2009, at 21:26:24

This makes perfect sense to me. I did it when my T was out for 9 weeks last fall. I asked for, and got, a small figurine that has been in her office for decades. It reminds me of her. I took it back to her at our first session after her leave. When I asked for it, she said, "Oh, how wonderful. Wish I'd have thought of it." So I think you should at least have a discussion about it.

And I'll be around during the maternity leave -- believe me, I understand how scary it is.

((((((((Raisinb))))))))

 

Re: what do you think? raisinb

Posted by Dinah on January 8, 2009, at 9:46:09

In reply to what do you think?, posted by raisinb on January 7, 2009, at 21:26:24

My therapist says it's perfectly ok for me to ask him for anything. The worst that can happen will be for the answer to be no.

But unless she's very very firm about boundaries, it seems like she'd be willing to do something. After all, her life is interfering with your therapy. It might not be her fault, but it is a fact. My therapist is actually pretty firm about that sort of boundary. But when he was going out of town extensively, he recognized that his life was causing me problems, and agreed to let me take his picture.

 

thank you all so much

Posted by raisinb on January 8, 2009, at 15:39:51

In reply to what do you think?, posted by raisinb on January 7, 2009, at 21:26:24

You've given me more confidence about bringing it up. I don't have time to respond to everyone individually right now (time to go off to therapy!) but I appreciate your responses so much.

 

weird

Posted by raisinb on January 8, 2009, at 17:57:53

In reply to what do you think?, posted by raisinb on January 7, 2009, at 21:26:24

She asked me today if she could give me something and did. Now I am suspicious...yikes!...:)!

 

Re: what do you think? raisinb

Posted by Kath on January 8, 2009, at 18:17:50

In reply to what do you think?, posted by raisinb on January 7, 2009, at 21:26:24

The thought that comes into my mind is that you buy yourself a card, then ask her to sign it.

It could be just a pretty card, without even any words. Or one with some words. Or you could write a few things in the card that she's told you that have been particularly supportive & helpful.

I can't see that she'd mind signing your card for you. :-))

good luck; let us know, Kath

 

Re: weird raisinb

Posted by Annierose on January 8, 2009, at 18:49:41

In reply to weird, posted by raisinb on January 8, 2009, at 17:57:53

That's absolutely wonderful!! Some t's have their crystal balls more polished than others.

Are you able to share what she gave you? or would you rather keep it private?

 

Re: weird raisinb

Posted by fleeting flutterby on January 8, 2009, at 20:08:14

In reply to weird, posted by raisinb on January 8, 2009, at 17:57:53

> She asked me today if she could give me something and did. Now I am suspicious...yikes!...:)!<<


Wow! I think what you have is a very insightful T.!! Maybe she knows you better than you realize. How nice of her to do something for you to ease your feelings over the temporary break.

flutterby-mandy

 

Re: weird Annierose

Posted by raisinb on January 8, 2009, at 20:31:41

In reply to Re: weird raisinb, posted by Annierose on January 8, 2009, at 18:49:41

She has a stainless steel paperweight on her desk in the shape of a star. It says "shoot for the moon" on it. When she gave it to me, she said it meant a lot to her. She didn't say why.

Now I am a little worried in case something happens and I can't get it back to her, but I am sure I'll get over that. It *was* very nice of her to give it to me.

 

Re: weird raisinb

Posted by Kath on January 9, 2009, at 21:52:54

In reply to Re: weird Annierose, posted by raisinb on January 8, 2009, at 20:31:41

How lovely,

:-) Kath

 

I think I might give it back

Posted by raisinb on January 13, 2009, at 20:35:03

In reply to what do you think?, posted by raisinb on January 7, 2009, at 21:26:24

Can you say, ambivalence, anyone?

We had a rough couple of sessions in the past week. We didn't connect and last time I felt like she blamed me for that. Now the transitional object symbolizes not her caring, but her lack of responsiveness and blaming me for her issues. I don't like looking at it.

Plus, what if I decide (miraculously) over her leave that I don't need therapy, and if I do, I can find a less conflicted relationship than this? And then I'd have it and feel guilty and like I had to go back one more time to give it back.

I'm sure this is oh so symbolic...;(

 

Re: I think I might give it back raisinb

Posted by Dinah on January 14, 2009, at 8:28:15

In reply to I think I might give it back, posted by raisinb on January 13, 2009, at 20:35:03

You could always UPS it back to her.

I do understand the ambivalence. Is what she gave you what you needed before you felt disconnected?

I think I'd be very angry with my therapist under these circumstances, so that part seems not unexpected to me.

 

Re: I think I might give it back Dinah

Posted by raisinb on January 14, 2009, at 8:54:46

In reply to Re: I think I might give it back raisinb, posted by Dinah on January 14, 2009, at 8:28:15

I wouldn't want her to think I was running off with something important to her.

It was very comforting until we had that crappy session on Monday. Now I don't want it around.

Not to quibble, but I don't understand why she gave me something I have to bring back. It feels like a half-gift, you know? I didn't want a loan. Yeah, I know I sound like an ingrate.

 

Re: I think I might give it back raisinb

Posted by workinprogress on January 15, 2009, at 1:07:10

In reply to Re: I think I might give it back Dinah, posted by raisinb on January 14, 2009, at 8:54:46

Raisin-

I totally empathize with your feeling like an "ingrate". I mean, you asked something of your therapist that many therapist's wouldn't do. No, you wanted it and she offered it without you asking. Then, it didn't fit. It sounds like you appreciate the sentiment, but that something is off about it. Is that fair? I think I would ask just what isn't working? Is it the bad session that needs to be worked through? Or that you wanted something slightly different from the meaning of the object? Or something else?

But, I totally relate. I told my T before the holidays that I wanted to give her something. That I wanted her to have something that I had a piece of too. Ideally the two halves make a whole. That I wanted to "be in her pocket/heart" and her in mine. I never quite found the right thing, but I did find little metal "stones" that had the word "forever" engraved in them. I put mine in the coin purse part of my wallet. And I gave one to her. She put it in the little box she has on her table (between her and client where tissue sits... she puts her cards in the table, chapstick, etc.)... oh yeah... incidentally, I gave her the box a year ago. But... I WANTED IT TO BE WITH HER ALWAYS!!!

We are talking about managing expectations. I decided to let it go. After all, she said she didn't need it to remember me, but it was ok if I did.

Anyway... point being, we, unconsciously or not, have strong feelings about these symbolic things. And it is a BIG DEAL that she's going away (though not forever- but there's also the issue of now she'll have other distractions/priorities). I don't think you can talk too much about how that makes you feel and what you can do to work through it together. Nor does it surprise me that you'd have tough points right before either. You may very well be angry... and that would be fair.

Hang in there. I feel for you!

(((((((raisin))))))


> I wouldn't want her to think I was running off with something important to her.
>
> It was very comforting until we had that crappy session on Monday. Now I don't want it around.
>
> Not to quibble, but I don't understand why she gave me something I have to bring back. It feels like a half-gift, you know? I didn't want a loan. Yeah, I know I sound like an ingrate.
>
>

 

Re: I think I might give it back raisinb

Posted by Dinah on January 15, 2009, at 1:54:58

In reply to Re: I think I might give it back Dinah, posted by raisinb on January 14, 2009, at 8:54:46

You don't sound like an ingrate to me.

You sound like someone whose therapist is about to go away for a long time to give birth to a new baby who will take her time and attention and energy for a while. You are really taking this so much better than I would.

What happened in the last session? If you want to talk about it.

 

Re: I think I might give it back raisinb

Posted by Dinah on January 15, 2009, at 1:57:20

In reply to Re: I think I might give it back Dinah, posted by raisinb on January 14, 2009, at 8:54:46

Although I think that might be part of the symbolism. It's connected to her because it's still hers. If she had given you something to keep forever, she'd have let go of her end and the connection would be broken.

It's not an obligation though. It's perfectly ok to return something by mail. Either during her time away or after she gets back.

 

Re: I think I might give it back *long* Dinah

Posted by raisinb on January 15, 2009, at 10:44:26

In reply to Re: I think I might give it back raisinb, posted by Dinah on January 15, 2009, at 1:54:58

Thank you for the encouragement :) I have a good deal of stress going on in work and relationships at the moment, so I think my focus is taken away from therapy. I also feel like, well, what can I do about it? So I'm focusing on other things.

Last session, we got into a bit of an argument. We have an ongoing disagreement. I say she's wildly inconsistent in her level of warmth and caring. Sometimes she's amazing; sometimes, she seems pretty dead, like she doesn't want to be there. She says some days she's tired or feeling sick, but that she always wants to be there and that I'm wildly exaggerating (not her words) the level of the inconsistency.

Monday I went in and could tell immediately that she was in one of those moods. This inhibited me from talking. When I feel like she doesn't want to be there, I don't want to be there either. I hate feeling unwanted.

So, I wasn't talking that much, and she started (what felt like) blaming the lack of connection on me. She said I acted like she was "so insignificant" to me, that I acted like I didn't want to be there, that I was annoyed by her, and some other stuff. I got pissed because I felt like it was her issue. And I was also pissed because I needed to talk about my boyfriend and here we were hashing and rehashing things we've never solved in the past, despite working on them for four years, and rehashing her leave, which I can't do anything about anyway, so why rake it up?

So I started talking about my boyfriend and she seemed annoyed or frustrated about this. And then she said she'd miss me when she was gone, even though I found that hard to believe (she's said this before, and I believed her then, but her entire manner was different).

And then it was time to go. I've been pretty pissed for three days because I felt like she was pushing her issues onto me. There is *nothing* that makes me madder than that.

 

Re: I think I might give it back Dinah

Posted by raisinb on January 15, 2009, at 10:45:06

In reply to Re: I think I might give it back raisinb, posted by Dinah on January 15, 2009, at 1:57:20

That's a great interpretation, and much nicer than the one I was working with.

 

Re: I think I might give it back workinprogress

Posted by raisinb on January 15, 2009, at 10:45:55

In reply to Re: I think I might give it back raisinb, posted by workinprogress on January 15, 2009, at 1:07:10

Thank you for the support. I certainly do need it right now :)

You are very brave to give your therapist gifts. The exchange sounds lovely :)

 

Re: I think I might give it back *long* raisinb

Posted by Dinah on January 15, 2009, at 11:43:48

In reply to Re: I think I might give it back *long* Dinah, posted by raisinb on January 15, 2009, at 10:44:26

Do you have any more sessions with her before her leave? It would be a shame to part on that note.

Is it possible to see the issue somewhere in the middle?

That she was focusing too much on your relationship because she's going away, and because she sensed you were withdrawn, and she wants to leave on a good note so she doesn't have worries on her mind during her maternity leave.

And you perhaps were being self protective by allowing other concerns to override your therapy concerns? Particularly since the session before was such a good one. There might have been some pull to "save" that one. Now it's tainted. I think it's natural for someone to disengage before having a source of support yanked out. It's a shame she didn't recognize and honor that.

And darn it, why should she go off for weeks and weeks of bliss with no worries on her mind about the clients she left behind? She *should* have her clients on her mind to some extent. That's her end of holding on to the connection.

Just a few thoughts based quite a bit on projection on my part, I'm sure. (Although I'd have absolutely no trouble making my therapist's life miserable under those circumstances, and did.)

I hope you have another session to try to fix this before she's gone.

 

Re: I think I might give it back *long* Dinah

Posted by raisinb on January 15, 2009, at 12:09:00

In reply to Re: I think I might give it back *long* raisinb, posted by Dinah on January 15, 2009, at 11:43:48

Oh yes, she isn't leaving until (theoretically) late February. Unless the baby comes early.

I think sometimes I feel there's a fine line between encouraging me to express my feelings and trying to use the session to allay her own guilt, fear, or sense of inadequacy. Or maybe that's projection, too.

I just...I'm not sure what she's getting at with bringing it up all the time. I've said how I felt about it. And I don't want to wallow. And how does expressing my feelings help? If I do that, she still won't change a thing. So she'll seem even more uncaring.

 

Re: I think I might give it back *long* raisinb

Posted by LibraryGirl on January 22, 2009, at 10:08:20

In reply to Re: I think I might give it back *long* Dinah, posted by raisinb on January 15, 2009, at 12:09:00

Oh my gosh. This sounds just like my relationship with my first and former therapist. When our connection was good, it was very good, very warm and caring. But a lot of times she'd take things I'd say personally, she'd "blame" me for my lack of being able to talk to her, and by the end (two years) she started saying some nasty things to me before terminating without warning. She was too emotionally involved with me, I think, and we were too emotionally "enmeshed" to really do much good together. Your story of wanting something to keep from her while she was gone reminded me of a similar thing that happened with my former T. It was the last session before Christmas break, I wouldn't see her for a few weeks. She had these soft cushy pillows on her chairs, two of the same ones. I'd often hold one during sessions. I thought to myself I'd love to bring one home, that way it would feel like I was still connected to her b/c I had something of hers plus it was one of two and she'd have the other one. Anyway I'd never ask for this, but miraculously she read my mind and asked me if I wanted to take it home during the break, so I did. We happened to have a good session that day so it felt good to have the pillow. Fast forward toward the end of our time together; she bought me a book that to this day I can't even look at b/c it brings up bad feelings about her. I'm still confused, conflicted, over what the heck happened (or didn't happen). Sometimes I miss her, I write her mushy notes and send her cards. Other times I want to tell her to go to heck and she'll never hear from me again. It's been 3 years almost now and I still can't get over it.

If your relationship with your T is that contentious, and causing you a lot of hurt, then really try to talk to her about it. Don't just leave and then wonder what might have happened if you'd said xyz. Say and do everything you feel you want to put into this, and then in the end if it doesn't work out, then you'll KNOW it wasn't anything you did or didn't do.

Good luck and keep us posted.


> Oh yes, she isn't leaving until (theoretically) late February. Unless the baby comes early.
>
> I think sometimes I feel there's a fine line between encouraging me to express my feelings and trying to use the session to allay her own guilt, fear, or sense of inadequacy. Or maybe that's projection, too.
>
> I just...I'm not sure what she's getting at with bringing it up all the time. I've said how I felt about it. And I don't want to wallow. And how does expressing my feelings help? If I do that, she still won't change a thing. So she'll seem even more uncaring.


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