Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 875827

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Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 13:15:17

In the course of our session yesterday I mentioned the big T word (termination) as opposed to the little t word (transference). He asked, with what seemed like genuine interest, what words clients in general hate and I answered a bit about transference and Termination. He asked if there were others, although nothing else came immediately to my mind. (I'm sure that had I not been focused on something else, many things would come to mind.)

So I thought I'd put the question out here. Not that I'll spend lots of my therapy time diverting attention from other issues, or anything. But I always appreciate how much my therapist does want to learn about therapy from the client's side of the room. And I know he meets with other therapists from time to time, so I hope that he shares his insights with others. He's not allowed to read here, for obvious reasons, but I'll find some way to give him an idea of what was said.

So, for anyone who wants to contribute, what are your least favorite therapy words or phrases and why?

Termination, the big T word, is obviously mine.

Though I'm not crazy about "You're stronger than you think". It always fills me with a mutinous desire to be weak.

(And yes, this could be seen as therapist-pleasing activities although he didn't ask me to ask here. And although I could be mistaken about my own motivations, I don't think therapist pleasing is my predominant motive. I really do like it when therapists are genuinely interested in what clients think.)

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. Dinah

Posted by raisinb on January 24, 2009, at 14:17:32

In reply to Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 13:15:17

Oh boy, great thread. I too hate "I feel like you're stronger than that" or "than you think." Feels a bit abandoning.

Then there's the, "thank you for telling me all that. I really appreciate it." Like our relationship is a Christmas card! Especially when I've ranted angrily at her all session. I told her once, "I *know* you are not thankful for me saying f***ck you, so don't thank me!"

And she loves,"just because....doesn't mean...." which always just seems evasive. Like "just because I didn't respond in the right way or because I'm not this...this...this...doesn't mean I don't care about you."

Oh and, when I'm upset and angry and at the end of my rope with her in a disagreement, "how are we going to get through this?" My response: "I DON'T KNOW. YOU are the therapist! I am the CLIENT. IF you don't know, you go consult or you refer me to somebody else!"

And, "I feel like you should stay because I'm bring out every issue you've ever had!" Blah.

And lately, going on and on about how difficult it's going to be for me during her leave, how I am going to feel abandoned, rejected, like she doesn't care. I think, why don't you just stick a knife in my gut?

And, usually out of nowhere, "what is the status of the sexual feelings?" Sheesh, maybe I should write her a quarterly report?

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by TherapyGirl on January 24, 2009, at 14:44:16

In reply to Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 13:15:17

My current least phrase is, "It'll be okay," usually spoken by my T in response to my response to her retirement and impending move across the state.

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by antigua3 on January 24, 2009, at 15:27:52

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by TherapyGirl on January 24, 2009, at 14:44:16

1. "Oh, that's not going to happen," as if he is dismissing anything I firmly believe might happen. Yes, I might be catastrophizing (sp?), but him telling me that it's not going to happen makes my rebellious side want to go right out and make sure it does happen.

2. "I really enjoy working with you." Well, would they ever say, "I really hate working with you, you're such a pain?"

3. "I'm honored that you've shared this information with me." Yeah, right.

4. "You've worked so very hard." Bleh.

5. "You've made such great progress," as I'm crying my eyes out and feeling wretched.

I find all these words so patronizing. Being patronized, or feeling like I am, is at the top of my pet peeve list, right along with sensing that I'm being pitied.

antigua


 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by gardenergirl on January 24, 2009, at 15:47:13

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by antigua3 on January 24, 2009, at 15:27:52

When my brother was in rehab, we spent some time with a therapist during family week who always prefaced interpretations with, "My guess is...". Drove me nuts. She is now and forevermore known to me as "My-Guess-Is Marcy".

gg

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 15:48:29

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by antigua3 on January 24, 2009, at 15:27:52

Oooh, I remember another one.

The folded arm "That's your choice."

It's always used when he is drawing a boundary, and I think it comes from frustration.

Is it just me who gets that one? Or hates it?

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by antigua3 on January 24, 2009, at 16:07:07

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 15:48:29

Hate that one too. Mine uses it to force me to accept responsibility for my actions.

Even worse, the other day he actually mumbled "dumb idea" in response to something I suggested doing!!! (med change.) I asked him if he had really said that and he had to admit he did.

For a session that seemed to be filled with nothingness last time, I sure am mining a lot out of it in retrospect. In leaving, I said, "What a waste of time and money this was." Wrong again!

Sorry to get off track.

Keep 'em coming,
antigua

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by LibraryGirl on January 24, 2009, at 16:35:57

In reply to Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 13:15:17

Hm, I could probably think of a few choice ones from my former T, but I'll stick to ones I don't like in general:

(forgive me if I've already posted something someone else wrote; I didn't read all of the responses) -

"Relationship" - I hate this word in terms of therapy; maybe b/c of the disaster my last therapeutic "relationship" was and how much emphasis former T put on "the relationship" and how "the relationship" left me traumatized and confused, and with my current T the last thing I was from her is a "relationship" of any sort

"transference" - as Dinah mentioned; I just hate the word and the concept. I'm sure its valid and that it happens, but I also don't think that ALL feelings for our T's (and theirs for us) is some sort of transference. Put two real humans into a room and talk about intense personal things for a lengthy period of time, one or both of them are going to feel something for the other. Or maybe I'm delusional, I don't know.

"Care" - I don't like this word. The "I care about you" debate (as what? a patient/client? a person? How? personally? professionally?). Ugh, it makes me tired.

I'm sure there are more but those are the top three.

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. Dinah

Posted by seldomseen on January 24, 2009, at 17:09:38

In reply to Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 13:15:17

I noted that some one brought up catastrophesing (How DO you spell that?). I hate that word. I find it very minimizing.

I also hate it when he tells me that "i'm getting so much better at XYZ" I don't know why, but that just pisses me off.

Now, I know this is weird, but I really hate it when he uses my name at the beginning of a sentence as "seldom, (insert patronizing pause here) you blah blah blah". When he uses it in the middle of a sentence I like it (because we're usually actually having a converstion).

That's all I can think of right now.

Seldom


 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by Annierose on January 24, 2009, at 17:38:55

In reply to Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 13:15:17

Everyone forgot about this one ...

"Time's up!"

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by wittgensteinz on January 24, 2009, at 17:48:47

In reply to Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 13:15:17

1. "that doesn't bring us further" - my T doesn't have many 'phrases' he uses repeatedly but this is one of the few and it tends to stop me in my tracks. He's said it about things like my suicidal ideation, and although it is a true statement it doesn't really help open up a discussion of the topic.

2. "Can I give you a penny for your thoughts" - usually if I'm silent for a rather long time. Often my thought is "you'll have to pay me more than that to get me to say what I'm thinking!". Usually I do say what I'm thinking sooner or later.

3. Another thing that I don't like is when I say something I think very important or significant (an insight or a memory, for example) and he just sits there and says NOTHING. I've also said in the past that some of my favourite moments in therapy have been those of shared silences but I should also say some of my worst moments have been those silences too. It's perhaps my own fault for seeing a Freudian analyst - sometimes I wish my T would just say something corny and patronising or at least something validating (actually just the things that seem to drive the rest of you round the bend). He did say once, after a break "I was looking forward to seeing you again" which caught me off guard and I went and responded with something cold like "I don't believe you" - if I recall I apologised in a mail afterwards.

Now I think of it, pdoc is more into the soppy 'empathic' statements and I don't know how to respond to that kind of thing "you should be proud of yourself for ....".

4. When he doesn't know how to say what he wants in English and says it instead in French (he's Dutch). Why he says it in French is beyond me because my French is very basic (he is fluent) - is he trying to impress me? Then he says "do you know what I mean?". I like it when I say something he doesn't know and he gets all enthusiastic and gets out his dictionary. I also like it when he talks Dutch, his native language, because his voice sounds softer, gentler. I kind of want to switch to just doing therapy in Dutch but I don't like the idea of making mistakes in front of him.

Witti

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 18:40:22

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Annierose on January 24, 2009, at 17:38:55

I never let my therapist get a chance to say time's up. He picks up his pad to sign and I'm trained to look for my check. In fact, we have whole nonverbal conversations now. Sometimes instead of picking up my check I jut out my chin and cross my arms. Which he correctly reads as "it has not actually been fifty minutes and I'm not budging". He's got a nasty habit of making up time on me.

But I must hate it or I wouldn't make so sure he never has a chance to say it.

Another one I really hate is

"What would you like from me today." This is his way of saying "I know I'm missing the mark and we're both getting frustrated." But I really wish he would just say that. Last time I said "I *hate* it when you ask that!" and he responded "I know. (with a smile) What I mean is would you like me to problem solve with you, or would it be more helpful for me to listen."

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by fleeting flutterby on January 24, 2009, at 18:44:31

In reply to Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 13:15:17

The psychologist I used to see was an "in your face" type therapist. Seemed to me that he said things for the "shock" factor. and here I am.... quiet, never showing my emotions, struggling with the inability to be attached emotionally to anyone, horribly lacking self-esteem....

one day as I tried to defend myself about it being so hard for me to feel important... he said--

"You are not getting me caught in your web"

..... (huh?- i thought) .... I'm sure he didn't see the devastating hurt in my heart as I sat there shocked-- with no clue what he meant by such a statement. it felt like a mind game he was playing with me and... Mind games are a HUGE huge trigger as that's what my mother did all the time with us kids-- the one that could decifer her "game" at any one moment was the one that got her attention. I totally shut down then and it became increasingly harder each session to feel safe.......

another thing my former T. once said to me-- which also triggered me was....

"You are more like your mother than you realize"....

argh!!! my mother is an abusive attention seeking narcissist...... I never seek attention, I would never abuse a small child and I so worry how everyone else feels that I totally deny my own self.

i think he might of meant that I run from relationships like my mother does-- but-- the way he said it -- it sure stung. :o(


since then-- my new T. has NEVER ever said such things-- in fact she has even said the total opposite. ah... it sure feels nice to feel safe with a T.

flutterby-mandy

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. fleeting flutterby

Posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 18:50:03

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by fleeting flutterby on January 24, 2009, at 18:44:31

Whoa. I know that some people find therapists like that helpful, but I wouldn't have lasted a month.

> "You are more like your mother than you realize"....

Oh wow. Wow. If my therapist said that, he'd have a lot of explaining to do. Even in my marriage it has been identified as something that would not be considered acceptable in any circumstance whatsoever. Even in our biggest arguments, or even if I say it myself, that is considered a low blow and completely unacceptable.

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. Dinah

Posted by TherapyGirl on January 24, 2009, at 19:04:07

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 15:48:29

Definitely not you. That was one of the things T said to me over the phone last weekend at the start of the breakdown. Of course, she wasn't really understanding the whole thyroid thing and once she figured that out, she apologized. But I hate it just the same because in that moment (whatever we're talking about) it doesn't ever feel like I have a choice.

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. Dinah

Posted by Annierose on January 24, 2009, at 19:28:34

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 18:40:22

>>>"What would you like from me today."

My t asks something similar ...

What do you wish I would have asked you?
or
What did you wish I'd say?

where is her crystal ball???

This list will certainly bring a smile to your therapist face

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by DAisym on January 24, 2009, at 19:30:04

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. Dinah, posted by TherapyGirl on January 24, 2009, at 19:04:07

1) "I need to tell you (or talk to you about)..." I HATE that - in the ensuing 10 seconds I die a thousand deaths, feel sick to my stomach and stop breathing. Why can't he just say, "I'm going on vacation in a few weeks."

2) "I'm going on vacation in a few weeks."

3) "Is that what you really want to do?" Ug. How would I know what I really want to do? Or, more often, of course not. It is what I think I'm suppose to do. Why can't he just say, "that's a bad idea"?

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. Annierose

Posted by 10derHeart on January 24, 2009, at 20:12:48

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Annierose on January 24, 2009, at 17:38:55

Well, I thought mine *always* using: "We have to stop." was bad, but I'd probably freak if he said "time's up!" I'm soooo sensitive those last few minutes, everything sounds like cr*p!

I don't know why, but I want him to think of something fresh, new and really gentle. I always want to scream (irrationally, for sure) "Stop WHAT?"

It's all about me never wanting ANY session to end, so he can't win here.

I'll be back with a list later, I'm sure. Great thread.

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. Dinah

Posted by fleeting flutterby on January 24, 2009, at 20:20:15

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. fleeting flutterby, posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 18:50:03

> Whoa. I know that some people find therapists like that helpful, but I wouldn't have lasted a month.<<


-----Yea, I don't think it was a good "fit" for me either. I just didn't know any different at the time and I blamed myself for feeling triggered and stuck. I truly thought I was doing things wrong. *sigh*.....



> > "You are more like your mother than you realize"....
>
> Oh wow. Wow. If my therapist said that, he'd have a lot of explaining to do. Even in my marriage it has been identified as something that would not be considered acceptable in any circumstance whatsoever. Even in our biggest arguments, or even if I say it myself, that is considered a low blow and completely unacceptable.<<

----- Exactly-- it is a "low blow", like you said.(it's nice you understand but I'm sorry also that you understand) ...it hurt to hear that, as I've tried so hard my whole life to NOT be like my mother-- i've made such a conscious effort of it.

thank the stars for my new T.(i'm scared though, as I fear she is too good to be true and something will present itself to show me so.... yipes....) -- she has said to me that it's like there is a line-- abusive and self centeredness is on one side... then there is a happy healthy medium..... and then there is the other side where one becomes invisible and doesn't express wants or needs..... she said my mom is on the self centered side and I am way way over on the other side.... maybe not an ideal place for me -- BUT, I accomplished it-- I am NOT like my mother. :o)

(T. has said I need to get more in the middle of that line..... just not sure how that's going to happen...*sigh*....)

thanks for this thread.... felt good to express some things....

flutterby-mandy


 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by sharon7 on January 24, 2009, at 22:11:09

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by TherapyGirl on January 24, 2009, at 14:44:16

well, hopefully i'm not the ONLY one who hears this with some frequency, especially lately: "How old do you feel right now?"

lol. i think to myself "dr, you don't wanna know!" (o:

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. 10derHeart

Posted by DAisym on January 25, 2009, at 0:22:32

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. Annierose, posted by 10derHeart on January 24, 2009, at 20:12:48

I can't stand to be told to leave - there is no good way. So I simply don't let him - I watch the clock and say, "I need to go" or "I'm leaving" -- like I have a choice in the matter.

Ah - the things we do...

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by onceupon on January 25, 2009, at 14:33:53

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. 10derHeart, posted by DAisym on January 25, 2009, at 0:22:32

"What would be most helpful for you today?" I don't know...doing some therapy?

"Is it OK if we talk about _______ the next time we meet?" Said at the end of a session when she wants to wrap up without actually saying that we're out of time. In theory, this would not be such a bad thing, but it's rare that we come back to the topic that we ended on. Of course that's not really her fault, but the words still make me cringe.

I actually kind of wish my therapist was more willing to talk about transference, because then maybe we would be talking about our relationship, which is rare.

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by no_rose_garden on January 25, 2009, at 22:33:23

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by onceupon on January 25, 2009, at 14:33:53

"we need to end" From old counselor at the end of the session...then he'd just open the door and go sit at his desk. *ss

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists. no_rose_garden

Posted by 10derHeart on January 25, 2009, at 23:31:53

In reply to Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by no_rose_garden on January 25, 2009, at 22:33:23

whoa, good thing that wasn't me.

I'd likely have done something dramatic to make *my* point, oh...like saying coldly, "and you need to find a new profession, since being abrupt and rude in this one just makes you a jerk, not a 'counselor' or whatever you call yourself. Have a lovely day," followed by leaving myself, as abruptly as possible.

I know, lame, childish, and hypocritical. But I don't do well with abrupt and cold. Not well AT ALL.

 

Re: Least favorite words/phrases from therapists.

Posted by backseatdriver on January 26, 2009, at 12:00:43

In reply to Least favorite words/phrases from therapists., posted by Dinah on January 24, 2009, at 13:15:17

Two of the worst:

"This is going to sound banal/tired/traditional..." followed by an interpretation. If the T *knows* something is not the right thing to say, why say it?

and...

"My patients do very well when I'm away."

BSD



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