Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 913634

Shown: posts 1 to 12 of 12. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like this

Posted by pweil on August 23, 2009, at 11:47:25

My mother used to go to a T and she would complain constantly, "He doesn't say anything. He just sits there". I found that very hard to believe, especially knowing my mother. I posted another post about the psychologist I have seen 2x so far but I wanted to take this a step further. Has anyone ever gotten "any help" from a T who seems to use a psychodynamic approach. The just sitting there more or less looking at you and saying nothing approach? I am guessing there must be people in the world who have benefitted from this therapeutic style. Has anyone here ever gotten helped from this style? The therapist who does not engage you but just sits there, listens when you talk but doesn't give feedback and now and then will ask a question? Thank you. (PS I am not asking if I should stay with this therapist. That was covered in my other question.)

 

Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like this

Posted by antigua3 on August 23, 2009, at 14:29:51

In reply to Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like this, posted by pweil on August 23, 2009, at 11:47:25

I have received tremendous help from the psychodynamic approach. I've been with my T forever, and she is kind, loving and very engaged and concerned about my well being.

I mentioned in your earlier post that what you describe with your psychologist might be a psychoanalytic approach, in which, sometimes, the anaylyst serves as a blank slate. My psychiatrist practices a variety of approaches, but this is my least favorite. That said, we have plenty of lively discussions when he uses a more interactive approach. But, his psychoanalytical approach was just what I needed, too, as a sharp push forward. It feels less kind, and can be tremendously hurtful at times, but I've learned that while I can't change his approach, I can change how I respond to it.

In any case, both approaches have worked very well for me.

Not sure if I was any help!
antigua

 

Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like pweil

Posted by rskontos on August 23, 2009, at 16:18:27

In reply to Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like this, posted by pweil on August 23, 2009, at 11:47:25

Yes, I have been seeing a psycho-analyst now for almost three years. He has been the right mix of what you speak about. I do, tell him, when this approach annoys the heck out of me. I will just stare at him sometimes and refuse to say anything and he will start the conversation.

It has taken quite a lot to get to this point. I went to him in crisis and he has helped tremendously.

I know today, how much he has helped. But then I don't thin k I would have done as well with someone else with a more touchy feely approach. He knows I don't like to be close or touchy.

it works for me.
Hope this helps.

rsk

 

Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like rskontos

Posted by Garnet71 on August 23, 2009, at 17:01:53

In reply to Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like pweil, posted by rskontos on August 23, 2009, at 16:18:27

Hi,

In shopping for a psychodynamic therapist, I noticed there are several approaches to the 'psychodynamic approach'. In other words, I think Ts have different methodss and styles.

For example, the one I was most comfortable with is warm and humanistic; he discloses things about himself here and there, talks, interprets--he has an eclectic approach, I believe. One I tried was very authoritarian, no self-disclosure, used aggressive techniques, very intense, used blank screen a lot, didn't talk much, but still spoke at times to address defenses or interpret...Still another didn't say anything-she just used that free floating technique similar to what you are describing.....etc.

Personally, I would not be comfortable with someone who didn't say much during each session; I prefer a more eclectic and humanistic approach. But it could be temporary-maybe he/she is trying to get a certain effect-and will later spend time talking/interpreting/relating? I'd ask about his/her future approaches to see what's coming.

It just seems well - blah - to not have any conversation or response each and every time...I wouldn't mind that method some of the time and can see how such techniques can be effective for some things. I would guess your T will eventually have to speak and interact with you and interpret, but it would be helpful to ask about his/her methods in advance since it's on your mind.

 

Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like

Posted by Garnet71 on August 23, 2009, at 17:12:37

In reply to Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like rskontos, posted by Garnet71 on August 23, 2009, at 17:01:53

Oops...last post was for PWeil..but to add to what Rskontos said, I found the touchy feely approach by non-psychodynamically oriented therapists to be ineffective. It always seemed like they were agreeing with me about everything, and encouraged the intellectualizing of my emotions--which was not helpful at all for my particular situation. It WAS helpful and supportive in dealing with daily life problems. I can't say these Ts did not help me--they did.

However, there was never a painful moment--in looking back, it seemed to have resulted in a somewhat adverse effect on me now--and my ability to reach self-actualization--because those repressed emotions that piled up during my childhood were never acknowledged, experienced, brought up, felt, processed....

I want someone to confront me, push me, challenge me. Generally, I don't believe change can be facilitated by not changing anything. I think in order to grow, in certain contexts, you have to challenge yourself and experience some level of pain.

 

Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like this

Posted by Sigismund on August 23, 2009, at 17:27:25

In reply to Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like this, posted by antigua3 on August 23, 2009, at 14:29:51

>Has anyone ever gotten "any help" from a T who seems to use a psychodynamic approach. The just sitting there more or less looking at you and saying nothing approach?

That's not my idea of a psychodynamic approach. Certainly there can be silences and counterintuitive feelings and uncertainty, but my experience was that when my T spoke, often it opened things up. Anyone can sit there and say nothing but 'Why do you ask?'

 

Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like this pweil

Posted by Dinah on August 23, 2009, at 18:02:02

In reply to Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like this, posted by pweil on August 23, 2009, at 11:47:25

I think the idea is that while they may often be silent, when they do speak it's to offer an interpretation that, for example, ties together different issues you had discussed or shed light on patterns in your life.

I don't know how long it takes for them to get to that point.

I don't think it would suit me. My therapist laughed and said that I would hate it. Whether it would be good for me or not, I can't say, because I would never stay long enough to find out.

 

Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like this

Posted by emmanuel98 on August 23, 2009, at 19:32:07

In reply to Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like this pweil, posted by Dinah on August 23, 2009, at 18:02:02

My pdoc is psychodynamic and he talks all the time and is very directive. He said his wife jokes that he can do this until he has one foot in the grave -- all she has to do is wheel him in and he can say umhmm. But that's not the type of T he is at all. He always has an agenda or is pushing me to think.

 

Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like

Posted by backseatdriver on August 24, 2009, at 6:49:10

In reply to Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like this, posted by emmanuel98 on August 23, 2009, at 19:32:07

I think a therapist can be psychodynamic in a lot of ways. Mostly I've worked with the warm(ish) humanistic types. The silent type can veer closely to the "silent treatment." If you've suffered from this in childhood at the hands of trusted others, a very quiet therapist may very well trigger you. To compound the problem, once triggered they are unlikely to help because doing so would violate their therapeutic principles. In that case, all you'd learn is how much suffering they can tolerate being witness to.

 

Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like backseatdriver

Posted by antigua3 on August 24, 2009, at 10:31:12

In reply to Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like, posted by backseatdriver on August 24, 2009, at 6:49:10

Sorry to go off track here, but you said:

"how much suffering they can tolerate being witness to."

Do you think this is really true? I don't get a sense that I'm having any effect on my psychiatrist. Does that mean he is just very good at hiding it, even when I've told him the most horrific things? I agree that it would probably violate his therapeutic principles, but it sure is hurtful.

sorry pweil for intruding on your thread.
antigua

 

Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like

Posted by fleeting flutterby on August 24, 2009, at 11:08:02

In reply to Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like backseatdriver, posted by antigua3 on August 24, 2009, at 10:31:12


---flutterby: Hey all-- this is to anyone that knows about such things.....
with what antigua said--- "I don't get a sense that I'm having any effect on my psychiatrist. Does that mean he is just very good at hiding it, even when I've told him the most horrific things? I agree that it would probably violate his therapeutic principles, but it sure is hurtful."

I had a T. that didn't show much emotion towards me and it triggered me(Narcissistic mother was cold and repelled being nurturing) to the point that productive therapy was happening less and less until I ended up leaving for good. My new current T. has had tears several times when I've shared some horrific things(like a gun to my back when I was a child- wondering if each breath was my last, having to watch as smaller kids were horrifically abused... and much more)--others tears for me is so NOT what I am used to!-- even though I don't cry-- it somehow feels like someone has taken my emotions and was fearless enough to show them for me. Is this T. I now see violating theraputic principles in doing this? gosh, I hope not-- I really trust someone for once in my life. *sigh*....wondering now if I'm wrong for putting some of my guard down..... :o(
....and she only let's silences last for about 5 seconds or less-- feels so much safer to me.

to pweil- I could not function with a lot of silence-- too much like what I grew up with also.(no reaction, advise or comfort from authority figures) The T. I used to have was like that also and it was so so uncomfortable-- felt like he was waiting for me to have a major revelation every time, as I sat there with a stupified blank mind, I felt more and more like a loser...... but... maybe for you the rest of the connection you have with your T. will carry you through those uncomfortable silences.
wishing you the best
flutterby


 

Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like antigua3

Posted by backseatdriver on August 25, 2009, at 10:39:54

In reply to Re: Has anyone ever gotten any help from a T like backseatdriver, posted by antigua3 on August 24, 2009, at 10:31:12


> "how much suffering they can tolerate being witness to."
>
> Do you think this is really true?

I do. Trauma psychologists burn out *real fast*, and often the first symptom of burnout is *turning away* from a patient's pain. I think this is generalizable -- trauma psychologists are not different from other kinds of helping professionals in the way we're talking about. They are not immune to pain.

A second reason: People in the helping professions are often themselves victims of abuse (Alice Miller talks about this in "The Drama of the Gifted Child"). To survive their childhoods, they have learned to tolerate a great deal of pain without doing the psychic equivalent of flinching. There is even something called "pain agnosia," a learned response that looks like coldness, or withdrawal, or sleepiness, but is actually what happens when a person is overwhelmed and their nervous system inhibits further responses to pain.

My T has this. He had a big argument on the phone with someone (his wife, I think) just before my session a few weeks ago, and when he opened the door for me, he looked like he was *half asleep*. Very walking dead, very zombie-like. I sat down and he sat down and he looked at me and he said, "I'm in crisis," and the session went from there. I was amazed until I'd read about "pain agnosia" and then I had an a-ha moment.

So, yes, Antigua, you're having an effect. Perhaps more of an effect than you think. Your sense that he is hiding his response tells me that the response *is* there. If he had no response, you would not feel he was hiding anything. Because there'd be nothing to hide. Does that make sense?

He's not helping you feel secure though - I'd be complaining about being made to feel paranoid and lied to.

- bsd


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