Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 915399

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more anger towards my therapist

Posted by deerock on September 2, 2009, at 11:21:44

i feel like there is something going on with my therapist and i that is not good.

she keeps referring to my having problems "of the self," which i research online and find out that its just a psychodynamic view of a personality disorder (ive written about this on here before so forgive me for the repetition). when i try to confront her about her belief that i am suffering from a personality disorder, she refuses to say yes and instead asks me what my concerns are.

i keep saying that i cannot work with someone who believes that there is something fundamentally wrong with me. and she says stuff like "we all have things that we need to work on."

And I will say "if youre telling me my personality is disordered, youre telling me im fundamentally flawed. I cannot work with someone who holds this perspective of me."

She replies "i think of you as someone who is committed, and working really hard and really wants to get somewhere with this work..why do you see only the negative aspect of it?"

so what concerns me is that our sessions are basically taken up by my fighting her and arguing with her about her views of what is wrong with me. we really dont get to make much progress because im just railing against the idea that she thinks im flawed. and she never says "no you arent." she always says youre working on something. and to that i respond with "youre giving me a diplomatic answer to the idea that there is soemthing wrong with me. youre not saying no." and then i will go on to tell her
"youre telling me there is something wrong with me that goes well beyond what most people have wrong with them." and she will say "i do not know the statistics."

writing this post made me tired. going to these sessions is draining...and i feel like its not really helpful.

thanks for reading.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock

Posted by Dinah on September 2, 2009, at 11:39:04

In reply to more anger towards my therapist, posted by deerock on September 2, 2009, at 11:21:44

My therapist and I fought for a good two years about this. A pdoc I'd only just started to see, but that had with my permission spoken to my therapist about me, mentioned with great confidence my schizotypal personality disorder, and the information that led him to that conclusion had to have come from my therapist.

My therapist said he never diagnosed me with that, but that he did think it applied.

We fought and fought for at least a year, maybe two, about this. It was my *personality* he said was disordered. There was something unlikeable about me. It's not like having anxiety or depression. You don't "have" a personality disorder, you have a personality, and he was saying that personality is disordered.

He never really backed down from that position, although he no longer thinks some of the aspects apply. He mentioned it again just the other day.

I guess I just figured he'd never change his view of me. But that he clearly didn't think it made me unlikeable or unpleasant. In fact, he's clearly quite fond of me. To him, it's just something that will cause me trouble, and that might cause me difficulties in interpersonal relationships. It is an issue to him only in that it is a difficulty for me, not because he thinks I'm less worthy because of it.

You may never change her view of you. But maybe you could try to find out how she thinks of personality disorders, and you, rather than apply your own understanding of it to her.

If that makes sense?

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist Dinah

Posted by deerock on September 2, 2009, at 11:51:59

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock, posted by Dinah on September 2, 2009, at 11:39:04

Dinah, Thanks so much. That is really helpful.

I will talk to her more about what it means to her. I already understand that it means certain things were not developed (in my case i think its an ability to feel my own feelings and have empathy for others - although at times i have great empathy).

what concerns me is that its not like depression, where the symptoms can go away. if she believes i have a disordered personality, and it will cause me problems in my interpersonal and professional relationships, that means, im battling with it for the rest of my life, that it will get better and other times it will be really bad...but its not gonna go away...

other therapists have told me stuff like yeah, its gonna take a lifetime to fix whats wrong with you..but there aint nothin wrong with you that aint wrong with somebody else. im messed up and who isnt. that view i can handle.

but im messed up in a way that is more messed up than the average mess up..that bugs me.

glad to hear you hung in there dinah. 2 years. yeah. its been about 1.5 years of this battle on and off. im glad i tell her i want to stop and we talk through it...and i keep going. at least that way i can get somewhere. maybe.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock

Posted by Dinah on September 2, 2009, at 17:19:50

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist Dinah, posted by deerock on September 2, 2009, at 11:51:59

Your situation is no different whether or not you have a name attached to it. I'm not overly fond of labels, but I don't think the outlook for "personality disorders" is so bad as some old books make them out to be. Medication can help some symptoms, therapy can help others. The thing that would most keep you from changing would be a desire not to change.

It doesn't sound like your therapist is hopeless, or putting too much emphasis on the personality disorder.

I totally understand the desire to understand what's wrong, and to have a key. I spent years trying to figure out why I do the things I do. But unfortunately those labels are wholly inadequate to encompass all of you. You are you, with all the strengths and weaknesses that come from being you. Therapy helps you harness the strengths and work around the weaknesses.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock

Posted by henrietta on September 2, 2009, at 19:38:29

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist Dinah, posted by deerock on September 2, 2009, at 11:51:59

What makes you think "simple" depression is curable, and a more pleasant diagnosis? I've been depressed since I was a small child. I've spent 6 years in therapy. I've tried about 19 different drugs. Depression has crippled my life.I'm in my 60s and I'm still depressed. You need to think about why you're spending so much time in therapy disputing your "diagnosis" (in my mind that's a huge signal that you're distracting yourself from working on what's really going on), and start facing up. No so-called diagnosis is better or worse than another. You don't think depression affects your "personality"? You don't think depression affects every aspect of your life? Stop focusing on labels. Do yourself a favor and give yourself a break and start focusing on receiving the help that's offered, and the help that seems to me (based on your writings) to be sincere , caring, and knowledgeable.
Best of luck.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock

Posted by emilyp on September 2, 2009, at 22:41:52

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock, posted by henrietta on September 2, 2009, at 19:38:29

I am not sure I could have said it as bluntly as Henrietta did. But I have to admit, I agree with her. I "only" have depression too. But it affects me every day. And even when I feel it remit and I start to feel better, I am 'looking' over my shoulder wondering when (and NOT if) it is going to come back. So essence, even when I am so-called partly cured, I am thinking about it. You never really escape it.

I say all this so you don't think that you would be better off if you had chronic depression. Would you face different problems - yes. But they would be there, day-in, day-out. There is not a day that goes by that I don't struggle - in some way - with the depression.

Finally, I would agree that everyone has some personality dysfunction. But since my depression is so much more intense than any personality issue, I am labeled a depressive. But I try - not always successfully - to define myself beyond the depression. In your case, the personality traits are stronger. But it does not have to define you

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock

Posted by floatingbridge on September 2, 2009, at 22:49:41

In reply to more anger towards my therapist, posted by deerock on September 2, 2009, at 11:21:44


> i keep saying that i cannot work with someone who believes that there is something fundamentally wrong with me. and she says stuff like "we all have things that we need to work on."
>

Deerock--maybe you're therapist doesn't agree that having a 'personality disorder' or as she says a 'disorder of the self' is the same as having 'something fundamentally wrong' with you, as you wrote above. People are scared of labels, and rightfully so--it allows us and others to pigeonhole each other.

If she or you believe there is something 'wrong' with you--like incurable cancer-- or being born without kidneys--this make the therapeutic situation seem futile.

Personality disorders exist on a spectrum. We all have the elements--this I believe.

Maybe you therapist is trying to keep you from battering yourself with a label.

sorry--more than two cents worth, perhaps,

fb

 

P.S Re: more anger towards my therapist floatingbridge

Posted by floatingbridge on September 2, 2009, at 23:13:17

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock, posted by floatingbridge on September 2, 2009, at 22:49:41

Deerock,

I'm thinking that there is so much validity to your drive to know 'what you are up against'. I don't want to discredit or diminish that in anyway. I hope you and your therapist can have healing dialogues about this--you deserve it.

fb

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock henrietta

Posted by deerock on September 3, 2009, at 7:35:13

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock, posted by henrietta on September 2, 2009, at 19:38:29

hello,

i think you make some valid points but you also seem angry or frustrated so will decline to say much more than thanks for your input. i appreciate it even though the tone of your posts makes me want to tell you a few not so nice things.

take care henrietta. i hope your depression improves.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock emilyp

Posted by deerock on September 3, 2009, at 7:40:06

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock, posted by emilyp on September 2, 2009, at 22:41:52

i didnt realize my comments would raise the hairs on the people with a depression diagnosis. im not trying to minimize depression. i know people who suffer from it and i realize its a life long struggle for some people.

so little is known about personality disorders and there is so much literature out there about how refractory they are in treatment settings. i am able to find much more literature about how depression is treatable and how this one or that one went into remission. ive never read such a thing about someone with a personality disorder.

then there is the world of my T. she told me that she thinks there is no difference between mood disorders and personality disorders. ill need to ask her about that one a bit more to see where she is coming from.

finally, it doesnt really matter what ive read or what ive got or what youve got and if mine can get more better than yours or vice versa. what matters to me is that i understand what im facing and how to make it better, not worse, however much better it can get and however well i can understand it.

and one more thing, i believe this applies to a lot of people not just me. my meditation teacher once said to me "what youre facing is a lot bigger than you realize..." i got really scared and he could tell. and then he said "but dee, its not insurmountable." i breathed a sigh of relief.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock deerock

Posted by Dinah on September 3, 2009, at 8:29:04

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock emilyp, posted by deerock on September 3, 2009, at 7:40:06

Dee, for what it's worth, I interpreted your remarks less as dismissing the pain of depression or anxiety, and more as a reflection of so much of what is written about personality disorders.

Disorders of the self, they're called. Treatment prognosis is poor. It's difficult to work with these people. Etc.

But to me, that's old outdated thinking, and you oughtn't pay much mind to it. Linehan, for example, conceives borderline as having at its root an easy arousal and a slow return to baseline. Which is likely a biological issue. Schizoid and schizotypal are now seen as somehow related to thought disorders, tho to me they often seem like something a neurologist might categorize as being on the autism/asperger spectrum. Even antisocial personality disorder is linked to a problem with dopamine, or adrenaline or something.

I wish they'd change the name of Axis II from Personality Disorders to something less perjorative like "clusters of coping mechanisms".

And the current literature sees them as no more intractable or lifelong than depression or anxiety. Which really is intractable and lifelong. Medication doesn't always work, and medication that worked at one time can stop working. I can see where people who are dealing with that may be just as upset at the idea that it is treatable as people who are diagnosed with personality disorders are at the idea that it isn't treatable. All are significant, but not hopeless, issues to deal with.

Even the ubiquitous "neurosis" which had physical problems once considered totally in a patient's mind, now seems somewhat dated. Irritable bowel syndrome and migraines, once considered neurotic constructs, are found to have similar chemical backgrounds to the anxiety and depression shown by neurotics. Sure, the symptoms often come together. But no, they aren't all in a patient's mind.

Toss out what you've read, and listen to your therapist. She sounds like a sensible woman.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock Dinah

Posted by deerock on September 3, 2009, at 8:42:27

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock deerock, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2009, at 8:29:04

Dinah, What you are saying makes sense.

I think its a matter of what is defined as hopeless. Can you have these conditions and live a normal life? Probably, on the outside. Does that mean that on the inside, you're fragile, capable of being thrown into a deep depression by the slightest thing, have major difficulties making yourself do things that are healthy for you, deal with prevasive anxiety throughout the day? Yeah, it does. I may appear to be a normal guy but I am in deep psychic pain all day long. So what does it mean that there is hope? That the pain will lessen? By how much? Nobody knows the answers to these questions I think. What do you think?

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock Dinah

Posted by deerock on September 3, 2009, at 9:25:56

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock deerock, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2009, at 8:29:04

dinah, thanks for your input by the way.

one of the main issues i struggle with in life and in therapy is not being able to follow through with decisions that will benefit me.

for example, exercise and diet are immensely helpful. however, i continue to not exercise and eat pizza and bagels and subs. i cannot follow through on a decision. i will eat well half a day and exercise one day..and feel great, but the next day, i go back to old habits.

this has not improved a lick since i entered therapy. so this is the part that i dont get.

am i supposed to keep going to my T and hope that this changes? she tells me that if i focus only on the behavior, i wont be able to address the underlying cause and the change wont stick. is that true? some people in the field say its nonsense...they say you can change a behavior without understanding why a behavior occurs.

this is part of my gripe with personality disorder stuff and the treatment that im getting from what appears to be a great therapist. maybe its not that i need to treat my personality disorder. what i need to treat are the behaviors that cause me to feel worse.

i dont know. im just sharing my thoughts.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock deerock

Posted by Dinah on September 3, 2009, at 12:08:49

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock Dinah, posted by deerock on September 3, 2009, at 9:25:56

I'm guessing you overrate normal. :)

Most people have *something* to deal with. More deal with emotional issues than you likely know. Others deal with physical problems, or money problems, or family problems. Many of those seemingly normal people probably feel pretty fragile or scared inside.

The important thing isn't to achieve normality, or a vision of it. It's to understand how *you* tick, and to work with what you've got. It's not unlike my migraines. I know at times I get into a migraine state, where small things can trigger one. So I avoid those triggers as much as possible. I can't keep the barometer from dropping, but I can wear sunglasses when I drive, for example. Knowing yourself, you personally - not a diagnosis, allows you to do the things you need to do to keep yourself at your best.

As far as willpower for diets and exercise, if you find something let me know. I don't do it myself. I think it comes down to reward/cost. If the costs of eating get high enough, I might stop eating too much. But until then, the rewards I get from eating exceed the rewards I get from dieting, so I'm not likely to diet.

Making small changes in your diet probably works better than a big diet plan anyway. I found myself often buying sugary fountain drinks, when I could just stick a bottle of water in my purse instead. You might not stick with a grand exercise plan, but you might park further away from the store to walk a bit further every day.

But no, I'm not sure understanding yourself helps with those things. What it does help with is keeping yourself out of the extremes and more into the center. Well, if that's your issue anyway. I'm not sure which personality disorder diagnosis you received.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock Dinah

Posted by deerock on September 3, 2009, at 12:23:29

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock deerock, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2009, at 12:08:49

I don't know what personality disorder diagnosis I receieved either. She wont tell me. She only says its a disorder of the self. Thats part of why I am frustrated.

Well my whole argument here is that if I could eat right and exercise, that would make me feel good and centered. I would not need therapy. But I cannot get myself to do these things. And going to my therapist only gets me more therapy. It does not get me to do these things. In fact its very frustrating going to therapy so it makes me do less of these things.

Thats part of why I fight with my therapist. I often tell her I want someone to coach me on how to make lifestyle changes with diet and exercise because I feel like that will make me feel better than how much better I can feel by seeing her.

Does that make sense? I gather you don't agree but maybe you can at least see where I am coming from and maybe you think that my approach is not going to work and if thats the case, id be open to hearing about that.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock deerock

Posted by Dinah on September 3, 2009, at 12:37:44

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock Dinah, posted by deerock on September 3, 2009, at 12:23:29

Well, I have no way of knowing really.

I don't think it would work for me. I wasn't always fat and out of shape. I don't remember diet and exercise making me feel enough better.

But exercise is a magic charm for my husband. So everyone is different.

I don't know what issues you deal with, so I don't know. I don't think I *can* know.

What do you think? Will diet and exercise sufficiently solve your issues? What would be different about you and your life if you dieted and exercised? Not in generalities, but in particulars. What are major issues for you now, and how would diet and exercise change them?

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock Dinah

Posted by deerock on September 3, 2009, at 12:42:56

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock deerock, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2009, at 12:37:44

my main issues are anger and anxiety. the personality stuff is relevant because i get angry at people sometimes after i let them in. and i am anxious in general, really anxious about social situations, my health, etc.

so if i diet and exercise, i will be calmer and more fit. exercise really calms me down. eating well calms me down too. it makes me feel like im control of myself and my health.

so if i am calmer, i am less anxious. if i am less anxious, i let people in more. if im calmer im less angry. im more likely to control my anger when it comes up. if i do more of what i want, diet and exercise, i feel more confident about my ability to control myself hence lowering the anxiety further.

these are just my ideas about it. i cant say i did it and it happened to work because i can only really do this stuff for a day before i give up.

so someone might say oh you can only do it for a day because you have a personality disorder. or something like that. like narcissists cant accomplish much and bleed the life from people who can. so maybe im a narcissist. or maybe i just dont know how to reach my goals. and if i could reach my goals of exercising and eating well id hate myself less, be more in control of my emotions and feel healthier and not need to diminish the accomplishments of others because im accomplishing something myself.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock deerock

Posted by Dinah on September 3, 2009, at 12:48:51

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock Dinah, posted by deerock on September 3, 2009, at 12:42:56

Hmmm... I don't think problems with diet and exercise are reserved for people with personality disorders. :) Otherwise more people would be lean and fit.

There are lots of reasons totally unrelated to personality disorders to have trouble with that. For myself it's as simple as I feel lousy when I'm hungry, and exercise makes me sleepy and irritable.

Or maybe you could be afraid to lose weight and exercise more for fear that your life wouldn't be as wonderful as you'd hope.

Or it could be any number of things.

It might be helpful to figure out why. But for myself, realizing that I'm irritable enough to spit nails if I don't get enough carbohydrates does nothing to make me cut down on carbs. But I have quit eating too much of them (at least much of the time) because they make me feel sleepy and unwell. Understanding doesn't lead to change, for me.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock

Posted by Dinah on September 3, 2009, at 12:56:28

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock deerock, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2009, at 12:48:51

I suppose I should also say that, for me anyway, the "if only I was xxx..." never worked.

I'd sometimes achieve xxxx, and find that I was just myself with xxxxx.

Sort of like my wedding day. Growing up I thought I'd feel like a princess in my bridal gown. Turns out I felt like me in a bridal gown. :)

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock Dinah

Posted by deerock on September 3, 2009, at 13:55:04

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2009, at 12:56:28

i hear ya dinah. loud and clear. and i agree with you. i hope youre enjoying your day. time for my weekly one on one with my boss. cant wait for this.

talk soon. take good care and hope that your situation with your t gets cleared up soon. glad to hear youre feeling better from the babbler input youve gotten.

bye for now.

 

Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock

Posted by Maria01 on September 5, 2009, at 21:55:48

In reply to Re: more anger towards my therapist deerock, posted by henrietta on September 2, 2009, at 19:38:29

> What makes you think "simple" depression is curable, and a more pleasant diagnosis? I've been depressed since I was a small child. I've spent 6 years in therapy. I've tried about 19 different drugs. Depression has crippled my life.I'm in my 60s and I'm still depressed. You need to think about why you're spending so much time in therapy disputing your "diagnosis" (in my mind that's a huge signal that you're distracting yourself from working on what's really going on), and start facing up. No so-called diagnosis is better or worse than another. You don't think depression affects your "personality"? You don't think depression affects every aspect of your life? Stop focusing on labels. Do yourself a favor and give yourself a break and start focusing on receiving the help that's offered, and the help that seems to me (based on your writings) to be sincere , caring, and knowledgeable.
> Best of luck.

*stands and applauds* Bravo! Thank you!


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