Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 959231

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Re: starting new T search: T #1

Posted by Willful on August 20, 2010, at 11:51:14

It's a privilege to be able to contribute to your T search, pegasus.

I"ve had to change Ts a few times. I've found that it can help to see new people more than once. If there's a connection, but you're not sure if it's right-- for example, if he's too distant or not as revealing about himself, it might be an effect of both of you being a bit tense about the newness or uncertainty-- So, if none of the other candidates seems like a good fit and you find yourself still thinking about him, you could ask for a second consultation.

It's great that you're talking to several Ts. Seeing someone you're comfortable with-- is so important. I saw several Ts before I started seeing my current T, and there was something about him that just felt so right, that even though the others were highly qualified and I'm sure very good Ts, I knew that he was the right one for me at the time.

Which one you choose depends a lot on what you're dealing with-- there's nothing wrong with seeing only men. I mostly interviewed men too. Some women prefer women, but while I can talk to either a man or a woman, I've always been closer to my father. And for some reason, I felt like I needed a man. I would go with your instincts-- and use logic and reasoning second, to make sure you're not making some sort of mistaken choice. Sometimes you know someone isn't right, but you're drawn to them anyway-- and in those cases, I would try to stay away. I've had those situations and my instincts have always proven correct in the long run.

Good luck!

Willful

 

Re: starting new T search: T #1

Posted by Annierose on August 20, 2010, at 17:46:54

In reply to starting new T search: T #1, posted by pegasus on August 20, 2010, at 8:52:14

I think you are approaching this exactly right. Interviewing for the right T for you does take talking to more than one ... and scheduling them in clusters ... you get to compare and contrast right away. Seems like you got a good handle on T#1.

Important that he intruiged you. I think I understand the eye contact thing. If you are looking away, he is likely to look away as well so you don't feel like he is staring at you.

Let me know about your second candidate.

 

Re: starting new T search: T #1

Posted by Dinah on August 22, 2010, at 6:24:18

In reply to starting new T search: T #1, posted by pegasus on August 20, 2010, at 8:52:14

Maybe you know more than you think you know about what you need at this point? A man, for instance.

It might make sense to trust that inner knowledge in assessing the candidates, in addition to thinking it out logically.

Although it might also be good to recognize if the candidates seem familiar to you in some way that might mean you're trying to work through a prior relationship with the same sort of man. That can be helpful, but it requires a very large degree of competence that sadly not all therapists enjoy.

How did candidate #2 go?

 

Re: starting new T search: T #1

Posted by pegasus on August 22, 2010, at 17:21:04

In reply to starting new T search: T #1, posted by pegasus on August 20, 2010, at 8:52:14

Dang it! I just wrote a whole response, and then lost my internet connection and the whole thing was tossed.

So, anyway, I thanked you all enthusiastically. I appreciate your support and insight!

I saw T #2 on Friday. There are many logistical things that are better about him than T #1. His office is in his home, which is 2 blocks from mine. His rates are much cheaper ($80 versus $120). And he has Saturday hours! But I think none of these are good reasons to choose him.

The energy between me and T #2 was cooler than with T #1. I'm not sure whether I like that or not. He is older (in his 60s). In some ways he reminds me of my dad. I could stand to work on some issues with my dad, who was never really available to me. He was a lot more revealing than T #2. I learned that he's been a Buddhist for many years, and has 2 grown children, and used to work at the local mental health center. All fine things, IMO. Apparently he does a lot of couples work, which is not something that I particularly need. It felt pretty comfortable to talk to him. I left the session thinking that I'd choose him over T #1.

But T #1 has been sticking in my mind more. I think there is something about how his reserved style and strict boundaries (no disclosure about anything, 45 minute sessions) would provoke me that is appealing. Maybe it just reminds me of how I'd often get angry at my first T, who eventually became a very powerful and healing attachment figure. Or maybe there's something I need to work on there.

T #2 has a social work background, which seems neither here nor there to me on paper. But maybe that accounts for his less "blank slate-ish" approach.

I think I'm hoping to find another T that has more warmth than T #1, and more energy between us than T #2. But if I don't, I'd probably go with T #2.

Thanks for reading!

Peg

 

Above is summary of T#2 (nm)

Posted by pegasus on August 22, 2010, at 17:22:00

In reply to Re: starting new T search: T #1, posted by pegasus on August 22, 2010, at 17:21:04

 

Re: starting new T search: T #1

Posted by Annierose on August 23, 2010, at 6:51:28

In reply to Re: starting new T search: T #1, posted by pegasus on August 22, 2010, at 17:21:04

Funny ... after reading this I thought you were going to end by saying you would choose T#1 based on what you wrote. It certainly is a hugely difficult process and it's so difficult to know - even after meeting them - which one - as Goldylock would say "is just right".

Trust your gut. Maybe #3 will be just the perfect fit.

Knowing it's an expensive venture, if you can narrow it done to two, maybe talk to the final two one more time to help make your final decision.

 

Re: starting new T search: T #2 pegasus

Posted by Dinah on August 23, 2010, at 7:11:57

In reply to Re: starting new T search: T #1, posted by pegasus on August 22, 2010, at 17:21:04

It sounds like T1 might be a bit too hard, and T2 might be a bit too soft?

I think I'd hold out for one that's (mostly) juuust right.

I know it's difficult and expensive to interview, but if this is to be a long term therapy relationship, it is even more difficult and expensive to engage in one that ultimately is not helpful.

 

T #3

Posted by pegasus on August 23, 2010, at 15:49:54

In reply to starting new T search: T #1, posted by pegasus on August 20, 2010, at 8:52:14

This next T was a bit further out of my comfort zone, by my choice. He specializes in body-centered therapy, which I thought might be useful.

At first, I really liked him, and was thinking that he was my first choice so far. Certainly I like the idea of learning to be more aware of my body, and how it is affected when I talk about various things. And I completely believe that integrating body awareness and using physical tools for helping to manage emotions can be really valuable in working through difficult stuff.

Also, I liked his office. It felt very comfortable and private. More spacious than T #2, who has a tiny, room in his home. And more warm and full than T #1 who seemed to have rented the space for an hour.

I liked the way he explained his practice, and I liked his manner, which felt attentive, but not scary.

But then, toward the end, he started getting a bit condescending. Here is an exchange:

(We had done some work with boundaries on the floor - no touching, just setting up a rope around me to define my personal boundary.)

Me: So, do you usually work while sitting on the floor like this?

T3: Yes, often. But who do you think is in charge of the session after we get going?

Me: OK, so it's my choice.

T3: If a client comes in and says, "T3, I just need to talk to you today" and sits on the couch, what do you think I'm going to do?

Me: Uh, right. OK. (Thinking, are we on Sesame Street? Do I look like a child?)

As I walked out, I thought . . . Yech.

Too bad, because I think I would like to do some work in this mode, and he seemed like a good compromise between T1 and T2 in terms of warmth and connection. Maybe I need to interview some other body-centered folks.

Peg

 

Re: T #3

Posted by emmanuel98 on August 23, 2010, at 22:02:21

In reply to T #3, posted by pegasus on August 23, 2010, at 15:49:54

I don't know. That didn't sound condescending to me, but maybe you had to be there.

 

Re: T #3 pegasus

Posted by Daisym on August 24, 2010, at 1:14:09

In reply to T #3, posted by pegasus on August 23, 2010, at 15:49:54

Reading with interest. I'd hate the question format of T3 too. I'd probably refuse to answer or come back with something sarcastic.

I like T1 the best so far but age is an issue with me right now as I worry that my therapist will retire on me. (He said he has no plans, but I worry anyway.)

Thanks for letting us be a part of this. Is there a specific reason you are looking to go back? That might help you focus in as well.

 

Re: T #3 pegasus

Posted by Dinah on August 24, 2010, at 6:54:22

In reply to T #3, posted by pegasus on August 23, 2010, at 15:49:54

The energy match between you sounds good, and that match could also be there with another therapist whose style is more to your taste.

That being said, I can see my therapist saying something like that. He wouldn't have been condescending so much as trying to use humor to bring home a point. But I wasn't there and didn't hear the tone. Of course, my therapist's sense of humor does not always amuse me. I've gotten used to dismissing those moments of misattunement. Maybe too used to it. :)

Daisy's got a point about understanding why you are seeking therapy at this point being a good guide as to the best therapist for you at this point.

 

Re: T #3 Daisym

Posted by Dinah on August 24, 2010, at 7:01:17

In reply to Re: T #3 pegasus, posted by Daisym on August 24, 2010, at 1:14:09

I had somehow never pictured your therapist as approaching retirement age, Daisy. I guess I thought of him as being more or less the same age as my therapist.

If it's of any help, my therapist says that many therapists never really retire unless they are unable to continue for some reason. They just reduce their case loads, taking on few new clients and allowing attrition to shrink their hours to manageable levels. (I'm guessing that self employed therapists don't have the security of a 401K, though naturally he framed the decision more as a question of liking to have meaningful work to do. Which actually may be true. Don't many men have trouble with retirement?)

He says it's more likely that I'll get fed up with his failing memory or bad hearing than that he'll retire. Mind you, my therapist has a nasty way of trying not to think of future problems, so I try to keep that in mind when he offers assurances.

 

Re: T #3

Posted by pegasus on August 24, 2010, at 15:20:33

In reply to T #3, posted by pegasus on August 23, 2010, at 15:49:54

Thanks again for your feedback, everyone. It is helpful. It's interesting that people seem to like T#1. I liked him, too, but I keep thinking that his 45 minute sessions and high fees, along with his reserve and formality would drive me nuts. At the moment T#2 feels like the best fit for me, but not a fantastic fit. So, I'm going to keep looking.

The main reason I'm going back to therapy is that I'm finishing up an MA degree this year by finally finishing an internship. It's going to be at a very challenging human service agency, with very traumatized clients. I know I'll have a lot that comes up around that. Tying into my own trauma history, which is related to a lifetime of anxiety and depression, among other problems. I aspire to find a way to do this work while not tipping back into my own habitual pathologies, and while being able to maintain my present, hard won hopeful outlook. I think I'll be able to use all the help I can get with that.

Also, when I last left therapy, I was recovering from a very big surgery and subsequent complications, and had taken a medical leave from my program. When I got better, I just sort of put that whole unpleasant episode behind me, and never dealt with it. But it was very traumatic, and I find it being expressed in some complicated ways now. So I want to revisit it, and find a way to process it better.

In my search, I think I'm mainly looking for someone I really like. I know there are other things to consider, but when I've been through this before, I found that when I met the right person, it wasn't their approach or skills or what not that made it work. It was just that we clicked.

My current plan is to keep looking until I find that click. But only with people who offer a free initial session, because i've spent all the $$ I have for this therapist search already. I have an appointment with T #4 on 9/3, and one with T #5 on 9/7. And there's one more guy that I'm currently trying to get an appointment with. I'll let you know what happens.

Thanks for being interested!

Peg

 

Re: T #3

Posted by emmanuel98 on August 24, 2010, at 20:09:41

In reply to Re: T #3, posted by pegasus on August 24, 2010, at 15:20:33

When I looked for a T, I wasn't sure what I was looking for. Not someone I liked so much as someone I could trust. I had seen 2 T's who I liked very much, but they were a little to into themselves, disclosing a lot. I could see their personalities and their weaknesses pretty readily.

I chose my T because, during the initial interview he was entirely focussed on me. He asked probing questions and made me feel it was important to answer them honestly.

 

Re: T #3 Dinah

Posted by Daisym on August 24, 2010, at 22:58:55

In reply to Re: T #3 Daisym, posted by Dinah on August 24, 2010, at 7:01:17

It is one of those questions I've never asked - "how old are you?" And I never thought it would be a problem because I didn't think I'd STILL be in therapy...

He says he'll keep seeing me until we are both too old to hobble into his office, if I want/need to. So I shouldn't worry. But still,it sort of nags at me from time to time.

 

Re: T #3 Daisym

Posted by Dinah on August 25, 2010, at 7:19:59

In reply to Re: T #3 Dinah, posted by Daisym on August 24, 2010, at 22:58:55

Maybe it would help to talk to him about his age and how you worry? That's one of the good things about a relationship where you can talk about anything.

 

Re: T #3 pegasus

Posted by Dinah on August 25, 2010, at 7:28:07

In reply to Re: T #3, posted by pegasus on August 24, 2010, at 15:20:33

I think it's terrific that you're taking care of yourself so you can take care of your clients. I wish more therapists would do the same.

Perhaps the blank slate approach that brings out intense transferential reactions might not suit your needs right now, since it can be destabilizing in the short term? Internship is probably an inherently stressful situation, particularly in that environment.

Although my therapist isn't particularly blank slate, and he provokes plenty of transferential reactions from me. :)

I look forward to hearing about T #4. I hope he's the one who is just right (enough).

 

Re: T #3 emmanuel98

Posted by pegasus on August 25, 2010, at 9:25:09

In reply to Re: T #3, posted by emmanuel98 on August 24, 2010, at 20:09:41

Yes, you're right. Thanks for articulating that. I wasn't thinking of it like that, but that's what I want. Someone I can trust to do the job I need them to do. I think that's part of what I mean about liking him, and the "click". I don't just mean that I'd want to be friends with him, but more that I like the way we interact in the therapy room.

And that's part of what I didn't like about T3. He talked too much, mostly about his method, and seemed to miss a lot of cues from me. T1 and T2 didn't miss any cues.

I'm not wanting to wait until next week before interviewing the next Ts. But that's the way it is, so I'll have to be patient.

Peg

 

Re: T #3 Dinah

Posted by pegasus on August 25, 2010, at 9:30:29

In reply to Re: T #3 pegasus, posted by Dinah on August 25, 2010, at 7:28:07

Thanks! Yes, that's a good point that intense transferential reactions might not be the most useful thing right now.

I think what I am looking for (for better or worse?) is the warm, comfortable, attached relationship I had with my first T. He is the only person I've known who seemed to really *see* me. Or actually, the only person who seemed to *want* to fully see me. I loved that feeling of being valued, and seen and accepted. That relationship had it's moments of intense transferential reactions, but it also made life so much easier.

Peg

 

Re: T #3 pegasus

Posted by violette on August 25, 2010, at 13:01:38

In reply to Re: T #3 Dinah, posted by pegasus on August 25, 2010, at 9:30:29

Hi Pegasus,

Some therapists may put on a more cold/distant stance initially to more effectively assess your problems, but then later be more warm/friendly...not looking at you directly is one way they can find out more about you since it is one way to encourage transference.

You had written about strong transference concerns, and in your initial post, you mentioned the provocative feelings from this T. I think an experienced therapist would manage that transference-and be flexible, adapting accordingly. Though it may have sort of scared you off a bit, an experienced therapist isn't likely going to let your tranference run away out of control...From my experiences and from what I had read, the therapist changes as the dynamics change...that is why it's so much of an art. A skilled analyst will always be one step ahead of you.

Just thought you might consider in choosing your therapist...I had not read the other responses, so my apologies if this is redundant.

 

T #4 later today

Posted by pegasus on September 1, 2010, at 8:39:52

In reply to starting new T search: T #1, posted by pegasus on August 20, 2010, at 8:52:14

This is a guy who was recommended by a friend of mine, who is a really good therapist (or at least, I assume she's good - if she weren't my friend, I'd want to work with her). She says he has a good sense of humor. He already kind of put me off by telling me that he has a very busy practice, so we might not be able to work out a time to meet, since I'll be busy this year as well. Although, when I write that myself, it seems a perfectly reasonable thing to warn me about. For some reason, I'm really nervous about this meeting. Sigh. Maybe it's because I'm afraid that I'll really like him, and then won't be able to work with him because of our schedules.

I'll let you guys know what I think later today.

Peg

 

Re: T #4 later today pegasus

Posted by Dinah on September 1, 2010, at 8:55:54

In reply to T #4 later today, posted by pegasus on September 1, 2010, at 8:39:52

Good luck! I have my fingers crossed for you.

 

T4 may be it, except . . .

Posted by pegasus on September 2, 2010, at 9:13:53

In reply to starting new T search: T #1, posted by pegasus on August 20, 2010, at 8:52:14

T4 was better than all the others so far. I felt so comfortable during our conversation, and I love where it went. He seems pretty sharp, which I need in a T. He's quite psychoanalytical in orientation. He was much more self disclosing than any of the others, which for some reason feels more comfortable to me. So, I found out that we have some important things in common. But he also seemed to have a decent respect for boundaries, and was critical, at one point, of Ts who carelessly and unintentionally hurt their clients. It's reassuring that he thinks about such things.

The main down side is that, as he mentioned in his email, his practice is very busy. And his office is far from anywhere I otherwise am during my equally busy days. So, I'll need to wait until he has an opening, and then jiggle my schedule around to accommodate not only the sessions, but also the travel time.

Also, he's a bit younger than I am, while I was hoping for someone a bit older than I am. But maybe that will just become grist for the mill. And then, he was a bit more formal than some. He wore a shirt and tie. It makes me feel like I need to dress up, wear makeup, be professional, etc. to fit in. When sometimes, I'm probably going to be dragging in on my bike slightly late, all sweaty and discombobulated. Maybe more grist for the mill.

And then, yesterday I was pondering how I was going to pay for all of this. Unfortunately, I realized that I simply don't have the $$$ for therapy. But I know I need it. So, I'm inclined to barrel ahead, budget be damned! Which is probably not a wise financial strategy.

So, I see T5 on Friday. He also comes highly recommended from people I trust. And his office is more conveniently located. And he's older. And probably cheaper. He has a fascinating career trajectory, which is not unlike my own.

Peg

 

Re: T4 may be it, except . . .

Posted by Annierose on September 3, 2010, at 4:22:47

In reply to T4 may be it, except . . ., posted by pegasus on September 2, 2010, at 9:13:53

The journey for a new T is surely interesting ... and good for you for taking the time and the money to find "t that is just right".

A busy practice must mean something good ... his clients like him.

 

Re: T4 may be it, except . . . pegasus

Posted by Dinah on September 4, 2010, at 8:56:26

In reply to T4 may be it, except . . ., posted by pegasus on September 2, 2010, at 9:13:53

As Annierose said, all the things that are a problem with T4 seem to be things that indicate he's a therapist that people find helpful.

Of course realities are realities. If T4's success has made him out of reach financially or timewise, that's a reality.

(Reminding me of the Monk where Dr. Kroger was modeling acceptance to Mr. Monk, saying he'd never be as good as another therapist in town no matter how hard he tried. Mr. Monk looked interested and asked who this therapist might be. Dr. Kroger cheerfully answered, including the therapist's rates, and Mr. Monk settled down and forgot the other therapist immediately.)

T4 might not be the only therapist you'll like. I'm glad you're going on to meet with T5.


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