Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 959593

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Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by emmanuel98 on August 24, 2010, at 5:14:47

In reply to Deja Vu with therapist, posted by widget on August 24, 2010, at 2:48:44

Ataching to a T and imagining that they will give you the unconditional love you missed as a chold is probably the most common feeling psychdynamic therapy.

The goal, painful as it may seem, is to reparent yourself and come to realize that your T is not your father and cannot really give you wnat you lost. Part of the work of therapy is to accept this (it doesn't happen obernight) amd learn what you yearn for ane gradually learnx to gove yourself these things.. Its hard and painful and reqires you to remain trusting and open and allow yourself to feel dependent on someone more powerful in the relationship tham you are. if yo keep wanting to flee the relationship or are undome by his going away (reasonably for a family obligation),then you are fleeing the harc work of herapy.. Your T is not and will not becomde your friend, paremt. lover, no matter what you do or don'r do. You need to werk throgh this and accept this so you can nderstand better, through his uncondtional acceptane, what it is you're rea;;y striving for in your adult life

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by widget on August 24, 2010, at 7:59:32

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by emmanuel98 on August 24, 2010, at 5:14:47

With all due respect,emmanuel98, how do you know I am avoiding the "hard work" of therapy? I find this to be unusually judgemental as you know very little about me. Just curious, are you a therapist? I must respectfully disagree with your diatribe regarding my situation. And, you do not know all the circumstances around his leaving when I was in the middle of the disorienting PTSD incident which did unhinge me. I have never felt so vulnerable and scared as I did then. Widget

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist emmanuel98

Posted by violette on August 24, 2010, at 11:07:33

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by emmanuel98 on August 24, 2010, at 5:14:47

"You need to werk throgh this and accept this so you can nderstand better, through his uncondtional acceptane, what it is you're rea;;y striving for in your adult life."

That was beautifully stated, Emmanuel. My T and I call it 'therapy love'.

The way I see it too is that you learn to love yourself through loving your therapist.

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget

Posted by violette on August 24, 2010, at 11:37:06

In reply to Deja Vu with therapist, posted by widget on August 24, 2010, at 2:48:44

I think you will get there one step at a time.

It might benefit you in terms of those feelings of frustration and hopelessness to read through your past posts about your reaction to your therapist's prior vacation to see if anything 'clicks' (rather than focus on memories). You might gain some insights and associations from re-reading and making note of the pattern.

The thing is, even after gaining awareness of your situation, such as knowing your desire to be loved by unavailable men (common issue to many) they must be turned into a positive thing via emotional insights-rather than intellectual insights-as difficult as that is.

"I feel rejected AGAIN!!! Why can't he love me?"

One huge realization I had was that my T (somehow) shut up my superego. One day, I just happened to notice that-and it was remarkable, though at this point, I did realize he had been doing that all along...since then, when people project their own issues upon me, it becomes this loud noise in my head (literally) and I block it out. It's actually amazing.

Thus, I don't perceive such difficult feelings as rejection or things lacking in me; instead, they became learning experiences. That, in addition to a strong therapeutic alliance turns frustrating feelings into positive insights-regardless of the strong affects and their nature. So without the harsh superego, T and I can work more effectively on more difficult stuff, the hardest work. It could be your T needs to deactivate your superego more?

People in psychotherapy tend to have superego's that are either too weak or too strong. I don't know which you would ascribe to yourself, but that's something you might want to think about or talk to your T about if you are feeling too frustrated. And I agree with what emmanuel said, thinking of it in terms of love feelings being a resistance or defense-but you have to really trust your T, have a strong alliance first, to be able to overcome that. It's only natural that it takes longer in some than others-but it could be your Ts approach?

Another issue is seperating transference feelings from feelings. Your T should be able to help guide you here. Maybe the transference is too strong for effective work? There are ways in which your T can reduce transference, just as there are ways it can be encouraged. It could be your T is not being flexible enough with you here.

It's possible your T may be a bit too agressive for you right now-and you might be better off with a different approach if this has been a reoccuring problem. And of course the same things need worked through more than once, but there's something missing here. I'm not sure what it is but hope you figure it out.

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by widget on August 24, 2010, at 18:43:27

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget, posted by violette on August 24, 2010, at 11:37:06

To Violette, I don't understand your comment about superegos. All I can say is, what is wrong with love? Widget

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by emmanuel98 on August 24, 2010, at 20:12:44

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by widget on August 24, 2010, at 7:59:32

I'm sorry. I did not mean to offend you. Nor do I think what I wrote was a "diatribe". I was responding to your despair that your T would always be out of reach. I despaired over that many times during the course of therapy and still do. That's why I say it's hard work, which I expect you know

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by Willful on August 24, 2010, at 22:43:21

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by emmanuel98 on August 24, 2010, at 20:12:44

Many patients initially feel the need for a therapist to provide the love that they lost out on from their parents. But even if your therapist loved you in the way you wanted, it wouldn't provide or replace that love. It really isn't something that can be gotten later in life, no matter who or how much you're loved as a adult. It's something you get or don't get when you're a child--

What therapy or a therapist can give I think is a kind of love that helps you to give yourself the things that you lacked from your parents-- and I think often this isn't really love, but more things parents would have provided with love. I have a feeling that self-soothing, self-acceptance, equanimity, the ability to trust or to believe in others' good will-- and various other things like that-- are what's missing. And these things you can learn-- or come through experience and risk-taking to have a more belief in.

It's not a therapist's romantic love that really does it-- it's their caring and careful and wise attention to how you can develop these capacities in yourself. Patients come to therapy with this illusion about being loved enough by their T. But it's when you accept that you can't get the love you didn't feel in childhood-- and that, replacing it isn't what you do need--- and also recognizing that the right therapist can give you enough to help--without giving you romantic love-- that you get beyond this loss and not be permanently trapped with it.-- That is an important part of the work.

It sounds as if you can't give up this belief that being special enough will be healing-- and that without it, there's no hope for you. I wish you could see that this isn't true-- that you have a lot more capacities for growth and healing from within than you realize.


Willful

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget

Posted by sigismund on August 24, 2010, at 22:48:01

In reply to Deja Vu with therapist, posted by widget on August 24, 2010, at 2:48:44

Long after I'd finished my therapy I went back to her to ask some advice.

She was so pleased to see me, I asked her opinion, and then she said 'If you want to drop in from time to time, that would be nice', which she must have had second thoughts about because next time I went she said she would be happy to see me but I would have to pay. That stung a bit but I understood. She'd always been pretty strict, not in the sense of offering far out interpretations but in the sense of respecting boundaries. And that meant that we would not be social friends. It's in my nature to feel that the social friends have the more real substantial relationship, but I'm sure that's not true.

In the same way you are trying to find in therapy what you missed before. But because (I wonder) it's an inner lack, you end up trying to grasp what cannot be grasped.

Anyway, I never saw my T again, and then she died.
I should have written. She would have loved that.

Once she went away for 9 months, 3 years into a 5 day a week therapy schedule. I fell apart, as you can imagine.

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by sigismund on August 24, 2010, at 22:50:47

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget, posted by sigismund on August 24, 2010, at 22:48:01

>In the same way you are trying to find in therapy what you missed before.

I see this is not true.

Before I irritate you, allow me to apologise.

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 4:14:51

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by Willful on August 24, 2010, at 22:43:21

To Willful, Thank you for your kindness. I am stuck in wanting that "specialness" that I missed as a child. It is true. It is making me very sad (or I am allowing it to make me sad). Perhaps this is what I need to discuss with my therapist. Bedcause, I am trying so very hard to do the work. I get caught up in my therapist's kindness and unconditional acceptance. My brain seizes upon this as possible love I have missed and I want it so very much. I am "driven" to try to obtain it and, of course, cannot. Thus, frustration. I feel very badly about some of the responses to my inital post. It feels like I am being upbraided for my poor therapy behavior. I don't mean to be a poor therapy recipient. I am not doing it on purpose. I am in a lot of pain. Thanks for not being harsh but gentle. Sincerely, Widget

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 4:20:39

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by sigismund on August 24, 2010, at 22:50:47

Dear Sigismund, Your first post makes me teary-eyed. Thank you for your hearfelt openness to me. I hear you very clearly. May I ask about your second post? You said you saw it wasnt' true that I was trying to find in therapy what I had previously missed. Can you explain further if you will? I am struggling here. I think I see a need in me that feels so huge that I am compelled to try to fill it again and again. This is a very powerful need. It sort of scares me. sincerely, Widget

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 4:28:03

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by emmanuel98 on August 24, 2010, at 20:12:44

To emmanuel98, I mean no harm to you. Your other post hit me hard. To explain, it felt like a diatribe ( or attack). I was dumbfounded by it and felt very small, hurt, and bad. I was writing, as you point out, out of despair at not being able to find what I desperately feel I need. I just wanted some support from others who may understand my situation. My "regular" friends have difficulty understanding what I mean in the exporatory attempts I have made to explain myself to them. And, that's ok. They have had different experiences and, thank God, are not in the same place as I. I do not want to hurt anyone. I felt even worse by what I interpreted as harshness in your post, someting I am very familiar with from childhood. It may have even triggerd a reacton from then. Peace? And, thanks for the recent post. Yours, Widget

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget

Posted by Dinah on August 25, 2010, at 7:08:30

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 4:14:51

I don't think people are trying to say you're a bad therapy client. I think people are just concerned that you are in such distress, and worried that the distress will likely continue because while there are things that a therapeutic relationship *can* be, there are also things it can't be.

So many of us have felt similar things as you have, and have struggled with the limitations of the therapeutic relationship. I think people just want to share those realizations and acceptance that have helped them to find some peace, and reduced their distress. It's strange, but giving up hope (and grieving what can't be) can lead to peace, and ultimately to hope of a different kind.
But such realization and acceptance can take time to seep from an intellectual to an emotional level.

Perhaps if you think of what people offer to you as a sharing of their own experiences and pain rather than criticism, it would help you feel better about their contributions?

A therapist's stance of unconditional positive regard can mimic love, and be confusing to clients. In some ways I suppose it is love. But in other ways, it isn't and can't be.

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist Willful

Posted by Dinah on August 25, 2010, at 7:10:53

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by Willful on August 24, 2010, at 22:43:21

> What therapy or a therapist can give I think is a kind of love that helps you to give yourself the things that you lacked from your parents-- and I think often this isn't really love, but more things parents would have provided with love. I have a feeling that self-soothing, self-acceptance, equanimity, the ability to trust or to believe in others' good will-- and various other things like that-- are what's missing. And these things you can learn-- or come through experience and risk-taking to have a more belief in.

I like that. I think I'll try to remember it.

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 7:29:32

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget, posted by Dinah on August 25, 2010, at 7:08:30

To Dinah, thanks, what you said makes sense. I think I need to talk about this with my therapist. I was interested in what you said about the therapist's unconditional acceptance mimicing love and maybe being love. Can you expound on that? You see, I do think it is a kind of love but one with boundaries that make it confusing and also different from other loves.

What I am learning from these posts, painfully learning, is perhaps how deeply I want this specialness to be given me, now by the therapist, but probably by my father (and mother) originally. A lot of stuff I assumed I knew (intellectuall I did) and accepted are now hitting me over the head with the hugeness of their power; powerful feelings. I am somewhat heartened by these responses which perhaps I was taking the wrong way. Oh, its just hard. Thanks, Widget PS I mean no harm to anyone.

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget

Posted by Dinah on August 25, 2010, at 7:40:54

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 7:29:32

It's love of a sort. It's a loving behavior. But it's a deliberate choice on their part, a stance. *Not* a pretense or an act, but a stance. It's not how they would behave in the real world. I've heard my therapist snap at his wife. He might get angry with me, but he wouldn't snap because I'm his client, not his wife or friend. It's real as far as it goes. It's real in that room. But it's not the sort of love it would appear to be in any other situation.

I'm not saying that therapists don't care about us. They can and often do. I'm well aware that my therapist feels a certain affection for me. But it's not the love we would wish it to be.

I think it might be a good thing to ask your therapist. How unconditional positive regard differs from unconditional love.

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 12:11:21

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget, posted by Dinah on August 25, 2010, at 7:40:54

Dear Dinah, That's a great suggestion! I will. He has said he cannot say he loves me but that I am lovable. I'm wondering what the "stance" means? Hmm, how he has to act in order to do therapy? I don't know. Do you? Widget

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 12:32:19

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget, posted by Dinah on August 25, 2010, at 7:40:54

To Dinah, My therapist has told me I am his favorite client and he looks forward to our sessions. But, hey, I know I'm not his wife! widget

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget

Posted by Dinah on August 25, 2010, at 12:33:01

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 12:11:21

This is about teaching, not therapy, but I like how it explains it in understandable terms.

http://edubuzz.org/blogs/donsblog/2008/05/03/unconditional-positive-regard-does-a-child-need-to-be-liked/

There's this one as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gbziXBIppQ

But I admit that I'm a bit skeptical. They may offer unconditional positive regard *in* session, but if we didn't pay them or violated the boundaries in any serious way, I'm guessing the regard would not be all that positive.

I guess it's a stance because it's a position that a therapist knowingly chooses? It's not a feeling.

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget

Posted by Dinah on August 25, 2010, at 12:37:14

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 12:32:19

Yeah, my therapist says the same thing, though he's careful to frame it in terms of the time we've put into building our relationship. I'm not sure it's really in our best interests, actually. Not if it gives us the feeling that there is something more possible than therapy. I think my therapist recognizes that I realize there's nothing more possible than therapy.

I'm not even sure I'd want anything other than therapy. I think I get the best of him.

But a client, even a favorite client, is a client. Their lives are their lives, and that becomes perfectly clear with things like vacations.

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget

Posted by violette on August 25, 2010, at 12:46:02

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by widget on August 24, 2010, at 18:43:27

(((Widget)))

You'll be just fine! One of the primary goals of psychoanalytic therapy aside from, or to add to, what everyone else wrote - is to gain ego strength. Ego strength is sort of your ability to regulate emotions and tolerate those intense states.

I sort of questioned your therapist's transference management due to some stuff you've written in the past and then more recently...but they are only guesses or questions to ask yourself...I have different issues to deal with and I really wouldn't know...but put my thoughts out there in case it could help you out.

Sometimes 'thinking' of the rational parts of the emotional situations-rather than emphasis on emotional focus-can help insights emerge more quickly (though intelletualization can also be bad in some ways)...

The way I view the Superego is it's that 'harsh inner critic' built from internalizing your parents behavior/emotional responses from the time you are an infant. The Id represents impulses....sort of a person's primitive/instinctual part of the mind...the Ego regulates both the Superego and Id. It's an old concept, but still very useful and still used today in psychoanalytic literature.

I was just questioning how your therapist was helping you build ego strength.....Of course we all likely go through our emotional patterns more than one time, that's expected. It could just be something that needs reworked again and again. At any rate, thinking about it seems to be doing you some good. Take care and good luck to you!

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 13:38:19

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget, posted by violette on August 25, 2010, at 12:46:02

to Violette, Thanks! He is working very hard on building my ego strength although we call positive self-regard or whatever. I KNOW that he would never cross a boundary. He has made that so very clear. I think what he said about being favorite client was actually how he felt and the most he could offer me. I do want a lot; I know.
Widget

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 13:43:12

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget, posted by Dinah on August 25, 2010, at 12:37:14

Dear Dinah, I totally agree that I am a client and not a family member. This did become glaringly clear when he went on vacation to see his daughters. I hate to say it but I was very jealous and annoyed. Oh, well, that's just a feeling and it popped up all by itself. But, he is in full control of the therapy situation. I know nothing more can happen between us. And, sometimes, I have a moment of clarity and think "hey, I like my husband better." There are ways we get along that I do not think would happen with the doctor! This is my problem to work on not his. But, I am going to ask him about the difference between uncondiitonal love vs. unconditional regard. Thanks! Widget

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 13:46:02

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist widget, posted by violette on August 25, 2010, at 12:46:02

PS to Violette, Can you explain your concern about my therapist's management of transference issues? I have a glimmer but I am fascinated to know what you are thinking. After all, I have no one to discuss him with and another person's perspective can be illuminating. Thanks again! Widget

 

Re: Deja Vu with therapist

Posted by emmanuel98 on August 25, 2010, at 19:59:57

In reply to Re: Deja Vu with therapist, posted by widget on August 25, 2010, at 4:28:03

No need to apologize. I went through five years of pain and yearning for love from my p-doc and he told me over and over and over again that he could never give me what I needed or be what I needed. The things I missed as a child are things I must understand, mourn and move on. But moving on has been harder than I anticipated. I do feel I have learned something about the limits and anguish of therapy that I hope can help you.


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