Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 959231

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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.

 

T #5 is not the guy, summary so far

Posted by pegasus on September 7, 2010, at 10:06:45

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

First of all, his office is in this weird, rickety building that smelled really funny. And the smell was even worse in his particular office. It wasn't a toxic smell. More like an odd incense plus minty smell. But I completely loathed it.

Then his office was furnished with a chair and couch in matching mud brown faux suede that gave me the willies every time I touched it. I'm not necessarily opposed to brown faux suede in general, but there was something odd about this stuff that I just hated the feel of. So, I spent the session trying not to touch the couch I was sitting on.

Next thing I noticed was that he really needed a feng shui consultation. I won't go into details, but as I talked to him, I came up with three different alternative arrangements for the furniture that would have made me feel more comfortable. The way it was arranged forced him to sit twice as close to me as he needed to, and it felt totally awkward.

So, with three of my senses highly offended, I attempted to see if there were redeeming qualities in the way we related. He seemed like a nice guy, with a lot of passion for his work, and some interesting perspectives. Unfortunately, I found myself editing my intro story much more than I had with the other Ts I've seen, which I think is not a good sign. At one point, he was telling me something, and I caught myself thinking, "Oh, that's good. I should remember that to bring up with the T I actually work with." Soooooo . . . I think it's just not right enough.

This afternoon I see T #6 for just a 20 minute meet and greet (that's what he offers for free). If he's not spectacular, then I'm going to call T4 and see if I can get on his schedule. Plus I'm going to see if I can talk him down on his fee, which is the highest of all of them (hmmm . . . you get what you pay for?). At least until I'm out of school.

I'm still tossing around the idea of going to see T2 one more time before I give him up. I know his convenient office and low fee are not good reasons to choose a T, but money and time *are* very tight, and I did like him. And, the feelings I had walking away from all of these Ts went like this:

T1: No, too provoking
T2: Maybe, feels nice
T3: No. Is he creepy or just goofy?
T4: Yes! I want to talk to him more.
T5: Sadly, no. Too much to overcome.
T6: TBD

Peg

 

Re: T #5 is not the guy, summary so far pegasus

Posted by Dinah on September 7, 2010, at 13:57:06

In reply to T #5 is not the guy, summary so far, posted by pegasus on September 7, 2010, at 10:06:45

I like your summary!!

It'll be great if you can work things out with T4. He sounds juusst right for you right now.

Or if T6 is the right one.

But if you can't work things out with him, keep in mind that I wasn't overly impressed with my therapist at first. I'd have been more comfortable with a tweedy English prof type, and he was more corporate looking. If he hadn't been the only one who responded to my tentative attempts to seek help with anything approaching interest, I doubt I'd have chosen him. It could be that T2 is someone you can grow into a relationship with.

Mind you, there are still times when I think my therapist is from another world than I am, and will never ever truly understand me any more than I'll ever truly understand him. But he's still proved to be enormously helpful.

 

T #6

Posted by pegasus on September 7, 2010, at 21:10:34

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

I just called to decline T1, T3, and T5. T1 actually answered the phone, which was awkward. He asked who I had decided to work with, so I told him I had decided on T4. He said he gave T4 a full endorsement. So, that's good. Actually, T1 was really nice on the phone, and I had a wistful moment about maybe working with him after all. I think he's probably really good. And my objections to him are more or less all there with T4, too. So, maybe my gut reaction method is not very consistent.

I saw T6, the last of them, this afternoon. It was a very short meeting, so not really fair to him. But my quick gut reaction was: I liked him. I left thinking, maybe. This could really work. He was a little stiff with me, but I liked what he said. He wasn't really articulate, or forthcoming or something, though, about some things.

I *loved* his office. It was BY FAR the best I saw. Just the right size, nice and warm and cozy. Part of me wants to pick him just so I can spend time in that office.

Overall, I'd rank him higher than T2, but lower than T4.

So, tomorrow I'll see if I can talk T4 down into my pseudo budget, and wedge myself somehow into his schedule. If not, I think I'll see T2 again. Then choose between him and T6.

- Peg

 

Re: T #6 pegasus

Posted by vwoolf on September 8, 2010, at 4:10:23

In reply to T #6, posted by pegasus on September 7, 2010, at 21:10:34

What a fascinating and courageous experiment, to interview six possible therapists and have to choose amongst them! I think I would be completely lost at this point.

A therapist once said something interesting to me - he said that the outcome of therapy would be the same, whoever I worked with, but the process would be different. In other words, you will become the individual you need to become through therapy, as long as you have a good enough therapist. I've often wondered about that, and suspect that it's not so simple. I think the relationship is actually very important, although it needn't be about liking the therapist. A negative transference can perhaps be just as, if not more effective.

Thanks for sharing it with us.

 

The winner is T4 - just left him a message (nm)

Posted by pegasus on September 8, 2010, at 10:28:50

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

 

Re: T #6 vwoolf

Posted by emmanuel98 on September 8, 2010, at 19:21:52

In reply to Re: T #6 pegasus, posted by vwoolf on September 8, 2010, at 4:10:23

My T said something similar but more nuanced. He said I could have come as far with any skilled therapist with whom I could forge a strong connection. But how many skillful therapists are out there with whom you can personally form a strong bond? I interviewed 4 T's when I started and knew, as soon as I saw the first one, that he was right for me. The other interviews were pro forma. I just didn't want to jump at the first thing that came along.

> A therapist once said something interesting to me - he said that the outcome of therapy would be the same, whoever I worked with, but the process would be different. In other words, you will become the individual you need to become through therapy, as long as you have a good enough therapist. I've often wondered about that, and suspect that it's not so simple. I think the relationship is actually very important, although it needn't be about liking the therapist. A negative transference can perhaps be just as, if not more effective.
>
> Thanks for sharing it with us.

 

Re: The winner is T4 - just left him a message

Posted by emmanuel98 on September 8, 2010, at 19:22:28

In reply to The winner is T4 - just left him a message (nm), posted by pegasus on September 8, 2010, at 10:28:50

Let us know if he can fit you in.

 

good T shopping! pegasus

Posted by obsidian on September 8, 2010, at 23:08:48

In reply to The winner is T4 - just left him a message (nm), posted by pegasus on September 8, 2010, at 10:28:50

thanks for sharing this :-)

 

Re: The winner is T4 - just left him a message pegasus

Posted by Dinah on September 9, 2010, at 11:23:01

In reply to The winner is T4 - just left him a message (nm), posted by pegasus on September 8, 2010, at 10:28:50

Sounds great! Were you able to work out scheduling with him? Is his higher cost workable for you?

It's been interesting to hear about your search. I always have in the back of my mind an assumption that I wouldn't probably like any other therapists. Successful therapist search stories give me hope.

 

Re: T #6

Posted by Dinah on September 9, 2010, at 11:39:17

In reply to Re: T #6 vwoolf, posted by emmanuel98 on September 8, 2010, at 19:21:52

I suppose it's true that a client can come far with any skilled therapist with whom they have a good relationship.

But I'm not sure they'd come far in the same direction. Therapists have beliefs and styles that are bound to guide the direction of therapy. Many of my gains in therapy have been about who my therapist is. He's a phlegmatic and easy going guy (at least he is in the therapy room) who is able to get along well with difficult people. He's really good at identifying threads in interpersonal relationships. He calms me, then he helped me learn to calm myself. His sensible approach helped me to learn to think more sensibly and not let my thoughts get twisted up in obsessional loops.

I've seen other therapists who would not have been likely to help me grow in the same direction, though they might have helped me grow (if I had liked them better).

I'm guessing it's possible that the therapist who is best for a client in one stage of growth might be less good in another.

Or as I tell my therapist, he's not a washing machine. I can't move to the next one if he's out of order.

 

not a washing machine! Dinah

Posted by pegasus on September 10, 2010, at 8:21:40

In reply to Re: T #6, posted by Dinah on September 9, 2010, at 11:39:17

> Or as I tell my therapist, he's not a washing machine. I can't move to the next one if he's out of order.

So true! When my first real T moved away, and I was so heartbroken, he would say things like, "I don't think it's really about *me*." I hated that. Because, yes, OK, I could have started therapy with any number of other competent therapists, and probably have ended up with a similarly attached relationship. But . . . well, once I started with him, it was *completely* about him. That's what attachment is.

- Peg

 

update and some thoughts on the process (long)

Posted by pegasus on September 10, 2010, at 8:50:15

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

T4 called me back and agreed to slide his fee down into a range I can handle. He implied that if he got another full paying client, he might be able to slide even further. Which was nice. He sounded apologetic that he couldn't slide further. This was all negotiated via email, and we agreed that we should talk about it further in person.

He's going to email me this weekend with info about possible time slots. So, I don't know if that means that he has times open now, or if he's anticipating times opening up soon. He did tell me that in October he's going to be adding hours on a new day of the week, so that will open up some times.

This whole process has been very interesting. And the discussion here about whether choosing Ts with different orientations/emphases necessarily leads to different outcomes. I saw some people who are really different, in terms of how they see therapy. I got the impression that we would work on very different things. For example, one guy who specializes in trauma work emphasized neutralizing the trauma (including reducing hyperarousal by learning particular calming techniques, and creating a meaningful story/lessons to help contain the event, etc.). One guy was all about body-mind connection, and we spent a lot of time on breathing exercises and noticing the effect on my feelings. Three were psychoanalysts, and were all about talking about our relationship, and my past experiences, etc. One seemed to just let me talk about whatever I wanted, and simply held a comforting, attentive presence during that.

Any of those would probably be helpful, but I think in different ways. I was really tempted by the guy who would work with trauma-specific methods. I love the idea of learning some tools in that area, and working through my traumas better. But also, his focus on the methods, and not on me, was a bit off putting. I ended up going with someone who I thought would let me talk a lot about what I wanted to talk about, but also not be a passive listener. I think he'll be the right mix of warm attentiveness and challenge for me.

It was interesting to me that every single one of these guys seemed surprised when I said that I was interviewing several Ts. I guess they don't get that much. They all took it in stride, fortunately. Only one of them told me he would like to work with me (the guy I chose, surprise, surprise).

Only two (again including the guy I chose) gave me his disclosure statement in the initial session. You know, that paper you have to sign at the beginning, that tells you that they have an obligation to report any child abuse, or if they think you're an imminent danger to self or others. Usually they slip in their fees, and any other important policies. One of my old Ts had in hers that she did not work with clients who are often in crisis. I find that those statements can be really informative at times. I was looking forward to comparing them, so I was a little disappointed.

Also, I was surprised, and a little embarrassed, at how much their office affected me. I think I mostly rejected T1 because his office looked like a rent-a-space, in an "empty room", not a "generic homey deco" kind of way. T5's office was a nightmare, and I couldn't even seriously consider him. T6's office was like heaven, and I think I definitely considered him more seriously because of it. Upon reflection, though, maybe it's a fine criterion to use. I mean, how they set up their office does tell me something about how they view their work. Whether they consider the comfort of their clients, whether they have a good appreciation of interpersonal space, whether they take account of the whole situation.

Overall, I do recommend interviewing Ts. It is confusing, though. In my case, there was one person who really stood out. Even so, I pondered whether the fact that I liked him so much was enough to balance the logistical difficulties. I could see doing good therapy with at least 4 of them.

We'll see if my judgment is any good, as the therapy unfolds.

- Peg

 

Re: update and some thoughts on the process (long) pegasus

Posted by Daisym on September 14, 2010, at 22:50:59

In reply to update and some thoughts on the process (long), posted by pegasus on September 10, 2010, at 8:50:15

I think the whole process was really interesting. And it made me think about what I know now, after years in therapy, and what I would looked for. When I started, I was in such bad shape that my friends dragged me into therapy. I didn't interview. I met the therapists they were recommending one at a time, expecting to work with them and just basically fled from the first two. My own therapist was the third one and I told myself no matter what I would stick it out at least a few weeks. But his way of starting therapy is that you spend a few weeks together, talking about why therapy might be useful and then decide if you want to work together. He tells me he was really surprised when I said yes because he felt like I was going to run from the process (wise man). So I think what other people think you need may not be what you actually need.

If I had to find a new therapist (God forbid) I think I would look for a woman, just because I've worked so long with a man. But maybe not - might be the orientation, as you say, instead of the gender. And the office environment would be really important to me too. I need to feel safe and secure - and disorganization makes me crazy. I'd spend the whole session wanting to clean it up. :)

Thanks for sharing. Good luck!

 

First real session with T4!

Posted by pegasus on September 15, 2010, at 9:58:02

In reply to Re: update and some thoughts on the process (long) pegasus, posted by Daisym on September 14, 2010, at 22:50:59

Well, I got into his schedule faster than either of us expected! I saw him yesterday, and he was just as good as I thought. We're off and running on some big topics already. I loved that he brought up something from our intro session that I didn't bring up myself, but that it's true I needed to talk about.

Ironically, it turns out that his current office is probably temporary. But we talked about offices, and I'm confident that he won't be moving to a less appealing space. He seems really thoughtful about the environment he creates. He was surprised, when I described some of the offices I'd seen, that there were otherwise good Ts who didn't pay more attention to that. Me too!

I also started my internship yesterday, and the counseling office there is a nightmare. It's actually a staff member's actual office, so it has a desk with lots of papers and stuff lying around. And it has these old stiff, dirty chairs, and gross pale greenish-yellow paint. We're apparently not allowed to pain the walls, because the whole center uses the same paint (for what reason, I cannot imagine). They've done what they can with it, by hanging some wall quilts, and adding soft lighting. But, man, that is *not* an ideal setting. I'm at least going to try to find some better chairs.

Thanks everyone for following along, and for your feedback and discussions. It was very helpful. I'm very happy with where I ended up in this process. :)

- P


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