In Session Today: Part V - Page 5 - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 08-24-2018, 01:08 PM #41
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by Echos Myron redux View Post
LT, a lot of your most upsetting experiences have centred around peoples responses to you (take MC for example) so I don't think you are under any illusions about the way people respond to you. That's why this T reiterating a similar response to those you've experienced in the past seems less than helpful. It seems like further rejection and shaming. Much better, I would have thought, to explore where these needs are coming from and deal with that, rather than to supposedly try to educate you on his own ideas of what other people might be thinking. The irony that he accuses you of mindreading...

I don't know whether he has completely missed what an intuitive and attuned person you are, LT, but thinking he can somehow change the way you relate to others by telling you what others have told you before is patronising and really underestimates your ability to work this stuff out for yourself, I think. There are underlying needs driving your behaviour, not a misunderstanding about what other people think.

May respond more later, but wanted to say we actually addressed his claiming to know what others (ex-MC, H) are thinking today. And T said he's just giving his thoughts, that he admits he "doesn't know jack s*** about what they're actually thinking." That if he, for example, suggests what my H could be thinking, that I could say, "You know, that doesn't sound like something he'd think."



I think we came to a better understanding about a lot of similar issues today (like my feeling he's judging me, etc.). I know none of that will change your opinion of him, but it's like he and I seem to get each other more now and identified some areas we need to work on--both with me and with the therapeutic relationship--going forward (areas that I fully agree with).
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Old 08-24-2018, 06:06 PM #42
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Since there are a few negative comments about your therapist, LT, I feel like chiming in at this point and saying that I don't see where he is doing you any harm. You seem to be progressing nicely. It sounds like you know this, and I commend you on pushing through despite how painful it can be. I think many people here, myself included, could stand to learn from your example. Although C has been in therapy for many years, I never participated myself beyond a session or two until recently, so therapy is rather new to me. I have come to the unpleasant conclusion that therapy isn't meant to be pleasant and the therapist isn't there to coddle you. I'm not saying that painful therapy = good therapy, but I do think that progress is probably often necessarily painful. With your particular issues, I don't know how it could be otherwise. Anyway, just my two cents.
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Old 08-24-2018, 07:10 PM #43
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

T today. Exhausting as always.

T: We need to talk about it, Em

Me: I know

T: How does it feel, talking about how we need to talk about it?

Me: I just donít want to go back there. Itís done. Itís all in the past.

T: But Em, just based on what youíve told me so far, you already go back there every day. Part of you might know that this is all in the past, but the rest of you is still living in that horror.

Me: *winces at the word ďhorrorĒ* Well how do I stop that then?

T: We need to start talking about it.

Me: You said that already.

T: Once we start addressing this, then I wonít need to say it anymore.

Me: Oh, that reminds me...*starts launching into a completely unrelated story*

T: Em, if you want to go there, then itís your choice. I understand this is difficult. But, I really think we should try and open this locked box now. I really want to help you feel better, and that means keeping us in this direction.

Me: Itís too painful.

T: I know. And Iím sorry. But remember, when you went through this, you faced it alone. You survived. Youíre not alone anymore. Iím right here and I will do wat I can to help you through this. But you need to be willing to go there.

Me: Every time we come close, I get scared. How do I make sure I can handle everything when I leave after the hour is up?

T: It is a conundrum isnít it? I ask you to dive into this and then show you the door several minutes later.

Me: What if my pain canít follow a time limit?

T: I donít expect that it can. By pushing you to talk, I am partly responsible for that pain. Which means, I am also partly responsible for alleviating that pain. If things become too much during the week, please reach out and contact me. I will respond. In the meantime, we can also find other ways to help. We can manage this, we just need to find the right formula. So, can we try and start now?

Me: okay.

Needless to say, the session ended in tears and lots of it. Also ended several minutes over.
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:30 PM #44
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

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Originally Posted by Amyjay View Post
My session was a complete waste of time. I was floaty and disconnected the whole time, none of it felt real at all. Much of the time I sat staring at the wall.
Every now and then I tried to lunge myself out of it, only to fall back into nothing seconds later.
Then it was time to leave.
This is me. I always plan to do or say more and sometimes even practice, then I get there and can barely talk.
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Old 08-25-2018, 02:19 PM #45
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

T yesterday. Went back and sat down. T was wearing his Super Mario mushroom socks again. I started with something that happened that morning, where I felt H was harsher to D than he should have been. And how I've felt that way at other times recently but wasn't sure if I was overreacting or how to handle it. I was going to include details in this post but thought better of it. So I'll just say we had a discussion about parenting, and T seemed to agree with how I was seeing things. And gave me some advice on how to address it with H and to make sure we're on the same page about parenting stuff. T: "Consistent bad parenting is actually better for a child than inconsistent good parenting." Me: "Oh, so any kind of consistency is better?" T: "Generally, yes."

T said we could continue on the topic (had been 15 minutes) or go elsewhere, up to me. I said I did want to share something positive. That I'd called my mom to tell her H and D were going to beach a day before I was (parents are already down there--we're staying with them), and I expected her to get upset and protest, but she was just like, "OK." I said how H had said he heard what I said to her, and I seemed very matter-of-fact, "This is what we're doing to her." Me: "I think some of what I've learned in here is helping." T smiled. I gave more details, saying I'd explained that it had been a rough week with work and other stuff, and I just needed a day to recover.

T: "What I really like there is how you just said to her, 'Here's what we're doing.' It was a statement, not a question." He said I did include some explanations in there, which could have opened it up to her questioning me. I asked how I should have handled it if she'd done that. T: "Something like, 'Mom, I understand your feelings about this, but this is just what works best for me right now.' That way, you're acknowledging her feelings but still asserting what you're doing." Me: "Yeah, it can just be difficult." T: "Being assertive is very difficult for a lot of people, especially for someone like you who tends to want to be nice and please people." Me: "Yeah...and it came up in marriage counseling that when I tried to be assertive with H, it's like I overcorrected and was too harsh at times." T: "That's a good observation, and it can often happen. It's a difficult balance."

T talked more about wanting me to trust my inner voice: "It's something I want for you." He said he wanted it to be more like a dictatorship, "an LT dictatorship." I questioned that comparison a bit, and he said ideally, everyone is their own dictatorship of sorts, but it doesn't mean you have to be mean to everyone else, you can be a nice dictator (or something like that!)

We both started to say something at once. T said I could go ahead, then I said I forgot where I was going, so he could. T: "Uh...hm...I've lost what I was going to say." Me: "Are we going to spend the last 20 minutes just going, 'you go ahead,' 'no you!'"

T asked if I wanted to address anything else. Me: "I couldn't decide whether to bring this up. I struggled some after Wednesday's session. I wasn't sure what to think of some of what you said. Like when you asked if I could handle you." I said I'd talked to a friend or two who aren't really fans of his for a sort of reality check. T: "Did you get what you were looking for from them?" Me: "I'm not totally sure what I was looking for honestly. I guess I just...I know some people say I shouldn't keep seeing you, one reason being that you can't help me with my core attachment issue. But...maybe...you are helping me with that in a way. Maybe in a way different from how a psychodynamic T would, but still ultimately helping."

Me: "I guess in thinking about your question of whether I could handle you...I was just sort of thinking...are you sitting there wondering, 'what is she still doing here? Why isn't she going somewhere else?'" (I started crying.) T: "By someone else, you mean a different therapist?" Me: "Yes." T: "I haven't thought that, LT." Me: "OK, good." I said what I was trying to evaluate was: Is he helping me more than hurting me? And I felt like he was helping more, by a considerable margin. T seemed maybe a bit relieved to hear that.

Me: "It was just difficult when I said with the stone thing how I felt judged by you. And you didn't seem to understand what I meant. I think you actually said in the email that you didn't understand. And I tried to explain it more, but you still didn't get it, so I just kind of gave up and backed down." T: "I'm sorry you felt you had to back down. We could have discussed it more if it meant that much to you." Me: "I guess I just didn't see the point after a bit. But maybe...in the future, I'll keep trying to explain." T: "You should. And I'll do my best to understand." Me: "OK."

T: "But I am curious as to what you define as 'judgment.' Because what I was saying earlier about thinking you did well on the phone with your mom--that's judgment, too." Me: "Hm, I didn't really think of that." T: "So is it just about negative judgment?" Me: "Yeah, I guess, like stuff where someone is critical of me. Especially if it's something I already feel negatively about regarding myself." I tried to give examples but they weren't quite right. Me: "Would it help to just mention in the future when I feel judged, whether by you or someone else, and then we can explore where it's coming from?" T: "Yes, that would help."

Me: I think also...I feel weird saying this. It came up when talking to a friend." T: "Did the friend say this or you?" Me: "I did, it was a realization I had when talking to her." T: "OK." Me: "But I guess I worry that...OK, so my mom was always saying that I shouldn't share things with people. Like I should keep parts of me hidden. And so...in a way it feels like you're doing the same thing, giving me the same message. And I'm worried that's not helpful to me." T asked me to explain what I meant a bit more, and I tried. He said he's not trying to say I have to hide parts of me. He's just trying to help me understand the effect I can have on people. Like his comment of he's not immune to me, that applies to anyone I interact with. T: "I'm not saying you should avoid sharing this with people. Just that you should be mindful that what you do share will live in that relationship going forward." Me: "OK. And I guess not everyone would be honest and tell me like you, so then it could affect how they are toward me without me even knowing why." T: "Yes."

Me: "I guess another thing is...I mean, I know you're trying to give me other people's perspectives, how they might have reacted to what I said, like ex-MC or H. With ex-MC, I feel you were trying to put yourself in his head. But the thing is...how can you really know what he was thinking? I mean, unless he told you. And with H, I mean...you've never even met him, so..." T: "You're absolutely right--I don't know jack-s**t about what they're actually thinking." Me: "OK." T: "I'm just trying to give you a perspective on what *could* be going through their head, but I don't know. And if you said to me, 'No, that doesn't seem like something H would think,' I'd say, 'OK, maybe something else.'" Me: "OK."

I said I was also struggling a bit with his saying he was 5% bothered by my looking at the pictures. I said I mentioned it to a friend, and they were like, "I wonder what the other 95% is?" T smiled: "That was a good question!" Me: "They also said how 5% is really nothing." T: "They're right." Me: "And the thing is, I want it to be 0%. I tend to be like that though, how I'll focus on the 5% negative, not the 95% good." T: "So this isn't the first time you've realized this? It's a pattern?" Me: "Yes, definitely, like the glass half empty. And I don't know how to change it. Maybe it's something we could work on in the future?" T: "Yes, we certainly can."
Me: "I also worry that you're thinking of what I told you, like about the pictures or the stone, and you're wondering if that's just the tip of the iceberg, like what other creepy stuff am I doing?" T: "I don't wonder that. If I did, I'd tell you. I'd be honest. And now that you've brought it up, it would be especially dishonest not to tell you if I was thinking that." Me: "OK, good."

Me: "I was a little worried about bringing up some of these topics near the end, because I didn't want to end session on a bad note, since I won't be seeing you for a while." T (looking confused): "Aren't I seeing you early next week?" Me; "Uh, no, I'm out of town then. We're supposed to talk on the phone Wednesday?" T looks at calendar and says, "Oh, I guess not then. Not sure what I was thinking of."

Confirmed the Wednesday phone call and logistics (like who's calling who, regular call instead of video). He confirmed I only wanted half hour, saying he'd have to get off phone at 1:25, as he had session after. He might schedule something in half hour before, but if I decided I wanted full hour let him know. Me: "Unless everything is going to h*ll on the vacation, I think I'll be good with half hour. I'll let you know if I change my mind." Scheduled for regular session Tuesday after Labor Day when he's back.

As I was going over to pay, I said again how I'd worried about topics, saying, "I was wondering if in the last 20 minutes, I should have just talked about bunnies or something." T: "I actually hate bunnies...I'm just kidding, I have no issues with bunnies!" I laughed. Me: "I'm sure I told you about the bunny I had as a kid, right?" T didn't think so, so I told him about the giant rabbit as I was paying. T (shaking my hand): "Enjoy your vacation, OK?" Me: "OK, I'll do my best!" T: "And don't forget sunscreen." Me: "I won't!" T: "And wear a hat!" Me: "OK!" T: "But really, I hope you enjoy yourself." Me: "Thanks. Talk to you Wednesday." It felt like a really warm good-bye, the way I'd want to head into a rather stressful family vacation and T break.

Last edited by LonesomeTonight; 08-25-2018 at 02:37 PM. Reason: accidentally left H's real name in there!
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:06 PM #46
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Okay - i have to stop and correct t here - consistent bad parenting is not better than anything. Its just bad.
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:12 PM #47
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

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Okay - i have to stop and correct t here - consistent bad parenting is not better than anything. Its just bs.

Yeah, I was a little puzzled by that--I assume he didn't mean something like abusive or neglectful, more mediocre.
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:20 PM #48
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

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Originally Posted by unaluna View Post
Okay - i have to stop and correct t here - consistent bad parenting is not better than anything. Its just bad.
Dunno, Iíve heard the same from Blondie.

That, for instance, it would be much easier for me to figure out (and likely sever ties with) my family if my parents had been consistently bad ó else Iím stuck in the current mess of trying to figure out if the bad outweighed the good or vice versus and more importantly, what does it mean that they could switch from good to bad for no apparent reason and so on.
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:43 PM #49
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Sorry! Aside from that criticism i do like what he said about the little dictator - i can see that in myself too, esp talking to relatives. Geez my mom used to push me around SO MUCH. So telling your mom, these are our travel plans and not getting any pushback, i think thats a very tangible sign of progress. Thats like my aunt said to me yesterday, call us when you find your passport. Not "hurry up and find your passport." Not a demeaning command, just defining a boundary.
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Old 08-25-2018, 05:02 PM #50
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

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T talked more about wanting me to trust my inner voice: "It's something I want for you."
It seems to me that there's a massive irony in this.
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