In Session Today: Part V - Page 50 - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 12-18-2018, 08:24 AM #491
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by SalingerEsme View Post
LT, I loved this write up- so emotionally true. It was touching he clearly thought about how to mirror you before the session by meeting your song lyrics with his own song lyrics. It feels like he is with you in this, and has your back .
Thanks, SE. I doubt he planned it out, but he did think to quote something. It does feel like he really has my back right now. And I can feel his caring through all of this. I know we had a conflict (mini-rupture?) at one point about his not feeling comfortable saying "I care about you," but he's showing that now, and I'm realizing that's more important than hearing the actual words.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:51 AM #492
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

This feels so stupid and I feel stupid posting it but this is what has happened between my T and me in the last 24 hours. Yesterday marked four years of working together. I sent him an appreciative email and, lightheartedly, a link to the Kristen Bell song about her therapist. (for anyone who hasn't seen it, here it is YouTube )

For context, there is nothing in this song that is far from my feelings and experiences towards him, nothing that I haven't expressed to him many times before. Historically, we have had a couple of ruptures where I have inferred that he somehow sees me as threatening, or something (which he strongly denies feeling) and the main one of these happened in 2016 where he wrongly thought I had found out his wife's identity through some illicit means, when actually, she had simply been on my university's list of approved supervisors. He called me "an online sleuth" and we had the mother of all ruptures. We learnt from that that the notion of me being a threat to him echoes my mother's involvement with a man, when I was young, who convinced her I was the devil and they would lock me out in the rain and buy themselves food but not me. But I digress. Needless to say, the idea of being seen as threatening or scary is very triggering for me.

Anyway, since then he has seemed much better about my feelings towards him, and I have been able to express love, longing etc to him without anything but acceptance from him. I have told him about googling for obscure pictures of him at conferences, and he hasn't batted an eyelid.

So I was surprised by his response to the song, which was "The song is scary. Funny, but scary." (it's a pity because the part of the email responding to my appreciation had been really nice).

I emailed him back and said I was sorry he found it scary. I hadn't found it so. At all.

He emailed back the one line "Not at all scary to you as a therapist?"

This INFURIATED me. I was like wtf is he trying to do here? This is not a therapeutic way to speak to a client. Not only had he touched on a huge trigger for me, but it was like he hadn't noticed, and plowed on, proceeding to talk like it was completely inconceivable that as a therapist, I wouldn't be scared of what seem to me to be pretty run of the mill curiosity and fantasy about a therapist. Instead of being open and curious about my feelings he acted like I wasn't being honest.

It hurt on so many levels. I thought he knew me? I'm not a different person as a therapist. My knowledge of what transference feels like doesn't fly out of my head the minute I leave my T's office. "As a therapist" wtf does that even mean? I feel what I feel as a person.

I replied through shaking and tears:
Quote:
No. The client is expressing curiosity and fantasy, not stalking or threatening the therapist. It's very relatable for a lot of clients. Being scared of curiosity and fantasy (which often has its roots in very young feelings) would feel out of proportion to me, and to express it to a client would be incomprehensible.
He didn't immediately reply (like he previously had) and I felt like he was going to pick this moment to stop replying, having opened the conversation up with that question.

A friend said to me that maybe he didn't understand the impact this had had on me, so I sent him another email in which I said that his response had hurt me, it was so contrary to my usual experience of him, and I had never known him to be argumentative or to question the veracity of my feelings before. I told him I wasn't sure if I am coming on Wednesday.

He replied that he was really sorry that his response had hurt me, and he realised it from my last reply and was wondering how to respond. He said "I very much hope to see you on Wednesday".

I will probably go. I don't feel like accepting his apology. Four years I have been trying to get him to understand what therapy feels like for me, and when I think he understands, and I let my guard down, feeling like he couldn't possibly hurt me, and something like this happens. If he's still scared after all this time then what are we even doing? And if he thinks I am going to be scared of feelings which are a normal response to therapy for a lot of people, does he know me at all?

Last edited by FooZe; 12-18-2018 at 09:41 PM. Reason: fixed typo at author's request
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Old 12-18-2018, 11:25 AM #493
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonesomeTonight View Post
Yeah, I'm just trying to put it out of my head. Not like I'm going to ask about it or anything. I mean, maybe if I think I hear him say it again.
But is it something you want to know? I kinda feel like all this talk about ex-MC is displaced feelings about T, and maybe thats why your H's antennae are up.

FWIW, i really dont think t will dump you like mc did. I dont think MC DID dump you - i think you lost the fight for control of the relationship. I dont think this T will let you lose again.
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Old 12-18-2018, 12:12 PM #494
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

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Originally Posted by unaluna View Post
But is it something you want to know? I kinda feel like all this talk about ex-MC is displaced feelings about T, and maybe thats why your H's antennae are up.

FWIW, i really dont think t will dump you like mc did. I dont think MC DID dump you - i think you lost the fight for control of the relationship. I dont think this T will let you lose again.
Am I curious about the state of his marriage? Sure, but I'm pretty certain he's not going to tell me if something is going on there, based on how he is about (most other) personal stuff. I think much of this is coming from, he's seemed...different in some way in the past few months. (I tend to pick up on things with people that others might not, which is a very double-edged sword). When I had a similar sense from ex-MC, the stuff was going on with his wife being sick (I mean, she'd had the heart condition the whole time, but it was getting worse). T has mentioned multiple times that the stuff with ex-MC's wife likely contributed to his inconsistency with me. So...I think much of this is kind of me looking out for myself. Like, is something going on with T that's going to lead him to ***** up with me?

I think it's coming more from that place than, say, any sort of romantic feelings, if that's what you're getting at. I think the stuff about ex-MC is very much about ex-MC. It's making me worry about my relationship with T because, well, they've both said some variation on "I'm not going to abandon you" (with T it was "I'm not going anywhere"). If anything, if there are some feelings for my T, it's probably me projecting stuff from ex-MC. Because they are very different people (well, as far as I can tell and from what T has said about "ex-MC is a much nicer person than I am") and very different therapists.

Your comment about my losing control of the relationship is interesting--I'll have to think about that some more. Ex-MC didn't dump me in the sense of forcing my termination, but I think he did dump me emotionally in a way. Which T agrees with. Ex-MC knew what he was going to do and say would hurt me. Like T said yesterday, he knew me and understood me probably better than most anyone ever did in my life. So he knew what would feel like a knife in my heart. And did it anyway.

I feel like current T has a much more consistent level of control over the relationship. Is he maybe a little hazy on boundaries at times? Yes. But nothing at all like ex-MC, who was wildly inconsistent. I didn't include this in the writeup, but I was saying to T yesterday how I kept checking my email for responses from ex-MC this past week, knowing that he often replied on weekends, and if I woke up in the middle of the night, I'd look because he's emailed me at 1 a.m. before. While I know that current T has time boundaries on when he'll reply, so I know he wouldn't write back at 1 a.m. T: "It would have to be a pretty bad night for me to be replying to emails at 1 a.m." (He said at one point, early on in seeing him, that he intentionally doesn't reply to clients after a certain hour--like 9, and often not in evenings at all--because if he did that once, then they'd expect it.)

OK, I'll stop rambling now!
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Old 12-18-2018, 03:51 PM #495
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by Echos Myron redux View Post
This feels so stupid and I feel stupid posting it but this is what has happened between my T and me in the last 24 hours. Yesterday marked four years of working together. I sent him an appreciative email and, lightheartedly, a link to the Kristen Bell song about her therapist. (for anyone who hasn't seen it, here it is YouTube )

For context, there is nothing in this song that is far from my feelings and experiences towards him, nothing that I haven't expressed to him many times before. Historically, we have had a couple of ruptures where I have inferred that he somehow sees me as threatening, or something (which he strongly denies feeling) and the main one of these happened in 2016 where he wrongly thought I had found out his wife's identity through some illicit means, when actually, she had simply been on my university's list of approved supervisors. He called me "an online sleuth" and we had the mother of all ruptures. We learnt from that that the notion of me being a threat to him echoes my mother's involvement with a man, when I was young, who convinced her I was the devil and they would lock me out in the rain and buy themselves food but not me. But I digress. Needless to say, the idea of being seen as threatening or scary is very triggering for me.

Anyway, since then he has seemed much better about my feelings towards him, and I have been able to express love, longing etc to him without anything but acceptance from him. I have told him about googling for obscure pictures of him at conferences, and he hasn't batted an eyelid.

So I was surprised by his response to the song, which was "The song is scary. Funny, but scary." (it's a pity because the part of the email responding to my appreciation had been really nice).

I emailed him back and said I was sorry he found it scary. I hadn't found it so. At all.

He emailed back the one line "Not at all scary to you as a therapist?"

This INFURIATED me. I was like wtf is he trying to do here? This is not a therapeutic way to speak to a client. Not only had he touched on a huge trigger for me, but it was like he hadn't noticed, and plowed on, proceeding to talk like it was completely inconceivable that as a therapist, I wouldn't be scared of what seem to me to be pretty run of the mill curiosity and fantasy about a therapist. Instead of being open and curious about my feelings he acted like I wasn't being honest.

It hurt on so many levels. I thought he knew me? I'm not a different person as a therapist. My knowledge of what transference feels like doesn't fly out of my head the minute I leave my T's office. "As a therapist" wtf does that even mean? I feel what I feel as a person.

I replied through shaking and tears:

He didn't immediately reply (like he previously had) and I felt like he was going to pick this moment to stop replying, having opened the conversation up with that question.

A friend said to me that maybe he didn't understand the impact this had had on me, so I sent him another email in which I said that his response had hurt me, it was so contrary to my usual experience of him, and I had never known him to be argumentative or to question the veracity of my feelings before. I told him I wasn't sure if I am coming on Wednesday.

He replied that he was really sorry that his response had hurt me, and he realised it from my last reply and was wondering how to respond. He said "I very much hope to see you on Wednesday".

I will probably go. I don't feel like accepting his apology. Four years I have been trying to get him to understand what therapy feels like for me, and when I think he understands, and I let my guard down, feeling like he couldn't possibly hurt me, and something like this happens. If he's still scared after all this time then what are we even doing? And if he thinks I am going to be scared of feelings which are a normal response to therapy for a lot of people, does he know me at all?
Oooooof. No, this post and the reaction you're describing aren't stupid AT ALL. First off, there's objectively nothing scary about that video. It's hilarious, and it does a great job of joking about a very common phenomenon without denigrating it or the person experiencing it.

Given your history, it's especially bizarre that your therapist made that comment. But it sounds like you and he have a long productive track record together, and I really hope he's able to recognize his error here and work to repair it with you (and from what you've said, I'm hopeful he will).

But yeah, you have absolutely nothing to apologize for and no reason to feel stupid for feeling this way or making this post. I think I'd feel the exact same way in your shoes.

Last edited by FooZe; 12-18-2018 at 09:45 PM. Reason: fixed typo in quote
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Old 12-18-2018, 04:29 PM #496
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by starfishing View Post
Oooooof. No, this post and the reaction you're describing aren't stupid AT ALL. First off, there's objectively nothing scary about that video. It's hilarious, and it does a great job of joking about a very common phenomenon without denigrating it or the person experiencing it.

Given your history, it's especially bizarre that your therapist made that comment. But it sounds like you and he have a long productive track record together, and I really hope he's able to recognize his error here and work to repair it with you (and from what you've said, I'm hopeful he will).

But yeah, you have absolutely nothing to apologize for and no reason to feel stupid for feeling this way or making this post. I think I'd feel the exact same way in your shoes.
Thank you. It's good to have that validated because having a rupture about a song seems so trivial and juvenile on the surface, but what the song represents runs much deeper than that, and that's where the pain is I think.
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Old 12-18-2018, 05:28 PM #497
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

I'm really curious what he found so "scary" about the song/video. It's not like it showed Kristen donning a black tracksuit and lurking in the shadows to stalk her therapist or something like that. It's hard to imagine how it could have been more innocent and idealistic.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:41 PM #498
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

i agree with everyone else, i have no idea what could be scary about that video. i thought it was hysterical, and i bet if i showed it to my T, she would too.
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:18 AM #499
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Wow that's a bummer of a reaction to that video. I sent it once without a second thought to my T and he loved it, he thought it was hilarious.
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:41 AM #500
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Echos, you probably know that I don't tend to relate much to those kinds of feelings, but they are not hard to understand at all just objectively. I don't find anything scary about the video either, and I am definitely one who does not like intrusion into my personal space and tend to react to it strongly. But, as you said, these are fantasies. I understand how such fantasies might scare someone a bit but would expect a T to have heard it a million times. I guess the T probably expressed his immediate thought on an impulse and I understand that as well - therapist or not, it must be hard having to control oneself perfectly at all times, I think expecting that is a bit too much to ask of anyone. To me, that song/video is more funny than anything else, coming from someone self-aware enough to see both the reality and humor in it. It is also clear from the comments to the video how common these feelings are and people tend to relate to them. Not everyone but more than a couple people.
 
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