In Session Today: Part V - Page 51 - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 12-19-2018, 09:18 AM #501
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

First, we talked about mindful sitting. I've started doing that, according to the description in some book I've been reading. He asked me what exactly I was doing and commented on how it's normal to have negative thoughts coming up, to just accept them and let them go.

Then I mentioned not quite knowing what I wanted to talk about. Sometimes I have trouble telling what's important. He said he'd feel it's important to talk about how I sometimes act in the second half of sessions. Crying a lot and just the general behavior and way I talk. He said he often feels helpless in those situations, or angry since he thinks 'why do I feel helpless'. That he had the feeling I'm trying to just 'do my thing'. I didn't understand, so he explained that it seems like I try to experience and show everything I'm feeling, as though there was no other way. He said he'd think that's something important to talk about.

I told him I think it's important too, but I don't really understand it myself, so it's kind of hard to talk about. Sometimes I don't feel anything in those situations or my emotions are chaotic. I told him I'd have to think about it for myself.

He said otherwise there's always relationships that we could talk about, those are important. I told him about a guy that visited for a while some time back. That guy now seems to have a crush on me, which makes me uncomfortable. We discussed for how long I've known the guy, what we know about each other and all that. T asked whether my partner seems to not mind when he hears about that guy hitting on me. I told him that we have an open relationship, he didn't know what that was and I had to explain.

At some point there was some silence and I got sad, so I told him. He asked what happened. I said I was thinking about whether I like men or women, then I got sad and told him. He wanted to know whether I can feel the sadness, which was kind of hard because it switches so much, but at some points I managed to feel it. i said right now it works, sometimes it hurts too much to feel it. He asked what hurts so much in those situations and I said it's the fact that I can't talk properly. He said 'but do we always need to talk about everything?' and I told him I feel lonely otherwise. I started crying. He told me it's okay to feel sad and to feel lonely. To accept those feelings and feel them. Then he got quiet and let me cry.

After a while he asked whether he's right that I seem rather relaxed currently. I nodded and he said if I wanted to, I could look at him too. I looked at him twice and felt happy each time. He smiled at me too. He went on for a bit about eye contact and how it's important in relationships.

Then he wrapped up, he gave me a new prescription, shortly asked about whether I'm having any side effects from the meds, which I don't, and then we confirmed we'd see on Friday and said good bye.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:02 AM #502
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenNoodleSoup View Post

At some point there was some silence and I got sad, so I told him. He asked what happened. I said I was thinking about whether I like men or women, then I got sad and told him.

* * *
After a while he asked whether he's right that I seem rather relaxed currently. I nodded and he said if I wanted to, I could look at him too. I looked at him twice and felt happy each time. He smiled at me too. He went on for a bit about eye contact and how it's important in relationships.
I know you know it's okay to like both men and women, but I wanted to say how lovely I think this interaction between you and your T is. It sounds like you are making really positive changes in your end of the T relationship and seems like you are really benefitting by making these changes. It's good to read about therapy working in this way.

On the "open relationship" issue, I have learned by interviewing people about all kinds of personal and sensitive issues that labels are used differently by different people. I would have asked what that means in your T's shoes, not because I am unfamiliar with the idea of a non monogamous relationship, but because people mean different things by it. One person said he had an open relationship but his wife didn't know about it, which was his way of saying he had affairs. In some open relationships there are rules about with whom or when a secondary relationship can take place, the rules can be different, etc. I think your T was just trying to get a sense of the lay of the land of your relationship with your SO. Kudos to you for being so open about your sexuality with your T. It can be a really hard thing to do.

I told my T recently I was considering beginning to date again after my last round 25 years ago, when people had to call each other on landline phones to schedule dates. He said something that was gendered, and I said I wasn't necessarily looking for a man. He replied, "good, then the dating pool has just doubled," and that just cracked me up. It wasn't all that long ago that the mental health system considered anyone who wasn't heterosexual and gender conforming as pathological (and locked up young people in institutions for years); it's good to see that T's can be open minded and accepting.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:16 AM #503
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Just a comment on the open relationship thing... I would second that it is important to discuss and clarify what an "open relationship" (or polyamory, or whatever we call it) entails in every single case, preferentially as early in the relationship as possible. It is indeed something that means many different scenarios and conditions for many people. I have lived in what can be described as open relationships (or unconventional relationship structures) in my whole life and it works for me and the people I usually form a good match with very well. Not only because I am bisexual but it is just what is compatible with my personality and needs - I tried more conventional monogamy a few times when I was young but it failed each time when the partner was really had on those expectations. But the specific conditions of my relationships are individualized, it is not the same with every partner and my needs are not exactly the same with everyone either. There is a basic idea but then I like to develop it with every partner based on the combination of us, not just myself. It has never really been a problem for me except those few cases when I was very young and hooked up with people who had too different values and I find that those who prefer more traditional relationships don't tend to be attracted to me very often either - I am very open about these parts of myself with everyone so it is usually obvious. I did find a few times that people used the concept of "open relationship" or "polyamory" to cheat on their primary partners in secret though - I engaged that way with such people a couple times and decided around my late 30's that I will never do anything secretive again and won't cover for anyone. Much easier and generally more fair that way. When I do online dating, for example, I put my conditions in my profile very clearly - I still sometimes get interests from people who think differently and want to change me, but I decline those very quickly.
 
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:14 AM #504
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

I sat down and I couldn't really look at him or speak. I told him this is harder than it was in my head. He said would it help if I made direct statements like "I am angry because..." or "What I wanted from you is...". I looked at him. He said "It might not be helpful, I was offering it...".

I said "What is so scary about that song?" He didn't answer. I said "That's not a rhetorical question". He thought for a minute and said he thought the power projected onto the therapist was scary; it's scary to him to have that much power, and that he found the therapist suddenly declaring she would be away for two weeks at the end of the session with no regard to the impact on the client pretty scary.

We talked about what had happened between us. I said how the apology had hurt more because it only came when I finally communicated with him from an adult place. That he had been pissy with me when I was in a more vulnerable child place had reinforced that child part's belief that she is unacceptable. He said that made sense.

He said that he was shaken by how profoundly hurt I was by what he had said. He said he needs to take greater care when he is responding to me, and if he is going to send more than an acknowledgement as a response, he needs to make sure he is in a "therapy headspace". Though I cognitively know that's exactly what he should be doing, part of me didn't like it at all; I felt angry and said in practical terms that meant emailing me less which feels like punishment. He said it didn't mean that. I looked around the room fantasising about pulling all the books of his shelf and upending his table. I think it's a really profound example of how I need him to be a therapist to me, not a friend, yet it hurts that he isn't. I want him to take care when he emails me, yet it hurts that he does. It really speaks to a whole range of conflicting needs and desires going on inside of me.

I said to him "I bet it doesn't feel like a privilege to work with me now" in reference to him saying that it was in the first email he sent me on Monday. He said "I don't feel like I'm doing a very good job of it at the moment". I looked at him. I nearly said "I don't know what you're supposed to do" but before I could he said "That's not asking for reassurance, it's just a true statement of how I'm feeling right now.".

We sat in silence for a bit and he said how when we had the email exchange, he thought "what is this?" and "why now?". He said it had quickly gone from him expressing pleasure and enjoyment in working with me, to profoundly hurting me. He said he felt like it wasn't a coincidence that this happened on the anniversary, and we talked about the depth of the work recently, and my fear of my own potency. He said it might be useful to focus on the bigger picture of what this is and why we have had similar ruptures like this through the years (he added this was him being a bit of a better therapist).
The potency discussion was really interesting actually, talking about me fearing him being scared of me, and how we both experience fear and enjoyment around the way we impact on each other sometimes.

I said I didn't fully buy his explanation of what he found scary in the song, and I think some of it is to do with the facebook stuff. He said on some level it might be, and that does fit with his process.
I said my sense is that he has never experienced idealising transference in the way I do, but sometimes I feel like he experiences it with me, and he is in it with me. Like we are going through it together, so it is jarring when I feel like he doesn't understand. He said he sometimes feels very connected to my experience in session, and thinks he does know a little of the pain I go through, but it's not all the time. He added that I was right, he hasn't experienced the kind of transference I go through. He paused and said "I had some pretty intense feelings towards my first therapist, but not on the level you experience".

I said I didn't want to forget about the intense rage I felt earlier, and I told him about fantasising about wrecking his room. He said "and you could have" I said "I never would." and he said "I'm quite glad - I wouldn't like that. But you could've". I said
Possible trigger:
and he nodded knowingly and said rage is an emotion which is supposed to always go outwards. When it goes inwards that tells of a great deal of pain.

We talked again about feeling unacceptable. He said he is not aware of finding any part of me unacceptable. He said that it is possible that I could remind him of parts of himself he has not yet accepted about himself, and that's happened a couple of times in the past and he has to work through that, but...and he said clearly "I am not aware, Echos, of finding any part of you unacceptable at all". He said "We have come too far for me to give you a simple answer, I feel like I owe you the truth [about not knowing what could be in his unconscious]." I was quiet. He asked me if I believed him. I thought for a minute and said "yes".

As we reached the end I said "I love you" and he looked at me, smiled, sighed and said "I know.". [then he got frozen in carbonite - kidding].

He said "I'm not sure if you'll want it....but I have a Christmas card for you" and he handed it to me. I was really happy and touched. He has never given me a card before. He said it wasn't related to the rupture, that he had decided to give me a Christmas card in summer. I said "You're not sure if I'll want it?!" he said "you said you might not be here!"

We stood up and hugged for a long time. He said "you are really hot!" (as in temperature of course!) I said I am a warm person, I always seem to radiate heat. We had a jokey conversation as I walked to the door about thermostat wars between spouses. He seemed to be able to relate to that.

We said goodbye and see you next year and I left.

His card says
"Echos,
Wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas. I look forward to continuing our work together in 2019.
Warm wishes, T."
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:30 AM #505
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Echos I enjoyed reading your write-up. It sounds like an ideal way of how a reconciliation of sorts should happen. I loved that he gave you a Christmas card at the end (something I always longed for former T to give to me but she never did). Anyway, I got a lot out of reading your write-up. Thanks for sharing, Kit.
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:54 AM #506
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

this is the book t got me!
can't wait to start reading it

https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Outsid...a-524509722238

In Session Today: Part V
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:04 PM #507
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this is the book t got me!
can't wait to start reading it
I really liked that book (I have the e-version) and sometimes recommend it to my clinically oriented students, hope you will enjoy it junkDNA!
 
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:48 PM #508
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echos Myron redux View Post
[then he got frozen in carbonite - kidding].
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:50 PM #509
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

(Echoes, I'm also glad to hear that things feel less terrible now)
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:16 PM #510
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

We talked about my negative transference which has been going on for quite a while now. He said we’re enacting something from my childhood and he has been cast as the “bad parent.” He doesn’t want me to feel hurt or abandoned between sessions, so essentially recommended stopping therapy, saying that not everyone is ready for “depth therapy” and that I could always do it later. The other option he recommended was coming 2x/week. I’d be open to that, but I work 4 workdays/week and see him on my day off. My work days are super inflexible and I don’t see how I could find the time for a 2nd day. So, I may be stopping therapy or perhaps finding another therapist. I like my T, but I do feel some relief that the negative transference might stop. It’s been exhausting. I just sent him an email asking if he’d consider a 6:00 a.m. appointment for my second appointment of the week. It’s super early, but I think I could do it. I wouldn’t want to have to poke him to keep him awake while I was talking, though. I completely understand if that time won’t work for him, but it’s a Hail Mary, I guess. If I end up looking for a new therapist at least I’ll know what I’m getting myself into the second time around.
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