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Old 03-30-2019, 06:21 PM #141
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Default Re: LT's thread

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Originally Posted by ElectricManatee View Post
I think his matter-of-factness shows the seam where the way you do therapy as a client butts up against the way he does therapy as a therapist. It's not really about trying to dictate what he says, necessarily. You wanted to experience the emotion and for your aching vulnerability to be seen and appreciated on a deep level. He wanted you to know that he's solid and committed to helping you change, but he isn't going to bring emotion into it like that. So I think it makes sense that you find the contrast jarring. That's kind of a theme or ongoing point of contrast for the two of you. I've had nearly identical moments with my T, and she handles them very differently. Is there something comforting about the predictability of his response at least, though?

Yes, these are good points, and thanks for sharing. And I brought up some of that to him Thursday (more on that later). He seemed, from what he said...affected by how he's trying to show he's there for me and I'm not feeling it. Felt like some countertransference stuff. So then he also was very explicit in saying things like, "I do care, I support you, I want to be there for you." But it was hard for me to take in at the time because it felt like he was saying it just because I wanted him to. I said how I felt like he was withholding to try to not be like ex-MC, and he said that he wasn't. How he felt like I should have been able to tell, and felt bad that I thought that. I said how it can be difficult for me to trust what I'm feeling, so at times I need someone to say it explicitly. (I tried to avoid the word "explicitly" but couldn't come up with anything else.) He seemed to get it. How sometimes I need it spelled out for me, even though I should be able to read into what he's doing. It felt like a big "aha" moment for both of us.
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Old 03-30-2019, 06:26 PM #142
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Originally Posted by velcro003 View Post
you are so brave to be so honest with your T!

Aw, thanks Velcro. For some reason, I feel I can be more honest with him than with ex-T and ex-MC. Maybe because he's so honest with me? This might sound weird, but I'm sort of fascinated by our relationship. Because I feel I'm different in my interactions with him than with anyone else from my present or past.
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:11 PM #143
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I can kind of relate to your stuff with ex MC. There are some triggers that really get me, I mean, it was literally the dumbest/smallest thing in session on Friday that set me into a sobbing mess.... but it is what it is.... It's good you are making progress. It seems that you are more in the state of "peace/acceptance" with him, like I am with my dog. It doesn't mean I don't miss my dog, I do, every single day, but the pain has not been there. It's just a new normal.

I can understand how you could feel rejected but at the same time, there's so many things and ways he has shown you he cares and he is there and he isn't ex MC. Remember, a T can refer a client out if they really wanted to, he hasn't and that's because he enjoys working with you. He also gives you extra sessions whenever you ask, most T's would not do that. He has never rejected you... I think sometimes you might actually be rejecting yourself in a way and just assume everyone else feels the same.

I think the mindfulness/CBT you were working on will be good to keep it. Trying to live more present. It's been more helpful to me. Does your T give you homework? Maybe you could benefit from it if not. It's been the biggest help for me with baby T. It forces me to face things in a different way than normal.

It's also ok to seek other people for help. T is a part of your journey but he isn't your whole journey. It's ok to get a bigger group of people to help along the way. It isn't rejection, it's care. It's kindness. I wish I had taken more my T's suggestions for other people at the time, I really do. My reasons for not were selfish and stupid and now it's just lead to more regret.

I still, if you can talk to H about it, encourage you to try MC again. I don't know much about relationships but I think it might help to allow your H some of the emotional and deep stuff that T sees. You could still see T but you would also have anther therapist for support in your journey.

Lastly there is a quote I want to share with you I recently posted on my FB. It's something I try to remind myself every single day. "No amount of regret can change the past. No amount of anxiety can change the future"
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Old 03-31-2019, 07:09 AM #144
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Originally Posted by LonesomeTonight View Post
T replied, sort of matter-of-factly: "That's my intention." I was just sort of like, "OK. Thanks." I felt like I'd just let myself be really vulnerable, and he was kinda just like, "Yep." Of course then we had to stop (I think we were a couple minutes over).
I think it's great that you spent so much of your session talking about drinking, and I have the sense that your T is trying really hard to be supportive about what and how you're doing it, and not push you or criticize you. In all his responses, I think he provides a lot of validation, so I find your reaction curious at the end, especially since it seems to me that you had been really vulnerable through the whole exchange. It's too late when you're past session time for him to get into another topic, but I think it might be helpful for you to describe your reaction at the beginning of the next one. It seems that there is probably much below this surface, including why it seems you need certain specific reactions from people and are critical when they don't provide them.
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:14 AM #145
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T Wednesday (a day earlier by request): Went back and sat down. He mentioned I had something on my face, so I rubbed frantically at it, and he said it was gone.

He picked up a magazine and said there was an article about autism in it, so he'd saved it for me. He flipped through it and found the page, then showed me (was about losing an autism diagnosis). I asked if I could take it with me to read, he said sure, that I could just return it to the waiting room when I was done or even keep it--it wouldn't be missed. He hadn't done anything like that before, and it sort of conflicted with my "he doesn't care enough" feelings from Monday's session. So it was a bit confusing. Because obviously he was thinking of me outside of session and went the extra step to bring something in for me.

I said how I'd been a bit upset when I left Monday, then was emotional that night about parts of what happened in session. But I was determined not to email him. Then Tuesday morning, I was crying as I was getting in the shower and knew I had to talk about it. So I requested an earlier session.

I said before I shared the actual things that I realized how some of it was likely transference, in this case paternal. And I know he feels uncomfortable when he feels like some feelings I have are about *him*, so part of why I want to emphasize that it's transference is to make it clear that I know intellectually it's about other stuff, maybe stuff from my past, rather than about him. But I also know he's not all that comfortable talking about transference, as he's often said he isn't trained in it. So...

T said another way to look at it is through what cognitive therapists see as core values. I said I recalled him talking about that with me before. And how with those, it wouldn't be so much "I'm experiencing transference with Dr. T" as "Dr. T is saying something that's tapping into this core value." (Obviously, he was using his name there, not "Dr. T.") So it's more about what's happening right now. And how it could happen with anyone, not just therapy. T: "There's something I've written a few times in your chart." Me: "Uh, OK." T: "That you've got lipstick on your teeth." Me (frantically rubbing my tongue on my teeth): "What? I do?" T: "Sorry, I was joking, just trying to lighten a difficult topic." Me: "Oh, OK, that's OK." T: "But what I wrote is that I think two of your core values, and I don't know that this is all of them, but they're being understood and accepted for who you are." Me: "Those seem accurate."

T said it seemed like times I reacted very negatively to him were when it seemed like I wasn't getting that, where I wasn't being either understood or accepted. I agreed with that. And when I did feel understood and accepted, it felt really good to me. He talked some more about that stuff, then saw we had 20-25 minutes left. T: "I'm sorry if I've kept you from talking about what you wanted to talk about." Me: "It's OK, it was helpful and was part of it. There are just some other things I need to mention." T: "OK, go ahead."

Possible trigger:
I said I'd hoped he would have said something like, "You should have just emailed, we could have figured out the money later, if it came to that." (Note: He once said after charging me for an email that if I couldn't pay it right then, he could take it later, so I'm not just coming up with that out of nowhere.) Me: "But instead, it seemed like you were suggesting I should have just had another drink. Rather than encouraging me to reach out."

I think T said he was trying to consider my finances. T: "And if you emailed me, you likely wouldn't have heard back until the morning anyway." Me: "Yeah, I know" (thinking how the previous Monday, he had emailed me back that night, as he had some other times...but didn't want to say that, because I imagine he's only able to do that sometimes and didn't want to guarantee anything). T said because of that, I could just type something up to him, then wait to send it until the morning, as he'd likely see it around 8 am. To then see if I still want to send it. I said I've done that before and guess I could again, but sometimes it helps to just send it off, even knowing he might not see it until morning.

I said part of my struggle is not knowing when he's going to charge me because his policy isn't totally clear about that (we've discussed that multiple times). T started to say, "We never really determined..." and I thought he was going to say something about a more set email policy. Instead he said, "...some other coping mechanisms for you that don't involve other people." Me: "And I guess other than drinking (or the trigger thing)." T: "Right, positive coping mechanisms." Me: "Yeah, I guess I need to figure more of those out...but certain ones I couldn't have done Thursday night, like I couldn't have gone for a walk to a yoga class." I mentioned listening to music, and he said that's a form of distraction, which can be a coping mechanism. I said how I guessed watching TV or YouTube could be, too, and he agreed. Me: "But the problem is, that might just push them away for a bit, then I could wake up in the middle of the night and they're there again."

I brought up the uncertainty of whether he'd charge me for emails again. And he just talked about all the different variables there. He said he'd considered coming up with a policy just for me, that would be he'd charge me for every third email. Which didn't seem fair at all. Particularly if the policy would apply to me only and not other clients (even though he's said I tend to use email differently than he does). He went on some more about why he charges for it sometimes. He said maybe I could have a jar that I put money in to save for emails (which...kinda bothered me).

I brought up ex-MC and ex-T having lots of outside contact with me--multiple long phone calls, some texts--when I'd been in crisis for like 5 days a few years ago. Which they didn't charge for (they never charged for outside contact). How at the time, they'd realized I was in crisis, that I needed that, and that I wouldn't have continued at that rate, so they were OK with it. T: "I'm sure that made you feel very cared about." Me: "Yeah, it did." T: "Well, I would have charged you for all of that time. So I doubt it would have felt the same to you." Me: "Yeah...probably not." (I was crying during all of this.)



ETA: Oh right, he also said that at times they were probably annoyed with me for the emailing/texting but just didn't say anything. Which, great, thanks, that helps. But he said his policy of charging when it hits a certain time threshold or frequency would keep him from getting annoyed.


I saw we only had a couple minutes left. Me: "I guess the other thing I wanted to discuss--I know we have to stop soon. But I felt like I was being really vulnerable when I shared that stuff at the end of session, where I said I needed you to be there with me, to support me. And you just said, 'That's my intention.' It's like it didn't feel strong enough or something." T: "Well, it is my intention." Me (crying really hard): "Yeah. I guess it's just...I want you to really care...but then I know you can only really do that within the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship...I mean, like as part of a professional relationship. Not like I'm looking for....like a friendship or something. But it's just really hard to deal with sometimes that I'm in here and sharing so many things with you and so vulnerable and then...I know it's just, OK, now you have to move on to your next client. It's just really hard to sort of...reconcile all of that. I know we have to stop..." T said something about it being a different type of relationship and how that can be difficult, I think? It's all kind of fuzzy. It just felt I was in all this emotional distress and he was just sort of...there. I don't know. Like I wasn't feeling the connection or support, which may have been more about me than him. And he did say his back was really bothering him that day (he apologized for fidgeting), so maybe that made him off his game.

He said we were scheduled for next week. T: "And I'm here Friday, too, if you want to talk before that." Me: "OK." T: "Just let me know." Went over and paid. I must have really seemed a mess because T said again how he'd be there Friday, but if he didn't hear from me, he'd see me Monday. As he shook my hand, he said, "I hope you'll be OK--I really do." And that had a lot of meaning to me--I really felt his caring in that moment. It seemed genuine and not just a job.

I still texted him a few hours later and asked what he had Friday or possibly Thursday. He replied a few hours later with a slot each day, saying Thursday would be a little easier for him, but he could also do Friday. I opted for Thursday (partly to get in there sooner). Will write that up in a bit, but (spoiler alert), it really helped.

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Old 03-31-2019, 11:29 AM #146
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The magazine thing was nice, I know therapists do that stuff for clients often. That or book recommendations stuff. It's nice to know that thought popped in their head at some point.

I can understand the frustration with coping skills. It is like you want to be free of these feelings, you try them, they work briefly but then the thoughts come back. It's so limited and I feel you there. However, that's sadly mostly all you can do, is fine new ways to think of things or distract yourself.

I feel like you and your T get to this point often.... it's sad because it always causes you distress. He does not know how to handle strong attachment well and instead of helping you lessen things, it tends to make it worse in the end. It's why I worry about your frequent interactions with him. It may help temporarily, but then you will find yourself in this same pattern again and I get sad reading it.

I think for attachment, you will have to seek a session or two with someone else. Someone who can help you find ways to lessen it, having the strong feelings can be so draining. Adding in to it, the limits of therapy, I have been there and I understand how overwhelming it can be. I hope you are somehow able to become more secure with the relationship, less intensely focused on it and more focused on you and your journey.

Hopefully you can keep making the small strides though. You were doing awesome before and it was noticeable to many of us. There is bound to bumps in the road along the way. No doubt. Just know you have a lot of cheerleaders here on this forum, wanting to see you thrive and achieve the goals you have for yourself. You got this....

That being said, most of us relate to the frustrating limits of therapy. It sucks but it isn't something we can change. I am glad you felt some care from though. Maybe a suggestion, since you like to write, make a list of times you felt really cared for by him and when you struggle next time or worry he's rejected you or whatever, read through it, and remind yourself of those things.
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Old 03-31-2019, 07:25 PM #147
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Warning: really long! T Thursday, extra session. He got me a minute early. Went back and sat down. I said I'd just been struggling from some of the stuff we discussed yesterday and felt like I needed to talk about it. Me: "And partly because of that, I didn't do so well with the drinking the past day or two..." T: "You're judging yourself." Me: "Yeah, i know, I'll stop."

Me: "I know that some people have said I try to control what you say to me, like I'm critical of you if you don't say exactly what I wanted to hear." T: "You haven't done that with me in a long time. You did sometimes earlier on, but I haven't noticed you doing that. Which seems like progress." Me: "OK, good. Because I'm concerned that's what I'm doing now."

I said how I'd been really open and vulnerable about needing his support through some of these things earlier in the week, needing to know he'd be there. And he'd just said "that's my intention." T: "Like I said yesterday, it is my intention." Me: "Yes, but...OK, I know this is a weird example, but it's the best one I can think of. Say you're taking your wedding vows. The whole, 'Do you take this woman, in sickness and in health, etc.' And your response was just, 'That's my intention.' That wouldn't seem strong enough." T: "You seem to be putting a certain inflection in there that makes it sound very flippant. I'm pretty sure I didn't say it that way. But maybe that's how you read it?" Me: "Yeah, I guess it sounded that way to me, maybe because I was looking for something else from you?" T: "It does give me insight into how you're interpreting it."

I said I was afraid he was intentionally withholding things (like reassurance) from me to avoid being like ex-MC. He said he wasn't and that he thought he was clear in his caring and support. I said sometimes it's like I need to hear specific words, that he might think something he's saying is being supportive, but it doesn't hit me that way. Or if something he says bothers me. He said I should tell him in the moment when that happens, so we can fix it then, and I said I'd try. Though sometimes it doesn't really hit me until later.

T: "If you want me to say those things, I can. I care. I support you. I want the best for you." It was difficult for me to take that in at that moment. I wish I could have a recording of him saying those things.

I said I know it's probably frustrating for him that I keep questioning things so much, that I can't just accept that he cares. T: "I think it's obvious how invested I am in you during your sessions." Me: "Yes, you do seem very engaged." T: "And I'm consistent in responding to your emails. I accommodate the frequency of sessions you want." The way he was saying those things seemed a bit defensive but also like it was affecting him personally, not just as a T. Like he's really trying with me and does really care and is sort of hurt that I can't see it. Which feels a bit like a countertransference thing. But then there's this part of me that feels bad that he feels bad about it, and it's like I'm trying to take care of him, in a way. I realized I was doing that at other points during the session, too, like trying to take care of his feelings.

I said it also bothered me how I'd wanted to talk about transference stuff the day before, but T seemed to steer it away from that to talking about core values. T: "I hope you realize that I don't think transference is bunk." Me: "OK, I wasn't sure. I mean, I know you're not trained in it." T: "I just said I wasn't psychodynamically trained. I've certainly learned about transference through my education. I'm just not trained to work with it in the way that someone psychodynamic or psychoanalytic might be. And I'm just not sure the best way to work through some of those issues is through me. Like stuff with your mom, I think ideally you would work out directly with her. But I don't know."

Then I talked about how I would tell him negative things people on PC/friends have said about him, how I'm not sure why I tell him those things. T: "Are you concerned that you're hurting my feelings? Because you're not." Me: "No, it's more that I find it interesting that I share them with you. Plenty of people were critical of ex-MC. But I don't think I would have told him that. I'm not sure why it's different with you. I think maybe it's because of how much I idealized ex-MC?" T: "I don't think you've ever idealized me." Me: "Yeah, I think you're right. I mean, I think you're likely a good father. But it's not like I wish you could have been my father. Like I did with ex-MC."

Talked more about the email stuff (charging me, etc.). I said how it had felt like Wednesday he was intellectualizing that conversation, when I needed to talk about the emotions behind it. That I do understand intellectually why he has to charge me at times, but I want to talk about the effect it has on me. He said he'd gotten the sense I'd wanted him to explain it more. Me: "No, not really. And the fact that your proposed rule would have charged only me more and not other clients, that bothered me." T: "That's why I wouldn't want to put that in place. I feel like if I came up with rules for it, it would end up being Bible-sized. But if you want to try coming up with something, by all means, let me know." Me: "I'll think about it and get back to you." T said that there had been a few times when it was borderline on time (15 minutes to read/respond) and he chose not to charge me because he could tell I was really struggling. I thanked him for that. And it felt nice but also maybe a bit weird if he was making an exception for me. I did finally get him to basically say that 3 shorter (5-10 minute) emails a month would be OK and not incur a charge. (That's similar to my usual pattern.)

I also said how it had been difficult to hear that he would have charged me for the calls/texts that ex-T and ex-MC gave me for free during that one period of crisis. Even though I know it's his policy and understand it intellectually. He asked me if it bothered me being charged for sessions. I said that was different because it was predictable. While charges for email aren't. And how if ex-T and ex-MC either had charged for email or hadn't allowed it, it likely wouldn't have been an issue with T. But it's like that's what I was used to.

T (regarding email/phone charges): "Well, my product is me and my time. I'm basically a widget." Me: "OK, I sort of get that. I know this is going to sound really terrible, so I shouldn't share it. And I don't really think this of you." T: "Well, now you have to say it." Me: "But I had this thought last night how you'd be thinking, 'Oh score, my client's in a crisis, money for the vacation fund!' But I know you'd never think that of course." T: "Of course not. I want my clients to be out in the world and happy. And if a client had to be hospitalized or something, I'd wonder what I had missed, what I had done wrong." Me: "OK, it's just hard for me to deal with the money aspect of the relationship. Like the extra session today." T: "Well, I look at it as, I just got a $500 Verizon bill. So with this session, you're helping me pay the Verizon bill. And if you can leave this session and go out and have a nice weekend, then I think it's probably worth it for you." Me: "Yeah."

I forget how we got on this topic--maybe the fact that I feel willing to stand up to T? T was saying again if he didn't know if he was the right T for me, how that was something I had to figure out. I said how I feel like I've really made progress with him and he agreed. I mentioned how I relate to him differently than I did in the beginning. He said I seem to be handling relationships better, with friends, with H--standing up for myself more, expressing myself better. I said I'm also initiating more plans with people. And I'm not thinking "Oh no, they never replied to my text, they must hate me" anymore. I just figure they got busy, so I'll text them again. And that's usually the case. He said that's really good. Me: "I just...I don't know, I keep having this feeling that you can really help me. Like, this feeling I've had, from the beginning. And I think you are." I forget what he said to that.

Not sure where I said this part: Me: "This probably seems so minor. But I've talked to you once before about what you say when I leave." T: "Yes, I recall that--I'd never really thought about it much before that." Me: "There was one time recently where it had been a really intense session, like I was crying a lot and stuff. And then when I was leaving, you said 'Enjoy!' It just felt very incongruent to what had happened, like you'd just forgotten about the session." T: "Like I said, I hadn't given much thought to it." Me: "And I imagine I'm the only client who has mentioned it. And I know you're in the middle of doing other stuff at the time." T: "Yes, trying to email you your invoice." Me: "I mean, something like, 'Have a good weekend' or 'good week' is totally fine. And, OK, this is going to seem so silly, but sometimes you'll say 'take care' as I'm leaving. And that means something to me, even though, I mean, a cashier at the grocery store who I don't know will say that, too. But sometimes I'm waiting for you to say it, and you don't, and this part of me is wondering why you didn't that time. Even though intellectually, I know it doesn't mean anything." T: "I'm glad you're sharing how things like that affect you because I wouldn't have thought of it."

We were at the end, actually slightly over time. I started putting on my jacket to signal I knew we had to stop. When I stood up, I mentioned something about hearing the words about him caring. And he said again how he's said certain things to me and felt he was also showing them through his actions. I said that it's like the words could last for a certain amount of time, then it was like I had to hear them again. And in terms of actions, it can be hard to trust my own interpretation (though I'm working on that). So it's like I have to hear the words, too. That seemed like an "aha!" moment for him. Like he really understood. Went over and paid as he confirmed that I wanted to keep schedule the same next week. We shook hands as T said, "Have a nice weekend--that's one we agreed on, right?" Me: "Yes, thanks, you too." T: "Take care." Me: "You too." (So he remembered that part, too.) I'm not sure if it's clear from my writeup (and I feel, despite the length, like I left some stuff out), but I felt much better about things with him after the conversation. I feel we both understand each other more now.
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Old 03-31-2019, 07:43 PM #148
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That's a good sounding session.

Personally I still don't think he is the best one to help with your strong attachment, like he was saying, he basically gives what you ask for, which is great, but also makes the feelings stronger. I worry this will just keep cycling for you I also agree with him though about going to the source of certain things like your mom.

Yes the care thing is hard but it's obvious he cares, you know he does. He's shown it a lot in your time together, I think it's just hard for you to accept care. I'm not sure if it's a general thing or just a T thing. Like do you question your H or friends care for you or just his? I understand the care issues with having a hard time accepting but for me, it's across the board with anyone. I'm aware of the limits of therapy, so I don't expect the care to be as high or strong as it could be with friends or family (although my family doesn't care)

I did still notice a few times in your write up where you seemed to try to push for the response you want. It's gonna be a hard habit to break but most long term ones are. Maybe you could ask him to go back to helping you with mindfulness and CBT. coping skills etc. Try to move the focus back to you, not to him. That's hard I get it but this is your therapy, not his.

He does have some good qualities, like I always thought I'd dislike him because I loved the relationship I had with T and I needed that trust and comfort but he's probably actually perfect for me. The directness and all. It's more like how baby T is and I need that to stay focused on my issues.

Anyway... again sounded like you had a chance to get some stuff out. Sounds like he heard you, HOPEFULLY you heard him and can start to really try and believe and accept the care,even though it may never be the level you wish it was, it can't be... but accept the amount of it he can give you and maybe a good challenge is to get the level of care you want from T (but are limited with), from your H. Keep trying to build that relationship too and if you are, that's great.
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:18 PM #149
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Default Re: LT's thread

Thanks, DP. I understand some of the concerns you mention. It just feels so different from my relationship with and attachment to ex-MC. The fact that I've considered leaving him and tried seeing other T's speaks to this. With ex-MC, for a long time, the mere thought of ever having to leave him left me sobbing. It's not like with T.

I do have difficulty in general accepting care from people. And worrying that people (friends, etc.) don't want to hang out with me. And I worry that H will suddenly decide he doesn't want to put up with me anymore. That's all been getting better though, particularly in the past year or so, I think from working with T. I think the stuff with accepting care from T is more an authority figure sort of thing.

I do want to get back to mindfulness and other coping strategies. I've tended to try to push away the therapeutic relationship stuff and tried to convince myself it's not important, like "I'll just focus on everything else instead." But then stuff builds up and I need to talk about it. Because I have to have the basic trust and acceptance there to work on the other stuff. I think I need to do what he suggested and bring up things as they're happening. Like if he says something that bothers me, mention it right then (assuming I realize it). Then it can be dealt with quickly instead of turning into a big thing. It's something I'm trying to do with H (and friends, I guess) as well.

I think we both did hear each other. I feel I'm in this battle between what I want and what I need. Maybe more accurately, what I want vs. what is good for me. I want the reassurance and comfort and sort of the warm fuzziness. But I also know that could keep me stuck in a T relationship (if I hadn't had the rupture with ex-MC, not sure I'd have ever wanted to leave). T is trying to keep me moving forward and not get too attached to him to the point that I wouldn't want to leave. He wants clients to become independent and go out and have happy lives (though they're always welcome to come back as needed). He said the ideal for him is if I'm suddenly like, "Wow, I haven't seen T in 3 weeks and that's OK." I feel his keeping me at a distance at times is likely good for me. And his challenging me and pushing me. Even thought that's difficult at times. I think the fact that I'm also able to give him feedback and tell him when I'm unhappy with something is a big step for me in relationships in general. And I'm finding it's spreading out to my outside life, too. Including with H. My intention tomorrow is to get back to the business of therapy working on my outside life rather than discussing the therapeutic relationship any more.
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Old 03-31-2019, 09:02 PM #150
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Default Re: LT's thread

I'm curious about how you feel about the comment about working things out directly with your mom. Working through mom stuff is a major component of my therapy, and it doesn't involve my actual mom at all. It reminds me of the other thread about using transference to cast somebody in a role and then playing out whatever is "stuck" in a more healthy way. My mom is alive but unequivocally unavailable and unable to work on our relationship. I've cast my T in the "mother" role, in part to get the care I've been craving and in part to work through the ways my emotional development got stunted and derailed in childhood. (I also basically stopped trying to have a relationship with my mom at about the same time, not by coincidence). So even if my T and I are talking about the therapeutic relationship (which happens often and in a fairly detailed and intense way), what we're actually talking about is my conception of myself, how I see other people, and how other people see me.

I'm glad Dr. T isn't going there if he doesn't know how to do that, but I also think it's interesting that you keep getting pulled back toward wanting to do therapy that way. I've noticed that my core inner work seems to have a life of its own, so much so that I've long since stopped having an agenda for most of my sessions. It's interesting that your "work" seems to keep dragging you back to particular social dynamics or ideas with him (acceptance, intimacy/vulnerability, caring, etc).

I think you can greatly improve your life and relationships without doing the psychodynamic-y stuff, but I can see that it keeps calling to you, no matter how much you and your T try to steer away from it. I hope you don't feel too affected by value judgments from other people that you should do therapy one way or another because there is value in many different approaches. Focus on the relationship or not, but it's your time.

Unrelatedly, $500 to Verizon?! HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!
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