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Old 04-18-2019, 04:52 PM #11
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Default Re: The topic of warmth and connection

Seems like the acknowledgement that what they are saying is from a therapeutic lens is pretty "real." I don't know why I should care what they personally think. If I did want personal opinions on something, I'd just go online and ask people.

I don't need to make a paid appointment to obtain a personal opinion.

That said, I wouldn't be very impressed if the one I see said something like that because it sounds pompous and condescending. Reminds me of how missbella was talking about dominance signaling in another thread.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:03 PM #12
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Default Re: The topic of warmth and connection

Quote:
Originally Posted by susannahsays View Post
Seems like the acknowledgement that what they are saying is from a therapeutic lens is pretty "real." I don't know why I should care what they personally think. If I did want personal opinions on something, I'd just go online and ask people.

I don't need to make a paid appointment to obtain a personal opinion.

That said, I wouldn't be very impressed if the one I see said something like that because it sounds pompous and condescending. Reminds me of how missbella was talking about dominance signaling in another thread.
A therapist ‘pausing’, saying ‘well’ and then adding ‘as a therapist’ is definitely avoiding a personal opinion and providing a more therapeutic one, so I agree with you. However, as the questions I am referring to are often asked because I already disagree with this therapeutic answer I anticipate they will deliver, a more personal one works better for me as it may agree with my personal view. This then strengthens my view, which can be purposeful in so many ways in terms of how I choose to approach things, which the client is the one who always decides. A more therapeutic one, which may not be so useful (because not everything is completely valid and/or representative of the wider population), may shut down something important.

Ignore me if none of this makes sense 👀
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:18 PM #13
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Default Re: The topic of warmth and connection

It sounds like you have a specific incident in mind. Without knowing what it is, other people can only give general answers. From the above it sounds like you're looking for ways to get answers that confirm what you already think and to dismiss any answers that conflict with your opinion. I'm not sure if that's what you actually meant but it's consistent with your responses in this thread.
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Old 04-18-2019, 06:05 PM #14
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Default Re: The topic of warmth and connection

I think my T is like the poster T for warmth and connection! Everything in his office and waiting room are set up so that what ever you need in a safe space you *should* be able to find it.
Then all of his behaviors, especially in the beginning are specific to not triggering and to make people feel safe.
He uses we a lot rather than “you” or “clients” and uses my name frequently. He believes strongly that the safer I feel they more I can get out of therapy. He works very hard to never let my anxiety get above a 2 on a scale of 1-10. He gently made me promise the first session that if he ever does anything that hurts or scares me he needs to know right away so he can fix it. He is very attuned with what I am feeling in the moment even if I am not. He is willing to hold my hand, move his chair, give hugs... just to help me feel safer and more secure. He gives a lot of information about himself and his self care journey. He knows I don’t feel like I am getting to see him enough and so he will preemptively say something like “our sessions always feel too short don’t they” even though he is too busy to see me longer/more. This week I bombarded him with emails berating myself for not being able to connect in session and for emailing too much and got this reply:
“There are always reasons for the behavior that we demonstrate. Trauma has its twists and turns directing our lives in ways that one may not wish. We will keep exploring in a safe environment so you can have the freedom to be who you are.”
It is important to him that clients can reach out to him when they need to even if he might not be able to reply. Safe and non-judging guide all of his therapeutic interactions. He shares a lot of his feelings. He welcomes me with open arms when I am excited to see him and when I want to push him away.
Having done some googling beyond appropriate parameters I also know this is who he is outside his office, he is consistsnd and authentic.
He does a lot of meditation and grounding to be able to stay fully present to his clients.
He always gives off little warnings or tests things out on a super small scale before really bringing them up in session. Ie, “you said the phrase “too much”. Couple times now... so I know when he feels I am ready we will be talking about that when he feels I am ready.
He unabashedly tries to be good enough dad for me each and every session.
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Old 04-18-2019, 06:08 PM #15
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Default Re: The topic of warmth and connection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmon77 View Post
It sounds like you have a specific incident in mind. Without knowing what it is, other people can only give general answers. From the above it sounds like you're looking for ways to get answers that confirm what you already think and to dismiss any answers that conflict with your opinion. I'm not sure if that's what you actually meant but it's consistent with your responses in this thread.
My responses do indeed appear to do this, when initially I asked for the perspective of others. Another thing to work on in therapy perhaps!
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Old 04-19-2019, 02:04 AM #16
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Default Re: The topic of warmth and connection

[QUOTE=darkside8;6506256]Many comments in hopealwayz thread have mentioned warmth and connection in therapy, and how for some therapists, this is not important, or that this is not the approach they take.

Generally speaking, therapists do need to work on building connection to some degree in order to form a good relationship.

I’m interested however, in relation to the blank slate therapist, what a therapist who really wants to show/build warmth and connection would look like? What do they do, or not do, during the therapy process that makes it clear that they value warmth and connection? (Quote)

I had a therapist who was mainly blank slate (T2). It was a bit like talking to a wall at times, though she did have a certain warmth. Most of what I said she related back to my childhood, or she reflected back to me what I said to her. She almost never said anything relating to her self. Despite this, I really really liked her, but I felt insecure talking to her and I kept trying to make more of a connection and she kept rejecting that, I had to stop seeing her in the end, painfully. My current T is really different. In answer to your question - ‘what does she do to make it clear that she values warmth and connection?’: if I talk about books or the theatre, she gives her own views about the book or another book, she occasionally says personal things about her own experiences in life. She has lent me books, a film that she liked that related to what I talked about, she gave me something for my dog as a transitional object. She shows her personal/ emotional response to the things I say. She says that she thinks about things I say between sessions.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:02 PM #17
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Default Re: The topic of warmth and connection

This is interesting.

I'm not sure that blank slate has to mean lack of warmth and connection. People who have responded here have given a lot of examples of their Ts self-disclosing. I suppose this helps with the feeling of connection?

I know very little about my T, compared to many posters here. However, I would say she's warm and we have a good connection. The warmth comes from, I think, empathy and validation. The connection is a result of trusting that she knows me.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:43 AM #18
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Default Re: The topic of warmth and connection

Ex-marriage counselor was quite warm and focused a lot on connecting with clients. Some of that was body language and tone of voice, some of it was lots of validation, self-disclosure, joking around, etc. It was very effective for me and I felt quite connected to him and safe with him, though I think it also really fueled my paternal transference.


Current T, who knows ex-MC, has mentioned his (ex-MC's) being "warm and fuzzy" to the point that he's "squishy." T has said that in comparison, he is "caring, but not warm and fuzzy." That seems fairly accurate, but he does show some warmth and/or fuzziness to me at times. It's like I can draw it out of him, in a way (maybe that's a transference/countertransference thing?) But I think his not being over-the-top warm like ex-MC was has helped keep me from developing the same sort of transference for him. He is good at creating and maintaining a connection and rapport though--one way is that he'll joke around with me (which is a way I connect to people). We just sort of "click" in a way that I didn't with ex-T (she was less on building the connection and wasn't particularly warm--well, near the end she was, I guess). He's said before that he thinks the relationship is the biggest determinant of success in therapy, that it's less about the specific methods used (he's cited studies with this finding).
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:55 AM #19
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Default Re: The topic of warmth and connection

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkside8 View Post
I’m interested however, in relation to the blank slate therapist, what a therapist who really wants to show/build warmth and connection would look like? What do they do, or not do, during the therapy process that makes it clear that they value warmth and connection?
I think that it is not only what the therapist does to show and build warmth, which IME with my current T, he doesn't generate an instant "warm and fuzzy" perception, nor is he cold and aloof, but what I do. I think his "blank slate" has nothing to do with self disclosure, which he does a ton of, but how his slate allows me to feel warmth and connection when I'm able to tap into it within myself. If I'm in a place where I'm not open to feeling it, then it doesn't happen. If I am open and willing to feel it, it happens. I don't think he "does" anything at all, he is just is. It's me who opens or shuts the door.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:22 AM #20
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Default Re: The topic of warmth and connection

The woman described herself as warm and actually thought of herself as connected with me. I have no idea what she was going on about. There are people I find warm and to whom I am connected, but she was not amongst them.

I think a good many therapists believe they are those things whether they actually are or not
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