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Old 04-19-2019, 11:46 AM #11
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Default Re: Manipulated by t?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashleypenwren View Post
Interesting.. I've never heard of that before. Maybe she was having a bad day then. I don't see her as someone who is going to have countertranference issues with me. That is exactly what it felt like though. She pulled the safety line away and I panicked and scrambled. It was worse because I did't know I was playing with fire so to speak.
I can’t say for sure what happened but therapists are people and have their own “stuff” around feeling like they aren’t helping someone or fear of being “left”. A knee jerk response that is ultimately unhelpful is not surprising. Seems like more conversation around this with her is needed..
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:40 PM #12
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Default Re: Manipulated by t?

Her reacting a certain way to try to get you to act a certain way is definitely manipulative. Her actions are independent of yours-they are hers to own.

It sounds to me like she was engaging in power dynamics, perhaps triggered by her own abandonment issues. Either way, I think she acted out.

I would feel betrayed, maybe deceived, which is a trigger for me, so I would not trust the T. I doubt if I could work with someone who had this kind of behavior. Take care.
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:58 PM #13
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Default Re: Manipulated by t?

Just a thought—my understanding is that it's considered unethical for a T to try to convince a client to stay in therapy, if the client says she wants to quit. I would have a big problem with it if my T actually said "I don't care" though.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:09 PM #14
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Default Re: Manipulated by t?

I guess I realize that therapists manipulate all the time. But I don't see manipulation as inherently a negative technique, probably because I am a teacher. We manipulate all the time. I'm a parent. I manipulate all the time (so do my kids, LOL).

You were trying to get a rise out of her, and you did. No, you didn't like how it felt to basically be called on it, but sometimes that is what is needed to cut to the chase.

I don't think it had anything to do with some deeply seeded countertransference dynamic going on. It sounds like she simply was calling you on what you were saying to get you back to a bit of reality.

Talk to her about your reaction. It's worth the discussion.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:41 PM #15
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Default Re: Manipulated by t?

Teachers and parents are authority figures working with children.

Using manipulative techniques on a vulnerable adult by another adult is a power play. Frankly it also seems lazy.

I don’t view this as being called out in a direct way. That would have entailed an honest, confrontational discussion. Avoiding that in leui of basically “well I don’t care about you either” undermined trust in the relationship.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:25 PM #16
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Default Re: Manipulated by t?

It doesn't sound like your T manipulated you. It sounds like your T called your bluff.
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Old 04-22-2019, 06:34 PM #17
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Default Re: Manipulated by t?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashleypenwren View Post
Have you ever been manipulated by a T? My emdr T who I thought I knew pretty well admitted to manipulating me on Wednesday. She has always been really gentle and kind and I trusted her. I was starting to get attached even, because she was so steady and awesome.

On Wednesday I said I feel like leaving therapy even though I'm not better. I told her I think it's a reaction to getting closer to her. I was reaching out for help. She reacted almost opposite of how she normally would. When I've showed any attachment so far she's been happy, and patient when I alternately pull away, but this time she backed off and said she doesn't care if I terminate, she doesn't care if I lose all my progress, she can't do anything for me at this point.

I fell right into the trap and backtracked and more or less poured my heart out saying I was attached and wanted to stay in therapy and the "pulling away" and discussing the end was just posturing.

Then said said, I know. I did that knowing that it would help you see.



I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel about this. How would you feel?
Hi Ashleypenwren,

Thanks for sharing this and I am sorry that you have had a negative experience in therapy.

This is something that I have experienced, so I apologize if my limited insight is in anyway invalidating or judgmental. It is only ever meant to help.

I see two problems, both of which you really should bring up.

The first is the issue with the attachment - which you are very aware of. While she may have been manipulative in her approach, she was upfront about it, which I think shows she is both compassionate and empathetic.

However, the part that is most important to discuss with your therapist is that her methods are a source of harm. While her methods may bring important transference and attachment issues to the forefront (which could in turn expand your awareness and insight), perhaps you can request that she not do it again. Even if she did have the best intentions, her actions have left you feeling manipulated. That means she may not be a good fit, especially if she is not willing to change her methods for you. As much as it may feel she is manipulating you, just remember that feelings are not facts.

Personally I cannot stand when therapists play these little games. I'd rather have a therapist be transparent and willing to talk about the core of the problem rather than do these tactics.

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Old 04-23-2019, 07:08 AM #18
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Default Re: Manipulated by t?

yeah she definitely manipulated you. It doesn't matter if you were bluffing or whatever, she was still manipulative. Of course, therapists have a vested interest in clients staying in therapy because 1) they're a source of income and 2) because it strenghtens their ego. It's a clear conflict of interest - one of course they refuse to ever admit. I would not expect a genuine reaction from a therapist in this context. Frankly she comes off as incredibly immature and childish. "I don't care if you terminate, I don't care if you lose all your progress". REALLY? She sounds like a huge baby.
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:09 AM #19
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Default Re: Manipulated by t?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashleypenwren View Post
I fell right into the trap and backtracked and more or less poured my heart out saying I was attached and wanted to stay in therapy and the "pulling away" and discussing the end was just posturing.

Then said said, I know. I did that knowing that it would help you see.
I guess I don't see it as an unhealthy kind of manipulation, if indeed it was, because of two things:

1) most destructive manipulation goes something like this (outside therapy, at least I hope): "Sleep with me or I'll break up with you." It's motivated to get something one person doesn't want to give because of the fear it invokes of the punishment from the other. In this case, she manipulated you to see the truth and acknowledge it, that you wanted to stay in therapy. You were the one saying disengenuous things, lying to yourself. I'm not trying to be judgey or critical, just saying, would you have prefered she let you wallow in b.s.?

2. The impact of her words was to help you, not to hurt you. I am lost as to how this could benefit her or how there could be that favorite word, counter transference, involved here. I think her words were more truth than not, because she can't really have a substantial stake in whether you stay in therapy or make progress. I'm sure that is what she wants, because she thinks that it will help you. But the bottom line is that if you want to go, she's got to let you go.

Also, she didn't have to tell you that she knew her words would have the desire effect-- to prompt you to be more open about the truth. This was a level of honesty that she didn't need to up. So she didn't try to "trap" you, as you put it, because traps imply she's trying to cage you up or otherwise harm you, and instead she helped set you free from your own b.s.

However, I also think that it is worthwhile for you to discuss it with her and your upsetness. My guess is your feelings may be prompted by feeling "fooled" by other people in the past. I think you also should connect to your own sense of ownership in the sense that not being straight with your therapist may be more likely to produce these kinds of not-straight responses. You can also say you don't want to be manipulated like this again, as you're the client. But regardless of where you land on what might happen in the future, it seems like a good thing to be thoughtful about how you want to do therapy and what it all means. I think there's a lot to unpack here.
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:19 AM #20
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Default Re: Manipulated by t?

I think the responses to this post (and therapist’s actions) speak volumes about the inherent confusion that can occur in therapy. Therapist says something she doesn’t mean, with an underlying purpose. Client is upset and confused. 10 different people interpret the therapist’s actions 10 different ways. No clear answer, so client must go back to confusing therapist to unwind questions and feelings. Which is a good thing, but begs the questions:

1) Even after discussion with the therapist, what is the likelihood of the client to question future actions of the therapist? (“What do you all think she meant by…..?”) Such questioning happens to a large number of clients even with the most transparent of therapists.
2) Is future questioning going to lead to obsession/rumination over small, insignificant therapy events?
3) Will obsession/rumination over therapy events get the client closer to her end goal of therapy? Greater insights maybe? Or is it an unnecessary distraction?
4) Will the client become paranoid that she is being manipulated in other non-manipulative situations?
5) Will a history of confusing behavior from the therapist (even one incident) cause the client to question positive feedback from the therapist? (“Does she really like me? She says she does…”)

I don’t have any answers to this, but I am hoping if the OP expresses her desire NOT to do therapy this way that the therapist is receptive to better transparency and honesty. It does seem positive that the therapist was able to contain whatever it was she was doing to within the therapy hour and didn’t let the client spin for a week.
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