Therapy
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Tangled Web Offline
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#1
Therapy
I spoke to my therapist today on the phone. I was calling her to see if she had an appointment available for today which she didn't so we talked on the phone instead.
We have been seeing her for 2 years now. (well 2 yrs in Feb)
Lately we have been trying to discuss with her the "issues" we have been having with her.
She finds us very challenging and we have talked with her at length about this. This not something we are doing on purpose (being difficult) and we finally believe her when she tells us that she knows that we aren't doing it on purpose.
She tells us she loves the challenge and really enjoys working with us. She also tells us that by the time we are done in therapy she believes she will be a much better therapist.
This has opened the door for us/me to discuss things that she does or doesn't do that bother us. This is new territory for us so we tread lightly and carefully. We need to define the relationship or at least understand it before we delve any deeper than where we have been.
It is very time consuming. It is difficult because she will ask us what we need from her and trying to get her to understand sometimes is like pulling teeth. She doesn't get it. All we want her to do is to just "get it". But we don't know how to explain it to her so we go through this process of trying to explain it to her. It is difficult.
I honestly don't think it is that hard to understand but I am proven wrong so many times and don't understand why it is SO hard to understand me. The missing piece we have figured out is that I need to be validated-that is her word to what I have needed from her. I don't really care what the word is as long I feel heard and understood--that is all I have been looking for.
So the issue we have moved onto now is that she tells me I don't need to protect her and that she can handle whatever I have to say. The jury is still out on that one............
Here is the thing.........she is very careful with me when she talks and she chooses her words very carefully-even to the point of stumbling over her words and changing the direction of what she says in mid sentence. For me this makes it very difficult to trust her.
It causes doubt.
Like she is trying to hide what she what really thinks and just telling me what she thinks I want to hear. This is something we have discussed at length about also and she tells me she doesn't tell me what I want to hear and she isn't any good at that. BUT it feels that way to a point. It also makes me feel like she is handling me like a china doll that is easily broken and she is wearing such thick kid gloves on as to not break me-which goes against what she has told me numerous times also that she thinks I can do this and can handle healing and this process. But it doesn't FEEL that way that she actually believes that if she did then why does it feel like she handling me like a china doll?
It also makes me feel like she is unsure of herself and that could be why she stumbles so much over her words so maybe it is true she wants to help BUT has no idea how even though she thinks and has said she can help us. BUT wanting to help and knowing you are able to help are two different things. Maybe she isn't aware what she is able to do and what she isn't able to do.
Then there comes the issue of her saying that she is able to handle what I have to say and that I don't need to protect her--which I really want to be true BUT what if it isn't? I can't go any further with her until I know and I have no idea how to actually know if what she says is true. IF she has the need to choose her words SO carefully with me to protect me from something-thinking it is the truth why wouldn't I try to protect her from the very same thing? Does that make sense?
She tells me that she is like this with everyone and always thinks through things before she speaks and she is not that different outside of therapy with people then she is when she is doing therapy with people. IF that is true then this is a lifetime habit of hers one that will not be changed--so what do you do with that? I have no idea..........Thanks for listening
"You may not remember what someone says or does, but you will never forget how they made you feel" Mac Anderson.
01-23-2015, 07:53 PM
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orek Offline
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#2
Friendship/Support  RE: Therapy
"It also makes me feel like she is unsure of herself and that could be why she stumbles so much over her words so maybe it is true she wants to help BUT has no idea how even though she thinks and has said she can help us. BUT wanting to help and knowing you are able to help are two different things. Maybe she isn't aware what she is able to do and what she isn't able to do."

That was my thinking, too. And maybe she's projecting and feels fragile and unsure of herself, so she's acting as if she thinks you are. And--she told you you're challenging? wtf? How was that therapeutic to tell you that? I have so many red flags poking me in the eye from this and previous posts about her that I'm very concerned. She may not be an awful or purposely harmful T, but I suspect she's not experienced and/or knowledgeable enough for what you need. It's not your job to train her to be a better T. You deserve one that you can gain confidence in right now. It took a long while with our last T to feel safe because of bad or inadequate past therapies, but our confidence in her skill grew the more we met, and any concerns that arose early on were minor and quickly put to rest. And with our current T we were concerned when we started--mostly I can see now because her relational style was so different from our retired T's style and also because she's younger than our body age, a first for us--but our confidence in her skill and knowledge and ability to handle the therapy has grown exponentially with every encounter. And when we've discussed concerns, we've ended up satisfied.

You deserve the same, whichever end of the extremes I mentioned, because both times our T held/holds the space and keeps her own issues separate from her clients' issues, not letting personal stuff interfere. You HAVE to trust your T knows what she's doing. And you don't. You don't owe it to her to stay. Please at least consider researching other Ts. You know best what you need, but I've stayed in inadequate Ts before both because I doubted the validity of my own gut concerns and also because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Also, a familiar "okay" might feel better than the unknown. But surely there's a better fit for you out there?

So sorry you have to deal with all this confusion and uncertainty.
01-23-2015, 09:23 PM
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nats Offline
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#3
RE: Therapy
wanting to help and knowing you are able to help ARE two different things and she sounds like me may not be aware what she is able to do and not do.

seconding orek. that's what it sounds like. T overconfidence. are you getting more benefit than harm from this relationship? we stopped T eventually b/c of not being able to get around exactly what you're describing. we just went round in circles. however, sometimes you've described really good progress so it may be a balance. bottom line question is whether you feel more good than harm.
Blush Learn how to manage conflict, because the greater the level you can tolerate, the more freedom you will retain - E. Walsh Smile
01-24-2015, 07:59 AM
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Tangled Web Offline
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#4
RE: Therapy
Thank you for your feedback.
I think I might have steered this conversation down the wrong path and given you all the wrong idea. The above message I wrote was my perceptions of things and where my mind goes but that doesn't mean it is accurate or tells the whole story. My T has been a good T to us/me. She does try really hard with us and I know it is not easy for her. Our life can be pretty complicated in how we think which is why we rarely share what we really think. We have some things to work out with her and this being one of them. This issue we are having is more about us than her.
You see I choose my words very carefully for various reason and try really hard to think before I speak--mostly it is because I don't want to give to much of myself away in a sentence and try to figure out what the "right" answer SHOULD be--and then tell people what they want/need to hear. It is something we learned from childhood and it is hard to break that pattern and we also do that to protect the image I portray to people. That is important to me. So when she does that and it feels like she is stumbling over her words-the place I go in my mind is what I have already stated above because that is what WE do. That doesn't mean that is what she is doing............and that is why we needed to clarify it. But when we get stuck in that thinking we go to that place where we think she can't help us-and all these doubts come into our mind--because we feel that there is no help for us. We get scared.
We are making progress with her and to be completely honest for the first time in our life we are letting her see small pieces of us-of who we really are and not who we portray ourselves to be. She has handled it well. But it terrifies me to no end. This is one of those times where I have actually told her what we thought and how we think on this level...... she had no idea...... which is a huge step for us.
Her experience in dealing with trauma is extensive. She has dealt with dissociation and abuse survivors for over 20 years. She hasn't had a lot of experience in dealing with DID specifically like us--who have real people that come out-- but she does have the background to handle trauma.

Orek--sorry for the red flags--hopefully this will help clarify things more. As for her telling me that I am challenging to her--to me that has some therapeutic properties to it--not sure if that is the right way to say that. But for me it shows me that she understands how complicated things can be. Not that I mean to be challenging in any way and she knows that about me-it isn't something I do on purpose--but it is challenging and she is just being honest with me which is one of her valued traits. I make her think hard with the questions I ask her and the classic answers that are given don't generally apply to my questions.
She actually listened to my concerns and is going to take a look at it and evaluate what she does. That is "new" for us and a good thing I think. In hind sight now I guess I should of told her the above explanations are what we do when we stumble over our words and are wondering if she does it for the same reasons. Didn't occur to me to mention that.

Thank you for your support though and having my back.......it means ALOT!
"You may not remember what someone says or does, but you will never forget how they made you feel" Mac Anderson.
01-24-2015, 02:07 PM
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The People Offline
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#5
RE: Therapy
We met with a T several years back. As she is of Asian descent I found it difficult to determine how old she was. She looked like she was fresh out of school. I actually brought that up to her, my fear of her not handling me and my sh*t. She responded that she could look after herself.

This proved to be true. She had very good boundaries, listened well and understood DID. We really liked her. We came very far in our short time with her.

As for the stumbling over words are you always present? Are there some alters who do get upset when she doesn't choose her words carefully. To be honest that would drive me bonkers as well. I would rather they pause and gather their thoughts as opposed to stumbling like that.

One way to look at it is that we are all human, Monomind or DID. As a result we all do things that irritate or worry others. I can obsess on such things but I find it to be an obstruction re getting any work done.

One T that we worked with for a long time was a bit OCD, self acknowledged. She could not stand anything on her desk out of order. So I would come in and start talking. She would tidy which would make me crazy even though she said "keep going I'm listening!" It drove me crazy however. So I learned to either not talk or chit chat while she took a few seconds to tidy and I had her full attention. She was my first post dx T and we certainly had our ups and downs . But we did work hard together and with her help I came a long way.
01-24-2015, 05:38 PM
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orek Offline
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#6
RE: Therapy
No apologies necessary, Tangled. As long as she works for you all, that's what matters. I'm glad to hear it!
01-24-2015, 09:41 PM
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