Therapy - useful, but...

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Lifeohlife2

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Therapy - useful, but...
« on: June 26, 2018, 11:52:25 AM »
Hi all!

It's been a while since I posted - mainly because it's been going quite well. But I had some thoughts on the journey, that I wanted to share.

I'm currently seeing a therapist, and she has been invaluable in terms of getting some distance from my FOO and realising my lack of guilt, or should I say, innocence, in all of this. I think I have developed a really strong, trusting relationship with her which I value. HOWEVER - here is the downside, which I have noted recently, and in gradual increments. I think I am becoming co-dependent with her. My suspicion has been raised by a couple of things - a) she seems to give me advice on a few topics, suggesting I could tackle things in certain specific ways. This makes me concerned, as I've often heard therapists theoretically shouldn't do this. B) I feel a bit like I'm being 'dragged around' in some of our interactions, like my will comes in second to hers. I think this is mirroring what I used to do for my mother, essentially giving her space that was actually rightfully mine.

I have addressed this with her and her response was something I could deal with. She basically said that the patterns going on outside of therapy can often replay in therapy. She made the point that it is something we could work on in our sessions. But something unsettled me, mainly the sense that she can be getting unconscious in those moments where she feels like she can drag me around (examples are guessing for me what I would like, or wanted to say, interrupting my train of thought to suggest and insert hers). Having borne the scapegoat role for my immediate family members, I think that I am at risk of opening to shadow material from others, basically taking on emotional baggage that the owners would rather not directly work on. I find myself questioning how to find or stay with a therapist, healer and the like, without going down this road.

I think I have done good work with this therapist, so I'd rather not leave her.
What can I do to protect myself from having another therapist break my trust?

Sending you all love and light!!

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all4peace

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Re: Therapy - useful, but...
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2018, 12:08:26 PM »
You're so insightful and observant! I think it's great you've already addressed this with her. What do you think of giving it another few sessions and maybe one more reminder to see if she's able to adjust? I think it's a great sign that she listened and acknowledged that patterns could repeat in therapy. I think it's not a great sign that she's not a more centered, grounded therapist who can withstand the pull of old patterns, and that she interrupts you in therapy.

So, I vote for giving it a little more time, but then going with your gut and leaving if it's doing more harm than good.

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louisebt

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Re: Therapy - useful, but...
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2018, 12:13:10 PM »
You are showing a lot of insight here into your tendencies. The therapist seems to have some insight, but the proof will be if you can actually work together in your sessions, if you can challenge her and say 'I think I need to work that bit out for myself' 'no i disagree with that' and judge her responses to that.

Remember therapists are just people too with some extra training, and vary in their own self awareness. Some have their own trauma which means getting positive regard and connection with clients can be a bit intoxicating for them and the dynamic can become unhealthy.

Real, authentic intimate relationships imho, whether in therapy or in life, are robust enough to stand direct challenge and 'hashing things out' through honest and non reactive communication. Exactly the skills being brought up with PD's didn't prepare us for!


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daughterofbpd

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Re: Therapy - useful, but...
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2018, 12:57:31 PM »
This doesnít sound like a healthy therapist relationship to me. My first therapist did help me initially in my healing journey but we quickly got to a point where I felt like she was inserting her personal experience too much. Although she validated me, I also felt like she was advocating more time with my mother, trying to come up with compromises, etc. I think her role as a grandmother got in the way and she was putting herself in the role of my mom. I thought "You admit this person is abusive but you are trying to find ways I can spend MORE time with her??!" I gave her the benefit of the doubt thinking maybe I needed to communicate better what I needed. At the same time, I kept trying to politely clarify with her regarding my insurance as didnít feel I was supposed to be paying her the full price for visits. She kept shutting me down and I thought she was just being an assertive business woman. After speaking with my insurance company, I found out that the therapist was not only over charging me but was getting paid TWICE Ė once from me, once from my insurance. At that point, I wrote a very professional email outlining the monies I had paid and requested a refund. T wrote back blaming me and gave me a sob story about how insurance doesnít pay her enough (even though she signed a contract with them) but agreed to give me the refund. I couldnít go back to her after that and wondered if she might be PD herself, given the waif, manipulation, and bullying tactics she used with me.

I happened to get a referral for a psychologist in my insurance network the next time and the difference was night and day. She asked questions to help me try to figure out what I wanted and what I was feeling. She didnít give me specific advice, just the tools to help me make my own decisions. AND she clearly understood how insurance and billing worked.

It is good that you addressed your concerns with your T but I am skeptical that this is something you could work on or change. Iíve read about PD parents on this forum who are in the mental health field so just because she is a T doesnít mean she has self awareness, etc. I tend to be pretty untrusting however, so maybe try another session or a few more and go with your gut.

I know it isnít easy to open yourself up to a T in the first place. It is really great that you are aware this is happening and wanting to change. Good luck!
ďHow starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your egoĒ
~ Amanda Torroni

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Lifeohlife2

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Re: Therapy - useful, but...
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2018, 10:41:38 AM »
Hi guys,

Thanks for your insights and support.

It's been kind of destabilising, this feeling that I might not be able to trust her. Because in some ways your therapist becomes your anchor - a guiding post towards your authentic self. And she's done a good job getting me out of the depths, but I think that perhaps she has gotten a bit interested in the saviour role. What I liked about her initially was that she didn't seem to go with that and kept treating me as independent, capable of taking care of myself - now, I'm a bit less sure.

I think I will give her a few more attempts. I'd really like to hope that we actually can sort through these issues, and I can find my own voice again and make sure it is heard as much as hers. But the underlying fear there is that each therapist, healer etc. relationship, will at some point devolve into one where I am providing something to them.

Without that anchor, I sense that my scapegoated self is getting more activated and my true self is working twice as hard to keep things on even keel.

You're so insightful and observant! I think it's great you've already addressed this with her. What do you think of giving it another few sessions and maybe one more reminder to see if she's able to adjust? I think it's a great sign that she listened and acknowledged that patterns could repeat in therapy. I think it's not a great sign that she's not a more centered, grounded therapist who can withstand the pull of old patterns, and that she interrupts you in therapy.

So, I vote for giving it a little more time, but then going with your gut and leaving if it's doing more harm than good.
Thanks all4peace! I'm also hoping she might be able to work with me on this, because it is such a key theme for me in relationships.

You are showing a lot of insight here into your tendencies. The therapist seems to have some insight, but the proof will be if you can actually work together in your sessions, if you can challenge her and say 'I think I need to work that bit out for myself' 'no i disagree with that' and judge her responses to that.

Remember therapists are just people too with some extra training, and vary in their own self awareness. Some have their own trauma which means getting positive regard and connection with clients can be a bit intoxicating for them and the dynamic can become unhealthy.

Real, authentic intimate relationships imho, whether in therapy or in life, are robust enough to stand direct challenge and 'hashing things out' through honest and non reactive communication. Exactly the skills being brought up with PD's didn't prepare us for!



Thanks Louisebt :) Yea, I'd agree - it's a strange balance to strike, where she's helping me to get out of certain roles where my autonomy has been compromised, but she can also compromise that very autonomy. aaah!

This doesnít sound like a healthy therapist relationship to me. My first therapist did help me initially in my healing journey but we quickly got to a point where I felt like she was inserting her personal experience too much. Although she validated me, I also felt like she was advocating more time with my mother, trying to come up with compromises, etc. I think her role as a grandmother got in the way and she was putting herself in the role of my mom. I thought "You admit this person is abusive but you are trying to find ways I can spend MORE time with her??!" I gave her the benefit of the doubt thinking maybe I needed to communicate better what I needed. At the same time, I kept trying to politely clarify with her regarding my insurance as didnít feel I was supposed to be paying her the full price for visits. She kept shutting me down and I thought she was just being an assertive business woman. After speaking with my insurance company, I found out that the therapist was not only over charging me but was getting paid TWICE Ė once from me, once from my insurance. At that point, I wrote a very professional email outlining the monies I had paid and requested a refund. T wrote back blaming me and gave me a sob story about how insurance doesnít pay her enough (even though she signed a contract with them) but agreed to give me the refund. I couldnít go back to her after that and wondered if she might be PD herself, given the waif, manipulation, and bullying tactics she used with me.

I happened to get a referral for a psychologist in my insurance network the next time and the difference was night and day. She asked questions to help me try to figure out what I wanted and what I was feeling. She didnít give me specific advice, just the tools to help me make my own decisions. AND she clearly understood how insurance and billing worked.

It is good that you addressed your concerns with your T but I am skeptical that this is something you could work on or change. Iíve read about PD parents on this forum who are in the mental health field so just because she is a T doesnít mean she has self awareness, etc. I tend to be pretty untrusting however, so maybe try another session or a few more and go with your gut.

I know it isnít easy to open yourself up to a T in the first place. It is really great that you are aware this is happening and wanting to change. Good luck!

I'm also super mistrusting, lol. This has come up in our sessions too, and so far - I've been pretty satisfied with her answers to my challenges. So, for the time being, holding on to this one.

I just find it really frustrating when other people don't notice that they are casting you in a certain role - it makes you invisible, and that is a really hard place to get any traction. Ideally I want to stop asking for permission to be seen, heard, understood, validated, appreciated, the list goes on....I want to just claim it!

what also happens is that I manage to make others feel really good about themselves, by handing them the saviour role.

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LSK1999

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Re: Therapy - useful, but...
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2018, 10:29:19 AM »
I just wanted to say thanks so much for posting this. I have had 2 relationships with T that I think helped initially but went nowhere fast. My latest T had zero clue as to what I was dealing with and I was doing more of the therapy than her. She was taking notes from me???? I soon after started to see she was triggering me and actually making me feel worse. I know now it's because she was likely confused as I had so much insight, she thought that should equate to healing. She was frustrated ( it's now obvious) and I found the way she began to relate to me as invalidating and triggering. She started to say things like " I don't understand because you know that isn't true", etc. and it was like being not heard or validated all over again. I am at this point exhausted by the idea of trying again with another T, my fiance keeps suggesting it, but I trust no one to understand. I can't find a T in my area that specializes in the areas of PD's or trauma. It's frustrating, and I certainly am not interested in paying a T to take notes from me...lol.  :stars: This is a big issue for a lot of us I think, especially with issues so complex. Thanks again for bringing light to an important topic. Big Hugs and I hope this really works out for you. :)

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Lifeohlife2

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Re: Therapy - useful, but...
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2018, 04:54:08 AM »
Thanks LSK1999! Me too, although I am really confused as to whether it has

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Lifeohlife2

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Re: Therapy - useful, but...
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2018, 01:43:47 PM »
Meant to write more than that, ha.

I'm really exhausted by this problem as well. I've just tried a new T and it seems to just have opened up even more work for myself - her strategy was basically one involving speaking your mind at every turn. Something that gets really tricky, not to mention exhausting, when she keeps asking questions mid-way, clarifying, poking and prodding. This is where I feel like people's subconscious is what I seem to get responsibility for - like whatever material they can't handle, it gets pushed over through this really subtle but real process of me having to meet them where they are, no matter where they are. If I stay in my lane, no one is coming to "get me" there. It's so saddening and like, I see how even friendships are  being affected. I just went for a road trip with a friend yesterday - and we even vibed on the topic of difficult mothers - but somehow I still ended up on the other side of the fence having to pull her along. I'm not sure if this analogy makes sense... but this is how it feels anyway. I'm going to see my original T in a couple of weeks and really hope that helps to settle this scapegoat/overcompensating side of me. Just so nervous in case she's not able to do her job!

I totally get you on the insights. I get told that all the time, and it may well be true but I think it's kinda a biproduct of having to explain the world to my mom from a very young age. I would settle for being less insightful and more tuned into what I want  :roll:

Anyway, glad to hear it resonated, and thanks for the positive feedback :) hoping there are more fish in the sea of professional therapists who know how to do their job!!

Big hugs back and hope you too find a solution!