Posts Tagged ‘counseling’

           

            You know, I often think about what my therapist really thinks.  I’m pretty sure the majority of clients do that.  I’ve read a lot about the one sided nature of the therapist/client relationship, I’ve read about how attachment works, I’ve read about how the client wants to occupy a special place in their therapists life.  I’ve done a lot of reading.  It’s an interesting area of study.  This is why I love therapist blogs.  One in particular is What a Shrink Thinks.  It gives you a glimpse of what really goes on in the therapists mind.  It fulfills that craving I feel to know, to see, to really get into that mystical place that is the therapist brain.

            I’ve had the extraordinary opportunity to work with some amazing female therapists.  A few of them were in person and another was online.  I never pass up the chance to say how much I like Discussing Dissociation.  Not that Kathy needs any advertising from me as you’ll see in this article but I don’t mind saying that her blog and one on one sessions I’ve had with her have been invaluable.  I’ve never had a male therapist so I have no idea what that relationship would look like or feel like.  I don’t know that I could even build that relationship.  But the women whose care I’ve been under for significant periods of time, well they’ve just been fantastic.

            I saw my first therapist when I was 15 and she continues to be a part of my life.  We’ve sort of segued into a hybrid sort of friendship but with boundaries sort of relationship.  I know that if I still lived in the same city as her I could call and seek therapy from her and she would be perfectly willing.  I also know that if I called and asked if she’d like to go for coffee she’d oblige me that way as well.  I know that I can send her a joke on Facebook just as easily as I can send her a private email asking about her health.  I know these things emotionally, intellectually.  I know them deeply.

            Another woman I worked with was quite the opposite of that first therapist.  She did not allow hugging or touching but still managed to develop affection for me and me for her.  She was very closed off about her personal life; it was not something we discussed at any great length at all.  But I grew to care deeply for this relationship, to depend on it for my very life.  When circumstances forced us to part ways when I left the city she told me that she would never forget me and that our experience changed the way she would conduct therapy in a profound way.  That made me feel so good.  It could have been a line she fed me but I really don’t believe that.  I believe she was being genuine and her declaration was heartfelt.  I have called her since leaving and she has been helpful in trying to find new resources for me.  Though she gently encourages me to rely more and more on the therapist I’m seeing now.  That is her style.  To push me in the direction I need to go however painful it might be is what she has always done.

            Anyway, what all this rambling is about is just to demonstrate that every therapist has their own style, their own way of dealing with the complexities of their job.  And to also talk about what it’s like to want to be a bigger, more important part of your therapist’s life.  What is it like to really get inside their minds?

            I haven’t yet developed that need, that attachment with my current therapist.  I feel as though I’m right there ready to take the leap. I just need one more push, one more reason, a teensy bit more reassurance that the leap will be worth it.

            I’ll be writing more about this subject again, but this is a good rough start.  Tell me what you think about the relationship you have with your therapist.  I know for multiples there are so many different levels and layers.  How do you deal with all of that?

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So let’s talk therapy.  There are so many different kinds of therapy.  Different theories, different modes, different styles.  How many different kind of therapy do you think you’ve been exposed to?  I’m trying to remember.  There’s been individual counselling as well as a few couple sessions.  I’ve done several different types of group therapy.  I’ve done online chatting both individually and as a group.  I’ve also done forums and of course this blog I would also consider therapy, albeit self-directed.

I’ve been taught CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy).  I’ve had one counsellor that described her style as coming from a feminist perspective, another as a family systems theorist.  There’s client centered healing, oh  and my latest read was based on a Janetian theory which pays much attention to hierarchies of action systems.  There are many things you do in therapy like processing memories and learning practical skills.  There are countless theories and approaches.

I look at this and I think, “I should be the healthiest person around!”  There are a thousand types of therapy I’ve not been exposed to as well.  Do you know what theories your therapist is partial to?  Do you think yo have the right to know?  when I was younger it didn’t even occur to me to ask.  When I was moving to escape the bad guys I did ask that therapist what her main perspective came from so that I could tell any future therapist what I had worked with in the past.  Then I read this article by Kathy Broady and she talks about her approach at great length with her clients.

I have a great deal of respect for Kathy.  I discovered Discussing Dissociation when I was without a therapist after i moved.  i found all of the articles so informative and so in tune with what my experiences were.  Kathy is very knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to DID.  I know there has been some controversy out there about her but from my own personal experience, she’s been great.  A life saver even.

Anyway, I just wanted to p[ut these few questions out to see where you all stand.  Do you know what theories your therapist ascribes to?  Do you have a particular approach you feel you respond to better than others?  For any therapist out there, do you feel you are flexible as to what theory you use according to what client or do you stay rigidly within one or two?  Let me know what you’re thinking.

I am living in a very cold place.  I don’t mean that figuratively.  I mean literally a cold place.  It’s currently -14 degrees Celsius with a windchill of -25.  It has warmed up a little.  This place is not my original home, though I have managed to make it feel like home now.  I have been here for a little over two years.  My wife and I moved here with 5 days notice.  We packed up our lovely 2 bedroom apartment in a 19′ moving truck and put the fur babies (2 cats, 1 dog) in the car and hit the open road for two days. it sounds like an interesting adventure doesn’t it?  The truth was, we were scared out of our freaking minds. Neither of us knew what the hell we were getting ourselves into.  No job lined up, no home, no friends or family.  What would become of us? But we were running for our safety, running for our well being, running for our lives!

I was abused by my uncle since the age of 3 or 4.  He belonged to a group of men that exchanged children to be used as play things.  We were objects, pawns in a game meant only to satisfy whatever twisted, sadistic needs they had.  There were some women involved too, though they weren’t major contributors.  Women were beneath them.

When I went into counselling at the end of 2007 it was to deal with anxiety and depression that were interfering with my work life and personal life.  It was through the process of self discovery that memories bagan to emerge.  It’s a long ongoing saga but the point is that once it became clear to my uncle and his freinds that I was talking they began to apply pressure. My abuse was ongoing unbeknownst to me in the beginning of counselling.  eventually I was able to connect to those parts of me that held the abusive content.  As a customer service specialist in a big box store I had to deal with people all the time.  These men began to harass me at work on a weekly basis.  This escalated to the point in which I was sexually assaulted in a locked bathroom at work and also being attacked in my own home.  Numerous threats were made against my wife as well. These assaults were revealed to my wife in a counselling session where the social worker said enough is enough.  We need to get you out of here and safe now.  So the planning began and 5 days later I was living in a homeless shelter in a new city.

I guess I don’t really have a point in telling you all of this.  I just felt that I’d let you all get to know me a little better. What my history involves.  I’m not really telling it right.  You see,, this is the problem.  I rattle on about things while I’m completely devoid of human emotion.  This was a very big deal and it affected my life greatly.  I don’t think that’s getting across.  I can feel that my writing doesn’t contain any feeling.  Perhaps I’ll just leave you with a little piece of writing.

Have a good night.

Mind is racing, child’s bracing for the night to come.

She try’s to think of things up a-bove so she doesn’t see.

Heart is pounding, thoughts are founding members of a club.

Stairs are creaking, life force leaking further from her grasp.

Memories forming.  All is storming.  Never will forget.

Though she hides it, ignores this one bit, she will soon grow up.

When this happens she will tell friends. Don’t believe a word.

My whole brain is stuck on all his crimes against this world.