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How Do You Make The Most Of A Therapy Session?

Discussion in 'Treatment & Therapy' started by Awakening, Nov 25, 2007.

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  1. Awakening

    Awakening Well-Known Member

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    Looking for tips, advice, challenges after another frustrating session.

    Disclaimer:
    My therapist says not to berate myself for my behaviour in our session, that it's okay with her that I become defensive. That I'm working very hard, and don't need to push myself any harder then I am. Patience & pacing apparently.

    Goal:
    To talk about my traumas in detail, release relevant emotions with the support of my therapist, who I believe is the right one for me.

    Problem:
    No matter how ready I feel. Despite writing out what I want to say, I become angry, frustrated & defensive. It seems an automatic, uninvited defense mechanism comes up with no warning in our session when triggered.

    The trigger:
    My therapist was empathetic. We were discussing a situation and she remarked 'that's very sad', and I hated it. My therapist says it's like I grab a cricket bat & start whacking her over the head whenever she says anything 'nice' or expresses 'empathy' or 'concern' or caring.

    My question/s:
    How can I stop being defensive? Apparently I shut people out quite deliberately. So how can I let them in? How can I make myself feel safe?

    Can anyone relate & what do you do in session to make yourself feel safe? Is it a cognitive thing?

    How can you over-ride a defense mechanism? Or should I just ride it out?
     
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  3. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Sometimes concerned is just not the best method to achieve the goal with a sufferer. Sometimes you need brute force, more often than not actually when dealing with trauma. The sheer impact that trauma has had upon you needs a significant motivational shove to get it out of you.
     
  4. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP

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    the right therapist can make a world of difference. i had much trouble talking, but i found i could write somewhat, so i took poems and other writings to her--she realized it was time for the talk, and she'd push me, gently, into talking by asking a couple questions without actually naming anything specific. llong way out, but i'm gettting there. oh yeah, when things start flooding from too much talking, she'd talk about other things and how to calm, etc. til i was ready to go on.
    i had another therapist that was all--"i see, and how do you feel about that?"
    gag!
    by the way, i'm cathy--back for a visit, lol
     
  5. Awakening

    Awakening Well-Known Member

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    Anthony, it's funny you say that because sometimes I think I prefer her when she's pushing me and being tough. It's like I want her to get angry. The few times she has is when I start to break down. Then to follow-up with care & compassion, not to start with it.

    It's almost like if my PTSD is a person, it scoffs at her. I was laughing sarcastically in there. Ooooh you feel sad for me, boo-hoo poor me. It tends to make more defensive.

    Whereas the PTSD respects the toughness she has her and that toughness starts to knock down the walls. I like a little bit of shoving as long as it's followed up by some caring & grounding.

    So this is good..thanks Anthony.

    Cathy, thanks for your reply. For some reason there is something else about this 'how did that make you feel, you seem so sad' that makes me doubt the sincerity? Even though I know she's sincere, I know she's genuine. So sincere is perhaps the wrong word.

    It's more that, the whole therapy process seems so orchestrated? Fake? Re-created? Not organic or authentic? At precisely 10.30 I will express x feeling & discuss y, only to neatly finish off at 11.28? Not entirely sure I have this one figured out yet..

    The third thing is probably the fear of getting close to someone. The sad fact is I'm feeling incredibly connected to a stranger - a therapist. Should I not feel this connected to someone who I'm actually in a relationship with? Whether it be mother-daughter, husband-wife. Seems kind of tragic to me that I have a bond with someone I'm PAYING to be my friend or something? It's bugging me too, but still haven't got it sorted.
     
  6. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    You hit it on the head, "It's almost like if my PTSD is a person!" PTSD is its own entity, it does and will take control all by its big self.
     
  7. tude

    tude Well-Known Member

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    Awakening, I related to your post so much, I was laughing. Since day one I have questioned whether or not my therapist is being genuine. I am very distrustful of others and have keen observation skills to weed people out and protect myself. What has this done for me? I have had to hire a professional listener to share my most intimate thoughts and feelings with because I have no other safer alternatives. I try not to waste my mental energy on judging her genuineness, it doesn't help me. What has helped me? Being as honest as I can. Willingness to be uncomfortable and human and let go of those things that impede my progress. And for me, it's all about making progress. It hasn't been pretty, or perfect, or easy but I am making progress.
    Feel free to laugh at my adventures in therapy, because it is humorous. I make Tony Soprano look good.
     
  8. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    That is great tude... in that you are willingly getting out your pain. For most, they must be forced up against the wall if they are not ready. You where obviously at the point in your life where it was live or die, being you either released it out or ended up dead. Only one of two ways with PTSD though, do or die; or forceful approach with empathy afterwards, never sympathy.
     
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