Afraid To Express Anger In Case Therapist Has A History Of Being Attacked By Patients

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Cypress

Confident
I have this weird worry that maybe my new T was attacked by a patient in the past and that if I express my anger or rage in a session he will get upset. I know this worry is not coming from nowhere, I seen psych patients physically attack health care providers in my job and my very first T in high school was assaulted by a patient and hurt his back very badly. I have no reason to believe that my new T has ever experienced anything like that and as everyone says probably has safety protocols in place.

I want to ask him if he was ever attacked by a patient but I feel like that would be too personal.
 
I have this weird worry that maybe my new T was attacked by a patient in the past and that if I express my anger or rage in a session he will get upset. I want to ask him if he was ever attacked by a patient but I feel like that would be too personal.

I think being upfront with him with your concern and simply stating why your asking is ok. Besides if it was too personal he would probably say so. If you do nothing this is just going to be hanging over your head keeping you on edge about. This is the kind of thing that can affect your therapy by making it hard to engage your T. You should not let that happen. Once you approach the subject with your T with this, it will be done with and you can move forward without this occupying your mind. Maybe this is one of those cases where radical acceptance applies.
 

blackemerald1

MyPTSD Pro
if I express my anger or rage in a session he will get upset.

^^How do you want to express your anger and rage? Do you want to simply discuss anger and rage and what that looks like, feels like and how to manage it differently or more positively, or do you want to shout and flip out....at your T??

The latter is definitely not acceptable and if you are at that stage you really do need to discuss anger and rage and self-regulate.

Discussing all emotions and how to regulate them should be well within your T's therapeutic abilities. That doesn't mean he is sounding board for your anger and rage though.

I understand you hesitancy to ask personal questions regarding your T's history and that's probably a good thing. You are not there to find out about them though we all, including T's, bring personal experience forward with us. So he may well have a had a traumatic history. Lot's of people do.

Rather than ask him specifically about a potential trauma in his history which is intrusive. Discuss what is going on behind the curiosity...talk about what is motivating you to think, wonder and worry about anger & rage and discussing it with him.
 

Cypress

Confident
Thanks for all of your feedback, I really need it right now. I started therapy this week and all of this suppressed rage and anger started to well up out of nowhere when I started to read this book he recommended " The Body Keeps the Score". These emotions feel very dangerous and destructive and I am overwhelmed right now. I don't want to shout at my T but I'm afraid that if I talk about it, I might lose control and he might get upset if he has a history of being attacked by a patient. I know that I am overthinking this but I can't stop worrying about it.
 

MyWillow

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks for all of your feedback, I really need it right now. I started therapy this week and all of this suppressed rage and anger started to well up out of nowhere when I started to read this book he recommended " The Body Keeps the Score". These emotions feel very dangerous and destructive and I am overwhelmed right now. I don't want to shout at my T but I'm afraid that if I talk about it, I might lose control and he might get upset if he has a history of being attacked by a patient. I know that I am overthinking this but I can't stop worrying about it.

It’s a great book but I also found it pretty triggering without understanding why. You can put it away for a while. I haven’t touched my education type books for months. Too overwhelming.
 

blackemerald1

MyPTSD Pro
As an alternative could you write or journal out all of this rage and anger first... Just take one part of the book that has really set you off it you can identify it... stop reading and start writing. You could start a trauma diary here....have you thought of that.

I am overwhelmed right now.

^^You know what is overwhelming you so as @MyWillow advised.. take a break and tell your therapist why.

I'm afraid that if I talk about it, I might lose control and he might get upset if he has a history of being attacked by a patient. I know that I am overthinking this but I can't stop worrying about it.

^^I have a fear of telling my therapist my trauma (s) - bc I want to protect her and keep her safe from my damaged mind... lol...

So I can relate in a way. I don't think you are over-thinking this... I think it's really very good that you identified how distressed you are and the amount of rage and anger you are experiencing and also, that you want to do no harm to anyone if you do express it. That is a really good thing... you are on the right track.. but what would be even better is knowing how to safely get that rage out without hurting yourself or anyone too...right?
 

grit

Not Active
this is precisely one of my deep issue and probably the main reason I still dissociate in therapy (even though I do not dissociate as much or nearly as bad outside).

I changed my therapist because of this exactly issue.

I will tell you my side of things.

You must have had extreme violence against you as a child for you to have this feeling. This feeling is not a default for healthy and people who have had neglect or other childhood issues. Either extreme violence against autonomy or sexual assault may result unbelievable amount of anger and rage from childhood that you learned how to either split off from it, dissociate or as you put it suppressed it so down that your trauma is keeping the lid on! (I am using YOU as general term not particularly you and your story as I do not know that).

Now I feel strong and very strong to protect my self (this is one of the reasons I never felt unsafe - I just felt protected - perception really matter) but feeling protected means I was threatened and felt I could die as a child. so I have this character trait that protects me and protects other so I swallowed my anger and rage in therapy - and cannot stop dissociating. my therapist refused to ground me so I left and found a therapist that will do grounding when I go bananas.

I also said and this is probably the main difference: I have anger and rage and I do not know how it come out if I let them go. I do not want to hurt you or me or anyone. I want you to know that. if I come out so angry at you and I do not remember, you will have to tell me and I will own it. I want to let out all these energies in the space between you and me. and if you feel I am slipping into dissociation because I am too scared to yell or go angry, just bring me back to the here and now.

My old therapist refused to use the word dissociation and said it was not part of his technique. I said OK. bye. I left good terms. That was his limitation.
This time, my interview of new therapist was better! I told them my fears and ask them how they deal with rage and anger that shows up and does not mean them.

hope this helps.
 

Abstract

MyPTSD Pro
I wonder if you are actually a little phobic about the inner rage you feel and have a fear of anger in general rather than actually being someone who rages at people. I wonder if it is merely intensely discussing these feelings in therapy that you are concerned about rather than feeling you will verbally attack your t. And I also wonder if part of these feelings of responsibility are because of you being triggered by seeing or hearing rage even if it isnt directed directly at you. Am I off track? Usually people really prone to verbally attack people aren't prone to worrying about it this much.They are usually too busy justifying it. Could be wrong of course.
 
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