Bad timing in therapy session

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Cheryl42

New Here
I am a mental health professional... now the tables are turned and I need help for severe PTSD from suffering some assaults and being injured by some forensic patients. Anyone in your sessions have your therapist at like ten minutes before your session ends solicit you to tell them something very painful and traumatizing that triggers you into a melt down and then say... well time is up for this session. I really like my provider she is very good and I need the help badly but I feel wrong about telling her how to do her practice... I don't think I can take that in a session anymore though. It happened two days ago and its still affecting me. I feel like just not sharing these things in session even though I know if I don't I won't get better.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Totally bring it up with your therapist at the next session.
I don't know what you mean when you say tour T solicited you to say something traumatising. And wonder if there was some sort of commication difficulty?
Your T should totally be able to hear if her intervention or way she managed the session traumatised you. She should say sorry and listen to you about what you find helpful.
Sometimes T's do or say something that hurts us. As long as they learn from it and change, then it works out?
 

Friday

Moderator
Anyone in your sessions have your therapist at like ten minutes before your session ends solicit you to tell them something very painful and traumatizing that triggers you into a melt down and then say... well time is up for this session
For sure.

I’ve learned to tell them that we don’t have time for that.

Which has become a metric -in the early days with any new T- for how well we’re going to be able to work together.

Because there’s no way for them to know, before they get to know me, how accurate that assessment is, or if I’m just avoiding/distracting them away from a topic, or if my regulating skills could shorten what’s necessary, etc. Generally speaking, however, about 2/3s of my stuff can’t even be glanced at in under 2 hours. The remaining 1/3 we can split in half again, with only needing minutes, to needing more than 2 hours allows for.

So if we don’t have time for that, nearing the end of a session? The next Q is to mark it to revisit at the beginning of the next session, or cross it off the list of things that can be looked at in a standard sessions time.
 

grit

Not Active
therapist at like ten minutes before your session ends solicit you to tell them something very painful and traumatizing that triggers you into a melt down and then say... well time is up for this session.
This sounds like transference to me - you think they are doing this on purpose removing yourself from the situation subjectively. Are you sure you are not afraid or avoiding this topic and dropping it at the end for them to hold over until next time? Nothing wrong with that just that you may prefer others to bring up issues than you do it yourself...just wondering here. Or it could be the beginning of something worthwhile and may take few tries to bring it up early on...idk

I really like my provider she is very good and I need the help badly but I feel wrong about telling her how to do her practice.
I was wondering why you mentioned your job and then I saw this line and it made sense to me. You understand intellectually what is happening but you are also triggered so something is missing (usual trauma in affect here unfortunately). The question I would put to you is this: What would you do if you had a client like you dropping hints of traumatic material at the end of sessions regardless of how it happens or who is responsible?

Your respect for their "practice" sounds to me a passive compliance or justification for allowing mistreatment by the therapist or others outside of therapy. Almost sounds like if you are under valuing your own knowledge of therapy process to protect this therapist's competency or whatever. IMHO, I think a good therapist would recognize this as sort of traumatic reaction and would bring it up next session not just ignore it but again this is my opinion of the situation. I have had therapists that ignored this sort of blurting and I hated it. What I learned is that they are operating from client-centred so they do not want to direct the therapist (even though you feel they were directing you to bring up the material in the last 10minutes) in their perspective a lot of therapists think the client starts on topic and therapist follow. They sort of recreating early attachments (baby cries mother answers) - but if a therapist completely disregards the adult in the room - well we can all guess how that may work out.

Personally, if there is a dissociation or trauma, I find this to be a cruel way of relating to clients. IMHO, it is good for the therapist take a moment to say you said this last time and wonder if you would like to talk about that and let the client decide then yes or no. It is building therapy relationship with the adult in the room. That is not happening from what you wrote.
I feel like just not sharing these things in session even though I know if I don't I won't get better.

Now this has escalated and sounds like you might be fully triggered and defaulting to original way of dealing with issues/trauma, hide it as if this is more important to others than to you. Again nothing wrong with how we all react during traumatic event, but now you are saying you may withhold the exact information that brought you to the therapist...

I think you are struggling with your own knowledge of mental health and how you can use the process of recovery...it is like can a surgeon give surgery to self or trust another surgeon to do good or even a better job? Only you can answer that.

On a lighter note, I bet when you are out of the trigger, you have the solution.
 

RNrecovery

Confident
I am not a therapist but worked half my career in mental health and still do a lot of mental health crisis calls in my new career. Don’t think of it as telling her how to do her job. This is about what works for YOU. If it doesn’t work for you to have something dropped in the last part of the session thats what you need. When I first started trauma I actually needed big things to only come up in the start of the session. I needed more time to deal with what came up. After a year with her I’m a little more flexible with that but she still checks in as we near the end about what’s ok to ask.

Tell her about what happened. If she can’t handle that then it might not be a great fit.
 

Starfire

Confident
I am a mental health professional... now the tables are turned and I need help for severe PTSD from suffering some assaults and being injured by some forensic patients. Anyone in your sessions have your therapist at like ten minutes before your session ends solicit you to tell them something very painful and traumatizing that triggers you into a melt down and then say... well time is up for this session. I really like my provider she is very good and I need the help badly but I feel wrong about telling her how to do her practice... I don't think I can take that in a session anymore though. It happened two days ago and its still affecting me. I feel like just not sharing these things in session even though I know if I don't I won't get better.
Back when every session was in person, my T would say *well time''s almost up*. In his defense, he did offer a room for clients to take a few more minutes to be sure they could safely get behind the wheel or whatever other transition was needed even just a cup of coffee.. I asked one day if we could just end the session ten minutes early and use that time to decompress. We had had a couple difficult sessions and I wasn't trusting my decision making. We eventually also used the ten minutes to mutually decide what we would pick up next session. That ended up clarifying issues so it wasn't by any means lost time.
Sidebar...he told me he started to use the same idea with his grandkids. "Mom and Dad will be here in ten minutes so lets get ready."
 

Friday

Moderator
but I feel wrong about telling her how to do her practice...
Scripts and schemas.

Before the tables turned and you became a client? The only possible reasons you’d have to to bring up how sessions are brought to a close is in a supervisory capacity, or speaking as a friend, who’s either willing to risk the friendship for the sake of a very important issue, or in the middle of a spirited professional/personal debate.

All of which are BIG deals.
- Either it’s gotten to the level of your needing to intervene, yes? Either professionally or personally… or…
- There is a depth of personal/professional connection that allows for “Bitch, please! 😇 Don’t even TALK to me about that nonsense… you know my way / your way / banter / laugh / debate /serious / silly.

But that’s not the case, now.

It’s a whole new deal.

Now you’re a client who has every right to have a discussion about what is or isn’t working for you. The only way you’d be telling her how to do her practice is if you insisted she changed how she did things with all her clients, instead of trying to find the best possible solution for you yourself with her.

If you were so rigid as a practitioner that if someone asked “Can we dim the lights in here, my eyes are really sensitive?” Or asked if they could start each session with a recap of last session, or end each session with (whatever, just not the way it’s currently being done)… you absolutely would not even consider it, even take offense, because how dare they ??? It might not be a scripts&schemas thang.

As, knowing you for all of a whopping 2 minutes 😉 I really doubt that’s how you ran your practice? And strongly suspect that finding a compromise that worked for you, whilst providing the best possible process/outcome for each client (which is an ongoing conversation) is more up your alley? <grin> Just kick outta work-mode. You’re not telling her how to run her practice. Nor crossing boundaries assuming a personal/professional connection that isn’t there. Instead? You’re engaging in a dialogue to find the best solution / advocating for yourself.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Your therapist can't read your mind - you'll need to let them in on what's going on with you. If you've learned how to control your affect (which I'd think is likely, given your profession) - then it's very possible your therapist had no idea they were stepping on a land mine.

Others on the thread have said this - ask for what you need. Early on (after a few experiences very similar to yours), I asked my therapist to make sure we transitioned out of the session with enough time for me to regain my functionality before walking out of the office. And even now, if I think something is bigger than I can handle at that point in the session, it's not hard for me to say that we need to take some notes on how to pick this thread back up next time.
 
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