Confusing Session, has anyone experienced this?

LeiaFlower

Confident
I don’t know if anyone else experienced this but my therapist wants to take break from sessions with me. She wants me to see a new therapist for a while then come back. I’m starting EMDR with a new therapist, I mentioned this and she wants this therapist to see me for counseling as well. However, that isn’t the reason she wants me to start with someone new.

A while back I had a series of nightmares involving my therapist molesting me. The session before she dropped the news on me I was finally able to tell her. During the session I was more scared of her blaming me and thinking I was disgusting for thinking something like that. Though that wasn’t her reaction, it sort of was lackluster. I don’t know what I expected yet, wrote an in depth post about this. She mentioned taking the next session to process the nightmare more, which I was okay about because I thought she’ll have some tips or something ready for and by doing so my previous numbness will start to go away.

Yet, after the usual week intake she mentioned that it’ll be best for me to not see her. She said it isn’t forever and this wasn’t termination. She says that since it last session I appeared scared of her that she thinks it’s best if I take a break from her and see another therapist. At first I did cry, (not in her face. I ended the session early so I can sit at a park to cry) because it felt like a punishment for finally telling her my nightmares. Instead of the disgust I was being punished by no longer having a therapist. Now I completely agree. Even though I don’t believe I’m afraid of her, I do think the numbness could be a coping mechanism of continuously being on edge. To test the theory it would be beneficial to speak with someone else.

That being said I don’t like how she went about this and it’s still leave me confused and concerned for the future. I don’t like how she said the session was going to be about processing, something I needed but didn’t know how to do, just for her to drop this termination type session on me. She also brought up how the session I seemed afraid of her due to her reaching out to give me something and I was scared to take it. It didn’t make sense how that session was the reason she said I was scared of her. Why wouldn’t I be afraid while having to be in a mindset where I was placed back in the nightmare? The next session I explained this as well as mentioning how I trust her not to hurt me nor am I generally afraid of her. I was simply in a hyper state. But she still insisted. If there was more than just that session I wished she would’ve explained it because it felt like she was coming up with excuses with no evidence just to terminate. This also sucks because she did this literally right after that session. Instead of waiting to see if her concern was accurate. Or even asking for clarification. Regardless, I’m confused. She wants me to try someone else but she says this isn’t termination. She says we could not be a good fit, which now I completely agree with, and mentions that she doesn’t want her to be my only experience.

Now I don’t know. If I don’t like this new EMDR therapist or she only offers those sessions instead of individual counseling then what? I go back to a place where I never know what could happen in session and rather or not my trauma response is going to lead to a non official termination. And is this even a termination? What if I do like the new person then it would be the last session. I don’t even know how to explain this tbh. I’m annoyed and confused. But I do know that I need to let my first therapist go. She’s been trying to get out of this for a while now. Always mentioning after a bad session leading to a trauma response that we’re not good fit.
 

Charbella

MyPTSD Pro
Maybe give the new person a chance? It doesn’t sound like your T closed the door and you’ve mentioned being displeased with her. I actually don’t understand how EMDR would work without forming a bond to the new T. 20 years ago my T tried to do EMDR with his colleague and he was there and I really struggled to even trust the guy. I’m doing EMDR now with my regular T and for me it wouldn’t work otherwise.

Who knows you might really love the new person. Plus since the door isn’t closed you could go back.
 

LeiaFlower

Confident
Who knows you might really love the new person. Plus since the door isn’t closed you could go back.
this is true it’s just a weird situation. I also wouldn’t go back to my first therapist. so many issues with her, shes nice and supportive but isnt dependable with scheduling (cancel hours before multiple times) she isn’t consi with treatment and I have no idea what we’ve been working on, and I’ll always be afraid to say something because I don’t want to get put out.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
It sounds like you are finding a resolution with this issue so I’m not sure how much this will contribute, but I’m going though something somewhat similar. I have had intense transference with my T for years and I got to a point where I really wanted to face it. I had been seeing her every 2-3 weeks and avoiding the transference but it was really bothering me so I told her I wanted to “get it out of me” and that it was important to see her every week so I couldn’t hide from it.

I tried that then it faded away. I decided I was done with therapy because I had faced everything (except the transference but I didn’t know what else I could do.). I had what I thought was going to be my final session but then broke down and couldn’t stop crying. I was so confused and angry so I just left without scheduling another session. Once I got home I sobered up and knew I needed her. I quickly scheduled for the next week.

Three weeks in a row I went and was a sobbing mess. Like I was at the beginning of therapy five years ago. I kept trying to face the transference and feeling so tiny. Each time at the end she would try to schedule for like 3 weeks out and I was so confused and angry and then I would contact her the next day and schedule for the next week.

During that time I also quit alcohol and marijuana, to which I had been addicted for many years.

Last time I went (three weeks ago) I was feeling better about quitting and had started a new addiction program but was still crying about the transference and trying to face it. I felt like I hadn’t told her “the truth” about how deeply I felt for her.

She confronted this. She asked, “Do you think you haven’t told me?

Me crying, “Yes!”

Her, “You’ve been telling me for several years now, it’s not a secret.”

Me, “If only I had done it the *right* way I could have gotten through it! Instead of being here!” *Sob sob sob*

Her, “What if you put all your efforts into this addiction program and then come back and see me in a month and tell me how you’ve done?”

Me, (realizing what’s happening and submitting to the loss) “Yeah…”. *sob sob sob*.

And same thing you heard of “You can always come back.” Mine said it’s like I’m graduating from elementary school.

I just never thought it would be like that. I thought it would be like calm and feeling resolved.

I cried a lot for a few days and then gave myself the proverbial smack upside the head that I would never be able to have her as a constant reassurance in my life. That I needed to focus on my life now. It was kind of freeing.

Parts of me are still afraid of how much we care about her and want her and I feel in some ways I’m repressing that and in some ways soothing those parts through my daily self care and reaching out.

I’m afraid to talk to her because it reignites that hope. At the last session I said that I probably shouldn’t talk to her anymore and she said, “I’m not a fan of that way of thinking, you can say hi!”

I had to reach out to get a letter from her for my landlord and she was very accommodating. When I picked it up I left a tiny gift and she called to thank me and I indulged myself by sharing a bit what was going on with it’s me, for only like five minutes, and at the end she said to keep in touch, and that felt confusing. I scheduled for my next appointment which will be in three weeks. So it will be like 5-6 weeks from last time.

It’s kind of like the rejection that I crave so badly except not. I am not grieving anymore, it feels like the crying parts are more contained but still able to be activated. When I go back I’ll have the coolness of time between us and then probably stick to a maintenance schedule of once every 4-6 weeks. I’ll probably be visiting friends and trying to make new friends between sessions. So that all sounds healthy. In some ways it feels like I’ve finally repressed that sobbing part for good and in some ways it feels like I’m showing her some alternatives. Yes there’s discomfort associated but maybe not overwhelmingly so.

Sorry this is so long. I guess I needed to process a lot more than I realized. The way I relate to your post is feeling like I needed her (but afraid of her) and that I was finally telling her and then her suggestion to put space and time between us.
 

LeiaFlower

Confident
It sounds like you are finding a resolution with this issue so I’m not sure how much this will contribute, but I’m going though something somewhat similar. I have had intense transference with my T for years and I got to a point where I really wanted to face it. I had been seeing her every 2-3 weeks and avoiding the transference but it was really bothering me so I told her I wanted to “get it out of me” and that it was important to see her every week so I couldn’t hide from it.

I tried that then it faded away. I decided I was done with therapy because I had faced everything (except the transference but I didn’t know what else I could do.). . .

And same thing you heard of “You can always come back.” Mine said it’s like I’m graduating from elementary school.

I just never thought it would be like that. I thought it would be like calm and feeling resolved.

Parts of me are still afraid of how much we care about her and want her and I feel in some ways I’m repressing that and in some ways soothing those parts through my daily self care and reaching out. . .

Sorry this is so long. I guess I needed to process a lot more than I realized. The way I relate to your post is feeling like I needed her (but afraid of her) and that I was finally telling her and then her suggestion to put space and time between us.
I was relooking at my post to motivate myself, and didn’t realize I never replied to this. I’m sorry for that. But definitely relate to the transference. For me it was more negative transference when triggered I she would act like a past groomer (don’t want to say abuser due to repressing memories of the abuse) I was scared of her. I do care about her and this disorganized part wants to completely break it off but the other part wants to keep holding on. Hopefully it’s a topic to talk about in session today. I want to journal about what my next steps look like with her because if the transference gets worse then I will no longer be able to like her just fear her.

I understand 😂 sometimes when we have much more to process then the words just sprout out. I’m glad things are getting better for you. I’m hoping to be on the same path soon
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
That being said I don’t like how she went about this and it’s still leave me confused and concerned for the future.

i suffered epic amounts of transference during my early recovery. in retrospect, it is no great surprise, but in those early go-rounds, it was confusing beyond words. i believe i had been suffering transference long before i offered my 5th grade teacher a blow-job. that's what all men want, isn't it?

i am tempted to declare --with my just-a-patient authority-- that transference is a natural by-product of confusion and concern for the future. additional confusion is a natural by-product of attempting to escape that confusion. based on that declaration, methinks your current shrink might be on to something. if you are taking votes, i vote you trust her and trust that the confusion is a natural part of the healing process. it takes a village to heal. it is good to have second, third and fourth opinions on where to go from here.

just voting as i remind you that healing is not a democratic process. follow your instinct as best you can in the confusion of the process.
 

LeiaFlower

Confident
i suffered epic amounts of transference during my early recovery. in retrospect, it is no great surprise, but in those early go-rounds, it was confusing beyond words. i believe i had been suffering transference long before i offered my 5th grade teacher a blow-job. that's what all men want, isn't it?

i am tempted to declare --with my just-a-patient authority-- that transference is a natural by-product of confusion and concern for the future. additional confusion is a natural by-product of attempting to escape that confusion. based on that declaration, methinks your current shrink might be on to something. if you are taking votes, i vote you trust her and trust that the confusion is a natural part of the healing process. it takes a village to heal. it is good to have second, third and fourth opinions on where to go from here.

just voting as i remind you that healing is not a democratic process. follow your instinct as best you can in the confusion of the process.
I relate completely to the transference with teachers. I always thought it meant I liked girls due to the large amounts of transference I had with my teachers. However, I realized recently that wasn’t the case at all but due to my groomer being female.

I agree that transference is related to confusion. I think it started with my therapist due to our relationship getting deeper and me trusting her more. So my mind created negative transference in order to protect me from potential danger. I thought I was over it but I guess it’s still lurking in the shadows. I trust that she knows what she’s doing I’m just confused. I don’t know if this means I’m supposed to be looking for a new therapist or if she’s still my therapist. She said it wasn’t a termination session and that her door is open. She also stated for me to come back in a month or two in order to see if I guess have negative transference with a new therapist. However, after my session I realized certain things have to be at play. There’s no authority to my new therapist’s voice or demeanor. Maybe because most of her clients are kids but I have little to fear from her. She’s also more quiet and her energy is small. I don’t think I like her nor do I think it’s a good fit. It’s just hard because I don’t want to start new again.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
There’s no authority to my new therapist’s voice or demeanor.
Interesting to me how you noticed this. I hadn’t considered how important this is to me as well, but I need something like this too. Also had loads of transference with teachers as well. Something I did to counter it when I realized it happening in college was to call my teachers by their first names, as a game to break the habit of idealizing them.

And I think the thing of building up the negative transference to counter the fear of the positive transference is pretty common. My T said it’s something about survivors punishing themselves when things go well.

Good on you for giving it a go. Sounds like something had to shift in your T relationship and you are open to trying a different strategy, which is a good thing I think!
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
I don’t know if this means I’m supposed to be looking for a new therapist or if she’s still my therapist.

when i finally started getting a handle on the transference thing, the therapy supporters i was transferring to proved to be the most helpful in helping me clarify the confusion. in my case, those supporters included a female therapist, one brother-in-healing and one sister-in-healing. i don't believe the fact that i transferred to both genders is an indication of my sexuality. i believe it is thoroughly natural to crave the love and guidance of BOTH mommy and daddy. at it's base, it is not a sexual craving.

for my healing nickel, working with a new therapy supporter is not starting over. you carry all your healing progress with you into the new experience. it expands my therapy network. it takes a village to heal. oftentimes, the people i would never choose to socialize with are the most helpful supporters. it is therapy, not a popularity contest. the people i might prefer to socially distance from are often the ones with the most direct insights to my psycho snot knots. opening my mind to their insights provided deep healing opportunities.
 

LeiaFlower

Confident
Interesting to me how you noticed this. I hadn’t considered how important this is to me as well, but I need something like this too. Also had loads of transference with teachers as well. Something I did to counter it when I realized it happening in college was to call my teachers by their first names, as a game to break the habit of idealizing them.

And I think the thing of building up the negative transference to counter the fear of the positive transference is pretty common. My T said it’s something about survivors punishing themselves when things go well.

Good on you for giving it a go. Sounds like something had to shift in your T relationship and you are open to trying a different strategy, which is a good thing I think!
Yeah, I was looking for an energy that was different than my own. Different from a quiet submissive nature. So when my EMDR therapist demostrated this I was put off. However, maybe this is a good thing. Maybe I need someone I can’t develop transference with. Though I might be confusing connection with transference, but there’s no connection with her.

I’m going to try the name thing. Make them more real instead of caricatures in my head. Would this help with negative as well? Do you have any more advice on the negative side?

when i finally started getting a handle on the transference thing, the therapy supporters i was transferring to proved to be the most helpful in helping me clarify the confusion. in my case, those supporters included a female therapist, one brother-in-healing and one sister-in-healing. i don't believe the fact that i transferred to both genders is an indication of my sexuality. i believe it is thoroughly natural to crave the love and guidance of BOTH mommy and daddy. at it's base, it is not a sexual craving.

for my healing nickel, working with a new therapy supporter is not starting over. you carry all your healing progress with you into the new experience. it expands my therapy network. it takes a village to heal. oftentimes, the people i would never choose to socialize with are the most helpful supporters. it is therapy, not a popularity contest. the people i might prefer to socially distance from are often the ones with the most direct insights to my psycho snot knots. opening my mind to their insights provided deep healing opportunities.
@arfie How long should I give her a try? Like how do I know if she’s really going to help me? If she even able to? How do I know we’re a good fit? We keep pairing with games but I really want to work on something. Especially since my life is starting to go down the drain again. I need help in how to handle things but everything we keep talking about is superficial. I don’t want to post anymore I want to work
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Would this help with negative as well? Do you have any more advice on the negative side?
I am not sure if it would help with the negative. And off the top of my head I’m struggling to think of something to counter the negative transference. My inclination is to say talk about it, but I think you already tried that and it seemed to amplify it for you. One thing might be to make a list of all the reasons why your T is a positive influence for you and give examples of ways she demonstrates that.

Maybe some other people have ideas about countering negative transference.
 
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