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Do We Ever Get To Stop Dealing With Trauma In Therapy?

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
I am a bit frustrated as my new therapist wants to dig into my trauma YET AGAIN and I honestly don’t feel like I can handle doing this for what feels like the millionth time.

I need help with my obsessive thoughts, and I don’t want to dig it (trauma) all up again. My family structure is so fractured and my therapist just wants to find the person to blame for why I obsess over thoughts of self hatred. She has made comments that make it clear that she’s looking for someone to blame, one person in particular, and I refuse to do it. I mean it’s CLEAR that she’s trying to weaponize current day behavior to be something negative when it’s not ie person in my life said to write down what I wanted to discuss in therapy as I was very visibly distressed about an upcoming appointment and the therapist made a comment about how that behavior must have felt very controlling and I was sitting there thinking “what the almighty f*ck” while actually responding that the advice was helpful because writing down one’s thoughts helps to organize them……I mean this is the same shit that therapists recommend all day long but when it comes from someone else it must be controlling behavior!!!!!

This is more shit I see that therapists do to destabilize peoples lives and not actually help them. It was clear that the therapist was targeting one particular person in my life as the “issue” and I’m not willing to let that happen. I have hardly any family left and without their support I’d likely be homeless (and dead because I cannot handle being homeless), so please do NOT suggest that I dig into these issues as that’s the “only” way to heal when I’ve been through decades of therapy already, including having dealt with my issues with this one particular family member. (Completely, IDK, so please don’t suggest this as it sends the message that if we aren’t perfect and everything isn’t perfect then we haven’t dealt with something completely. This is a pie in the sky idea as it says we must keep beating a dead horse if the past issue still affects us in the least.)

Knowing where the feelings come from doesn’t change anything. Exploring this DOESNT CHANGE ANYTHING. Let’s make the schizophrenic people explore the source of their schizophrenia before we actually give them any skills to help with daily functioning. Replace with bipolar, ADHD, ANYTHING ELSE!

I have obsessive thoughts, I need f*cking skills. Why is this so hard to understand?
 
gentle empathy, eve. it is a gory process, indeed. can't i be done with ^it^, once and for all? it often leads me to wish for other people's problems in place of my own, but? ? ? careful what you wish for. you might get ^it^. my own condition is not easy to live with, but at least i have some realistic clues.

inside my own recovery from child sex trafficking, my avoidance of all things trauma related proved to be the source of the obsessive thoughts, control freakitis, etc., in addition to a host of somatic ailments, such as ibs and migraines. the biggest problem i, personally, experienced with the avoidance/denial is that simple things, like turns of phrases, smells, etc., were all present during the traumas and the reminders can come from the most benign of sources. i was gang-raped beneath a bright farm light. . . i was filmed beneath amateur lighting for child pornography. i bet you can guess where security lighting takes me. it is not an easy trigger to live with here in the light ages. and it is only one of many fond memories of life as a child prostitute. these days even six year olds are experts in dressing more brazenly than child prostitutes of the 60's. a whole lot of triggering going on and my tools for calming the intrusive thoughts won't work until i wash the wound. it is ill-advised to put bandages on festering wounds.

digging the infection out of those festering psychic wounds remains no fun, but i gotta do what i gotta do. the sooner begun, the sooner done.

but that is me and every case is unique. . .

steadying support while you sort your own case.
 
I post a lot about having ADHD. Which means I’ve been in & out of therapy for most of my life.

Heeeere’s the DOWNSIDE of working with therapists who specialize in not-trauma : They want to focus on any/all “trauma” (all definitions apply) that shows up in their clients lives. Because they’re not trauma specialists. And don’t understand the effects of capT TRAUMA and related disorders, on people, outside of a very generalized idea overall. (This does not apply to trauma therapists who ALSO specialize in certain populations, like ADHD, OCD, Eating Disorders, etc.). Distressing/Traumatic event is in any way referenced & it ZINGS their radar. But, unless they also specialize in trauma, they don’t have the training or experience to handle it.

If they’re good at their job? They will either take your word that you’re working with a trauma specialist for that bit (if you are) and drill down on what they specialize in, or refer you onto either a) a trauma therapist or b) a trauma therapist who specializes in the OCD population.

If they’re not good at their job? They’ll continue to push, thinking that this is normal life stuff, and havin no idea the effect on you or your life.
 
I post a lot about having ADHD. Which means I’ve been in & out of therapy for most of my life.

Heeeere’s the DOWNSIDE of working with therapists who specialize in not-trauma : They want to focus on any/all “trauma” (all definitions apply) that shows up in their clients lives. Because they’re not trauma specialists. And don’t understand the effects of capT TRAUMA and related disorders, on people, outside of a very generalized idea overall. (This does not apply to trauma therapists who ALSO specialize in certain populations, like ADHD, OCD, Eating Disorders, etc.). Distressing/Traumatic event is in any way referenced & it ZINGS their radar. But, unless they also specialize in trauma, they don’t have the training or experience to handle it.

If they’re good at their job? They will either take your word that you’re working with a trauma specialist for that bit (if you are) and drill down on what they specialize in, or refer you onto either a) a trauma therapist or b) a trauma therapist who specializes in the OCD population.

If they’re not good at their job? They’ll continue to push, thinking that this is normal life stuff, and havin no idea the effect on you or your life.

I was told that she specializes in OCD by the main office but apparently she doesn’t.

She tried to educate me about CPTSD and I said oh, Judith Herman? I believe she wrote a book about it. And her response was “oh, I’ve never heard of her.” 🙄🙄🙄 Judith Herman coined the term CPTSD and wrote a book about it. I have read it. I am familiar with her 3 part treatment model. My therapist is not, as she didn’t know what I was talking about when I mentioned it.

So, not only do I have someone who doesn’t know much about OCD, but she also doesn’t know much about CPTSD even though she thinks she does. (And IMO this is dangerous.)

I just want skills. 😩
 
This is more shit I see that therapists do to destabilize peoples lives and not actually help them. It was clear that the therapist was targeting one particular person in my life as the “issue” and I’m not willing to let that happen. I have hardly any family left and without their support I’d likely be homeless (and dead because I cannot handle being homeless), so please do NOT suggest that I dig into these issues as that’s the “only” way to heal when I’ve been through decades of therapy already, including having dealt with my issues with this one particular family member.
I’d tell her this, probably word for word and see how she handles it. If not well, she clearly isn’t the right person to help. Maybe as it’s an office you can ask to be referred to one of the others.
This is a pie in the sky idea as it says we must keep beating a dead horse if the past issue still affects us in the least.
I’m not sure this is true. Is it affecting you in the least? Seems like there’s a possibility it’s affecting you in the most. It’s so hard to tell what is your disorder without the past because you were shaped into who you are during all the trauma. I’m not suggesting the therapist is right because I don’t know your story. In reading The Body Keeps the Score I realized that my ADHD may in fact just be a trauma response. I have a family history of it, but again trauma runs the line. I also have asthma which the author implies association to. I could certainly get on board with that because when my main abuser moved, my asthma and the pneumonia they caused nearly vanished. How does one peel away something from its cause when you either were born this way or shaped this way?
Knowing where the feelings come from doesn’t change anything.
I’d say until you find the source you’re going to be constantly looking for new tools to deal with the symptoms. But I do think you’re right, she shouldn’t be digging into your past without first giving you the tools to handle the storm it would produce.
 
I’d tell her this, probably word for word and see how she handles it. If not well, she clearly isn’t the right person to help. Maybe as it’s an office you can ask to be referred to one of the others.

I’m not sure this is true. Is it affecting you in the least? Seems like there’s a possibility it’s affecting you in the most. It’s so hard to tell what is your disorder without the past because you were shaped into who you are during all the trauma. I’m not suggesting the therapist is right because I don’t know your story. In reading The Body Keeps the Score I realized that my ADHD may in fact just be a trauma response. I have a family history of it, but again trauma runs the line. I also have asthma which the author implies association to. I could certainly get on board with that because when my main abuser moved, my asthma and the pneumonia they caused nearly vanished. How does one peel away something from its cause when you either were born this way or shaped this way?

I’d say until you find the source you’re going to be constantly looking for new tools to deal with the symptoms. But I do think you’re right, she shouldn’t be digging into your past without first giving you the tools to handle the storm it would produce.

Depending on how old you are, it’s quite possible that I’ve been in therapy since before you were born. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on my treatment for trauma alone, which doesn’t include anything before my PTSD diagnosis as an adult. THIS is why I don’t want to dig it all up yet again, because I have been digging it up for far too long. The idea that I don’t know where the thoughts come from is laughable because I have been through TONS of trauma therapy and I know where the thoughts about hating myself come from. You don’t need a weatherman to tell you the weather…. I’ve beaten the horse so now it’s just bloody pulp on the ground. I don’t enjoy philosophical bull shit because at the end of the day it’s just crap that doesn’t actually help.

I want skills to help with the thoughts. If I presented with contamination OCD would the therapist force me to analyze the source in childhood before trying to help me? NO.

You are making the assumption (you make an ass out of u and me when you assume) that my obsessiveness is definitely the result of trauma and that’s not how it works. Just because I have a trauma history doesn’t mean that all of my problems are because of my trauma.

The obsessiveness is genetic in part as others in my family experience it so why is it fair that I have to dig up trauma to get help but they wouldn’t need to?

Have you made parts maps? If not, then I can unequivocally say that I understand my internal landscape better than you do. THIS is the level to which I understand not only what my internal thoughts and feelings are, but exactly how they relate to one another. All identified and mapped.

So yeah, maybe this gives you a better idea of all the treatment I’ve been through. I’m no new kid on the block.
 
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I didn’t say you hadn’t explored it enough. My first sentence is that you should tell your therapist and if they don’t respect you then you should find someone else.

I guess you missed that by making the assumption (yep ass out of you and me for you too) that I think your OCD is a result of your trauma. I couldn’t possibly know that, just as I said your T couldn’t possibly know that.
 
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Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on my treatment for trauma alone, which doesn’t include anything before my PTSD diagnosis as an adult.
I did so much work on trauma that I ended up being retraumatized. It was making me completely nonfunctional, and at some point I decided I just needed to focus on things that would help me function. I think that was about the time my then-therapist got mad because I wasn't doing everything he thought I should be doing and threw something at me.
I want skills to help with the thoughts.
I had to deeply research and interview therapists who understood how I was, what I'd done, and what I no longer wanted to focus on. I had to make it very clear and get their agreement that we would ONLY work on intrusive thinking and other things that made functioning difficult.

I found a wonderful therapist that I was with for a couple of years. She closed her business, and it took me awhile to find someone else, but I've seen two now who have moved me in the direction I am comfortable with. They are out there, but not all therapists are able or willing to work this way. Do I still have issues with trauma? Sure. But I am learning that many of the symptoms I'm having are other-related. My DID now is no longer a disorder...I don't lose time anymore, I don't get overwhelmed by internal conversations, and no one visits me in my dreams. I didn't work through all the trauma like we are apparently "supposed" to, but I am much, much healthier than I was because I focused on functionality.

Good luck moving forward with this!
 
@EveHarrington

I recently started with a new therapist and flat out told her during the first session what I was seeing her for. I told her I have already been through years of trauma therapy and will not be talking about that again nor would I sign for her to get my records from the old therapist.

The way I see it, she is providing a service for ME and she can either provide the service I am requesting or I will find someone that will. I am seeking help for the here and now and ways to cope,tools,skills to help myself,etc. so that's what I am talking about and working on.

I have brought up a few traumas and have explained why I have some of the issues I have just so she can understand,but then I tell her what help I need and then she gives me suggestions and tools to work with.

Sometimes it's just better to say what you want and need and take the lead,especially if it's something you are paying for. I'm not sure how helpful this go at therapy will be but I just want to try something different this time. I do know that right now I don't want to delve into old traumas again and go down that route,I'm just looking for ways to make changes in myself and my life.
 
I'm in a similar position @jade - I've done 20 years of trauma therapy and recently interviewed a new therapist and it got quite awkward. He *insisted* that we talk about certain trauma details within the first few appointments and I was like "Are you effing kidding me?!"

IMO that stuff is 100% my choice.

I terminated with him, cos I was so taken aback. I'm considering going back for a 2nd try tho, cos he really is good and I don't have any good alternatives.

I may just have to have a very assertive talk with him about what's on the table for therapy and what's off bounds and either he accepts that or he doesn't.

@EveHarrington I'm sorry that you're going through such a hard time with this.

What you wrote made me think of people with Schitzophrenia - when I was younger, I was really shocked/ dismayed to hear that they were basically all refused psychotherapy in terms of looking at past trauma etc... I was told that it was "just too dangerous for them" because it would destabilise them and set off another psychotic episode. So they were just taught all "here and now" coping skills. I think you refered to that in one of your posts here too. And I think it's a totally valid comparison and one that you can spell out clearly to therapists - that your trauma is too difficult for you to work on, that you need stabilising, coping skills. Any therapist who can't accept that? Well, time to move on, I reckon. I would caveat that to by saying: Don't give up too easily. Often, there's a quick exchange of words, a misunderstanding, hurt feelings and we retreat. If you can, make another appointment(s) and be really clear and assertive about what you want and need. Explain why. Maybe make notes of what's important to you and what's been mentioned in this thread. That way, if you do end the therapy, you'll be sure you did it for the right reasons and not because of a miscommunication issue. I wish you well!
 
This an older post.

Firstly ,most of who is toxic in our lives in my opinion is subjective. Not all of course.

Secondly, I am leaving the forum as I noticed in myself much time on line and writing and reading and going in circles. I could navel gaze the rest of my life and still have to deal with trauma issues from the beginning , again from the beginning. I just can’t keep going around the mountain. I have one life and I need to start living it with the life skills I have. I have benefited from my time on the forum. Now to live it out.

Most of the therapies I am aware of keep you in symbiotic relationship with the past and the traumatic events. I can find subjective trauma exposing situations everyday as it is mostly subjective to my interpretation of events. My interpretation ,emotionally ,can find a trauma trigger or stressor under every rock. How I view my relationships and my life can self sabotage. Is trauma real... yes but when do I say time out.

When do I start to use skills to realize what is happening and work my way through? We all know when we are ruminating. The realization must come where we reframe these things and if needed say out loud it is enough. Our feelings can sabotage our going forward. They can be legitimate what is the thing I need to do about it. If a therapist wants to keep you dependent then that is a subtle form of for lack of a better phrase manipulative subjective abuse. I need to know my own mind and stop when it is appropriate and better be extremely careful who I let in my head with all the stuff from the past.

The last thing is I have a neglected faith that holds promises like a bruised reed I will not break. Like this Word is your counselor. It promises everything for life and all. It has many things to say. Some of the writings show you what a narcissist is, what fear can do to a person and there is every DSM diagnosis portrayed in its writings. I recently read how to live a life that is not tossed to and fro by circumstances . I read Psalm 1 and 2 and found my way back to the control God has in all circumstances and answers if our heart is His for these issues. There is truth in most all disciplines if you define truth in my way. But how do we discern if something is true. By understanding to a minuscule degree the truths you believe in against what you are hearing.

I do not believe we have to cut off every person that we deem as toxic. Can you just set boundaries and work with the feelings that stress you out thus practicing your skills.

This is war. It is a war against the world system, war against ourselves and reactions and war against evil intentions that hurt us and wounded us. I need to live life, succeed sometimes, fail other times and lean heavily on my God and his grace for everything I face. It takes just a tiny faith and Amazing Grace. A great movie ,by the way
 
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This an older post. Firstly ,most of who is toxic in our lives in my opinion is subjective. Not all of course. Secondly, I am leaving the forum as I noticed in myself much time on line and writing and reading and going in circles. I could navel gaze the rest of my life and still have to deal with trauma issues from the beginning , again from the beginning. I just can’t keep going around the mountain. I have one life and I need to start living it with the life skills I have. I have benefited from my time on the forum. Now to live it out. Most of the therapies I am aware of keep you in symbiotic relationship with the past and the traumatic events. I can find subjective trauma exposing situations everyday as it is mostly subjective to my interpretation of events. My interpretation ,emotionally ,can find a trauma trigger or stressor under every rock. How I view my relationships and my life can self sabotage. Is trauma real... yes but when do I say time out. When do I start to use skills to realize what is happening and work my way through? We all know when we are ruminating. The realization must come where we reframe these things and if needed say out loud it is enough. Our feelings can sabotage our going forward. They can be legitimate what is the thing I need to do about it. If a therapist wants to keep you dependent then that is a subtle form of for lack of a better phrase manipulative subjective abuse. I need to know my own mind and stop when it is appropriate and better be extremely careful who I let in my head with all the stuff from the past. The last thing is I have a neglected faith that holds promises like a bruised reed I will not break. Like this Word is your counselor. It promises everything for life and all. It has many things to say. Some of the writings show you what a narcissist is, what fear can do to a person and there is every DSM diagnosis portrayed in its writings. I recently read how to live a life that is not tossed to and fro by circumstances . I read Psalm 1 and 2 and found my way back to the control God has in all circumstances and answers if our heart is His for these issues. There is truth in most all disciplines if you define truth in my way. But how do we discern if something is true. By understanding to a minuscule degree the truths you believe in against what you are hearing. I do not believe we have to cut off every person that we deem as toxic. Can you just set boundaries and work with the feelings that stress you out thus practicing your skills. This is war. It is a war against the world system, war against ourselves and reactions and war against evil intentions that hurt us and wounded us. I need to live life, succeed sometimes, fail other times and lean heavily on my God and his grace for everything I face. It takes just a tiny faith and Amazing Grace. A great movie ,by the way
Lastly, look at VA.gov | Veterans Affairs
 
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