Emailing T between sessions

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I haven't emailed her this week so far. Therapy on Thursday. I *think* at this point my motive for emailing her is to get her attention and time, rather than needing to let something out. So the wrong reason to email. So wrong.

And I'll have to embarrass myself (again. But I'm so used to this feeling unfortunately for so many traumatic and unhealthy reasons) and tell her this is the reason I haven't emailed (yet. Still 72 hours to go).

I hope I don't email her because of this reason.
 

bird_on_a_wire

MyPTSD Pro
Idk why you set up the e-mail @Movingforward10 , but Idk if it's a bad thing to just be honest about what you feel, if you know? (There may be many things.) Or to explore if it's fear(s) or just simpler, or other.

I do understand inconsistency feels dangerous. However, I don't think inconsistency itself (actually ) poses a danger: perhaps more so the rejection, or whatever word it could be interpreted as (if she didn't respond)? In that way, however, that's pretty simple- every person is programmed to associate withdrawl/ not being there when turned to as a danger (it registers in the same part of the brain as physical pain). Maybe with some it's just closer to a hair trigger than a hammer that can set the danger button off?

Best wishes to you. :hug:

ETA to add to make a complete thought- sorry I missed the edit:

Saying only from where/ how I relate to this, @Movingforward10 , or have, for just me, I would say 95% of what I think/ fear in advance and maybe 75%-80% of what I think/ feel longer afterward, is trauma-affected, whether by my own brain or listening to others (still my own brain). And likely my Inner Critic/ beliefs/ past experiences and thoughts I hold. So you might save yourself some grief to not feed in to it. And to question yourself as to whether it conforms to your self-or-world view, to have your fears realized? (And too, if it gives you an 'out', to not even have to risk it's at all different?) I still don't always see things at all 'not' trauma related, & to me I won't risk it to venture out on the ledge farther/ it's easy to question what I thought was safe/ not safe/ don't know, but you sound like you've been able to be open, and can identify and articulate your emotions, and stand up for yourself, so I think it will be all ok.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @insignificant , thanks for your kind words.
I agree with you - I'm learning how my behaviour is trauma related and I'm therefore lacking confidence about what my responses are and if they are healthy or need challenging/changing because they are rooted in trauma. This whole emailing business is all tied up with it. One day I think one thing, the next another. Who knows?
Looks like I'll have yet another session with T where we talk emails! (And am I using that as a distraction from talking about other stuff? Or is it all related to other stuff?)
 

piratelady

MyPTSD Pro
Have you considered simply trusting your therapist? What I mean is just email if you feel the need to, don’t if you don’t. Then trust the therapist to manage that and say something if things need to change?

I will say I email mine 1-2 times per week. Sometimes there was something I couldn’t get out in session or I felt misunderstood and will email him to clarify. Sometimes, if he can and it’s appropriate he’ll offer words of encouragement or a reminder of what he suggested I do in session. Then, the day or two prior to my appointment I email my journal from the previous week with the understanding he won’t reply... I’m usually seeing him the next day, so why bother? He uses that to accurately gauge how I was doing during the previous week because of my habit to say “I’m fine! :woot:”

Anyway, we didn’t just start doing that, we just sort of wound up there out of necessity. I used to worry I was over stepping with my emails and he assured me I wasn’t and that it was helpful for him, to help me. Then when we added the journal and he didn’t reply, he checked in at the beginning of our session to make sure I wasn’t hurt by the lack of a response. Now he never responds to the journal email and I know that’s expected.

I guess I’m just showing that, it’s been him who has set those boundaries and I’ve had to learn to trust that he will maintain them for me, without my having to worry about it. Maybe just try trusting your therapist and do what is most beneficial for you?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I emailed her. Not because I wanted connection with her (I think) but because I derailed myself and wanted to let her know what I did (looked up an abuser online and freaked the f*CK out) and that I would like to talk about it in the session tomorrow.

I felt very anxious sending it, which I think is the point of her saying I should email - to get used to reaching out so these feelings of bothering her or expressing my needs go away?

Anyway, if I have 'done it wrong' in that the motivation to email and/or the content of the email is not what was agreed, I sure she will let me know tomorrow in the session.

Feeling really low about being so pathetic.
 
Hi,
Today my T said I could email her between sessions to let her know how I am and how a conversation I want to have with my partner went. She said it wouldn't be therapy by email but for me to practice expressing myself and my needs. She will respond by simply acknowledging the email.

I am feeling both excited by this (I get more of her attention and time - whoo!) And also incredibly nervous and on edge (I like the boundary of the 50 minute session and i'm scared that by emailing in-between sessions it will be bluring the boundary and become something else and then she will dump me and i'll be left to deal with this trauma on my own).

Reading lots of these threads, it looks like in the US it seems fairly common for communication outside the session? Is it common in the UK? (I'm in the UK).

The week before last, T and I emailed each other as she said she would email me a brief note of the session as I spend a lot of the time disassociating and forgetting. She said this wasn't something she normally did.

So I'm worried I'm pushing boundaries and we're doing things she doesn't normally do. And this feeds into my view of sex, and my boundaries (or lack of), and all sorts of things.

Writing this, I realise I need to talk to T about all this, even if I am too embarrassed to.

What do you think about emailing and boundaries with your T?

most Therapist won’t give out their email address, and of those who do most only do it for patients with special needs.

my trauma therapist lets me email here. But because Written journal is triggering and sometimes unsafe for me, she has me journal by email So I am able to journal and send it one it’s way and hopefully out of mind.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Hi,
Today my T said I could email her between sessions to let her know how I am and how a conversation I want to have with my partner went. She said it wouldn't be therapy by email but for me to practice expressing myself and my needs. She will respond by simply acknowledging the email.

I am feeling both excited by this (I get more of her attention and time - whoo!) And also incredibly nervous and on edge (I like the boundary of the 50 minute session and i'm scared that by emailing in-between sessions it will be bluring the boundary and become something else and then she will dump me and i'll be left to deal with this trauma on my own).

Reading lots of these threads, it looks like in the US it seems fairly common for communication outside the session? Is it common in the UK? (I'm in the UK).

The week before last, T and I emailed each other as she said she would email me a brief note of the session as I spend a lot of the time disassociating and forgetting. She said this wasn't something she normally did.

So I'm worried I'm pushing boundaries and we're doing things she doesn't normally do. And this feeds into my view of sex, and my boundaries (or lack of), and all sorts of things.

Writing this, I realise I need to talk to T about all this, even if I am too embarrassed to.

What do you think about emailing and boundaries with your T?
You can set a boundry for yourself to include a limit of no more than 1 email per session, a word limit on the email (most programs have a word count app in them) keeping it short, like no more than 1/2 page, and use bullets where possible to make it easy to read. So, while my boundary is 1 page....it isn't and every week regular thing, it's more like every 2 or three weeks.....and I don't expect a reply until we meet again. Set your expectations high for yourself.....and keep the writing to a minimum, and stick by the boundary you set so you don't worry about how much is too much and how often is too often.

You could also consider helping to create your own solution in therapy, by jotting down things that were important as you go along....to help you stay grounded...... writing can be grounding...... you incorporating via writing will help your memory....writing is the number 1 memory aid. The writing process itself helps with long term retention. For example, I will take notes in my phone notes app if we have a schedule change, I get some homework, or I need to remember to work on something......I will stop what we are doing and put it in the phone right then. My T will wrap up the session with takeaways......some of those I also write down.

At the end of the session, my T will spend the last 5 min or so doing grounding work so I leave and am safe to drive...and I don't think therapy, from my own experience, does much good if you are consistently dissociating......that means you aren't feeling safe and I think I wasted a lot of money in therapy dissociated......Does she stop and work on grounding techniques or redirect the conversation to something less threatening?
 
Last edited:

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @TruthSeeker . The emailing thing hasn't worked out for me. It just makes me beyond anxious and terrified. So I've stopped. It's too much to cope with.
Maybe we'll revisit it again in the future when I'm more able to manage.

Yes, she has taken time to ask about my disassociating and what I need. She spends the last few minutes making sure I'm ok to go. We're doing it online, have been since March, and she'll spend a couple more minutes just checking I'm ok before we switch off. Most she has go over the time is 2 minutes.
I do think she and I are working well together. I can see change and progress.
 
@Movingforward10 I am not surprised, there are times do don't email my T because it is mentally challenging, especially when I am having hard times. but it has been useful on keeping her updated so she is aware of current issues, planning of wanted session content, appointments, etc.

I have not emailed my T for a long time, because I am at the core of my trauma in my treatment, because of my emotions, its only in the last month or so, sessions have left me shaken and needing to take ativan to help me stay in control.

Point is don't completely give up on emailing, make it work for you, when it feels right and in your comfort zone. It's ok if you never use it for trauma related issues. But remember its when we are willing to challenge our comfort zone (when ready to do so) and get past it that we can heal and get better.

Don't write off emailing your T, do it when it feels right. You might consider starting by just using it to set appointments and the like.
 
Top