Feeling of slowly going backwards with T


New Here
Hi everyone, I've been seeing my T for about a year now. When we first met, I had tentatively conquered self-destructive tendencies, was in a good space, and eager to begin tackling other issues. However, over the course of the year, the aforementioned tendencies began to return with even more vigour. I became annoyed with my T, explaining that I wasn't finding his input particularly helpful, and was uncertain as to whether he was the "right fit". He assured me that he was, and that things would improve, and indicated that I ought to be less needy in demanding a "quick fix" for my issues.

Nevertheless, as I reflect on the past year, I feel like I have gone backwards in the sessions. I still don't feel like my T has sufficient grasp of my proclivities, and it feels like we both struggle to connect discussions around childhood issues to my present self. Our sessions are always lively, but I find my T's summaries exasperating as they feel so wrong-headed at times!

So, I'm wondering if anyone has any advice, or similar experience in terms of what to do next. I'm very conscious of the "keep showing up" mantra, but also fear this may be negating my need to move on, or simply take a longer break from T. Thanks in advance.


Hi @TimaMansio , welcome on the forum. I did (and do) have stalling moments with Ts. If you feel they aren't being able to handle a great deal of your problems it probably is. Not that you can just delete things like sh so easily, this is normal that it fluctuates unfortunately, but feeling misheard or having our experiences be resumed in a way that we find dismissive, that might be an issue. Telling him this as your write it here might be a good Idea.


New Here
Thanks, @ruborcoraxxx. We've made these differences a key part of the sessions but when I'm in a spiralling mood, I find myself infuriated at T's (seeming) refusal to engage with this when I bring it up in sessions, in favour of referring to previous conversations about (to my mind, unrelated) childhood experiences in a manner which makes me feel like my T is scrabbling for historical rationale.

More recently, I found more solace and respite from reading these forums (hence my post!) rather than through the sessions themselves which made me question whether the usefulness of the sessions: is the therapy fuelling the need for therapy?

Our sessions after one year feel -- tonally -- very similar to our very first sessions. I don't feel like my T knows me any better (which I realise could be due to my own reluctance to speak up about things which are bothering me), and when I was in the middle of a spiral the other day, I found myself thinking "I should really seek professional help for this!". So I'm baffled as to what role T plays in my life.
Oh cool, another Fatima Mansions fan? Welcome to the forum.

Sometimes therapists who used to work for us no longer do. And sometimes they are never a good fit. That's no one's fault. If you've been feeling your T is the wrong fit for a whole year, then they probably are the wrong fit.

I don't know where you're located and how easy it will be for you, but you may want to look at other T options.


Oh, know this is going to sound trite but trust the process. My T kept saying things, more than once!, that didn't match how I had evaluated the correlation. In trying to enumerated the qualities my next T should have, I realized I was going to him because I couldn't do it myself. He was more experienced at dealing with my dx. He had had experience with many clients, I had only my experience. Maybe he's not the T to get you over the goal post but just to the 20 yard line.


Not Active
What you may be experiencing is empathic failure. The step that we heal a wound or it goes around and around.

You might be reaching a state where another person cannot carry you out and you must carry yourself out figuratively speaking. You do not have to share that here but what exactly do you wish they do? and what happens when they do not do that?
first - can you articulate what exactly they should do or you wish they do?
secondly, if they cannot, can you do that for yourself?

One area in therapy, from my experience that I find extremely sensitive is when the therapist directly addresses parts of me (deep wounds in childhood) without consent from me - in a real articulation. For example, grit sometimes in the session I feel you are dissociating and asking me difficult questions I cannot answer? I wonder if you would like me to explore something with you that I do not know. Rather than, stating I dissociate and stop! wtf? com'n. and I am dumbfounded!

whatever therapist approaches my inner world during dissociation without my consent, always feels to me extremely intrusive and crazy making and I have to strongly express that. They do not know they are doing all the time.

So can you articulate what you need them to do? Ask and see the answer. Not satisfied, do it for yourself or you may realize they do not want to provide or do not know how and you are not ready to provide for yourself yet cause you are in processing mode. and this is the discomfort itself until it is iron out. probably body memory that is not fully articulate-able yet.


New Here
Thanks everyone (and good spot, @somerandomguy !). Empathic failure sounds about right: my T regularly seems to infuriate me in a manner which no one else does! It makes me wonder if, on some level, I am acting out in order to prove my own (negative) hypothesis about him to be correct.

I have become much, much better at articulating these thoughts and feelings in our sessions, but his responses feel very benign, or just re-iterate his mantra that I "want a quick fix", which he says he could provide, but it's not how he works. In this respect, it feels like a cruel power game where I'm working under some sort of managed decline while I attempt to trust the process. I spend an inordinate amount of time imagining conversations with my T whereby such a decline becomes so apparent, he has to intervene and/or I say "I told you so!"

He's on holidays now, so I guess I've ample time to consider how I feel without the sessions.