How many times did you go through your trauma narrative in therapy?

Waterbear

Confident
So many times I couldn't guess is the answer to the question posed by the title of the thread. But rarely ever more than once or twice in total before breaking down swallowable bites to chew on one at a time.
"Gotta feel it to heal it" was a favorite line of a past T. He is writing a book and I think it may be his title. Fired him and hired another and another and went through the same narrative everytime, thats the price of admission.

"so, what brings you into my office? how can I help you?"
"i don't want to talk about it, lets see if you can guess and then help me get past it'

not a good way to get from here to there. I tell all, all the time. What else could possibly lead to relevant work?
What if you can't 'tell all' though? What if there is some unknown and invisible force that simply prevents you (me) from doing so? The voice won't come out. The pen won't write the words. What then?
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
What if you can't 'tell all' though? What if there is some unknown and invisible force that simply prevents you (me) from doing so? The voice won't come out. The pen won't write the words. What then?
I didn't tell all before I really knew what all was. Before that I was open and forthcoming but of course there were parts and pieces that I hadn't put together yet. I am a long way into this and now when starting up with a new T I tend to dump all I have put together right then and there and then we go wherever they think I need to be going. It took years to know what I know about myself now, no sense in covering any of it over with a glossy finish, it is what it is and its ugly and I don't get anything from keeping it to myself.
When I hire a Therapist I want them up to speed as fast as possible. I have found that presenting anything but the truth and the whole truth is counterproductive.
I got to this place in small increments. Nothing wrong with taking a measured approach. Do what feels right. For me, dumping it all on the table ASAP feels right.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
What if you can't 'tell all' though? What if there is some unknown and invisible force that simply prevents you (me) from doing so? The voice won't come out. The pen won't write the words. What then?
I know you arent asking me but I delt with this, for a long time. For me? I spoke that there was something, couldn't say what, in my past that I was actually why I was seeking therapy. If the therapist is doing their job, they will find creative ways to help you open up. Or give more info. For me, it was more my therapist guessing. He would start broad. Was it sexual? I'd nod my head yes. Was it someone in your family? Nod yes. Etc. I was in a cult and at the time, was still very active in hiding from them and thinking they would find me. Even from a private and closed therapist's room. It was a very stark and primal fear. And it kept me from being able to speak of it for a REALLY long time.

We found that I could write more then speak. It was accidental find. I didn't write much more but a bit more. I would write in 3rd person. It helped to keep distance from it. To keep pretending that it didn't happen to me, but rather pretend it happened to someone else. That, was less important then it was to get the info out to my therapist in some fashion. So, that maybe a tip. To try to distance yourself a bit to just try to get the info out to the therapist. With this, he did the same guessing games on the new info and would only focus on the new info to try to get more info added to the new info.

If the therapist is good at their job, they will help you figure out how to tell them what happened. They just need to know something happened and that you are struggling with talking about it in anyway nor writing about it. My therapist came up with great ways. Writing letters to my perps, to write poetry (which I still do today), to draw pictures, all sorts of things. There are many ways to get info to another person and the therapist should be trained enough to help you through it. If they aren't, find someone that is.
 

Sideways

Moderator
The voice won't come out. The pen won't write the words. What then?
If something internal needs expressing, but words don't work?

Try other forms of expression.

Some of the forms of expression that are widely found to be helpful include things like:
Drawing/painting
Dance
Individual/solo sports
Drumming
Singing
Collage

It doesn't need to be words. If something needs to come out, in can come out in a multitude of ways that aren't straight verbal recounting of facts.

And if there's nothing that needs expressing? That's okay.

Some of my trauma I haven't put in to words anywhere. Not in my journal, not in my art journal. Not with a therapist. Not ever. Because it doesn't need expressing. Some of it did, but not all of it.
 

Huxley

Learning
I’ve never had success in getting a therapist to allow me to tell or discuss my story. Both have actively discouraged it. In the sole group therapy I had, it was also received with the “you can’t say that, people get uncomfortable “ vibe.

I find that odd, but accept it as something I cannot change. People do not want to hear it, is what my wounded self says, but I realize that’s a distortion of some sort.

My current T has explained, obliquely, that it’s not as important to talk about it as the kernel of my PTSD involves traumatic levels of emotional neglect beginning at birth and compunded by being actively hated in utero, so my brain doesn’t actually remember the trauma anyway. It wasn’t neurologically developed enough to form memories that I can consciously retrieve as an adult. The things that I want to talk about are not the point, in a way, because it’s my body that is really doing the remembering, and bodies aren’t fixed with words. Bessel Van der Kolk and Peter Levine talk about this in their books.
 

NoWhereKnowWhere

MyPTSD Pro
Never. Bits and pieces of this not that one or all of one but none of the other with different therapist.

It has literally never gone well. I just can’t buy into the whole idea that you have to. It’s always felt like a terrible idea beforehand and always has been followed by at least a year of being symptomatic and unable to function.

Obviously it really works for some. I think we need to put the one size fits all in the bin. We don’t think that when it comes to SSRIs and other meds why do we think that with therapy.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
I am a pragmatist, and even when dealing with MY emotions I approach it like I approach an engineering problem (pragmatic engineer) where the first step is to gather all the information and then isolate the variables and apply the knowledge gained to the proposed design.
I want the new t to have all the data collected, all the things that have changed and could change back or change more, and then develop a plan for a fix.
It took awhile to get where I am and it isn't a great model for anyone because I am still working the problem (24/7, just like a whole lot of my peers here) so yeah, it isn't a one size fits all but it can't be tossed in the bin and ignored either.
Hire a painter, you better specify colors. Hire a plumber, don't start in the kitchen sink when the shower drain is clogged. Hire a mechanic, better tell him everything you can or he is coing to charge shop rate to figure out the same stuff you already know. Quite the pragmatist am I when I say tell the horrible stuff up front and work top down. Not for everyone.
 

Friday

Moderator
Obviously it really works for some. I think we need to put the one size fits all in the bin. We don’t think that when it comes to SSRIs and other meds why do we think that with therapy.
The only place I’ve ever come across that concept is when trauma is being “treated” in McTherapy, or by someone working outside their specialty, rather than with a trauma therapist.

But then, actual trauma therapists have spent years training in all the different modalities & methods used to treat trauma. Whether someone has PTSD resulting from trauma, or a different disorder / consequences following trauma.

With PTSD, trauma processing is pretty crucial (even though one can simply eliminate symptoms, those symptoms can come surging back, at any time), but there are dozens of methods used to process trauma.
 

NoWhereKnowWhere

MyPTSD Pro
The only place I’ve ever come across that concept is when trauma is being “treated” in McTherapy, or by someone working outside their specialty, rather than with a trauma therapist.
Yes same and once from a trauma psychologist who was still in training and I believe I was unfortunately a hard lesson learn for that person. One that they won’t make again.

Sorry I didn’t explain that well.
I was more thinking that we as clients or I should say I as a client have felt faulty when the “usual” treatment options haven’t been helpful and that I’m “not doing therapy properly”. Which obviously is ridiculous but I feel it’s a similar thought trap people fall into.
 
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