How to do purposeful work in therapy after minor rupture

LeiaFlower

Learning
I completely relate to what you mean about shutting down due to lack of trust. For me when I feel like I'm not being heard or I fear something bad might happen when I speak I up I literally can not speak. For people who have never gone through this feeling then it's hard to explain. Simply telling us to 'just talk' doesn't work. I remember continuously berating myself during these shut downs; telling myself 'speak or you're going to ruin everything. why are you scared?' then also doing the opposite where I would remind myself that I'm in safe space. However, that neither worked nor did it work when therapist reminded me I was in a safe space.

I'm still trying to grasp how to work around the shut downs. Though something that has helped me is writing down what caused them in the moment. For instance, in session one time my therapist asked me a question about a tough subject and I immediately shut down out of fear that if I said something, something bad will happen. I wrote down my fear and then stated this out loud. It eased a little. Then I went in depth on where this fear could possibly come from. By doing so it helped remind me that the past doesn't equate to the present.

Though sometimes my therapist does make a mistake or unintentionally trigger me where I feel unsafe again. It's continuing despite feeling unsafe. It doesn't mean that the feeling will automatically go away or that you won't feel this away again. It's a slow process. With cptsd you're always in a state of hypervigilance when you don't know who's safe. It's just constantly reminding yourself that you are. Does that makes any sense?
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Thanks for your post @LeiaFlower - it feels a bit better knowing someone can relate to the ‘voice hijacking’ experience - though I’m sorry that you experience that too.

And yes, you’re making sense and it’s helpful. Reading what you’ve written, it makes me think that perhaps I need to reflect more on what is really underneath what triggers the shutdown/voice hijack, after it happens. So, after the session, when things (I!) have settled, try to focus more on the deeper, underlying things that have been triggered, rather than getting so focused on - and stressed/upset about - the surface here and now trigger of my therapist’s actions…?
And to remind myself that there is a deeper thing that her words/behaviour triggers, which is probably the thing I am most upset/stressed about…

Thanks.
 

LeiaFlower

Learning
it feels a bit better knowing someone can relate to the ‘voice hijacking’ experience - though I’m sorry that you experience that too.

And yes, you’re making sense and it’s helpful. Reading what you’ve written, it makes me think that perhaps I need to reflect more on what is really underneath what triggers the shutdown/voice hijack, after it happens. So, after the session, when things (I!) have settled, try to focus more on the deeper, underlying things that have been triggered, rather than getting so focused on - and stressed/upset about - the surface here and now trigger of my therapist’s actions…?
And to remind myself that there is a deeper thing that her words/behaviour triggers, which is probably the thing I am most upset/stressed about…

Thanks.
I'm glad you were able to find some things helpful :)
 

Charbella

Learning
Barefoot I think you might need her to let you talk through it where she responds. Not just an apology but some reasoning as to why it happened. I read your original post and it seems you might be feeling she avoids the hard stuff. For me I’d have a hard time working with someone about my own hard stuff if they can’t work with theirs. Plus according to what I’ve read she has done this type of thing before. I’ve experienced a few rifts and if my therapist just listened and apologized it wouldn’t be enough for me, I actually don’t need the apology, I need to understand what happened. I don’t know if that’s because that was the only way I could feel safe as a kid was to know the mistake made so I could avoid making it again or something else is at play. But I have to understand and an apology without reasoning is not me understanding.

Maybe see if you can figure out what’s bothering you and bring those points to your T, throwing away 8 years would be hard but not being able to move forward is just as hard. I bet if you really look at it you’ll find that the issue is not the missed appointment fee nor her response, it’s either the cumulative effect of many of these responses or something else.
 
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