I slammed the computer shut during online therapy


I was having a session over zoom with my therapist who I have worked with for a longish time and was being very very vulnerable describing what was happening during my dissociative state earlier in the session and after all that she said something that was so off and nothing to do with what I was talking about that I slammed the computer shut (granted there was only a couple of minutes left). Then I couldn’t breathe and was wailing and having an extreme panic attack.
I don’t know what to do. I feel embarrassed by my reaction. I try to always be in control but then I dip my toes in letting myself be vulnerable and this happens. All the parts that were saying don’t share don’t share now feel like they were justified.
Don’t know what the solution is. I feel like I don’t feel safe going back to therapy and also very ashamed.


If this is someone you have been seeing and has shown you to be a professional- they will understand. It is so easy for strong feelings to be evoked in therapy. You are extra vulnerable if it seemed like they were hearing you it is understandable why it brought up such strong feelings. I encourage you to talk about the experience with them next time. They should be able to take feedback about their comment being off base. I tell my therapist when she says something that really doesn't fit, she isn't offended. It is her job to listen and use that information to make more accurate conclusions next time.


I very nearly did that once, had to fight the urge to slam the laptop down (and sorry this won't be helpful, but I'm impressed that you did it - it's impressive to me as someone who just becomes compliant at times of stress and you showed your feelings through action).

I honestly think it's absolutely ok.
I can totally understand the panic attack after.
But: it's ok. It was 'just' a sign that it wasn't working/feelings were overwhelmed/that was the action you had in your resources at that point.
There isn't anything to be embarrassed or ashamed about.
Think it will be a really good thing to talk to T about.

If it happens again, is there some way of building in a 'pause' button to give yourself time to voice the urge to do this with T before you do?
I also think it's far easier to slam a laptop down than it is to pick up bags and coats and walk out of a therapy room. So it's a downside to online? I'm sure that you won't have been the first person to do this with that T, and you won't be the last. Therapy is hard. So I hope you can cut yourself some slack and find a way of being ok about it.


It never happened to me in therapy but there have been circumstances with friends where I hang the phone down for details, generally in situations like yours. I say something important to me and the person just carries on saying whatever, I get pissed and I hang off. Then well I try to call them back asap and say I'm sorry, before I start to have the feeling I f*cked up badly. I say sorry I got mega pissed with this because of that, it's not your fault, it's too much of a strong response, but please consider I'm having a hard time too. Sometimes it's just not possible and not with everyone but when it is generally it's okay. Before that I invented stuff like the line was out or something 🙄 cause I was shameful of having overreacted. But I don't do this if they aren't close friends. And hopefully the heightened susceptibility doesn't happen when they aren't close anyway so it sort of goes ok.


Don’t feel bad. I won’t do zoom I can’t stand it. Ive had to do it for a very few things but I refuse to do it for therapy, we talk on the phone. She pushes for it still and I tell her no. I’ve been able to stick to that boundary. It makes me feel really uncomfortable during and after. Why subject myself to that?


Thank you all for your support.
In past few times when the feelings got too strong I have asked to leave for few min to regroup and come back as I was scared I was gonna cry or get overwhelmed.
We are doing hybrid now with some sessions in person and some online.
I had actually written her an email to apologize. But she had missed it and then emailed me herself to follow up and tell me that she didn’t intend to hurt me or make me angry and if I wanted to talk on the phone.
So we talked on the phone for few min and I apologized but she told me it was ok to be angry with her and to express my anger and that obviously she had been off yesterday and her comment was off the mark. I have never experienced this long of acceptance from anyone including therapists. It’s like she never gets defensive it’s like when I think we re done she just goes one step further and is kinder to me.
There’s a lot more I want to explain to her about what happened. As in the last few weeks I have this weird experience of being back in the past with most of me and a small part of me in the present and it feels like I am not truly grounded and I am letting these feelings take over rather than be in control. This in turn means that I am extremely vulnerable in these situations. Like there’s no shell to protect me anymore and in this space I am less likely to be able to be in control. It’s a very strange experience of such deep feelings I wasn’t even aware of coming to the surface in full force.
I am grateful for my therapist. Even when all the parts after the session kept saying we told you not to talk and I promised them I wouldn’t anymore and I would protect them, she showed me that maybe she is not the person I need to protect myself from.
I have never experienced anything like this in my life and it feels very strange, when she says it’s ok I was angry and that I expressed crystal clear what was happening. Don’t know why I got so lucky to find her but I did.


much like @Movingforward10 said i think that this is admirable. maybe that it was very reactive. but it could be also very positive.

i cannot imagine doing this in therapy or with any real situation. i hide behind a veneer of professionalism. some times i will say things like "okay. i just need a second, here." which is not a bad way to assert a boundary. but my therapist has pointed it out.

that i tend to get very formal. or very professional. instead of having the real emotional reaction. so in that way it does sound to be that you are getting more comfortable of acually having this emotive response.

but yes i would think to definitely discuss that with the therapist. that is what they are there for.


Really glad your T reached out and apologised. Everywhere I read it says that T's song that really helps with your healing. They show you a different way of responding to you and validating you.
Sounds as though you are getting to some very deep emotions if the last few weeks have felt like how you describe. So you're in a place of being vulnerable emotionally with your T, so no wonder it's intense at the moment. Sounds like a lot of important, deep, healing work? (Even if painful?)..


I can't say I would see slamming the laptop down as positive, simply because it wouldn't address the issue and potentially blame someone for an unintended mistake. But, neither should you blame yourself for a trigger, that's not your fault, just your responsibility to address, and you did, and apologized. And better still, she was astute enough to realize she misunderstood and said so, and did so without being aware of your apology. So I think you chose an even better course @mylunareclipse , and sounds like a good T for you. (You could always throw your computer after- but then why do that when it's your computer 😊 )