Is this good treatment?

PTSDisaster

Confident
I really want to dig in my trauma. I feel nothing when thinking about all the traumatic events, but I feel overwhelmed with other things in life which should be normal.

For example: everything that makes me think my boyfriend could be turned on, I get stressed about and I will vomit. Going to the store is also big stress event so I've been home for quite a while now. I do try and go shopping, I also get out of the house regularly and I'm doing okay.

Anyway, my therapist wants to look at what's bothering and causing anxiety right now, doesn't want to look at my trauma's because it might not even be necessary. But I get sooo insecure because I don't know the connections between my anxiety and my past trauma and I feel that I need to figure that out first so I can stop questioning myself if it's not just my personality instead of ptsd.

I already told my therapist and the supervising therapist while discussing the treatment plan, but they both say that they need to get my anxiety under control first and then maybe it isn't even necessary to look at my past of sexual abuse by my father.

We never discussed the events, they only know my father touched me until I was 12 years old. No details were discussed.

I don't want to 'waste' time anymore. It feels like every therapist wants to keep talking around it. If you're stung by a bee, you can put lotions around the sting, but if you let the sting in your skin the pain will never go away.

Am I not open enough for their look on treatment or are they not open enough for mine?
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
I'm a bit confused by that. You said the therapists don't want to look at your traumas and try and focus on what's causing your anxiety. But it may well be your feelings and thoughts from trauma that is actually causing your anxiety. I don't understand that.??
 

barefoot

Sponsor
I already told my therapist and the supervising therapist while discussing the treatment plan, but they both say that they need to get my anxiety under control first

It sounds like they may be trying to do some stabilisation/grounding in the here and now work with you first?
Diving deep into difficult, unprocessed traumas while you are feeling unsettled and overwhelmed about everyday here and now stuff wouldn't be the most useful thing to do, in my view. And it could also be to your detriment.

It also sounds like they're following where the feelings are at this point....if you feel nothing when thinking about traumatic events but feel a lot of anxiety and overwhelm about everyday things, it makes sense to me that they will start with that. That's the immediate 'presenting issue' I suppose – the overwhelm about current everyday things. While the current feelings may well be caught up in old trauma stuff – and the traumatic events may emerge naturally in the work around current things anyway – I don't think it's that strange that they aren't starting with, 'So, tell us about what your father did.'

That said, if you strongly feel that you want/need to talk about it at this point, I don't think you're wrong to want to bring that to a session. I wonder if you feel a need to tell your story? I remember getting to the point where I just sort of felt the need to tell my T what had happened with something as it had got to the point where we were both sort of dancing around something but she didn't really know what....So, in the end, I made a decision that I was going to tell her at the next session and I basically started by saying, 'can I just spend some time today telling you what happened?' And I talked at her for a while and she just listened. And afterwards, we just sort of left it for a while....not in a bad way in that it felt like we were ignoring it or that it was left hanging...it just felt better that I'd finally said it and that she now knew that that was part of my story...so it became a context to our sessions and work even though we didn't then really dive into it again until quite a long time afterwards.
 

PTSDisaster

Confident
I'm a bit confused by that. You said the therapists don't want to look at your traumas and try and focus on what's causing your anxiety. But it may well be your feelings and thoughts from trauma that is actually causing your anxiety. I don't understand that.??
Yes that's why I'm confused as well.
Are they saying they want to stabilise you first before going into the past trauma? As that would make sense.
If you go into the past trauma when you're not ready, it can make things like anxiety even worse.
It sounds like they may be trying to do some stabilisation/grounding in the here and now work with you first?
Diving deep into difficult, unprocessed traumas while you are feeling unsettled and overwhelmed about everyday here and now stuff wouldn't be the most useful thing to do, in my view. And it could also be to your detriment.

It also sounds like they're following where the feelings are at this point....if you feel nothing when thinking about traumatic events but feel a lot of anxiety and overwhelm about everyday things, it makes sense to me that they will start with that. That's the immediate 'presenting issue' I suppose – the overwhelm about current everyday things. While the current feelings may well be caught up in old trauma stuff – and the traumatic events may emerge naturally in the work around current things anyway – I don't think it's that strange that they aren't starting with, 'So, tell us about what your father did.'

That said, if you strongly feel that you want/need to talk about it at this point, I don't think you're wrong to want to bring that to a session. I wonder if you feel a need to tell your story? I remember getting to the point where I just sort of felt the need to tell my T what had happened with something as it had got to the point where we were both sort of dancing around something but she didn't really know what....So, in the end, I made a decision that I was going to tell her at the next session and I basically started by saying, 'can I just spend some time today telling you what happened?' And I talked at her for a while and she just listened. And afterwards, we just sort of left it for a while....not in a bad way in that it felt like we were ignoring it or that it was left hanging...it just felt better that I'd finally said it and that she now knew that that was part of my story...so it became a context to our sessions and work even though we didn't then really dive into it again until quite a long time afterwards.
I think they want to stabilise me first. But I think exploring the trauma could help me stabilise since I'm getting insecure about how I'm reacting to things that cause my anxiety but I don't know why. I really feel like when I get emotions connected with the trauma, the pieces will fit and my anxiety could get connected with what's really causing it. Now I feel lost, get triggered by so many things that don't have to do with my trauma's just because I don't know the feelings of the trauma. I don't know if this makes sense at all, but in my mind it does. Hope you'll understand what I mean because it's hard to explain.

Thanks for all your reactions, appreciate it very much:)
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Sounds like you might be sort of on the same page (or at least the same book, different chapter!), just seeing it from different angles, and breaking it down in slightly different ways. You want to make meaning of the triggers, which means exploring the past, to find a way to manage them. They want to help give you understanding, and tools to manage the triggers and impact on you.
Do you think you can raise this with your therapist to say you kind of want to explore it all at the same time?
Whatever happens, you can always revisit how therapy is going; what you explore in each session and what you agree not to.

You can go as fast and as slow as you want. It's your therapy. Can't see a therapist telling someone to not say what they want to! But they will want to make sure you are as safe as you can be.
 

PTSDisaster

Confident
Sounds like you might be sort of on the same page (or at least the same book, different chapter!), just seeing it from different angles, and breaking it down in slightly different ways. You want to make meaning of the triggers, which means exploring the past, to find a way to manage them. They want to help give you understanding, and tools to manage the triggers and impact on you.
Do you think you can raise this with your therapist to say you kind of want to explore it all at the same time?
Whatever happens, you can always revisit how therapy is going; what you explore in each session and what you agree not to.

You can go as fast and as slow as you want. It's your therapy. Can't see a therapist telling someone to not say what they want to! But they will want to make sure you are as safe as you can be.
Yes I already told I want to explore the trauma's and her reaction was that it might not be necessary, but I haven't asked to kinda do it all at the same time so maybe that's a good option! Thanks:)
 

barefoot

Sponsor
I already told I want to explore the trauma's and her reaction was that it might not be necessary
That’s not necessarily a ‘no’ from her though. It’s a, ‘it might not be necessary.’ And maybe it will turn out that it’s not necessary. Or, maybe it turns out that it’s very necessary!

To me this feels like: let’s make a start and let’s see what happens and where we get to and where we go from there. Sounds like there’s potentially flexibility rather than a set in stone: this is what we are definitely doing and this is what we’re definitely not ever doing.

But if it does turn out to be a firm no from her when you’ve repeatedly made it clear that you do want to go there, then I’d want to have a really open conversation with her about that as I’d want to really understand her no. Is it because she doesn’t think I’m stable enough or that, in her experience, she feels like it will do more harm than good? Is it because the trauma stuff is outside her skill set or just not really her thing? Is it that she’s become attached to her agenda of working on your being able to do everyday stuff without anxiety etc and perhaps she has failed to hear what you want to work on? (And a squillion other possibilities!)

Because, then I’d really want to sense check whether we’re on the same page/a good fit and whether this/she is going to work for me and help me meet my therapy goals.

At the moment though, I don’t think you have a firm no from her…
 

Friday

Moderator
But I think exploring the trauma could help me stabilise
Bwaaaaahahahahaaaa 🤣🤣🤣 ROFLMFAO!!! 🤣🤣🤣

Oh... I remember when I thought that!

True, maybe you won’t be like me, or most people who have PTSD.

I’m pretty lucky. I only lost 2 years of my life to being completely non-functional (homeless, jobless, starving, sleepless, half mad, etc.), and it only took me 4 more years to get almoooooost back to where I was before I hit a teeny tiny portion of my trauma history without stabilizing, first. A helluva lot of people simply kill themselves.

Best of luck, to you. Truely. No one could have talked ME out of it (some of us, our only real contribution to society is being a warning sign to others)... so don’t take this as an attempt. It’s your life, walk across a well signed minefield as you please. Either you’ll get to the other side, or be a crippled bloody mess, or dead. Shrug. Some of us are so impatient &/or stupid, unwilling to spend 6mo to save 6 years or our lives, that risk is worth it. Maybe you’ll get lucky, like me. And lose everything you value, but survive it. Maybe you’ll get luckier than me, and lose less. Or maybe masochism and/or punishing yourself is just your thing. I mean, why learn to manage ONE symptom, when you can be beaten bloody by ALL of them, unable to manage any of them? Sounds like a great plan. If inflicting totally unnecessary pain and hardship is your thing. If not? You might want to rethink it.
 
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Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
I went into it wanting to talk about my traumas. I’d journal, ask my therapist to read some of the sick stuff that happened to me. Watched her eyes flutter a little. Kind of like a test. Will you be the one to witness my pain and validate me or turn your back on me like the last one did. In the mean time, her agenda was to teach me tools and resourcing and show me support as I dealt with the multitude of flashbacks, arm tearing attempts to be grounded and disassociating a bit out of control. Now that I have better control over my side effects of ptsd, we are slowly working on the trauma and now all I want to do is avoid it.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
But I think exploring the trauma could help me stabilise since I'm getting insecure about how I'm reacting to things that cause my anxiety but I don't know why.

Yeah, that’s not how it works. Your therapist doesn’t want to throw you in the deep end without you knowing how to calm yourself. If you don’t know how to stabilize yourself and then you dig into trauma which this process by definition is destabilizing, you could go home and hurt yourself because you don’t have the tools to keep yourself calm and grounded. If you get sick at just the thought of anything that could arouse your boyfriend, I’d say you’re not ready to dive into the trauma. It would be like throwing someone into the middle of the ocean when they don’t know how to even swim, have no life preservers, the sinking ship didn’t even have life boats, there are no safety flares, etc. Trust your therapist on this one. There’s a reason why the major protocols call for stabilization first before diving into trauma. And yes, resolving your trauma will lessen your symptoms, or at least that’s the goal, but skipping steps could make things a hell of a lot worse for you.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I'm not sure there is a clear cut: stabilise and then talk about trauma. At least, I don't think I found/find it for myself.
Especially if you are living with the trauma in your mind. It's there. It's not going away. Sometimes saying what you are seeing and remembering is so destabilising (it makes it real by saying the words), but sometimes it is healing (finally, someone is there to hear it and witness your pain).

Essentially, it is a messy path. And you have to find your way that suits you.
 
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