Negotiating with therapist

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
My t and I have recently began discussing why our original rupture happened ( more deeply). It had to do with something called “attachment cry.” Basically, I would get triggered in session and reach out for comfort via email. She would respond and I would either feel comforted or get more triggered. It became a really unhealthy set up because it would cause me to become more and more disregulated between sessions. Her solution was that I could email her and she promised she would read it. At the time this happened I was so disregulated that I went into a very deep spiral. It has taken years of work to repair and understand that she was still supporting me. She returns calls if I ask for a call or extra session and sends a brief email if she is unable to. She is very careful about when she might reply to something I write, but does occasionally.

I think that therapists dealing with cptsd really need to set strong boundaries from the start, but have some sort of way that clients can reach out. My child parts were so incredibly hurt when she changed the plan and it was the teenaged parts that caused the new boundaries to be implemented. It caused a lot of inner conflict and I’m surprised I didn’t leave. It’s weird when parts of you stay aligned and other parts hate the therapist.

I’m glad that we are finally able to talk about this stuff. When I originally wrote this post I was requesting a change. I don’t even remember what I was seeking. Since then, I feel like her “no” upset part of me, followed by her helping me through it and another big chunk of trust has arrived.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
This seems unusually harsh and demeaning. We have had similar issues, my therapist and me but we always work it out. He is good with e-mails in between sessions, but with the understanding that he may not be able to reply before the session. We do have a system in place for crisis mode, which is putting exclamation points "!!!" in the subject line, which triggers a 24-hour reply from him. Maybe you could do something similar? But also, if it has been a tough session, he will offer a follow-up (15 minutes) phone call a few days after. As a future therapist myself (about 6 months out), I will be trying to gain a middle ground. It is never a great idea to do actual therapy outside of a session, but in some cases that reassurance of connection is needed between sessions.
And in some cases, where boundaries aren't clear on the part of the therapist, a client can become more dependent than absolutely necessary......and the therapist has created a new issue.
 

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
I think it all depends on the person. I read things like this sometimes and keep myself far from reaching to my T to not bother her. But through the years my Ts keep reminding me to reach out. They are not mad when I reach out, instead they keep asking me to when I feel I need to. And because I never knew when I needed to my previous therapist actually made an agreement with me to send an email every week. This worked well for us and helped me trust her more and move forward faster. I always read the stories of therapists changing the boundary to “no emails” but my experience has almost been the opposite. I wonder how they decide.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
@mylunareclipse in my case, it was because it was adding to my anxiety loop waiting for her response and also was triggering abandonment fears. Now, I can write her as needed without expected written response. She does occasionally reply and she responds to a phone call request.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
@mylunareclipse in my case, it was because it was adding to my anxiety loop waiting for her response and also was triggering abandonment fears. Now, I can write her as needed without expected written response. She does occasionally reply and she responds to a phone call request.
I think being able to write what you want T to know in that moment-usually in my case, to reduce serious anxiety, with the clear understanding that she's got a life, will read it at some point.....is all I need. That is enough to reduce the stress in my stress cup and move on.....but it's helpful if I'm stuck in a big pile of anxiety and can't get out on my own....it is a type of support with clear boundaries.
 
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