Sharing my therapy homework to recieve feedback

goosegoose

Learning
Hey!

So I haven't had therapy in almost two weeks now because of being assigned some pretty hard questions to mull over. I have session next on the 1st of March.

I've had my homework basically done the entire two weeks because I'm a good noodle, but I was wondering if I could post my responses on here in this thread? The questions: "What do I want out of therapy? What has worked for me therapeutically in the past? What has not worked?"

I'm really nervous to show up to my session and then feel like I can't really describe the things I wrote. I was hoping I could bounce my ideas off of some different brains than mine. I just want to know if my homework response makes sense and that they're good answers, and reassurance that I didn't half ass it. I've been editing my answers for the past two weeks as my ideas come or as they change.

This is the first time I've had a therapist or counselor actually push these questions for me to answer so I feel out of my element. All of my therapists in the past have just kinda dropped the question once I would say "I have no clue." I'm grateful for my current therapist not letting it go.

This turned into more of a rant with a question than just a question buttttt thanks in advance!

Goose 🦆
 

Defaultxlove

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sure whatever homework you have done will be a great place to start if the therapist is a good match for you. If you want to post them here I find it relevant but MODS help lol.

Your trauma diary could be a more private place and I can come read it there if you want.

Hang in there. I got very nervous for first therapy in a long while and also anxiety over some topics more than etc. Considering these are big important questions maybe you're feeling that? No need to pressure. No rush in therapy and its all about and for you. Whatever you need.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i love the notion. can we play along? i've done allot of these exercises in years gone by, but i am a HUGE believer in review. at the moment, i am not in formal therapy but i take my therapy maintenance quite seriously. use it or lose it. . . i'll gamble that you won't be offended if i play along and:

1) what do i want out of therapy?
i hope to gain and maintain a functional level of stability for my daily living and a network to lean on in times of crisis.

2) what has worked for me in the past?
persistence and peer support. the self-care to work my therapy daily. small steps, big faith and lots of prayer.

3) what has not worked for me in the past.
trying to go it alone. ya can't climb a rope that is hooked only to your own belt.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I was wondering if I could post my responses on here in this thread?
Mod Note:
No worries at all.

If you find that therapy homework is something more protracted and evolving, and you want to move it over to a trauma diary in due course you can do that too. Any time you have questions, you can shoot them to us at Contact Us.
What do I want out of therapy? What has worked for me therapeutically in the past? What has not worked?
My 2 cents? I looooove these questions. There's no right answer.

A therapist who asks these questions is (hopefully) asking them not because they neeeeed to know your specific response in order to decide what the hell to do (although, your response is obviously relevant to them).

These questions set in motion an overriding theme for therapy moving forward. An important one: You're driving this bus, not me.

That sounds like, meh! Shrug! Sounds nice, means squat.

Actually it's a therapy approach that I personally needed in order to make progress. Don't know why it's so important. But, a lot of Ts, for a lot of mental health conditions, take a basic approach of:
Patient has problem X: Apply treatment Y

The process (and outcome) changes completely with a complex trauma patient who is driving their own recovery. All that learned helplessness, things being done to you (rather than with you), doing what you're told, getting the same outcome regardless of how you react...basically our whole existence up to this relationship...Poof! Gonesky.

Now you're genuinely in charge. And you know what, there are times when that will be incredibly frustrating (if you respond well to homework? Ask for homework to be a regular thing, because I'm a lot like that, and don't do so well without direction). When you don't know if you're making progress, or which direction to go, or what to talk about (or, or, or)...you'll have to ask. You won't always like the response.

It's actually a very confronting therapy approach, and at times, is only as successful as the patient allows it to be. Zero effort from you means zero reward (whereas, treatment likes ECT, meds, TMS promote change with almost zero effort). It can be exhausting.

Sorry, that response was all over the shop! Just... I loooove these questions.

For me? I would have had no clue how to answer them at first. That's okay. Any idea you have beyond "I have no idea, can you please help me figure that out?" Consider that bonus.
 

goosegoose

Learning
I'm sure whatever homework you have done will be a great place to start if the therapist is a good match for you. If you want to post them here I find it relevant but MODS help lol.

Your trauma diary could be a more private place and I can come read it there if you want.

Hang in there. I got very nervous for first therapy in a long while and also anxiety over some topics more than etc. Considering these are big important questions maybe you're feeling that? No need to pressure. No rush in therapy and its all about and for you. Whatever you need.
I actually end up feeling more pressure from it being all about and for me lol. Thank you for your reply, it's helpful hearing about others' experiences during the beginning (ish) stages. It's a really weird place to be.

i love the notion. can we play along? i've done allot of these exercises in years gone by, but i am a HUGE believer in review. at the moment, i am not in formal therapy but i take my therapy maintenance quite seriously. use it or lose it. . . i'll gamble that you won't be offended if i play along and:

1) what do i want out of therapy?
i hope to gain and maintain a functional level of stability for my daily living and a network to lean on in times of crisis.

2) what has worked for me in the past?
persistence and peer support. the self-care to work my therapy daily. small steps, big faith and lots of prayer.

3) what has not worked for me in the past.
trying to go it alone. ya can't climb a rope that is hooked only to your own belt.
You're absolutely correct in that I'm not offended at all! Thank you for sharing your own answers, #3 really made so much sense for me that I'm gonna add it to my own list of answers. I already wrote about needing to not be so secretive with like my personal information/feelings if that makes sense? The way you worded it just really wrapped it up nice and pretty with a little bow

Mod Note:
No worries at all.

If you find that therapy homework is something more protracted and evolving, and you want to move it over to a trauma diary in due course you can do that too. Any time you have questions, you can shoot them to us at Contact Us.

My 2 cents? I looooove these questions. There's no right answer.

A therapist who asks these questions is (hopefully) asking them not because they neeeeed to know your specific response in order to decide what the hell to do (although, your response is obviously relevant to them).

These questions set in motion an overriding theme for therapy moving forward. An important one: You're driving this bus, not me.

That sounds like, meh! Shrug! Sounds nice, means squat.

Actually it's a therapy approach that I personally needed in order to make progress. Don't know why it's so important. But, a lot of Ts, for a lot of mental health conditions, take a basic approach of:
Patient has problem X: Apply treatment Y

The process (and outcome) changes completely with a complex trauma patient who is driving their own recovery. All that learned helplessness, things being done to you (rather than with you), doing what you're told, getting the same outcome regardless of how you react...basically our whole existence up to this relationship...Poof! Gonesky.

Now you're genuinely in charge. And you know what, there are times when that will be incredibly frustrating (if you respond well to homework? Ask for homework to be a regular thing, because I'm a lot like that, and don't do so well without direction). When you don't know if you're making progress, or which direction to go, or what to talk about (or, or, or)...you'll have to ask. You won't always like the response.

It's actually a very confronting therapy approach, and at times, is only as successful as the patient allows it to be. Zero effort from you means zero reward (whereas, treatment likes ECT, meds, TMS promote change with almost zero effort). It can be exhausting.

Sorry, that response was all over the shop! Just... I loooove these questions.

For me? I would have had no clue how to answer them at first. That's okay. Any idea you have beyond "I have no idea, can you please help me figure that out?" Consider that bonus.
Thanks for replying! I loved what you wrote, not all over the place at all.

This actually all makes a lot of sense for me - about therapists asking more to set the tone of us taking charge. It's frustrating as hell, you nailed that one for sure. I've been really trying to be proactive about my mindset because I do ultimately want to get to the point of "done with you" rather than being stuck at "done to you" if that makes sense.
 

goosegoose

Learning
Okay well here goes a wall of text! I want to add another 4th section of different approaches I'm interested in trying but I feel like those thoughts aren't developed well enough to put into text. Maybe I'll have more ideas after my next session.

Thank you to anyone who actually reads this, I feel like it might be a lot lol.

1. What do I want from counseling?
  • Spiritual growth (consistency with meditation; having the energy, confidence, motivation to deep dive into astrology, tarot, divination, etc)
  • Ability to identify answers to “How are you feeling?” (Why am I always so unsure? Why do I usually feel nothing?)
  • Better balance between independence and collaboration/working with others
  • Ability to get through difficult or important conversations without splitting or shutting down (getting to root of fight response when being told what I should do, how I should do something, etc.)
  • Learn basic boundaries
  • Better understanding of negative/angry transferences
  • Consistent help/patience with practicing grounding
  • Less intense stage fright
  • How to care about self care
  • Ability to manage the ups and downs without needing lots of recovery time
  • Agoraphobia management - ability to go places alone/with Significant Other, take trash out, sit on our patio, go on walks, etc. without paranoia/anxiety
  • Ability to enjoy personal accomplishments
  • Desensitization to triggers
  • Better psychological flexibility
  • Ability to redirect body focused repetitive behaviors towards healthier behaviors
  • Better financial management (remembering to pay bills on time, having the confidence to own a car, allowing myself to buy myself small things without guilt, etc)
  • Healthier relationship dynamic with food
  • How to identify when I need to stop doing something, take a break, rest, etc.
  • Better awareness of how I'm coming across towards outside perspectives
  • More engagement with art
  • Long term - medication
  • Long term - fill in the gaps of repressed memories
  • Long term - better diagnosis with someone better qualified than who I first tested with, specifically qualifications for autistic adults

2. What has worked for me in counseling?
  • Having really patient therapists/counselors
  • Being given specific homework
  • Upfrontness from therapist about not feeling judgemental towards me - “I’m not judging you” “not judging that” etc
  • Reminders that my experiences were real when I start feeling like past events are fake/unreal
  • Occasionally sharing written things and then having a conversation from that versus verbalizing 100%
  • Doodling after sessions, journaling
  • Taking passionflower (natural anti-anxiety) before session
  • Wearing earrings that feel like tiny little friends to look at during session, holding onto small items that are pleasant (sensory)
  • Posting and reading things on myptsd.com outside of session
  • Body language reminders (“Your shoulders are really high,” etc)

3. What has not worked for me in counseling?
  • Therapists not following through (saying “I want to see [blank] next week” and then forgetting to ask to see [blank]) (“I want to talk about [blank]” and then forgetting to talk about [blank])
  • Therapists withholding criticisms, feedback, observations
  • Keeping everything to myself, being secretive, trying to go at things alone
  • Not participating actively (definition for “fully participating in therapy” needed)
  • Not talking about diagnosis
 

StillPen

MyPTSD Pro
@goosegoose, I think these are fantastic. When my T asked these questions I was such a mess all I could say was "help, I want help". The fact that you've actually thought through exact deliverables will give your T a great starting point.
 

goosegoose

Learning
@goosegoose, I think these are fantastic. When my T asked these questions I was such a mess all I could say was "help, I want help". The fact that you've actually thought through exact deliverables will give your T a great starting point.
That's so thoughtful of you to say, thank you so much. And to be fair to you too, this list is the first time I've ever actually sat down and really thought hard about it. My answers before this were definitely very similar to yours.

I actually keep forgetting to update this thread, I did end up sharing this with my T and it went so well! I think that's why I kept forgetting lol because all was fine.
 
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