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Shut down with my therapist.

Discussion in 'Treatment & Therapy' started by Justmehere, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. Justmehere

    Justmehere Defying the odds Moderator Premium Member

    I’m shutting down with my therapist.

    Why? I don’t know. Life hasn’t been more stressful or symptomatic than usual.

    My therapist and I have been in a weird place, but that doesn’t seem to be it.

    I told her this last week how I wanted to fly away from my life, and she said it was new to hear that from me. I told her of wanting to just run... she tried to help me hang on to the reasons to stay.

    I usually email her once a week (with the understanding she won’t reply but we will talk about it in session... and she says it really helps our sessions, and wants me to do it more.

    My entire email this week so far: “I’m shut down. Got nothing else to say.”

    How do I get out of this?

    After this week, she goes on vacation again, so I won’t see her for a bit. It would be good to be able to really connect with herhis weke and work on the trauma we were working through.

    But I have got nothing in me to do it. She told me to “work on distress tolerance” this past week and I wouldn’t be wanting to pack my bags and run. That’s all she said. She didn’t really go into it any further. It felt like she was saying, “ok go cope with that.” Like I get it. I have a shit-ton of coping skills and I’m using them.

    Feeling like maybe connection in and of itself with people, including my therapist, is useful, but I can’t get myself to do it with her.

    Any suggestions? (She’s a good therapist for me and I’m not interested in switching to anyone new at the moment.) I need to get out of the shut down.
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  3. Missycat

    Missycat Well-Known Member Donated

    Hi @Justmehere , you say she goes on vacation soon. Im wondering if you use your session before vacation to try and talk about your feeling of wanting to shut down etc then use the time she is away to think about what you want from therapy , whats triggered you to feel this way .
    I hope you get something sorted.
    scout86, Freida, Eagle3 and 1 other person like this.
  4. Justmehere

    Justmehere Defying the odds Moderator Premium Member

    Thanks @Missycat. She suggested thinking through goals for therapy during her last (much longer) vacation (she actually rarely goes on vacation) and we had the first session after that break last week. I felt shut down before she got back. I was able to tell her my goals last time, but I’m super unmotivated to keep connecting and keep trying for some unknown reason.

    All my motivation for therapy flew out the window, but not my need for it.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    blackemerald1, scout86, Sietz and 2 others like this.
  5. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    Maybe just ride it out?

    Maybe the shut down is your mind saying you need a break?

    I know when I shut down, I just need to get away and recuperate. Forcing things to speed along never really works.
    Slushie, Wilmot, joeylittle and 2 others like this.
  6. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    Perhaps its a mini isolation break? I know I need them every so often in therapy because my brain just gets tired and stops cooperating. Then I lose the ability to find the words for what I'm feeling, then I go numb and kind of shut down. Maybe her leaving is a good time for your brain to rest and then reset?
  7. MrMoonlight

    MrMoonlight I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Sometimes when my therapist and I need a change of scenery we conduct the session while walking outside together. It can break things up a bit and relaxes me so I'm able to get through things. I am fortunate that her offices have a large winding water feature in between the buildings. It's calming to me and connects to my safe place.
  8. Suzetig

    Suzetig Still the Staff Kitteh... Moderator Sponsor $100+

    If she’s been away, cane back for a couple of sessions andvis about to go off again it’s reasonable you’d find it hard to connect with her - I always find the first session back a bit distant and if she’s going again so quickly you may not be in the place for anything deeper.

    I’d echo the suggestion to ride it out until she is back more consistently- give yourself the time to look after yourself and see how it is when she is properly back.
  9. MyWillow

    MyWillow Well-Known Member

    For what it’s worth....there’s a protective part of me that creates a LOT of distance between T and me (the logical brain) when there is significant time between sessions. Sometimes that part pushes me into dissociation or a flashback with total amnesia. The thought process is something along the lines of “see, you’ll need to pick up the pieces on your own. Don’t trust. Don’t open up.”

    Ok that sounds like a crazy barrel of monkeys right there but I’m trying to figure it out as I go.
    grit, amymuse, Slushie and 5 others like this.
  10. barefoot

    barefoot I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    Agree with a couple of others here. If she had a break, then just recently got back, now is soon to go on a break again...plus, if you two have already been in a bit of a weird place anyway...it sounds understandable to me that there is perhaps a greater sense of distance/disconnection than usual?

    I always feel more cautious/self-protected when I’ve had a therapy break (whether it was me or her who took a holiday)

    Perhaps next session just mention you’ve been shut down and finding it hard to connect with her at the moment. As others have said, the upcoming break may give you a break you need to rest your brain/recalibrate/refocus?
  11. scout86

    scout86 I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    Maybe consider that this, whatever it is, is a phase you're going through. You may not understand it yet, but you WILL come out the other side of it?
    Freida, blackemerald1 and Justmehere like this.
  12. Junebug

    Junebug I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    It came to me, times like those, maybe is the very need to double-down, (when least desirous of it). Theoretically, at least?
  13. HollyBeans27

    HollyBeans27 Well-Known Member Premium Member Donated

    @Justmehere - A few questions: You said that you don’t know why you’re shutting down, but can you at least figure out when it started and what was happening at that time? Maybe that will lead you to why (although the reasons might not be the most important right now). Second, what does shutting down look/feel like for you; how do you know that it’s happening? Third, what would you rather happen instead? Not goals per se, but what do you want to be different?

    You don’t have to answer those of course, but they are some things to consider as you process... About running away, where would you go if you could escape life? What are you running from? Would knowing that help you or your therapist change things to address the shutdown? Last but not least, does it feel like a push-pull relationship right now?
    Freida, Sietz and Justmehere like this.
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