Stuck in therapy - Undecided on how to proceed

kirbs

New Here
Hey guys, I'm currently in treatment but feeling really undecided on how to proceed so thought maybe someone could give me some outside perspective on this one.

Basically, I've been in therapy for PTSD for a year now. At the start the working relationship with my therapist was good, we focused on EMDR and I improved, which was great and I'm still happy with. Then after a couple of months we quit EMDR and started working on other treatment goals I had (unrelated to trauma) and things went downhill fast.

Basically, the more we talked about my personally issues (unrelated to the trauma) the more anxious I became and the worse I started feeling about the therapy. I got really clingy as a consequence (yeah I know), what started as a safe place with her transformed into a place where I became really insecure about what my therapist was thinking, also because of some off-hand comments she made which just made me feel more paranoid. I still am insecure about this and feel like I have no grasp on what's going on in her mind. The fact that she's a woman and I'm a guy and we're literally the same age doesn't exactly factor into this positively either (also makes me feel just worse about being clingy and insecure).

I've already tried to address this, but in response she basically conveys that her only concern is how to help me. I know she's a therapist and we're not supposed to be friends-friends, but I also feel a bit stonewalled feeling really bad about how clingy I've behaved and only getting her professional considerations in return. It's not that I don't understand, it's just that it makes me feel very insecure because I still have no idea what she may think of me or not. Also, it doesn't help that she read a lot of documentation on previous treatment I had 5 years ago (yeah great decision that was letting her have that, feel whatever was written there doesn't apply to me anymore) which just makes me feel scared her opinion about me is warped beyond how I feel about myself currently.

Right now I'm 50/50 on just leaving the therapy and saying "thanks for everything but I'll be moving on" or alternatively trying to talk it out but I don't really have a clear idea how. I really need EMDR badly again now which is the whole complicating factor in this thing, but I can't do EMDR feeling so insecure opposite her. I'm also really nervous around a lot of people which doesn't work in my favor because I have difficulty articulating my thoughts (which is kinda important when it comes to stuff like this). So yeah, any thoughts, comments, are appreciated.
 

Sues

Confident
"Right now I'm 50/50 on just leaving the therapy and saying "thanks for everything but I'll be moving on" or alternatively trying to talk it out but I don't really have a clear idea how. I'm also really nervous around a lot of people which doesn't work in my favor because I have difficulty articulating my thoughts (which is kinda important when it comes to stuff like this). So yeah, any thoughts, comments, are appreciated."

Tell her exactly that. You worded it well, and she needs to know so you can both work on it. Therapy is for what you need, and your therapist is there to help you and work with you. If you're too nervous to say it, write it down and read it to her in the session. That takes the pressure off trying to say something uncomfortable.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Really good idea to tell her all of this.

Have you read up on transference? Might really help. Might help understand the clinginess and insecurity (btw: you are not alone in this at all! I'm told it is all part of the process, and actually shows therapy is working, even though it feels so crappy). I keep bringing up these feelings with my T. She normalises it. We talk and talk about it. I also feel like ending therapy because of it: but that isn't going to solve it.
Talk to her, as honestly as you can.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
This is unfortunate and happens so much that after 100 years of talk therapy no one has come with how to deal with it. IMHO, this is one area I believe therapists should deal with it directly rather than indirect method.
You are experiencing what is called erotic transference. You can google to your heart's desire. It is painful. It is stupid. It is childish. and it is destabilizing and bizarre. On the other hand, it is extremely informative and shows us how we acted as a baby to a mother/parent who was not attuned to us. It is quite powerful cause it shows us how we love today and how we may act unconsciously when we are in relationship (same way you are obsessed with the therapist, you probably do with others whom you date and they may be the ones leaving you cause it is too much...but now you want to leave cause you are not being gratified).

The problem is you have regressed. You are probably also experiencing a lot of other stuff going haywire outside therapy cause you are so focused on what she thinks of you, about you, You You. I am not being rude....I know this type of experiences. There is no way out except the therapist to acknowledge so you know you are not crazy! but most will not. They want you to acknowledge you are acting out of implicit memories from infancy! it takes years fro most to go through this phase...YEARS! because it also feel lively and sexy and hot! to be obsessed with a person we see weekly and it motivates us.

but unfortunately, it is how you reacted to your mother and mostly likely if this therapist is good she could have parse it in a way that may show you how your mother had felt (to a point).

you could take the shame that comes with regressing and tell her you are preoccupied with her (basic preoccupied attachment theory)....and see if she is open to discuss and give you knowledge back about how it feels to be your target of affection when she cannot give you that.

I feel you. Not fun part of therapy. but leaving will not solve. You will spend another ridiculous amount of time/money to talk about this with another therapist! or worse, you repeat as soon as you feel safe with another therapist.

good luck. At least you are experiencing love reaction. I had the hate run! did not work either.
 
I agree with everyone else. You're experiencing transference, which is a perfectly natural part of the therapeutic process - but it requires being dealt with before you can move forward.

I myself experienced erotic transference with my current T. It makes sense for me. My trauma is sexual in nature, and my T is attractive and friendly and concentrates solely on me when we're together, and so of course I'm going to put those feelings on her. I looked everywhere I could find on the internet for an excuse not to tell her, because it's a damn uncomfortable feeling, but every single thing I read stated that I had to disclose. So I did. We took some time to talk about it, and then things were back to normal.

Don't leave therapy if this T is really helping you. This is an opportunity for growth.
 

kirbs

New Here
Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it a lot. I sat down and talked with her, but even though I felt she was trying a lot too it really didn't feel like we were getting anywhere meaningful together. She also admitted to not being specialized in attachement (she treats psychosis, I got referred to her because she was available when I needed dire help and could not really wait for another therapist), so it ultimately feels like it may not really the right place to tackle the issues I was struggling with. I feel bad, also because I really felt good with her when we started together, but I got referred to another EMDR therapist where I think might be more oppertunity to explore these issues (or maybe not, right now all I'm concerned with is getting EMDR, the rest honestly doesn't seem as important to me right now). So mixed feelings, but I do think it's for the best anyway.
 
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