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

MyPTSD Pro
"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.
 

kirbs

New Here
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.

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.
Well guys, here I am 2 months later and I'm finding what you guys are saying may hold true more than I would wish...

My plan like in my last post I stated, was to find a new T, ignore all the stuff that came up last therapy, and just get the EMDR so I can move on. But, after talking with the new T once (was on 9 week waiting list) she mentioned she feels I might be suited more to long term and that she might not be able to help me in a short span (she can only offer me a max of 11 sessions due to practical reasons).

Since she said that I've been experiencing the same extreme influx of emotions I had with my last therapist :( those who said you can't escape this: you may have been right since this whole week since she said that I've been in extreme worry and the whole host of emotions again that feels like a it continued right where my therapy with my last T left off. I had really really hoped to avoid it and start fresh but that feels already severely compromised at this point.

Righy now I'm still unsure what to do :( the new T will contact me since my plea was to go ahead with EMDR because I really really need it so bad (like I stated, the EMDR is for an unrelated issue comoletely seperate from all this). Like I've been sitting at home for the past few months and am so stressed I'm barely functional and need the EMDR for my other thing to be able to do anything. I'm just so so sad that she wanted to focus on my old T since all I wanted was to get just a boost of EMDR and deal with my situation but I don't know how that will pan out. I'm just so tired and all I want was to get immedite help to move on but that isn't so easy right now. Just feel very frustrated about this whole thing and so sad I'm in this current situation now.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Yeah,it truly sucks.
But......there is light at the end of the tunnel.
You're being honest with yourself about how you feel.
I would bring it up with T. All of what you say here. There is a way through this.
My T says "trust the process". So easy to say those little words, but so so so hard to hold these uncomfortable and painful feelings for X time whilst the process happens.

It will get better.
In the meantime, does reading up on the theory help you? That sort of thing helps me. Puts it in to context. Which helps to normalise it.
 

Justmehere

Sponsor
Getting fitted with the right therapist can be a process. It's quite normal for some folks with PTSD to have to see a handful of therapists before they find one that is the right fit.

That being said, being at a point where symptoms are so unmanageable you are struggling to function is warning flag that now may not be the time for EMDR. That therapy can be destabilizing. It's not a quick fix and it can get especially messy in the hands of a therapist trying to do it for one thing and not addressing the whole person. I did EMDR for just that one thing... and paid a price for it for months in increased symptoms.

What type of work have you done in therapy to help things stabilize? Any work around grounding, mindfulness, containment, etc? You may actually find quicker relief working on some of those areas and then better be able to jump into EMDR in a more effective manner.
 

kirbs

New Here
Yeah I've been trying to find a T that suits me for a long time. For some reason or another it is not happening - my current job coach (helping me with job market) is someone who I do feel I have a connection with and I can talk with. Of course she is a job coach, so I can hardly unload all my stuff on her (though I'm contemplating talking to her next time I see her about this since I don't have anyone else I can talk to). Wish she'd been a therapist but well there you go.

The symptoms that are unmanagable are due to the event that happened that had a big effect on me last year. This was completely separate from the whole issue I'm dealing with now which is that with the current therapist ,she wants to backtrack to all sorts of stuff while all I want is to handle this completely unrelated event but apparently that is a no go for her and she wants to dive into the past.

I've tried all the grounding etc. in the past to help deal with my pain from the event but I need someone else I've come to learn, someone to talk about it. Which again apparently will not be the current T I've just waited 9 weeks to see because she doesn't want to go there without unearthing stuff.

Yeah I don't know which way to go. Sorry for the blogstyle. I just really have no one to talk to and feel stuck. But I'm going to reach out to my job coach I think and see if she wants to talk, I trust her even though I don't know her very well I've felt she understood me which I so rarely experience it seems. So I'll go from there.

And thanks for the replies even though my current situation feels messy. I do appreciate it.
 

Waterbear

Confident
It may well be, as you say, completely unrelated, but just a quick thought, are things that involve us, our feelings, thoughts and reactions ever truly unrelated? They are, after all, a part of our complex, tangled web. Things may be more closely related than you could ever imagine right now...
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
I have had intense transference with my T. It will settle down as we work through it and then bubble back up again. It sucks. Imagine four years of this BS?
 
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