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Therapy problems

Discussion in 'Treatment & Therapy' started by WAgirl, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. WAgirl

    WAgirl Member

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    I dont know what to do. This is my first experience in therapy, I went for severe depression but early on had my past CSA blow up. I have trust with my T or I never would have said a word about my past.

    We're doing CPT but I feel I'm blowing it, not doing it right. If anything I'm in a worse place. Last week we talked about other times beyond the the initial abuse and she asked me how many times etc. I didn't have an answer, I don't have a count. I'd already explained it was more than once, I've gotten it stuck in my head like a washing machine now...why did she ask that? Should I know, do other people know that? Does she not believe me?

    It's blown up into me crying out of nowhere the last few days and the depression is crushing. My T is gone this week so I don't go back for 2 weeks. I just cant seem to find my way, like I'm not fixable and this is just going to be it now.

    Anyone with more therapy experience, your input would be appreciated.
     
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  3. Suzetig

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

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    Given you went to see her about depression, does she have the skills and knowledge to work with CSA? I ask because it’s pretty unusual to ask for that level of detail and to keep coming back to it. I’m assuming you mean you’re doing CBT? Unless it’s trauna informed CBT I wouldn’t expect her to be exploring your past much tbh.

    Are you able to change therapist?
     
  4. WAgirl

    WAgirl Member

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    Trauma is supposed to be one of her areas. She has me doing Cognitive Processing Therapy which is aimed at PTSD. I could change although the thought of starting over with a new person is gives me incredible anxiety.
     
  5. Suzetig

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

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    Have you been seeing her for long? I didn’t think CPT because it didn’t sound like it from your description. CPT is usually a short term therapy with written homework etc... in any event, you need to talk to her about how upset you’ve been after the last session. Recovery isn’t dependent on you remembering all the details because this type of therapy is focussed on how you make sense of what happened as opposed to revisiting what happened.

    It’s worth exploring her plan for your therapy.
     
  6. Justmehere

    Justmehere Defying the odds Moderator Premium Member

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    Some know, some don't have a specific number of times an abuse happened. I don't. It's all a blur with clear parts of events sticking out.
    The trauma needs to be processed and worked through. That's different than you needing to be fixed.

    It is REALLY common for people to have symptom flares after sessions, especially when asked to talk about parts of the trauma you haven't really thought about before, like trying to quantify a number of times. Symptom flares are so common that really experienced trauma therapists will help clients plan for them well in advance.

    For some clients, different therapies are needed for different stages of healing. Just because one therapy isn't working out, that doesn't mean you can't do other work trying other things. I'd suggest telling the therapist when she gets back how this really stirred up things for you. I'd also ask the therapist if she has other approaches she can use in addition to CPT.
     
  7. WAgirl

    WAgirl Member

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    Thank you for the responses. Being new to therapy and having all this come up...I'm just a mess and there seems to be no end. I appreciate the insights.
     
  8. MyWillow

    MyWillow Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty new too @WAgirl and I can really empathise with the rollercoaster of emotions and feelings of dysregulation.

    Feel like I'm flying blind with this sh!t most of the time. 18 months in and I'm only just starting to get my head around things. I sought therapy because I wasn't coping with a couple of extremely painful and debilitating injuries from a series of (really bad luck type of) accidents. I was looking for a way to cope with the pain and get on with my life. Questions about my childhood came up and then I pretty much dissociated through the next 6 months of sessions. Can barely remember a thing. That really annoying saying people have - "the only way out is through" - damn it's true. Ugh. That said, the T you see is up to you. It's your healing journey.
     
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  9. WishfulThinking123

    WishfulThinking123 Well-Known Member

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    Trauma Therapy/PTSD Therapy- the symptoms usually flare up badly initially as you start to work through the past/trauma. However, it is really important to discuss or write to your therapist about the intensity of your symptoms because, she could slow down the processing/give you some great tips and coping strategies while a home. They are really great in guiding your trauma processing and how much you should do at home. For example, I'm at a place right now where my T doesnt really want me processing anything outside of the office... it could actually become dangerous to my mental health. Then as my stamina builds up again I can start doing more journal exercises at home...
     
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  10. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

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    To me it sounds like a similar me question with no hidden meaning that got caught up in the obsessive part of your brain somehow. (It happens to all of us.)

    Some people know more details about their trauma than others. Not knowing a number means nothing. I have no idea how many times I had the shit beaten out of me.
     
  11. Still Standing

    Still Standing I'm a VIP

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    Hi WAgirl, I am 11 months in with therapy. I relate very well with what you are concerned about. I did CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) after the initial "get-to-know-you" period. I thought I was going to lose a cork over the lessons and homework. There were many times that I was pulling my hair out over this. I really felt like I had failed/flunked the worksheets. I just didn't get them. They made no sense to me. So many on this site tried hard to help me with understanding the lessons and I really appreciated them for that, but, they remained very hard for me to grasp. You are reacting like I did...feeling like you flunk...as you said, "A total failure". And that does not just apply to the CBT/CPT...it flows over into your everyday life. Not being able to do the lessons, makes our PTSD brains tell us that we are unworthy, stupid, bothering everyone, really inferior in life in general. It made me want to run away and go into hiding as a hermit somewhere. The whole thing raises the frustration level to a point where it is near impossible to consider that I could be successful at anything. In other words, we go into failure and "beat-ourselves-up" mode. At least, in my eyes, the lessons confirmed how utterly inept I am.

    I was able to stumble through them once my psych doc would walk me through each lesson, but on my own...no go. I felt like an utter failure with them. And the few that I was able to work on, I felt disingenuous about. I really did not believe what the end result of the homework was supposed to show. So, we changed up the therapy to simply taking a trauma event and I would write out the account, sorta like a book report. Then, in session, I would read it out loud to my doc. We would then talk about it. Then I would go home with the instructions of rewriting it and putting in as many smaller details I could recall. Then at the the next session, I would reread the same account again and we would talk. This is a form of exposure therapy and we did this until the traumas became less upsetting and almost boring to talk about. From there I am now doing EMDR. Because of so many trauma events in my life, my therapy doc is now weaving various methods together...sorta custom fitting a therapy plan for me. We talk, I write, he challenges me to things outside of therapy, and we are doing EMDR. This seems to work for me.

    I, too, am a child abuse survivor. And depression has been my companion for most of my life. I didn't know I had PTSD until last year when my coping skills finally cried, "Uncle"! So, this mental health journey is new to me too. As many times as I wanted to cry and cry over therapy, I have stuck it out. It is feeling more comfortable to me now after almost a year. But, it is still hard road to walk, at times.

    Let me encourage you to use this forum site to supplement your need for support and encouragement between the times you see your therapist. It has been a huge help to me for that. This site serves a great purpose concerning PTSD and bringing many together who walk this path. You are not reacting out of the ordinary about your therapy...in fact it is quite normal. The negative thoughts you are having are the PTSD lies it tells us. Hang on to that. You are far more wise, intelligent, worthy, and an overall great person than what your brain is telling you.
    Do tell your therapist of the angst the CPT is giving you. I complained each session. They are used to this and will work with you about it. And keep in mind that this is a journey. It is going to take time to relearn good thinking. It does not happen overnight and usually, for me, anyway, it is consistent baby steps that keeps you moving forward.
     
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  12. WAgirl

    WAgirl Member

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    I truly appreciate the help from everyone. It's some comfort to know others have had the same thoughts/stumbling blocks I'm having. Therapy is new to me so I don't really have have anything to compare it to. And yes, I've been obsessing hard on some of her questions, I get suspicious she doesn't believe me, can I actually trust her? Between that and the depression it's been a pretty rough week hanging on. Thank you again.
     
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  13. Still Standing

    Still Standing I'm a VIP

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    One thing is for sure, your therapist believes you. This is what they do. They deal with people's personal traumas and they are very aware of how child abuse affects them. What you are feeling and thinking is not unusual, in fact to distrust, be depressed, be scared/fearful, feel unimportant, being stupid etc is all par for the course. This is not to diminish your distress. What you feel are real feelings. But, it takes time to learn to trust your therapist and work as a team. She has your best in mind as she tries to help you. I am sorry that you are having a hard week. It is tough sometimes when the black hole thinks it is going to consume us. I am finding, if I can distract myself by getting out of the house and going for a drive, listen to an audio book...anything that is pleasurable to me it helps to break the dark thinking process. Maybe there is something you can do that will help distract you from your dark thoughts and give you some relief, too. It does help. Be sure to talk to your T about your distrust and depression. It is good for her to know when you feel this way. I hope you have a better day tomorrow and the week to come.
     
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