triggered by other therapist in the office?

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Cypress

Confident
So my T shares a space with several other therapists. There is one whose office door opens right into the waiting room and he always seems to be going in and out when I am waiting for my session to start. The first time I saw him I thought "wow that guy seems really burned out, glad he's not my therapist". Unfortunately something about him has triggered my internal threat detector and now when I seem him I feel very defensive and wary of him. He is always the same, kind of glum and slightly pissed off but I find I am becoming more paranoid about him. My last session, when he came out of his office I gave him a hostile look which I realized was not appropriate to the situation.

I know I am being weird and hypervigilant and am trying to talk myself out of this but its not working. The internal voice is convinced this other therapist is a problem. I'm worried how my T will react if I tell him how I am feeling about the other therapist. Anybody had this happen before?
 

Emotional girl

MyPTSD Pro
When I was with my old T there was this woman who he worked with and in my head I was pretty sure that she was talked about me and laughed at me.
I told my T and we discussed why I felt this way and it helped to set my mind at rest.
I would tell your T how you are feeling and why you are unnerved by this other man.Your therapist will not judge you and they will help you work through how you are feeling.
 

grit

Not Active
First your feelings are real, hope this goes without saying and the fact you can pinpoint to the trigger so succiently is great and honestly extremely valuable to your recovery. I even loved the sentence:

My last session, when he came out of his office I gave him a hostile look which I realized was not appropriate to the situation.

It showed your consciousness working to show you yes you have certain feeling about this man, yes you REACTED TO THEM and yes you are feeling little funny about that reaction - it did not feel right or it did not quench the triggering feeling - so in essence, you are still triggered even after you expressed hostility - I am biased toward the word hostility BTW.

I would make the silly assumption you have something like PTSD and that is why you are in therapy and if this is the case, it is then possible by the time you are in the waiting room, you are already priming to face your past so all your radars are on.

Because you used the "hostile", I also assume that you had some violence in your past and you are good at reading people faces to see "friend or foe" and in this case you are seeing a foe, a threat.

I am a supporter of all feelings evoked in therapy are ready for working through. I really feel that hostility and its cousins anger, rage etc are on your surface and ready for deeper inspection.

Logically speaking since I am not you, feeling hostile in the waiting room and not talking about it with the therapist is working against you by time, effort and cost wise.

You are already very close to the solution of integrating this part of your self by the details and reflection you posted here. You are triggered as you noted not threatened as you are processing.

Please bring this up in therapy cause no matter what else you bring, your brain is still on that man and whatever else you start to talk about in therapy is secondary since you are still trying to calm down inside.
 

Cypress

Confident
Maybe there is another interpretation of his behavior. Like instead of interpreting it as glum and pissed in a way that’s a threat to you, maybe he’s constipated or grieving a loss or etc.

I like this! Maybe it is constipation or a bad back or something. I will try to keep this more forward in my mind the next time I'm in the waiting room.

I am a supporter of all feelings evoked in therapy are ready for working through. I really feel that hostility and its cousins anger, rage etc are on your surface and ready for deeper inspection.

This is exactly what is going on. There is a voice with a lot of rage about past violence that coming out now and yeah - I need to explore it.
 
S

Starfire 1

More than once. First time my T introduced us. After that he would just give me a smile as we passed. He was apparently deep in thought when we passed. Not how I read it. The second time my T started our session 5 minutes earlier so no contact. In fact practice liked the idea & staggered sessions to reduce number of people in the hall at any one time. Liked that it also reduced seeing others in the parking lot.
 
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