I guess I was wrong about not writing in here. I have no where else to talk about this stuff.
I had a really terrible day at school. Worked very hard to avoid crying at school. Hung in there until therapy.
Until today I’d really been feeling apathy about therapist #28. There wasn’t anything I really liked, but nothing I really disliked strongly either. That’s a problem because really there need to be SOME positive feelings towards a therapist to get things going even if it’s just something little giving some hope.
The part where any problems with therapists become clearest is when I come in having my first meltdown which was what today was. The only positive of the session is that I did a good job of telling her what she was doing wrong so there can be no doubt that I did not make a good effort to explain where the problems where.
She started off talking scheduling which was frustrating, because I was pretty clearly upset but somehow she was interpreting my being upset as be being stressed about my schedule.
I had been franticly working to hold things together all day and all my anxiety exploded out of me with me talking a million miles a minute about everything I had been trying to keep under-wrap all day.
Her response: To tell me I am catastrophizing, define catastrophizing and talk about the problems with it.
I snapped back that I am well aware of what catastrophizing is and I do not need it defined.
Her response: Well with the way you are acting it seems like you don’t know it.
Me: I can understand things intellectually but that is not the same as being able to apply them.
I switched to jargon filled language (I usually try to avoid this in therapy) and explained all the ways I had attempted to handle my emotions. I had tried suppression, reappraisal, multiple types of distraction. I can know about these methods but that does not make them work.
Then I stopped talking for awhile. Frozen up with anger.
When I began talking again I told her that it felt like she was not being empathetic and that she was falsely assuming due to our number of sessions that we have more of a therapeutic alliance than we do.
Again, she responded poorly by asking sarcastically if she was “still on trial” and saying that I seemed to want too specific of a reaction from her to be realistic.
I told her that I had been containing these feelings all day and he first step was to try to stop me from expressing them.
The session ended awkwardly and even included a billing debate (I think she is accidentally overcharging me though a misunderstanding about my insurance).
The session was upsetting on so many levels. #28 felt very out of sync with me. She wanted to jump in and interpret but has awful timing. What’s worse is that her interpretation about catastrophizing is what I’d expect from a cognitive therapist. I’m going there looking for psychodynamic therapy. So I feel like I’m just getting cognitive therapy from someone without proper training in it, because a good cognitive therapist would have realized how terrible the timing of that comment was.
I feel like she’s evoking feelings in me that make me feel “borderline” and that she’s responding with the same thing in mind which I think it making her less empathetic. I’m getting angry over emotion invalidating things from her. Which is turn is making her think I’m excessively sensitive to feeling invalidated. The comment about being “on trial” really gets me. It makes it seem like it’s somehow wrong for me to be evaluating whether the therapy relationship is a good fit. I’ve seen her less than 10 times. It is perfectly reasonable for me to be evaluating how I feel about her. And if this therapy really is psychodynamic I should never stop evaluating that, because the transference should matter.
She responded to my anger about her defining catastrophizing as if I was offended that she thought I did not know it. This was not the case at all. I was upset that she was trying to shut down my emotions. It’s not so simple as turning it on or off. It’s not like I can say ‘Oh I am catastrophizing let me just stop now.’ and have it work. If I could do that I would not be in therapy.
I just feel like we were so out of sync and she was not able to adapt well from feedback (instead turing any feedback around on me as my flaw). I don’t know what to do.
I need someone who uses a good amount of warm Rodgerian skills. I need someone supportive. A therapist can not only be that though. I want interpretations but interpretations without warmth just gets you Albert Ellis.
I left SM a sobbing voicemail. I feel bad bothering him. I just feel so lost.
Sorry that this post is not on the level of posting that I usually try to create. I just have no where else to talk.
I’m so sorry. That sounds really rough. It can be awful to look forward to therapy as a place to let out everything you’ve been holding in, only to have the session become another problem in and of itself.
I agree that it seems like #28 has a problem. She shouldn’t have turned it back on you like that, especially if she’s psychodynamic. She could have interpreted the transference instead. It sounds to me like she has her own issues to work out.
I hope you have a better day tomorrow.
Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it a lot.
I’m not sure what the best thing to say is, except I’m sorry things are so rough. Hang in there! <3
Thanks. It’s helpful to know people are reading.