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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate. Okay. I give. I Dont understand all this, but it is

Customer Question

Kate. Okay. I give. I Don't understand all this, but it is sapping up my energy and frustrating me. I have been able to ignore the real issues for a few day now. Meeting at 7 this morning then another day of mediation. Not optimistic about getting out early to go out of town, but that's the way it goes. Need to get on my way this morning....
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 4 years ago.



It is hard to understand and I get that. It all comes down to whether or not you trust that I can help. You don't necessarily need to understand therapy to benefit from it. I do not understand your profession, so I would have to trust what you tell me about it, even if I thought it was strange or didn't make any sense.


But only you can decide if that works for you.


I hope your day goes well and you are able to get on the road for your trip. Be safe!


Talk with you soon,



Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Downtime in mediation ...

Why have I pissed you off so much? I do trust you.

Here was my problem: I thought that it was a lot of progress for me to be feeling what I was feeling on Tuesday and realizing these new feelings which I didn't really recognize before. And I guess I was upset that you didn't respond the way I expected. I though that you would be proud of me. But instead, it seemed like you expected me to quickly change my feelings and I felt you were saying my feelings were wrong and I had thought I was supposed to kind of sit with the feelings. So I felt pressured and like I was behind on where you expected me to be. I feel stuck on feeling these for the first time and trying to understand what I am feeling, and I felt like it was too early and it was not doable for me to try to change my feelings. I felt like it would be a surface thing and not be real.

I had obviously misunderstood the process and I was upset and I felt like instead of your addressin my concerns, you dismissed them and attributed them to defense mechanisms. I thought I was supposed to process the feelings the examine how to change any that were inaccurate. But I'm gathering now that the changing the feelings is part of the processing??

It takes me a while to even figure out what I'm feeling let alone how to change it.

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 4 years ago.

Hi Shay,


It sounds like there is some transference going on or maybe you can't tell what I am feeling through my posts. I am in no way upset with you. Nor am I disappointed. It's not my job to approve or disapprove of how you work through therapy. My only job here is to guide you through, not to judge you.


You have made a lot of progress in therapy. How you felt on Tuesday was just fine. There was nothing wrong with it. And you said you were very happy with how far you have come. That is great! When I talked with you about your feelings on Tuesday, it was not about approving or disapproving of what you felt. It was about healthy and unhealthy feelings.


For example, blaming yourself for what happened to you during the attack is a natural response. Most people who survive an attack experience those feelings. They look for some way to see how it is their fault. There is nothing wrong with them because they feel that. But instead of accepting they are to blame the rest of their lives, which does not help them in any way and only keeps them from putting the attack behind them, therapy helps them to see that blaming is a harmful emotion. It is not wrong, it's just harmful. And this is where you are getting stuck. You are equating harmful with wrong. Your feelings are not wrong because they are a natural response to the situation. But if you want to move on from your past, seeing what emotions are harmful and dealing with them is vital.


I care very much about how you feel. But in order to work through this, you need to trust that I am here to help. I am not going to intentionally hinder you, hurt you or try to twist this around so you never get better.


You mentioned needing time to work through this. That is fine. But when you talk about your feelings, what would you like me to do with what you say? I can be supportive of your feelings, but is that helpful enough? Or are you looking to explore them further by talking about them? I am just trying to get a handle on what you are looking for.




Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I didn't understand how things worked and it upset me. I feel like I need time to process my feelings and think them through and figure them out before I can try to look at how I can change my perspective. Maybe therapy is not so methodical, but I feel like I may need to be more methodical here. I feel like if I don't consider this fully and go through and examine how I feel and what these feelings are and why I feel them first, and then look at what should be changed and stuff, I will be fooling myself into thinking something that willard me feel better, which won't stick.

Does that make sense?

What I want is for you to be straight with me and honest and not tiptoe around things even when Italy be a criticism. I want your opinion and I want to communicate.

I feel so confused and now I am far away from those feelings. I was feeling on Tuesday.

And I'm not super thrille to still be in mediation. Uggg.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Mediation is over. No settlement. We sat and ate cake and donuts all day so I may fall into a sugar coma. :)

Now on our way out of town.

I wanted to clarify what I posted earlier. I think when I tell you what I feel, I want/need to explore it more and then try to look at it differently. I just fel like you expected me to have already done that in half a day and then thought I was resisting you. I know you don't intend to hurt me or hinder my progress. And I trust you, but it's hard to accept your responses sometimes, because thy are general "I'm not here to judge you," "anything you feel is fine," etc. not used to people responding in such an unresponsive way. It make me feel like you're purposely being evasive, which makes me wonder what you really think. You probably would ask why that is important to me. Because I am trusting you with something very personal and potentially damaging, and I don't even know what you're thinking. Maybe I could tell if we're give to face, but we're not, so the only way I can tell is if you tell me.

Well, I'm off to enjoy at least a little time away.

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 4 years ago.

You had quite a day in mediation! I hope you are enjoying your trip.


I have absolutely no issue with you wanting to spend more time processing your feelings. All I need to know is what you need from me. We can talk about how you feel until you feel ready to move to the next level.


I also have been very truthful with you. I have no reason to deceive you in any way. Why would I? If I am not truthful with you, then you won't feel better and all the work we do together will mean nothing.


I take a neutral posture because as a therapist I am trained to remain neutral, not to offer an opinion. I am there to understand your feelings not to judge you. That is why I say things like that to you. It is not my call to say how you feel. It is not up to me to decide if your feelings are wrong. I am here to guide you based on my knowledge. And I cannot do that if I do not know how you feel. By you telling me that you want more time to process your feelings, I now know what you need.


A good example is looking in a mirror. I am here as your mirror. What you feel is reflected through me. My job is to provide you with an accurate reflection of yourself. Most people come to therapy with a funhouse mirror image of themselves. My job is to give you a normal mirror image. Self awareness is not easy for most people, so being neutral helps me provide an accurate reflection for you. If I start to add all my own opinions, attitudes and experiences in therapy, it wouldn't benefit you. I am trained that whatever I think in counseling is to be about your situation and to leave myself out of it.


I hope that helped.



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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yeah. Makes sense. Just different than what I'm used to. Almost to our destination. Uggg. :).
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 4 years ago.

Hope you are having a good time! Talk with you soon,



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