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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5515
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate - Hey ... Well .... Where to start?

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Hey ... Well .... Where to start?

Bought a new house - closing is next month. Really busy packing up here and getting ready to put this house on the market next week. So all that, plus getting all the paperwork together, etc. for financing (since we are buying the new house before having sold this one) has taken a lot of time. Plus - the way things worked out, we are moving the same weekend as P's brother and sister-in-law are moving all their stuff from AZ to their new house, and p sold her parents' house and it closes the day before ours on the new one. So we need to have an estate sale and get everything out of there, too. My case with LP settled and the hearing for approval of the settlement is in a few weeks, then we will merge our firms. We're meeting tomorrow to discuss details.

Meanwhile, therapy has been rough and I felt like Linda is making new rules. I went from not expressing my feelings at all, to barely being able to control them, then she did not want me to get upset b/c she felt like I'd slip into the shame feelings and it was hard to get me out. As I think I told you, she thinks the shame is obsessive thoughts. I'm not so convinced anymore. She is convinced, though. She tells me to feel what I feel and process my feelings. Then she says - well, except those feelings that are negative towards yourself. I told her I can't keep the rules straight. I do not need to cry in session, but I need some time to get control of my feelings now that it's swung the other way and I seem to feel like crying all the time - I am better about it at work and stuff now, but not in therapy. I left before the end of my session last week b/c I was going to get upset and I wasn't sure I could control the feelings. And I was mad because I was told one thing, and now I'm being told it's not okay to feel as I do. I told her that when she called me the next day, and she understood I was getting mixed messages. She also apologized that she is giving me the same messages i grew up with that she said were unfair. It was resolved a bit, but I still am confused and resolved myself of to cry in session w/ her anymore. And I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I think this all boils down to obsessive thinking. She keeps sayibg things like "until you agree with me and can consider this is what it is ..." i can consider it. I am. But the solution for it is to brush off those feelings when they come - the exact opposite of what I was told I needed to do before. And it is basically saying that certain feelings are invalid. How do I know?? It really angers me. It's like - feel the emotions unless it's something that she thinks is too painful for me, and then we call those "obsessions" and we have to put them away. This, after It has become clear to me that putting my feelings away for so long is why I am in this present mess. She referred me to another therapist for EMDR. She spoke to her, I made an appointment for today, & they spoke again. Then Linda announced at my appointment Monday that I wasn't going to be seeing her while I was going through the EMDR. We could talk on the phone, but not have sessions. That threw me, b/c she originally said I'd meet w/ her still once a week. I didn't even get a say. She told me to ask rose, the other therapist, about it. I was really scared about the whole thing, & then felt like I got thrown of to someone I've never even met to do this EMDR, and expected to become instantly comfortable w/ her, & meanwhile, my biggest support is taken away. Linda said rose said it would be about 4-5 sessions.

I went tonight. We just talked - didn't start EMDR. She just asked about family, childhood, work, etc. and explained a little what we would be doing. She said it would be about 7 sessions - once a week for at least the first 3 if she can fit me in (she only works 3 days/wk). We will start w/ other, less disturbing, memories the first few times, then move on to what happened. I dont even have a clue what other unrelated issues i should bring up. I cant think of any. Suggestions? If we don't start on the real issue for a few weeks, and if we don't end up doing it every week, this is going to take until Christmas!! Meanwhile, I can't see Linda. I was in the middle of an upsetting time, and now I feel hung out here. Plus, the 20th anniversary of what happened is next month, and I don't know why, but it's really bothering me. And I feel alone.

All this stuff is going on and I feel like I don't have a safety net. I'm sitting here in the garage (surrounded by piles of boxes) crying at 11:00 at night, and I am not sure what to do. I feel directionless. I've had nightmares and migraines all week (thankfully, the new migraine meds are working pretty well - can be functional within several hours). And I can't even rest - I have too much to do here and at work.

I feel totally overwhelmed. I saw dr. M last Thursday for a med appointment. It went fine, but she is still making me come back every month. I don't know why. But i can't really NOT come back because she only gives me 1 month rx's for my adderall at a time. Seems like she is just using that to make sure I do come each month, considering the adderall is the one thing that we all agree has really improved my quality of life. I dont get it.

Also, I'm supposed to be Doing the self-study nightmare clinic CD 's & workbook for dr krakow (sleep dr) & I haven't even started it yet.

I need some suggestions here. Please? I'm not sure what I should do. I know that much of this stuff is self-imposed, but i can't stop it now and I'm having trouble dealing, and I wasn't expecting to get in with the EMDR therapist so quickly (the other one I was supposed to see never called me back at all ?). But dr m and Linda both know rose very well. She seems nice and she is also a Christian. But how am I suppose to trust her/feel comfortable right off the bat? And I really wasn't prepared for Linda to just tell me Mon we wouldn't be meeting again until I was done with EMDR. Inasked rose about it todat, & she said she thought it was best that I just work on this and not meet with Linda and she said Linda agreed with her. Okay, if that's what needs to happen, but some forewarning would've been nice.

I feel like running away. I feel totally out of control and on some runaway train in every facet of my life right now. I really like the new house and should be excited about it - or concerned that I have to drive 45 min to work now instead of 6 minutes, or feel something - bunk don't. I don't even care. I'm doing what I should - packing, working to make sure closing happens on time, helping to get the house ready - but it's because I know I have to. I don't really care about any of it and am just going through the motions. I am getting new clients right and left, but feel like telling them all to hire someone else. I feel like telling LP I don't even want to be a partner - just an employee. I will just give him my firm. I want to just go away, and am so upset I got myself into any of this. Do you understand? I just want to be alone with my dog and make my stupid lists all day. It's the only thing that calms me right now, it seems. I am just at a loss.

I'm sory for being so negative. I feel like my mood dropped significantly just since my appointment with Ross, and I don't know why , because it wasn bad, and she is nice.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.
Shay,

Congratulations on your new home! It can be very stressful to move, but very nice to have a new place to live :)

And it is also great that you are working on merging your firm with LP's. That has been a long process and I imagine that you will are looking forward to it being done.

It sounds like you feel that therapy has been difficult. You mentioned that you feel it is not clear what you should be feeling in therapy and that the rules are confusing. And that you feel the temporary transfer to the EMDR therapist leaves you with little to no support.

While in therapy, making progress is the goal. Sometimes the process can get stuck for different reasons. For one, you can get to a point where progressing stalls because you might be too fearful to move beyond where you are right now. While it is normal to experience times where you feel you have stalled, it should not be for a long period of time. If you feel that you are not making the progress you want to make, then a second opinion might be a good option. Just like when you see a doctor and are not sure about what he/she is telling you about your diagnosis and options for treatment, you can also talk to someone else about therapy. A different point of view may help to pinpoint where you are stuck and if it is the therapeutic process or something you feel as the cause.

Another reason is that you may also be obsessing over your thoughts and might be stuck because of that. Even though you may not feel that is the cause, it would not hurt to explore it further to be sure. Learning more about obsessive thoughts can help you clarify what symptoms you would have and if it matches what you feel. While you don't seem to have OCD, you may have some of the traits that keep you "locked" into a certain logical thought pattern. What you can do is ask Linda for more information about what she is seeing and resources so you can explore this yourself and see if it fits.

In therapy, there really is no "shoulds". Therapy is a matter of feeling what you need to feel and finding ways to fit those thoughts and feelings into your life so they no longer dominate your life but rather become a part of who you are. So for example, if you have a past trauma, you may experience anxiety, flashbacks, anger and nightmares. Therapy can help you learn how to cope with those symptoms by letting you see that they belong to the past trauma and help you change your thinking about them so you feel better. There is no rules about how much you cry, what you feel or if you are showing too much emotions. You just feel what you feel and the therapist guides you to making those feelings less intense so you feel better.

Educating yourself about your diagnosis and what works for you and what doesn't is also part of therapy. This helps so you can choose what works you and what doesn't. If you feel that you don't want to do EMDR, you don't have to. Linda is recommending what she feels might work, but you also have to make the decision for yourself. Part of therapy is learning to understand your own needs. And if you feel that this isn't working for you, then you can work with Linda to find out what might work. Just as you would with your doctor, taking part in your treatment is vital. And the more you know and understand, the better you can make those decisions for yourself.

Kate
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Linda did tell me a book to read about OCD. I am reading it. That is what made me doubt that's what it is. It sounded right when she explained it, and I was relieved. But the more I read, the more I question whether that is it. There at definitely some recognizable traits and behaviors for me. But those really involve other things and not the matter at hand. Linda agrees I don't actually have OCD. My friends all would say otherwise. I think I definitely can be obsessive, and I have some compulsions, it seems, but not anything major. I get "tics" (have a new one lately - irritates the snot out of me), but that is a different thing, I understand. So - what do I do? Do what the book and Linda say is the treatment - whenever I have a shame thought, just don't give it credence and ignore it? Tell myself it is a ridiculous, untrue thought and put it aside? I thought that doing such things got me into this mess in the first place. ??

About the EMDR - I am not opposed to it. I think it may help - dr m and Linda think so, and I trust them. And I have read a lot about it. I really hope it does help. I just was not aware I would be doing it for several months, maybe, that I would have to immediately trust someone I jut met with this stuff, and that I would be more or less cut off from therapy with Linda the whole time. My one experience with EMDR with Linda, and what I have read, has let me know what a vulnerable position that is - and it will be with someone I have no reason to trust. (I have no reason not to trust her, either - just haven't reached a comfort level - and how could I so quickly?) If I take all the time required to feel totally comfortable, it would delay things a Lon time. Initially, when I was going to see the other EMDR person (who was Linda's trainer), she was going to go with me, at least the first time But that changed. And then suddenly, not only is she not going with me, I find out 3 days before, I can't even meet with her again until I am done. I feel left to fend for myself. I guess that's okay - may be an indication that I was becoming too dependent on her. I just feel like that was sprung on me. Linda said that of we need to, we can meet, and we will just "do our own thing," but if that is. It what I'm supposed to be doing, them it may hinder the potential programs with EMDR, whih defeats the purpose. So i think that's a bad idea.

Part of it is this new panick I have developed concerning the anniversary date, and I know I will have to deal with that alone. Shouldn't make a difference. I have gone through 19 others, mostly w/o even giving thought to the date. But it feels different this year. Maybe because it is 20 years and I so wanted to and thought I would and should be totally past it by now. I don't know. It's dumb. It's just another day. Maybe that's an obsession, too.

And I'm sure a lot of this is related to stress and being really really tired.

It doesn't matter. I just felt a bit lost. But I'm a grown up. I can deal with it.

Thanks, Kate.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.
You can have some traits of OCD and not actually have the disorder itself. And many people function just fine with those traits. They make up who we are and why we are different from others. And if you don't feel the OCD traits pertain to the situation in therapy, then they probably don't. You have enough insight to know the difference.

It is not ridiculous to feel shame about what happened to you. It never will be. But letting it rule your life is where it harms you and is not productive to helping you feel better. You don't have control over the shame being there as much as you have the ability to control how you see it. Yes, you feel ashamed. And yes, it is a fact that most survivors do feel shame. But how they process that shame and where they "put it" in their minds is what makes the difference in recovery. And that is what you can work on with Linda. Finding out where you want to put this shame and how you want to view it.

It sounds like you feel abandoned by Linda with the EMDR situation. And that is understandable. There is no set rule that you have to stop therapy when you are doing EMDR. It really is a matter of preference. And it is difficult to be without Linda while you are doing EMDR. You don't know this person you are seeing and you are expected to trust them with your deepest feelings. That can be difficult. You may just want to take this at your own pace. If you don't feel ready to take the next step with the EMDR, then let the therapist know you need more time to adjust. She should understand. And also ask Linda if you can meet with her or otherwise have contact with her until you adjust to the new therapist, especially since it will be months instead of just a few appointments.

It is perfectly fine for you to feel more upset about the anniversary this year than other years. This is the year that you faced what happened and are working through it. It is going to seem more present and therefore harder to cope with. And you had expectations about this time in your life, that you would be beyond any difficulties. So there is a lot of emotion you are feeling as a result. Go easy on yourself and try to let yourself feel what you feel. You may want to mark the anniversary some way too. Do something that lets you take back control of the day, such as burying mementos from that time or writing a letter to your attackers and burning it. Just taking action can help you feel better.

Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5515
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks, Kate. I know I can call Linda whenever. Of the EMDR is going to help, then I'd rather do it sooner than later. I just didn't know it would be in lieu of therapy. Since I'm seeing rose for this limited thing, it's not like I can go in and talk about what is going on presently with her or want to - and even of I could and I felt like I wanted to, it would just delay things further. I just feel caught off guard y that and the length of time. Linda left me a message yesterday to give me "moral support" for my appointing with rose - she just said "it's fine, you'll be fine, it will be a good thing.". She left me another message today askinge to let her know what I thought of rose and everything. I don't want to call her back because I am upset and mad. I guess I should tell her how I am feeling about the whole thing.maybe I will call her this weekend.

As far as the anniversary, we close on the new house that day. I will look at it as a new beginning. Then maybe I will just beat the crap out of something. Wanna see a pic of the new house? Let me try ......


 


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View from front door ... (the mountain you see - right now we live right at the base of it)...


 


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Thanks for being here, Kate.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Your new house is really nice! Thanks for the pictures. Now I can think of it whenever you talk about it :)

That is a good idea about celebrating your move on the anniversary. It is a fresh start in a place untouched by what happened.

I understand your feelings about Linda. And it's ok to take some time before you contact her. You need time to sort your feelings first.

Let me know how things go with the EMDR and your regular therapy. You are in my prayers.

Take care Shay,

Kate

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