You are welcome!
What stopped you from asking him if it was a tape recorder?
Therapists cannot tape sessions without the permission of the client. You would need to sign a form indicating that you gave permission.
Yes...I understand. It scared you. I'm glad you did ask...that was important.
But absolutely...the damage was done.
And yes...the more he pressures you the more you are going to resist. That's very normal behavior. It is called psychological reactance...you can read up on that if you want. Basically...when we feel that our freedom is being taken away...we dig in.
And yes...it is a symptom of lack of trust. But do you think that you would have felt that same way no matter who the therapist was? That is, that this is not about HIM...but about any one?
Well...I don't think group would be helpful...you would be fighting to trust a room full of people...ugh.
In 3 months of therapy we would hope that some good progress has been made...that trust would be developed sufficiently to have made some real discoveries and to have brought down the emotional pain. But...when trust is so difficult that progress is going to be a bit slower. Still...I would say that in 3 months you should have developed enough trust to be willing to work on tough stuff.
Obviously, he is pushing you in such a way that it is counter-productive.
That question was really strange!
And..I am surprised about the emails...but I do recall that he told you he won't answer all of them. Which may have been his way of saying...don't email me. I'm not sure...
Why did he even ask you about the suicide?
Again...a strange response.
I respect his view of CBT....it isn't for every client. But...he certainly did not give you a thorough response about what works...
Tanya...I find it odd that he does not remember about your suicidal thoughts. That ought to be a key thing he checks on with you. I can understand him not recalling very specific details...but in a general sense he ought to know that this is part of our profile.
Yes...and that's what is going to happen in any situation where you don't feel that you have control of your own decision making. So again...this strategy is not working and is unlikely to work until you decide to trust him, he decides to back off, or you feel so pressured that you give in.
Are you ready to quit working with him?
If so, what will you do instead?
Tell me more about: I think I really know what I need...
I understand what you are saying...absolutely. Most therapists don't just sit there expecting you to get the session started...
And...most clients do have some thoughts that they want to discuss with the therapist.
I think the blank mind is because of the mistrust, and also because you do not know where to begin.
A good therapist is going to work to make sure you feel comfortable and then is going to say something along the lines of...where would you like to start today...or last week we talked about xyz, how are those things today...or last week we said we would focus on xyz today....
I'm not sure what Dr. A's approach is here...but it really doesn't matter because it isn't working and you don't feel comfortable and you don't think you have made much progress...and it's way too painful for you.
So....what would you like to do here?
And yes...finding a new therapist is not going to be easy...
I like that he says welcome...that's quite nice really...
But there has to be more then that...
What makes you not say anything after he says welcome....why do you stare at him...what are you wanting from him? do you know?
And..he's waiting for you to begin.
So who should begin...in your mind...
Okay...and if he was an "ideal" therapist what would he say....
You have every right to talk to Dr. J. What would you ask him?
And absolutely...you are going to him to help you!!
About taking to Dr. J?
If you want a consult with Dr. J then call him (or his office) and ask for that.
Then what I think you want is some support from Dr. J about how to be a "good" patient... that is, a patient who makes progress with their therapist.
I think you have some doubts about what the therapist should be doing and what you should be doing.
And you want verification (or instruction) from Dr. J about this...
Yes...I did remember they were co-workers...did not know about the friend part.
No...see Dr. J alone.
Dr. J and Dr. A....even if they are friends...need to treat this professionally...that is a issue of ethical practice.
What I see is that you are wanting a private meeting with Dr. J to ask for his feedback about how you are approaching therapy and if there is something more/different you could be doing to have a better, more productive experience.
Tell me who the release is for...is it from sessions with Dr. J to Dr. A. Or vice versa?
This is not about fault Tanya. It's about reality. Are you your own worse enemy...to some degree yes...but you are unable to trust.
Okay...so that means that Dr. J can talk to Dr. A about sessions. But usually there is a date on the release...a date that stipulates what period of time this release is effective.
You might want to check this out.
That would make a difference. That release may not be effective any longer so he can't share. And..you can remind him of that.
So...is your hope that Dr. J can talk to Dr. A and get Dr. A to change how he works with you?
I don't think it's reasonable to put Dr. J in the position of having to tell Dr. A that you need him to change. What is reasonable is to say: Dr. J can you help me to look at how I am relating to Dr. A and what I might do to start to trust him and to get more out of therapy.
I don't know if your adapting to Dr. A is going to be a game changer...the best scenario would be that both of you adapt! He leads more....you feel more trust.
You feel "welcomed" and "safe"...he feels that you are beginning to trust him.
This would be a win-win.
So...make an appointment with Dr. J...come in prepared with what we have talked about this evening...make your case...see what he is willing to do. And...make sure what the date on that release is.
Yes..I agree it is a frustrating experience! And he likely feels some of that as well.
That's why I said win-win...
I think this is a good plan...it gets you the opportunity to get what you need from therapy...rather than feeling unsafe and frustrated.
I will say goodnight now.
You are very welcome Tanya!
Good night to you as well!
Do you mean if Dr. A questions why you would call Dr. J?
Dr. A should not have that information. Calls coming into the office are confidential.
No one should know this information...
Hmmmm. Well, it would be up to Dr. J to say that you called. But until you talk to Dr. J there is nothing to say to Dr. A right?
I don't know why he would bring that up?
Colleagues can and do talk about clients...but they do not use the clients name. That you signed a release of information means that they "could" be discussing you...but typically the identity of the client is not used. And..because you have not talked to Dr. J I just don't see what he would say to Dr. A? Even if he said you had called...that says nothing.
What are you worried Dr. J would say...or how Dr. A would react?
I agree with your viewpoint of therapy.
And..yes you have a strained relationship with Dr. A. But...if your going to Dr. J is going to upset him..then doesn't that tell you something about his ability to work with you?
Then wouldn't give you more confidence that this is not the therapist you need.
The goal of going to Dr. J is to get feedback on what you could or should be doing differently to engage with Dr. A.
You are not meeting with him for the purpose of saying he is a bad therapist or unprofessional...so he would have nothing to fear.
I agree with the list of issues you have just written.
I see two choices here...talk to Dr. J and ask for his help in addressing the above list. Or...talking directly to Dr. A about these issues.
That sounds like a good plan. But I would encourage you to check back with Dr. J by Tuesday...unless he isn't in the office everyday.
I feel frustrated with you...it shouldn't be this hard.
Let me know how things go...
Ok, so I've got an appt. for Thursday @ 3pm with Dr. J. I have my appt. with Dr. A on Wednesday. Any suggestions on how I can use my 50 minutes most effecively with Dr. J?
Well....can you go in with some prepared thoughts?
As you say..you need a running start. So...what if you were to go in with 3 or 4 things on a list that you would be comfortable talking about so that you can get "warmed up" .. sorta like ice breakers.
I wouldn't put anything tough on the list...
For instance, you might start off with saying:
Dr. A I am willing to admit to having on-going difficulty trusting you. I would like to spend a few minutes talking about what progress I have made on this front and I want to hear from you what progress you think I've made.
How does this sound?
Yes, that sounds good for Dr. A, but what about my consult with Dr. J?
With Dr. J is going to be an entirely different conversation...here is where you want more direction on how to open up...how to trust...what words of wisdom he can share that would help you feel that a trusting bond is possible. Correct?
So...can you write out a few "softball" questions for Dr. A?
Then...I suggest you do the same with Dr. J so that you don't waste time...that is have some thoughts down on paper about what you want from this consultation.
I know what I want, im just not sure about how to articulate it.
You might also want to ask Dr. J to what extend he talks to Dr. A with you and for him to explain that Release of Information.
*about you (not with you)
Why don't you put some thoughts down on paper and then I'll review them?
Great. I'll post here when I'm done. Ok?
Very good Tanya.
We will talk later then!
later, gator! :)
Yes...check with you later this evening.
After talking with Dr. A today in session, I decided to cancel my appt. with Dr. J. I hope it was the right decision.
Tell me what happened to change your mind? I hope that means that you had a good appointment and are feeling better about Dr. A.
I'll be on for several hours....
Somehow this posting got taken completely out of my list. I'm not sure why..but will attempt to find out.
Give me a second here and I will respond.
Okay...so how are you feeling about Dr. A? It seems to me that he was being completely honest about his approach...that so far he has attempted to let you lead so that you can be in charge of developing trust with him. Yet..he is willing to take the lead but wonders if that will be effective.
Do you believe that if he were to lead that you would never trust the process?
And yes..I agree that you have built trusting relationships with a number of people..your husband and children for sure..and others as well.
Do you really think that the essence of why you don't feel fulfilled is because you "believe" that others are out to hurt you? Or is it more that you initially distrust people (in general) until you are able to gather enough evidence on them to decide if they are trustworthy or not?
Again...I am very sorry that your posting disappeared from my list...I will check on this immediately.
Im sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. My life has been crazy lately. Dr. A had a planned vacation week, so I will not be seeing him tomorrow. I've decided to take more time off from therapy. I am planning to return in the first week of April. I'm not convinced that this is really helping me. It's costing me $240 a month out of pocket and my insurance is picking up $100 every week. I know therapy is not supposed to be "fun", but I hate it. I dont think Dr. A has it in him to give me what I need. I want to distance myself right now from this and see how I do on my own. I have not fired Dr. A, just taking a 6 week hiatus to see how I feel. Maybe it's a mistake, but I am relieved that I dont have to go back there for a while.
This question states that its closed. Are you able to reply still?