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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5057
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Hi, my doctor went away for 6 months, I am half way through

Resolved Question:

Hi, my doctor went away for 6 months, I am half way through and being seen by his colleague. I am feeling extreme anger with everything at the moment. I am frustrated with my own doctor but I am becoming aware of the subject of transference. I feel that I miss him terribly, but I also miss him when I see him every week. I dont know what to do to get past this feeling. I need to know him, every detail about him, but he is very private. I need to be like him, but I dont know him enough to know how to be like him. It drives me crazy. He is in my mind all the time. what would he think of me doing x, y and z. What would he do in this situation. What would he be watching, reading, doing? The intensity is constant, except for when I am in college.
How do I get away from this thought pattern and deep emotional loss?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

Please give me a couple minutes to read over your question, so that I can better assist you

Customer:

ok


 

Dr. Z :

So you are correct about this feeling of transference and the anger and sadness of missing him is actually not uncommon. May I ask have you discussed these feelings with your current therapist?

Customer:

I am discussing them, but they are too difficult to get into. I know that sounds stupid, but it is like breaking into the massive dam and I am so afraid of letting it all out.

Customer:

I suppose what is hurting me the most is that she said that he does care about me. I was the only patient he made other arrangements for. She also said that after the past 3 years, taking into account learning to trust him, that I am at the grand old age of a 1 year old.

Customer:

If he does care about me, that makes it worse. It is easier if he doesnt.

Dr. Z :

That is okay, you do not have to tell me too much, I do not want to make you uncomfortable. So you are upset with him that he cares about you and then left you, do you think you are feeling abandoned?

Customer:

lol, probably, but not conciously. I also have my father coming to visit after 10 years. We had a very distant relationship, but since I got sick he has been on the phone every single week. My current doc asked if I was afraid of him leaving again, yet another dam

Customer:

how do you get emtions out without breaking the house or yourself?

Dr. Z :

It is difficult, I will grant you that, but it also depends on what type of therapy you are currently in too. I prescribe to more solution focused therapy styles like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, where the premise is that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen.

Dr. Z :

But most importantly you want to do it gradually to not let the emotions overwhelm you

Dr. Z :

It is possible that your subconscious is concerned about abandonment, especially with your father coming to visit after 10 years, the two incidents of your therapist leaving temporarily and your father visiting is a lot to handle for anyone.

Customer:

I suppose that is the crux of the situation really. I am on medication to reduce flashbacks of csa that are seriously compromising if not on meds. Whenever there is stress it gets so much worse and I think that in a way the amount I can handle is amost overflowing most of the time. Does that sense.is I am not ok most of the time, but I am better than I was. To me that ok, but when other things happen it is quite desperate.

Dr. Z :

Increased environmental stress can cause relapses with Complex PTSD, so I understand how that would work. May I ask, and without breaking open the dam, but how do you feel about your father visiting?

Customer:

We have talked a lot about the dysfunction of my mother and her affects upon our relationship. They divorced when I was young, but neither of us knew how the other felt. I am thrilled I have a parent again, since I am no longer able to know my mother. It is complicated, but in short, i remembered CSA at her hand, her fathers, her boyfriends, and his friends. But no longer have a relationship with her. My father knows now. He has supported me since I told him. We have forged our own relationship without others influences and I am so pleased I will see him again. But it terrifies me that he will go away again.

Customer:

I only realised this last week in therapy, but he will arrive in 3 weeks

Customer:

then she will be away for 3 weeks, back for 3/4, then i go back to original therapist and then my dad leaves.

Customer:

it is bloody scary

Dr. Z :

Is it possible that with all your transference issues currently that your feelings should be more directed at your father because of the history, but you direct them at your therapist in a form of a defense mechanism because of the transference issue you have built up with him for such a long time. Many patients do this with their therapists subconsciously because their therapists are safe target for their feelings.

Customer:

Yes, that would make sense, i have been reading to try and understand this. what they dont tell you is how to handle it. I just am so scared my dad wont approve of me or my house and things. My daughter swears, he hates swearing. I smoke, he hates smoking. I dont know how to make these thi

Customer:

things ok if he doesnt like them.

Customer:

My mother has visited and threatened to leave if we disagreed. My dad says we will discuss things if there is a problem. I am just scared he wont want me.

Dr. Z :

So it sounds like your feelings are more appropriate for your father if he rejects you because you are focusing on the negative.

Customer:

I am feeling really scared. I want him to be like he is on the phone. I am scared he will be different, it isnt the same as living with someone for 3 months, is it?

Customer:

Sort of, my logic says it will be great, but my emotions are scared. does that make sense?

Dr. Z :

I understand, but your thoughts and emotions are not consistent, which means your subconscious is most likely controlling your emotions right now

Customer:

so which should i listen to

Dr. Z :

You want to listen to your thoughts and have your thoughts control your emotions. Can I show you a technique I use with patients to help with this?

Customer:

yes please

Dr. Z :

So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want you to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more objective and plausible). This will help you change your way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

Customer:

Yes, that is good, I will look at the link too. I did something like it many years ago. I found it helpful, but after moving here I dont have the sheet it was on. It sounds the same though.

Dr. Z :

Yes this is a primary technique for CBT

Customer:

Can I ask you about if you think that applies to flashbacks. I was taken into a DBT group (that might not have been appropriate for my condition) that tried to use the same technique for flashbacks. I found that distressing because flashbacks are not the same as other emotions. Although it would be wonderful to find a way to get out of flashbacks, I have not found one yet. Do you have any new ideas I might follow up.

Dr. Z :

Flashbacks are very difficult to treat and yes CBT and DBT can be used for flashbacks, but there is a relatively novel approach for flashbacks associated with PTSD called Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This should be done by a qualified therapist who specializes in this as I said it is relatively new, but it was specifically designed to treat PTSD

Customer:

I have heard of this a few times, how long has it been going, then I can see how much experience a person has.

Dr. Z :

It started in the early 90's but really did not start to catch on until the early 2000's I believe. I am not trained in EMDR, so I know a limited amount, but there is some research that touts its benefits.

Customer:

No, that is good, because it gives a good 10 years experience for someone to be competant. But then I feel like I am cheating on my psych, that is so crazy, i know, but the flashbacks are rediculous. The highly sensitive reactions, the constant high anxiety gives me a constant elivated pulse and blood pressure. Maybe to get rid of the flashbacks would start me back to my norm. I used to have a low blood pressure in you early 20s

Customer:

Like dangerously high pulse and pb

Customer:

bp

Dr. Z :

Well you can still see your therapists, the EMDR is meant to be temporary for a certain number of sessions and you should continue to see your own therapist during the EMDR sessions too

Customer:

oh, ok, that sounds good. I will check that out, I have read about it. It feels far fetched, but I have heard that there can be very good results - even if it isnt for everyone, it might work for me?

Dr. Z :

Yeah I know some studies that love it and then there are some that do not, so the research is mixed on it, but there is absolutely no risk to try it

Customer:

thank you for listening, obviously it isnt as bad as i thought it was as we are talking about other things. I live alone, and sometimes get stuck at some points. Clearly I need to write more and describe what is going on in my head. I will look at the link you gave me, but you reminded me of the process I did several years ago, it was useful and even ensightful.

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am happy that I was able to help you

Customer:

If there is no risk to the EMDR (as there can be with hypnosis etc), I think I will look for a local consultant and check prices. It worth a shot.

Customer:

Thank you for your time, I appreciate it. Sometimes I just get stu

Customer:

stu

Customer:

oops

Customer:

sometimes i just get stuck. now i am thinking more, so that is good

Dr. Z :

I know we all get stuck sometimes, but it is natural and I am happy that I was able to help your process these issues and give you some insight too

Dr. Z :

Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Customer:

Erm, I think we have covered it all, but thank you so much for your time. I do really appreciate our talk.

Customer:

I will do the rating thing etc. Thank you

Dr. Z :

Oh I should mention that with EMDR, there is always minor discomfort in the early sessions because you are processing through flashbacks and trauma, but this is temporary and it always gets worse before it gets better

Dr. Z :

So when I say no risks, I meant no long term or permanent risks

Customer:

Oh, no, that is ok, I can accept that, especially if I still have my doctor to go to. No, i think I understood what you meant.

Customer:

thank you again, you are great to talk to, even though anonymous, lol

Dr. Z :

Okay good, i just wanted to clarify and give you accurate information

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help and it was a pleasure chatting with you as well. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Customer:

Well thank you for checking with me. Yes, I think I might do that, if I need to come back I will look to see if you are here. Just for working time considerations, are you above or below the equator, as I am in Australia

Customer:

It all goes to shit below the equator, lol

Dr. Z :

I am in California and I am usually online from 7AM-12AM Pacific Standard Time

Customer:

right, I will figure that out. cheers, XXXXX XXXXX much. I will let you mend someone else now.

Customer:

bye

Dr. Z :

You are most welcome and goodbye for now :)

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5057
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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