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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate. What kinds of things is going to ask me re: my

Customer Question

Hey Kate. What kinds of things is Linda going to ask me re: my feelings? Like what I felt then or what I feel now?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.


I think Linda will probably ask you about both. If she does what I would do, she will listen to your story, stop you when you get to a significant point (it's all significant, but something that can be looked at closer), and ask you about your feelings back when it happened. Then she will work on the issue based on how you feel about it in present day. The idea behind this is to take something you felt back then (and may still feel) and see why you felt that way and the reasoning behind it. Then she will help you see it in a different light and provide you with the support and other needs you did not have when it originally happened.

For example: You talk about the bad guy's voice. Say it made you feel agitated to hear it. If I was working with you, I would stop you as you described the voice. I would ask you how you felt about it then. Then I would ask how you feel about it now. If it was still affecting you enough to bother you, then we would work together to find out why and what we could change about it to make you feel better. You won't be able to erase your reaction to the voice back then, but you would have a different perspective when you think about it now. And we would also give you the coping mechanisms to deal with any reminders of the voice (triggers) and any associated feelings.

You can see by the example why Linda feels this is going to take a few sessions! But it is worth the time because it means that you will come away with a different perspective on what happened to you.

Linda may handle this a bit differently than I would since every therapist has their own way and feeling about what works. But that doesn't mean it will be any less effective. It actually might be more effective if she tailors it to what she knows about you and your needs.

I hope you are enjoying your weekend! You are in my thoughts.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Okay. But how can we "change" any of it to make me feel better about it? I can't change what happened and trying to convince myself that something different happened is not going to work. Or are you talking about changing my perspective or the way I see it? Like realizing it can't hurt me anymore or something? Or, like on your example, would you try to get me to "change" the mean one's voice on my head, or see it for what it is - a voice from the past that has no control over me anymore?
I am having a good weekend so far. Massage last night was goo but ended up with a headache later and then gain this afternoon, but my pills have worked. I just hate when they keep coming back because I hate taking so much medication on top of what I already take. Had a banjo lesson this morning, which was fun because I love my teacher. He's so cool. And I went to the grocery store (usually p does that, but I wanted to give her a break) - that was no small undertaking. I recently discovered how much cheaper Walmart is for groceries. Very cool. However, I don't think Saturday is the day to shop there. But it helped p out.
My meds made me really tired, so I took a nap and just woke up. Still lind of have a headache, but that's because the pills are wearing off. I'm feeling pretty good that I am not going to church tomorrow. So I can sleep in and don't have to deal with anyone. Yay!
I'm kind of anxious about Monday. I want to move ahead, but I am hoping I didn't get myself in over my head. I didn't think it would be that big of a deal or that much of a process when I thought of doing it. I didn't realize there was a chance I might react how I did with the EMDR. Do you think Linda can stop that from happening?
I hope you're having a great day. :)
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

You cannot change what happened to you, no one can. But you can change your perspective. And perspective is different for everyone, and it's affected by background, trauma, personality and other influences. People often see something that happened to them in an unhealthy way because of that. The key with going over your trauma is to change to see it in a healthy way. Your example is perfect. You may not change anything about the voice, but you may see it in a way that bothers you less and that you can cope with better.

I'm sorry that your massage ended in a headache. A good experience followed by a bad one. Do you think you would go again for a massage based on your experience (before the headache :) )

Banjos are cool. I enjoy listening to them. There is a new country song out by Rascal Flatts, I think, called Banjo. I don't know if you like country music, but it's a good song.

Yes, I have discovered the same thing, Walmart is cheaper! But the store is always so jammed that makes it hard to go. I usually try early mornings or later in the evening. It's better then.

It's good that you are taking a break from church. You could use the downtime. For a while there, you weren't getting any time at all. I think the rest will help you feel you can cope better with what you are going through.

I don't think you will react the same on Monday in therapy that you did with the EMDR. I have never heard of anyone reacting the same so I highly doubt it. Therapy is much more straight forward, with time to think and take a break if you need to. Just tell Linda you want to take it slow. And if you need to, leave for a few moments if you feel overwhelmed. There is nothing wrong with that.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have gotten massages a lot. I used to get them fairly regularly when I made more money and made time for it. The woman I started going to is really good at helping with headache. But she's on vacation. I have had some headaches throughout the week, so I don't know that it caused it, but sometimes working on knots in my neck causes them, so .... But yeah - i will definitely keep getting massages. They really do help me relax. And for some reason, it doesn't make me feel uncomfortable at all.
What you describe makes sense.
After Linda read my story, and we started going through certain parts, she didn't make me even talk about them. I would just think about them and sometime get upset, but didn't say a whole lot. That went on for weeks. Actually saying it will be a lot more difficult and emotional. I need to be clear with Linda that although I want her to be careful with me or just make sure I don't go over the edge, I need her to push me a little. Sometimes when I get upset, she will totally back off and just stop and not go back to it. This isn't going to work of we don't stick with it, I feel. Do you agree? She lets me off easy sometimes - like when she asks how I feel and I say I dont know or if I am silent, she'll leave it be. That's nice for the moment, but not ultimately productive, I would think.
Maybe this should be discussed as part of the ground rules?
Also, maybe I will take a printout of that feeling list to which you gave me a link, and Linda had given me a list a long time ago. It might be helpful if I take those with me every time.
It is nice to have some down time. I have some work I have to get done this weekend, but that's okay. I have been so productive this week. Not sure why. Maybe I'm excited about going back to the old firm or panicked because I'm so far behind or getting better sleep. Or maybe a combination of all of that. I am so looking forward to going back to my old firm. It will be July before I move over there, and may be a long time until we can merge because of the conflicts of interest. But I talk to LP all the time now about plans and stuff, which makes it feel like old times. It's comfortable. Of course, I also talk to him often to argue about stuff in our case against each other, but we can do that then switch gears easily. It makes me feel good that he is so excited. I can tell. He is relieved, I think, that the firm wont fold if (a he says) he "drips dead or retires," since he is almost 70.
I talked to my parents te other day. They called me because I hadn't talked to them in weeks. I guess I forgot to tell them I 100% decided to go back and have my notice to my landlord, etc. (oops). But they both commented that I sounded better than I have in a long time.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
By the way - I hadn't heard that song "banjo" - I don't listen to country much. But I like some of it. I do like that song. It's kind of fun. I suck at the banjo. But I really like my teacher. He was an excellent guitar player and played all over the place with all sorts of people. He played at Carnegie hall the night before he had a stroke. Now he can't move the left side of his body and so can't play. But he's cool.
I don't know if I told you to look up this song or not, but you should listen to "for the first time again" by ***** *****. I heard it several weeks ago for the first time and it just spoke to me. I think I'm going to sing it sometime, with c playing electric guitar, p playing electric bass, p's brother playing acoustic guitar and me playing drums. I Dont want to do anything for a while, but i feel like i need to do that song. I know somebody else will need to hear it. It's funny - a number of months ago, on the same stretch p road I heard another song that spoke to me a lot. It's "I shall believe" by Matt Brouwer. C and I did it a few months ago. I told c and our head pastor I should probably circle that block over and over, listening to KLOVE and see what God says to me :).
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.


I am glad that the massages work for you. You do suffer with a lot of headaches and if that helps, you should go as often as possible!

As you go over your story, talking about the different parts and how you feel related to them is vital. Otherwise, telling your story over again is just re traumatizing you because you are stuck with the feelings you had back then. But by talking about it and looking at each section of it, you can work with the past feelings and change them, as I described before. That is what will help you move on from this. Like I mentioned, you won't forget about it, but you will see it from a different perspective.

Take the feeling list with you. It will help you when you feel stuck. When you have been out of touch with your feelings for so long, your natural instinct is going to be to shut down or become defensive when you talk about something that bothers you. By having the feeling list there, you can pull yourself out of that quicker.

I think it's a great idea to have Linda be more confrontive with you during therapy. Like you said, you benefit much more when you are not allowed to withdrawal or be defensive when you confront your feelings. You need it laid on the line and that is a good thing. You know what works for you. Telling Linda that is important. Making it part of the agreement will help you both keep up with it and be sure it happens. And you both will be on the same page with it if it is discussed first thing. That helps with any possible miscommunication.

It's good that you have felt so productive this week. I agree, it is probably a combination of things going on in your life. But I know you were concerned with being behind in your work and not feeling up to doing what you needed to do.

How did it feel talking with your parents? Do you feel any differently with them with what you have been working on in therapy?


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm going to start a new threa soviet don't get booted off by accepting more than one answer per thread.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Oh - and answer this on the new thread, but when you say "work with the past feelings and change them," again, you mean change how I feel NOW - not changed feelings I had then or since, right? Because I don't think that's possible.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.
Ok, see you over there.