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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate: My understanding is that it is cognitive behavioral

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My understanding is that it is cognitive behavioral therapy. (Which means nothing to me). I got the impression that she thinks that just retelling it will achieve things. However, she did say, when I told her I thought maybe we should start doing this, that we needed to look at my feelings throughout the story, because we never have.
I don’t think she’s overwhelmed by feelings in general. I think she was just overwhelmed by my list. Because it went from my only saying “good,” “bad” or “overwhelmed” or “about to explode” to a whole page of feelings I was experiencing (some a little, some a lot). I thought we would go through it, but we didn’t.
Okay, you want to know what I think the real problem is? I hate to say it, because I really like Linda and I do think she helps me and cares. But I don’t think she can stick with anything for too long. She jumps around too much, will come up with something, we try it and when it is not an instant cure, she goes on to something else. She has stuck with some things for a while, but, for instance, when she had me “rank” the worst parts, and then we started with the least and went through them one by one. Of COURSE it was upsetting. But we were getting through it. But then she decided to stop before we even got to the “worst” list. I do understand that part of her reasoning was because the “worst” list was almost all things I did or said. She seems not to want me to think at all about those things or why I feel guilty. (Which makes no sense – it’s there. I feel it. It’s not going to just disappear). But I felt like part of that was that she got bored or wanted miraculous results or just can’t stick with anything. And there have been many other things that have happened where we start something and she just stops or never goes back to it. I don’t know if she forgets or just can’t do one thing over and over or what. But this is an issue for me, because I am very much aware that one has to stick with something to get any results and I am very much the kind of person who keeps at something until the end, generally. So it bugs the heck out of me. Again, I don’t know her reasoning . Maybe it is totally sound. But sometimes I feel like pointing out to her that if we had stuck with one or two things and seen them through, I might be in a much better position than I am now, after having gone through parts of a dozen things. You know what I mean?
I wish you had a practice here. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to leave Linda. I really feel comfortable with her and that’s rare for me with this kind of thing. But I wonder sometimes if she understands me well enough to know what might help me. But it’s too much of a risk to try to find someone else.
Also, yesterday, when I was waiting for the elevator to go downstairs to meet Linda, when it opened, there were 2 young teens holding each other in there. Kind of inappropriate public display of affection, but it was also obvious they were miserable. One of their dad’s had been chatting with me while waiting. They were probably 13 or 14. She was clearly pregnant. I wanted so bad to ask them or Linda (it was obviously her clients before me) if she intended to keep the baby or would consider letting me adopt him/her. I don’t know why I felt that way. So bizarre. But I thought abut them a lot last night. WIERD.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Shay, I'm glad you talked about what you feel the real issue is with your therapy. It helps to know what you feel it is so we can work with it.

It is a problem that Linda jumps around and doesn't stay with one thing. And if that is your impression, it may be worth saying something about to her (though you may have already). It's something to think about. But in the meanwhile, you still need your issues addressed in a way that you feel you are accomplishing something.

One question I have- are your therapy sessions started off with an agenda from you or from Linda? When I do therapy, it's the person I am working with who gets things started. Because to me, that is what is on their mind. It could be a whole different topic than the week before, but if that is what is bothering them, that is what we deal with. Now I may bring up other things in relation to what they are talking about, but for the most part, therapy is driven by them with my input as we go along.

By telling you that, I am hoping to help you see how other therapists might work . Cognative behavior would be different than what I use. My therapy is feeling based. And it sounds like that is what you need right now. Linda may feel comfortable with switching around so you can get both. I'm hoping that is what she is doing with going back over your story.

It may help you to tell Linda that you need her to stick with one topic for a time, until you feel ready to move on. Bringing that up to her may help. If she feels she can't stick with one topic, then that is an issue she has to cope with on her own. That is her transferring her feelings and issues into therapy. It happens and it can make problems, but as long as it's addressed then therapy can continue.

It is interesting what you said about the baby. Why not talk to Linda about it? It may be that you feel ready to have a child and this is a sign. The adoption process can take a while, so if this girl is willing, you'd have to get started now. But the feelings you are having about this are important. You should talk about them more.


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