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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: thanks for the heads-up about you being out of town. I

Resolved Question:

Kate: thanks for the heads-up about you being out of town. I hope it is a trip for fun! Maybe a nice mother's day get-away! I don't want you to have to work while you are away, even of you do have Internet access. Take a break! I won't bother you!
Is it scary being a therapist? You have to be so careful with everything - I do too to some extent, but the rules stay the same. With you, all of your clients have different needs and histories and baggage and personalities, and you would kind of have to tailor to each client. And a screw-up goes beyond costing your client money. Sounds scary to me. I think part of the reason I was thinking about all this was (1) I was talking to someone about how careful our youth minister needs to be. He's a caring guy and pretty good looking, and I think that probably all the teenage girls get crushes on him. He'd have to be careful. And (2) I kind of didn't consider how hard it must be being a therapist (aside from the transference/inappropriate relationship thing) and I feel I was unfair in how harshly I felt towards Linda after the EMDR fiasco.
Rough session again. Linda had some ideas about breaking down the embarrassment/shame issues. We talked a lot about childhood stuff and the teasing and stuff. I told her that might be part of it, but it felt different. It upset me when she was asking about specific things my sister or parents would say to me. But I made
Myself not cry because I felt dumb crying over that. But now I'm thinking that would have been fine. She had me tell her how big I thought the feeling was, and what color. ?? A little weird. Then she asked hat I wanted to feel instead and what color.
Then she talked for a while. She said it saddened her that I felt embarrassed and uncomfortable with her. I told her that I was sorry, but I felt that way. It was embarrassing before, but now it's not a secret anymore and it makes it worse. She talked some more and it was after 6, so I asked if we could stop, and she said yes. She said I looked so sad and I told her I felt pretty sad. She suggested we sit there for a while so I could cry if I needed to. And so we did and I did. Not for long, but pretty hard. She asked if it was too intense for me, but I told her it was okay. so I calmed down and we left, but I had been there almost 2 hours. I feel so bad or her spending so much extra time with me. Should I try to change my appointments so that someone comes after me? I feel like I'm taking advantage.
I feel like I released a little, but I totally spent again. I have another appointment Monday, than not again until the following Wednesday, because she's going out of town. That may be a rough week or so.
I am really sad. Like really sad. Like somebody died, excep nobody did, so I can't even conjure up good memories of them. My heart is broken, it feels. I feel like my new normal right now is so much lower than usual. I know it will go back up, but it is not fun nonetheless. I think I could cry for the rest of the night if I had the chance. What's wrong with me? I am so weak. I think I need some help.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.


Being a therapist is not scary. Most therapists are well trained and go over and over ethics and how to be with the people they work with. And most people are truly in distress and want help. Very few try to hurt the therapist on purpose because they are there to help.

It sounds like there is a lot of pain for you underneath the embarrassment and teasing from your childhood. Just from the way you described it affecting you, that is clear. You mentioned trying not to cry about it (which would have been fine, I agree) which says that it was painful.

I could not imagine how hard it would be to have to be the subject of others amusement. It is humiliating and very hurtful. And as a child, you had no defense.

I understand where Linda was going with the colors. Colors can often represent moods. Think of it like a mood ring, as inaccurate as those things are! People can relate feelings to colors. And when it is hard to express how you feel, thinking of your emotions as colors can help you get in touch with what that feeling is. When you are talking about very painful things, you can distance yourself from your feelings because they hurt so badly. So identifying your feelings another way that is less direct is helpful.

It is really up to Linda to set boundaries with your sessions. Sometimes it is hard to do so because as a therapist, you want to give as much as you can. But boundaries are important because many people who grew up with abusive families do not have a healthy reference to how boundaries work. Setting them as a therapist then becomes important so the person you are working with can see how healthy boundaries work. Talk with Linda about how you feel about going over your session time. And if you feel that doesn't work out, it may be a good idea to have someone call you or come and get you so you can end the session when you feel you should end it.

It's ok to feel sad like you do. You just got in touch with a very painful part of your childhood. It brought up a lot of deep feelings. You didn't have a chance (or could not afford to) feel a natural response to what happened to you when you were a child because it was not safe then. But it is now, so you are experiencing those feelings just as you should have then. Try taking some extra care of yourself today. Give yourself a break and allow the feelings to be there. They are hard to feel, but they will not hurt you. Given time, you will work through them and see what happened to you with a new perspective.

Don't worry about writing when I am away! I am going to have some down time and I do want to check in with you. I just wanted to let you know so you didn't wonder why I was not responding as I usually do. Plus I want to stay in touch with how you are doing. You are at a critical time in your recovery with a lot going on. If I can help lift the burden some, I want to do that.

Talk to you soon,


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