I Don’t Know How To Therapy

I had a session with my therapist the other day. So far I feel the sessions are lacking. I am already skilled in the art of monologue (I am not unlike Spiderman in that way). But seriously I need something more intensive than psychoanalysis. I hate sitting there talking at someone and receiving no feedback whatsoever. Where are the thought-provoking questions? Where are the hands on activities? Where is the objective perspective? There is just me in a room doing what I always do except I am doing it with a bystander who is practically catatonic. Well to be fair I did make her laugh out loud which is probably not right either. I really don’t know how to therapy.

I received an appointment in the mail for November 6th. I thought, finally, she’s arranged for a psychological evaluation so we can see what’s going on but no it seems that’s not the case at all. I have been scheduled to see the doctor to discuss medication yet again. I have already told her that I will not take medication until we have a better understanding of my condition, it’s like going to the doctor and receiving radiation therapy before the appointment in hopes that it’ll fix whatever ails you. The prescribing of bogus drugs at random discredits the psychiatrist in my opinion.

I am moving, as many of you know, and my therapist said I would be in a new district and thought I might want to change therapists. I responded that I will be coming into town for Swedish lessons and so there is no need. She said we’d talk about it later. Later in the same session she revealed that the township I will be moving to doesn’t have any therapists (none of the surrounding areas either) and therefore if I wanted to continue therapy I would have to commute into the city. If that’s the case why would I switch therapists? I questioned her but she said we’d talk about it later. I believe she has already decided to make the switch because a substantial portion of the conversation would have been irrelevant otherwise. Unless she is saying that people living in the country are not eligible for therapy but that hardly seems legal/logical. Maybe she is considering retirement? If that’s the case why not say so? I wouldn’t have taken that personally unless of course she told me I was the cause. I believe she is in her 70s so retirement would not seem unreasonable and I would understand that completely and with no hard feelings. What I do not understand is a round about way of talking. I also considered the possibility that she thought I might wish to discontinue because of the distance (Swedes don’t like long car rides I really can’t exaggerate that point enough) but then asking me if I wanted to switch doesn’t make sense because apparently I don’t have any local options. I am probably over-thinking this but I couldn’t really make any sense of it.

Part of the reason I am in therapy is because I don’t understand social cues. How on earth am I supposed to understand someone who employs both a social and professional veneer? It would be so much easier if she just spoke plainly. Do you plan to discontinue therapy when you move or are you willing to commute? If you are willing to commute how often would you like to meet up? Something along those lines. If I then asked about therapy options in my area she might have informed me that unfortunately there are no therapists in my immediate vicinity. This may well be what she meant to say but there was a lot of fillers and extraneous bits attached. This is why I need days between all my conversations so I can decipher what the person was trying to say lol If only I could pause and process as needed! I know there is a technique called summarizing where by I repeat what I believe the person has said to make sure that I have understood them but unfortunately I kind of suck at it. I am also defensive not around everyone but with authority figures I have trust issues and so in the moment my emotions sometimes distort meanings/intentions.

If you told your life story everyday for a year to a complete stranger and then those strangers got together to discuss you, they’d all have a different version to present. When I am in therapy I always feel like a liar even if I am presenting the truth to the best of my current awareness. I am unfortunately influenced by my moods. Ā I think it comes in part from the disparity between stories growing up my mom insisted my dad was a good man and that my childhood was good. I kept on giving my dad chances looking for that good side. I kept on thinking I was at fault because I seemed to be drawing out the bad side in my parents. Sometimes I even thought I was imaging or exaggerating the abuse since neither of my parents were willing to acknowledge or accept responsibility. I keep trying to be more and more honest but I still feel like a liar, like a hysteric. Doctors/therapists are a particularly suspicious lot (I mean their job is to look for inconsistencies) so around them I act especially guilty.

The other thing that disturbs me is that I can’t find a therapist equipped to deal with trauma. When I started therapy I figured that my story was one they would have heard before and then some. Yet every time I open up about my childhood I am met with a very traumatized therapist (which makes me hold back). I think I need someone who specializes specifically in trauma. Sam has a coworker and his wife works with traumatized children he’s going to ask if she knows anyone who works with adults.

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9 responses

  1. By the sounds of it, psychoanalysis is not the best therapy for you. I’m no expert, but I would imagine that a more interactive type of therapy would benefit you more. I also think that medication is an easy ‘out’ or convenient band aid, but it doesn’t address the root of the problem (which will only worsen if never dealt with).
    As for social cues – I think you’re interpreting her cues pretty well i.e. She’s a bit out of her depth perhaps?
    People never say what they mean, Yves, and for the few of us who talk directly and without the politics, navigating people can be rather draining and frustrating. I’m not trying to diminish your social cue issues, by the way, but rather reassure you that you are not alone in that sense.
    Regarding your abuse and guilt over truth and lies – therapists should recognise and understand this as a common symptom of abuse (especially when abuse is close to home I.e. Family). It’s common for the family to cover up and lie about, minimise and even deny what actually happened – and in doing so, the victim very often doubts and/or minimises the abuse as a result.
    It must be so frustrating for you to be passed around from therapist to therapist, doctor to doctor and still not have found someone who can actually help. I sincerely hope that the next therapist is the real deal, and is experienced enough to help you.
    Bianca šŸ˜˜

    • Psychoanalysis might be the only option available so far every therapist I have encountered or read about in this area employs exclusively that method and is trained exclusively in that method. Even if that is the case I am hoping there might at least be someone who specializes with trauma because none of the therapists I have spoken too have ever had a case like mine. They are unable to read me (they do not realize the things you have said) and no matter the lengths I go to, to clarify I am just not making headway. There are a lot of cultural differences between Sweden and North Carolina (where I am from) and so many of the things I say simply do not occur here. For example there are no children to adopt in Sweden, there might be 1 a year so Swedes have no choice but to adopt overseas and the process for adopting is extremely difficult. Where I am from people leave children in dumpsters. The society I was born into was so goddamn backwards it comes across as fictional. I literally feel like I came from the Stoneage or from another planet. When I was telling my therapist I was moving to a small town outside of the city she asked me if I thought the people would be properly educated??? She seems to think the people in her own county that live only 40 minutes away are hillbillies from another time period. So what on earth must she think about me? I am uneducated by comparison. I haven’t found a means to get past these cultural differences because I am just saying things too far fetched from their perspective. I am not saying abuse doesn’t occur here it does (though the difference is astronomical) but I do not know where those people are receiving therapy if they are in fact able to receive therapy. I am not lying when I say that a bad neighborhood need only have one person in it with a problem and that one person doesn’t necessarily have to be a bother to anyone else. I don’t know how many times people have said something insane like don’t move there because the people don’t have sensibly colored drapes or something equally absurd. Literally my husband’s mom comes to me with books every few months trying to get us to buy sensible curtains. If it were legal I would paint our house bright pink with polka dots. It is honestly not legal.

    • Sam talked to his friend and his wife was appalled by the situation. She gave us the names of some therapists that do work with trauma and said she would help me find someone. They are private practice and the price is like 9 times as high. Sam says its fine but it makes me feel guilty =( I don’t work so I don’t want to spend money on myself you know?

  2. I kind of know how you feel. A lot of times I feel like I’m just talking, getting met with the “shocked” reactions from the therapist, and then me just talking some more. I kind of figured, or hoped, that something more concrete would be going on. I guess I just thought I would get some advice or help or something to get me moving forward. Like you said, we know how to talk about what’s wrong. Fixing it is another story. Not just telling the story again and again. And I’m glad you pointed out that you feel like a liar sometimes because I oddly do as well. I always tell the truth, but sometimes I feel like I may come off as dishonest or I have to check myself and make sure I’m not just playing the victim. But then I’ll find I’m really not. It may be paranoid insecurity, but hey, I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been “diagnosed.” I felt like sometimes I had good days, but overall, I feel like there’s been no progress with me. I like my therapist, but like you also talked about, I seem to make her laugh a lot (since I tend to make jokes about situations and myself to cover up how I really feel) which is good and yet…uh, I’m glad we’re having a nice time? I hope things work out for you. That does sound so complicated with the moving situation and especially about how they’re not very clear about everything. I just read some of the things you were feeling and they kind of matched what I was feeling so I had to come join in! šŸ™‚

    • I always feel a bit silly talking since the therapists I have now hardly speaks even when she greets me. I just feel awkward in such a one-sided, non interactive interaction. I hate that I haven’t been able to work through my trauma on my own, I mean it bugs me that I am so effected after all this time. Sam worries because I am so withdrawn and he is scared I will keep on withdrawing. Bianca had a good point with the feeling like we are lying even when we are telling the truth and I think she might really be on to something. I had one therapist who didn’t charge me for therapy because they found me fun to talk too but I never really told that therapist anything important I just kind of made jokes and talked about philosophy.

  3. I am sorry to hear yet another thrapist turned out to be a fluke.I have changed a dozen of them, but with 1 slight difference from you and that is that they didnt want to hear my story at all. They would just shiver at the mere mention of abuse, and direct me in pointless directions (I dont need a degree to tell me eating breakfast every day at strictly 8 is gonna sort the fact I want to take my own life., but apparently 12+ more therapists thinks its the miraculous cure…)
    I think therapists in general nowadays are more inclined to just yawn for 30 minutes, collect 200 dollars and prescribe you some pills than actualy working with people for the betterment of their mind, body and soul. Both me and you also are byproducts of an age where abuse and traumatic experiences had much larger stigma on them than today, even though today the area is still neglected on a rather large scale, so we are more hard to sort of “deal with”. It is cruel to say that it takes more effort to help us also, but it is in my opinion unfortunately true There are however therapists who work and have methods that actualy do just this, help you move on and I hope you find one!

    • What is with the breakfast thing? They seem to think if you go through the motions it is sufficient. Quality of life is like a non issue to therapists and doctors as you said they want you drugged sterile and immobilized. I get so frustrated that they can’t contemplate issues of more depth than what color shirt is more flattering. Well that has been my experience but I know that there are amazing doctors and therapists out there. I have met some nice doctors, actually the man who delivered Isadora was a perfect fit for me. He recognized I’d been sexually abused and actually brought in help for me instantly. He followed my birth plan to the letter, he was extremely respectful. I wish there were more doctors like him, that he was the majority. We found our soulmates which is amazing so maybe eventually will also find a therapist who gives a shit.

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