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When discussing difficult issues in therapy

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For the last three weeks I've been talking about extremely difficult issues in therapy. I talk to my therapist each week for one hr in the morning at 10 am . Today, I showed the therapist court docuements from way back in the past when all of my brothers and I were taken away from out biological parents. It was an update on the case. The first paragraphs were about the conditions of why we were all taken be social services and why.

I could not help myself , but to laugh. I told him it wasn't funny . But, just could not quit . Why the laughing? I said, it was to get through it.... Oddly to laugh? Totally wrong emotion !!! Not ok to laugh about that. It was not right to laugh. What the hell was I laughing for. I was mad at myself . I should not be laughing at the severity of those damn papers. I've seen them so many times before. I've never laughed . I know it is not funny. What the hell is wrong with me. Laughing at the abuse ? How embarrassing. It was as if it was not me the papers were not about. Even so, I would not be laughing at any other children being so hidously abused.

Has anyone else shown WRONG feelings or emotions in therapy before? I feel like such a dummy! I'll I said to the therapist was that I was just trying to get through it. Even know I knew it was not funny at ALL. I showed completey the wrong thing to do... Such as laughing at a funeral.

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Couldn't it just be a nervous defense mechanism, mscat? It just means you are not comfortable approaching those intense emotions surrounding those events, and that makes perfect sense to me!!! My defense mechanism is most often to show no emotion at all, but there have been times I can remember when I've laughed at some pretty hideous things that have happened. I guess that's when I've hit a limit of what I can handle, and flip over to the opposite emotion. Some things are just "over the top." :) I'm sorry you had to endure so much, Cathy.:(

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Hi Mscat, I think alot of people laugh when they're nervous, or at other times where it is considered inappropriate, I think there's even a song about it. Anyway I wouldn't worry about it, I'm sure your therapist knows that you don't find the situation funny in the least. Also I don't really think there is any such thing as "wrong feelings or emotions", you reacted, you didn't really have control over your reaction. I hope you feel better and don't worry too much over this!

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It is impossible to get my mind around what that childhood must have been like for you and your brothers. It is beyond sad.

If you were to go back over that session (in your mind) and tap back into what you were feeling - is there anything your therapist could have said (that he did not) that would have been helpful to you? Are you actually comfortable expressing deep emotion in front of him?

I get the laughing thing too. Sometimes I get a kind of snapshot type glimpse/feel of a situation I am in and even though I could not explain to you exactly what about it triggers laughing – something in me gets it. And to have a serious faced therapist waiting for me to gain control might just add fuel to it.

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