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Question About Psychotherapy


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I'll ask it here because I always go blank when I go to therapy.. lol :D

I'm just wondering about the structure of psychotherapy. I'm going for reasons that include learning how to feel again and developing an identity, etc, in order to lift my long term depression.

What I'm wondering is that when you go there, I understand that at first you explore the issues with your therapist and the emotions, etc behind them. You see why you are doing what you are, and the reasons behind it. That's what we've done so far. What I'm wondering is .. what happens next? I have the "awareness" that my therapist talked about now.. which is good and does relieve a bit of pressure. But what is next? I'm still feeling just as bad as at the start.. but my therapist is giving me the impression that that is all we will do in therapy - explore stuff and the reasons behind what I'm doing/feeling/thinking.

Now that I understand all this... what happens next? Is there a stage where you start to plan on ways of CHANGING this stuff? or is the whole process just becoming aware? Awareness changes your view on why you do what you do but it doesn't help you fix that problem at all. And even when you are aware, you are still in the same position and are unable to change it all by yourself.

Is there a stage where you start working towards changing these things or is the limit of psychotherapy just to become aware? Should I be looking at a different type of therapy in order to deal with and change my patterns? I am aware, so does that mean psychotherapy has done what it was intended to do and I am now expected to find a way to fix myself either by myself or with a different type of therapy?

Just a bit confused. :)

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Hey Sardonyx

I'm not best qualified to answer this, but I can say that in my experience / speaking for myself / I've found / and all those caveats, that therapists have different ways of working and I found I did the awareness, the compassionate understanding and excavating of 'why' with one therapist, but he didn't do much else. (In a way, perhaps he did, in that he believed the motivation to change came from me and that he was leading me to discovery of what I needed to do, by listening.)

In reality I appreciated (probably needed) a 'jumpstart' of suggestions, tasks and yes, homework. Several therapists wouldn't give me homework, even when I asked for it, they said I was too focused on doing as opposed to being, (which was and still is, true! :) ) But for me, homework is like getting 4 sessions for the price of one! So I pestered them for titles of books I could read and those books gave me both more awareness and sometimes suggestions for what to DO to effect changes.

But I found I had to change therapists to find one who more focused on what to do in the HERE and NOW. It was necessary to do the excavating, awareness and healing but it wasn't enough in itself. My current therapist gives me homework and is of the sort that if I say to him 'it hurts when I lie on my left side' will say 'well then don't lie on your left side!" :D (He does it with great kindness and compassion.) He mixes all sots of styles, including some CBT and this is VERY useful. His overall style is aimed at handing me the reins to my own life.

You can look into CBT yourself and do some exercises. I take what I have done along to therapy and we discuss it, he can point out to me where my thinking is faulty when I can't see it.

That's how it has been for me anyway. YMMV. :)

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I don't have much time this AM and probably am not the best qualified to answer this one either, but I would say that awareness can lead you to a place where change can happen. Awareness also helps you come to have a better understanding of yourself. For me this aspect of therapy did bring some relief. I found it pretty fascinating. When you have the awareness, you can take steps to stop the negative and unhealthy patterns of response. It's a tool, it loosens things and it puts you more in control. I still sometimes respond in the old ways, but at least now I know where it's coming from and can keep on trying. This sounds like something to discuss with your therapist, Sardonyx. If you have questions or concerns ask your T and bring things out in the open. This will help you to have a better sense of direction and it will help strengthen your relationship, which will benefit you as well.

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Hey thanks very much for your reply. :D

You're probably right.. every therapist is probably different. I might just ask her straight out when I go to my next appointment how she usually works it. I don't mind doing the work myself in my own time, it's just that i have absolutely no idea what to do. Maybe if I just say that to her point blank, we can discuss it and come up with something. It's nice to just be "being" but being won't get me into a job and pay the rent! I also have a problem that I'm quite impatient so I'll also ask her if I'm being realistic in my expectations too. I figure that I have a lot of healing to do to fix myself up to continue life, I'm just really worried that I might botch it up and waste another 12 years! So I think I also need to slow down.

Thanks for your reply, it was very helpful :)

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You're right, IrmaJean. I think my therapist said something along the same lines as what you said, and it does make sense. Awareness has brought me a fair bit of relief so far and eased the pressure somewhat too. You're right.. I will definitely ask my T about this stuff next session. I think I might just be getting impatient (that is a bad habit of mine.. lol) so I'll ask her if my expectations are reasonable too.. it helps me a lot to do some reality testing sometimes.

Thank you for your reply :D

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IrmaJean: for two people who start their posts with "I'm not best qualified to answer this" we still seem to want to say something. :-)

I want to qualify what I said, following on from IrmaJean's post. I've had TOO many therapists (explanation below) and I don't advocate therapist-hopping. If you get on well and have a good therapeutic relationship, it's well worth (and far more useful) sticking with one. Many therapists can be 'massaged' into modifying their approach and changing styles as you develop. It is possible to move some T's out of their comfort-zone style. :) (Man, I'm cheeky today! :D) (Just so there are no misunderstandings, that bit was a joke!) But seriously, like IJ said, it's worth telling your T about this, perhaps asking if you can flick back and forth between awareness-building and 'doing in the present'? Or whatever you feel you need. The continuity is valuable.

Like IJ, I'm a great fan of the therapeutic relationship as a tool in itself in therapy. I've had several, and as that relationship deepens over time, you can do some really life-altering work.

--

Somehow I feel at pains to describe why I've seen so many pdocs and psychologists! I live in a small university town; pdocs and psychologists set up practice here for a few years or one year but then get lured away, to big cities or other countries. We've lost countless people to emigration. (I sometimes joke that I wear them out, some to the extent that they have to run to another part of the world...!) This is far from ideal, but somehow we managed. One stayed 3 years and was the one I had the first therapeutic and healing relationship with. Once I'd established that I could trust this brand of people not to run away screaming from me :-) subsequent therapeutic relationships came easier. But each change was rough at first.

--

But anyway, my point is that if you can find ONE therapist who can perceive and adapt to your changing development, s/he is worth their weight in your preferred precious metal! :)

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Good morning all,

I can see how frustrating this is, I know I've been down this road several times as a client. To be honest, Sardonyx, this question should have been answered by the 3rd session when both of you sat down and jointly developed a "treatment plan" with goals and expected outcomes, otherwise, therapy may flounder or meander, which is the stage you seem to be at. A good/excellent clinician typically draws up such a plan (jointly with you) and it becomes sort of an agreement of where you'll be going. This is also the point when both of you begin to form a strong, warm, caring, compassionate and deeper bond (therapeutic alliance)-- one that grows throughout your therapy. Sometimes we'll have clients return for booster sessions (or just get get warm fuzzies) year after year, so the process is actually not a calculated and cold one, but just one in which both of you agree that this will be hard work and that the clinician will always be there with understanding and compassion (and often also with a kick in the seat of the pants).

From a different perspective tho, there is a fairly large body of literature that suggests, rightfully so, that knowing and understanding (or being aware) are neither necessary or even useful to problem solving, and in fact, too often the solution has nothing to do with the understanding of what lies beneath. In Solution Focused Therapy, for example, they idea is to start from the end: "If you woke up tomorrow morning and this problem was solved, how would you be acting and thinking differently? What changes in you would we see?" This "magic question" asks the client to look forward and create a picture of an ideal place where they want therapy to end up, and from here, the therapist works backwards to where they are today. It's extremely powerful and doesn't excavate pains or reasons, logic and rationales for why one feels or behaves/thinks a certain way. What the Solution Focused Therapist will tell you is that the connection between what you think is causing a problem and the solution to it is tenuous at best. This approach we use with couples and families a lot, and often with people whose insight may be limited or who struggle with looking inward but still want relief.

With respect to homework, we give it after every session and the start of the next session is always with one question: "So Sardonyx, between our last session and this one, what changes have you made? What have you been doing differently based on your homework?" This sets the stage for an expected change and places pressure on the client to never relax in their quest for self healing. These questions are then combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, some choice therapy and a host of other models we've integrated.

By the way, the disconcerting part of all of this is that research consistently shows that the lion's share of the therapy outcome is based on what the client does (client factors) and not who the therapist is or what they do. An active, involved, "hungry" client will make significantly more change, irrespective of the therapist (most, but not all of the time b/c there are some real horrible therapists out there--- too many actually) than one who shows up and leaves w/o having been truly involved in their own change and growth process-- so, the onus is largely on you and the way you solve this is to do what Luna wisely suggested, challenge the therapist to step up their game--- give you homework and refuse to walk out w/o it, or walk out and begin interviewing prospective therapists the way you would a plumber or contractor until you find what you need. By the way, in our prcatic, the 1st session is always free (it's generally only a brief 20-30 minute one) since we see it as the interview, that way both sides can assess whether they can work together.

Incidentally, we see >90% severe and persistently mentally ill individuals who are also medically indigent-- inner city primarily, some country folks who live in the middle of nowhere and live off the land. 99% are racio-ethnically different.

Good luck Sardonyx, I hope this helps,

David

Edited by David O
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I was wondering too, on what you agreed at the beginning of the therapy what the goal of the therapy was, what needed to be achieved for it to be completed.

I remember that at one point I went in almost feeling like you only for me it mixed with anger, saying "this isn't getting me to where I want to be, what the heck are you doing?" - I can be a bit kind of in your face when I feel like it.

A really interesting session evolved from there, with a few 'aha' moments for me.

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I wanted to add an addendum to my post because I think it needs mentioning. As I reread my post, I realized too that it doesn't always have to be about goals and objectives and outcomes, or tons of homework and being pressured to be at a certain point in every session. Sometimes, one comes in only to be heard at the deepest levels and more importantly, to be known as an I to a Thou. I forget sometimes that not all that is therapy is therapeutic and not all that is therapeutic is therapy.

There have been so many times that a client came in and just sat down and sprawled on the chair-- they didn't want active therapy or to be pressed, they didn't need or want to really talk, they simply wanted a safe harbor where they could rest their weary soul. And sometimes they simply just wanted to borrow from my own strength and soul, which I would gladly lend to them. There were also times I would just sit with them quietly, other times I would hold their hand, sometimes I would cry with them even if not a word was spoken.

I think working under the umbrella of the insurance industry has turned me into a conveyor belt or assembly line of treatment... at times soulless and empty of real meaning. This was not why I went into this profession! Sometimes clinicians all need to be reminded that what they do is to serve as a healer 1st!

In silence and stillness,

David

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Hi Sardonyx,

I went on and on in therapy sessions that felt as if we were wandering aimlessly. This scenario in therapy is very similar to the challenges in my life and I clearly could not communicate my way with it to a solution. I stopped going.

I ended up finding a site that has varied sets of comprehensive cognitive behavioral workbooks (for free) with all of the support worksheets included. It is structured and solution oriented. You have the option of printing all of it out to read and fill in or you can fill in the worksheets on-line and print them out or save them as pdf. files to your computer. If you hit a challenging spot I suggest you might print out the specific worksheet and take it to your therapist or post the question on here in the thread on cognitive behavioral therapy to get advice.

Here is the link if you are interested: http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/

Go into the Resources link and from there go into the Consumers link for the workbooks.

You might also want to check out the Mental Health Practitioners link and the Doctors link.

Good luck

Say Again

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Thank you for adding those thoughts, David. My therapy was very much an I to thou experience. For me this was what I needed in order to find my way. The loving, caring, safe and nurturing space that I shared with my therapist led me to be able to grow and make positive changes in my life. The therapeutic relationship was the most healing part of therapy for me.

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David O,

I doubt with unusual confidence (for me) that you are capable of “conveyor belt or assembly line treatment” ~ “soulless and empty of real meaning” and I can’t help but laugh at the thought. I have made attempts after reading your posts to comment and regardless of the fact that I give up ~ the memory of so many attempts reminds me of how often I gain something so important from your perspectives on life that I am moved to attempt to express appreciation for it. So if you do not mind I will take your words because they convey what I so often attempt to in response to your posts. Thank you for never giving conveyor belt or assembly line treatment to us and thank you specifically for the soul and meaning that is consistently evident in your work.

A question (if I can find a way to word it). In your addendum to the first post you write, “sometimes I would cry with them even if not a word was spoken”. Please correct me if this is distracting from this thread and should go somewhere else. In my experience in therapy (I think 4 different therapist) when I have cried (and believe me it was not intentional) the emotion I feel is anger. I believe it shows strength to cry and so never understand my own reaction to showing that degree of pain in (for goodness sakes) THERAPY. The fact that you would cry in therapy when moved means something to me that I can’t seem to put my finger on. The therapist is there to help me overcome fears of intimacy and from what I understand (this last therapist explained it well) the method for that is through the therapist / client relationship. My effort to maintain control when the conversation starts to bring emotional pain has to be obvious. When I do cry it is controlled. I almost have to fight the urge to apologize and later in anger wish I had the nerve to ask the therapist if that was too uncomfortable for him. I leave the session angry at myself and angry at him. I know most of this is my issue but would you think that it is possible that part of the issue is coming from the therapist? Is it a possibility that a problem with some of the therapists out there is that they have a fear of intimacy? And if so, what does that mean to the chance of a successful therapy?

I might contradict my own belief system because there are two people in that room and that means the teacher / student roles are interchangeable throughout that session. I have never helped another person without gaining some insight myself in the interaction and so should I be looking at that situation from another perspective and stop looking for perfection? Should I be taking on a more active role in building intimacy instead of demanding (is that what I am doing?) that he do all of the work?

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Good morning all,

Say again-- thanks for the excellent link. Great website and it's free! Also, thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words... you have no idea how powerful your statement is. I never want to believe I offer assembly line therapy-- maybe it takes someone else reading and listening with their 3rd ear to reflect back what you can't hear yourself.

I have cried many times-- at times b/c what is said triggers my own painful moments, at times b/c my heart feels great pain for what someone is going thru, and at times b/c there are no words and silence is more profound. I never feel put upon or expected to cry, and my goal is never to have someone cry.

I do think you're right, so many therapists do have intimacy issues. It's interesting that you'd raise this and do so in the way you did (very eloquently and clearly spoken). In clinical supervision, I will often tell the budding clinician that there will be times we will discuss our "forbidden thoughts" b/c it's a necessary part of learning to be in a healing profession. The forbidden thoughts or those emotions and beliefs about clients and ourselves-- we come to despise the man who beats his wife weekly and abuses his children; we become sexually attracted to a beautiful client who has just opened themselves up to us in a way that moves us, we are torn by the pain of a someone whose been molested and want to cry with them but can't, we come to hate a client whose molested children in the past-- and the list seems endless.

OOooops, gotta go now, it's 6AM, but will hopefully have time to finish my thots later.

Again, thanks so much for this moment.

David

Edited by David O
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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Sayagain,

There are therapists who have intimacy issues. Therapists are people who deal with their own problems. They are supposed to be in their own psychotherapy in order to learn how to prevent their problems from interfering with the work.

People cry for many reasons: anger, hate, frustration, happiness, grief, etc. It is important to talk about what is going on with you while in therapy.

I have a question as I am always curious being that I am a therapist: Why did you have four therapists? Why the need to change therapists? What happened?

Allan

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A question (if I can find a way to word it). In your addendum to the first post you write, “sometimes I would cry with them even if not a word was spoken”. Please correct me if this is distracting from this thread and should go somewhere else. In my experience in therapy (I think 4 different therapist) when I have cried (and believe me it was not intentional) the emotion I feel is anger. I believe it shows strength to cry and so never understand my own reaction to showing that degree of pain in (for goodness sakes) THERAPY. The fact that you would cry in therapy when moved means something to me that I can’t seem to put my finger on. The therapist is there to help me overcome fears of intimacy and from what I understand (this last therapist explained it well) the method for that is through the therapist / client relationship. My effort to maintain control when the conversation starts to bring emotional pain has to be obvious. When I do cry it is controlled. I almost have to fight the urge to apologize and later in anger wish I had the nerve to ask the therapist if that was too uncomfortable for him. I leave the session angry at myself and angry at him. I know most of this is my issue but would you think that it is possible that part of the issue is coming from the therapist? Is it a possibility that a problem with some of the therapists out there is that they have a fear of intimacy? And if so, what does that mean to the chance of a successful therapy?

The first thing I might wonder about is if you felt this way with all of your therapists when you cried. I do think there is a certain dynamic between each therapist-client dyad that is unique to that specific relationship. There is a give and take between both of you. But if you find the patterns repeating within all of your relationships, then it may be coming from you. Crying in certain situations may involve a willingness to be vulnerable and let your guard down with another then trusting that person to take care of you. Is it difficult for you to accept support in your outside of the room relationships? Difficult to let go and trust another? Have you brought your feelings around this up with your therapist? There may be a lot to discover about yourself. I know, for me, every time something felt big there was usually a bunch of my stuff behind it which later proved to be very enlightening.

Shared moments of silence between my therapist and myself were very powerful to me in therapy. He wouldn't touch me or cry, but it felt almost as if no words were required. I could feel his caring and acceptance and understanding in our just "being" together in the therapeutic space. Sometimes all of the problems being "fixed" aren't nearly as important as being understood, heard, recognized and connected by our humanity. I knew his non-verbals very well.

David, I imagine those moments you shared with your clients were very healing for them. Letting painful emotions breathe, sharing the moment and knowing that someone is there by your side listening may one day make it easier to let go of that very pain. That is how it seemed to work for me anyhow. I imagine it's different for everyone, depending on what the client needs and feels is important.

Edited by IrmaJean
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Thank you ASchwartz,

I have never experienced crying in therapy because I am angry. I get angry because I have cried in therapy! So strange I think.

At around age 28 I started therapy but that therapist ended up moving out of State. She asked me to see a new therapist (one she knew) and to stay with him long enough to at least build a relationship. She wanted me to have someone I know to turn to in the event my Father passed away. So he was my second therapist and my Dad did happen to pass away when I was 29.

About 15 years later (5 or so years ago) my marriage was in serious trouble and so my husband and I found my third therapist. She however retired a few months later but she really helped us get through that crisis. And my fourth therapist was this recent one (I started within the last 2 years or less – not sure how long I went but it seemed long) and although it was too frustrating to stay –seemed too aimless – I absolutely did benefit from the experience. I thought his mind was amazing but the lack of structure and follow up overwhelmed me. Although he is about as calm and in control as one can be – most anyone could not pull off all that he has going on and keep balance. Sometimes he was not even mentally with me in the session. He had a full time job and did this during extra hours. The therapy work was his most lucrative and he was very money driven – information that came from him. I was driving an hour each way and my husband and I would do back to back appointments one day a week – so 4 hours on that day. My husband was going a total of 2 – 3 times a week and sometimes I would need to drive him. I paid 125.00 a visit (he does not take insurance) and so it was costing 375.00 – and sometimes 500.00 a week. I did not have the assertiveness to push my needs (although I really did go beyond what I normally would in trying) and it started just killing my self-esteem. The whole thing is crazy. That might have been a one time shot because I just cannot pay those amounts now and might never be able to again.

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Thank you IrmaJean,

I appreciate looking at this the way your question requests because I did find varied reactions when I recalled how I felt after crying with each therapist. What is interesting is that with the third one I did not feel the anger. I felt a shock that these gigantic (not like me) tears seemed to come without warning. I typically have enough warning to make a grand attempt at regaining control. With the others when those tears escape and I get all choked up it is as if I am humiliating myself in front of someone while they awkwardly wait for me to get it together and then we both move on as if we are going to pretend that did not happen.

What David O said that triggered my questions in this area in the first place was that he sometimes cried when conducting therapy. I have no clue where I came up with this but I had the thought that a therapist is not permitted to cry – that it would be going against some therapy guideline. So that brings me to wanting to make a point from the perspective of being a client of therapy. The fact that David O can cry when moved means something important to me. That combination where a therapist is able to maintain the boundaries so crucial to the process AND is comfortable in displaying genuine emotion when moved to seems such a gift. This therapist may never be moved to cry in a session but the fact that he/she is capable of it and is more likely to be comfortable with a client crying which means he/she is not going to be sending signals of resistance when the territory is nearing the emotional. It is difficult to know if the client is sensing something that is not actually there or if they are in fact picking up on real boundaries the therapist personally has set. I would think having a way of identifying where a therapist is in this regard built into the educational process would be pretty important. I now wonder if it actually is a part of that process.

I might have entered into my own endless loop – not sure

Thank you

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I have also cried with my clients during therapy on occasion. I think it's a part of being genuine and expressing empathy and connecting to what that client is currently feeling. When doing therapy, I am fully engaged and above all else, I want the person in my office to sense warmth and kindness. I've never felt tears to be a contradiction with the boundaries necessary in a therapeutic relationship but my approach can change from client to client depending on the needs of that person. I don't cry often but there have been occasional situations that were so moving for me that tears did start to flow. When I lived in russia, I practiced therapy very differently than I do here in America! Neither style was better or worse but tailered to the needs of who I am working with.

I don't remember discussing crying specifically in school but...that was...um...well...lets just say it was a "few" years ago :o But it all falls into the discussions on boundaries and professionalism

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I don't remember discussing crying specifically in school but...that was...um...well...lets just say it was a "few" years ago :o But it all falls into the discussions on boundaries and professionalism
This is an interesting point-- Westernized professionals focus much on boundaries and professionalism; however, this is interpreted differently in other cultures and can often be seen as very interfering in the therapy process.

David

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I find the relationship between therapist and client very fascinating, so the thoughts you bring up are interesting to me. I think what you are referring to here is counter-transference. My thought (my opinion) is that this happens to some extent during most therapy and is pretty much inevitable. Reactions can then be used as tools to learn more about oneself through the interactions between yourself and your therapist. For instance, you might ask yourself why you felt more at ease with crying in front of your third therapist. Even if this is in part due to unconscious signals that you may have been picking up from the therapist, why then might these signals evoke feelings of safety to be vulnerable? I would also wonder why you seem to feel as if your crying creates an uncomfortable environment for a therapist. Has anyone from your past not allowed your vulnerability or shown discomfort with it?

As to a therapist crying during a session, I'm not sure what the rule may be on this, but I very much believe in the value of human connection in the therapy room. Simple human emotions can be immensely powerful when they are shared in the moment.

Edited by IrmaJean
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This is an interesting point-- Westernized professionals focus much on boundaries and professionalism; however, this is interpreted differently in other cultures and can often be seen as very interfering in the therapy process.

David

Right David. I think that's part of why I liked working in Russia so much....because of that very difference. But at the same time, it is a HUGE responsibility and the therepist has to be very skilled and ethical as not to abuse that therapeutic relationship. The boundaries are just as important and as long as they are defined and maintained responsibly, the intimacy and depth of trust that can be nurtured in the therapeutic can be beautiful and meaningful to the client. It also helps keep the therapist from turning into a "robot". Occasionally I feel myself leaning that way when working with the sex offenders on my case load. When week after week I hear the same thinking errors followed by the same excuses sometimes I need to be really intentional about bringing myself back to the moment and working with these guys instead of switching into autopilot and having the same conversation we've had a dozen times before.

IrmaJean: I think there's an element of transference in every relationship...not just a therapeutic one :o I also think that used responsibly, it is an important part of the relationship. It is important to building a trusting relationship.

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I agree, danni. I'd take it even further to say that I think it happens pretty much all the time, though maybe to a lesser extent, even in casual interactions. I also agree that it can be a very positive thing in therapy if it is handled wisely. These reactions are very informative about the client.

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Wow Irma,

I had read your post earlier and was in the middle of reading something unrelated when some attempt at an answer just popped into my head ~ kind of startling because I did not even know I was working on it! I never look to this area of my past to find answers and that suddenly strikes me as odd. I had a step mother from the age of 3 to 10 (I think is when she left). I can state the facts of her cruelty but honestly cannot feel or recall feeling the pain of it. Anyway – a theme to what I was certain to be ridiculed about was any show of emotion. It is killing me that I missed this – not in a bad way – it has me laughing ~ which might be a problem actually. I was also punished in some humiliating ways for, “being a baby”. I am sitting here thinking about what I must have needed in the way of emotional support as a child and can see that this very well could be why I can be so reserved in emotion when it comes to myself. My Mother dying had to be a devastating loss and is another area that I cannot feel but can find evidence that I did feel it at the time. I was about to turn 3 and was with her when she died and remember trying to wake her until I gave up and finally others came to help us. This step mother would have been the last person one would want to take me right after that whole ordeal.

And maybe the sensitivity or concern that the therapist is uncomfortable with me crying might be (if it was not actually what was happening) that I knew (or thought I did and was often praised for being so accurate) my Dad’s every state of mind by the expressions on his face and body language. This is an area I have full feeling and recall of feeling. It was as if anything but happiness on that mans beautiful face meant the end of the world to me. I cannot even fully describe how frightened I would become if he was angry, worried, sad or in pain of any kind. I had a ritual to keep him alive and could not break it. So I naturally am more sensitive to the emotions of others and less able to recognize maybe my own emotions. I recognize how I have brought that into my life outside of my relationship with him but not sure exactly if that would be answer to this situation. It does not feel a good fit to this. I don’t know. I have a difficult time staying organized in my thoughts when it comes to me.

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Woah I had no idea this would turn into such a great discussion. :( Thank you everyone for your input!

The reason I'd asked the question originally is because my problem is depression as you know, and as you also know, when you get to a certain severity of depression you become totally dysfunctional in life. By this I mean you cannot wash your clothes, cannot cook, cannot clean, cannot do anything but lie in bed really. I've only just retrained myself to brush my teeth twice a day and it is sooooo unbelievably hard. And I've got my showers from 2 weeks apart back up to about 3 days apart (yeah its still pretty gross I know). Well you get what I'm saying there, i"m sure :)

So with this psychotherapist we have been exploring the issues behind the depression ofcourse. Although I have the insight into WHY i'm like this, I still cannot wash my clothes, clean, cook, all that sort of thing. I think I've been to about 7 sessions so far.... I know that is not a lot in the scheme of things but here in Australia you only get a maximum of 12 (or maybe even 18 if you're lucky) sessions for free (government pays) and after that you're on your own. I've been unable to work since the end of last year and have no savings left. I'm on government assistance which isnt much but its enough to pay the rent and bills and food.

The therapist said I'd need long term therapy to get totally back to normal but for the sessions I have, we will work on me getting back to work (ie becoming functional again). So, im nearly half way through my course of free sessions and I am not even BEGINNING to be able to do any of this. The therapist believes that once the depression lifts then it will come naturally.

I guess I just want to know if this is worth persuing or am I fooling myself?

Medications don't work for me, nobody else can seem to help me (CBT, other talk therapies, etc) so I think maybe I might be grabbing onto this therapy thing as an act of desperation - grabbing on for dear life. Because I'm already jobless, I will be homeless soon (the real estate came around and told me there were "complaints" about my house I rent, and I agree it looks like a squat because I can't do anything and can't afford to pay anyone to do stuff) and as much as I've looked around, I can't find anything else to try.

I just want to get my MOTIVATION back!!!! No matter what I do I can't seem to find it!!

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I did not realize that the depression was having this degree of impact on your ability to function. I am sorry to hear that you are feeling so much pain Sardonyx.

You are actually taking some of the steps they suggest as the first place to start in a set of 9 cognitive behavior modules on depression I have recently completed. The progress in the shower routine is a significant accomplishment. Even if you did not have the motivation to take the shower ~ you did and while you were taking it or at least once that was accomplished I am thinking you had at the least a brief reprieve from some of the depressive feelings. In addition to that the negative feelings about NOT taking a shower were no longer bothering you for a long time after you accomplished that task. So when you look at the gain in just that one action you might get a glimpse of how adding actions to the list is going to have great benefit.

So I think you should keep pushing yourself with that piece to this.

For what it is worth I absolutely think you should stick to therapy. Please keep posting.

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