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This may sound like a very random thing to discuss but I am interested in something I experience during my last therapy session.(Is there a message in it?) I have struggled to talk during past sessions but last session I just could not sit down, so I stood up for the whole session. I felt more comfortable and at ease as a result, I felt more able to talk, the intense feeling I have when I sit was absent. ( I did try and sit a couple of times during the session but had to stand up as the intense feeling became overwhelming) Has anyone else experienced this? Is there any facts or theory about this random experience?

:o1Confused12

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I have not remained standing during a session, but I have pushed my chair back or sit further away needing my space. I am more like that with doctors and therapists I do not know very well, because I am sharing my intimate thoughts and feelings.

Standing is good! And it is apparently working for you. It appears to me that you are protecting yourself and are aware of your personal boundaries. And until your therapist has been tested, then perhaps you will continue to do so. And this is okay! And I am sure that the day will come where you will feel comfortable enough to sit down and relax.

:rolleyes:

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I don't think this is any sort of theory, but it is useful to keep in mind that when you talk about emotions - the word "motion" is not in there by mistake. Feelings are related to physical states, and sometimes when you are talking about emotional things, you need to move around - either because it helps to get the energy out you are experiencing, or because it helps you to recall what the feeling is in the first place. I never did a session standing up myself, but I did have a session once where I shook for like 30 minutes after going over some particularly difficult stuff, and we just sat there and talked about the shaking, and it was okay. It was just what I needed to do at that time, and if you needed to stand, that's okay too. Sometimes you just need to not just sit there.

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Thank you Mark and WinterSky,

Your comments do make a little more sense to me. I would say thought that the whole time I stood I did not move. I was like stuck frozen, maybe my hands moved but that was it. So moving around the room was not apparent. I moved when my therapist moved, I do think this was to keep a safe distance as you said WinterSky.

As for shaking, I think I have an uncontrollable shake constantly during therapy but the shake did not seam as bad while I stood this was a relief for once.

1confused12

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Guest ASchwartz

I never stood during a session but there were times I was restless during the entire session, shifting in the seat, back and forth, back and forth. We did explore why I was so resltless. Sometimes it was intense anxiety and sometimes it was not identifiable. It was extremely infrequent but it did happen. What was most relieving for me was knowing, from my therapist (I asked) that it was O.K.

There have also been those times when someone one of my patients got up and walked around. They were usually agitated about some issue. That was OK with me, as well.

A psychiatrist colleague of mine told me that he had a couple of patients who were so intensely anxious that they gripped the arms of the chair as though were about to fall from a cliff if they did not. They had to move their chair away from him.

I guess the human experience can be very intense. Do not worry, it's OK.

Allan :)

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Thanks Allan,

So I am somewhat normal :D. And I did ask my therapist if I could remain standing, he even offered me his seat, which was a bit scary. I have had other professionals in the mental health field who would not speak with me until I sat down, so I assumed that I had to sit all the time no matter how anxious I was. (The health system I am in has almost as many rules as me) It was also nice to know my therapist stood for most of the session with me, he was much more relaxed than I of course.

Allan it was interesting you brought up the hands gripping the seat or arms. I actually was holding on tight to my clothes. I didn't even notice until my arms became sore towards the end of the session. I didn't feel restless though the anxiety was intense and I can't make sense of it. Normally I would fidget about (well I think I do) but it was a strange intense, tight, stress which just would not allow me to sit.

I will work on sitting next session though, it does have a relaxing appeal even if it doesn't work out that way.

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Thanks Allan,

So I am somewhat normal :D. And I did ask my therapist if I could remain standing, he even offered me his seat, which was a bit scary. I have had other professionals in the mental health field who would not speak with me until I sat down, so I assumed that I had to sit all the time no matter how anxious I was. (The health system I am in has almost as many rules as me) It was also nice to know my therapist stood for most of the session with me, he was much more relaxed than I of course.

Allan it was interesting you brought up the hands gripping the seat or arms. I actually was holding on tight to my clothes. I didn't even notice until my arms became sore towards the end of the session. I didn't feel restless though the anxiety was intense and I can't make sense of it. Normally I would fidget about (well I think I do) but it was a strange intense, tight, stress which just would not allow me to sit.

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Hi there,

i have a couple times ended up standing up in A therapy session. Juswt happened last week . I was very anxious regarding An issue with my son, and i was up. I finally calmed down enough to sit down. I have use to look out his window, standing there, too, but that was in his old office.

I do hold onto one of his couch pillows all the time, that calms me down too.

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A lot of therapy is about comfort. If you are placing yourself into a position where you are not comfortable, than it is doubtful that you will benefit. So standing, may be an option for you. I personally will play with toys while I speak, it helps distract my from a cipher, and allow me to speak my out truth. This is comfortable to me. And it allows me to speak more freely than I would. My greatest revelations have been while speaking, as well as distracted by a toy.

So it doesn't matter if you enjoy standing, playing with toys, or even doing your therapy in an adlib song style. Whatever works for you.

- Anonymous

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Thanks for sharing your experiences Pseudonym and mscat.

I have been thinking about what I would need to change for me to be more relaxed in therapy. I actually think I need to be somewhere outside in a quiet space. Is it a random thought or does it have some merit? How much of the environment affects a persons ability to feel relaxed?

I am thinking I do not like the the therapy room because it is small and intense with no real character. lol and I feel small and intense and of no character. Can anyone explain what I just said then? Or is this how I see myself and the room is like facilitating what I see of me.:confused::confused:

confused12

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I'm not sure if this going to make sense but--

I think that both the external environment and internal environment need to be considered.

The external environment in therapy does need to be at least adequately comfortable -- a comfortable, private place to meet with the therapist. And sometimes things can be arranged a bit to make them more safe and comfortable -- like if the therapist's chair is too close or too far from you, it can be moved or if some moveable item in the room is distracting, it can removed from view, I tend to take my shoes off and curl up a bit in the chair I sit in. Pseudonym spoke about playing with toys when he is in therapy, are there things you could bring that are helpful like toys or a favorite rock or something(I have told you guys that I am DID -- we bring a little stuffed animal with us in a backpack -- don't always bring it out, but it's there) -- something familiar and and safe...

And then there is the "internal" environment -- what you are bringing to the therapy office -- for example if you are feeling anxious and things are "noisy" inside -- with lots of of conflicting thoughts and concerns, or just many things on your mind - therapy related or not you may feel the need to for a quiet space -- but maybe the quiet space you are really looking for is inside and not really in your external environment.

I think the external environment can affect the internal environment and visa versa. And I think if we are looking for calm and safety, we need to consider both and what we bring to them and what we can do to help make the environments better for us.

Appleby

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Appleby,

I completely and thoroughly agree with you about the external environment of the therapy office. When I was in practice, me (and most all the other psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers I knew) worked hard to make our offices appear quiet, comfortable, warm and safe. That is enormously important. Everyone has different tastes about these things but that is different. Regardless of taste in colors, art, etc, an office should be comfortable and safe.

Yes, the internal environment can be affected by the external environment. Also, we often have an "internal dialogue or dialogues" going on. But, that is part of the material to bring to the attention of the therapist.

Thanks, Appleby, Good thoughts: :)

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Hi Appleby,

I completely and thoroughly agree with you about the external environment of the therapy office. When I was in practice, me (and most all the other psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers I knew) worked hard to make our offices appear quiet, comfortable, warm and safe. That is enormously important. Everyone has different tastes about these things but that is different. Regardless of taste in colors, art, etc, an office should be comfortable and safe.

Yes, the internal environment can be affected by the external environment. Also, we often have an "internal dialogue or dialogues" going on. But, that is part of the material to bring to the attention of the therapist.

Thanks, Appleby, Good thoughts: :)

I have gone to a psychologist for therapy, and his office is small with a desk he sits behind and two chairs in front of his desk. The first time I went to him, he had a student with him and wanted to know from me if I minded if she sat in on the session. I did mind. So she left. But isn't it a little strange to have a setup like that for talk therapy? I don't exactly feel comfortable in his office.

What do you think?

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Wintersky,

Wow, that is incredible. I do know that a few therapists, especially psychiatrists who mostly do not do therapy, sit behind there desk. However, everyone I know does not. In fact, my first reaction is to wonder what the therapist is hiding from that they are putting a barrier between client and therapist?

Second, speaking for myself and myself only, I have never before heard of a student being present to observe in a private therapy office. That is totally unacceptable, as far as I'm concerned. It does happen, sometimes at clinics but written consent must be gotten from the client.

Frankly, you did the right thing to say NO to the request. After all, therapy is private and the law clearly protects confidentiality which is why written consent must be given.

Do you still see this therapist?

Allan:(

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Hi Wintersky,

Wow, that is incredible. I do know that a few therapists, especially psychiatrists who mostly do not do therapy, sit behind there desk. However, everyone I know does not. In fact, my first reaction is to wonder what the therapist is hiding from that they are putting a barrier between client and therapist?

Second, speaking for myself and myself only, I have never before heard of a student being present to observe in a private therapy office. That is totally unacceptable, as far as I'm concerned. It does happen, sometimes at clinics but written consent must be gotten from the client.

Frankly, you did the right thing to say NO to the request. After all, therapy is private and the law clearly protects confidentiality which is why written consent must be given.

Do you still see this therapist?

Allan:(

No, but the last time I met with my old (current) therapist, it is kind of fuzzy now as to her thinking I ought to continue to see him as well as her. I see her tomorrow so I shall discuss this with her.

I have many other concerns with this guy. The next time I want to switch therapists I shall get a professional referral (my insurance gave me his name).

Thanks so much for your response, Dr. Schwartz. That clears up a lot for me as it relates to this therapist.

:)

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Well, I sat down today and hardly sad a word:(. I am thinking that I have wasted another opportunity to talk about what's going on in my head and opportunities are running out fast. I know I can't take back time but two weeks is too far away to even think about how I can be more relaxed and open.

Hi Confused,

Have you told him your fears and discomfort about talking? Perhaps you can ask him how you can cope with it?

Have you thought about writing out an agenda and giving your therapist a copy? Or if need be, type out what you want to talk about and giving it to him to read?

You might try just chit chatting like asking him what he thinks about something. Like ask what frightens him!

What if you had a phone session instead of in person? At least just once and y'all can just chat to get comfortable with each other?

I hope it is better for you next time!

:)

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Hi Confused12 --

I've been thinking about you and wondering how it was going, remembering that your T is leaving sometime next month which probably makes it even harder. Sorry that it was a frustrating and "quiet" session for you. How many more sessions will you have? Are there things you want to be sure that you do talk about before you you terminate?

Something I think I might do if I were in your position would be to write -- I might write, like today, what I wish we had talked about, and over the next couple of weeks I might write some other things that seem important to tell him. Then when it came time for the next appointment, I would read it all over and see if if it's still important and either plan to share what I wrote or write a letter to him with the things that are important to me at that time...

Appleby

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Thanks for the advise Appleby and WinterSky is has been very helpfully.

WinterSky; I have spoken with my Therapist about why I don't often talk, I have since discovered several factors. We have also work a little bit on how to cope with it but I think one of those things which will take time and hard work. But I must say I progressed from nodding/shaking my head to actually verbalising sentences. So although I still get frustrated with myself I have progressed.

I am not really into agenda's maybe this in my problem. I do remember one session my therapist asked what was on my mind as I was stuck in silence. I said that there was far to much and I could decide what issue I needed to deal with first so relieve the tension I had. I asked if I could just verbalise the mental list and then take it from there. Well the mental download took place verbally and the session was spent on one tiny aspect and a couple of issues just skimmed over. I left the session rather disappointed in myself, because it took me so long to process one small aspect and left other stuff just out there.

I don't have phone contact and never asked for it. I don't know if it allowed anyway.

Appleby; I think I have two sessions left. I don't know what I need to talk about because I have never been in this position. I know over the last few days I have been wanting to cancel the appointment, I see this as me trying to run away what ever it is I am feeling about the termination. So at the moment I am trying to focus on attending the appointment.

Writing sounds good but I get there and can't read or pass it over.

Maybe I should just go and see what happens.:eek: (and stay standing so I might be able to talk)

Confused12:cool: (not cool, just hiding behind the glasses)

Edited by confused12
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