Therapy again


I want to keep track of my therapy, so I can see week to week what’s going on. So a quick post on this week’s session. I get along well with Ms T – we talk quite easily. I asked her this time what her plan was and what she planned to do with me. She said she isn’t sure yet, she has only met me a few times, but she thinks we’ll do some EMDR for trauma processing and some cognitive therapy. She said the first step is establishing a comfortable relationship with each other so I trust her enough to go deeper.

She wanted more information on the abuse I went through, so I rattled off some details. We talked about the fact that I have trouble expressing my emotions, how emotional displays of any kind were discouraged by my mother. So now I tend to stuff rather than express. Well what else is new for someone in therapy, really? Probably three quarters of the Western world has this trouble.

We talked about my troubles with dissociation / numbing….she suggested listening to some music I like as a way to start coming out of this state. I’m to prepare some music in advance, as being dissociated, I can’t do things like choose music. In general, Ms T is big on listening to music, which I find interesting.

I’ve been experimenting with listening to more pop music, rather than the folk / jazz / classical varieties I usually play. A friend suggested Christina Aguileira, Madonna (yuck), Enya, Britney Spears – girl empowerment music, he called it, cheekily. I found I quite liked Christina Aguileira. I haven’t bothered with Britney yet. And then a real find – Amy Winehouse – beautiful low voice, and she doesn’t posture and primp in her videos the way some of the pop tarts do. I know she has issues, which is perhaps why her music speaks to me especially. Plus major talent, in my uninformed opinion.

The idea is to have stuff with a beat that gets you moving and is not introspective or depressing. So it’s been interesting to learn new things. I know I have a few readers – if anyone wants to suggest a singer / band they like, I’ll rush to check them out on You Tube (my other new discovery – hey, I’m an old lady, what can I say). I may not share your taste, but I might, and I’ll be interested in any case.

Back to therapy – I was asking for homework, as I am an eager beaver, and Ms T told me to check out the self-help section of the bookstore and browse any anxiety workbooks to see if I want to work through one with her. To tell the truth, I am fed up to the eyeballs with self-help workbooks, as I’ve tried them before and I still need therapy. I may just bring along some I already have and see if she wants to use one of them. After all, there’s no point doing some technique from a workbook if it’s not something she’s familiar with.

To sum up, it was a partially successful session. Talking about traumatic things, even just briefly, is not fun for me. So to complete the session, where we moved on to other things, I basically dissociated, or at least pretended it was OK. Then when I got home, I had the usual problems – feeling overwhelmingly tired, falling asleep, waking up in a really bad space….Probably I should be having the feelings at the therapist’s office, not saving them for home.

I wouldn’t say that was her fault, exactly. But I have to stop trying to have her like me, and being chatty, and try and face whatever feelings there are in the office.

I have a feeling therapy is going to be difficult and unpleasant. But the music part I like.

Image: Art Therapy Works

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5 comments
  1. alice said:

    hi elleni know when i had six months in therapy, i wished that i had spoken about things, instead of putting on that smiley face. ok i did dig a little deep, but i could of dug deeper.try and get it all out. dont hide behind anything. i know when your face to face, thats the last thing you want to do. but its a way through.the only music i listen to at the moment is jack johnson, i dont think thats very helpful is it? keep plodding. x

  2. Nechtan said:

    Hi Ellen,Your therapist said she is using the early sessions to build a trust relationship. After a few sessions more you may feel more able to open up more as you get used to her and the environment. I think its hard to express yourself fully until you are somewhat comfortable with where you are. It may just need time to come out of its own accord.It does sound like a very hard thing to do. As someone who also doesn't express themselves I know I would find it very hard to do this. I would have to have complete confidence in the person I was dealing with and even then I'm not sure it would come out. I think the scariest thing would be control and the fear that once you open the door you cannot close it again. So it is probably important that you open up when you are ready and not because you feel you should.I hope all goes well with the therapist and you can look back at your posts seeing he progress being made. Blogging is good for reflection because all to easily we forget any progress when trying to recall it from memory.All the bestNechtan

  3. Ellen:Just remember that she's your employee – she's paid by you to help you clean up your mind.Whether she likes you or not doesn't matter. If she's taking your money (or the Insurance Co. money) then she's your's.She may be an expert (or not) but she is a hired hand and so there's no need for you to be intimidated and every need for you to be honest – "I am finding this difficult", "I've dissociated now", or whatever…Sometimes therapists become upset when you think you no longer need them. Go figure!

  4. Ellen said:

    @ Alice – Thanks, I'll have a listen to jack 🙂 – never heard of him. Did the therapy help you anxiety Alice? thanks for the comment@ Nechtan – thanks Nechtan. I agree -balance and caution can really be very good things. Yeah, and if I did really open up, i'd be stuck with whatever feelings that brought up. It's interesting you are also reluctant to show feelings – i wonder if that pre-disposes us to anxiety. Isn't blogging great for keeping track? It organizes it for you much better than writing in a notebook. @ Mike – Yep, it's my money she's taking. On the other hand, it's the same with my hairdresser and dentist, and I want them to like me also 🙂 But your point is well taken. Re dissociation – the problem I have is I don't know when I'm doing this until later when I get home. Your comment is a good reminder to pay attention and speak up if I think it's happening in the T's office. Thanks

  5. alice said:

    hi ellendid therapy help my anxiety? mmm, i think it helped me to understand where the anxiety came from, how anxiety works, and gets its grips into you. alas, it didnt resolve the constant blasts that i get. x

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