Therapy today

Therapy didn’t go too well this week and I’ve ended up quitting. I just feel I can’t do it anymore.

I have these somatic symptoms and they drive me crazy. They don’t make sense and they are so painful though not literally painful, which can happen also but for me it doesn’t. I try and explain them to Ron and he doesn’t disbelieve me but has nothing much to say about it. What can you do really?

It feels to me like my body is made of a foreign substance, maybe metal. Then there are these lines going across my body horizontally at different points, and they really hurt. Which doesn’t make sense.

We talked about the group. I’d started, saying I didn’t feel like going to group because it felt like A and E ganged up on me and didn’t like me.

Then E said she didn’t feel like talking to me or about this. Then eventually she told the story of her and her husband, how badly he’s treating her and how angry that makes her….That took most of the evening. I guess it was OK because I didn’t get yelled at or anything. I know the pain of a marriage coming apart.

Today I tell Ron that it didn’t seem to have much to do with E’s anger with me. Ron said that the group works by people changing themselves, by working on their issues, like E was doing, then their relationship to the group people changes. But then, I think, why do you need the group? We can’t be friends. It’s not a support group. Why not go off into individual sessions and work on ourselves then…why do we need the group?

We talked a bit about my childhood in suburbville. I actually felt like I was back in the house we lived in – I saw the furniture, the kitchen, what the rooms were like.

I felt panicked and bad remembering that. And it’s not even a thing or event that I remember. I’m just remembering rooms.

The reason I don’t want to go back to therapy is that I can’t seem to feel that Ron cares. He used to. Or I used to feel that he did, and it helped, not to go through the pain by myself. Now I no longer feel that, I feel completely by myself, and I can’t do it by myself anymore.

In case you wish to comment, please remember these are my personal and painful feelings on topics that are difficult for me. Even if you feel you see the answer more clearly than I can hope to do, just keep in mind the amount of pain that’s behind these posts.

  1. i'm sorry therapy was so hard. it's hard to know if ron is the wrong therapist for you, or if you should continue to work through this. it's such a tough call. your safety should be the most important thing, and sometimes i've had to take a step back from the childhood abuse work in order to build up my skills of protecting myself from flashbacks/overwhelming feelings. maybe that is the work you need to be doing now, instead of looking into the past. instead, you could be building up your coping skills. you can always return to your childhood memories later. they aren't going anywhere.i do think that it would be fruitful to talk this feeling of him having stopped caring through with him, as he might see it differently. is it just a feeling, a belief or conviction, an assumption, or do you have tangible evidence? that's one way to begin to explore it. does it remind you of other abandonments? and how did you resolve those? were your feelings validated in those cases or dismissed? i think it's important that he not dismiss your feelings, but also let you know how he is really feeling (my hunch is that his feelings towards you haven't changed… therapists are trained to provide consistency and stability).i have an agreement with sharon, made early on, that i would never just quit but instead come in and talk it through with her until we resolved the conflict. i haven't needed to do this yet, but i can see how it would be important.again, sorry for the difficult day. i hope you feel better soon, c.

  2. (((Ellen)))I`m sorry that you don`t feel like Ron cares about your pain right now. I have been there many times. Do you have any idea why you think Ron doesn`t care. What has changed. I know you might not what to describe it but I`m wondering if you know. Did you actually tell Ron that you quit or are you just considering it. I often tell myself I don`t have to decide right now and I can wait to make that decision. Sometimes that helps. Do you think if you stop therapy you will stop going through it by yourself. Will the feelings stop because if you don`t then you will be going through it alone in the future.I hope this hasn`t made things more difficult. I want you to know that I`m thinking of you and I hope things get easier soon.Hugs,Di

  3. gniz said:

    Hey Ellen, I haven't commented in a bit but I've been faithfully reading…Sorry to hear you've hit this rough patch. It seems there are multiple considerations here. Firstly, this is a bad patch, but it will pass and you'll start to feel better at some point and gain a slightly different perspective on what's causing this, and what to do about it.Also, there is your therapeutic situation with Ron which has definitely had ups and downs. At the same time, it doesn't seem like it's been that long since you said he cared, and not that long since you said you felt therapy was helpful.However, even if you have felt that therapy with Ron is helpful at times–maybe he isn't the exact right fit for you. I've definitely wondered at times if maybe Ron isn't just slightly too intellectualized for your style of interaction.Finding a good therapist (which Ron seems to be) is difficult enough. Finding a great therapist (which is what you want and deserve) is probably pretty tough and would take serious effort.If you're so inclined though, I would personally start really searching for people (therapists, meditation teachers, holistic healers, whatever) who could help me. I'd do emails, phone interviews, in person consultations…and I wouldn't stop until I found someone I really liked.And then I'd set up some sessions and test that person out before fully committing to a long term therapeutic relationship with that person.That's my 2 cents. I think its clear that you need to keep doing this work in some form or another, and the question remains–how do YOU want to go about doing this work?In the end, it's about what you want and need. I think staying with Ron can work, and I think moving on could be great also. it depends how you handle things going forward.Best of luck Ellen, things will pick up and get better!! You've done a lot of great work and there will always be rough patches in the path.

  4. Laura said:

    hi Ellen,I'm in almost complete agreement with gniz, except that I think Ron is an excellent therapist, and you've done great work with him. What a shame to throw that away. Your feeling that he cares, comes and goes. Did you discuss what was really on your mind? Hope this finds you in a better place.

  5. Ellen said:

    @ obd – Maybe you are right about pulling back – I don't know. I do know I feel overwhelmed when I get home, rather than in Ron's office, so that's a problem. As to the caring – it is a feeling, as how could it not be? What kind of tangible evidence could I have, really? Today I actually don't think it's the main issue anymore actually. Those are all good questions you mention. Thanks for your concern Catherine, I appreciate it.@ attached – The caring part is a feeling I get. I suspect it tends to mean we aren't really getting along actually. It's definitely a painful place to be in and yesterday it completely overwhelmed me. Yeah, I did quit therapy by email. Your questions about will the feelings continue is a good one. Probably they will. I'm just not sure this therapy relationship is working though. That is the dilemma though – then I will be alone with things…Your comments never make things more difficult for me – great points to consider, and also, I know you have been there yourself. Hugs@ gniz – Hi Aaron, very nice to hear from you! I hope you are well, also your family, your niece, your dog….And hope the writing continues to go well.Those are good considerations. Even today, my perspective has shifted, though I haven't decided what to do. That would be a good way to search for someone to help me. I guess from the psych angle anyway, I do have financial constraints. I know for instance that Ron is trying to do something very difficult with relatively little training – he has a two year program behind him, that's it, as far as I know. It's not a whole lot. I think he has talent and brains to make up for that, but….it's a concern I have. Besides the emotional problem I've run into now. But someone with university training in psych – I can't really afford. Most are not my style anyway, but I might be able to find someone who does depth psychotherapy….but I wouldn't be able to pay those kind of fees. Now finding some kind of meditation teacher is an idea….unlikely they would be able to help me with dissociation, but might be worth exploring. thanks for the encouragement Aaron. take care@ Laura – thank you Laura.

  6. personally, i don't think two years training is enough, even though he is smart and catches on quickly. trauma counselling is such a specialty, there is so much going on with us survivorssharon, for instance, has a 4 year degree plus seven years psychotherapy training. plus 15 years experience. i tried therapy with two other less experienced therapists and it was a for cost, she has a sliding scale. i found her through wcrec.– can specifically ask for sliding scale.about the feeling, i'm sorry, of course it's a feeling. but can you verify it with him is i think what i'm asking? is he less reliable? more impatient? cancelling sessions? that kind of thing… whatever you decide, will be okay. i still think it's worth going in one last time to have proper closure and to try and talk this through. big hugs!!!i give you this only if you decide to try again with someone new… you can file it away for the future….

  7. gniz said:

    Hi Ellen,I admit that my lack of knowledge about dissociation severely limits any advice or strategy that I can come up with.That being said, my main feeling is that you can come across a wonderful mentor/guide/therapist almost anywhere if you really keep your eyes open and look hard for that person.A great relationship can often be more important than the style or type of therapy. I know for a fact, for myself, my completely uneducated Guru is the best therapist I've ever had by a long, long margin.Best of luck to you.

  8. Ellen said:

    @ obd – Thanks for the link. I actually tried going to therapist WREC recommended, none of whom worked out. I like their organization in principle. I believe I bond more easily with men actually. Sharon does have impressive credentials.As to the caring evidence 🙂 – he isn't doing any of those negative things. Nope. In fact, he offered me a call after my dentist appt. That's the only physical type event I can think of as evidence, and that would be evidence he cares.Thanks for encouraging me. hugs@ gniz – I will keep my eyes open, good advice. Funny you and obd have exactly opposite opinions it seems, and I respect both views. And you were typing them at the same time! I too believe in the value of the relationship and in the quality of the person themselves. I've met enough PHDs whom I wouldn't ever trust to know that. For instance the psychiatrist I used to see. Lots of education, little insight or respect for people. Sometimes I think it's an attitude also, a rare attitude that can help. Interesting about your guru. I'm really happy you found him. Cheers

  9. Ruth said:

    Rough week. Only seeing rooms is tough because it leaves so many questions.

  10. Ellen said:

    @ Ruth – Rough is the word for this. Thanks

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