I guess the thing that hurts the most is that Ron doesn’t see how hard I’m trying. How hard it is to stay in his group when I’m fragmenting. How I don’t want to lash out any more, because it doesn’t help anything. How different I feel from the other people there, who are all in one piece and don’t struggle with dissociation. How other people’s struggles to simply speak isn’t really my struggle.

The thing that hurts the most is that my relationship to Ron gets so damaged. I was working on parts and PTSD, and now that has stopped. I was having fewer flashbacks, I was more aware of parts and allowing them some space.

I have therapy tomorrow and don’t want to go. I visualize simply sitting in silence.

The other thing is, why bother discussing the group. It’s like a disaster that happens, like a weather system. Discussing it afterwards is like pretending there’s no weather. There is lots of weather. It’s not exactly what is said. It’s the currents between people, it’s what Ron chooses to respond to and what not, it’s silences and tones of voice.

And speaking about it in a session, we pretend that Ron is a neutral observer, and he’s anything but. He’s deeply involved with every client, and feels in particular ways about them. He has all these reactions to his group which he doesn’t share.

Why discuss it outside of itself? It ends up just being a bunch of falseness.

  1. dazzle11215 said:

    i hope you will tell him that you feel like he doesn’t get how hard you are working, and how you feel that the group is distracting the two of you from the important work that you were doing previously. you may be right, you can’t do the work of the group and the healing work you need to do for your parts at the same time… on the other hand group is a way for your parts to be present in the world, or at least, for you to practice being able to sit with them as they emerge in response to what’s going on in the room (as in, in response to anger, frustration, jealousy, boredom, etc). but that might not be what you need at the moment.

    as for R’s impartiality, i kind of agree and disagree with you at the same time. yes, of course he has insider knowledge on your different issues/histories/experiences outside of group, stuff that he cannot share with any of you during the work of group itself or in your post mortems. but the question that comes up for me, the natural one, is that does this dynamic remind you of other important relationships or dynamics (the frustration around not being heard, the pain you are feeling of not being supported, the sense that he has favourites…)

    i hope you will make it to therapy, and share with him what you wrote here about what you are feeling… not to get any external validation that your analysis of the situation is correct, because the most important thing is that it is true for you (and that’s all that really matters about that)… but to explore what the group and individual dynamic on a deeper level (issues of safety, voice, trust, betrayal, and connection).


    • Ellen said:

      Wow. OK. I have shared all of these thoughts with Ron on previous occasions. Ron mostly doesn’t say much. He does think it’s a way to bring parts more into the world. And he does think that the group brings up my family dynamics issues for sure. Which I’m sure it does. I agree it’s validating to share my experience as I see it just because it’s true for me.

      Those issues you mention are huge and yes, the group is a good place to do that. There is a reason I go after all. πŸ™‚

      I do get a fair amount of responses to my ‘complaints’ here that say – oh, tell Ron that. I do tell him all these things. Being afraid of Ron or to voice my opinion is really truly not my issue, though I know it is for an awful lot of people. So I’ve told him – so what. It all remains true.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment Catherine, aka dazzle. πŸ™‚

      • dazzle11215 said:

        i think i was responding to your opening line, “I guess the thing that hurts the most is that Ron doesn’t see how hard I’m trying” when i encouraged you to bring this back to him… i already know you speak up with him… but i get the feeling that you feel that he is not really seeing you, or understanding you (is that the same thing? i dunno)… if he doesn’t see something about you, something as important as this, then keep telling him, and if his response does not satisfy you, or soothe or comfort you, then tell him again. i really believe that therapy is a chance to talk about the same issues many, many times… trying different words, getting in touch with different aspects of our emotions, digging deeper, or with humour, as the situation warrants. hope today’s session goes well. thinking of you, c. aka dazzle (i just got a wordpress account to save time in commenting!!)

        • Ellen said:

          Yes, I do feel he is not ‘getting’ me and we talked about this a lot today. He says I have to explain more. I didn’t feel comforted, I have to admit. It was a very dark session. I like the idea of circling back to the same issue, tackling it in different ways.

          Thank you dazzle. πŸ™‚

  2. weareonebyruth said:

    Why not say what you just wrote? Or print it and let him read it if you don’t want to say it? I think C. and I agree on this. I suspect you are looking for what Ron wants you to say instead of saying what is on your mind. I used to have the same habit drilled into me from my parents. Part of the reason the discussion feels false, in my opinion, is you are not saying what you think but only what might be expected. Scary to change a habit of a life time but really makes a difference. You are starting to feel the difference between what you think/feel and what you perceive other people, aka Ron, expect you to think/feel. By the way, I agree with you that no one can be totally objective without being unhealthy. It leaks out in body posture, tones of voice, and nuances of gestures, good for you to recognize those behaviors. Go you. You are making strides towards breaking away from pre-programing that seems to happen in ‘polite’ society.

    • Ellen said:

      As I said to catherine, I have said all of these things to Ron on previous occasions. This issue of saying only what is expected really is not my issue. I am not afraid to say what I think and feel to Ron. I’ve told him – so what.

      I’m happy you agree with me about the impossibility of Ron’s objectivity. It just isn’t possible, especially for people you are close to. The actual feelings do leak out. The group actually is a good education in that also – thinking about what is really going on. I find I see that much more clearly this year than last.

      I feel a lot of disconnect between Ron’s expressions, posture, etc and what he says about being objective and it is really disturbing in a relationship that is supposed to be extremely honest and above-board.

      thanks Ruth

  3. reflectionsonlifethusfar said:

    I won’t suggest telling Ron how you feel because I know you already do that, but do you think you could see Ron is doing certain things for your benefit? Even if it doesn’t look like it. I mean transference stuff is very important in psychodynamic therapy, no? So maybe he’s observing how you react to the relationships-including your one with Ron. I don’t know. Just some thoughts.

    • Ellen said:

      Hey Reflections – I truly believe Ron does have my best interests at heart. Yes. And it’s exactly right that a lot of these issues are transference issues – about me. Otherwise I’d be a crazy person paying to talk to someone whom I don’t seem to get along with.

      Thanks for commenting. Take care

      • reflectionsonlifethusfar said:

        Okay, lol πŸ˜‰

  4. attached said:


    I think it would be impossible for Ron to be impartial. I think the most you could expect is that he would be aware of his own feelings and assumptions about the group members and work at not reacting from them and instead responding to what is happening in the present. You also know that I think it is incredibly difficult for a group leader to do that consistently and a lot of therapists wouldn’t even try. I wish I had a helpful suggestion but I can certainly relate to knowing that telling Ron something doesn’t stop it from being true or affecting you.

    • Ellen said:

      That’s exactly how I see it also Di. It’s quite a feat and it’s amazing he attempts it. Yep, telling something and having it change are two different things. So pleased you see it this way also.


  5. harrietmwelch said:

    OK, so you have said these things multiple times to Ron, and he still doesn’t get it. And that hurts you. Maybe Ron is one of those blank slate type of psychologists, which I don’t really understand because I think they are there to help you figure this stuff out?

    So I think you need to figure out your options here, how can you continue in this relationship without getting hurt? Telling him how you feel isn’t working. It also sounds like you are not trusting him right now when you say there is a disconnect between his body language and what he is saying, and that is disturbing to you. Sometimes it seems like you are beating your head against a wall, from what you write. And it sounds like this may be the way your family acted towards you, and still does actually.

    So I guess I haven’t really said anything helpful here, I don’t know how this situation can be improved. I just want to offer my support and say that I do hear you, and I feel your frustration and hurt and anger.

    • Ellen said:

      I can’t continue the relationship without getting hurt. Therapy is very painful for me. Ron really isn’t a ‘blank slate’ type, and he’s not a psychologist. He’ll go on at annoying lengths if I ask him questions.

      I think our difficulties are actually difficulties I have with all close relationships and I’m replaying them with him. Otherwise the whole thing doesn’t make sense, as you say. This type of therapy has you work out your problems through the relationship to the T. It’s really not like a bad marriage, though it may seem like that.

      Right now I’m in a really dark place with it all, so I’m not feeling hopeful. However, theoretically it is OK to be angry and in general unhappy with the T and still be doing good therapy.

      Thanks for the support. Take care

      • dazzle11215 said:

        i think that’s so true, the replaying thing. that’s totally been my experience in therapy. that’s why anger at my therapist throws me so off-kilter, emotionally. we often talk about how she’s not my mom (to which i’m like… duh, of course not), but i am working out my mom issues with her… it’s complicated. and painful.

        funny about him going on and on sometimes. glad you have nipped that in the bud!

        • Ellen said:

          Yep, we must fight back! he he.

          My impression is you and I are both in the same kind of therapy, where the relationship to the T is allowed to go to dark places, and is explored. I know that feeling of being completely undone by anger at the T also.


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