Therapy Friday – trust

I’m back to trusting. In my therapy. Maybe in general. Yes I am going up and down, see-saw fashion. That’s why I don’t trust my own mind all the time – I swing around.

This week, my session actually helped me feel better. I had had one of the worst weeks ever, in terms of flash-backs and getting stuck in parts. I did deal with it on my own though – I didn’t just push it back down as I used to. So that helped.

I’ve been reading and thinking about some fellow bloggers on the subject of trust – wondering if they trust too much, too fast, or if they need to trust more in order to heal, what is distrust like….My own inclination lately has been not to trust. But then, in my session, I thought – maybe trust is going to get me farther?

For me, that means allowing parts to speak, allowing some of the trauma to come up. Especially since that was triggered and out anyway the past week. Not debating on how to do therapy. There just isn’t time. Fifty minutes, once a week, if I start using that time debating how to do therapy, then what time is left? Not a whole lot.

Ron looked much as usual, and I didn’t bother asking him about his weekend or how he is. He always has to say fine anyway, and I was feeling like crap, so I just launched into me me me.

First we talked about my work, because I’d just received some reviews of my project, and I was completely upset – feeling scared and at fault. I talked about how I’m trying to talk myself out of my funk – the client had completely re-written the project. It doesn’t mean I don’t have worth, or they see me as useless, which is what I had jumped to. Wanting to add some reality to the situation. For some reason I fall into these holes about work.

So that was fine. I told Ron I didn’t want to spend too much time on work. I understand the situation, and we only have a short time. Interestingly, despite just a short discussion, today I feel quite differently about work, and see the review as mostly positive.

I also talked about what I’d been thinking, that I jump from topic to topic in therapy, and it seems to open things up but not get me anywhere, so I want to stop doing that as much.

I talked about how difficult my week had been. Ron invited the part that was hurt to speak, so B came forward. So Ron asked all these questions, and B just sat there, so worried, because she doesn’t know the answers. I intervene and tell Ron I don’t think it helps trying to approach child parts like this, so directly. Then I say how meaningful the drawing is for B, so we go to that, and she starts drawing.

Then various mayhem ensues, with parts crying and talking a bit. I don’t want to describe this because it’s chaotic and just hard to explain. But I didn’t switch out when the feelings got too intense, I just stayed there and let Ron be there with me, which felt a bit good among all the badness. It seems to be important not to leave bad feelings, but just wait there with them.

Towards the end I started feeling horribly lonely, so I shared that with Ron. He asked is it like abandonment? I said yes. I said therapy is like that – for fifty minutes, I get all this attention and sympathy, and then, he’s gone for another seven days. Which is kind of true. But the lonely feeling was so strong – Ron asked if another part needed time. And so another part, B2, who almost never talks, came forward. She didn’t say much – another young child part. But she said she liked to talk….and my feeling of loneliness dissipated. So that lonely feeling did seem to come from a part that wanted time.

Ron asked what I thought about coming twice a week. I immediately liked the idea of course. But practically, it would be difficult. My current contract is ending, and I don’t know  what my work days will look like at the next one. Ron says he thinks it might be useful, because he gets the impression I’m in “homeostasis”. That is, the trauma comes up, but then it goes down again without shifting. He thinks if we had more frequent sessions, it wouldn’t all have to be packed up again as much, and we could shift it.

Who knows. He also said I could arrange with him to call him if I needed to, on the weekend. We’d arrange a ten minute call.

So overall I feel cared about and soothed. I like knowing I can call in emergencies and he’ll try and help. Things are so much better this weekend. I am calmer and functional. I am so grateful.

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20 comments
  1. Oh my goodness, that was a good session. You know what? You could try for twice a week, or once one week, twice the next. And if my therapist would offer a 10 minute call on a weekend, I’d take her up on it. I’m so happy that Ron recognized the homeostasis and wants to get past it.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, it’s great he recognized it. I was trying to explain it to him, a few weeks ago, and he didn’t get it, so now he does, and it’s a good thing. As to twice a week, I’ll have to wait until next month, after Ron’s vacation, and when I see what my work life is going to look like. I’ll see. In some ways, I’d like twice a week. And the call is on the weekend because my session is on Friday, so the weekend is when I fall apart in the aftermath. 😦 I’m going to take him up on it next time it gets really bad. It’s kind of him to offer. Thanks Patty.

  2. This sounds like it worked so much better than many sessions do. I’m so glad!

  3. This sounds so positive. Really lovely to hear.

    Twice weekly sessions work for me (mostly). It can go either way, of course – if therapy is bringing up lots of ‘stuff’, then that’s more to deal with in the alone bits, more to acutely feel, more to deal with. But it can also be incredibly useful to have that stuff dealt with when it’s up and about, rather than, as you say, going back without shifting. And better still, with someone to sit there with you, helping you to deal with it. It’s going to be there anyway, right?! Even if you vacuum pack it up and shove it back again it still has a role to play in day-to-day functioning.

    Well done in being able to sit there with the feelings and have him be there with you. It’s the part of therapy that I find the most difficult. I think…

    It sounds like you are doing really good work. 🙂

    • Ellen said:

      Exactly right – what you say about twice a week sessions. A bit of a dilemma, but also good for moving forward.

      Yes, staying with the feelings was huge. I’m glad I realized I need to do that. I’m expert in switching out of things, so it’s an effort to stay instead.

      Thanks so much Blithely.

  4. Rachel said:

    It is okay to be up and down, I think that is kind of the point, really. To be able to have fluctuations, in a supportive environment. Really good work, and it is heart-warming to read how supported you felt. I’m so glad for that. You were due for a reprieve.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, I can see that. Because IRL, it is extremely confusing in a relationship, to see-saw like this, but therapy is the place to try and work this out. Thanks for the support Rachel.

  5. This seems like good stuff. And actually, in this case, I disagree a little that you swing around. It seems like you made therapy do something differently. it wasn’t clear you could do that, but you thought of some things–staying on one topic longer, for example–and you weren’t sure it would be enough to get things to shift around, but then it did help.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks for pointing that out Ashana. It’s true – I did think a lot about this, and some of the things I considered seem to work, at least for this time – like staying with topics / feelings. It’s funny how you suddenly realize what might help, when it never occurred to me before. Thank you for supporting me. I do feel readers must think I’m insane, so I’m relieved when you point out pockets of possible sanity. 🙂

      • I don’t personally think you’re insane. You seem like a pretty stable person trying to sort some difficult stuff out. Just my opinion though, from afar…

  6. Andi said:

    So glad you two finally connected on this. And that you felt supported by him. Good stuff.

  7. cardamone5 said:

    So glad you are feeling better. I am thinking of you.

  8. Cat said:

    Wow Ellen, I wish I had read this earlier, but I’m behind.

    This “trust thing” is something I can’t quite get my head around, maybe that’s because I’ve never trusted and do not even understand what it would mean if I trust Paul more in session or even how to achieve that.

    The thing that jumps out the most about your post is the part where B came forward. I remember not so long ago that you felt Ron wasn’t being very helpful with his direct approach with parts, but back then, you did not say anything. On Friday, you told him in a very matter of fact way that he wasn’t helping and I think that’s just excellent. Did he change his approach?

    Maybe talking about “how to do therapy” wasn’t in vain after all. Perhaps it’s helping you to enter a deeper level with Ron, or maybe I’m reading too much into things. Based on this, Ellen, it seems the decision to stay or leave is there for us all to see. You trust Ron so much and if he could “learn” what you/parts would find helpful, I could envisage you moving forward. Homeostasis is an interesting theory and is something solid to work on. I hope you somehow manage to arrange extra sessions.

    Sorry, this reply is long, but maybe you could answer something to satisfy my own curiosity about trust. If you could trust Ron more, what are you trusting, his professionalism, or something else? What difference would it make to therapy? I just cannot grasp what it means 🙂

    • Ellen said:

      As to the parts – we both had our say, then Ron asked if I wanted to try drawing, as I’d said how much that helped. So he was paying attention and responsive.

      Yeah, right now I’m all for staying put. We’ll see. I do not trust my own mind – I might be right back to zero trust in a session or two. 😦

      Your question about trust is like a cry from the heart! Well. It’s not really any of the things your are saying, though trusting Ron’s expertise is a good start, trusting he has a clue, etc. These are kind of adult concerns.

      Trust in therapy can go right back to childhood, and reflect how we bonded with our parents. It can be a felt sense – it’s a sense of connection, that you are being seen and valued, that your feelings are accepted. When our parents weren’t that trustworthy, or weren’t as available as we needed, our trust in them was damaged. So whatever you feel in relation to a therapist may be a reflection of the earlier ability to trust. Which in turn is activated in all our relationships.

      I personally have little trust in others, and going along with that, my trust in Ron is not strong.

      For you, maybe you haven’t gone into the realm of a really personal relationship yet with Paul? Trust is not really thoughts – it’s more a feeling, a felt sense. At minimum, you need to trust that the T is competent, will show up, has your best interests at heart. Those are still thoughts though. Real trust is a feeling IMO.

      Hope that helps. Thanks for the comment.

  9. this is great to hear ellen. so glad you and ron connected and had a good session. its so nice to feel cared about isnt it? trust is a tough one. being hurt in the past makes it hard to completely trust and it takes forever or it seems like it anyway. yay for a good session though smiles. XXX

  10. Trust…it all depends who shows up or the way the wind is blowing. Trust comes and goes doesn’t it?! And therapy trust is so different and complicated. And we are recreating our pasts or creating our futures and testing out the present and really I’m not even sure what I’m looking for but I think they like you I am aiming for a sense of connection. I have so much to say but my brain isn’t focusing and I just wanted to say I get it.

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah – trust is complicated, and in therapy it’s even more complicated. Exactly. I also think I’m looking for connection. Thanks for commenting AG.

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