Therapy Friday

I went back to therapy last Friday. Hoping I can remember a bit about what we talked about.

First I gave Ron a little present of truffles from a near-by chocolate shop. He always accepts presents with a smile and a thank you, without further comment. I’ve never been through the agony some bloggers have described of odd therapist behaviour around gifts. For my part though, I don’t greatly agonize over a gift, just get a little thing, and so I’m not on alert for how it is received.

Ron commented on an email I’d sent him on the holiday, where I was kind of venting about how lonely I felt. I’d asked him not to respond, as his responses to the most recent emails I sent have been complete crap and made me feel worse. He double checked that I hadn’t wanted a response, which was fine. It had actually helped to tell him how i was feeling despite not having a response. He never did say anything useful by email anyway, though it can be helpful to get a sort of ‘I’m here’ type of response at times.

I asked him if we could figure out what we’re trying to work on, since it’s the new year. So of course he asked me what I wanted to work on! I knew he would. But I told him i was wondering what his thoughts were.

He outlined three things. I wonder if I can remember.

1. Trying to work with/integrate parts. Especially by finding old photos, bringing them in, and talking about my past.

Um…what were the others? Darn – I should take notes. I remember the various arguments we had, but not his points. I think another point was to work on my family relationships, though I can’t remember if he talked about this later in the session. He offered to have family sessions with any members of my family who would come.

I have totally forgotten the third thing. Anyway, I definitely did not want to do any of these suggested things. He doesn’t know how to work with or integrate parts, so why would we do that? The idea of crying over old photos – I don’t see how that would help. It would plunge me into a depressed daze, this I know, and to what purpose? I don’t believe there is any evidence that this is an approach to integrating parts whatsoever.

And no way in hell am I inviting any family members into a session. I have no hope of building relationships with them. Ron thinks it would help my depression to tell my family how it felt to grow up with them, how unhappy I was. I do not think this would help anything whatsoever. My family is this system that works in a certain way – they’re not about to hear anything against the family anytime soon. I can’t see having any of them for a session as anything but humiliating and hurtful. They don’t respond well to emotion at all.

OK, so I’m negative.

I told Ron what I want to work on is my current life. 1. Having better relationships and friendships. Maybe dating. And 2. Figuring out what is happening for me after sessions, that I become so depressed.

To 2, Ron said that we talk about upsetting things so it makes sense to be upset. I tell him I’ve discussed these issues with my friend R, and I’m not depressed after seeing her. In any case, nothing we discuss is new, and we don’t go to that dark of a place, mostly.

That did give Ron pause. He was so sure I was sad from what we talked about.

I said maybe it’s something about our relationship, and he said maybe something about a lack of attunement…

I just sat there, puzzled also. I don’t get it. We tried to figure it out.

And interestingly, I was not very depressed when I got home. Even the next day, my mood was average. I did feel a sense of connection though, which I hadn’t felt for a long time. A sense of being connected. That was such a nice and safe feeling. I can see why people like therapy if you get that connected feeling after seeing your therapist.

To me, it feels really important to figure this out. Not to end up back in that depressed place that I’ve been in so much of my life, which is what will happen if we start crying over old pictures and such.

I’m too tired to keep writing. Next time I’ll try to write on the weekend when I have more energy.

 

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12 comments
  1. Although this may be negative as well, I tend to agree about family. They have worked out a way to cope. It doesn’t work for you, but it works for them. People don’t deal with emotions because they can’t. With some people, you just haven’t explained well. I think with these very long-standing relationships, that’s not it. I think we have to sometimes accept the family we have and figure out how to cope with them as they are. If they wanted to change, they would be in therapy too–or if not therapy, some hint would be there. I have ideas about integrating parts, which I will write about and we can compare ideas. I do think working on one’s life is the way to go. Ron may think this is shallow but it provides support for anything more intense.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, I do think I have to accept them, but it’s hard. I just don’t want to deal with them in the present any more than I have to, and it just irritates me no end when Ron harps on how I should communicate with them. What for? They’ve dug into where they are and are not about to move. Thank you

      • It seems to keep accepting them may involving accepting they aren’t people you want to spend much time with…

  2. You have chosen some great things to work on. And you should choose what you work on, not ron. So I hope it all goesto plan. xo

  3. DV said:

    I think that as long as it never feels like you’re being shut down if you do decide that you need to go back to something from the past in a session, then working on improving the quality of your current life is a great goal.

  4. I think your goals sound very wise, focusing on your current quality of life. It would be different, maybe, if you knew that working on past pain helped you feel better, over time, in your current life. But that hasn’t been the case in your work with Ron, you know that. So you are very clear-sighted about what NOT to do. And a reasonable sense of what to do instead.

    It’s encouraging that you feel okay after this last session. It gives hope that it’s possible to do therapy without condemning yourself to painful therapy hangovers. Wishing you a similar sense of connection from future sessions!

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks for the kind comment Q!

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Laura I’ll check that out.

    • Ellen said:

      Hi Q – nice to hear from you. I’m OK. Hope you’re well also!

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