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  1. #561
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    When I was a caregiver, we sometimes had clients who were non verbal. And even at minimum wage, it was our job to understand what they were trying to communicate. We could usually figure it out pretty quick for a number of different things, especially after knowing the person for a while.

  2. #562
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter View Post
    I still worry that you blame yourself for the miscommunication when in reality it's pretty clear that there are problems with how he communicates (or doesn't) as well.

    That sort of thing can be interactive. I am generally considered to be someone who listens well and communicates quite clearly but I have known people in my life where miscommunication happened more than just occasionally. I don't think I'm communicating any differently and the other other person feels the same but something in our communication styles just ends up colliding or being confusing. One of those people is in my own family.

    I think this happens more with sensitive or Highly Sensitive people, with introverts, with those with obsessive or OCD tendencies, or with people who lack self-confidence.

    And I think the key is to try to be more direct when what the other person is saying is unclear or ambiguous. Just saying, "Sorry I didn't understand what you said just now" (and don't worry about interrupting - just say it) can often go a long way to clarifying in these situations.
    I can relive imperfect conversations even years later It's a feature of my OCD.

    But it is true that, as people get older, they tend to care less and less what other people may think about them.
    Last edited by Daniel; July 31st, 2020 at 09:42 AM.

  3. #563
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    It's hard not to pin the communication issues on myself. He's meant to be the professional at talking to people. Whereas I'm the person who:
    • In grade 1, stopped hanging out with a group of friends because I wasn't being included and it wasn't fun.
    • Had more fun playing by myself, building little stick/leaf/seed-pod/bark towns for the ants, beetles and lizards to shelter in.
    • In grade 2&3 had a best friend, who I later stopped being friends with because my mum said I needed friends who were girls. So I just ran away from him at lunch time instead of explaining why we couldn't be friends anymore (because how on earth do you explain to your best friend that your mum says you're not allowed to be friends with him because he's a boy... even if years later when I asked her about it, she said she didn't mean I had to stop being friends with him, just that I should also have friends who were girls. I was 7 years old, I didn't get that distinction.).
    • In grade 4 realised that I had to hide my interests from anyone at school because they were "too boyish" (according to my mum, plus it's not like any of the girls would say that they liked those things). And began my journey of being half a person outside of home, where I then had very little in common to talk about with friends so I could only really be friends with people who didn't need too much from me conversation-wise.
    • By grade 11 I wouldn't even tell people what sort of music I liked because then they'd expect me to explain myself and I didn't want to be judged, I just liked what I liked and they weren't going to understand (hello, Hamsterdance).
    • Hung out with people who would speak Cantonese throughout lunch time. It was preferable to hanging out with people who spoke English, because at least I wasn't expected to join in on a conversation about things I have no interest/knowledge about if it was in Cantonese.
    • Was just as bad at talking when I was at uni.
    • Only actually started feeling like I could reveal things about myself once I got to full time work and relaxed a bit around certain colleagues.


    There's never been a point in my life where conversations have been comfortable. Last week was the first time I've faced being in a car with a single person for over an hour and not been freaked out about the prospect of trying to talk to them during that time (luckily it was one of my best work-friends). If it's a small group it's fine, but 1:1 is usually terrifying.

    So of course it's >50% my fault. With that history, how could it not be?

  4. #564
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    You said it yourself: he's supposed to be the professional who communicates with people, yet he seems oblivious to the fact that he doesn't leave you much room to talk.

    Additionally, why is it easier for you to talk to the EAP counselor?

  5. #565
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    He is trying to get me to talk though, just in ways that apparently are confusing to me and don't really work.

    With the EAP counselor she had nothing else to go on. She needed me to come in, say what the problem was that I wanted to discuss, and then we discussed the problem and what I wanted to do about it. She operates under a short-duration model so we were both clear on needing to focus on the one thing. It doesn't matter what else is happening because that's the one thing I've selected to work on with the allocated time.
    I had selected the problem, knowing that it was a well defined problem and acknowledging it as a problem for me that I'm allowed to ask for help with. None of the "well I don't deserve help, this shouldn't be a problem" stuff that I get into with most of my other things, which means I was able to be very up front about all the information. None of the "I can't say ___ because it makes me seem ____" stuff. And I had prepared for everything I was going to discuss.

    Just like I had no difficulty telling my therapist what I needed to say last session, aside from the physical difficulty of talking while crying.

  6. #566
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by gooblax View Post
    He is trying to get me to talk though, just in ways that apparently are confusing to me and don't really work.
    Well, there you go, eh?

    It would be different if you were only a few sessions in, though many people bail after a few sessions for various reasons, including lack of fit.

    (My new pet peeve are therapists who treat everything like an addiction, including anxiety. That is instant goodbye. Even addictions don't have to be treated as addictions since there are underlying issues.)

  7. #567
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    I dunno what I want to say to the counselor tomorrow. I stopped feeling so consistently sad as soon as I thought of a way to maybe get my regular therapist to like me and show him that I'm not always "not easy to talk to". I don't want to swap to the new guy, I just want to believe that my regular therapist likes and cares about me as a client.

  8. #568
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by gooblax View Post
    I dunno what I want to say to the counselor tomorrow. I stopped feeling so consistently sad as soon as I thought of a way to maybe get my regular therapist to like me and show him that I'm not always "not easy to talk to".
    Isn't the fact that you are "not always easy to talk to" one of the main reasons you are seeing this therapist? It sounds like you are willing to pretend you don't have any problems in order to stay in therapy with this guy. Surely you will agree that it is his job to help you find solutions to your problems and to help you acquire new skills to assist you in reaching those goals. And still after all this time he is evidently unable to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by gooblax View Post
    I don't want to swap to the new guy, I just want to believe that my regular therapist likes and cares about me as a client.
    And yet it seems to me that he has repeatedly demonstrated that he is indifferent to you as a client, even telling you on that one occasion that you are "not his favorite client" or whatever words he uses.

  9. #569
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Yeah, it's not a perfect plan.

  10. #570
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    There is always uncertainty with a new therapist, but you know what you are getting (or not getting) with your "regular therapist."


    "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." ~ Joseph Campbell

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