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  1. #1
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    My ongoing therapy dilemma

    I figured I'd better just create a thread for this because I keep coming back to the same issue so I should just try to contain it in one place.

    I've decided that once I get my head around booking another session, when I email to request an appointment I'm going to attach a summary of stuff about the semi-obsessive thoughts and attachment stuff that I'm struggling with. In the email I'll ask him not to read the attached file until we go through it together in the session, to head off any new problems I would think up for myself in the meantime.

    I think this is the only way to address it because I'll never be able to articulate it verbally. And I guess I won't have to worry about it being too long if I'm only expecting to look at it during session time. And if he decides it's too weird/crazy to work with me anymore then it's best to know ASAP and rip that bandaid off.

  2. #2
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Excellent idea.

  3. #3
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Even while deciding what things to say in the document (about how knowing that I need to help myself leads to thoughts that it's not ok to ask anyone else for help, not ok to want help, certainly not possible for me to need help etc), I started thinking that I should just cut to the chase and not send any document or have another session because [insert circular reasoning here].
    I've re-escaped that little trap for now but still have yet to type anything up to send.

    Dear gooblax's brain,
    Plz stop it.
    Kthxbai.


    One thing that's been interesting (although I can't say if I'll be able to make use of the information to be able to change the rigidity of my belief in this set of thoughts) is noticing some things about how my parents have spoken about stuff related to my dad's recent operation, and how that relates to views about not needing help or support with anything.

  4. #4
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    but still have yet to type anything up to send.
    There's always the existential/psychodynamic/journaling approach of just writing what comes to mind in the moment -- not necessarily using the writing for anything. And seeing what comes out -- sometimes the solution has nothing to do with the problem.

  5. #5
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    There's always the existential/psychodynamic/journaling approach of just writing what comes to mind in the moment -- not necessarily using the writing for anything. And seeing what comes out -- sometimes the solution has nothing to do with the problem.
    That's similar to the advice I've always given people (including myself) regarding writer's block or writer's paralysis:

    The hardest part is getting started. So let's get that way. Just sit down and start writing anything. It's fine if it's crappy. It doesn't even have to be stricty on topic. Just write.

    Once you get the flow going, you'll be on your way and on topic.

    I always found, even before I discovered this strategy, that I often ended throwing away the first page or two or three completely, or at a minimum significantly rewriting it, once I got going. Once I recognized that I realized that stressing to write "the great American novel" in the first few pages was silly. Not gonna happen.

    So... "just do it".

    I suppose another way of characterizing this is fake it 'til you make it... and then chuck what you don't like.

  6. #6
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by gooblax View Post
    And if he decides it's too weird/crazy to work with me anymore then it's best to know ASAP and rip that bandaid off.
    Hey, the email idea is terrific! I have brought notes or emailed my psychologist many times when I felt I couldn't talk about it. He still doesn't want to get rid of me.

    I think you'll be okay, my friend.



    Sent from my Hollycopter using SlappaSquawk
    (Formerly JollyGreenJellyBean)

    My dog is a human whisperer.

  7. #7
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Thanks everyone but I'm not sure how this can happen. I've got a dozen bits of scrap paper with some thoughts of what to write but there won't be a way to make it coherent no matter how much gets cut away at the end. My usual writing has a structure but there never seems to be a way to structure this properly.


    But even if I magically made it into the best explanation/summary possible, my therapist wouldn't care what's in it. It wouldn't matter to him if he never heard from me again. And I know it shouldn't matter to me that it doesn't matter to him but I'm not ok with that on an emotional level. I realise that I'm back in the same thought pattern and need to challenge a bunch of those thoughts but I don't know how to write the summary without thinking the thoughts and because I still believe most of them most of the time I think it's going to keep coming to this.

    Maybe the trick will be to do two exercises at once - write the thing, and separately write the thoughts and try to challenge them. Except there's always the argument that if I can't come up with a way to believably challenge them it's because they're correct so I have no need for therapy, and if I can challenge them it means I can handle things without therapy... Which is clearly wrong because this convoluted mess wouldn't be happening if I was thinking normally.

    My mum's flight got cancelled today so she's not going home until tomorrow. I can't really pull out my stuff to write anything while she's here anyway.

  8. #8
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    . And I know it shouldn't matter to me that it doesn't matter to him but I'm not ok with that on an emotional level.
    Maybe this is one of those "time heals all things" kind-of things??? where it may be easier to deal with the issue indirectly (rather than "staring at the sun") -- such as through personal growth on other levels or just giving more time to build up trust with your therapist.

    (With OCD at least, the mind gets stuck on different "gears" and it is like manually having to shift gears quite often while other people are driving with an automatic transmission. Having to redirect attention/behavior so often to maintain one's course can be a pain in the *** but it's better than getting stuck in OCD land.)

  9. #9
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Similarly, one of the paradoxes in mental health:

    "By trying to get control, you’ve actually given up control!"

    The Passengers on the Bus Metaphor

  10. #10
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    I still believe most of them most of the time I think it's going to keep coming to this.
    2-cent psychology: With things that provoke anxiety, it may be easier to expect the worst case scenario (resorting to avoidance, rumination, or other old coping mechanisms) than accept uncertainty/vulnerability.

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