• Quote of the Day
    "Worrying is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."
    Van Wilder, posted by Daniel

Daniel

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Similarly, another goal of therapy for OCD/anxiety is to give up the quest for certainty (or to increase one's tolerance for ambiguity):

 
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gooblax

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I don't think I have to worry about myself trying to use reassuring thoughts in that way. ;)
Last night I was having some more "quit so that psych doesn't have to deal with me anymore" thoughts. I might put it on the list of things to discuss with him and see what he suggests for dealing with it, if I end up raising it.
 

Daniel

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"quit so that psych doesn't have to deal with me anymore"

In that respect, just showing up for therapy is a form of exposure therapy, letting your amygdala "hang out" with the uncertainty of the process and the uncertainty of what your therapist is thinking about you.
 

gooblax

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Do you think there's some ideal end state where I'll have a therapist who is appropriately caring and I'll be ok with it, without second guessing when they're going to flip a switch and decide they've had enough, or assuming at a deep level that <insert something here> means they don't care and I'm not important, whether they're just faking it, whether I'm just faking it, whether I deserve to see them, whether wanting to see them means that I don't deserve to see them and should be punished, etc.? I think I'm starting to trust my psych more, which concerns me because I'll just get hurt more easily.
 

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Certainly, as I get better (or more habituated), there is less of a feeling/belief/fear that the other shoe is going to drop sooner than later. And there is a greater feeling/belief that even if the other shoe does drop, I would be more able to cope. So a greater feeling of optimism and resilience.

And, to some degree, there is less concern about the future in general since it's uncertain anyway.
 
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Daniel

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Do you think there's some ideal end state where I'll have a therapist who is appropriately caring and I'll be ok with it...
On a lighter note, where's the fun in that? :D

"End state" reminds me of Plato talking about philosophy as a purification of the soul: "Philosophy itself is, in fact, a kind of “training for dying” (67e), a purification of the philosopher's soul from its bodily attachment."

There's an old saying that "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." (or the Gestalt version: "Everybody wants to be somebody, but nobody wants to grow.") That's how I think about the aging process. Self-acceptance improves with age. Happiness can improve. Just nobody wants to mature physically too :D
 
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David Baxter

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There's an old saying that "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." (or the Gestalt version: "Everybody wants to be somebody, but nobody wants to grow.") That's how I think about the aging process. Self-acceptance improves with age. Happiness can improve. Just nobody wants to mature physically too :D
Actually, referencing the last sentence there, it's more that no one wants to get old.

Aging does bring with it the benefits of experience, perspective, and intellectual and emotional growth (at least in most people — there are exceptions, like racists and white supremacists and Republicans, but I digress). It's just a shame that doesn't happen while we're still young and have all that energy. :coffee:
 

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I've now received 3 different appointment times for my session today:

1. At the end of last session he verbally said he'd booked me in, but said it was at 6pm due to daylight savings ending. My usual session time is 5pm NSW-time (usually QLD has the same timezone but during NSW daylight savings we are 1hr behind). I figured he was probably adding the hour the wrong way, and would wait for the auto sms to confirm if it was 5pm or 6pm.
2. The auto sms, which always gives the time in NSW time zone, said 5pm. I thought that would be the end of it.
3. Psych emailed the link today, and said "see you at 4pm". Normally he says the time in his time zone. But that shouldn't matter because we're the same time zone now.

As if I needed him to add an extra level of confusion to this.

I trust the sms the most. So I've emailed back and asked him to confirm the appointment time.
 

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The session went fairly well on the surface, in that I got to the main topics and asked the main questions I wanted to ask. But I got stuck in being emotionally guarded which meant that the session felt disconnecting, which is something that can derail me pretty easily. But he answered the questions and didn't say anything 'stupid' to cause any misinterpretation and upset, so that's certainly positive.

At the end of the session he asked if there was anything I wanted to say before we finished up, and apparently that's when my brain decided to relax enough to let me feel anything except guardedness... because all I could think of is how much I'm going to miss him til I see him again next session. But that's not something I'm comfortable telling him so I said it was best that I didn't say what I was thinking, then started crying. *facepalms* He was alright about it while still needing to end the session and said we could discuss it next time when there's more time, but I certainly will not be bringing it up next time.

I dunno why I have to make this stuff so difficult.
 

gooblax

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I guess so, but this isn't the 'popular' thing that many people say that they're working on in therapy... except for a small subset of people online who all seem to have more serious reasons for why they're having this sort of problem.
 

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"Compare and despair."

Comparing my insides to someone else's outsides is a fruitless and dangerous game to play, especially when I'm stressed.
 

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Triggered myself thinking about one particular word that my psych used to describe something. The word is incredibly euphemistic, and in thinking through the scenario where I try to explain to him how inadequate of a word it is, I found myself screaming into the bath towel after some mild self harm. I really hope it's just a matter of bad phrasing like he's prone to do, but of course it's wanting to take over my mind.
 

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There's really two aspects to things like this:

1. You must try to remind yourself at these times that you are over-focusing on just one thing out of many, one moment out of many, and to ask yourself if it really matters in the larger context. Basically countering the OCD-like intrusive thoughts.

2. The other side of that coin is that by now I would think he should be more aware of how certain actions, inactions, and ways of expressing himself are triggering to you and making an effort to be more careful. And on the thrird side of the coin, as I was typing that I realized that people who don't really understand what it's like for people on the OCD spectrum often do have a hard time avoiding putting their foot in it. Because I am to a lesser extent on that spectrum and have full blown examples in my own children, it's basically a well learned habit for me to measure my words and actions most of the time (I'm not claiming to be perfect here; I do occasionally slip up when I'm tired or stressed). But their mother (my long ago ex) still doesn't have a clue and puts her foot in it on a weekly basis.
 

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2. The other side of that coin is that by now I would think he should be more aware of how certain actions, inactions, and ways of expressing himself are triggering to you and making an effort to be more careful. And on the thrird side of the coin, as I was typing that I realized that people who don't really understand what it's like for people on the OCD spectrum often do have a hard time avoiding putting their foot in it. Because I am to a lesser extent on that spectrum and have full blown examples in my own children, it's basically a well learned habit for me to measure my words and actions most of the time (I'm not claiming to be perfect here; I do occasionally slip up when I'm tired or stressed). But their mother (my long ago ex) still doesn't have a clue and puts her foot in it on a weekly basis.


Reminds me that Gloria liked Carl Rogers and his approach more than Albert Ellis or Fritz Perls:


There's something so warm about Rogers' technique. Gloria later corresponded with Rogers and his family until her death at the age of 50.
 

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Out of all the questions I asked him last session, this was the only one with a 'screw up' and it's such a minor thing really that it seems petty for me to focus on when he may not even mean the word he said. But it's important to me that he knows it's incorrect. And in explaining why it's incorrect it brings up all the stuff related to the problem, exposing the magnitude of the incorrectness. (In short, - because this is getting too cryptic without an explanation of what the word was - he used the word "frustrated" to really quickly/briefly summarise a problem that I have, when the real feelings are a lot more like "triggered into the sort of upset where I'll cry and scream into a bath towel, for instance". I don't know what the word really is but "frustrated" is way off the mark. And he may have just used the wrong word as a shorthand because it wasn't the main focus of the topic and he was just getting through quickly to the main point, but I do need to confirm that he knows it's not just "frustrated".

I think he was being careful the rest of the time. Like he didn't say anything about other clients (as I'd previously asked him not to) even though there were opportunities to do so. And he even managed to answer a question about when I'll be ready to stop seeing him without triggering a "I'm pathetic and have to stop now" thing, though it probably helped that my previous question was asking when he's going to get fed up with having to see me, or start thinking that I'm pathetic etc. which he also answered in a non-upsetting way even though it's a topic we've covered before.

Maybe it'll help remove the over-focus if I write up the rest of my notes from the session, but I still have to write that one first.
 

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It does sound like there were a lot more positives than negatives in that session.

I think he may be making progress. :)
 

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