Therapy Dilemma, Again

When I said I wished someone would tell me to just get a therapist already, apparently the universe was listening.  C told me today that her boss said for me to be eligible for the clinical mentorship I have with C, I have to have a therapist.

C wants me to try again with A.  She suggested doing some sort of consultation with me, A, C, and some undetermined clinician, presumably someone with experience with DID patients.  I don’t know where I’d even find someone to do the consultation, but maybe that would fall on A and/or C to find someone.

I told C I’d think about it and decide by next week.  I find I’m really resistant to seeing A again, and I can’t tease out why.  There’s a mix of feelings: anger, resentment, hopelessness, futility…and also some shame.  I’m not sure I was entirely fair to fire her the way I did.  As a person, I really like her, but therapy had been getting increasingly frustrating for months.  I felt like we were in a holding pattern, not making progress, and we really felt unheard/unseen around the DID stuff, particularly acknowledgement of other parts.  Those feelings are valid–but I’m not sure we did a very good job communicating those feelings to A.  I imagine that she was pretty shocked when we quit and felt like it came out of nowhere.

Conflict is very hard for me.  Anything even vaguely resembling conflict is very hard for me.  And there’s something about the power dynamic in the therapist/client relationship that makes it especially hard for me to address “bad” feelings about the therapist.  If I’m being honest, a lot of that probably comes from kid parts who want the therapist to be a surrogate parent since they often have somewhat of a nurturing role.  (I have a LOTLOTLOT of shame about that.)  It’s the fear that if we express any negative feelings toward the therapist, she will turn on us and attack us like our parents did.  That she’ll blame us for all the problems with therapy.  That it’ll do damage we won’t be able to recover from.  I know rationally that, despite my frustrations with A, she wouldn’t do that…but it’s still so scary we feel like we literally can’t do it.

So we really didn’t give her a chance to change and adapt.  We didn’t tell her we wanted to be seen and heard and acknowledged as separate selves.  We didn’t tell her we felt like therapy was a pointless waste of time.  Well, we tried a few times to tell her we felt like we weren’t making progress, but she told us we were improving.  It didn’t match our reality, but it didn’t feel safe to argue our point of view.  So we stopped saying anything about it.  So it probably wasn’t fair to just quit on her the way we did.  But it felt like the only way to save ourselves, in that moment.  And really, do we owe it to a therapist to be fair to her?  It’s not supposed to be a reciprocal relationship; I’m just uncertain about when it’s reasonable to be selfish.

I don’t know if I want to try again with her.  I don’t know what I’ll tell C next week.  She suggested going back to see if we could work things out with A because I said we didn’t want to have to start all over with a new therapist…but it feels like going back to see A again would still be starting all over.  I mean, she’d already know me-Hope, but she really doesn’t know the rest of the system at all.  She doesn’t know my frustrations with therapy over the last few months before I quit.  In some ways, it feels like it would be easier to start over with someone who doesn’t already know me.

What it all comes down to, I think, is my deep ambivalence about trust.  I honestly don’t know if it’s worth trying right now to trust anyone, new or old.  I’m not actively suicidal like I was a few months ago when I went into respite, but I feel like I’m not that far from it–just one disaster away.  I feel precariously balanced, and another breakdown in trust would push me over the edge.  So is it worth it to try again?  I wish there were a clear answer.  Maybe the universe will hear me and give me another clear answer to that one.



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6 responses to “Therapy Dilemma, Again

  1. kat

    instead of thinking of it as an absolute–this one OR this one—and instead think of it as a heirarchy of available choices. then you can ‘try this one’, and if it doesnt work, ‘then try that one’.

  2. Not sure what option is “right “. But opting out of your mentorship with C probably is not it. Wether you see A or someone new, laying the feeling and thoughts you expressed in your post out there might move things along.

  3. Therapy is a tough nut to crack, and moving along to a new therapist, when it’s altogether possible that the relationship with your old therapist can be saved, seems somewhat counterintuitive to me. I mean, I get what you’re saying. My guess is that you also have some feelings of abandonment, which you had mentioned in a much earlier post. Maybe the easiest thing to do would be to give A another chance? Maybe the easiest thing to do would be to start over? I’m not in your shoes, so I can’t and wouldn’t tell you what to do. I think it is wise you are giving yourself a period of time to think it over. Best wishes for you always, Rose

  4. My experience has been that it is essential to air feelings about the therapy and the therapist. My T does welcome this, so it makes it easier. It’s amazing how talking about negative feelings / perceptions, etc. changes them. They don’t disappear but they become manageable. For me it’s something to do with trust – if I don’t do this, I have the negative feelings about whomever I’m seeing for therapy, and then I quit.

    It might be similar for you. No matter whom you end up seeing for therapy, you may have to confront negative feelings about them. Some T’s welcome that, and some don’t. If they don’t, it’s about them, not the client.

    Your fears about confrontation are very understandable. But IMO, as long as you are speaking your truth, and are not abusive, then you are doing a great job. The T’s whole job is to respond to you in a caring and nurturing way to you being real, and if they can’t, they’re not doing their job. That’s how I see it anyhow.

  5. I don’t know what the answer is but just wanted to let you know I am reading and thinking of you. Hoping the universe gives you the sign you are looking for.

  6. I hear your dilemma. And it is a huge dilemma. I wish you luck finding answers. I know thats not easy to do. Xo Carol anne

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