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nettiespaghetti
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01 Sep 2009, 6:16 pm

I was curious if anyone else is in therapy? I started a few months ago and I'm a bit surprised at how I'm reacting to it. It's so great to be able to open up to someone else and know that they will not betray my confidence. But it's also brought up a lot of painful issues and repressed feelings in myself that I'm struggling with in a huge way. I used to think I was "together" and much stronger than this. Instead I'm realizing how vulnerable and emotionally needy I really am. I hate that, I don't want to feel like this! What made me realize this was the whole "transference" thing that I was (am) doing. I suddenly feel like I'm this scared little girl and I'm looking up to him as this figure who not only has the power to heal me and make me feel better, I also really want him to care about me. I want his approval and actually wish that we could talk like friends even though that really isn't possible. I know the reality and the boundaries, and that's probably what is so scary to me, feeling like I really need him in my life, and that's hard for me to cope with when I know he doesn't need me. I feel like if for some reason he left now I would beg him not to go. I know they say that transference is healthy and it's a way for the therapist and client to learn what you're really craving in your life, and to better understand you. But I don't feel like it's normal, I feel like I'm obsessed! I know it's healthy to think about sessions in between them of course, but I guess my main fear is that my response is overwhelming and I'm slowly turning into an emotional mess and won't come out of it. I had no idea what a mess I really was inside, and I feel like I'm drowning!


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bhetti
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01 Sep 2009, 6:43 pm

I was like when I started therapy when I was still married to my abusive ex. big emotional mess. I hated needing to see my therapist but I really needed him. after 6 months of pretty intense work and making my ex move out, I felt ready to go out on my own for a while.

I'm seeing a different therapist now, since I moved. I've found it very beneficial since I feel like a confused teenager a lot of the time. part of her job is to help me sift through mountains until I can see which are real mountains and which are molehills. I'll probably continue to see her for years if she stays in my area. at this point since I'm a little more emotionally mature than I was (thanks to their help) changing therapists would not be devastating to me as it would have been when I first started out, because they helped me grow to a level of self-sufficiency that I lacked before.



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01 Sep 2009, 9:29 pm

I am seeing a counselor once a fortnight and it has also brought up some issues, some that I never knew even existed. Ever since I left high school I've had this "I don't care that I messed up my life" attitude but in reality, I did care and it was just too painful to admit it to myself. I disconnected myself from everything so I didn't have to feel it however this didn't help me because instead of only blocking out the pain, I was blocking out all the positive emotions like happiness and I had no hope for my future (to be honest, I still don't).

It is good to have someone to talk to who I know wont tell others what I've said.


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01 Sep 2009, 10:22 pm

hm. well--i wish i'd had that experience with therapy. (actually i did--once. but by then, i knew better than to get personally attached. apparently, though, that's how it's supposed to work: the whole attachment thing. could've fooled me. i don't get it at all.)

for the most part, though, i have a difficult time with them. i either had them for breakfast or vice verse. i think i read too much. i used to yell. the labels were legion.

now i know a little better. i've probably swung to the opposite direction of being a little too business-like about the whole thing. but you know. that's "all okay."



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01 Sep 2009, 10:23 pm

:? Does anyone else feel a bit.. concerned.. by this thread?
When issues come up in therapy that people "didn't know about" I start to wonder if they're issues that weren't known, or if they're issues invented by the therapist. I've been through a lot of therapy, and I'm not sure that any of it has ever helped me. If it has, it certainly hasn't been equal to the investment of time and money and pain.
The last therapist I saw kept trying to invent issues I didn't have, while side-stepping the issues I did have. Maybe it was just her, but I still find it disturbing when people talk about feeling worse from therapy. I think that except fairly briefly while addressing trauma issues, therapy should make you feel better, not worse. Especially since there's no measurable way to tell that the getting worse is actually doing something positive.



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01 Sep 2009, 11:59 pm

Maggiedoll, I can really relate to your post. When I was 12 or 13, I had quite a few uncomfortable experiences with mental health workers. They told me that I'm going feel better in the long run, but how normal is it for a 12-year-old to care about the "long run"? Heck, if anything, the therapy made me feel worse, or I wouldn't be ranting about it on WP. There were numerous times when I walked into the office feeling slightly unsettled but otherwise OK, and walked out in deep depression. (To add insult to the injury, I had to put on a happy face for my parents who were picking me up from the office.) And let's not even get into prodding questions about feelings; they were the worst. I ended up coming up with diversion topics, which are simple issues I could easily handle myself (like worrying about an upcoming test), but used them to prevent the therapist from forcing me to open up. I was very open at first, but she used those things to ask me questions that almost made me cry. I didn't cry, 'cause somehow, I thought I'd get written up (!) for crying during a session.

If you look at the financial side of things, therapists have incentive to fabricate issues that a patient doesn't have, just as medical doctors have an incentive to order unnecessary tests and procedures. Why? It's about the money! As long as patients are forced to keep coming back to resolve the "issues they didn't know they had", therapists get to collect money from them or from their insurance companies. I actually have three different threads titled "Uncomfortable experience with a psychologist", each talking about a different thing. If you want to see them, I can search for them, and post links.

One of my friends goes as far as saying that psychology is something you can only practice on yourself, not on other people. I agree with him; it's impossible to know more about someone else's mind than that person himself. Learning about the ins and outs of psychology can do wonders in helping you understand yourself and how you interact with the world. But when you try to use it to "cure" other people, you'll only end up hurting feelings and crushing souls. I'm actually more supportive of psychiatrists than psychologists. At the minimum, they possess a medical degree and can prescribe medication that can make you feel better.



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02 Sep 2009, 4:08 am

Aspie1 wrote:
One of my friends goes as far as saying that psychology is something you can only practice on yourself, not on other people. I agree with him; it's impossible to know more about someone else's mind than that person himself. Learning about the ins and outs of psychology can do wonders in helping you understand yourself and how you interact with the world. But when you try to use it to "cure" other people, you'll only end up hurting feelings and crushing souls. I'm actually more supportive of psychiatrists than psychologists. At the minimum, they possess a medical degree and can prescribe medication that can make you feel better.


I'd disagree with that. The psychiatrist that diagnosed me was no help at all (apart from a diagnosis) and immediatly wanted to shove pills down my throat. The psychologist I went to afterwards actually listened, and after a while, when I felt much better, sent me away with a " I don't think we have to see you again for a while". Not all the things I've been told have been fun, or have I actually even agreed with, but its a far cry from " Yes you have aspergers. Take this Rispiridal and go away."
:roll:



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02 Sep 2009, 7:29 am

Yes. My current therapist/psychologist is the one who diagnosed me and i think she's understands me, or at least tries to, more than the others i've had. She seems open to the things i talk about, and doesn't act like something i'm thinking is "weird" but also doesn't write it off as "oh, that's normal, you're just trying to find your way and need to get out there more." I think it's nice to have someone to vent to, even if most of the time there's nothing specific i need to talk about. And getting diagnosed and talking about my AS-related difficulties has helped me to examine my life and understand myself better, i think.



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02 Sep 2009, 10:24 am

opal wrote:
Aspie1 wrote:
One of my friends goes as far as saying that psychology is something you can only practice on yourself, not on other people. I agree with him; it's impossible to know more about someone else's mind than that person himself. Learning about the ins and outs of psychology can do wonders in helping you understand yourself and how you interact with the world. But when you try to use it to "cure" other people, you'll only end up hurting feelings and crushing souls. I'm actually more supportive of psychiatrists than psychologists. At the minimum, they possess a medical degree and can prescribe medication that can make you feel better.


I'd disagree with that. The psychiatrist that diagnosed me was no help at all (apart from a diagnosis) and immediatly wanted to shove pills down my throat. The psychologist I went to afterwards actually listened, and after a while, when I felt much better, sent me away with a " I don't think we have to see you again for a while". Not all the things I've been told have been fun, or have I actually even agreed with, but its a far cry from " Yes you have aspergers. Take this Rispiridal and go away."
:roll:

And if I'd ever seen a therapist who ever thought less sessions were needed, I might agree with that. The last one I saw, when I tried to just go to every 2 weeks, started telling me how she thought it would be so much more helpful for me to be coming in every week.. and the "therapy" wasn't helping anything at all. It really felt like she had just a complete lack of respect for me and for the money my parents were forking over just to see her. (Not to mention that she'd already "reassured" me that she wouldn't be honest with me.. cause apparently that was supposed to make me feel better. :!: )
Aspie1, I did see your "Uncomfortable Experiences With a Psychologist" posts.. I don't remember if I replied to them or not. If I didn't, it was because just thinking about it got me too pissed to properly express myself..
I never used to think of therapy as being a money-making racket, I'd always put in that defense that if they didn't get paid for it, it wouldn't be possible for people to spend years studying it in order to learn more and be better at it. But this last therapist really did seem like it was just about keeping me there and seeing her all the time. It was pretty darn clear that the issues I actually had weren't things she was comfortable talking about, and she'd keep sidetracking onto things that she considered important, and if I said I didn't want to talk about those things she'd assume that meant that the things I didn't want to talk about were important. Because God forbid I not want to spend $150 an hour to talk about non-issues. (Anyone who wants to spend that much money to talk about things that barely affect them DOES need therapy!)



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02 Sep 2009, 10:58 am

Maggiedoll wrote:
:? Does anyone else feel a bit.. concerned.. by this thread?
When issues come up in therapy that people "didn't know about" I start to wonder if they're issues that weren't known, or if they're issues invented by the therapist. I've been through a lot of therapy, and I'm not sure that any of it has ever helped me. If it has, it certainly hasn't been equal to the investment of time and money and pain.
The last therapist I saw kept trying to invent issues I didn't have, while side-stepping the issues I did have. Maybe it was just her, but I still find it disturbing when people talk about feeling worse from therapy. I think that except fairly briefly while addressing trauma issues, therapy should make you feel better, not worse. Especially since there's no measurable way to tell that the getting worse is actually doing something positive.


There's A LOT of things in this thread that are concerning me. Lots of red flags here. I don't have enough time to go into a long post about it all right now, but this video sums up my thoughts pretty well.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfUef3-bKE0[/youtube]



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02 Sep 2009, 11:08 am

I don't do therapy. I generally left early when I was forced to go, or didn't speak at all. Instead, I write in my "Emotions Journal". If I feel really heavy with a specific feeling I dislike, I load it in the journal and can finally go on with my life. And I vent on here... obviously. doesn't every aspie?



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02 Sep 2009, 11:13 am

I'm pretty strongly guarded by nature and have never felt much transference with therapists and counsellors. I tend to be very mindful that they're fallible human beings and I just don't see them as dependable parent figures. I take a very dim view of leaders in general, unless it's for a very well-defined purpose, and I tend to feel it's my job to ensure that they don't usurp my autonomy. It's possible that it was different when I was younger.

On the other hand, I can be extremely open and straight with practically anybody whose behaviour makes me feel reasonably comfortable, if I haven't picked up any signs that they might be harmful to me. It probably ought to create a bond between us, but I don't notice much beyond the occasional faint recognition that we've shared something important. I can even forget who I was opening up to. People don't seem to impinge on me in quite the way they seem to on most people.....nobody sways my life but me. They might influence me a little if I decide they're talking sense, but I don't let go of my emotional autonomy.



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02 Sep 2009, 11:17 am

Ok, I feel stupid, but I'm having trouble understanding that video.. there's something weird about the audio. It sounds like it's been slowed down maybe? Or like the microphone is in a really strange place? Or both? :? The voice isn't clear at all, I can only make out a word here and there. :oops:



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02 Sep 2009, 11:46 am

I have therapy too, an ASD therapy.

But I don't think anything such as that I am dependant on the therapist or that I personally want praise or recognition or getting to know them personally, because the point of this therapy and a few others therapies that I have learnt about is the opposite to dependence. It's all about independence and getting along out on your own. I mean, I did get diagnosed and all that because I needed to learn so much about normal people I can't learn on my own despite that I'm learn-able because my autism doesn't allow that much making sense of other people.

I think from what some therapists say and from what clients say that a therapy in general is supposed to be a working relationship towards a certain goal. It is similar to the one between a common lawyer/advocate and his or client. To want to be dependant on your advocate sounds problematic to me, because it makes it more likely that the two will have trouble working to the originally intended goal because the client suddenly desires a different goal and one the advocate won't be doing because he's at work.

The ASD therapists around where I live are understood to be the advocate and the autistic people are their clients. They even use these terms to describe their services, especially to outsiders/laypeople. Personally, for me, a therapist is nobody I want to get to know personally, however good the therapist and I understand each other, because all the talking and support is merely his or her job. It is their job to listen to you, to support you, built a relationship of true but distanced trust.

This trust is very important because it is needed to make both comfortable in the work relationship so that both, but especially the client is truthful about their issues. This trust is as important as the is trust between colleagues in a shop, least they dislike each other or betray each other. But from how I understand it, it is never a similar trust as the one between friends. I have a totally different relationship to my friends and family than to the professionals I associate with. The therapists I know and I now imagine it will be the same for most therapists (though there'll be ones who do things differently) will be very careful to make it carefully clear that you work together with them. Doctors, other professionals, even teachers often have to watch out for getting personally involved in their work relationship with a client.

The relationship between the professionals and me is business. The relationship between my friends and me is trust, fun, spending time together, going through (some time of) live together. Business can be trust and fun too and a therapy means you are assisted for some time of your live, but the difference is that her therapist unlike the friend gets paid money for doing these things which makes the relationship to them a business relationship.

So despite that I have therapy too, I don't think that wanting to get personally involved with a therapist is such a good idea, but concerning, because you nettiespaghetti might think things the therapist doesn't think at all think because the relationship for him is one of a trusted, comfortable work relationship without as much personal involvement. But you already said you think you're obsessed in a way, so watch out for anything that harms you because this could if it turns out badly?


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02 Sep 2009, 12:26 pm

Sora wrote:
I think from what some therapists say and from what clients say that a therapy in general is supposed to be a working relationship towards a certain goal. It is similar to the one between a common lawyer/advocate and his or client. To want to be dependant on your advocate sounds problematic to me, because it makes it more likely that the two will have trouble working to the originally intended goal because the client suddenly desires a different goal and one the advocate won't be doing because he's at work.

A lot of therapists will say that, but then it doesn't turn out to be true. They'll say they don't want to waste your money, they want to work on the issues that are there and help you deal with it and get out.. but then when it comes down to the actual therapy, that's not what happens. Then sometimes when that's pointed out to the therapist, they'll turn around and claim that it's personality disorder black and white thinking.. Like that realizing that the therapist wasn't honest in the beginning actually means that there is more wrong with the patient. :?
I've thought about trying to find an autism specialist. Most therapists will assume that you have a basic understanding of social interactions, so like if I'm trying to analyze why someone did something, the therapist may tell me it's not my fault, even if it actually kinda was. With this last therapist, I kept asking her to help me figure out why I come off in strange ways that don't make sense to me, and she'd ask me why I care. Well, the fact that I communicate poorly is a large part of my problem! Then she'd try to turn the conversation to the "real" issues... you know, the ones she's comfortable talking about, but that don't actually bother me. Would an ASD therapist actually help with social skills? When I was a kid my mom would always promise to find someone to help me with social skills, but she could never find anything.



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02 Sep 2009, 12:44 pm

I go monthly, as he's good at prompting me to do things and filling out scripts; we set goals to do between sessions, all in the hopes of improving my functioning.

He can't do a thing for the ASD, which he knows.