Strong Feelings of Connection in Therapy

Screenshot A wee while ago I have been asked " I don't understand how it is that I (and so many others I assume), can feel such a strong connection to a therapist when we only see each other one hour a week.  There is nothing I have read that says this is or is not healthy and I find that the connection really bothers me. I don't understand it and I can't seem to accept that it is healthy given the circumstance that I am actually an adult".

That reminded me of how conflictual the concept of caring in therapy is – maybe its worthwhile writing a bit more about it. Those who have followed my writings over the years will have a fair idea that I subscribe pretty much to the Beatle song "All you need is Love". But in a lot of therapeutic circles that is a very 'DANGEROUS' concept. Even though we call these professions caring professions or helping professions, showing caring to clients can be seen as the clinician being over-involved, not objective, being carried away. Clients or patients who come seeking help more often than not are reduced to numbers, cases, and diagnostic criteria: a perfect strategy for the clinican to remain uninvolved and untouched by the clients suffering.

A few years ago I presented a paper at a trauma conference in Melbourne. It summarised the findings of my research: "How services shape the recovery from sexual abuse". To put it very simply: I found that recovery takes place when the client experiences that s/he is given emotional support and care (love), respect, and appreciation. That in turn leads to a lessining of the symptoms, which leads to improvements of self-confidence, self-respect, and self-esteem.

It was quite a large audience, certainly the largest I've ever presented to. After the presentation most people were intrigued and commented quite excited and in an affirming way. One therapist, however, asked whether I had considered the problems that would arise when therapists focus on emotional support, love, and care? Clients might develop dependency to their therapist and isn't therapy all about becoming independent from help?

A great example of caring in the helping profession can be found watching the movie Patch Adams. (Have a look at his website here) Not everything can be helped with pills and clever interventions. Healthcare reduced to diagnosis, pills, and technical interventions becomes dead and redundant. People could just as well get a book from the library and find solutions there for their problems. And they will, because at least books are not rude – they don't marginalise people!

Most country's public mental health systems are a clear example of that. Removed from love and care, mental health problems are managed – yet rarely healed. "Recovery and public mental health" is an oxymoron. Yet more millions of dollars are pumped every year into mental health systems worldwide with increased calls for using evidence based, measurable, identifyable, reproducable techniques. Beware: Lets not care for or even show love. Firstly it's not measurable, and secondly patients might get well and might apply for my job. We can't have that.

You find my other posts about the therapeutic relationship here :

  1. Relationships Role in the Treatment of …
  2. Therapist's Role in Recovery
  3. How to get Over Childhood Stress: The Process of Healing
  4. All You Need is Love

Those readers, who might come to the conclusion that I have an axt to grind with mental health policy and mental health systems, are correct. It's not a rare occurence that systems run by politicians are incapacitated by a plethora of ridiculous ideas. Always following the motto: "If something is not working – lets do more of the same and hope for a different outcome". In my books that's the definition of crazyness.

59 thoughts on “Strong Feelings of Connection in Therapy

  1. Gudrun Frerichs, PhD says:

    Hi M, It pretty sad what you are describing – unfortunately, its something we hear over and over again. Although I must say that we start finding more and more health professionals in public systems who react more understanding.
    Most people in public systems are either psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social worker, or occupational therapists. Their training rarely (if not never) include psychodynamic principles of developmental psychology and attachment needs. Mostly, they see a distinct ‘illness’ like depression, anxiety disorder, anorexia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, because that is what they pick up in patients that come to them – and they have either pills for these disorders or a cognitive behavioural process or course they can feed people in.
    They are not trained in psychotherapeutic processes, and they don’t necessarily believe in the value of them and they don’t have the time resources to see patients regularly one hour a week for an extended time. And we know that someone with strong borderline traits needs some years of therapy to come ‘right’.
    It’s like “if you only have a hammer, everything becomes a nail”. Sad but true.
    I do hope that readers, who found it possible to connect with their therapist and who could notice that things improved for them, will not be put off to continue in their recovery.

  2. Jessica says:

    Yes, strong connection has been very important and the therapist is a safe person in whome to trust while we grieve for our lack of attachment (for one reason or another) in our childhood. I feel that we have to know that feeling of attachment in order to mourn and recover from missing out on it when we most needed it in our lives. I am learning to love and be loved. It can be overwhelming but it also feels right with someone whom you trust and who respects you as a person trying to heal. I hope you reconnect with your therapist.

  3. Mum says:

    Oh my goodness. Thank you so much for writing all this. I have had a therapist in the past that I did develop a caring kind of love towards and started opening up with. But when I was then admitted to the mental health unit I was told I had attachment issues and this relationship with my therapist was unhealthy. I was so upset, and I have never been in therapy since then. But reading this blog and all your comments I realise its the mental health service that is unhealthy. Makes you wonder how many people with Borderline Personality Disorder are actually created by the mental health services?? Why don’t they GET IT? Then maybe we would get from them what we actually need.

  4. jessica says:

    Thanks, And good luck with the study. I went to university as a mature student and it was one of the best things I did, Hang in t-h[=r. (my cat helped type that last word!!)

  5. jessica says:

    Thanks, And good luck with the study. I went to university as a mature student and it was one of the best things I did, Hang in t-h[=r. (my cat helped type that last word!!)

  6. uznco says:

    Oh no problem Jessica, glad you got some sleep thats good. Sleep is sometimes really welcomed out of it all isn’t it. I do hope it was a restful sleep. Awesome, that you paint. I have been feeling like I need to start painting again. But got no money to buy any!!! Got pastels though…but would like to paint!!! Happy painting my friend. Take care.

  7. uznco says:

    Oh no problem Jessica, glad you got some sleep thats good. Sleep is sometimes really welcomed out of it all isn’t it. I do hope it was a restful sleep. Awesome, that you paint. I have been feeling like I need to start painting again. But got no money to buy any!!! Got pastels though…but would like to paint!!! Happy painting my friend. Take care.

  8. jessica says:

    Sorry uznco, I crashed early last night so I didn’t get your message about lighting a candle. I,m not used to having such supportive thoughts around me. ‘thanks’ is all I can say, but it’s from my heart. Yes I am strong, which is why I am what I am, a survivor, like Vicki says, we have survived the worst. Strength is what we continue use to heal ourselves and yet we also need to remember the value of rest, in order to renew our strength. I am about to begin a painting about my parts and make it strong, and make visible the strengthening connections between all of us.

  9. jessica says:

    Sorry uznco, I crashed early last night so I didn’t get your message about lighting a candle. I,m not used to having such supportive thoughts around me. ‘thanks’ is all I can say, but it’s from my heart. Yes I am strong, which is why I am what I am, a survivor, like Vicki says, we have survived the worst. Strength is what we continue use to heal ourselves and yet we also need to remember the value of rest, in order to renew our strength. I am about to begin a painting about my parts and make it strong, and make visible the strengthening connections between all of us.

  10. uznco says:

    Awww!!! Jessica I just lit a candle for you, it is a candle that I got at the sistas conference last year. On the the front it says “Sistas: You’re here to be light.” If you have a candle light it too and you will feel me there with you as I am feeling your pain and sadness. I know what’s that like not only have we had a bad start to life it made us dysfunctional so the rest of our lives are hard too. But please hold on to the hope that things are going to get better. Be determined to heal your life and change the cycle that has probably been in our families for generations. Hun have courage, you have already been a light in my life as I listen to your struggles and your courage. Be strong girl. Have a read of this and become the heroe that you already have inside. I am hopeing in the next year or so I am hoping to get a group for us in NZ.
    http://www.armyofangels.net/about
    Read a be inspired to how these women on this site have worked through their stuff and have pulled out their swords of trauma and are now using it for good. Have hope my friend. Hey are you in NZ? Have you read about Gudrun’s survivor summit…. yeaya!!! so excited and if you NZ maybe we can meet. Take care tonight my friend. Hope you see this tonight so you can light a candle and we can unite through the light.

  11. uznco says:

    Awww!!! Jessica I just lit a candle for you, it is a candle that I got at the sistas conference last year. On the the front it says “Sistas: You’re here to be light.” If you have a candle light it too and you will feel me there with you as I am feeling your pain and sadness. I know what’s that like not only have we had a bad start to life it made us dysfunctional so the rest of our lives are hard too. But please hold on to the hope that things are going to get better. Be determined to heal your life and change the cycle that has probably been in our families for generations. Hun have courage, you have already been a light in my life as I listen to your struggles and your courage. Be strong girl. Have a read of this and become the heroe that you already have inside. I am hopeing in the next year or so I am hoping to get a group for us in NZ.
    http://www.armyofangels.net/about
    Read a be inspired to how these women on this site have worked through their stuff and have pulled out their swords of trauma and are now using it for good. Have hope my friend. Hey are you in NZ? Have you read about Gudrun’s survivor summit…. yeaya!!! so excited and if you NZ maybe we can meet. Take care tonight my friend. Hope you see this tonight so you can light a candle and we can unite through the light.

  12. Jessica says:

    We are like a little community on this sight aren’t we. It’s sort of like family.so much support. I’m quite emotional tonight. Lot’s of family stuff going down at my place. Have escaped to the computer. Big stuff like birth, death and coming together and separating. I’ve also have had too much to drink. Brings out the unstable parts in me. but it’s ok. We are OK.I feel like a whirlpool.

  13. uznco says:

    Wow!!! As I read this after what my therapist said to me about my “HIM” part I am thinking that how amazing to have “the big stopper” at the time that when he/she was needed. These parts to us are a nuisance now because we have grown up and no longer need their expertise. The pain and hurt that must be underneath their behaviour. I guess our job is to now is to understand and nurture them. Give them now what they needed when we were a child. Hard one huh!!! Cause it’s so darn scarey! I am starting to realise that to retrain our negative brain waves might be a key. Like I have been listening to this lady Angela Shelton about how we need to replace all those negative brain waves that tell us we are bad, that we have nothing but bad in us that I’ll never amount to much etc etc etc. I have basically believed that all my life and I have lived it. Never finished anything, when things went well and sometimes still when things are going well I almost urge the failure into place or expect it so of course it happens so I have to start thinking that I ain’t ‘alf bad!!! lol!!! So, like Angela Shelton actually has T shirts printed up with “I love you! Squish!” Going backwards so when you look in the mirror you read it and its for you. she talks about when you are listening to the radio and someone is singing about how wonderful some woman is imagine them singing about you. And think of ourselves more as Thrivers than survivors. And she thinks of herself as a “Goddess” lol!!! She is so inspirational and well I am starting to try. Others are always saying that I am ok so I am gonna start trying to believe them.

  14. uznco says:

    Wow!!! As I read this after what my therapist said to me about my “HIM” part I am thinking that how amazing to have “the big stopper” at the time that when he/she was needed. These parts to us are a nuisance now because we have grown up and no longer need their expertise. The pain and hurt that must be underneath their behaviour. I guess our job is to now is to understand and nurture them. Give them now what they needed when we were a child. Hard one huh!!! Cause it’s so darn scarey! I am starting to realise that to retrain our negative brain waves might be a key. Like I have been listening to this lady Angela Shelton about how we need to replace all those negative brain waves that tell us we are bad, that we have nothing but bad in us that I’ll never amount to much etc etc etc. I have basically believed that all my life and I have lived it. Never finished anything, when things went well and sometimes still when things are going well I almost urge the failure into place or expect it so of course it happens so I have to start thinking that I ain’t ‘alf bad!!! lol!!! So, like Angela Shelton actually has T shirts printed up with “I love you! Squish!” Going backwards so when you look in the mirror you read it and its for you. she talks about when you are listening to the radio and someone is singing about how wonderful some woman is imagine them singing about you. And think of ourselves more as Thrivers than survivors. And she thinks of herself as a “Goddess” lol!!! She is so inspirational and well I am starting to try. Others are always saying that I am ok so I am gonna start trying to believe them.

  15. Jessica says:

    It’s hard, isn’t it, just when you think you have it figured out, chaos returns. Sometimes this does happen when too much is going on at once, and suddenly we can’t cope. Then Wham! in comes this Part I have called ‘The Big Stopper’. When I feel like this he just closes me down. I can go completely blank, maybe can’t move or just end up looking plain stupid as if I have no idea of what’s been going on. I can have no words or no thoughts. Wow, The Big Stopper is so powerful!!! He is the one who tries to disconnect me in therapy. And quite often I don’t even know he’s around. He’s like a hypnotist. I don’t even think I have told my therapist about him.

  16. Jessica says:

    It’s hard, isn’t it, just when you think you have it figured out, chaos returns. Sometimes this does happen when too much is going on at once, and suddenly we can’t cope. Then Wham! in comes this Part I have called ‘The Big Stopper’. When I feel like this he just closes me down. I can go completely blank, maybe can’t move or just end up looking plain stupid as if I have no idea of what’s been going on. I can have no words or no thoughts. Wow, The Big Stopper is so powerful!!! He is the one who tries to disconnect me in therapy. And quite often I don’t even know he’s around. He’s like a hypnotist. I don’t even think I have told my therapist about him.

  17. uznco says:

    Oh my gosh!!! I am also coming across a punishing part although I’m not sure if this part of me is a male or female and I really don’t even want this part to even be a part of me. This part for now I will call “HIM” because of the image HE has taken on. HIM is so awful and scary and I know that it can’t be HIM and after an episode last weekend I HIM hurt us (not bad self harm just something really yuk) I was able to get really angry and scream and yell at HIM. Put myself in the wardrobe amongst the clothes and just screamed. But only could manage a little but it showed me I am able to stop when it approaches too overwhelming so looks like I will have to take small doses. Anyway, I was yelling at HIM but I am just thinking that is wrong as it’s not the real HIM. Or was I screaming at the real HIM – talk about confuscious!!! Anyway, I have felt better but during the week I am doing things not me (read other post under ‘the body pays the price’. Anyway, my therapist has told me to look underneath HIM see the pain, what HIM is holding. And love and nurture that part. I have done everything but and i’m busy and gotta study. Oh man I’m thinking I have some big choices to make over the next few days. I have to stop. Things are becoming a bit unmanageable. I think I will take time out from my study and have some fun with my daughter. Its 3am and I’ve been trying to study but I’ve just sat and looked at it. Answered urgent emails, and now I am on here. I think although I will get further behind I am gonna have to stop and play. Relax. Gain strength otherwise I am gonna end up flagging the study and everything cause its getting hard. Well I won’t let that happen. Oh sorry getting to talking about connection in therapy. Now that I am coming to the end – ha! I think!!! I feel finally connected to my therapist. I have felt connected a bit to other therapists but this is different. Its new…

  18. uznco says:

    Oh my gosh!!! I am also coming across a punishing part although I’m not sure if this part of me is a male or female and I really don’t even want this part to even be a part of me. This part for now I will call “HIM” because of the image HE has taken on. HIM is so awful and scary and I know that it can’t be HIM and after an episode last weekend I HIM hurt us (not bad self harm just something really yuk) I was able to get really angry and scream and yell at HIM. Put myself in the wardrobe amongst the clothes and just screamed. But only could manage a little but it showed me I am able to stop when it approaches too overwhelming so looks like I will have to take small doses. Anyway, I was yelling at HIM but I am just thinking that is wrong as it’s not the real HIM. Or was I screaming at the real HIM – talk about confuscious!!! Anyway, I have felt better but during the week I am doing things not me (read other post under ‘the body pays the price’. Anyway, my therapist has told me to look underneath HIM see the pain, what HIM is holding. And love and nurture that part. I have done everything but and i’m busy and gotta study. Oh man I’m thinking I have some big choices to make over the next few days. I have to stop. Things are becoming a bit unmanageable. I think I will take time out from my study and have some fun with my daughter. Its 3am and I’ve been trying to study but I’ve just sat and looked at it. Answered urgent emails, and now I am on here. I think although I will get further behind I am gonna have to stop and play. Relax. Gain strength otherwise I am gonna end up flagging the study and everything cause its getting hard. Well I won’t let that happen. Oh sorry getting to talking about connection in therapy. Now that I am coming to the end – ha! I think!!! I feel finally connected to my therapist. I have felt connected a bit to other therapists but this is different. Its new…

  19. Jessica says:

    Have you identified the part of you who is trying to protect you by punishing you? I know what it means to feel like this. My part who behaved similarly, once she became brave enough to come to therapy by herself, just poured forth like I never knew she could. Half the time she didn’t seem to make any sense an she was very scary with her threats of harm and walking out of the therapy room etc. But you know it took best part of a year and she fell appart one day, couldn’t keep it up any more. Why? because my therapist kept telling her how valuable she was, what a hard job she had been trying to do all her life, how terrible it must have been to take on a such a proctective roll and getting so confused most of the time, how frustrating. etc…I guess what I’m saying is, it was a real relief to let her have her ‘voice’ and gradually be taught more appropriate ways of helping. The inward punishing ,I found, was more of a fear response. She now has the strongest of Relationships with my therapist, even if at times she still has to check that all is well and she is still truely loved and valued. This is such an arduous journey isn’t it?

  20. Jessica says:

    Have you identified the part of you who is trying to protect you by punishing you? I know what it means to feel like this. My part who behaved similarly, once she became brave enough to come to therapy by herself, just poured forth like I never knew she could. Half the time she didn’t seem to make any sense an she was very scary with her threats of harm and walking out of the therapy room etc. But you know it took best part of a year and she fell appart one day, couldn’t keep it up any more. Why? because my therapist kept telling her how valuable she was, what a hard job she had been trying to do all her life, how terrible it must have been to take on a such a proctective roll and getting so confused most of the time, how frustrating. etc…I guess what I’m saying is, it was a real relief to let her have her ‘voice’ and gradually be taught more appropriate ways of helping. The inward punishing ,I found, was more of a fear response. She now has the strongest of Relationships with my therapist, even if at times she still has to check that all is well and she is still truely loved and valued. This is such an arduous journey isn’t it?

  21. vicki says:

    Thanks Jessica,
    Trying to take risks and share parts of story in therapy with pictures even if dont understand it yet. But get such backlash both inwardly and physically. Get shut down whenever try to talk feels like getting choked and then there’s panic. I have tryed to by-pass it but cant. Like the fairy comment felt punished inwardly for that. Get called liar all the time and should cancel therapy and should die, such a battle. Even writing this is ‘bad’. Makes it hard to make progress

  22. vicki says:

    Thanks Jessica,
    Trying to take risks and share parts of story in therapy with pictures even if dont understand it yet. But get such backlash both inwardly and physically. Get shut down whenever try to talk feels like getting choked and then there’s panic. I have tryed to by-pass it but cant. Like the fairy comment felt punished inwardly for that. Get called liar all the time and should cancel therapy and should die, such a battle. Even writing this is ‘bad’. Makes it hard to make progress

  23. Jessica says:

    Hi vicki, I just wanted to say that I’m thinking of you. Using paint and drawing is such a good place to work things out from because you don’t have to stop and explain yourself or think about words or get tangled up in trying to understand how therapy works. It’s good enough to experience the act of painting, the process, and not worry about the end product. It’s a bit like showing the inside of ourselves, and that in itself is an act of trust.

  24. Jessica says:

    Hi vicki, I just wanted to say that I’m thinking of you. Using paint and drawing is such a good place to work things out from because you don’t have to stop and explain yourself or think about words or get tangled up in trying to understand how therapy works. It’s good enough to experience the act of painting, the process, and not worry about the end product. It’s a bit like showing the inside of ourselves, and that in itself is an act of trust.

  25. vicki says:

    In reply to your comment about connecting to a therapist – I think I may have made a break through! ( no – I didn’t get angry at her 🙂
    I often paint to find out what’s going on for me. Today after a lot of paint and paint mess I found out that although I don’t know if I have made a connection with my therapist… I think I may have made a connection to her therapy room and some of the stuff in it. (he he he) I guess thats close enough for now.

  26. vicki says:

    I feel like I am playing a game of chess with my therapist, only I don’t really know all the rules or how the pieces are supposed to move. Every move seems so weighty. Its a stressful game especially when you lose pieces! I had a fantasy that other people were all playing a game of tennis with their therapist.

  27. vicki says:

    I feel like I am playing a game of chess with my therapist, only I don’t really know all the rules or how the pieces are supposed to move. Every move seems so weighty. Its a stressful game especially when you lose pieces! I had a fantasy that other people were all playing a game of tennis with their therapist.

  28. Gudrun Frerichs, PhD says:

    Hi Vicki, how therapy works is really hard to grasp – even for socalled experts (have a look at all those ACC people who think you can hit a client with a few pills or techniques and TADAA in 16 hours you are done and dusted). So, if it is any comfort,you are not alone! :(. On a more cheerful note, you mentioned earlier on how difficult it is for you to connect with your therapist. I believe that doing “just” that is often the biggest and hardest phase of the recovery that may take sometimes months or even years.
    John Briere wrote that trusting and connecting with the therapist requires of survivors to go against everything they’ve ever learnt: that caring is leathal and people you care about will hurt you.
    Thus mastering connection is often a huge milestone in therapy. I personally think once it is achieved, you’ve done the hardest part of recovery and you can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. The rest is like “mopping up the spills”.
    A lot of people who read your comment(s) will be able to relate to what you’ve said. Hang in there, girl, go easy on yourself, take your time, don’t push yourself so hard. DOING THERAPY is probably not even the best way of looking at it, maybe being in Therapy fits better?
    Take Care – Gudrun

  29. Gudrun Frerichs, PhD says:

    Hi Vicki, how therapy works is really hard to grasp – even for socalled experts (have a look at all those ACC people who think you can hit a client with a few pills or techniques and TADAA in 16 hours you are done and dusted). So, if it is any comfort,you are not alone! :(. On a more cheerful note, you mentioned earlier on how difficult it is for you to connect with your therapist. I believe that doing “just” that is often the biggest and hardest phase of the recovery that may take sometimes months or even years.
    John Briere wrote that trusting and connecting with the therapist requires of survivors to go against everything they’ve ever learnt: that caring is leathal and people you care about will hurt you.
    Thus mastering connection is often a huge milestone in therapy. I personally think once it is achieved, you’ve done the hardest part of recovery and you can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. The rest is like “mopping up the spills”.
    A lot of people who read your comment(s) will be able to relate to what you’ve said. Hang in there, girl, go easy on yourself, take your time, don’t push yourself so hard. DOING THERAPY is probably not even the best way of looking at it, maybe being in Therapy fits better?
    Take Care – Gudrun

  30. jessica says:

    Oh Vicki please do keep trying, but you don’t need to try so hard. you just need to be in a spece where you know that ‘we’ care and your therapist cares. I felt the same way , still do often, actually at the moment… And today my therapist said, ‘dont push yourself, things don’t have to happen all at once, there,s no one plan or any specific way to ‘do’ therapy, sometimes you just need a time of rest and recouperation. In times of waiting often a lot is happening, it’s just not ready to come out yet.’
    Sometimes we just get worn out and it’s so hot here at the moment. It’s like I have gone into summer hibernation. Today, I felt so unable to see my way into the next step that I just wanted to curl up and sleep. I wanted to cuddle into my therapists lap like a child. and she said y’ou can imagine doing that and I can imagine you.’ and that’s the way I got strength and comfort today and felt like it was worth going on

  31. vicki says:

    I felt like I tryed really hard to do therapy but i cant seem to do it and i have tryed and tryed and I think this Therapist is a good one so their dosent seem to be a way for me. I would like to have someone help me but no one seems to no how and i feel to tired to keep on trying.

  32. Jessica says:

    Where are you Jae, I really enjoyed your messages but haven’t heard from you for so long. Are you ok?

  33. Jessica says:

    Where are you Jae, I really enjoyed your messages but haven’t heard from you for so long. Are you ok?

  34. uznco says:

    Hi Jessica, just log in and click on blogs on the green strip across the top of the page. Then click add blog. Takes you into next page and then on your right it says: Typepad connect and there click on “try it now”. Then it will take you to another page. Scroll down thing I think you click on movable typepad but you may need to play with that bit. Blog nam is Multiple voices and next one donw you type in http://www.multiplevoices.com and connect to blog. Pretty sure thats how I did it. Try that. Good luck.

  35. uznco says:

    Hi Jessica, just log in and click on blogs on the green strip across the top of the page. Then click add blog. Takes you into next page and then on your right it says: Typepad connect and there click on “try it now”. Then it will take you to another page. Scroll down thing I think you click on movable typepad but you may need to play with that bit. Blog nam is Multiple voices and next one donw you type in http://www.multiplevoices.com and connect to blog. Pretty sure thats how I did it. Try that. Good luck.

  36. Jessica says:

    I’ve been trying the picture thing for over half an hour. Idon’t know what a URL is. I’m so frustrated. I’ll have to come back to it later.

  37. Jessica says:

    I’ve been trying the picture thing for over half an hour. Idon’t know what a URL is. I’m so frustrated. I’ll have to come back to it later.

  38. Woundedgenius says:

    Superb post! I think it can take a while for an analysand to come round to this way of thinking because of their own experiences of past rejection but also because, as you say, the whole idea of a client getting so attached to a therapist is ridiculed – even within the therapeutic community itself.
    I wonder if you have a link to the paper you presented anywhere? It would be very interesting.
    Thanks again
    WG.

  39. uznco says:

    You click on type pad and register and you can do it through there. Upload a picture you like and then put the URL in and it comes through. I think thats how I did it. Just go there and have a play… thats what I did. All the best.

  40. uznco says:

    Wow!! Vicki I have also had similar thoughts to this. I am learning though that my therapist does this because she is passionate about empowering me to see myself in a better light. That through her own experiences and through her training and the experiences from other clients makes a good combination of wisdom I like to tap into. I am a thinker too, and anything anyone says to me or suggests I have to turn it inside out and back to front. But I am realising that this is because of my mistrust. So now I have to turn my every thought inside out and back to front. Haha!!! but you know once you start trusting in your therapist, trusting the process, trusting your own process and yourself things just start happening all by themselves. I think that i am probably a bit of a control freak and have often tried to control the process etc… but it doesn’t work. I have found as I have started to let go of that control stuff has started to happen by itself and things are getting easier. My therapist once told me…well not once but several times “you have to lose control to gain control!!!” I hate to admit it but I think she is probably right. Things just fall into place once you stop trying too hard, stop over thinking everything and for me controlling everything, including my parts that things have progressed. I can finally see the end of the tunnel.

  41. jessica says:

    I’m just so amazed how it helps to just write something, anything, and that someone else replies because they connect with the feeling. Yes it’s not so lonely.

  42. jessica says:

    I’m just so amazed how it helps to just write something, anything, and that someone else replies because they connect with the feeling. Yes it’s not so lonely.

  43. vicki says:

    ahhh! feel like that all the time and it exhausts me. is it because i am hurt and can heal? or is it becasue I am I bad and should die? i feel trapped between these two all the time. I hate my confused and desperate feelings too plus they make no sense to me plus they feel like they are actually hurting my body – now thats weird. I am glad you shared ~ it makes it not so on your own-some

  44. s says:

    Hi Vicki, I have been trying to figure my problems out for myself for years and gettng nowhere. A therapist is not like a self help book. She is a human connection. She hopefully has the quality of empathy. Information or direction can come from a book, but does not necessarily connect with our real needs and our soul. Just think of a therapist like a healer. Instead of the laying on of hands, it’s the laying on of listening. we speak , she listens and reflects what we need back to us. she can be a guide that we can keep in our imagination, like a touchstone. And it’s ok to feel like this. It took me a long time to understand this. A therapist give us the gifts of her wisdom and we give her the gifts of our trust.

  45. ......... says:

    Breaking down barriers that have been put in place for good reasons,to keep you safe from being hurt is something that takes time to change. Its been there for a good reason! for me I had a connection straight away but it did’nt mean I was able to spill my guts and be close and everything straight away,It takes time. I have read many books, watched many movies and been to all sorts of group discussions etc but this would never inabled me to figure out this stuff myself. I needed to connect with someone who cared believed in me was solid and I trusted and felt safe with,someone that I could hit heads with and did’nt abuse me or shout me down or reject me for it. I could go on forever. Yip therapists are Human and do all the things we do, Im not a therapist, But I do work with people and yes at times it can be hard, but the gift I get from seeing someone move forward, or feel a little bit more safe or starting to live a life they want etc is very,very cool. Hopefully a therapist will give there perspective. Its a good question.

  46. vicki says:

    I know it’s important to have a relationship with your therapist… but… I think I am actively trying not to connect to my therapist. If I hear myself thinking about seeing her or hanging out for an appointment I work hard to remind myself that she is only a therapist. I remind myself I am only using her as an expert so that I can get information or direction and figure this all out for myself.
    The part of the therapy relationship that I don’t understand is what motivates the therapist? Why does she want to take part in the relationship? Especially when I know I am a difficult person to have to meet with weekly (I think I make her job really difficult!) Therapists are human too – so what makes them care? Why would my thoughts or feelings mean anything to her?

  47. jessica says:

    I hate these confused and desperate feelings I have. I wish there was an end to it.I don’t know if I have the energy to go on. Part of me wants to finish it and part wants to stay strong. It is a constant battle. Sometimes I feel that I am trapped in life and there’s no way out.

  48. Jae says:

    Yea thats something that came up for me all the time, ( I have to get it right or something is wrong with me. ) and the famous feelings Im not good enough so why does this person like me. My therapist is not slow at comming forward when she feels there is something that is not working, which has happened on the occasion, but I found it positive because I have usually picked up on it to and sorting it puts it into a perspective of there is a problem not I am a problem, I then can take ownership of what I am doing and disguard what is’nt real. Also in all relationships we can perseive things differently and have a different understanding of what has been said sometimes, so telling your therapist when you think they have it wrong strengthens the relationship also,No second guessing. I also think we need to give them the bennifit of they can look after them selves lol. I also have not told anything to my therapist that has pushed her away its worked in the oppisite.Now Thats A Scarey Thought. 🙂

  49. jessica says:

    Thanks Jae,I have these feeling crop up too. There is a big difference between the intellect, and the feelings and emotions. Some days I feel confident that I’m on the right track, and others I’m right over the edge. I still worry constantly what others think of me , or I’m afraid to tell things that happened to me, even to my therapist!! for fear that I’ll be rejected. The other thing I have problems with, is feeling that I’m overburdening my therapist and that she will think to herself,’Oh no, here we go again! I can’t take any more.’ I know that it is probably not true , but these feelings make me so anxious. I guess it’s all about loss and I don’t want to loose this first stable relationship I have experienced by being too intense or demanding. You certainly have to work at this stuff don’t you.

  50. jae says:

    Hi Jessica it sounds like an awesum relationship yu have with your therapist, Im lucky enough to have a similar experience, Its interesting though I have noticed lately a part of me is bringing in some old messages and is looking for the wrongness of it. I am thinking that this could be her protecting herself at the moment or an excuse to pull away from the issues arising. I am changing my record of I dont know where to put this stuff to I am doing things well and what better way is to work with her experiences and share it with her. You have alot of awesum stuff to share, thaks…

  51. jessica says:

    Yes it is very risky. It has taken me a long time (years) to learn to trust.And yes the feeling is very foreign.Usually, in the past, forming an attachment to others led to tragic consequences. In opening up to others there was always the risk of being taken advantage of, so in the end it was safer to opperate in a ‘detached space’ I have learnt that the attachment is necessary in order to begin healing. My therapist for me is everything from grandmother, mother, sister, friend, and offers what they couldn’t -compassion and empathy and respect. she does’nt feel sorry for me, she doesn’t despise me, she doesn’t try to trick me, she has even said she admires my strength. this gives me a feeling of self worth. and the best thing is that she is constant. Inside the therapy room the relationship with the therapist is paramount. It is not like any other relationship I have had, not physical but close, not sexual but caring and she is with me because she often says, ‘you are not on your own, we are on this journey together’ and we have been through some tough ones.

  52. assilem says:

    I am interested in what you say here. I find alot of the conflict that I feel with connections is 1. To some they are very risky. 2. this type of feeling can be quite foriegn and 3. hearing the opinion from those close to me is that if you show any feeling towards a clinican,or therapist or support worker etc.. you are sick ,you have to be treated with strong boundries because you have attachment issues and be very weary because she probably has borderline prensailty .sti llaton etirw

  53. jessica says:

    today I had a strong memory/flashback about something that happened to me many years ago. It was a most terrifying experience both then and now. Because I have established a strong connection with my therapist, I was able to trust myself to stay safe and hold the feelings until I see her next. It is because I know that she cares and will be there and will be strong for me that I too am able to stay strong , even if it is just for one more day. I can visualise myself in her therapy room and I feel loved and supported. I did have to take some rescue emergancy medication to see me through crisis point, but I am holding hands with my inside selves. We will make it!! Jessica

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