My therapist DS (Deep Soul) definitely cares about me. I have come to this realisation after blogging about our last session and how devastated I was that he had kept me at a distance. It was one of those moments when things are so emotional that you are blind to your own issues and first need to vent before being able to think straight.
To the bloggers who are either in therapy, therapists or just emotionally intelligent: Your insightful and objective comments as outsiders gave me a lot to think about. Thank you for being there, not judging and also giving me the space to come to what now seems obvious.
My more rational and gathered thoughts about Monday’s session are as follows:
– I went into the session with two opposing expectations. On the one hand, I expected him to be there for me and comfort me, when my dad had not. On the other, I was expecting him to be exactly like my dad and disappoint me.
– I think DS kept a clinical distance with his neutral tone of voice and unaffected demeanor because he did not want to enter a dynamic playing out in the moment.
– He was being a good therapist by giving me the space to fully feel the overwhelming fear, panic, sadness and anger that seemed to emerge out of nowhere. He was allowing these feelings to discharge their energy.
– Not rushing to alleviate my abandonment fears allowed him to observe me and listen to what I had to say, in order to get a better understanding of why I was feeling this way.
– As far as I understand, he was basically allowing the negative transference to strengthen. He then timed his interventions to make me aware of the similarities between how I was feeling about him and how I had felt with my mom and dad, two major attachment figures.
– He did not rush in to offer comfort because that is not his job. By standing back, he was trying to allow me to sit with the discomfort and build the capacity to do that by myself in future.
– When he did not answer my question about whether he had thought of me during our break, he might have been extra icy and seemingly detached to tease out the anger and rage that I’ve been too scared to unleash.
– He put the transference needs above the needs of our therapeutic relationship. While research shows the relationship as being the most reliable marker of therapy success, I think he took the risk because he knew it would pay off.
– The risk was that I might think he was such an absolute asshole that our relationship would be irrevocably damaged and I would cancel all sessions. (But I think that would more likely have happened with an avoidantly attached client and not an anxiously attached one)
– I don’t think it was easy for him to see me in such pain and to indirectly cause me more pain in the moment by not responding as I had wanted.
Sheep have feelings too…
I am satisfied with these findings and they resonate on a cognitive level. They are starting to sink in on an emotional level. If he had responded as a friend or family member, we would have lost a good opportunity to advance my therapeutic goals. Could I go so far to say that he was giving me tough love? (And I hate to use the L word here because I cannot even comprehend that would be his feelings for a mere client)
Yes, I am only human and I am still feeling very raw. And it does hurt to expose a wounded heart. There is also an emotional pain volcano inside my torso that I have to deal with. After erupting on Monday, it’s now at the point where it’s bubbling and simmering slowly.
DS said that even though he was going away this weekend and would be taking Monday and Tuesday off, he would let me know if an evening session opened up on Wednesday. Failing that, I would see him in two weeks time.
While I was wiping my snot and streaked mascara from my face, he also said he thinks I am being too hard on myself by expecting progress all the time. When I think of how he dealt with me, it actually just strengthens the warm feelings I have for him as a therapist. Which creates a dilemma in the sense that my attachment to him has now only strengthened. It’s going to be a bitch to eventually say goodbye.