Posted by: Marie | June 25, 2010

(343) Session trois – Part 3 of 4

Post #343
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, February 4, 2010, documenting a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]

Sometimes you share a piece of wisdom with me . . . then, you share it again . . . then, you share it again. Without being rude, how do I tell you that I have already heard it before and that hearing again is really a waste of precious session time?

Well, first, make sure you aren’t being dismissive of what I am saying. Sometimes, when I’m talking, your body language tells me that you really aren’t interested in what I’m saying. I keep telling you repeatedly because I’m not sure you are hearing me.

Would it help if I repeat back to you what you are saying so you know I heard you?

Well, yes . . . and, it would be even more helpful if you gave me an example of how you were able to incorporate it into your life.

What if I don’t agree with you about it and I don’t intend to incorporate it into my life?

Can you give me an example?

Well, so glad you asked . . . I actually have a list of things that you have talked to me about that I would be happy to not hear about again . . .

[I handed him the following list which I created almost a month ago, before we got the religion boundary firmly established.]

I heard what you said the first time you said it
(So, there’s no need for you to tell me again)

1) I am a child of God; God loves me just as I am.

2) What I really need is to get right with God, accept Jesus Christ as my savior and accept the Bible as absolute truth.

3) My current spiritual beliefs are illogical and don’t “hold water”.

4) I need to put myself into target-rich environments in order to find a man.

5) A quality guy won’t take a second look at me if he can see I don’t respect myself.

6) My appearance sends the message I don’t respect myself.

7) I need to take better care of my body.

8) I shouldn’t have sex before marriage.

Is this my copy?

Well, you can have it. I only brought one copy because I thought I might refer to it – but I didn’t think I would actually be giving it to you.

Why not?

I thought you would get angry at me.

Not when you give it to me in the context of humor – which is what you did!

Okay, let’s see what we have here . . . number one . . . “I am a child of God; God loves me just as I am.” Do you agree with that?

(Oh, geez, are we going to discuss every single item in the list? The idea behind the list is to avoid that! Is it appropriate for me to cut him off and tell him that we are not going to discuss the items on the list? Hmmmm . . . well, it seems the least I can do is to not be that controlling, and to listen to what he has to say. I can’t very well dump this list on his lap and then not allow him to respond. I guess I’ll see where he takes it . . . I guess I can listen without encouraging him.)

Yes.

Okay, good enough.

“What I really need is to get right with God, accept Jesus Christ as my savior and accept the Bible as absolute truth.” Do you believe that is true?

No.

Then why is it on the list?

Did you read the title of the list?

Oh . . . “I heard what you said the first time you said it (so, there’s no need for you to tell me again)”

Oh, so I get it . . . these are things you don’t want me to talk about anymore . . .??

Correct.

I don’t understand why this one is on the list if you don’t agree with it.

Their being on the list doesn’t indicate whether I agree with them or not. I put them on the list because you have already lectured me on them several times and there is no need for you to waste session time telling me again – I heard you the first time. Telling me again isn’t going to change my mind about it, either way.

Oh, okay . . . number 3 . . . “My current spiritual beliefs are illogical and don’t ‘hold water’.”

That is what I think?

That is what you have told me you think – you’ve told me a number of times. I am very clear about the fact that you think my beliefs are illogical. I don’t need you to tell me again.

You have a good point. As much as I would like to party with you in heaven, your beliefs are different from mine and I respect that. I would love to have a conversation with you about our beliefs, but it is not consistent with the purpose of our therapy and is not what you hired me to do.

Thank you!

(Yes, he really gets the boundary now! Hallelujah!)

Okay . . next one: “I need to put myself into target-rich environments in order to find a man.” I agree with that – are you ready to do that?

Not right now.

But are you willing to do that some day in the future?

Maybe someday. But, I don’t appreciate you pressuring me on the issue.

I guess this one is about my needs . . . there is some man out there that would benefit greatly from all you have to offer. I am sad that he is not getting to benefit from being in a relationship with you. So, that one is all about my desire to see someone benefit from what you have to offer.

Thank you.

In fact, now that I’m looking at these, I think the first one is about my needs, also. Oh, and number two . . and number three. So, these first four are all about what I needed, not what you needed.

The Altitude by Martin Chen

Cool . . . I’m starting to like this exercise!

Number five: “A quality guy won’t take a second look at me if he can see I don’t respect myself.” Do you agree?

I do.

I’m not sure I do totally. Even when your appearance is not the most pulled-together, people can still be attracted to the quality of who you are, at your core. So, appearance is important, but it is not everything.

I can see that.

“My appearance sends the message I don’t respect myself.” So this one can piggy-back off the previous one. Would you say that your overall appearance has gotten better or worse since we started working together two years ago?

I would say it is about the same.

Why hasn’t it gotten better?

Because I’ve been working more on figuring things out than on fixing them. My process is to figure things out first, then take steps to fix them.

Okay . . . number seven . . . “I need to take better care of my body.” I think that is true for most of us, including me. That is pretty much an ongoing battle!

That’s true . . .

And, the last one . . . “I shouldn’t have sex before marriage.” Do you agree with this one?

No.

I lectured you on this?

Yes, several times.

Well, I can assure you that I was not telling you that you have to wait until you are married to have sex. Whether you have sex before marriage, or not, is your business. My point was that you have so much to offer someone that you don’t have to offer up your body early in a relationship in order to “catch” or “keep” a man. I think that is how you used to operate . . . correct?

Yes, that’s correct. And, I understand the second concept . . . that is why I haven’t had sex in three years – I’m no longer willing to give up my body to just anyone.

Well, good. So, the first four items on the list were all about my needs and the last four . . . assuming we switch the last one to the new concept . . . have to do with what you are working on. Correct?

Yes . . . and, do you understand why I gave you the list?

Yes, I do.

So, explain it back to me, please. I need to know that you understand.

These are things that you don’t want me to spend session time talking about anymore.

Yes . . . thank you.

And thank you for giving me the list even though you were scared to do so!

You’re welcome . . .

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


Responses

  1. Quite a change. Looking forward to the next instalment.

    • Hey, Evan –

      I agree . . . this was a shift from the previous part of the session!

      – Marie

  2. Wow, impressive progress so far with the therapist.

    BTW, this blog has helped so much with things with my niece and my brother’s family. We’ve had some major breakthroughs and I owe a portion of it to the substantial insight this blog provided me.

    Thanks!

    Aaron

    • Hey, Aaron –

      I’m so glad to hear the update about your family . . . it does my heart good to know your niece has all of you pulling for her . . . awesome!

      You are welcome to talk more privately to me via email, if you care to . . .

      Keep us posted!

      – Marie

  3. I thought this was really humorous Marie…I like the back and forth dialogue aspect. Seems you have a pretty good relationship going with this therapist – you’re not afraid to raise things. :-)

    • Hi, Ellen –

      I’m glad you could see humor in this . . . it was actually a very tense time during which I was trying to inject some humor as a bridge in our attempts at successful communication.

      I appreciate you stopping by!

      – Marie

  4. Hi Marie; thanks for stopping by my blog anf leaving such thoughtful words. I ahvent fogotten you yet rather seldom access to the internet and even though I am more and more withdran into adifferent reality which makes up my life as pilgrim. It truly takes me to the basics of Maslow, to what is important and what isnt; what I want and dont fort the second half of my life. Hugs and love from France.

    • You’re very welcome, Paula!

      I appreciate you taking the time to stop by here! I wish you the best in all your various journeys!

      – Marie

  5. Very interesting. You are more patient than I would be with this therapist. I would have probably moved on to another therapist by now.

    • Hi, tobeme –

      The road with this therapist was most certainly long and rocky . . . at this point, I had given up on him ever stepping up to be a traditionally effective therapist for me.

      Instead, I was just trying to heal some father wounds by trying to have an emotionally intimate relationship with someone very much like my father, and I was trying to figure out why I was repeatedly creating the same dynamic in all my relationships with men.

      Because my intentions were non-traditional, I’m sure our conversations appear to be very strange dances to someone standing outside looking in!

      Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts!

      – Marie


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