Posted by: Marie | July 22, 2010

(362) Finding my voice – Part 5 of 5

Post #362
[Script I read to my therapist on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 – continued from previous post]

Why do I continue?

In the face of so much frustration and anger, I have found myself questioning my reasons for continuing therapy with you. After all, why would I stay with a therapist with whom I feel unsafe and unheard more often than not?

It is true that, several times along the way, I have doubted we were a good therapist-client “fit”. I have heard you bring up the same concern a number of times. I keep wondering how two smart, loving, generous, educated, self-aware people – who are both very committed to the success of their therapeutic process – could have such a hard time finding success in their joint endeavor.

The Mountain View by Martin Chen

It is true that I have often wondered if you really had a clue what was going on inside of me. It is true that I have frequently questioned your professional competence. I’m sure you could sense I was struggling with this.

It was never my compelling interest to find fault with your work . . . but, in the spirit of due diligence, I had to examine the quality of your performance – just like I had to examine the quality of mine. And, I’m happy to say, I have come to the conclusion that you probably are an excellent therapist in the vast majority of cases.

I also have concluded that my case is probably very challenging for you and that the challenges have not allowed me to see you at your best. I have concluded that the difficulties I have relating to people in general have caused great problems in our relationship. I have concluded that we both have contributed to the conflict.

So, if I’ve had so many concerns about our ability to succeed, why do I keep coming back?

Well, there are many reasons . . .

1) On the side of economic feasibility, if it weren’t for your reduced fee, I wouldn’t be able to afford therapy right now. I greatly appreciate the financial sacrifice you are making which allows me to move forward in my healing journey.

2) Your office is in my neighborhood – this saves me travel time and expense, and I get to support a local business.

3) You are extremely generous with your time and energy. You have given me a tremendous amount of time off-the-clock – time I can’t afford to pay for right now. As a business owner, I have an idea of what it costs you personally to give me additional uncompensated time. I greatly appreciate that gift.

4) The cost (in time, energy and money) of starting over with another therapist is prohibitive. Chances are that the same or similar issues would come up for me again with a different therapist – gaining me nothing by switching. It seems more economical for me to stay with you and figure it out in your arena.

5) Our work together triggers me on all of my key trigger points – it’s a “one stop shop” for me. I get to work on all my issues in one place. What are the chances I could find that in another therapist?

6) I currently have unfinished business with you. I also have a long history of abandoning relationships with men when there is business yet to be finished. For my own mental health and healing, I need to finish my business with you. I need to know I am capable of doing that.

7) Not very many therapists are willing to use touch in their therapy practices. I really need for touch to be part of my therapy, so that is a big reason you are a good fit for me as a therapist.

8) I trust you 100% with my physical safety. I have never, not for one second, been concerned that you might become violent with me or make a sexual advance towards me. I know with absolute certainty that we can go to the edge of appropriateness with our touching and you will never cross that line. That is huge for me.

9) You are very good at knowing how to trigger my body memories and how to allow me the space to deal with them when they come up. This is something you are amazing at doing.

10) I really like you as a person. If our circumstances were different, you would be one of my first choices as a close friend. I have come to care about you a great deal.

11) I get that you truly care about me – as a person, not just a client. I am the recipient of agape love when I am with you.

12) You have impeccable moral integrity. I have never had a moment’s doubt about your ethics and your morals and your motives.

13) I have seen example after example of how you are committed to sticking with me and my process, regardless how long it takes and how difficult my case. I am finally really “getting it” that you won’t reject or abandon me.

14) Finally, I keep coming back because I know we are better than this. When we are working together, I can see the love for people in your eyes and I can feel your passion for helping people coming out of every pore in your body. This is your gift, your calling. You are incredibly powerful in this environment.

Every cell in my body knows that there is a way through this. I know for sure that the conflicts we are having are very small when compared to the good stuff we have going for us. I know we can do this. I know that, within the context of our work together, you can be a powerful therapist and I can be a triumphant client.

Can you help me understand what we need to do differently to make that happen? I’m ready to move forward.

Thank you for listening.

– Marie

———-

When I finished reading the script, Mark asked me how many hours it had taken for me to create the script. I told him that it took maybe 30 or 40 hours. He thanked me for that level of effort – he said that he appreciates the time and energy I invested in figuring out things.

He then said, “I want you to know that I heard what you said . . . I really heard you.”

He addressed some of the things I said by sharing some reasons he had for doing what he has done (or has not done). I guess that means he feels justified in handling things the way he has handled them.

I was hoping for some indication he now understands his behavior has been out of line, some indication he is willing to take steps to allow me to feel safer and more heard (beyond telling me that he heard me) and/or some indication his behavior is going to change.

But, he didn’t give that to me.

Well, that’s not totally true . . . he did say he plans to encourage me to talk more in our sessions. That’s worth something.

At the very end of the session, I found myself still clinging to the hope he would shift his position. I wondered if he would address some of my complaints if he first had some time to further consider what I had read. I mean, I did throw a lot at him, I asked him to absorb and process a lot . . .

So, I asked him if he intended to respond further, maybe in a future session, to what I had said. He said no, nothing more now, nothing more in the future. He said he would read through my script after the session to see if he had missed anything, but he wasn’t willing to discuss these issues further. He is done talking about all of this and he wants to move on.

With that, we wrapped up the session. Next session: March 4th.

So, that is that, I guess. I’m very disappointed with his response, but I’m happy with what I did – I feel powerful.


Responses

  1. I think I understand the reason for his lack of response. I think he wanted to avoid arguments and justification.

    It will be interesting to see if he heard you enough to adjust his behaviour.

    • Hey, Evan –

      Hmmm . . . he was avoiding something . . . I think he believed he was right and I was wrong and was tired of listening to me about it . . .

      Maybe that is the same as you are saying . . . ??

      – Marie

  2. It’s a bit different to what I was meaning. What I was thinking could include that he believed you were entirely correct in what you said.

    • Ah . . .

      You’re giving him a lot of credit . . . LOL.

  3. I’ll be very interested to see what happened at the next session. I’m very impressed by how clearly you communicated — even if he didn’t and couldn’t really hear it or act on it, the time you spent was immensely valuable to set everything down for yourself in a way that you can refer back to — really understanding your own internal process and responses.

    • Hey, David –

      Thank you for recognizing the benefit I did receive . . . I felt like I had gotten it all squared away in my head, for my own sake. That was a big step. Whether or not he was able to take part in my process was a separate issue.

      Thank you for your input!

      – Marie


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