Posted by: Marie | August 2, 2010

(369) Truth keeps flowing – Part 1 of 5

Post #369
[Email to my therapist written on Saturday, February 27, 2010]

Hey, Mark –

So . . . here are my thoughts coming out of last session and looking forward to next session . . . I don’t need a response, I’m just letting you know where I am in the process.

As to where I am with the last session . . .

I feel a freedom and an openness around my heart because I finally spoke the whole truth . . . I said what I have needed to say for a very long time. Additionally, it feels like my vocal cords thawed out. It feels like I have finally found my voice and am using it in a powerful way.

The Mountain View by Martin Chen

I appreciate that you listened so carefully to what I had to say. I could tell from your facial expressions, body language and note taking that you were paying close attention. I noticed you never interrupted me. And, I noticed you were taking a much gentler, softer stance when you spoke to me – gentle is good – very good. I really appreciate all of that.

In response to what I said, I heard you say:

1) You agree I shouldn’t be worrying about your sensitivities and, if my stuff triggers you, it is your responsibility to do your own therapeutic process to handle it.

2) You plan to encourage me to talk more during our sessions.

3) When you suggest to me I consider quitting, it is because you are trying to get me to re-evaluate the effectiveness of our work together. You assured me you want to continue working with me, and when you suggest I quit, it is never because you want me to go away.

4) When you suggest I wait 24 hours before sending something to you via email, it is because you want me to make sure I’m saying what I really mean to say and to give myself an opportunity to rewrite it, if necessary, before mailing it. You emphasized your point by calling attention to the fact it took me 30-40 hours of writing and rewriting to get my script to express what I really wanted to express – I didn’t get it “right” on the first try.

5) You again assured me that you won’t ever bring up religion or spirituality. If I bring it up, you will discuss it, but only if I bring it up.

6) You agree I seem to be triggered on all my key trigger points when I work with you (the “one stop shop”). Because of that, it sometimes seems that we are working on so many issues at once and you wonder if that might actually hinder my progress.

7) You agree many therapists won’t use touch in their therapy because of the legal liabilities. However, you are willing to take that risk with me because you believe it is a vital part of my healing process and you are committed to my healing.

8) You confirmed my case has been very challenging for you. But, you feel it is worth the challenges because you believe I really do want healing and you believe I’m working very hard towards healing – and you find great satisfaction in playing a key role in someone’s healing process.

9) Most of all, you want me to know you heard every word I said. You said you would reread the script to see if you had missed anything or if you had additional thoughts about it.

So, did I correctly understand what you said? Did I miss anything?

I do want to say I really appreciate #5 (the religion boundary) . . . having that extra assurance from you is a big deal for me and I really appreciate your emphasis on this promise.

At the end of the session, as I was walking out of your office, I felt an obvious lightheartedness. And, I definitely believe you had heard everything I said. That gave me a sense of relief and freedom – and, a sense of completion in that I hadn’t left anything unsaid.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. Reading this I was struck by Mark seeming not to communicate his intentions – why he asked you to think about quitting and so on. I found it quite strange that someone would suggest something without explaining their reasoning or at least give some indication of it.

    • Hey, Evan –

      I, too, have been struck by how often he just avoids the tough topics. I spent 40 minutes sharing from my heart and this is the best with with he could respond.

      It’s rather like I’m screaming that the house is collapsing and he is commenting on the nice paint job in the closet. I feel like I was talking to deaf ears . . . that I couldn’t get heard . . . just like what I dream so often.

      Thanks for pointing that out!

      – Marie

  2. I’ll be very interested to see whether your interpretation of his experience matches his experience of his experience. I love it that you are repeating back to him what you think happened, for his agreement or correction.

    • Thanks, David, for the kudos . . . it seemed the least I could do since I was asking him to do the same for me.

      – Marie

  3. Hi Mmaaggnnaa
    Just wanted to let you know that I admire your absolute honesty so much.
    I winced a little bit when I read the point where you affirm that if he tells you to quit it means… (Evan mentions this in his comment). I think I felt a little irritated by what I feel might be Mark’s insensitivity in using that as a ‘reviewing tool’… It seems a very provocative way of getting you to think about your reasons for being there.

    • Hi, WS –

      That one made me wince as well . . . I thought . . . if you want me to review why I’m still here, let’s do that . . . just ask me directly to do that . . . rather than doing something unneccessary that causes me further damage.

      He has interesting therapy processes . . .

      – Marie

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