SO mad right now at my therapist. . . . I dont FEEL
supported. I feel alone and vulnerable. . . . How can a person
be expected to share . . . when it seems as if all . . .
has been trivialized? Maybe not so much trivialized as ignored or not responded
to at all. . . . I really do feel like an
infant. . . . When I would need a hug, I bet I wouldnt
get that. If I needed a friend, I wouldnt get that. If I needed someone
to actually care for me, I wouldnt get that either. . . .
I want my psychotherapist to tell me what things mean because it is so hard for
me to see them.
So why does the psychotherapist not give hugs,
not be a friend, not reveal personal feelings,
not give explicit direction? Well, its not to be mean; instead, its
to bring out deep
In your case, its to help you realize that youre desperate to get a hug,
desperate for a friend, desperate to know personal feelings, and
desperate for explicit direction.
And why would you be so
desperate? Well, most likely, if you had grown up with healthy, ordinary family experiences
you would have experienced all of these thingshugs, friendship, personal feelings,
guidance and directionin your own family.
So I can surmise that your
desperation reveals that you didnt get these things in your family. When you
say, I really do feel like an infant, it means that your mother and father
failed you even when you were an infant. When you say, I dont FEEL supported.
I feel alone and vulnerable, it means that your father was somehow lacking, perhaps
as an alcoholic so lost in his alcohol that he couldnt support you, or perhaps so
preoccupied with his work that he didnt take time to understand you. When you say,
How can a person be expected to share . . . when it seems as if
all . . . has been trivialized? Maybe not so much trivialized as
ignored or not responded to at all, it means that you cant be expected to
have learned how to share anything with anyone when your own family ignored you because
everyone was too preoccupied with hiding their own emotional pain and psychological failures
to respond to you.
Hence you say,
I want my psychotherapist to tell me what things mean because it is so hard for me
to see them. Well, thats what you wanted from your father, for example,
isnt it? Theres a lot of pain and tears in that sentence. But
the fact is, a psychotherapist cant just tell you anything unless you
first express yourself. Psychotherapy is not simply an intellectual process. Its
necessary for you to feel the pain. Its necessary for you to feel that pain deep
and raw right in your heart. Then its necessary for you to express that
pain right in the psychotherapy itself. You couldnt feel the pain in your family
because no one would listen to you and help you deal with it, and so, not knowing what
to do with the pain, you didnt feel safe to express it. So, if its going
to be real and emotional, its now necessary for you to feel the pain with your
psychotherapist. Thats why psychotherapy involves more than just talking about
the details and facts; you must experience the facts. You must enter into the process.
You can hide details, but you cant hide process. Like it or not, the process
of the unconscious leaks out through all your behavior. It will seem that your
psychotherapist is being mean to youthat is, doing to you what your father or
mother did to you all your lifewhen really your psychotherapist is bringing out
the truth about your family.
Furthermore, when you
recognize that truth about your family, and feel it in your heartnot
to blame anyone, but to be emotionally
honest so that
you can eventually
everyonethen you will stop blaming yourself in an unconscious attempt to earn
your familys acceptance.
In the mean time,
go ahead and let your anger out at your psychotherapist, because then you will find
that you want to blame your
psychchotherapist as part of the false belief that, in
order to alleviate your emtional hurt, you must change the behavior of those who hurt
you. But blaming others only poisons your own heart. So, instead of falling into blame
because of what youre feeling, seek to understand the meaning of your
feelings. Speak about them in the psychotherapy itself so your psychotherapist can help
you recognize and understand the unconscious origns of the deep emotional pain behind
your anger. Then, when
your anger has been resolved, you will able to live honestly, without blaming
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