been seeing my psychotherapist for about six months. Because of past bad
experiences, it took me a long time to be comfortable opening up to him.
I see him for depression and anorexia. The most recent issue we tackled was
a date-rape I experienced at 18. While discussing it, I felt so alone, and
unsupported. I brought it up to him at our next session and he told me that
he is intentionally inconsiderate of my feelings, intentionally harsh with
me, but would not expand on why. I feel very betrayed; I feel like he completely
destroyed me in three sentences; Ive been very depressed, suicidal,
and not eating since I last saw him. He will not respond to phone calls or
e-mails. I am not scheduled for another session for two weeks, and he has
made it clear he will not be available in the interim. He has mentioned several
times that he wants me to learn to stand up for myself more, but when I ask
for help he turns me down. What gives?
From the way you describe it, it sounds as if this
therapist is trying to conduct his own form of Reality Therapy,
like the tough love parents use on disobedient children. This
sort of treatment can work on children who otherwise refuse to listen to
good advice, but to use it on an emotionally wounded adult is like throwing
someone into a pool and saying, You need to swim a few laps for
discipline. And when you cry out, Help! I dont know how
to swim! he just walks away, saying, We can talk about that in
Now, the truth
is, if you became depressed and
of three harsh sentences, then most likely those three sentences opened up
a pre-existing, deep wound about rejection, and the date-rape was just one
insult on top of somethingor multiple somethingsfrom even earlier
in your life. Consequently, you lack experience in being emotionally trusting
and self-reliant, and therefore you cant just start standing up for
yourself because someone demands that you do so. You need to be taught about
trust and self-reliance and trained in how to practice them.
This sort of
training can happen in psychotherapy if it is attentive to the
of your unconscious.
Through accurate interpretations, your psychotherapist will gain your
trust, and through respect for the
process, you will begin to trust your own unconscious. Remember, the
unconscious is not out to get you,its just raw truth.
When you can face that truth without
fear, you can benefit
from its wisdom, and that will be a big step into self-reliance.
So, what gives?
Well, rather than punish yourself for feeling rejected, give yourself permission
to find someone who can teach you properly.
advertisingno sponsorjust the simple truth . . .