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Archive for the ‘acceptance’ Category

Yes, I am still alive!

December 3, 2015 48 comments

Greetings Gentle Readers,

Yes, I am still alive! This break stretched a bit longer than I expected. I was working very long hours right up until we left for vacation on October 23. We had a wonderful vacation, including a family reunion cruise that went incredibly well. So much so that everyone insisted on booking another one in March of 2017. This was a quite pleasant surprise, as we were not at all certain going in that everyone would enjoy it. And I had to laugh at myself because by the end of the trip, I realized that I was feeling much closer to everyone and much more up on what is going on in their lives, when it ruefully dawned on me, that IS the point of family reunions. Continue Reading

Encouragement for Those Who Are Weary

Greetings gentle readers,

I ran across an old song I haven’t heard in years that I wanted to share. I loved the song when it first came out in 1979 (for those of you born after that year, there is no need to point out how long ago that was, I was a senior in high school. Trust me, I know how long ago that was. 😀 ) but it speaks even more strongly to me today. It has been such a struggle to learn about how to handle the inevitable pain of life, in some other way than futilely attempting to avoid it. One of the best lessons taught to me by BN is that while pain is inevitable, the answer to pain is love. (See The relationship of love and pain and Love is the Answer for more detailed explanations of that truth). The love we find by connecting to other people, by sharing our burdens, by holding each other up. That is where we find the strength to face life challenges. Continue Reading

Freedom, A Cool Wind That Burns Your Face – Part I

Tiny Tom:I’m frightened!
Bobby: As well you should be. Freedom is scary. It’s a blast of cool wind that
burns your face to wake you up.
– Run, Freedom, Run from Urinetown the Musical

Greetings gentle readers,

Therapy has continued to be interesting. Sessions have been a little erratic lately, with one two-week break due to BN’s schedule and another two-week break due to me getting ill. The session at the end of the second week break was really good, although I was having mood swings for the next week. I went from feeling really optimistic then back to sad and weepy, then energized to feeling a bit lost. At times I would feel very connected with BN and at other times too distant. I think, in part, it’s becoming clear that I’m becoming more able to do without BN. It’s as if for the longest time I’ve been focusing on BN and now we’re shifting the focus back on me, where it should be. I think it feels like I’m losing him, even though I know that’s not true. Actually, I think it’s tied in with a breakthrough I made that session, but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m going to rewind a bit.  Continue Reading

Retirement of a Therapist – Part II

March 20, 2015 20 comments

This is the second in a two-part series. For part I, see Retirement of a Therapist – Part I

When we left off, I had brought you to the point of finding out my therapist was retiring, my mixed reactions and my struggle to recognize that this was a major life event. I remember vividly at beginning of our next couples’ session, I very casually (VERY CASUALLY, who me? affected?) told BN that my therapist was retiring. He reacted very strongly and with a lot of concern, much the way someone would if you told them someone close to you was dying. I felt so pulled towards his reaction (maybe this was a major thing?) while simultaneously wanting to back away (don’t make me face how painful this is). Ambivalence about the loss and its magnitude was pretty much a constant throughout the process. To BN’s credit, he tried on a number of occasions to try to get me to open up about my feelings and I would minimize my feelings and change the subject. I’d NEVER get away with it now, but we didn’t know each other as well then. I think BN was still learning how hard he could push me at any given time and while I felt drawn to him, trust was still a distant gleam over the horizon. Continue Reading

The Retirement of a Therapist – Part I

March 19, 2015 9 comments

This is the first in a two-part series. For part II, see Retirement of a Therapist – Part II.

Pinkmom76 left a comment on the Ask AG page because her therapist is retiring in four months and she wondered if I knew anyone who had faced that or had I? She also mentioned that she had been searching on the internet but had found very little on the topic. (Termination isn’t just an avoided topic by clients. 🙂 ) My first therapist retired after several bouts of therapy that spanned 22 years, so in response to Pinkmom’s question, I thought I would write about what it was like for my therapist to retire on the assumption that Pinkmom is not the only person out there who would like to hear about this. Continue Posting

A Re-enactment or How Transference is a B**** Part I

February 17, 2015 32 comments

Greetings gentle readers,
I’m back from vacation, which was quite refreshing. I have not been blogging for several reasons: work was a bit busy (I am the technical documentation department so nothing gets done while I’m gone), I was catching up on my correspondence (which, alas, is still not complete) and my return to therapy was a bit rough. Note: I started writing this about two weeks back then got hit by an ubervirus that morphed into bronchitis and kicked off my asthma. I am now on enough steroids to lift a building after the second visit to my doctor and slowly trying to recover a normal energy level. And we have about four feet of snow and -1 degree weather. I am NOT a big fan of February. Continue Reading

‘Tis the Season: Strategies for coping with a therapist’s absence – Part II

This is the second part of a two part series; the first part is ‘Tis the Season – Part I.

We’re discussing strategies for helping us to get through our breaks in therapy (of any length!). We left off at journaling  and the strategies are continued below. Continue Reading

‘Tis the Season: Strategies for coping with a therapist’s absence – Part I

This is the first part of a two part series. (It got a little long! 🙂 ) Life has settled down considerably but- of course- I am now working six day weeks because of a very demanding release going out the end of the summer. So I am re-engaging but would appreciate patience with my response times to comments and emails. But it’s really good to be back, I’ve missed everyone! Thank you all so much for you’re understanding and support while I have been away. Continue Reading

One Among Many

Veryhopeful posted a question on the Psych Cafe forums and the more I thought about answering her, the more I realized it was an excellent topic for a post. So with her kind permission, I am repeating the question here, then attempting to answer it.

Veryhopeful said:

Does anyone find it strange that the T is so important to us but yet he has so many clients. How is it possible for them to really care or separate each persons “stuff”. I’ve asked him this because it really bothers me that I have one of “him” in my life and he has dozens of “me” in his life. We all want to feel important to them but are we really? It’s so personal for us but not for them; like they are just an illusion or some emotionless guide…But what bothers me about him is that he takes no break in between clients and I find that really odd.

Continue Reading

Nothing wrong all along

April 28, 2014 19 comments

Ann left a comment on my last post:

AG, if you don’t mind sharing, what exactly helped you recognize that BN was totally comfortable with your relationship with him?

Instead of answering in the comments, I thought I’d write a post about my last session instead. So my thanks to Ann for providing inspiration. 🙂

I know I have been speaking about my work with shame recently, but in some ways my work has always been about shame. BN and I have recognized a pattern, often discussed, since the beginning of my work with him. I was worried I had manipulated my way into working with him (which is actually pretty funny in retrospect as manipulating BN would take someone a lot smarter than me 🙂 ), that I had no right to be there, that I had been there too long, that I was too much and too demanding, that I was too dependent and too needy. I’m sure you’re catching a theme here. I found reason after reason why I shouldn’t be seeing BN. Continue Reading