“For some the sticking place is the therapeutic relationship itself, the trust built, brick by brick, between therapeutic partners.”
This is my sticking place (or was for a long time. How lovely to put it in the past!). I have always said therapy is NOT for the faint of heart but takes extraordinary courage. Go read this…
Macbeth: If we should fail?
Lady Macbeth: We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place, And we’ll not fail.
Macbeth, Act 1, scene 7, 59-61
Committing psychotherapeutic acts takes extraordinary courage.
Facing down anxieties, digging down underneath painful symptoms, revealing vulnerabilities, casting out demons, seeking salvation, asking forgiveness, challenging abuse, severing damaging relationships, examining your failures, flaws, weaknesses, revealing your shames, contending with guilt, grieving, preparing to die, coming out, fighting for intimacy, encountering emptiness, apprehending your own murderousness, and the depths of your hungers and desires, setting limits and boundaries, saying “no”, tolerating exposure, baring your soul, withstanding the pain, changing your life, telling the truth…
Telling the truth.
These are terrifying acts.
I can think of no psychotherapeutic action that does not require courage.
I cannot think of a single split second of the 30 years I have spent engaged…
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Greetings Gentle Readers,
I know I have not been around much lately, but I’m going to be around even less for a bit. For starters I am heading into an extremely busy period at work. We have a very documentation intensive release going out the end of October and my only hope of making my deadlines is to start hitting it pretty hard now. I’ll be working longer hours and some weekends, so I am afraid I am not really going to have the time and energy for the blog right now.
I have also decided I just need to step away from the internet for a bit. It is still possible to email me at the address on my blog but I will not be answering any emails until after this release has gone out. I appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.
For any readers from Psychcafe, I have also turned off my PM’s, so please don’t take it personally if you try to contact me and it bounces.
Take care, AG
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
This is part II of a series. For the first part, see Freedom, A Cool Wind That Burns Your Face – Part I.
I walked in and sat and BN opened with “so you’re having a hard time?” (We tend to get straight to it. Any chitchat is done at the end of the session when setting up my next appointment). I told BN I was really activated and he asked why. So I basically did a dump of what I described in Part I. Near the end of my spew, I was saying how I just wanted BN to reassure me but he was in full-on therapist mode (I totally get the need for detachment but sometimes it just feels horrible ). He was great, he just looked straight at me and as calmly as possible said “It’s all going to be ok.” I cracked up. Then he asked me an interesting question (he’s really good at asking very hard questions which seem SO obvious once he says them, but that I would never think to ask myself.) Continue Reading
If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t be friends (or more) with your therapist, I refer you to this excellent explanation by Dr. Stein.
The fantasy of having a closer relationship with one’s therapist occupies the mental space devoted to imaginary things. It must, because few counselors permit such a connection. Professional ethics generally prohibit the dual role of therapist/friend and therapist/lover. Yet, there is value in fleshing-out what this double-bond would look like in practice.
Responses to my recent post, Being Excluded From Your Therapist’s Life, suggest the fantasy dies hard. What follows is an effort to describe how the relationship would function if brought to life — the day-to-day lives of a shrink and his patient. I invite you, dear reader, to think along with me. Let me know if my concerns are off-base. Even more, once you finish reviewing my ideas, I’d love to read your own notion of how to create the connection some of you want with your therapist: an outline better than the current prohibitive model you…
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Disclaimer: I need to talk about how I’m feeling, but am close to certain that at least some of what I am feeling has a lot more to do with the past than what is going on here and now. Not sure I’m up to sorting it out right now. There’s hurt, and some anger floating around, but I’m not completely sure about what. I’m probably reacting to things that aren’t really happening outside of my memories. Continue Reading
I was listening to an OLD playlist on Itunes that I haven’t listened to in quite some time, and a song I had forgotten about popped up. It’s an incredibly powerful and moving song about healing from sexual abuse and rape, one that meant a great deal to me when I was in a very dark passage in my healing. It helped me remember that there is power, light and love that is untouched by evil, that will always outshine the darkest of deeds. I needed to be reminded of that my last session, so honestly, I don’t think it’s an accident I ran across this song again right now. I thought I would share it in case it resonated with anyone else. I hope it speaks to you if it’s something you need to hear.
He’s doing very well, but my husband went into Afib this morning and ended up having a cardio revert done in the emergency room. Looks like he’s coming home, but for obvious reasons it will take a day or two to catch up on comments!
Ann and Judy, thanks for responding to Saba!
Update on the Update: Mr. AG (I loved that ancoraimparomyself so I am shamelessly stealing it! I have proudly carried his name all these years, so I’m sure he’d be glad to return the favor. 😀 ) is home and doing very well. His heart stayed in sinus rhythm and after keeping him a few more hours to make sure everything was stable, he was released from the emergency room and sent home. He’s getting better at catching when it’s going on, which is really helpful because he’s getting medical attention sooner, which makes the treatment a little less invasive. I am still disappointed that the medical professionals will not actually allow me to use the paddles and shock him though. 😀 (You know I joke, I am very happy to have him home safe and sound!) Now we’re sitting in the middle of five feet of snow with more coming down and it’s a balmy 0 degrees fahrenheit (-18 Celcius). And this is what my back deck looks like:
Not having to go through this back and forth to the hospital is a blessing! Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts and support!