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Unread 04-20-2017, 08:12 PM   #1
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Default Do I need to replace my T

Before reading the posts on this forum I was happy with my therapeutic relationship with T but now I'm wondering if T isn't doing enough. I've been seeing T once a week since October last year. After 4 sessions with T, he gained my trust and I've been able to tell him all my secrets ever since. For 50 mins each week he makes me feel safe, important, and cared for but that's it.

T has never offered contact through text or email outside of sessions. I'm not sure if this is because my anxiety isn't severe or bc he is aware that I have a great support system out of therapy but he has never presented communication outside of sessions as an option.

Also T offers very little information about himself to me. In February I arrived to T's office very early and overheard him thanking his previous client for the cookies his client had baked him for his bday. I know his bday isn't relevant to my progress in therapy but he never said anything to me about it being his bday. I think that this means he has a closer relationship with the other client. I've always been curious about T but I know very little about him. I only know what he has told me. I refuse to look him up on the Internet.

Lastly I'm not sure if T is taking the right approach in terms of my treatment. I would say that T takes a client centered approach while simultaneously using CBT. He makes me keep a journal of my thoughts and the journal provides us with a starting point for each session before we delve into deeper stuff. Therapy has helped reduce my anxiety significantly but I'm not a fan of the journaling.
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Unread 04-21-2017, 02:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Do I need to replace my T

I hear that you are saying that you trust your T and you have done some good work together that has lead your anxiety to decrease. If that is so then why would you need to replace your T?

I do have out of session contact with my T. He never offered it explicitly, it started only because I needed it. It means that I initiated it and he accepted it because he understood that I need it. In your case I understand that you haven't felt the need for it, so there's no reason he should offer it to you.

I think it is not too constructive to compare your treatment with anyone else's. Every treatment and every therapeutic relationship is different. I'm sure your T didn't volunteer his bday information to this other person but some patients/clients, typically with attachment problems, dig out all the possible information about their Ts (I have done it, I know everything that there is to know about my T from internet and google him regularly to see if there's something new to be found). I know when is his bday although he has never told me.

So, my suggestion is to forget all comparisons and only assess whether the T has been helpful to you. If you don't like the journaling then talk about it with him directly.

Last edited by feileacan; 04-21-2017 at 03:16 AM. Reason: typos
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Unread 04-21-2017, 03:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Do I need to replace my T

Quote:
So, my suggestion is to forget all comparisons and only assess whether the T has been helpful to you. If you don't like the journaling then talk about it with him directly.
I totally agree with this. I personally, even if I knew my therapists birthday, would not take cookies to her. This could actually be a case of transference, which is not healthy. If you would like your therapy to go in a different direction, I would discuss it with your therapist and see what happens. It sounds like you've opened up to him, and that's a good thing.
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Unread 04-21-2017, 05:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Do I need to replace my T

Quote:
Originally Posted by reb569 View Post
This could actually be a case of transference, which is not healthy.
I don't agree that transference is unhealthy in a therapy relationship. Some Ts actually encourage it. That's why they play the "blank slate": so you can transfer onto them.

PS:
I personally hate the blank slate, but it does have its uses.
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Unread 04-21-2017, 07:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Do I need to replace my T

I agree with feileacan. If you have been happy and felt safe with your therapist so far, that is really important and not at all easy to find.
This site doesn't give a balanced perspective of therapy because it tends to attract users, often with attachment issues and sometimes even poor therapy (I'm not saying out of session contact constitutes poor therapy, just that as a rule of thumb, I wouldn't judge my therapy by comparing it to others on here).
I have out of session contact with my T, but honestly it's not always helpful and I value the safe and trusting relationship we have built together far more. It sounds like you have a similarly good therapeutic bond and that is great. Some people never find that. The healing is in that relationship.
If you don't want to journal, I think you should tell him so. A client centred therapist values their client's autonomy and will will work with you to find the ways of working which will be most helpful to you.
Remember, this is your therapy and the only person who can truly make judgements about its effectiveness is you. What you read on the Internet should always be taken with a pinch of salt.
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Unread 04-21-2017, 09:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Do I need to replace my T

I had a similar feeling. I was waiting for mine and he was going overtime with his previous person. I could hear them laughing and having a "great" time and I got jealous.

But at the same time I had to think about why is it I was jealous - and it helped to understand that I wanted that In my life. Its not discussed because I prefer to deal with it. Im also scared of attachments and making things seem like a big thing.

But Inthink the goal us to be able to eventually support ourselves so dont worry about texting or emailing
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Unread 04-21-2017, 09:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Do I need to replace my T

I also agree with Feileacan. If you were satisfied until you came on this forum, then I don't see a reason to fire him. I remember feeling similarly when I first came here. I looked around and saw all these people with apparently very close emotional relationships with their Ts and wondered what it meant that I didn't have that.

I hope you're able to find a solution that works for you.
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Unread 04-21-2017, 09:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Do I need to replace my T

You have been seeing him for six months. Who knows how long the client who knew when his birthday was has been seeing him? Or how that person found out when his birthday was? (Pretty easy to do on the internet.). And was the thank you from mere politeness?

I have seen six therapists through my life for six sessions or more (usually more). He sounds typical - most of mine didn't do out of session contact, or touch, or self-disclosure. He also sounds very professional in that your therapy is focused on you and he has helped you. If you don't like the journaling, maybe you can negotiate about that. But otherwise, I think you may have hit the jackpot.
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Unread 04-21-2017, 09:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Do I need to replace my T

Thanks for all of the insightful responses. This is my first time in therapy so I am unable to compare my current experience with T to my past experience with other Ts. T has definitely helped me make strides in reducing my anxiety, and I think I started questioning our therapeutic relationship because of the jealousy I felt towards other posters who share a closeness with their T.

Outside of my parents, my older brothers, and my best friend, I'm not really attached to or care for any other people but I think I care for T. I'm not sure if care is the right word. I'm definitely intrigued by him and would like to know more about him bc he knows basically everything about me. I've typed Ts name into search engines before but I've never clicked enter bc once I go down the rabbit hole I feel like there's no returning.

I don't think I need outside communication with T but a part of me wants it. I think outside communication will make it so that T is like my friend, and I know it's not possible but I want him to be my friend bc we just click. I think that I don't grow attached or care for people outside of my immediate family and best friend because I don't really connect with others. I realize that this is unhealthy but I guess I have issues outside of my anxiety.

I think these feelings are arising bc my best friend is moving across the country for medical school soon. Before accepting her admission to med school, she had asked me if I would be fine without her and I told her yes because I couldn't deprive her of the opportunity of attending one of the best medical schools in the country. I'm not sure if I'll actually be alright without her. I'll still have my parents and my brothers but she's the only one I have that isn't related to me. When I made the decision to return home after a year of college out of state, it was because I felt I needed to be surrounded by my family AND my best friend.
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