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Old 01-21-2019, 08:12 PM   #21
Lrad123
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Default Re: The discomfort between sessions and emails

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Originally Posted by susannahsays View Post
I don't think you should feel bad - sorry if I gave that impression. I don't think you should feel bad. I was more trying to add some perspective or counterarguments to your reasoning - it seemed like you had yourself and him backed into a bit of corner. My goal was not to make you feel guilty.
No I appreciate your perspective. I do sort of feel backed in a corner, I guess, so I actually like hearing how others see things. The therapy world sometimes feels so very strange to me and I realize Iím lacking perspective. It doesnít help that thereís no rule book.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:47 PM   #22
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Default Re: The discomfort between sessions and emails

what was his exact reasoning for not emailing anymore? if you've said it, i've missed it.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:53 PM   #23
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Default Re: The discomfort between sessions and emails

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what was his exact reasoning for not emailing anymore? if you've said it, i've missed it.
I feel like heís explained it differently each time Iíve asked which is why itís fuzzy to me. Part of is that I was expressing a lot via email, and not much in session so I think he wanted to bring stuff into session. That makes some sense to me. I think he also felt like I was ďregressingĒ sometimes in emails and that he was supporting that by responding. Whatever the reason, I certainly donít want to ask him to do something that doesnít feel right to him, but I thought an occasional brief comforting response might be ok. Apparently not.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:34 AM   #24
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Default Re: The discomfort between sessions and emails

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I feel like heís explained it differently each time Iíve asked which is why itís fuzzy to me. Part of is that I was expressing a lot via email, and not much in session so I think he wanted to bring stuff into session. That makes some sense to me. I think he also felt like I was ďregressingĒ sometimes in emails and that he was supporting that by responding. Whatever the reason, I certainly donít want to ask him to do something that doesnít feel right to him, but I thought an occasional brief comforting response might be ok. Apparently not.
I think he has explained it very clearly, as you've articulate above. It doesn't sound fuzzy at all to me, but feeling that way seems to fuel this perception of yours that he will respond when he's said very clearly for weeks now that he won't. He didn't say he would do "an occasional brief comforting response." Perhaps as long as you continue to hold some irrational belief that he will respond, if only you can figure out some way to construct your email or your need for a response in the right way. It feels like you have some magical thinking about this, that somewhere there's a loophole in the very clear message you've been given by him. It's just a simple no. No exceptions.

You are doing nothing wrong by emailing and asking for a response. He didn't say you couldn't continue to email and ask for one, and if he is uncomfortable, he can deal with his emotions. That's not your problem.

What does seem to be your issue is somehow you're living in a fantasy where he doesn't say what he means and means what he says. Is this often true for you (rhetorical question, of course you don't have to answer) where people don't say what they mean, or where you don't say what you mean to others?

Maybe you're getting something out of this frustration you're setting up for yourself. Maybe you need to spin this out until you're done. That's where the irrational can often be rational and/or beneficial. From the outside, I'm like "dude, he's been really clear, and has been from the beginning. Your belief otherwise is irrational, as is your continuing to email and expect a response. So what's the payoff?"
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:05 AM   #25
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Default Re: The discomfort between sessions and emails

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I'm like "dude, he's been really clear, and has been from the beginning. Your belief otherwise is irrational, as is your continuing to email and expect a response. So what's the payoff?"
I agree that OP's T has been clear about the limit/boundary here and OP continuing to try to get a response is futile. I question (or take issue with) the use of "belief" here as I wonder if it is a belief that the OP will be able to get a response or if it is a need to have the support of out of session contact. If it is the need to have that type of support/relationship with the T, then perhaps this T is not the T for the OP (something that has been commented on before). I believe, this T has stated that they do not do supportive therapy. It does seem like an impasse.

Then again, like all comments, this is colored by my own issues. I see this type of situation very black and white. The other person says no *and* if it is something I feel strongly about; I can't make them do it, so I leave and find someone else that will.

So OP - how badly do you need out of session contact or support in your therapy? What would those things do for you that will help your treatment? What did they do for you then? Are there other ways you could still get that now? It sounded like to me that you were using emails as a method to share information in a less personal way verse what might be considered object consistency seeking behavior. Is that true? If so, does acknowledging that within yourself change how you see his decision and perhaps finding a way to work with it.

How much is your treatment being hindered by not getting them? What is the price you are paying or the cost of not getting something you want (and maybe need)? What about this is the bigger/root issue and can you get those needs met differently within the context of what your T is willing to do? Can you grieve the loss (I do see it as a loss)? Can you separate out the grieving process from what is a therapeutic need?

I think it's perfectly fine to continue to talk to him about this because having something taken from you is a big deal and comes with lots of baggage. BTW, I still go back to the concept that you could call him if you needed support; unless that is also off the table. I know for me taking that step to call is a major leap where as emailing is much easier. Even with that, there have been a few times where things have been so bad that I did call her.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:39 AM   #26
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Default Re: The discomfort between sessions and emails

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It sounded like to me that you were using emails as a method to share information in a less personal way verse what might be considered object consistency seeking behavior. Is that true?
Certainly OP has their own opinion and understanding about it but the way I understood it, OP wasn't exactly using emails to share information but rather found themselves writing angry and out of bound stuff and I believe that is the main reason why the T stopped responding.

To me (and I am obviously not a T but I can still form opinions based on my own experience and what I have been reading, right), this suggests to some kind of borderline dynamics, not BPD but personality features according to psychoanalytic formulation. I think there is a huge difference between object consistency seeking behaviour and hostility and rage stemming from borderline features. While in the former case it might be appropriate to acknowledge the emails, I believe in the second case it would be far more important to work towards directing the hostility and rage into the sessions where it can be worked with, rather than letting it float freely in the space between sessions and facilitate it with email responses.

To me the best way to move forward in this situation is try to get this 2nd session per week going and continue to talk about this email issue in sessions. Changing therapists could be an option too but considering that the rage and hostility is lurking somewhere there, then I don't think it would be helpful to find someone who does not allow these feelings to surface because these feelings quite certainly give some symptoms elsewhere in life.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:49 AM   #27
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Default Re: The discomfort between sessions and emails

OP- Are you saying he used to be ok with emails and now he isn't? Or are you saying that he never welcomes emails but you wish he would? If he previously responded to emails and he doesnt anymore I can see why the inconsistency would be hard to process.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:52 AM   #28
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Default Re: The discomfort between sessions and emails

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Originally Posted by feileacan View Post
Certainly OP has their own opinion and understanding about it but the way I understood it, OP wasn't exactly using emails to share information but rather found themselves writing angry and out of bound stuff and I believe that is the main reason why the T stopped responding.

To me (and I am obviously not a T but I can still form opinions based on my own experience and what I have been reading, right), this suggests to some kind of borderline dynamics, not BPD but personality features according to psychoanalytic formulation. I think there is a huge difference between object consistency seeking behaviour and hostility and rage stemming from borderline features. While in the former case it might be appropriate to acknowledge the emails, I believe in the second case it would be far more important to work towards directing the hostility and rage into the sessions where it can be worked with, rather than letting it float freely in the space between sessions and facilitate it with email responses.

To me the best way to move forward in this situation is try to get this 2nd session per week going and continue to talk about this email issue in sessions. Changing therapists could be an option too but considering that the rage and hostility is lurking somewhere there, then I don't think it would be helpful to find someone who does not allow these feelings to surface because these feelings quite certainly give some symptoms elsewhere in life.
I completely agree - I think it is a bit of soul searching for the OP to determine what/which is going on here because the what/which does dictate to some degree the intervention the T uses.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:29 AM   #29
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Laugh Re: The discomfort between sessions and emails

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
OP- Are you saying he used to be ok with emails and now he isn't? Or are you saying that he never welcomes emails but you wish he would? If he previously responded to emails and he doesnt anymore I can see why the inconsistency would be hard to process.
He used to respond with kindness and reassurance, then decided to stop. The fact that he used to respond is definitely what makes the non-responses so hard.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:40 AM   #30
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Default Re: The discomfort between sessions and emails

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Certainly OP has their own opinion and understanding about it but the way I understood it, OP wasn't exactly using emails to share information but rather found themselves writing angry and out of bound stuff and I believe that is the main reason why the T stopped responding.
I most definitely have been using emails all along to share and process things more deeply. This has been my primary use of emails. I have found that I am pretty uncomfortable talking about myself in session, but via email, where I donít have to interpret his looks, tone of voice and silences, I feel much more free to express myself. Most of this has been positive, I think. There has definitely been some negativity and anger (only via email, not in person) which I think has been related to having emotions stirred up in session and then being left alone and feeling abandoned for a week until our next session. Also some of it has been related to feeling close to him, and then the backlash of allowing myself to do that. In my real life I donít express anger much and I think in all aspects of my life (family, work, friends) people tend to see me as kind and easy to get along with. So it was distressing to me to feel frustrated with my therapist because I felt that he was good, but meeting with him caused so much to be stirred up. He has said that I feel ďdisorganizedĒ sometimes, but he claims thatís his own word.
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