Disagreeing with your therapist

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this_snow

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Oct 26, 2018
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9
I am having some issues with my therapist, and it's kind of getting me down. Would really appreciate if any of you reading this can offer me some advice!

So here is thing. I've recently started seeing a new therapist about my problems with anxiety and depression. Today was the second session, and we talked about my father, who, for much of my life, has been really emotionally/verbally abusive.

He did stop yelling at me after a huge argument where I finally told him that this has caused me to become suicidal. But he never apologised, never admitted he was wrong. So I never felt compelled to forgive him--in fact hardly ever spoke to him after he left me alone. The problem is we still live under the same roof. Things as small as having to talk to him, or him staring at me for too long, would reduce me to tears.

I told my therapist all this, and my plans to move out as soon as I can, and possibly cut him out of my life. She did not say it outright but I get the feeling that she is not happy with how I feel about this whole situation.

She asked me if I know if he has issues of his own (yes I do, and he does), and kept asking me if how I think about the fact that he has stopped yelling at me after I told him about my suicidal ideation. I told her that I do not think it means much apart from the fact that he is afraid of losing me. He may love me in his own way, but he is still at the core a toxic presence in my life! For the full hour, she kept circling back to the same point.

She really wanted me to agree that there is a possibility that he could change, and that I should give him a chance. By then I was full on sobbing. I do not even want to think about interacting with my dad again, much less entertaining the thought of turning him into the perfect father for me. He may have stopped the yelling part, but he and I have really different personalities and beliefs and it's exhausting enough having to occupying the same space as him every single day.

Overall, she seems like a pretty nice person, and I have no doubt she is in fact qualified. But she hardly dwelled on the part where I said I had (still have) suicidal thoughts, and focused so much on how my dad thinks and feels...

It is only my second appointment with my new therapist, so it might be too soon to decide if we are a good fit. But both appointments have really left me feeling quite unheard, and emotionally drained.

My next session is coming up in a week and a half, and so far my plan is to tell her that I don't really like the direction that our sessions seem to be going, and if we can't figure something out, I might have to find a new therapist. But I don't know if that is really the right thing to say, or the right way to say it... I really don't know.

Anyway, thanks for reading my long rant!
 
J

JCPraha

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Aug 27, 2018
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I can only tell you that forgiveness is the key to your own healing. If you cannot forgive you will not heal, you will harbor resentment that will destroy you. So, you can move out, but you need to forgive.
 
C

Candy19

Guest
I've had therapists say the same about my mum, trying to get me to almost sympathise with her even though I was the one hurting from it all, I still go through similar to what you do cos I live with her too

if it carries on then the best thing you can do when you are ready is cut family members out your life the same way you would with toxic and abusive friends or partners, I don't see why we should treat family any different if they hurt us and make our mental health worse

I would talk to your therapist about this cos then she might take a different approach that could be more helpful, otherwise I'd ask for someone else
 
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TheRedStar

Guest
I get where this therapist is trying to go, as - in an ideal world - resolution and reconciliation are the most desirable solutions to interpersonal problems. However, I think it's entirely understandable, given what you endured, that you would feel a need to hear your father express verbal acknowledgement of, and contrition for, the suffering he put you through.

Have you explained it to your therapist in the same manner you have here to us, clearly articulating to her this specific reason for your disinclination to be forgiving?

I'm wondering whether she personally believes that getting you to revise your opinion of your dad is the best/quickest way to bring about some improvement to your state of mind.

Whatever the case, I do think you should raise with her next time how that last appointment has made you feel, and how it felt like your father's feelings and situation are more important to her than your own.

The point about you feeling as though this therapist is 'not happy' with your attitude towards your father has stuck in my head... certainly, it's not really her place to be unhappy with your feelings, especially when there's an obvious and understandable rationale for them; I'd go so far as to say that it would be unprofessional of her to openly display such negativity. As such, I'd encourage you to think about whether that's what you genuinely believe, or if it's - for whatever reason(s) - what you fear to be the case. I know this won't be an easy thing to do, but if I were in your position I'd try to also raise this concern with her.

if it carries on then the best thing you can do when you are ready is cut family members out your life the same way you would with toxic and abusive friends or partners, I don't see why we should treat family any different if they hurt us and make our mental health worse.
I completely agree. I hate that term about 'blood being thicker than water', because I've seen, heard, and indeed personally experienced, how people adhering to that adage facilitates and perpetuates all kinds of abusive behaviour. It's as though some people fully believe you should be able to say and do - and always get away with - whatever you like to those who share marginally more DNA with you than the general population.
 
T

this_snow

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Oct 26, 2018
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Thank you so much for the comment, TheRedStar. I've reread it many times, and it's given me a lot of clarity on the whole situation.

I'm still anxious about telling her how I feel. I did try during our last appointment, and it did not go very well. The whole concept of biological family having to stick together is so ingrained in my culture, most people would just rather stay with toxic family members. And even just coming to realise that my dad isn't the greatest person in the world, made me feel so much guilt over the years.
 
M

Mary26

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Feb 28, 2018
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Location
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I'm not a fan of anyone telling you how to feel, especially a therapist. And I'm not so sure forgiveness is actually a choice. We feel the way we feel and I think we need to honor that. Pretending you feel something is denying reality. How is that helpful? I would seek out a new therapist.
 

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