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Last session of a course of psychotherapy a bit weird

(15 Posts)
NaicePig Mon 25-Feb-13 18:26:06

Will try and keep this to a short summary.

After moving in with DP I went a bit bonkers about our relationship. He has been an arse in the past, we worked through it and were fine for a long time and I moved in. For some reason as soon as I moved in I immediately started going over and over and over things in my head and it all built up and I felt cornered and exhausted and tearful all the time and eventually sought help.

She's been very good and has helped me see that forgiving DP was one thing, but I need to forgive myself for forgiving him. It's been really helpful.

Today was our last session and it was suddenly really uncomfortable. I am a very bad communicator with DP, always keep everything locked up inside me, and she started saying I've done the same in our sessions - tried to hold things back and present a front like I'm afraid of what she'll think of me. This is true to a degree, but I found it quite hard to completely open up to her and thought I'd done quite well! Still, I accepted what she was getting at.

She then asked me how I felt about the fact that I hadn't been able to bring all of my vulnerabilities to the sessions, and had instead sat there "going on about" DP. She asked me if I was ashamed about it confused I don't think she meant it harshly and said it wasn't a judgment, but I was really taken aback. I felt it was slightly confrontational, especially as it wasn't something she'd indicated sooner.

I've never seen a psych before and was nervous about "doing it wrong" at first, and now I feel like I did do it wrong.

She's a great shrink and lovely, and I got a lot out of it but the last bit was just strange. Or maybe not? Does anyone have any input?

BerryLellow Mon 25-Feb-13 18:33:30

I have absolutely no experience of therapy, so may be way off, but it sounds like she wants you to book more sessions? If you pay privately that is.

cantreachmytoes Mon 25-Feb-13 18:41:40

I don't know how it's supposed to work, but (in hindsight, these things rarely come to us at the time) it could have been interesting to "suggest" that she seemed more direct and critical than she had been in other sessions and it made you feel odd and wondered if she was going to miss you, so wanted to upset you so you'd feel compelled to return!

NaicePig Mon 25-Feb-13 19:06:58

Thanks for replying! The strange thing was that it's a service my university provide, so she must be used to working wih the time limitations. After much encouragement I managed to instigate a conversation with DP before our last session, and it was only really having a deadline that enabled me to stop putting it off. I was quite open about that. But she seemed a bit critical of me for opening the conversation which I will have to continue without her. It's fine if it just frustrated her that I made my first baby step in time for our final session, but I now feel like a bit of a time waster. If she were private, I'd agree it sounded like she wanted more business.

NaicePig Mon 25-Feb-13 19:08:40

If she were reading this she'd probably tell me to stop trying to please everyone all the time grin

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 25-Feb-13 19:21:07

You didn't do anything wrong Naicepig. It takes a while to come to trust anyone, therapists included. The end of therapy is seen as the beginning of real change and it is not uncommon for therapists to mention things that didn't come up (or there is no time for) in session, but the therapist thinks should provide you with food for thought.

I doubt she meant it as a criticism, but as it was something that she had noticed may be worth addressing in your own time. Regarding you feeling ashamed, maybe she just needed to make sure that this was not how you felt before leaving therapy.

NaicePig Mon 25-Feb-13 19:41:56

That's a good perspective Dione - it felt to me like she was suggesting I should feel that way, but perhaps she was checking I didn't. Unfortunately I wasn't that concerned that I hadn't "done enough", but definitely was after she suggested it...

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 25-Feb-13 21:18:19

Just a thought (based on what you've said above).

Could it be that you not only hold back from your DH, but you hold back from yourself? By that I mean that you don't listen your own thoughts and feelings. That you are a bit afraid of yourself, so you filter and edit those thoughts and feelings that scare you or make you feel insecure? Thereby losing touch with your Real Self?

NaicePig Mon 25-Feb-13 23:12:07

Dionne - eminently! I tend to either act like an animal caught in a trap gnawing at myself until I go nuts; or I wilfully deceive myself on things which on some levels I know intimately.

Do you think that's what she was driving at?

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 26-Feb-13 10:11:05

It might be NaicePig. Not a criticism of your engagement in therapy, but an observation of how you engage with yourself. Such a thing is difficult to deal with in time limited therapy which tends to be goal focussed.

Do you think that might be what she was getting at?

NaicePig Tue 26-Feb-13 21:08:14

I think it's quite possible. I guess I was aware - although moreso once she pointed it out - that I had tried to protect myself from being vulnerable during therapy, which was a bit defeating since all of the problems that led me to the couch were to do with my abortive ways of protecting myself from vulnerability.

But ashamed? sad

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 27-Feb-13 18:30:47

I hope that you are not feeling ashamed. And I hope that what she said make you feel that way. As for you protecting yourself during therapy, this is normal and natural. It takes time to trust someone, therapist or not.

ILoveBagels Wed 27-Feb-13 22:32:58

i've been in weekly therapy for over 2 years and i have really struggled to let my therapist in. it's been a very slow process of gradually building trust in a person to allow myself to be 'seen' in all my vulnerability (and i'm still not there yet, wherever there may be). i find it very very hard.

i wonder if you can allow yourself to reflect on your therapist's words and see what feelings/emotions they trigger in you. for example, i know any perceived criticism in me creates feelings of not being good enough, which then makes me want to get away from the person/situation. sometimes if you allow these feelings to stay until they naturally subside, even though they are uncomfortable, you can learn that you can manage them, rather than them manage you.

good luck, i think you've been really brave going for therapy xxx

ILoveBagels Wed 27-Feb-13 22:34:11

perceived criticism OF me, even.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 28-Feb-13 00:34:11

I hope what she said did not make you feel that way blush

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