trauma and recovery and therapy

Trauma and recovery

From Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman

I have been reading the book Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman and it has been helpful to see where my trauma has hindered so much of my life. Last night I was reading a chapter about how the client should feel empowered through therapy and only then can they heal. I feel that I am being hindered in my therapy with my therapist because she has her own ideas of what is helpful that doesn’t include my input. I am finding it very difficult to stay connected to her because I am being stifled so to speak. I often don’t feel validated in therapy. I feel like she only gives it as a last resort to things that I say. I am going to ask her tomorrow why she has trouble validating what I am going through. I often feel that she is listening to me and then her saying “ok” doesn’t validate my experience. Just means that she heard what I said. I really don’t want to have to go find another therapist but she is pushing me too much. The last session I had with her she said the depression is making me not want to bother and I need to bother, in regards to calling a chronic pain support group. It made me feel bad because she doesn’t get how severely limiting my depression can be in reaching out for new support. I can’t just put the “bother” aside and do things. That isn’t how things work.

I know I gripe about therapy a lot on my blog but it is how I process what goes on and how I am feeling. Things that happen in therapy stay with me and I go over it to try and deal with it. I have a lot of trauma to sort through and it is still affecting my ability to deal with stuff. My depression is severe and I often think about ending my life. I have been in therapy for nearly thirty years. I think the only thing it has done is keep me alive. I have been hospitalized more times than I can count. I have learned things but sometimes those things don’t come up when I am in a crisis or feeling really bad. This is why I don’t find DBT helpful because when you are in the heat of the moment you aren’t going to reach for a piece of paper or manual for help.

I get so frustrated in therapy because I feel like I am not heard. Right now the therapist is of the opinion that she is the expert and that I should listen to her. I honestly don’t like this. I feel like this is patriarchy. It burns me to no end when I think of what she said when I was at my most vulnerable. I don’t know how to bring this up. Even as I was trying to cancel session she was of the opinion it wasn’t a good idea. That maybe so but don’t I have a right to cancel when I feel like it? She said we should at least check in because of the level of my depression is so severe. So I agreed on that point. I will have a check in with her tomorrow. I don’t know if I will talk about her idea that her being my clinician is best for me. The paternalization needs to stop.

One thought on “trauma and recovery and therapy

  1. she needs to work with you not trying to tell you that she’s the expert. I am sorry she’s doing that. Makes me glad Eileen thinks of me as a partner she always says we are partners and equals in my therapy.

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