View Full Version : Talking to the T

03-17-2012, 08:19 PM
Session with my therapist is Tuesday. I am going to have "the talk." The neediness/she hates me/etc. talk.

We have spent one session before talking about attachment, my feelings toward her, and my history with my mother. We never revisited it.

Basically, I desperately want her to like me. But I am convinced she does not for the following reasons...

Despite knowing it bothers me when providers constantly begin appointments late (greater than five mins) she is usually about ten min late every time and ends around ten early. From what I have observed, this is not the case with other clients.
She seems genuinely amused/happy around other clients. She has a genuine smile and jokes with them as she touches them on the shoulder. I do not need the touchy thing, but the point is she is not like that with me.
This one may very well be my own skewed perception instead of legit social cues, but there have been a few times when I felt like she was wanting to pawn me off or just end session early because I annoyed her. I

The main things are the comparison of how she interacts with me versus other clients and the whole her not wanting to tolerate sessions with me.

So I need to talk to her about this.
There are two parts that could be broken down into a million parts.
A. I need her to like me so I can feel loved/wanted/appreciated/liked by someone who cares.
B. I am gathering all these cues and believes she simply tolerates time with me.

What do I want from you? :ear
I am not exactly sure. A magic :wand I think. I am very nervous about this, need support to carry through with this conversation, and would appreciate advice about any of this.

I can understand that she is a professional and it is her job to help me with these issues, and that I am not the first nor will I be the last that presents these things to her. But still... :ugh

03-17-2012, 09:07 PM
Hi, I'm so glad you are going to have this conversation with her.
I think it's great that you've laid all of this out.

As I think about it, one issue comes to mind - but other :fishy may feel differently - regarding part B: I'm trying to decide about the importance of relating your relationship to her to what you observe her doing with other clients - vs an emphasis on what you need and what you feel like you're receiving (where the data points are just your relationship with her, and not what you perceive about her with others).
As you imagine this conversation, is there a way that she could respond to the comments about you vs others that would make you feel satisfied?

03-17-2012, 10:30 PM
It may also be that she sees how desperately you want her to like you and holds back so that she is sure to not cross any boundaries.

I think that the time issue is separate. Most t's do a fifty minute session and spend the other ten minutes doing paperwork, but if she is late, then you should still get your fifty minutes.

03-18-2012, 06:25 AM
You are brave to talk to her about this! I know how hard it can be.

I used to worry all the time about what my therapist thought about me. I wanted her to like me and I didn't want her to think badly of me. When I brought it up to her, she would ask me 'Why do you care what I think? Why does it matter so much to you?'

Those questions annoyed the heck out of me. But they made me think, too. Why DID I care so much? I wasn't exactly sure, but exploring it was helpful.

Maybe it would be helpful for you too?

Another thought I had - is it really accurate to be basing your assumptions on how your T treats other clients? When do you see those interactions? - in the waiting room between appointments? That is taking one tiny sliver of her interactions with someone else and interpreting it in a certain way, and then generalizing it and comparing it to her interactions with you. Seems that is quite a leap. There are a lot of factors that could be at play that aren't obvious to you.

03-20-2012, 12:58 PM
I have been avoiding coming back to this cause I just do not know what to say. :lookin
I appreciate all of your feedback, and you had good thoughts.
I have her individually and she colead a group I was in.
I agree the time issue is separate. I am going to be more aware of the time and writing it down so I can know for sure that what I am saying is valid.
I see her today, but I am not sure I am up to bringing any of this up... I am so tired I feel like I took a sleeping pill. :sad
I know I should bring this up. :ugh Where did all my courage go.

03-20-2012, 01:07 PM
It's still there. Just take a deep breath and do it.

03-22-2012, 10:25 AM
Axi, I did not bring it up.
We spent the session talking about graduate school and jobs, which was a much needed lighter topic compared the trauma stuff we have been talking about. I do not see her next week, which in itself feels a little unsafe. I did not get around to scheduling an appointment and I am sure she is already full. I usually have to schedule three weeks in advance.

So now I can just sweep it all under the rug, right? :supergrin

03-22-2012, 11:38 AM
:muhaha Well, you can sweep it under the rug, but then you will never move past it.

Why not call and see if you can get in next week? She might not have openings, but you won't know unless you try.

03-22-2012, 05:54 PM
I agree with axi and I'm very glad you brought this up. This was an issue I had when I was seeing a particular T. I too felt that she was often late to my sessions and did not respect me in that way. I also saw her having much more tolerance to other patients in group and seeming to care and remember their issues but not mine. She also fell asleep in my sessions a couple of times - or appeared to be asleep. Her behavior had changed from when I first began seeing her and I felt she was tired of me and wanted me to just leave her practice.

That is what happened in the end and I have never completely separated myself from her because I did not confront her about all of my feelings. I still harbor anger and hurt from this experience. I do believe that she crossed some boundaries by encouraging mutual friends and attending gatherings that I was attending. Or maybe she allowed me to cross boundaries, but I did not know better.

Regardless of what the truth is the end result is my eating disorder is worse and I continue to think of her and wish she had been my friend and liked me - years later.

I am an adult and was when I began seeing her but she knew from the start that I have social issues and needed guidance in that area. I'm not blaming her for any of my problems and issues but I do wish I had some closure. I just never could bring it up for fear of hurting her and our relationship.

I strongly encourage you to find the strength and courage to approach your T.

Good luck and take care,

03-23-2012, 09:22 AM
As difficult as it is I think until you broach this topic with your T you will be constantly wondering and I think it has the potential to affect your ability to move forward with your therapy.

For a while there my T was starting my appts late and finishing early and I was convinced she hated me and didn't want to see me so I outed her.

As for the shoulder touches with other patients/clients perhaps she thinks you would find it uncomfortable/traumatic if you mentioned trauma issues and she thinks it would be more comfortable for you to not ?

If it helps - maybe write it down on paper and give it to her.

And as for the appt gap - see if you can make an appt earlier - if not go on a cancellation waiting list.