Why my therapist rocks.

cantfakeawesome

How awesome is my therapist?  Let me count the ways.

Actually, I won’t do that.   I’ve already described in many other posts why he totally rocks.   I don’t think I’m idealizing how great he is.  Well, maybe just a little, but I think it’s pretty normal.

I’m just going to describe one of the many reasons why he’s so awesome, because this is something that happened last night.

He’s not afraid to show his vulnerability.  He’s not afraid to show me he has emotions.   This helps me, because it makes it safer for me to express my own buried emotions.  I never had a therapist who did that before, and I think that’s why my other therapists could never get through to me and I’d eventually quit.

So what happened was this.   He came out of his office as usual to greet me, but he did something a little different than usual.  Normally, he just smiles at me and tells me he’s glad to see me (and I know he really is), then leads me into the room, and pulls up his chair so he’s facing me about three feet away.  He has never laid a hand on me, but puts the least amount of distance between us I will allow.

Last night, he smiled but his smile looked sad.   He looked tired and a little pale.  He sighed and sat down in the chair on the other side of the end table in his waiting room.  He said, “You don’t mind if I decompress for a minute, do you?”

“No, of course not,” I said, surprised.   I didn’t really know what else to say.   I stared at him, waiting, and somewhat intrigued.   He was resting his head in his hands, elbows on knees.  I wanted to give him a hug, but I didn’t.

He looked at me sheepishly.  “Difficult session,” he said.  Then he got up from the chair and said “Alright, I’m okay now.”   I followed him inside.

That might sound weird or even unethical.   After all, some people think a therapist should not share their emotions with a client, especially if those emotions involved another client. But I never see the client that comes in ahead of me.  They go out a different door than I come in.   I don’t even know the client’s gender.

My therapist has shown vulnerability at other times too.  Once or twice, he got teary-eyed.  Not crying or actual tears rolling down his face (that would be awkward and I might be tempted to run), but I could tell what I was saying made him a little emotional.   He also tells me he looks forward to our visits. I don’t think there are any romantic or sexual feelings, though I could be wrong.   I just think he’s more open than most therapists about the way he feels, and I think that’s what makes him so good at what he does.

My therapists’s willingness to show vulnerability has a few benefits for me:

—  It makes me trust him and hence, be more willing to show my own vulnerability.   I simply can’t let my emotions loose if I’m dealing with a block of wood who does nothing but stare wordlessly at me and writes things on pad of paper.

—  He shows empathy for me, which helps me feel empathy for my true self (inner child), and this self-empathy then expands toward others, so I become a more empathic person.

— I feel like sometimes he models emotion for me.   For example, if I’m angry but am dissociated from that anger and can’t really feel it, he picks up on it and models anger.  Not at me, but toward whatever it is he thinks is making me angry.    Like, one time I was talking about the time my dad stole the little picture booklets I had drawn when I was about 7 or 8; these little journals were meant for no eyes but my own.  I felt violated by that, but wasn’t able to feel the anger. I kept making excuses for my dad and saying it shouldn’t have bothered me.  My therapist actually looked angry and said, “I don’t care if you’re mad at him or not, I’m mad at him for violating your boundaries like that.”   After that I was able to experience the anger I felt and work through that.

Whether what he’s doing is intentional or not doesn’t matter.  What he’s doing is working with me. He’s an empath who holds the key to the buried parts of my mind that no one could even come close to unlocking.

 

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About luckyotter

Recovering from BPD and C-PTSD due to narcissistic abuse from childhood. Married to a sociopath for 20 years. Proud INFJ, Enneagram type 4w5. Animal lover, music lover, cat mom, unapologetic geek, fan of the absurd, progressive Catholic, mom to 2, mental illness stigma activist, anti-Trumper. #RESISTANCE
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23 Responses to Why my therapist rocks.

  1. avaswan says:

    He sounds like the perfect therapist. I never had one like him, but I can see how you could be vulnerable with him. I would love a therapist who really cared. I am so glad you have him, I hope seeing him helped you feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. revengestar says:

    Sounds really awsome, i am happy you have access to high quality mental health help!
    ヾ(゚∀゚○)ツ三ヾ(●゚∀゚)ノ

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      I really lucked out. I found him on Google. Turns out he’s familiar with narcissistic abuseand NPD, recognizes CPTSD (which I also have in addition to AvPD and BPD) and treats people with trauma based disorders, including cluster B (I don’t know if he treats NPD). I didn’t know any of this when I filled out the online form. All I knew was he treated trauma and attachment issues. Best therapist I ever had, bar none. I’m really going to miss him when I move (post coming up about that later).
      Are you in any kind of therapy?

      Liked by 1 person

      • revengestar says:

        I have been to all kinds of therapy since almost a toddler. Family therapy, children therapy, group therapy (i got kicked out of that because they concluded i am a bad influence for the group). I have to interact with public mental health services here for my school thing, but i can’t take them seriously. Like some women search for the prince, currently searching for the right therapist. And i have been married to a psychiatrist, so i won’t settle for quacks anymore! (high standards etc)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re therapist sounds like a dream come true. The one I got better with used to tell me, When the student is ready the teacher presents himself. I miss my present therapist. I haven’t gone in a long time or regularly even because I’m trying to pay down bills. I hate that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      I struggle to pay my therapist. He’s even told me I can “owe later” but I refuse to do that because he gives me so much I want to pay right away. (I get a discounted rate through a special program). I also hate owing money to anyone because then it’s so hard for me to pay it back. Maybe you can set up something where you can go every couple of weeks or every month of so. At least it would be something.

      Like

      • Yes once a month anyway would be better than what I’m doing now which is nothing. I like going weekly. A therapist is a luxury if they’re a good one and a good person. You get advice and information. Someone’s undivided attention. This one I have now is perfect for where I’m at in my journey. I’ve gotten better and she knows what comes next. She believes me when I tell her my horror stories as she’s heard them before. She’s got like 30 years experience. I told her I think of her as my grandmother whom I was fond of. I felt safe with her. She was warm and caring.

        Liked by 1 person

        • luckyotter says:

          She sounds very good! I definitely think you should go back on a monthly basis and maybe later can increase it.
          I see mine once a week. I was seeing him 2x a week for a short time (after I got my taxes lol) which both of us would prefer because of the nature of the kind of therapy which is very intensive , but right now it’s not affordable for me so once a week has to suffice.
          Luxury? I thought that for awhile but no way for me is it a luxury anymore.

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  4. I did that too. At the most intense points it could be 2 or 3 times a week. Thank God for therapists. They get it:)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    Having that great relationship with your therapist is so critical. Good for you for finding a great one!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. garym6059 says:

    I lucked out when I started therapy and had one that connected with me from the get go, two years later (thanks to good insurance) I think of her as a friend now. She got me through some bad times in my life, happy you have a similar connection with yours!

    Liked by 1 person

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