Today's lesson on how to bang your head against a brick wall…

So yesterday we went to therapy – yippee!!!
Yes, we can do sarcasm.

Not sure which of us is sounding more like a broken record at the moment – Bob with her “you decided to integrate” line, or us with the “but how can we integrate when we don’t know who is there and what they do” line.

We did get some clarification as to why we’re being encouraged down this track – we’ve been doing DBT skills for the last two years and it hasn’t allowed us to move forward, so working on the structure of the dissociation will. Hmmm many of us question this statement as our previous therapist had no working knowledge of DBT, but anyway… Because we haven’t dug enough of a hole for ourselves over the last couple of weeks, someone thought they’d challenge her…

Shovel #1 –
We didn’t voluntarily decide to integrate, of the three options Bob presented it was the least disgusting.

Shovel #2 –
We haven’t read any articles that promote what Bob is proposing.

Shovel #3 –
We don’t know how to integrate – if we did we would have done it years ago.

At this point, we decided that a shovel just wasn’t making the hole deep enough. So we got out the heavy digger…

Bucket #1 –
We could just tell Bob we’d integrated and she’d never know.
This is our big fear – we’ll try to please her and cause more hiding in the process.

Bucket #2 –
Considering that we’re not aware of the other parts, how is integrating them going to help stop the suicidal ideation? It may increase the memory gaps if we unknowingly make the destructive parts stronger with an integration.

Then the final straw – we eliminated the need for earth moving equipment and just threw a stick of explosives into the hole…

Our internal house has four floors. There is little communication between floors. So we tried to explain this with the comparison in the real world setting… It’s sort of like you live in one house and the other floors are represented by other houses in the street. You may now that 5 people live in the house two down from you, but you’ve never met or talked to them. So if you decide to integrate that house into one person, it doesn’t really impact on you as you’re two houses away. So yes, we’d put the Attic up for integration. With the exception of Carrie (floor protector), Buffie (roamer) and One; no one has any knowledge of what goes on in there. We know that is where the innocents are kept, but that’s it! So sure, integrate that floor. Heck we need to make the good parts stronger, so it makes sense to get that floor as strong as possible.

There are a couple of small problems with this plan…
#1 – We have no idea who is there, so how can we integrate them.
#2 – Carrie is one scary arse protector and she doesn’t like this new therapist.

So we’re heading into the holidays with no real idea of what we’re doing. We’re trying to see if there is a way to make it work with the current therapist, but I think we’re talking at each other in different languages. When we said that we wanted to research the model of therapy she is proposing, she said that wouldn’t be helpful. It would be more helpful to research the parts in the Attic… We know there is a logic in this statement, so it makes us feel as if we are blocking healing as we just don’t know how to do it. We don’t have enough memory of the childhood to even know where or why the innocents may have been separated off.

We know we over analyse things. We know we go off on tangents. She thinks we’re doing this to halt our own healing. She said that if we didn’t want to change, there’s no point in going back to see her or anyone else. Our big fear is that if we decide to not see her anymore, she will write to ACC that we are not willing to change and they’ll stop funding our therapy. Maybe we need to stop therapy, maybe we don’t want to change. We not sure anymore… *Sigh*

This is a clip we did when she first mentioned the “eviction” technique…


9 thoughts on “Today's lesson on how to bang your head against a brick wall…

  1. This is just so maddening to read about. I wish you could find a different therapist; I really don’t think her approach makes sense. I don’t think you’re overanalyzing … I think you don’t know your system well enough for the next phase to be possible. Increasing communication among parts you’re aware of certainly makes sense, but … I dunno, darling. I think Carrie has a point. It also seems odd that Bob doesn’t want you to research the methodology. I think intelligent people are a lot more likely to comply when they respect and understand the plan of action.

  2. You’ve summed it up nicely David. We’d be happy to move ahead with any course of action if we knew what we were dealing with and how it was to be done. Even then, we know that any change could have unknown consequences, but we’d like to know what the safety nets are etc. Research helps us to ease those fears and prepare us for some of the eventualities.The part when she said that if we didn’t want to change we may as well not see her or anyone, just sent chills through us. It’s just our interpretation of the words, but it felt very much like a threat or warning to toe the line. I know this wasn’t the case, but again it indicates that we don’t trust her enough to do basic questioning to establish the meaning behind her words. Instead we freeze and panic.We’re going therapist seeking after the New Year holidays – most of them are on holiday at the moment.Take care and hoping that you have a good holiday season…M.

  3. Yes, please seek a new therapist. No therapist should push integration on you. The therapist should be your partner in healing. The ultimatum of doing it her way or forget about it is not right. Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right “to please” the therapist.My favorite client word was “No.” It told me they were making decisions based on how they felt rather than what I might say could be an approach.I honestly don’t know DBT, but any method that helps the client meet the client’s goals for healing is good. It’s not up to client’s to meet the therapist’s goals!

  4. CG — Yes, that comment does sound like a threat, and what’s more, it doesn’t even reflect the situation accurately. You don’t seem to me to be resistant to change in any unusual or problematic way … I perceive you as wanting to protect yourself in the process of healing, and any therapist who doesn’t understand that, with a trauma client, has no business dealing with trauma clients. The power dynamic implied in “hiding” the methodology also seems to me highly counterintuitive for dealing with a trauma client. I’ve had past therapists who have given me ultimatums of one kind or another, and was amazed when my current therapist said, “I’ll never do that, because loss of voluntary autonomy was a key factor in traumatizing you in the first place — so why would I ever want to retraumatize you in the same way? You’d never be able to trust me at all, if I did that … if I tried to make you comply with my agenda, by threatening you with consequences.”I’d like this attitude to go out as an APB to all of the crazed therapists that people seem to be dealing with these days.

  5. Thank you both for your support…David, we're only now thinking about the power dynamics of the therapeutic relationship. It seems very skewed in her favour at times. Part of this is because we are unable to communicate our problems and concerns fully. Our level of education gives the illusion of us being able to communicate – and some of us can through writing. But she doesn't accept us bringing in anything in the written format – it has to be vocalised and we don't have the confidence or skills to vocalise some things.We'll go therapist hunting after the holidays. Considering we only have 8 to choose from, it will be a short search.Hoping you and your cats have a good holiday season… they are training you well my friend :)Take careM & Sophie 🙂

  6. hello castorgirl –Reading this post made me shudder. Where on earth some therapists get their ideas is beyond me. Personally I don’t think there is any way to integrate parts when you don’t know who they are or what they do — I think your instincts about that are right on. If those parts have not had the chance to explain and heal some from why they were separate in the first place, then odds are they still need to be separate. (Is this rocket science??) As for the “toe the line or else” threat… I don’t see that she had any right to imply such a thing when it is regarding what you want out of your therapy. And integrating under threat is never going to work anyway. I’m glad you’ve decided to find someone who is a better match for you, and I wish you well in your therapist search!

  7. Not to harp, but … the fact that she won’t accept written communication in session is also a major red flag, to me. *sigh*One of those eight other options HAS to be better than this one!Much love to you over the holidays — I’ll be thinking of you.

  8. Pingback: Reflections and realisations | Scattered pieces

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