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Freud has much to answer for

I have had this rant brewing inside me since this morning and here it is: I FUCKING LOATHE MY ANALIST! He irritates me. Deeply.

(I'm not talking about Neil- I like him)

I am trying to overcome for the sake of being fair, but I'm having a really hard time working with him.

The only reason why I'm seeing the guy in the first place is because it's been such a slog to get there (where NHS rewards your tax-paying and exemplary patience by giving you some free therapy at last) and because the clinic he is based at are meant to be trauma specialists.

So far that expertise is showing up for me only in the sense that I feel more traumatised than ever.

1) I feel like I am wasting my time. Because I spend considerable energy talking to this guy, trying to counter his assertions that I am resistant and hostile and I'm still left with the crux of difficulties that we haven't touched on.

2) it seems to take me at least 20 minutes to get anything through to him

3) He nitpicks every fucking detail of everything I do or say, while not giving me any constructive input on the big picture, e.g. help with managing a raging PTSD.

It's the detail picking that drives me mental. For fucks sake man, sometimes I am five minutes late because there was congestion in traffic not because I am in rebellion against you! It's not all about you!

or, here is an extract from today's conversation

Me: The way we end the sessions feel really abrupt to me- it's difficult for me especially if I'm crying to just shut down instantly and walk out, so it would work better for me if you give me ten or five minutes warning or something, so I have more time to shut down.

Him: You're saying that I should have been aware of your thoughts, and that you feel it's up to me to protect you?

Me: No, I'm saying that no one is expected to read my mind, and that's why I make an effort to communicate as clearly as I can. I don't assume you can protect me, although I do assume that if I was having total hysterics you wouldn't just kick me out because 50 minutes was up. I'm assuming this because doing that would be cruel, and unprofessional and it would seriously affect my ability to work with you to the point where I probably wouldn't trust you. I really don't mean that to come across as a threat, I'm just making a logical observation.

Him: Yet it is a threat. It's as though you're letting me know about yourself and all the range of things you can resort to. (and something else about me using going to pieces to test limitations)

Me: I realise that every person and relationship must have boundaries and limitations. I don't have a problem with that. I realise there is a time boundary, fifty minutes. I'm saying that by giving me a warning it's a way of allowing me to work within both yours and mine limitations and it's a way of respecting both.

Him: Yet, I can't help but notice that you have a watch on. You could look at the time yourself.

Me: Yes, I have a watch on, but it's really difficult for me if I'm in any kind of open state to keep an awareness of the time, so since of the two of us you're meant to be more cool and collected it makes more sense to me for you to be aware of it, since you already are, and give me a warning, than for me to have an extra thing to stress about.

and on and on and on and on

It feels like an exercise in frustration.
it feels like going around in circles.

I've never had this problem with Neil (unfortunately Neil has said that in things relating to war he is out of his depth). Or with any counsellor I saw. SUre, sometimes they pissed me off in other ways, and sometimes they were simply helpless to do anything effective for me but getting anything out of therapy with this man feels like wringing blood from stone.

Maybe we're just getting our wires crossed somewhere. Maybe I'm not communicating clearly enough. Maybe he's just a paranoid hostile prick.

One positive from these events is that at leaast i'm learning how to handle conflict better and stand up for myself. I do want to be fair. I try to be fair. So I'm giving him another three weeks to see if things improve, after which time I'm either going to quit the therapy or if I'm irritated and vengeful enough I'll pick on him, or at the very least become difficult and start challenging and asking him questions

And in the meantime I still need to cope with deepening depression and ongoing flashbacks on my own, because he's had nothing by way of advice. I feel like I still have all the same problems just more frustration.

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Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
twistedserious
May. 11th, 2004 02:36 pm (UTC)
Don't you have the option to just ask for another analyst? Around here, we have the right to demand someone else if we're not comfortable or feel like we're not getting good enough treatment.
rainsinger
May. 11th, 2004 10:05 pm (UTC)
I think I do but my options are severely limited. There are ridiculously long waiting lists here and from the time of my referral to my initial assessment was one year, and the time from assessment to first open therapy slot was six months. So to back out would mean going through that process again, and that feels poitnless but I can try other avenues.

It also occurred to me that there may be groups around now to help the Iraqis deal with post-war stress and that I may be able to get hold of some therapy through them.
coalproximity
May. 11th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC)
I *think* that the psychoanalyst style involves relating things from the past to the presant (ie RIGHT THERE IN THE OFFICE) It could be that this approach just DOES NOT work for you.
I know it wouldn't work for me, so I've tried to stear clear.
Maybe cognitive, instead?
rainsinger
May. 11th, 2004 10:13 pm (UTC)
Maybe cognitive, instead?

I think that is a good idea, and it's something I will make noise about to my GP unless there is radical improvement in my sessions with the other guy which I doubt it will. I think you are right and that the style is not one I particularly agree with
(Deleted comment)
rainsinger
May. 11th, 2004 10:28 pm (UTC)
Re: "Yet, I can't help but notice that you have a watch on"
You stand up for yourself pretty damn well!

Thank you :)
I have been practising.

I think I'm going to try negotiating a switch to another style too unless things radically improve.
(Deleted comment)
67threnody
May. 11th, 2004 07:24 pm (UTC)
Shit, that's funny. And perfect.

Oh, and if the guy is doing pure psychoanalysis, then he'll probably never do anything besides remind you when your time is up.

You could always put your watch in your pocket/purse/bag... but I'd bet good money that if you did, you'd find yourself in a 50-minute discussion on why you aren't wearing your watch.
rainsinger
May. 11th, 2004 10:38 pm (UTC)
You could always put your watch in your pocket/purse/bag... but I'd bet good money that if you did, you'd find yourself in a 50-minute discussion on why you aren't wearing your watch.

Yes. :)
I could almost guarantee you are right.

We had a ten minute discussion about my choice of book Psychopathology in the Horoscope (Does a part of you feel like it's a psychopath? I think by bringing it here you are letting me know that you feel there are very dark places in your own soul;

Me: (start to say something but then realise that telling this guy that it was just the first book on the shelf would lead to another ten minute discussion about something ultimately pointless) )
rainsinger
May. 11th, 2004 10:28 pm (UTC)
tee heee heee
LOLOLOOLOL

:D
tentaclos
May. 11th, 2004 08:17 pm (UTC)
My professional opinion is that this guy sounds like a complete selfish asshole. I'm sure you realize stuff I'm gunna say, but I know sometimes it's good to hear it from someone else.

First off, what the hell is someone doing in psychology at all if they're going to be nitpicky and judgmental? I mean, what kind of analyst or psychiatrist or whatever takes things their patient says personally? As threats? Even in Freudian psychoanalysis, you're not supposed to comment much and if someone IS difficult, it's supposed to be something impersonal, like they're personifying you as someone/something else.

That really bothers me! I'm not at all a psychologist or anything - i'm just a 20 year old guy - and I've had to deal with other people's trama, and I try to be as supportive and understanding as possible - even if they lash out against me. I just think it's selfish as hell of this dude. Then again, it's not like I haven't heard of really bad shrinks. The problem is that they're not just shrinks - they're people, too...so you get people who may've gone to school and got a doctorate in psychology or whatever but are still assholes. There really should be an asshole-test for shrinks - and a test that determines if they're too "by-the-book" and not human enough to try and actually relate to other people with problems.

Anyways, sorry for the rant. I realize it doesn't exactly give any 'solutions' to your problem, I just want you to know that I totally empathize and, hell, if you need it, I'll listen if theres anything you just have to get out or something.
rainsinger
May. 11th, 2004 11:29 pm (UTC)
I find him creepy because he does not acknowledge my witticism in any way except to say *I notice you are using humour again*.

I think his style is probably characteristic of Freudian psychoanalysis where the therapist interprets as everything being related to them (as the therapist figure, and the symbol of whatever I'm in conflict with) but I find it termendously irritating and unhelpful (I get along better with more empathic therapists- although I agree with you and think there is an amount of really bad shrinks out there who aren't there out of compassion, but out of love of dissection.

An asshole-test ought to be mandatory and it should have a *sense of humour* clause. :)

Thanks for sympathy, and replying and listening. :) I appreciate it.
(Anonymous)
May. 12th, 2004 01:26 am (UTC)
I've felt much better since I've stopped thinking as much. Sounds to me this guy would throw me into patterns of circular thought.

Sometimes in therapy I would get worked up...but not do anything with it.Cause I was thinking way too much.

Hmmm..dammit, I'm rambling. And talking on my favorite subject....

Elf (Boddhisatva for hire,plumbing by appointment)
rainsinger
May. 12th, 2004 03:03 am (UTC)
Elf (Boddhisatva for hire,plumbing by appointment)

*laughs*
elethe
May. 12th, 2004 02:25 am (UTC)
This sounds awful. Is there any alternative form of therapy that could help?

I thought the whole point of therapy was to resolve issues (or deal with them) rather than create new ones :)

I did a residential counselling course a few years ago - and very soon realised that the sort of people who want to train to be counsellors are the very people who need a LOT of help themselves. By the end of the course it felt like I had been locked in some sort of asylum. Very stressful.


Maybe this analyst is using his patients to work through his own frustrations.

It does sound like it's turning into a bit of a power game.
rainsinger
May. 12th, 2004 04:17 am (UTC)
This sounds awful. Is there any alternative form of therapy that could help?

I'm not sure, but I'm intending to hunt around. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) if it's on offer- my options are limited by the NHS or alternatively my success with finding something cheap enough for me to be able to afford.

I think (hope) there may be more places dealing with war-trauma now than when I was last looking in 2000.

I thought the whole point of therapy was to resolve issues (or deal with them) rather than create new ones :)

So did I- but clearly it was short-sighted and naive of me. ;)

It does sound like it's turning into a bit of a power game.

That's what I'm afraid of although I'm hoping that I am mis-reading him.

On a completely different note, would you still be up for going to see The Saddest Music tomorrow? And if so, meeting up when and where?

:)
elethe
May. 12th, 2004 04:29 am (UTC)
Yes - still up for it. I believe it's on at The Curzon Soho at 7.10pm (http://www.curzoncinemas.com/article_691.shtml) so if we meet at the cinema before it starts (say 6.45pm?).
rainsinger
May. 12th, 2004 04:39 am (UTC)
Terrific, that sounds good. :)
See you there at quarter to seven.
meepettemu
May. 12th, 2004 06:01 am (UTC)
Your pic reminds me of one i took elethe :o)

elethe
May. 12th, 2004 06:06 am (UTC)
Is that a goat? Or a donkey? It does look like the doe in my pic, yes.
meepettemu
May. 19th, 2004 07:34 am (UTC)
its a deer - masquerading as a "remote linking forbidden" sign!

;o)
livemeat
May. 13th, 2004 02:32 am (UTC)
Psychoanalysis seems to have less merit than most religions.

Except maybe scientology;)

Oh to invent a form of psychological treatment based on herion fuelled dreams. Applyung the truism of universality, it's clear freud should have kept the fact he fancied his mum to himself instead of projecting it.

Prescription:
Simply apply one heavy lump hammer with exuberance to the cranium until the analyst takes up a rational form of interpretation.
rainsinger
May. 13th, 2004 03:05 am (UTC)
Thank you for allowing me to start the day on such a pleasant note by making me laugh with your wonderful commentary :D

Applyung the truism of universality, it's clear freud should have kept the fact he fancied his mum to himself instead of projecting it.

lol

Prescription:
Simply apply one heavy lump hammer with exuberance to the cranium until the analyst takes up a rational form of interpretation.


*engages in a happy daydream*

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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