Monday, March 15, 2010

It all comes down to the mother again

So this past week in therapy, we were discussing my ability to express my anger/dissatisfaction at her the previous week. In the midst of this conversation, T threw in a comment about my mother. I've having difficulty bringing back what she said because it was so jarring in the moment. I did ask her about why she brought my mother up at that point and I don't remember what she said. She knows that I have many negative feelings about my mother. I've come to two conclusions -
1) She brought up a negative image (mother) in the midst of me talking about caring about her as a T and a person in an attempt to have me care less about her.
2) She's laying the ground to explore that when I obsess about her being gone, I'm dredging up abandonment issues related to my mother and when I get angry at perhaps misinterpret something - it's because I'm channeling anger to my mother.

Something to talk about this week. I sometimes despise therapists using these "techniques" to draw the lines between things present and things past.


  1. Is it possible she thinks there is a parallel between how you feel about your mother and how you felt about her in your anger/dissatisfaction? She might be encouraging you making the links, transference and all that!

  2. Oh, I so hate it when I can't remember a specific thing that either my T or I said during a session. I have emailed him afterwards to ask him what he said more than once. Why would your t want you to care less about her? And what do you mean about her being gone - is she going away? Mother issues - wow, you can spend a lifetime on those.

  3. Would you ask her what she said? I'm not sure that she would want you to care less about her. I also sometimes wonder why therapists say the things they do. But then again they also see things that I don't.

  4. Samesky - I have no doubt she was bringing up transference and how I am likely channeling anger at my mother to her. I think it might have been better said "I'm wondering if the anger you are feeling is about your ........" than just throwing her in the midst of a somewhat unrelated conversation. In my business - I say the retrospect-a-scope is always right.

    Harriet - she was gone last week on our day so we had to switch and she will be gone for two sessions in April - there will be one week between my two week hiatus and hers. So we better not do any meaningful or difficult work - we'll be on an every third week starting today. Why does she want me to care less about her? I'm not really sure she does - she knows I have this desire to know more about her and that I think we would be "friends" if we met in a different circumstance. Really what I think she is doing is drawing the parallels between my relationship with her and what I wish for in a parent. I will admit - I still harbor this notion that we can connect in a friendship a few years after the therapy relationship ends - although I know it will not happen.

    inamaze - I am going to bring it up today - more from the standpoint of the fact that it was so jarring and the parallels I have drawn from the comment. And you're right about them seeing things we don't. Although I figure out some things about the how and why of therapy - it takes awhile to draw the connection on others. BTW - I ordered a book on the use of EMDR in adults abused as children. I'll let you know what I think of it.


  5. Thank you. I will be really interested to know.

  6. I prefer not to be interrupted nor to have other topics introduced. It is jarring and not healing for me. I know that connections are there, but sometimes saying what I have to say, without pause, is imporatant for me and my process. I know that therapists are taught something else. It is hard to talk about feelings for a t, even without interruption. I have complex feelings about my mother as well and it gets in the middle of my feelings and projections of everyone else. Good for you for being willing to talk about all of this. That is very brave of you. Good and healing thoughts to you.


  7. Thanks Kate for your comment -it is hard to talk about feelings for your T. I do find it funny sometimes though - sometimes I complain because T doesn't talk enough, but in this case I complained because she interjected something and threw me off. I guess it points out that therapists are humans too.

    Take care.