Wednesday, May 19, 2010



I've read a lot of books and blogs about healing from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. In some I am struck by how "up" everything is. There was a journey and a process and now there is

How do you know this?
Is there a light bulb that goes off that says "I've felt good for x number of months"?
Is it because your therapist thinks you are done and gives you a get out jail card?
Is it because you have well defined goals and those are now met?
Is it a conscious decision about not dwelling on the past but moving to the future?

Some of the above are tongue in cheek and I am sure that even those who have moved past my stage (whatever that is) will say they are still in the process. That there is no endpoint.

I still find it difficult to believe that 45 years of feelings (shame, guilt, inferiority.... pick your own) can be altered dramatically. I feel like I still have to find that one book or one person who can show me things can be different in my mind.

I sound down and maybe I am a little. That roller coaster ride of therapy. I think last night my T tried to change the session a bit in response to my comments last week. It came off seeming forced (lots of "tell me what you are thinking right now about what I just said") and was jarring. I went in thinking we had cleared the air last week and would get down to business, but it seemed "off" somehow. Historically, after a session where I've voiced concerns about the process and my progress, I've always thought she was distant the next session, like boundaries are being redrawn. Or is she like that because I think she is?? Or the proverbial circle.


  1. That up and down is so frustrating! Two steps forward, one step back. I asked a friend the other day:

    What would have to happen to make you happy? Not counting going back in time to make things different, because obviously we can't do that. What do you need or want in order to be happy? Even if you don't know how to get or do whatever it is.

  2. I often ask my T will this ever change and when will I be be healed. She told me that some things can change and will change and some things may never change and I will have to learn to manage them and carry on. Not really the answer I wanted.

    I realize now healing is a journey. I'm just hoping that it gets easier sometime.
    It certainly is like a circle.
    By the way I sent the email before I read this :)
    Take care.

  3. From my perspective OLJ the theoretical answer to that is, you're Free Child knows. Or that part of the personality which has all the wants and feelings.

    Sometimes if a client asks this I may get them to project their FC into an empty chair and get them to talk to it about ending therapy and see how it reacts. If there is a reaction of "Phew lets go" then you know it is time to stop at least for the time being. Sometimes there is a reaction of much fear.

    Sometimes I may get a client to contract to double the length of time between sessions for the next two or three sessions and see what their reaction to that is.

    Plenty of clients do therapy in batches. The come to therapy get what they want then leave. Then over time they develop more or reach a new developmental stage and then the need for therapy arises again so they come and do another batch of sessions.


  4. Harriet - you're right - sometimes more backward than forward progress

    inamaze - I actually like what your T says - she's honest that not all things will get better but that your coping skills will - I also realize healing is a journey - hence the name :)

    Tony - I like the idea of intermittent sessions or therapy in batches. What do you do when the FC gives the reaction of much fear? I'm still not sure I completely understand TA.

  5. Hi OLJ,
    If a client had a strong emotional reaction such as fear, anger over a period of time that would be a great thing to sort out before leaving.

    The most important thing in termination (as they call it) is not to leave that relationship in a frame of mind that supports the life script. This could include thinking like, "I stuffed up", "He stuffed up", "I can never get what I want", "I am unhelpable", "Nothing ever works for me" and so on.