Hello, friends. In this episode, I tackle two very important questions relating to therapy and the relationship you have with your therapist. The first looks at connecting meaningfully with your therapist when you have had negative past experiences, while the second looks at what you can do when you feel like you have hit a dead end and don’t make any progress despite years of therapy.
Hey Mr. Duff, I have a question about allowing myself to feel connected to my therapist. I’ve had some not-so-great clinical experiences in the past. In particular, there is one experience that makes it hard for me to connect. I was about 15 when I saw started seeing a grief counselor. He seemed fixated on women and attraction. Asking me questions like, “Are you attracted to men?”, “What about older men?”, “How’s your relationship with your dad?”. Followed by things like, “I have a hard time attracting beautiful women”, “There are attractive qualities about me, right?”, “I struggle with sexual connections with women”, “Do you struggle like that?”, “Do older men hit on you?”, “Do you like being attracted to?” It made me very uncomfortable and I’m not sure what to think of the experience. It’s made it very hard for me to open up with other therapists, having a fear that they may feel I’m attracted to them or acting in a way that attracts them.
Hi Dr. Duff,
I’m almost 21 years old, and I want nothing more than my life to end. I’m miserable in school, miserable in my living situations, horrible at making and maintaining friendships, and, most relevant to you, not making any progress in therapy.
I’ve been in therapy on and off since I was 14 years old, and in that time I feel as if I’ve made virtually no progress in improving my mental health. I still have the same problems and negative thinking patterns I did when I was a teenager, and at this point breaking out of them feels impossible. Every week when I go to therapy it feels as if me and my therapist cover the same subjects, but by the end of the session nothing has changed. I’m also terrible at doing the work outside of therapy. When I’m feeling this miserable, the last thing I want to do is put in genuine effort into something to make myself feel better. My question to you is: how do I make progress? How do I start actually utilizing my therapy sessions to improve my mental state and overall well-being? If change doesn’t start happening soon, I’m fearful that I won’t be alive for much longer.
Episode 278 – Related Posts
As well as listening to the podcast, you can also find my thoughts on the questions in written format in these related posts!
Question 1 – How To Embrace Therapy After A Bad Therapeutic Experience – Duff The Psych
Question 2 – How To Tackle Depression That Doesn’t Go Away – Duff The Psych
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