I’m learning that one of the main reasons I’ve ended up in so much therapy is that over the years, for a variety of reasons, I’ve developed an overly strong self-critic or, as we call it, punitive parent (one which I’m very loathe to relinquish – if I do won’t my inner monster be released?), an acute sense of guilt and a poor level of assertiveness (compliant surrender).
So when a therapist gets it wrong – is that a test to try to make me stand up for myself or is it just human error? My instinct is to want to make life easier for them, to not upset them but does that mean I’m not learning? Here’s a couple of examples:
I may have mentioned this before but in a group session, we once had to write down some of our most self-critical thoughts so that the group and the therapists could provide evidence to the contrary. Someone (very untruthfully) wrote that they were fat and ugly. One of the therapists, who knew my previous struggle with anorexia, assumed it was me and started to say how silly it was. I had to say ‘I didn’t write that – I don’t think I’m fat’ but backtracked saying ‘yes, sometimes I do think that, thank you for your help’ when I saw how mortified he was at the mistake. I couldn’t feel angry or upset – just embarrassed for making him embarrassed.
And now my individual therapist keeps cancelling on me. I think I’ve seen her twice this year so far. One time, just after my amazing granny died, she was even in the building and came to find me saying she had a cold so could we cancel? Was I supposed to say ‘No, I need you right now?’ because I sure as hell didn’t. I can’t make someone put me over their health.
What do you think? Can any of you challenge your therapists?