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Therapeutic Relation Problem

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Dx’ed cptsd. therapist feels unsure what works for me and we are still investigating. MDD also issue and of late have been disengaging and broke sobriety last session Drinkin prior to session yet we did an anger excer. I felt some release also felt it could be dangerous to do alone. I requested add., appt. from therapist since i had been in crisis. She had asked me if I wanted a referral. I was asking for an add., appointment. I wrote to her via email which I never do. expressed my feeling that it sounded as if she was again questioning if she wanted to work w me. I feel that what I wrote was true but also express anger (depression frustration w progress ) even thu I understand I feel I am Now faced with therapist uncertainty since as she put it unsure what works for me and if she is not meeting my needs will refer out. This I feel is more of her issue over what I wrote along with my break in sobriety . Today, she was late and if she was running late in the past she w tex me as a curisity. When she arrived 10min late having no apology. Then she indicated she had 10min to finish up her lunch. After 15min waved her hand to proceed to her office. In procession she was in in an small area hidden out of site were the copier was I saw her and she said go on in. She came in shortly afterward and stated she was going to make a copy of the emails i sent to her this took yet another 5min. while in session I discussed up dates and my feeling of over the past several days and my feeling of progress. She also advised me we would review the emails i sent. She told me in no uncertain terms she would not give me any additional time until we come to some idea on how to work together. she cut the session short after her being late and gave an extra 15min wait time prior to visit. the entire interview was 35mins . She was finished even giving a honest attempt to discuss matters opened her door for me to leave turned her back on me she indicated she has scheduled me for the month of Sept., yet I have paid to be within a journal group which last thru sept. As I began to leave her office she also turned around to leave. I allowed her to understand that I felt her distaste of me and her attitute toward me requesting her to drop such . she reminded me that the session was over went into bath with door open turned around again with the same look of distaste on her face, she then smerked as she closed the door. Unfinished business and I feel termination is going to happen not that there is anyone else who will treatment me that specializing in tramua treatment to the extent that she has been and continues to train in. I again mentioned as I did in email has we walked down the hall if you do not want to treat me just say so. She and I have had diff in past just about a year ago when I called a break she took it as a termination. Yet accepted me back 3months later only to advise me of referrals both of which have been cited for breeches and disaplined with the Off., of Pro dis. she is aware of it . I fully understand that i wish to heal and i also respect her abilities however I feel again she is in decision making to terminate me. She knows me and I feel and expressed to her that this isnt just about me she did acknowledge it. As last week it was apparent she needed affirmation from me that the anger work was useful. But I informed her that I wa not sure if I would be able to do this excercise safely fearful i would get more sucked in and not be able to get out therefore lashing out on others . she understood that I believe as she eluded to affirm my decision as wise mind. I also stated yes and self awareness. Not acknowledged. she feels insulted and so do I I can get over it but she has again seems uninterested to treat even thu further appts scheduled. I asked her to lose her attitute toward me and that last wks session i felt became about her since she was not able to accept my affirmation of the theraptic session. I have been deeply depressed anger is real. I want to heal yet I do not have the reason to believe that she is willing. Now I want for next week to awaiting any if any discussion of our relationship which she has allowed me full understanding until we come to an agreement on what and how we work together are in place. I lack faith that she will to be resonable and I pushed her buttons apparently today. ended the session after 35min. What is ure thoughts. I feel her lack of desire to fully engage in any discussion. The facts of her rudeness toward me and yes I responded in rudeness and I regret it. She was willing to make a referal last week which confused me since I just wanted an additional appt. Games being Played on me? I just feel so defeated and vunerable as she what believe is in processes of searching for some other person to treat me. and I cannot will not begin again. I cannot. No resolve just hostility toward me and back at her. I have allowed her to know I see and her her anger toward me yet she says nothing and makes decisions to further destroy the relationship Thoughts plz.

Therapeutic Relation Problem

Answered by on -


Therapy is a helping relationship. When it doesn’t go well, it’s often because the therapist has gotten caught in a rerun of other relationships the client has had with others. This is called “transference.” My guess is that something similar (a crisis, drinking, and a relationship “uncertainty” — going south) has happened to you before.

When you are ready I’d talk with your current therapist about how this vignette with her might be similar to other times in your life. Transference is useful when it leads to discussion of what is happening and why as well as what you can do differently. It will not be helpful if you continue to blame her and she refers you to someone else.

Your email is also interesting. Your age and graduate degree would indicate that you have the ability to construct a more coherent and organized letter. Yet, you sent it off as is. I’ve left it in its original form for you to review and reflect on. My best guess is that you have written this under the influence and are looking for a justification of your anger. If that is the case, I would also highly recommend Alcoholics Anonymous. Here is a list of AA sessions so that you can find one near you. The kind of crisis and response you have may be better handled by having ongoing meetings and a sponsor

It might also be useful for you to get a second opinion from another therapist. A second opinion might give you another perspective. If you repeat the same conflicts with the new therapist, you will have further indication that the problem is yours and that you have work to do to learn how to make and maintain a healthy relationship.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Therapeutic Relation Problem

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Therapeutic Relation Problem. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 14 Oct 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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