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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I often feel like she doesn't understand what it feels like to have serious problems in social interaction, to be socially incapacitated, to feel like an absolute idiot among people, to feel like an abnormal Martian among Terrestrials. When I say it's too difficult for me to interact with people, she would object: "So, you are not interested in people that much. You don't want to be involved in relationships." It drives me crazy when she says that. It's not true! I do want people but am incompatible with them. I wish I was involved in relationships but I'm not good enough for people. People wanna chat, have fun, etc. while I'm boring and uninteresting to them. My biggest issue with people is that I always feel threatened by rejection when trying to "interact". I kind of suppose rejection will come sooner or later. I just know most people either dislike me or are just totally indifferent. I feel lonely, abandonded and isolated and I wish I had a close relationship with someone who could understand and accept me the way I am... And my therapist just assumes I don't show enough interest in people, that I don't try hard enough, that I actually don't really give a **** about people. It really hurts that she doesn't understand and believes I am an anti-people person. She would also say that if I really wanted relationships, I would overcome my fears. I feel so "classified". I feel like she had diagnosed me and listens to me only in the light of the diagnose. I really wish someone could understand. I'm so fed up with this life filled up with failure, rejection and misunderstanding. It hurts too much to live.
 

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Little Winged One
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I think you need to look for a new therapist -rapport and a feeling of being understood are paramount. How can anything really be accomplished without this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think you need to look for a new therapist -rapport and a feeling of being understood are paramount. How can anything really be accomplished without this?
The idea has crossed my mind several times... But I don't have the courage. I feel kind of bound to stay with her. I feel like I can't "hurt" her by leaving. And then, the idea of re-commencing with a new therapist doesn't seem very tempting. But I agree with you that there's probably something wrong in my therapy. She has even admitted being helpless - she said she doesn't know what to do to help me.
 

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^yeah sounds like maybe not a good fit. I haven't ever really tried therapy in part because its seems like people with SA lack the skills needed to find a therapist. People always talk about the importance of finding a "good" therapist, perhaps giving tips on how to do this, but in reality I don't feel capable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I've been seeing this therapist for more than one year... I dont feel like changing...
 

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rejection

Totally hear that and at all costs I'd rather drink monkey spit than b rejected! Lol for real! Its hard enough approach what seems an impossible task but then rejected ohhhh I detest it, hang in there
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Totally hear that and at all costs I'd rather drink monkey spit than b rejected! Lol for real! Its hard enough approach what seems an impossible task but then rejected ohhhh I detest it, hang in there
Oh, thank you. Yeah, rejection always destroys my motivation.
 

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Little Winged One
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I don't mean to be harsh,but you've seen her for more than a year for a specific problem and she is unable to help you with that issue.- Would you continue to pay a repair shop if they couldn't fix you car? To me,it's no different. If you know she's unable to help,what do you hope to achieve? Just think if that year had been spent with someone who truly has a grasp on social anxiety?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, you're absolutely right. I know it was irrational... I have nothing to object. I just find it emotionally hard to leave her. After all, she's the only person I talk to...
 

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I think you should tell her how you feel--say that she's getting it wrong, that you really do want to meet people, have friends, interact etc. Just that it's hard and that you fear rejection. If you have already told her whats really going on, and she's still not getting it, I would highly suggest you find someone else.

Staying with her is comfortable and easy, but if you really want to get rid of this, you have to get out of your comfort zone and face your fears--in spite of your social anxiety. We can't hide under that label all the time--it's hard to interact and take risks socially for sure, but we really do have to sometimes if we want things to get better. I hope you find the determination to face your therapist.
 

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Fitting In Here & There
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I have a bit of experience in "wasting time" with the wrong therapists--and for way more than a year! Just from what you said here in the posts, there are red flags.

One--You say she doesn't understand you, and it sounds like she is dismissive of, and tries to minimize, your feelings. That isn't just wrong, it's mean/disrespectful. And anyone with even a small amount of empathy and half a brain can understand you. You explained yourself very, very well up above!

Two--She actually said she feels helpless to you. Well, why she doesn't refer you to someone who CAN help, IDK.

Three--"She would also say that if I really wanted relationships, I would overcome my fears." This really bothers me. She's trying to blame you for not trying hard enough? Or wanting to overcome your fears? Why does she think you went to therapy in the first place? She's supposed to help you overcome them! But she isn't.....for whatever reason.

Sorry if I'm coming across so critical. It's of her, not you. I actually knew for 3 years I was with a therapist who was useless to me, but I had gotten attached to her (not in a healthy way--it was more of an unhealthy dependence). That made it hard to quit. Also, she was my second long-term try at therapy and I felt that if I quit, it meant that I was a failure. Also I didn't want to have to "start all over again" with someone new. I think I do understand how you feel about finding another therapist. But in the long run, it will be beneficial for you to quit now. It doesn't sound like she's been of any use to you. At least if you try with someone new, you have a chance!

I hope your situation improves and you get the understanding you deserve! :)
 

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Time for a new therapist. Obviously you already know this. Just remember that it doesn't hurt non-anxiety people as much to be rejected as it does you and me. And if she already thinks she can't help you anymore, she might be happy to see you go find someone else. Believe me, I know it's hard. I only blatantly rejected one therapist, and that's because she was a total idiot and I didn't feel bad because she was a complete waste of my time and money.

Do you have to schedule a new appointment every session, or are your appointments already set up? You might consider just not making an appointment for next week and leave it at that. Then move on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Many thanks for your advice. I'm always glad to have other people's views (unfortunately, I have no one to talk to in real life). I actually already left one of my past therapists - I confessed to her I was contemplating suicide and that anytime I would see an underground train arriving in the station, I would think about jumping on the rails. She scolded me so badly, saying that it was not funny at all, that one of her colleague's patient had jumped on the rails and was currently in hospital and that this colleague of hers felt very bad... That really was rough for me - and I was 19 at that time. I called her and cancelled the therapy. She wanted me to come back and continue but I refused. Curiously, she's a well-known therapist in the city. She would also eat during sessions - she would ask me if I didn't "mind". So, she would listen to me while eating. She actually had no breaks between clients and probably thought that I - as a young guy - can be treated with less respect.
 

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Fitting In Here & There
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My 2 therapists who didn't help me (and the other few i saw as part of consultations) were all older than me. Now, I see a much younger one (I'm 43 now), and I like her better. I believe she's in her 30s, but could be 20s even. I seem to respect her more and she's not unprofessional at all. Good boundaries, etc. Maybe you could find someone closer to your age/younger.

PS, why someone doesn't have any breaks to the point of having to eat during your session--that's odd. Was she that popular? or was it all about the money? And sorry she went straight to her and her colleague's feelings instead of staying with YOURS, like a therapist is SUPPOSED to! Everybody's human and one of the reactions to attempted (or completed) suicide is anger, but she's supposed to be empathizing with you, not "telling you what to do."
 

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I'm struggling with the same thing. I have an appointment tomorrow, and part of me wants to call and cancel, part of me wants to go and tell her in person, and part of me wants to continue.

I can understand how difficult it is to contemplate moving on. The same impatience that has me wanting to move on has me dreading the idea of starting over with someone new. I wish I had more to offer than empathy, but I do appreciate this particular struggle.
 

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You guys need to find someone who specializes in Fear and anxiety disorders. I've found that there's no point in bothering with the generic therapist. I know it might be difficult to break ties with your current therapist because you are comfortable with her, but you will both benefit from the breakage. She doesn't understand you the way someone who's been studying anxiety for years will.
Talking to someone who knows little about your problem can be daunting...but don't let it dishearten you.
Finding the right therapist is the most important part of recovery. Please don't put it off.
 

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I agree with Kathy, I just started seeing a guy that specializes in a lot of social disorders such as anxiety and procrastination. He was very open-minded and understanding of my problem and displayed alot of knowledge in both topics (based on what he told me and the kind of questions he was asking). If I had been treated like you were I would have never set up a followup appointment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I thank you ALL for your comments!

In general, the strange thing about my therapy is that the therapist keeps asking me about what she should do. All the time. I do not know what she should do. She would ask whether I want her to do this or this. I do not know. How could I know?

I'm often silent in therapy, feeling like having an empty head. And she does not want to ask me questions. She says it's not up to her to have a "leading role". So, we would often be silent. Both. She would never even try to make me talk. She would not even a neutral question like "how are you feeling?". She would just ask "what's happening?" which makes me immediately answer "nothing". What the hell should be happening? Nothing's happening! Ever! So, I would usually just sit there. It's frustrating. She once told me her "method" is based on letting the client talk and that it is not easy for me. (I'm sorry her method is more important than myself.) Or, once we finally start talking about something, she would ask "does talking about this make any sense for you?" which always kills any exchange.

This last session, I was silent, again, having an empty head. However, this time, she asked if she could ask me questions and wanted me to promise that I would let her know if it was unpleasant to me. I promised but said that I wasn't sure I would let her know. So, she finally didn't ask me questions and we remained silent again. Then, we somehow started to talk about me and she said I treat myself like a soldier but in contrast to soldiers, who are "allowed" to have a good time once a battle is over, I do not allow myself any "orgies". I nodded. Then, she asked: "You never never talk about sex in therapy. Is that alright?"... Yeah, why should I care about sex if I hate my life and myself? Thinking about this, I get the feeling that she has absolutely no idea about how much I suffer on a daily basis. Yes, actually, she often says that I still don't suffer enough. It drives me crazy! Yes, she says that if I really suffered enough, I would actually do something about my situation. But since I'm passive all the time, it seems I still don't feel that bad.

Yeah, I wish so much to be understood. I wish someone could understand my situation, my feelings, my passivity, my suffering and how much I hate my life and myself. Actually, my therapist tries to tell me that - even if I have some problems - I don't feel sufficiently bothered by them to do something.
 

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I think you definately should find a new therapist. I know how scary it is. I just set up my first appointment. I tried therapy a long time ago and the therapist really didn't know what to do-we took a break and I never went back. However, she told me to buy a book-and the book did help, but I still need much more help-it was an Axiety and Phobia Workbook. Please take courage and just call another therapist and make an appointment. Good luck.

Your therapist apparently does not understand that the anxiety paralyzes you so you can't talk. PLease call a new therapist and then call and CANCEL her.
 

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Fitting In Here & There
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You're very good at explaining how you feel on here. Have you tried writing some of your feelings down and then bringing it to therapy? That way you can describe things more accurately because you have time to think about how you want to say it ahead of time, rather than having to do it spontaneously during the session.

It sounds like she really does want to help you--that her intentions are not bad, but she is so married to her method and seems to expect you to fit into it. From what you've said, she expects you to do all of the work and she plays a background role. I had a therapist like that. He sat there listening to me and watching me cry for 4 years and i finally quit because I wasn't getting better. I kept giving him more info, waiting for him to finally help me. Later i realized, the "help" I was supposed to be getting was from expressing my emotions to him, a passive listener. (He even looked like a young Freud.) But that didn't help ME. I personally need someone who is more directive and involved.

I have read a lot about psychology, and i honestly don't remember a theory that thinks that when you feel bad enough, you'll do something about it! I don't agree with her on that. I think maybe she says it out of feeling frustrated with herself about not being able to help you (with her method--not that YOU are unable to be helped). Her method sounds wrong for you. I think she knows it, and maybe that's why she asks you what you think you want to do, etc.

I read a book years ago called Psychotherapy With "Impossible" Cases by Duncan, Hubble, and Miller. It isn't a book you find in every bookstore--I found it on the internet. But anyway, it made me feel better. The main thing I took away from it was that there is a phenomenon called "theory counter-transference" that many therapists have. They cling to their way of doing therapy for a sense of competence during times when they start to feel like they are failing someone, RATHER than figuring out a way to help the individual patient. Kind of sounds like that is what's happening with her. Making it look like her method is right if only you would cooperate with it...But her way may not be what you really need. In the book there are stories of different types of patients that simply needed some other kind of therapy--they weren't REALLY impossible!

I know you weren't born yesterday, but have you ever tried a medication, or a behavioral therapy, or even a little CBT? Behavior changes have helped me a lot with my depression, and quite a bit with low self-esteem and SA.
 
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