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#433612 - 05/05/13 05:13 PM Getting the Most from a Therapist
RN Offline

Registered: 04/28/13
Posts: 8
Loc: Northeast
Hi. Wanted to see if others have bumped into this situation and what they've done about it.

That said, HOW can you get the most out of talking with a psychologist/therapist?

When I was about to graduate from college, I got to know a much older professor, one who was widely respected in the university. I went to his house with a friend; the friend left after 2 days. The next morning (just the two of us), he asked me to pose for some art work/photos he was working on; had said that other guys I knew had posed.I didn't want to rock the boat so did so. He wanted me to wear very skimpy swim shorts that were more silk than polyester. He photographed, adjusted me and so on most of the day, on an off. That night, he moved into the room I was in. When the lights were off, he came over to my bed and hugged me, pulled down the sheets and slowly took off my underwear. I was in shock and didn't move...WAS JUST FROZEN. He turned me over and gave me a handjob. The next day was the, posing, bed and then the handjob moved to a blowjob. This continued for many days and not a word was said.

Subsequent to those 2-3 weeks, I rarely saw him but worked to have sex with as many women as possible for long afterward. I got married, many years went by and I was involved in many events that led to a very strong case of PTSD. Eventually, I divorced, at at the same time, my work life became very tough.

Here's the issue and request for the advice. After separating, I had this strong fantasy of find an "older guy" and get and handjob from him while I wore panties. This in fact happened and went on for years. Each guy would look somewhat like the professor and it went from massages and handjobs to blowjobs. This gradually more complex and deeper levels of sex (with marijuana and booze). I eventually got the right medications and the right job to reduce/manage my stress and PTSD.

I've just revealed all this to a woman therapist. How can I make the most out of working with her (or others)? I'm stilled deeply shamed.
Thanks, RN

#433619 - 05/05/13 07:06 PM Re: Getting the Most from a Therapist [Re: RN]
cant_remember Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1070
Hello RN,

Welcome to MS. We're sorry you need to be here, but glad you found us.

A few things:

1) I know the shame feels real, but it is an illusion. You have nothing to be ashamed of, even as you seek to recreate the abuse. The correct emotion you are looking for is anger at your asshole professor for abusing your trust.

2) The feeling of being FROZEN (your caps) is common among us, and a standard response to trauma: flight, fight or FREEZE. All too often, a victim frozen in fear is taken by our perps to mean consent. It does not. You did not consent to your professor's actions.

3) Booze can be delicious, but makes for terrible medicine. Marijuana, on the other hand, can be a very effective tool to relieve PTSD symptoms like anxiety and nightmares. I use it like whoa. I notice it affects me differently than it does normal people; they get all stupid, and I don't. I just get relaxed and sleep better. There have been some studies on marijuana use as PTSD treatment for returning Iraq & Afghanistan war veterans, and if it's good for them, it can be good for us.

4) You mentioned that you have a woman therapist. The gender of the therapist, in theory, shouldn't make a difference, but all of us here know otherwise. Some of us find one gender or the other easier to talk to about our abuse pasts. I've had therapists of both genders, but I started with a male therapist. I don't think I could have started with a woman therapist, but each of us is different.

5) Ask your therapist about EMDR therapy. It stands for Eye Movement Deprogramming and Reprocessing. It was also developed for war veterans but has been found to be very effective with sex-abuse trauma as you experienced. As your abuse occurred in your young adulthood, EMDR could work wonders for you to help you rid yourself of the shame and see the events of your trauma in a way that is less painful to you.

6) In the beginning of therapy, the most important thing is just finding a therapist you can trust to talk about what happened and how it's affecting you today. Once you've gone through 2 or 3 months of talking, you can start thinking about what your end goals for therapy will be. But for the moment, try not to think that way.

Also, you can read, share and post here. You will find many others here to support you in your recovery. We are your brothers.

I'll be just fine and dandy
Lord, it's like a hard candy Christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But I won't let sorrow get me way down.

#433634 - 05/05/13 10:35 PM Re: Getting the Most from a Therapist [Re: RN]
Poorsoft Offline

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 163
We have this tendancy not to say things out of a learned fear that the information could cause great harm. This childhood belief has carried very strongly and very covertly into our adult hood, which is partly why we find it so god damn hard to trust people.

I'm not sure what type of training your therapist has, but if she is worth her salt; she will use whatever approach she feels is neccasary for the client. In your case, if you happen to mention your history; she should adapt certain things.

You can ask as Cant suggested; about EMDR - but personaly I'd give it a few sessions.

As Cants point 6, there is no rush to disclose, do it when you feel comfortable, but when you do it is up to you, you dont have to wait. Do it when you're ready and confident.

#433728 - 05/06/13 01:28 PM Re: Getting the Most from a Therapist [Re: Poorsoft]
RN Offline

Registered: 04/28/13
Posts: 8
Loc: Northeast
Thanks so much for your note.

I'm ready to lay it all out....believe i'm ok and my meds are right.

Appreciate your help!!

best regards, RN

#433757 - 05/06/13 05:05 PM Re: Getting the Most from a Therapist [Re: RN]
Candu Offline

Registered: 07/01/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
I've just revealed all this to a woman therapist. How can I make the most out of working with her (or others)? I'm stilled deeply shamed.

I recently have started with a woman T. I trust her. I feel safe with her. (that just gave me an emotional hit)

She will not see it as shameful. It wasn't your fault. None of it. Trust her. I expect that she will first try and get you stable and safe. (I have some serious issues there) Just trust her. Be as open as you can. When you tell her things and she asks for more or clarification, say what you feel. Don't think about what the answer sounds like. It will be OK with her.

#433772 - 05/06/13 06:52 PM Re: Getting the Most from a Therapist [Re: RN]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: RN
I've just revealed all this to a woman therapist. How can I make the most out of working with her (or others)? I'm stilled deeply shamed.

As someone who spent ten years in therapy before I finally told the truth about what was wrong, and faced my CSA experience, I can understand the feelings of shame and self-hatred. My only advice is to not waste time with any therapist who doesn't have experience with childhood trauma in general, in if possible, childhood sex abuse in particular. You've waited too long to get well, you can't afford to spend one minute with the wrong therapist. Make recovery your priority and let nothing stop you from pursuing it.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#433774 - 05/06/13 07:05 PM Re: Getting the Most from a Therapist [Re: RN]
RN Offline

Registered: 04/28/13
Posts: 8
Loc: Northeast

Thanks so much.

I've been talking with therapists for many years...and have only recently gotten lucky w/ the right ones. But it was only 2 weeks ago or so that I got these words out about sexual trauma. I'm Lucky (I think) that I have the right team.

Hope you have the same!

best regards, RN

#433792 - 05/06/13 08:55 PM Re: Getting the Most from a Therapist [Re: RN]
Publius Offline

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 444
Loc: OH
I can think of at least three things that are important to therapy off the top of my head:

1. Find the right one through research/trial and error
3. Patience

Tell your therapist how you feel, what you are struggling with, where you see yourself, where you want to be, etc. it is hard to do this because we have spent our whole life hiding it but a therapist is not a stranger, a friend, or even a family member. They are professionals who help us sort out our own thoughts and feelings and the good ones are great at it. For example, you were finally able to tell your therapist about your sexual acting out and look how it has helped you. Cant_remember is right those feelings of shame, while painful, are his and not yours. But I understand how you feel my relationship with my T is really good and sometimes I feel like I don't want to disappoint her by not recovering quick enough or having new problems. But this is where patience comes into the process. While starting therapy does help with the healing tremendously it does take time, which sucks I know. Here is a snapshot of my first month with her:

Week 1: "I think I am going crazy."
Week 2: "I can't do this I can't do this is there any way I can re-repress everything?"
Week 3: "Let's do this I feel like a marine fresh out of boot ready to take on the world"
Week 4: "I don't feel like last week I think I can't recover, it's too late, it's all a lie and I am going crazy"

Looking back now I can kind of laugh about it but not too hard because frankly those were not always easy days. The encouraging thing though is that recovery gradually happens to the point where good days begin outnumbering bad days, good days are better, and bad days aren't as bad. Week 3 becomes more the norm.
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh


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