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Why don't they TALK!?!?


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Ugh. That is one of the big reasons I gave up on therapy. Looooong awkward silences that made me feel horrible. They want you to keep talking, I think, and they think not saying anything will make you rush to fill in the space. I would just sit there and look at tdoc, sometimes for 5 minutes or more, but it would FEEL like eternity. Gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. But when you don't have anything else to say, what are you supposed to do, babble? Make stuff up? I don't know.

'Course, I'm being pretty much forced to give therapy another go in Jan., so I guess I will see if this is typical or not, or maybe just us  ;)  

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I hate that silent crap too.  The therapists I have clicked with don't do the silent crap.  It's more like a normal conversation.  What I believe at this point is that when they do the silent treatment, it's because they're incompetent and they don't know what to say themselves.  That's a bit harsh, but that's how I feel about it!  It seems "gamey" to me.

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Heya Kristina,

From what I've been told, there are different kinds of therapy, one of which involves the therapist not talking.

Sounds stupid to me but I guess it works for some problems for some people.

My last therapist talked, okay, but what she said really sucked.

So, I agree, try bringing your ocncerns to your therapist.  Maybe she can work with you better knowing that.

Good luck.

--ncc--

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May tdocs and types of therapy sessions are conducted so the patient needs to do the talking. Tdocs are trianed, for instance, not to say "How are you today," because the question can be answered in one word, good/bad. Instead they are trained to ask ,"Tell me how you have been doing since last time, or what has been going on in your life since your last session." Requires more than just a one word answer.

However, in your case DCA, your situation is much more complicated because as you write you are dealing with different personalities that may or may not come out during sessions for different reasons. I would definetely bring this up with your tdoc. Take the opportunity, if you can, on a day when your strong voice or gaurdian is speaking and can bring up the conerns that some of your others have.

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Kristina: I've been to my therapist (a psychiatrist) about 6 times so far. We usually run out of time. I feel like I could talk for hours. I suppose this may settle down once I tell him my life history. So far, I've just given him the Cliff notes ;)

I usually go to the appts with notes in case we might run out of topics. So far that has not happened. Last week, he talked about CBT and told me to take notes, so I suppose today, we'll do the notes thing.

I love going to therapy. It's like confession with no ill consequences. I tell my doctor things I've never told anyone and it's helped me so much.

I hope things improve for you---I'm so used to silences (my husband rarely talks).

db

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  • 2 weeks later...
After a particularly awkward session recently where that really terrified, shy, quiet girl I mentioned came out, I considered leaving a message on my psychiatrist's answering machine saying that the silences were even more scary for her than having to answer questions (which she answers briefly, in a whisper or very soft voice), but I never actually got the nerve to.  I just don't want to be rude, or to force my doc to talk when she doesn't really have anything to say, or make things awkward for her. I don't know.  I'd feel bad.
Don't feel bad.  It's your doc's job to treat you and your symptoms.  It's not your job to look out for her! She can take care of herself just fine. I think leaving a message on her answering machine is a good idea.  The more they know, the more they can help.  JMO.
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Yes! I hate it. He sort of puts his notepad thingo down, and when I start talking again, he quickly grabs the pad and starts writing again. But he insists I must "talk about every thought that comes into my mind". Most of which is "I'm nervous". Gee, I might aswell talk to wall instead. But I've learnt to just keep on yapping, even if its about random stuff. He asked for it.

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Kristina: I've been to my therapist (a psychiatrist) about 6 times so far. We usually run out of time. I feel like I could talk for hours. I suppose this may settle down once I tell him my life history. So far, I've just given him the Cliff notes :)

I usually go to the appts with notes in case we might run out of topics. So far that has not happened. Last week, he talked about CBT and told me to take notes, so I suppose today, we'll do the notes thing.

I love going to therapy. It's like confession with no ill consequences. I tell my doctor things I've never told anyone and it's helped me so muc

Diane,

I talk my ever loving head off at my tdoc appts. I don't let him get a word in edgewise. He is my trusted confidant and with me being a drama queen...I've been seeing him for 2 years, been through the whole crush/transference thing and he is the first MAN I have ever trusted with everything. He knows where ALL the bodies are buried.

Lately, I've started practicing listening to him. Because he's smart as shit, and I realized that I could benefit from taking the cotton out of my ears and putting it in my mouth.  ;)

But I look at it like I "learned to listen" and now I'm "listening to learn". I still blabber on though because he's such a cool and safe guy to talk to.

To the original poster, my best friend went to her tdoc appt. last week and slept for 45 minutes. Her doctor just let her sleep. I thought first it was irresponsible, but then I thought it was actually loving. That her tdoc knew she felt safe enough to sleep there, and she was sleep deprived.

I've never had problems opening up, as you can tell by my posts, I have problems shutting up.

Shutting up now.

Best,

Suze

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To the original poster, my best friend went to her tdoc appt. last week and slept for 45 minutes. Her doctor just let her sleep. I thought first it was irresponsible, but then I thought it was actually loving. That her tdoc knew she felt safe enough to sleep there, and she was sleep deprived.
I don't know what to think of this!  I guess it is kind, since she was sleep-deprived and felt safe at tdoc's office, but I'd be pissed about paying for a visit I slept through!  I have to pay $85 for tdoc visit. Carumba.
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My tdoc often offers to let me sleep if I'm nodding off.  Since I'm not paying just now (and wondering why he's continuing to see me despite my present destitution), I might take him up on that offer at some point.  I'd just really rather have a conscious session.  If I can get some sleep beforehand, so much the better. 

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To the original poster, my best friend went to her tdoc appt. last week and slept for 45 minutes. Her doctor just let her sleep. I thought first it was irresponsible, but then I thought it was actually loving. That her tdoc knew she felt safe enough to sleep there, and she was sleep deprived.
I don't know what to think of this!  I guess it is kind, since she was sleep-deprived and felt safe at tdoc's office, but I'd be pissed about paying for a visit I slept through!  I have to pay $85 for tdoc visit. Carumba.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That was my first question, "you don't pay for your sessions, do you?" She doesn't, but it was also a bit out of character for her (my friend). She's been having a rough time, and was very tired. I can't imagine any therapist would let that go on for too long!

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That was my first question, "you don't pay for your sessions, do you?" She doesn't, but it was also a bit out of character for her (my friend). She's been having a rough time, and was very tired. I can't imagine any therapist would let that go on for too long!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My pdoc says that sometimes when I'm very sleepy it's a good time to ask questions and let me sort-of free associate some. Sometimes he gets very interesting answers that way.

Fiona

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i would think that most negotiate it with their therapists. my therapist takes a reduced rate and will go lower if i need it...many therapists will at least take a reduced fee.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Mine usually charges $100, but her reduced fee is $85, which is what I pay. It kinda pisses me off that she won't go any lower, but oh well!  She does EMDR and she does it well.

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Kristina:

Oh, HELL yes. I hate it when anyone does the silent stare thing, and it's a million times worse in a therapy or medical situation. Logically I know that they're supposed to do that...not wanting to lead the client or interrupt the process, etc...but if a person is in your office for help dealing with anxiety, surely a prompt or two would be helpful?

I am blind in one eye and I hate it when they stare at me. I can't make eye contact, okay? STOP TRYING!!! Best therapist I ever had was a grad student who talked to his own lap, didn't force me to look at him. He also was willing to jump in when the silences got weird. Mostly he'd just repeat what I said, but it was great.

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I suppose this is yet another example of how one therapist's style can be great for one person and awful for another.  I would HATE it if my therapist kept repeating what I'd just said.  If I want an echo, I'll get a ride to the gorge.  I want feedback, not annoyance.  I'm glad this approach worked for you, BeckaJo.  May all your future therapists mesh with your own style and needs. 

My school counselor this morning kepst asking me about the little voices in my head.  It's his trademark, it seems.  "But what is that voice in your head saying when you realize you've been staring at the wall?"  "But isn't there some little voice inside you saying 'no, I want this?'"  "What is that little voice telling you now?"  I like him very much, but I'd still like to introduce him to my sister's former English teacher, who would periodically spin around from the blackboard to announce "I hear voiii-ceees."  Gabba gabba hey!

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In some cases, a therapist can learn a lot about how the client is feeling simply by staying silent and seeing how the client reacts.  Which is okay to do once in a while, but not all the fucking time. 

My therapist and I have wonderful conversations, with a lot of back and forth, and I love this woman dearly.  I see her for free through my school -- she's a staff counselor.  However, she's going to open her own practice later this year.  I'm hoping she won't charge me too much, although I'll do what I have to in order to pay her.  She's that important to me. 

When she hasn't seen me in a while because of the holidays or whatever, she tells me how much she's missed our talks, and I think she's telling the truth.  We'd be great friends if we weren't counselor and client, I suspect, but I prefer that she's my counselor.

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