Personality Cafe banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Whether you are INFP or another type, I need your help and insight. I've just been through my 5th therapy session, and suddenly it went wrong.

I am shy, anxious or fearful-avoidant attachment, sensitive (HSP), and have recently been having increased depression, social anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. This is the first time I've ever gone to therapy. I liked my therapist, she seemed nice. I really wanted to work at my issues and hoped to become a better person with the help of therapy.

But today, I was asked to describe what "anxious attachment" meant to be and also bringing up how I avoided things. And when I tried: I couldn't explain it well. It's hard for me to communicate my thoughts verbally. She said none of what I tried to explain sounded anxious. Her questions kept getting further off and I ended up answering surface things that I didn't need or want to talk about.

I almost felt my heart breaking when I realized I felt misunderstood and my trust in her fading. She was supposed to be one of my secure individuals I could count on. I looked forward to therapy. I truly want to help myself. But after she told me that it's basically my fault for not having many friends, that I write them off and don't put effort into them, IDEALIZE, and that if I stopped being picky and gave "people" an effort and a chance, they'd be friends and love me or whatever. I didn't feel listened to. The reason I don't have true friends is because I don't trust people, and I'm afraid of being hurt. Which I have been. They flake on me, leave me, or don't put any effort into it. Plus I have, you know..standards? I can't instantly like just any person.

I had to pull the car over the way home because I was crying so hard. Can I not trust anyone? Does no-one understand me? If even my therapist doesn't then how can anyone help me. I hide myself from everyone.

There is much more than I can ever describe on here, but I want to hear from you:
What have your experiences been with therapy? How do you maintain trust in your therapist and talk about your issues? Is this an INFP thing, to be so sensitive?

What should I do about how my therapist made me feel. How do I open up if trust has been damaged.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
My experiences with therapy have been pretty good, though I definitely had to go through a couple to find someone I got along with well, and of course she isn't perfect, no therapist is, but she has a better understanding of me than most people do. As far as problems with trust go, we've had a couple problems out of concern she had for my well being, but otherwise the trust has been fine. Talking about my issues, I am actually very quiet in therapy and my therapist adapts well to it by just giving me a safe place to talk and not being overly assertive about things and I just answer whatever she asks honestly.

The best thing you can do for now is try to tell her about how this experience made you feel, hopefully this will also build up your trust again because if you're able to be open about this incident then maybe you'll be able to be more open about other things. If things don't work out and you feel like it won't work between you two, you can always look for someone else, but I'd say to stick with her for now and try to open up about how this made you feel, think, and do.

I also have depression, social anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, and suicidal thoughts so if you ever need to talk feel free to contact me. I hope the therapeutic relationship improves with your next session. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,436 Posts
I'm terribly sorry to hear about your experiences, particularly the emotional turmoil you're going through! But I think that going to therapy was a great decision, even if you might need a new therapist that suits you better. It's incredibly hard to verbalize one's thoughts when depressed, so I definitely cannot blame you, and also the English language just doesn't have the right words or framework to properly express the experience.

Not that I know anything in detail about this, but to me it sounds like she lazily gives you the answer to this kind of problem, but in cutting to the chase also neglects the nuances of your situation that need empathic and careful consideration.
Basically there are two ways to do therapy; you can give the client a "solution" to her problem, or you can act like the she already knows the solution and let her figure it out herself. In your case your therapist seems to have, most probably correctly, found that the culprit is that you're too introverted and in your own head. The problem is just that you might not know how to deal with changing it, and it probably isn't what you thought was your problem to begin with. I know I already sound like her, but then again I'm trying to portray what I think she is thinking.

You're an HSP, which you're going to be for the rest of your life, and likely you'll always have a bit of anxiety and shyness to go with it, but the good news is that the effects of it it can be severely mitigated, but it requires that you work with your trust issues. Quite likely these issues are also what are making you reject her right now. Unfortunately the solution she has presented to you with isn't trivial to your trust-problem and therefore you don't quite understand it. Let me try to break it down to you.

You're in your head too much. You are extremely conscious of your own subjective feelings and fears of other people, your abilities, and in general most external things. This does that you judge the external world too quickly. Other people appear hurtful to you because you listen to the part of yourself that says that they are, which is the angst you get when others get too close to you. What you need to do (and I know it isn't easy) is to evaluate the world around you more objectively. Are people really hurtful, untrustworthy and dangerous, or are you just listening to your feelings (the anxiety) in order to judge their character?
The realization you need to make as soon as you can is that people (in general) are not hurtful and that you can trust them. I know you give reasons as to why you find it hard to trust, but again, these are your subjective feelings and not an objective assessment. You need both to be a harmonious person.
In MBTI terms this would equate to "developing your extroverted intuition."

So, if you had to give an objective evaluation of what someone thinks about you, start by asking yourself what you can logically say about the person. You have an amazing gift in how you intuitively sense what's going on around you, but at times it runs amok, and you have to logically look at every step to see where you might be wrong. Look for what's true, not what you feel. It's an important skill to develop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,282 Posts
I feel that it is insulting to give such a succinct response to a heartfelt request, but it's getting late and I don't have much time. Even so, I can't just say nothing. So, for the time being, allow me to say this: while I understand well the pitfalls of idealising people, your therapist was also a human being, and an individual one at that.

I think some of us can carry heavy mental and emotional burdens and because we don't know where else to turn, we hope for a therapist to be able to understand, potentially relate, and offer constructive suggestions for us to work on. My experience in therapy was very limited but I connected with my assessor far more than my actual therapist, whom I felt frequently hid behind a veneer of distant professionalism and never really understood what it was I was trying to convey.

So while your trust may be damaged, I'm hoping you will be able to understand this as an isolated incident and not indicative of people in general. I also have significant trust issues, but I have also had more helpful and constructive conversations with friends and even wellwishers in these forums than I had with my therapist for the short time I was with her. I may elaborate more at a later time, but I'm hoping this can at least offer some meager reassurance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WindinyourSoul

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,672 Posts
I've lost count of how many therapists I've had. I've been in various different therapies for longer than I can remember. I'm so used to therapy that I don't usually think about it, but I can't imagine life without it.
 

·
Registered
ESFJ
Joined
·
486 Posts
Whether you are INFP or another type, I need your help and insight. I've just been through my 5th therapy session, and suddenly it went wrong.

I am shy, anxious or fearful-avoidant attachment, sensitive (HSP), and have recently been having increased depression, social anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. This is the first time I've ever gone to therapy. I liked my therapist, she seemed nice. I really wanted to work at my issues and hoped to become a better person with the help of therapy.

But today, I was asked to describe what "anxious attachment" meant to be and also bringing up how I avoided things. And when I tried: I couldn't explain it well. It's hard for me to communicate my thoughts verbally. She said none of what I tried to explain sounded anxious. Her questions kept getting further off and I ended up answering surface things that I didn't need or want to talk about.

I almost felt my heart breaking when I realized I felt misunderstood and my trust in her fading. She was supposed to be one of my secure individuals I could count on. I looked forward to therapy. I truly want to help myself. But after she told me that it's basically my fault for not having many friends, that I write them off and don't put effort into them, IDEALIZE, and that if I stopped being picky and gave "people" an effort and a chance, they'd be friends and love me or whatever. I didn't feel listened to. The reason I don't have true friends is because I don't trust people, and I'm afraid of being hurt. Which I have been. They flake on me, leave me, or don't put any effort into it. Plus I have, you know..standards? I can't instantly like just any person.

I had to pull the car over the way home because I was crying so hard. Can I not trust anyone? Does no-one understand me? If even my therapist doesn't then how can anyone help me. I hide myself from everyone.

There is much more than I can ever describe on here, but I want to hear from you:
What have your experiences been with therapy? How do you maintain trust in your therapist and talk about your issues? Is this an INFP thing, to be so sensitive?

What should I do about how my therapist made me feel. How do I open up if trust has been damaged.
Well, If I don't like the therapist, I may still go to his/her therapies if those therapies are helping me.

However, I actually prefer self-therapy and any other therapies as only a backup. Here is the thing, no matter what everyone told you to believe, you can do practically everything you want; even heal yourself, completely.

More, there is the highest level of self-growth that will free you from need for any therapies, it is achieved once you "embrace who you are" and I am actually creating a system for help in achieving of it: the system is almost complete.

However, to achieve the highest level of self-growth, you simply need to define "who you are", for which you can use your first post in this thread, which I have quoted in this message; and then simply embrace "who you are", once you define it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
My experiences with therapy have been pretty good, though I definitely had to go through a couple to find someone I got along with well, and of course she isn't perfect, no therapist is, but she has a better understanding of me than most people do. As far as problems with trust go, we've had a couple problems out of concern she had for my well being, but otherwise the trust has been fine. Talking about my issues, I am actually very quiet in therapy and my therapist adapts well to it by just giving me a safe place to talk and not being overly assertive about things and I just answer whatever she asks honestly.

The best thing you can do for now is try to tell her about how this experience made you feel, hopefully this will also build up your trust again because if you're able to be open about this incident then maybe you'll be able to be more open about other things. If things don't work out and you feel like it won't work between you two, you can always look for someone else, but I'd say to stick with her for now and try to open up about how this made you feel, think, and do.

I also have depression, social anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, and suicidal thoughts so if you ever need to talk feel free to contact me. I hope the therapeutic relationship improves with your next session. :)


I am much the same in therapy, quiet but answering honestly to her questions, and doing my best to express how I feel about things. Thank you for your advice, I dread having to bring it up with her as I don't like confrontation, but it probably is the wisest decision...I would like to try sticking with her a little longer.
It's extremely difficult for me to be open to people. I'll hope she understands.

Of course, I'd love to contact and talk with you! Maybe learn something new. :smile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
From my experience (and I don't claim myself to be an INFP) the therapist is more of a compass than an actual GPS in terms of guiding you to where you want to go. S/he can give you some insights and perspectives that you might not have realized that somehow help you, whether directly or indirectly, but they're not going to automatically get you where you need to be. Even in the things that I know to be true but have a hard time accepting, it's sometimes nice to have someone actually spell it out for you to make it seem more real.

Of course I'm speaking quite obliquely, but I can't really attest to knowing your situation. Ultimately you are your own best therapist and know what you respond best to. We can only help point you in the right direction to where you want to go, but you are responsible ultimately for getting there.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,802 Posts
I'm sorry you've had a rough experience with therapy. It doesn't sound like your therapist was trying to understand you at all :unsure:

The first time I was in therapy it was horrible (I was in my mid teens). My therapist didn't really talk much about my issues or anything rather he would talk about video games and his sons. I tried getting help from him, but he was almost useless. He wasn't rude or anything he just really didn't put in a lot of effort to help.

I recently tried therapy again (I'm now in my late 20's) and I had a much better experience. Not only was my therapist caring, understanding, and generally helpful she was very good at it. She even gave me helpful tips and tools and was genuinely happy to see me getting slowly better. I've got a long road ahead of me, but things have improved because of her. When I hear about other people struggling with finding good therapy, I almost wish that I could take them to my last therapist. She was pretty great!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,894 Posts
My experience in therapy was not good at all. She kept putting me on new meds...one for depression and one for ADD. The antidepressant is understandable, but I wasn't even tested for ADD and she decided I had it because I never listened to her. To be honest, I didn't care to listen because she wasn't helping me at all. My problem was I had a broken heart and I needed to spend some time finding myself again. I was forced into therapy by my father...I needed to go to therapy or he'd kick me out of the house.

Now...onto your experience. It's very possible that you weren't explaining it in such a way that she understood. That happens to me too. I'd probably advise you to try and talk to her about how that session made you feel. If she does want to help you, she'll listen intently to you when you have this talk with her. And maybe if it helps, she can have you write your thoughts down. Writing it down helps me word it better than when I speak it.

Therapists should be very well versed in things like attachment theory so I'm a bit shocked by her reaction. I'm saying this as a psychology student myself.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Huron00 and justjay

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
I had terrible experiences with other unethical therapists, but now I found my actual therapist and I adore her, she really cares about me, she is so empathethic and wise and helps me a lot.
Open your heart to your therapist. If you do not like something she says, feel judged, not welcomed, tell her, if necessary change the therapist how many times you need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,822 Posts
What a bitch 0_0 I'm really sorry. That's messed up. If she can't give out advice without misunderstanding the situation....I mean isn't understanding her patients her job? No one's perfect but to me it makes sense that you would have these expectations of her. That must have been really hard. I truly do apologize.

If I were you, if you haven't already (been almost 5 months xD)..I'd have gone to see someone else if that's an option. My policy for people in general is that I simply won't try again if they fuck up the first time - if I do, it's not for a long time after. But we aren't necessarily the same xD Have you considered online sessions?

My experience has been satisfactory but I've only seen one therapist as an adult and I stopped going for unrelated reasons. I only went for 2 sessions. It felt good to be able to talk with someone - all she did was listen, perhaps because it had been so early in the game. I've seen therapists as a kid but I don't remember enough to give you an accurate representation. I do recall it being an overall positive experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,411 Posts
I have been in therapy for a while now. When I first started going, I had a different therapist and I did not feel understood. I felt like she was pushing things that worked for her in her life and didn't feel like she was hearing what I was saying. It was too much about her. I switched therapists and have been doing better. Therapists are just like everyone else, there will be some that you will connect with and can help you and some that you will not. Therapy is also about building trust with the therapist and you need to find the right one who will be able to help you. You might be able to talk to your current one about how she made you feel. Ideally, she will be able to listen and validate what you said. If she is not able to do this, I hope that you can find another therapist that can. Don't give up on the process and don't put the blame yourself for this. It is very positive that you are wanting to get help and wanting to feel better.

But today, I was asked to describe what "anxious attachment" meant to be and also bringing up how I avoided things. And when I tried: I couldn't explain it well. It's hard for me to communicate my thoughts verbally. She said none of what I tried to explain sounded anxious. Her questions kept getting further off and I ended up answering surface things that I didn't need or want to talk about.
I have a hard time explaining how I feel in actual words. I am not sure if I even know how to explain my feelings into words to my own understanding. I sort of freeze and my mind goes blank. One thing that helps is trying to realize when this is happening and being able to say to the other person that I just need to talk it out until I am understood and just vocalize it. You can't really do this with everyone but if you do have someone you can do this with, it can really help you understand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
I almost felt my heart breaking when I realized I felt misunderstood and my trust in her fading. She was supposed to be one of my secure individuals I could count on. I looked forward to therapy. I truly want to help myself. But after she told me that it's basically my fault for not having many friends, that I write them off and don't put effort into them, IDEALIZE, and that if I stopped being picky and gave "people" an effort and a chance, they'd be friends and love me or whatever. I didn't feel listened to. The reason I don't have true friends is because I don't trust people, and I'm afraid of being hurt. Which I have been. They flake on me, leave me, or don't put any effort into it. Plus I have, you know..standards? I can't instantly like just any person.
I'm so sorry that your therapist didn't validate your experience. I've had so many similar experiences to this in therapy. I finally found a wonderful therapist who is really attuned to me and ACTUALLY empathic but there are so many bad therapists out there. It makes me angry because I am in grad school right now training to be a therapist and I don't understand how people like that get into the field...but there are a lot of them!

I know you posted this a while back but if you still check this I want you to know that you did nothing wrong, your therapist was neglectful with your feelings and you should keep searching for the right therapist who will validate you and work to meet your needs. A lot of therapists also don't have training and knowledge about attachment styles, object relations, and other psychodynamic theories so they aren't able to understand how impactful early childhood experiences and traumas can shape how a person reacts in relationships. You need to try to find a therapist who is capable of doing more in depth work.

I hope you find the right one soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
But today, I was asked to describe what "anxious attachment" meant to be and also bringing up how I avoided things. And when I tried: I couldn't explain it well. It's hard for me to communicate my thoughts verbally. She said none of what I tried to explain sounded anxious. Her questions kept getting further off and I ended up answering surface things that I didn't need or want to talk about.
Trust me, you are not alone. I felt EXACTLY the same way after going to my old therapist. Maybe your therapist are an extrovert?
But after a couple of years going back and forth between therapists, you will find that special kind of therapist that will change your life. Thats my experience... The therapist I see now really understands me, I feel like my ideas really can be understood and valued.
But I understand how you lose your trust to your therapist when she dont understand you, it feels like you talk to a complete stranger dosen't it? But when you find a therapist that actually understands you... oh, you will feel blessed !


And yes INFP's tend to have troubles expressing feelings verbally... INFP's are also Fi dominated. Which means you are hypersensitive to feelings... I am also hypersensitive to feelings, when I talk about my feelings, I just start to cry... I cant stop it and really dont know why I cry. And that's common for INFP's...

good luck! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
I feel you. I personally don't have trust in any therapist and am reluctant to try, even though I know I only tried once and that somewhere there might be a good one but I'm just not up for it.

I have generalized anxiety disorder but am able to function quite well, so that's what makes me even more reluctant to try. I only tried at the beginning when it was real bad, but now that I've learnt to live with it somehow, even though it's definitely not ideal, I don't feel like it.

I'm scared to open up but I'm also scared of experience exactly what you described. Because such moments stay with me for a long time and have an impact on so many things. Like when my GP told me that my insomnia is from all the sitting by the computer and that I should try outdoor hobbies. That basically threw me into depression where I started hating my hobbies, all connected to computer/indoors, and aimlessly strolled outside.

As for the therapist I tried back then, she was useless (but at least harmless). I went to about 5 sessions and all she ever did was ask me "how is school? how about your family, friends?" and I always said fine to all of that. And she never got to the core of the problem, which certainly did not lie in my environment but in me. And I was too withdrawn to tell her myself, so I rather stopped going to the sessions altogether.

So I can't help you much, since as you see I usually run from problems rather than face them :/ But I would try to find a different one because what she told you is plain wrong. It's more like what people who have no idea about mental disorders tell you, therapist should be more careful with such pressuring statements.

Seriously, how can a therapist basically accuse you of creating problems yourself? That's what mental disorders are and she's suppossed to help with that, not accuse you, ugh. This triggers my anger so much xD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
I've learned that for me, therapists are best used like hammers and chisels and screwdrivers, for a very specific pre-defined purpose. Like hammering a nail, or turning a screw, or shaping some wood. The few times I went to therapists when I was younger with generalized angst and depression, I came away feeling even worse than when I went in.

Now on the rare occasions I go, I only go to carefully chosen therapists with experience in a specific problem I'm experiencing. Of course when it seems like everything is fucked up its hard to pick just one thing but the effort spent in doing so pays dividends. So for a recent conflict at work, I sought a therapist with lots of experience in employment counseling. In the past I've sought people experienced in CBT to address specific problems with specific people or specific areas of my life. I also tell them what I expect from them very specificically like "I would like some techniques or different ways of thinking about A, B or C". I also tell them I want to take something constructive away from each and every session, so I leave the last 10 minutes or so for THEM to talk to ME.

But I've learned never to just go in and expect someone to make order from the general chaos that is me. "Here I am. I'm quite broken in a number of diverse ways. Please fix me". It just doesn't work.:laughing:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
771 Posts
Its been hard to find a therapist I'm comfortable with or are competent. 2 of them were bitchy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
771 Posts
i've learned that for me, therapists are best used like hammers and chisels and screwdrivers, for a very specific pre-defined purpose. Like hammering a nail, or turning a screw, or shaping some wood. The few times i went to therapists when i was younger with generalized angst and depression, i came away feeling even worse than when i went in.

Now on the rare occasions i go, i only go to carefully chosen therapists with experience in a specific problem i'm experiencing. Of course when it seems like everything is fucked up its hard to pick just one thing but the effort spent in doing so pays dividends. So for a recent conflict at work, i sought a therapist with lots of experience in employment counseling. In the past i've sought people experienced in cbt to address specific problems with specific people or specific areas of my life. I also tell them what i expect from them very specificically like "i would like some techniques or different ways of thinking about a, b or c". I also tell them i want to take something constructive away from each and every session, so i leave the last 10 minutes or so for them to talk to me.

But i've learned never to just go in and expect someone to make order from the general chaos that is me. "here i am. I'm quite broken in a number of diverse ways. Please fix me". It just doesn't work.:laughing:
this
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
589 Posts
Just went to my first therapy ever, not really sure what to think about it. I felt from the start it was directed towards an certain goal which at the end revealed as moving towards ADHD. Results were a moderate chance on it, but the interpretation of the test and focusing on just the one thing I'm struggling on might not be representative to the whole of the issue. I somehow don't feel it was the problem that needed to be addressed and not sure how to proceed in the next meeting.

Any one here diagnosed with ADHD and then especially the attention deficit part. The hyperactive physical one is surely not me :)
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top