Open letter to my psychotherapist

Dear (insert name of your psychotherapist)

As you are probably aware, because I turn up at the same time each week, and give you lots of money when I leave, I am in therapy. Perhaps there are other giveaways, like the deep and personal nature of the conversations we have or  the occasional tears I shed whilst talking to you about said personal issues.

In any case, it would seem to me that our chats are bound by different social rules than perhaps when meeting a friend for coffee. Even though I do bring my coffee to the session (you do have a Campos cafe downstairs).  When I chat to you I think of it as a “session” and I do so under the impression there are boundaries – professional, personal and physical that are clearly established and delineated.

Just wanted to let you know that when you ask me “how are you this week?” I am immediately unsure of how to respond. Is this the small talk to establish rapport before we begin the serious stuff? Is this your way of asking me if I have anything I want to discuss this week? Are you evaluating my social skills at lying as clearly I’m not great or I wouldn’t be here? Or are you concerned that we won’t have anything to talk about?

I have tried a few techniques with you but don’t feel they were particularly successful. I answered honestly (insert good/ not bad/ not great/ok here) and found that you took it very seriously and we ended up discussing that answer for the rest of the session. I tried admitting that I didn’t really want to answer the question (because I didn’t want it to be the focus of the session) and we talked about that all session. I lied and you saw straight through that, and we had to talk about that. I lied and you didn’t see through it, and I had to deal with that.

In the interests of removing my dread as I begin each session, would you mind being more clear about what you actually want at that point? As you know, I’m in therapy because I have issues. And asking “how are you?” raises a whole lot more for me that I probably don’t really need right now!

Thanks

Your over-analytical client.

(you know, the difficult one)

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