Posted by: me | 2008/07/12

Shrink made me feel rejected

Thanks for your reply Doc. I did not speak to my husband about it. All I asked my husband was whether he feels comfortable with this psychologist. When he replied "yes", I left it at that because I gather it is more important for HIM to feel comfortable with the guy than me since HE is the one who is going to have individual counseling with the shrink. I also don't want to mention anything to him as I would really (after all this time) want my husband to give over all his feelings and emotions to the guy and not have these feelings of "oh you didn't make my wife feel good about herself". So I'd rather leave it.

The counselor did know our reasons for coming there because I started it off by saying: We are here for 2 reasons being possible misunderstandings between my husband and myself, and also about things that happened in his past that may be the reason why we have misunderstandings and problems. At the end of the session he said that he would very much like to work individually with my husband if that is what my husband wants.

I am happy though that you made me feel that I'm not crazy in feeling the way I do. That's enough for me for now. I will deal with my situation with the next shrink he refers us to and let out as much as I can remember that bothers me. Tell me Doc, making notes about all the things I've bottled up in the past 20-odd years and taking it with me to the marriage counselor, is that crazy? I have loads I desperately need to talk about.

Another thing, I noticed that he did not make any notes (as I believe many counselors do that nowadays), do counselors make notes afterwards, as surely they don't remember everything when they have many other patients to see as well? Just curious.

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Our expert says:
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Well, you could encourage your husband by telling him that you're pleased that he seemed to get on OK with the guy, because now the plan is for him to work with tis shrink individually, and you appreciate that he had many issues to work on and hope this will help him. But I guess your responses so far have already communicated that.
As for notes, here's my experience. It's a good idea for you to make rough notes, and to SUMMARIZE them severely before taking them to a session, so you can remember the main points you want to be sure to bring up. It tends to make a shrink's heart sink when someone pulls out a few thick files of notes, especially if they plannto either read them out, or if they expect the shrink to sp[end a day or two reading them through ! I vividly remember the first time I ran into this, when I routinely asked a woman if her periods were regular, and she said : AHA !" and opened her hand bag to reveal hundreds of little bits of paper on which she had recorded the exact dateas of every period she'd had in the last 30 years ! Its actually a good example where too much information is less, not more. She could have summarized all that data in one short sentence --- |yes, generally regular| UI then discovered the French had called this "la maladie du petite papier".
So- nothing at all crazy in asembling your notes to help produce an efficient summary than includes all the major points that are important to you.
Similar point about notes. Most of us do make notes during a session ( mine has the added marvellous security system that if I don't read them for a week, my handwriting is totally indecipherable even to me ). Some summarize afterwards, though as you say, this can suffer from fallout. This is why analysts ( whose therapy is useless ) insisted on the "50 minute hour", to allow themsevles 5 minutes after a session to write a summary in their notes, and 3 minutes before it to read their notes and refresh their memories for the next pwerson they were to see,

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