Sunday, May 5, 2013

Psychotherapy: A Story

Finding the right kind of therapy can take decades.
The room was sweltering hot but the door remained closed for confidentiality. Confidentiality in a group therapy session is like a negative multiplied with a negative ending in a positive.

Only this was not positive.

In the 80s a group of "therapists" who'd obtained their licenses per state law by simply appyling for one decided to try a new kind of therapy: re-parenting. I already have parents. I informed one of the "parents" in this group of this which did not go over well.

"I am your mother now!" said the "therapist." Her struggle to maintain control over me and my determination to thwart her non-parent parental advances resulted in my official removal from the group.

Fast foward a few years: class action settlement. I was not included in this settlement because I got out before I suffered any damage.

Rogerian counseling is the worst. Me: I am going through hell. Therapist: How does that make you feel? Me: Duh. What do you think?

My latest round of therapy makes much more sense. I have learned I have spongy boundaries. Spongy boundaries are ones in which you let someone steamroll over you as if you don't exist. There are two possible outcomes in a situation where one is using spongy boundaries. Either you get flattened or you exert rigid boundaries which could mean anything from a verbal explosion to slamming the door and never letting this person flat iron you again.

I also have inconsistent boundaries which also results in either an outburst or slamming the door so this person never stomps on me like an annoying earwig again. Ever. Never.

The goal is to have flexible boundaries. Flexible boundaries are filled with all those nice statements such as, "Let me think about that and get back to you," or, "I don't feel comfortable with that. Can we please decide on a vacation that does not have the high probability of bodily harm?"

If spongy and rigid stay together it's death for spongy. It's either literal death or the death of spongy or spongy will no longer know who she is. Rigid boundary violator will do just fine. Rigid wants to take spongy hostage. I am not spongy. Anymore. Thank you pscyhotherapy. -AW

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