Setbacks in therapy

Today’s vlog is a result of a question emailed to me (thanks! ;)).  Anyone who has worked with me knows I don’t consider setbacks a bad thing, or even consider them setbacks.  And they are certainly not evidence of your ability to heal/change.

Let me know what you think.  What questions does this topic bring up for you?  How have you worked through those opportunities to continue on your journey?

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5 comments on “Setbacks in therapy”

  1. Thanks for the video on setbacks, Peggy. I found it to be interesting and helpful.

    I have been in counselling off and on throughout my adult life, but I have been seriously dealing with childhood sexual abuse in counselling for the last year. I feel like I made a couple of steps forward and a one step back at times. Mostly, I can feel that I am moving in a positive direction, which gives me hope, but sometimes I find myself slipping backwards (e.g., isolating, over-eating, and feeling low).

    Lately, I have been wondering if going to counselling is actually worthwhile for me at this point. My counsellor is wonderful, but I find myself thinking, "She thinks I am too needy." Or "She thinks I am making up the abuse." Or "She doesn't really care about me." I realize, logically, that I am just afraid of trusting someone so much, but then I think that maybe I am wasting my time and hers by attending counselling. Maybe I am trying to protect myself?

    I could really relate to what you said about how feeling stressed or tired can make us vulnerable to falling back into old behaviours. I think I am in that place right now and my "foundation" is not strong enough to combat my self-doubt and fear. This is something I will mention to my counsellor when I see her at my next appointment.

    I recently started participating in an adult survivors group. While I and thankful to be part of the group, I find I feel really vulnerable there and angry a times. I am afraid of saying too much and too little. I am afraid the other women don't like me. I am afraid that I am too needy. I am afraid I am not important. Ugh. I feel gross for even thinking these things. Anyway, being in a group brings up a lot of insecurities for me.

    Thanks, again, for your video. I check your site regularly for updates, as I really like your calm approach. I appreciate, too, that you are a survivor who has been through the healing process. 🙂

    1. Hi Jill.
      Thanks so much for watching and commenting. I appreciate your kind words. I'm so happy to hear you found the video helpful.

      Of course, I can't say what your therapist is thinking, however, I can pretty confidently say it is doubtful she thinks you're making up the abuse or are too needy, especially if she specializes in working with survivors. Without any doubt I know you are not wasting her time. That is what she is there for.

      I would agree there is a good possibility you are trying to protect yourself. By telling yourself all of those things it makes it easier for you to quit. It can also be a little scary to accept she may truly care and knows so much about you.

      Talking with your therapist about how your feeling is a great idea. I'm happy you are participating in a group. I know it can feel incredibly overwhelming. But, it is really important to healing... as long as you have a good facilitator who can hold a safe space for all involved. If, as a group you are not talking about some of the fears you have (which I can guarantee other people are having too) I would suggest you bring it up either in group if appropriate or with the facilitator separately. Also talking with your individual therapist about it may be helpful.

      I'll look forward to "seeing" you around here again 🙂
      Peggy

  2. I watched this earlier today and have been thinking about it a lot because I said to my therapist last week that I feel like I'm going backwards in therapy, not forwards. While we had discussed sexual abuse at our first session almost a year ago and have periodically touched on it, I guess I wasn't ready to really deal with it. Two weeks ago, she decided to bring it back up. I'm also working on finally getting control of ongoing issues with anorexia and body dysmorphia. At 39 I feel like I can't be like this anymore. She told me that if I don't deal with the sexual abuse the food issues will never come under control. It's like reopening Pandora's box. I can't sleep, my anxiety is through the roof, I'm having flashbacks and nightmares. It sucks. And I feel worse than I did 2 months ago. She says this is all part of the process of rediscovering my self worth and healing. Your video reiterates that. But it is still so hard. I'm glad to know its normal, even if it doesn't feel any easier or better. Love your blog/vlog.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us, Monika. It can be so frustrating and even disheartening when you find yourself struggling more after beginning healing. Keep reminding yourself of what is on the other side. 🙂 You are not alone on your journey.

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