Karen Answers Elizabeth

Comment by Elizabeth5959 on August 10, 2008 1:57 am

Dear Karen,

You are an inspiration to me! It’s women like you who teach us through real life experiences to believe we can accomplish anything if we only try. While reading your story, my minimal traumas seemed so insignificant. I am a whiner. I’ve been whining to my therapist for months and he hasn’t complained once. Until I read your book I hadn’t realized I wasn’t getting anywhere. I wasn’t focusing on the problems I had. I knew what was wrong but was waiting for my therapist to ask me what was wrong and tell me what to do. Not only was this book helpful in understanding what therapy is, it helped me change my way of approaching my own journey. Thank you for sharing your life. It must’ve been hard to make this decision. I do have some questions.

1. During your treatment years did you ever suffer from nightmares or panic attacks?
2. Was Dr. Baer empathetic and helpful in understanding when you shared your dreams?
3. Did you ever wake in the middle of the night thinking you were under attack?
4. Do you have any suggestions I could use before bedtime to eliminate nightmares?

You are amazing! Dr. Baer is amazing! Please answer if you will. Thank you.

Elizabeth,
California

Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for sharing. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I wasn’t the best patient at the start of therapy myself. Actually, I whined a lot, too. It’s all a part of building the therapeutic relationship. It’s hard to confide in someone who you haven’t established trust with. A few months aren’t that long. It took me much longer. It takes time to heal and to get into a routine. I believe your therapist didn’t complain because he already knew this.

I’m glad that my story has given you a better understanding of what therapy is. I believe you’ll approach therapy with more focus now that you recognized what you were doing. I’m not a therapist, but have to say, they rarely, if ever, tell you what to do. This is an illusion most people think of when they walk into a therapist’s office. It’s the patient’s job to bring up and talk about whatever comes to mind. After spending many months not talking, it finally dawned on me one day that he wasn’t saying anything—that he was there to listen and I was to there to talk.

During my therapy years I did suffer from nightmares and panic attacks. It was hard work bringing up all the past hurts that weighed me down. I was lucky Dr. Baer knew how to handle me during this time. As therapy continued, Dr. Baer’s care had been implanted in my thoughts and it was as if he calmed me down without being present. Dr. Baer has always been empathetic, and when I shared my dreams, he always gave me a better understanding about what they revealed about me.

Thank you for your “amazing” thoughts.

Karen

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