Hi everyone. I apologise ahead of time for the length of this post.
So I’ve had 2 sessions of therapy and I feel like it’s going well enough, and I’m learning things about myself and all. But my therapist has taken a strange approach to my struggles and I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and/or if it seems as strange to anyone else.
So basically I have targeted my main concern which is that part of myself that feels I should have complete control, and we’ve come to call this part Trust, because that’s really what it comes down to. I know I have trust issues from my past and I also know I am a perfectionist and control is an issue for me.
We have decided that we definitely shouldn’t force therapy since they have roots in trauma and I agree. And in my last session I started getting anxious when we were going into a seemingly random topic and it was that part of myself that needs control and doesn’t trust.
So far it has helped to approach things as though ‘Trust’ is its own being because it kind of allows me to not be totally overtaken by my anxiety, as I find it exceedingly hard to communicate (especially verbally) when I am highly stressed. But that’s what I’m curious about as far as input.
I like this idea of ‘Trust’ being separate because I can then talk to that part of myself and really understand what it (I) need(s). And it’s actually been working. But it just seems like that might be a slippery slope in a way. In my last session we tried to examine why I have trouble accepting praise, and that part was deemed ‘Image’. But ‘Trust’ doesn’t trust and won’t allow me to talk about Image. And all of this makes sense to me and it helps but the more I explained it the more it sounds like DID (I know it’s not DID, I am familiar with the condition) and I can’t help but wonder how a strategy like this will work in the long run.
We did discuss that I probably shouldn’t look too far into these ‘parts’ because just bringing up ‘Image’ brought on a lot of anxiety which is why I started therapy in the first place. And I agree.
Anyway, wrapping this up - has anyone else used This strategy or something like it? Has it worked for you? What are your thoughts?
I don’t think there is anything wrong with that approach to therapy if it works for you. I talk to my therapist about the various pieces of myself in a similar way. It is helpful for me to be able to analyze the various, sometimes conflicting motivations in my head in this way. That said, if it makes you uncomfortable or isn’t working for you, let your therapist know! The goal is to help you, regardless of tactic. Kudos for going to therapy, and I hope you continue to make progress!
Sapphire, thanks so much for being brave enough to come here and post! I’m super happy to hear you’re going to therapy, that’s always a great step to take and arms you with all kinds of strategies to use in the long run. Couple of things!
This strategy can be really helpful because it gives you the chance to use it when you’re not even in the therapist’s office. While we didn’t give parts of my personality names like you have, my therapist has ABSOLUTELY used this with me. To the point of having me talk to myself out loud about what was logical, reasonable, unreasonable, scary, etc. Since I haven’t been able to go to therapy in person in several months (b/c 2020), I have found myself using this quite a few times without even needing her to be there helping me. It’s really cool to be able to fall back on tools and strategies on your own later down the road!!
Is the main problem you have with this just that you’ve given it a name? Or is there something else that bothers you? Absolutely bring up your concerns with your therapist!! They should work with you to make sure you’re comfortable! (and if they don’t, remember you can always fire them and hire someone else!! just don’t give up on therapy entirely!)
I think my main problem is that I think too much if I’m being completely honest lol.
I do think this strategy has helped me and I did research IFS therapy after I posted and it seems to be a pretty new method of therapy. I don’t think there is anything immediately wrong with the technique. I’m just generally bad about worrying about every possible outcome and so in this case I worry that maybe it’s possible that something like this would lead to me getting too comfortable with a separation of the different parts that might become unhealthy at some point. That being said, I know it’s perfectly possible that this new way of thinking could be what it takes for me to finally come to terms with my perfectionism and trust issues.
This is pretty much what it’s like to be in my head. Logically I have no reason to believe there is anything wrong with IFS therapy, but that controlling/protective part worries that something may happen with zero evidence to support such worries. This is another thing I want to fix about my way of thinking. It bothers me that I have a hard time accepting things and immediately start to analyze the worst possible outcome, so I will often reach out to other who have similar experiences so I can compare and contrast and have some logical evidence to support the idea that this new therapy does work and won’t cause me any harm.
Thanks for responding.