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So I revealed to T that at several points people have done bad things to me- and he said that trying to figure out why they did those things was an attempt to get away from trying to change things in myself- what I could have done differently. He was clear to say I wasn`t responsible for what happened, so I`m clueless about what he means. I`m aware enough to know that this is a Gestalt therapy thing but I`m unsure to what he means.
As far as I`m concerned, the second those people did things to me, what I did or did not do is irrelevant- nothing good would have come out of what I did in any case, so what does it matter?

I don`t see my T until Wed, (it`s Monday)and I am so bothered by this weirdness I`m feeling , that I`m tempted to call and cancel and tell him to go stuff it. Any thoughts? Anyone been in Gestalt therapy and can help me understand his perspective?
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I wouldn't like to hear that either. Frowner Do you mind if I ask how old you are? I seem to remember that you are pretty young, like 18. I don't know what your T is talking about specifically but maybe what he is talking about isn't as scary as you think it is. I am sure what you experienced was bad and that people did bad things to you. My guess is your T knows that too. We do things because we think we have to or because it's how we learned to relate to people or because we are trying to get our needs met.

I've had a lot of bad things happen to me too both as a child and as an adult. People can be mean. People do bad things. Some people are always looking for a punching bag. I always volunteered to be that punching bag. Frowner

I never learned to identify what I was feeling, that my feelings were valid and/or that I was allowed to protect myself. I picked people as friends as an adult who also ignored my needs. So, for me, the process has involved letting myself feel my feelings, being able to identify my feelings and feeling entitled to my feelings.

The responsibiity part comes into play, for me, in terms of recognizing when my needs aren't being met and taking action, whether that means speaking up for myself (very hard) or distancing myself from someone. When I was unhappy in a relationship, I didn't leave but instead tried to change the other person because I am shy and socially awkward. I stayed with people who weren't necessarily good for me or nice to me because I was afraid and not confident in my ability to make friends. I am starting to learn NOT to volunteer to be a punching bag. KWIM?

Maybe your T wants to help you learn to identify your needs and feelings, etc? Can you talk to him a little about how you interpreted what he said and ask him what he meant?

It is not unusual at all for people who have been abuse to wonder why. The problem is that there is really no way to answer that question, so letting it go often helps you to heal faster. But there is nothing wrong with asking.

As far as what your T said, I've written a blog post that may provide you with an answer of sorts (you can see if you feel like it "fits").

Accepting the "not so pretty" parts

One more thing though, while I believe it is our responsibility to change ourselves (we're the only person we can change) that does NOT mean that there is not room to recognize what happened to us and express our feelings about it: the grief, the rage, the pain, the sorrow or anything else we feel about it. I do not see that as avoiding anything; I see it as finally allowing ourselves to face something that would have overwhelmed us when it happened. Hope this helps.

AG, after reading your post of the Not So Pretty Parts, I think it really validated the work I did with my T. He calls it Internal Family Systems work, where we work with different "parts" of ourselves. I always want to do away and cast out the "anxiety" part of me and he says that the motto of this modality is "All Parts Welcome." And he says, like you do, that the more you try to suppress these "parts" the more they turn the volume up. So you are right on with this one! I am in the process of accepting the different parts of myself, dispite the fact that they irritate me.

Thanks for posting.

Last edited by ljb

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