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My Therapist Scares Me. What Should I Do?

A Lost Cause

Well-Known Member
#1
So, I don't even know where to start here.
I guess let me clarify that I do not want my therapist to dislike me at all. That would really hurt. But I want her to get angry, yell, punish me or SOMETHING. Anything other than what she's doing, which is being overly nice to me and scaring me.

I didn't do all my homework this last week, and I was so anxious expecting her to be angry with me, I puked my guts up that morning, but she just said "I told you last week if you came in here and it wasn't all done that was OK." Which on one hand was a relief, but on the other hand I'm scared of this unconditional acceptance she's demonstrating. Like she doesn't even seem frustrated with my random bursts of tears?? Or how I refuse to talk to her about my worsening S.I? Or anything??

I don't know what the price is, you know? Like when will I pay for this and how? Is she gonna drop me after she gains my trust? Is she gonna report everything I tell her to my mother? What if she gets me locked up in a psych unit without proper reasoning just cause she can?

I also feel terrible for thinking she'd do those things, cause she is nice, but it's just TOO nice, you know? Like the kind of nice your mom is before she completely goes bats on you. It really scares me.

I've completely broken down in sessions just because of how nice my therapist is, and when she asks why I'm crying I just tell her IDK, but I'd like to tell her the truth, and ask her what's going on. Like why is she being nice? What's she hiding? Why? But I'm low key worried she'll be offended by my fears. Like maybe she is just naturally this freakishly sweet and I'm the one being mean by suspecting otherwise?

I.D.K. could someone please just tell me what I should do? Do any of you have experience with overly nice therapists? How did it turn out? What was the price?
 

sinking_ship

woman overboard
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#2
A therapist is *supposed* to be nice. It sounds like you haven't had a lot of people be nice to you, and so you don't know how to handle that. That makes sense. You should try to explain that to her. You deserve people being nice to you. *hug

If you want to be held more accountable for getting things done, you can also tell her that. But she's still not going to yell at you or punish you. She's there to help.
 

A Lost Cause

Well-Known Member
#3
A therapist is *supposed* to be nice. It sounds like you haven't had a lot of people be nice to you, and so you don't know how to handle that. That makes sense. You should try to explain that to her. You deserve people being nice to you. *hug

If you want to be held more accountable for getting things done, you can also tell her that. But she's still not going to yell at you or punish you. She's there to help.
I have a very lovable mother and sister, actually! So I'm not so sure that's it. But thank you, you deserve nice people too!

I just know from experience everyone gets upset with everyone at some point. It's human nature! So why hasn't she expressed any negative emotions with me? Even though I've dome things wrong? That is part of what's scaring me. I feel like she's waiting.

Also, it's an adults job to punish minors like me. She does look pretty young, but I still think she's at the age where nothing gets forgiven. So I know she will punish me at some point, I'm fine with that, my fear is when and how and why not now? I've never been good at waiting.
 

sinking_ship

woman overboard
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#4
No, a therapist shouldn't punish you at all. It's not an adult's job to punish children, it's their job to help them learn and grow.

You mentioned 'unconditional acceptance'. But that's exactly how therapists are trained to view their clients. She is there to accept you as you are, and work with you there. Sure, she might get disappointed if you aren't trying or something, but that's because she wants to see you feel better, not because she would take it personally or be mad.

I really do think you should talk to her about this. She can help you to figure out why it is you think you deserve punishment.
 

A Lost Cause

Well-Known Member
#5
No, a therapist shouldn't punish you at all. It's not an adult's job to punish children, it's their job to help them learn and grow.

You mentioned 'unconditional acceptance'. But that's exactly how therapists are trained to view their clients. She is there to accept you as you are, and work with you there. Sure, she might get disappointed if you aren't trying or something, but that's because she wants to see you feel better, not because she would take it personally or be mad.

I really do think you should talk to her about this. She can help you to figure out why it is you think you deserve punishment.
"No, a therapist shouldn't punish you at all."
If that were the case, couldn't clients like me who are forced to go, not participate and do absolutely nothing but sit in the office and stair at the floor for 45 minutes? What do therapists do to keep us working if not punish us for slacking? I just don't get that. Respectfully, I believe you are maybe a little off, which is fine. Do you go to therapy yourself?

"She is there to accept you as you are..."
She's literally trying to rewire my brain. XD hehe.

And as for what you said about talking to her about why I feel I deserve punishment, it's not so much I feel guilty, I just know I've been bad (Slacked on homework, cried randomly, lied about my crying by saying "IDK" when I did know why I was crying, refused to talk about two topics, told her I don't like therapists as a whole...) and I know that means I have to pay, regardless of weather I feel guilty or not.
 

Aurelia

πŸ”ΆπŸ”Έβœ΄ πŸ‘‘ βœ΄πŸ”ΈπŸ”Ά
#6
Slacked on homework, cried randomly, lied about my crying by saying "IDK" when I did know why I was crying, refused to talk about two topics, told her I don't like therapists as a whole...)
This constitutes "being bad" in your mind? Bad is when you manipulate the therapist to your will, steal the doctor's prescription pad, and smoke crack in their bathroom. It's not telling a white lie and slacking on therapy homework.
 

sinking_ship

woman overboard
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#7
Yes, I'm in therapy. If I am supposed to do something and I don't, my therapist is disappointed, and wonders why. Sometimes he might use tough love, like telling it to me bluntly that I have to try in order to get something out of therapy, but there's no punishment to speak of.

What kind of punishment do you expect?
If you are not doing the work of therapy and being honest, it's only you who suffers.
 

JDot

J to the Dizzle O to the Tizzle
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#8
I believe your therapist is showing what psychologists call unconditional positive regard. She accepts you no matter what. Therapists are supposed to show positive regard. I don't think all therapists do it though. I think you are used to people getting mad, and it all just seems unnatural to you. I had a girlfriend who used to get frustrated because I wouldn't get mad at her. I can see how it might be frustrating when you're not used to it.
 

A Lost Cause

Well-Known Member
#9
I believe your therapist is showing what psychologists call unconditional positive regard. She accepts you no matter what. Therapists are supposed to show positive regard. I don't think all therapists do it though. I think you are used to people getting mad, and it all just seems unnatural to you. I had a girlfriend who used to get frustrated because I wouldn't get mad at her. I can see how it might be frustrating when you're not used to it.
So this is an actual method they use? There's no consequences?
What would happen if I just quit putting in the work than?
 

A Lost Cause

Well-Known Member
#10
This constitutes "being bad" in your mind? Bad is when you manipulate the therapist to your will, steal the doctor's prescription pad, and smoke crack in their bathroom. It's not telling a white lie and slacking on therapy homework.
I still think what I've done counts as bad, but yes the things you listed are worse lol
 

Aurelia

πŸ”ΆπŸ”Έβœ΄ πŸ‘‘ βœ΄πŸ”ΈπŸ”Ά
#13
So this is an actual method they use? There's no consequences?
What would happen if I just quit putting in the work than?
They don't particularly care. They'll only put in as much effort as you do. If you choose not to do anything, you're just doing them a favor because then they're getting paid to literally sit there and do nothing. So if that's what you want to do, they won't stop you.
 

A Lost Cause

Well-Known Member
#14
Yes, I'm in therapy. If I am supposed to do something and I don't, my therapist is disappointed, and wonders why. Sometimes he might use tough love, like telling it to me bluntly that I have to try in order to get something out of therapy, but there's no punishment to speak of.

What kind of punishment do you expect?
If you are not doing the work of therapy and being honest, it's only you who suffers.
Oh! I'm very sorry to have made the assumption you weren't in therapy. I'm starting to see my point of view on this whole matter may be flawed.

So therapists really won't do anything to punish clients? Even if we totally stop putting in the work??

I guess I was expecting her to yell at me or refer me to another therapist or tell my mother. Something like that.
 

A Lost Cause

Well-Known Member
#15
Which is, by the way, a consequence. Because the whole point is to work toward feeling better. But it IS really hard sometimes and sometimes progress stalls.
I'm starting to get the impression that I do not understand how therapy works...This is all making sense, it's just not what I thought. I thought therapy worked more like a school would.
Get good grades and mom/therapist won't kill you.
But it's totally different! Thank you so much, I'm starting to feel a little calmer
 

sinking_ship

woman overboard
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#16
It's possible they would refer you to someone, or suggest you stop going. But that's not something that would happen just suddenly, and it definitely wouldn't be a punishment or out of anger. It's like if you had a weekly hair appointment then refused to ever take your hat off. Eventually they would be asking, what's wrong, do you actually want to be here? Because they might wonder what THEY can change to help you better.
 

Aurelia

πŸ”ΆπŸ”Έβœ΄ πŸ‘‘ βœ΄πŸ”ΈπŸ”Ά
#19
I think what you probably really want isn't to be punished, but for someone to show that they care about what you do (or don't do). In your mind, the therapist's frustration would be showing you they care. And since they aren't, in fact, frustrated, it feels like the opposite of caring.
 

extraterrestrialone

hi, guess who... its me...
SF Supporter
#20
Hi ALC,
What you are talking about is pretty much what I've been troubled by in therapy. 3 different therapists.

But do you see, the way she is behaving with you is stimulating your thoughts. Discussing everything may be beneficial, but not necessarily something that needs to be done. And she is not going to offer opinions or make decisions but try to let you discover that you are in a position to speak up about how you feel etc.

Things she says could be putting words into your mouth or thoughts into your mind. More she is trying to make it more possible for you to offer what is already existing in you.

An example: I keep talking in therapy about finding an EMDR therapist to be an additional part of my therapy. My homework is to find more specifics about it. If I don't do that, I won't find out. She may suggest doing it again. In school we are taught to expect an F for not doing something. But therapy is something to stimulate you into finding successes on your own. Punishment would just damage what good may already be happening in therapy or even hurt you.

And it doesn't really pay for you to just sit there and "slack off", but if that is what you were doing, she might do something (or nothing) that would bring you to considering the pros and cons of slacking.
 

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