1. If there were anything you could tell your therapist- what would it be?
I often think you must get bored with me. As I
talk I sometimes wonder what you're thinking and what you must think of
me. Its makes me feel shame and like a burden
It is good when you show outrage, sometimes.
I am trying. I know that it may seem like I am
not, but please be patient, I really am trying. We are working on a lifetime
of shit I have compiled. It is going to take some time to work through
That my "accidents" aren't accidents.
I just would have liked her to understand better
that even though logically I knew that what happened was not my fault,
in order to really let go of the guilt it takes alot more than just repeating
the words. I am still not sure how to let go of it.
I wish you were my big sister
that i'm hiding from her, all the time. that
i need help coming out from behind the fear & shame but i don't even
know how to ask for her help.
That my PTSD needs dealing with. i am not a textbook
and i need dealing with as a survivor not a academic solution.
You scare me
Know what issues survivors tend to struggle with
and know the approporiate questions to ask. I sometimes find it easier
to answer questions than volunteer information.
that sometimes i hold back and am unable to be
completely open and honest about how bad things really are because i am
i've been raped more times than they know. When
i was 4-7(?) i was molested by an uncle and his son. i havent ever been
able to tell anyone that.
That I tone everything down when I talk to her
to make it seem less bad than it really is.
I think it would be that i fear she can't ever
truely understand me. I think that feeling comes from me feeling so messed
up within myself. I would tell her that i feel my life is so diverse with
so many issues i am scared to bring them all to the session in case she
thinks i am mad.
A sexual experience when i was young that wasnt
The whole truth. It is still so hard to talk.
Don't try to medicate me for the things I need
to say. I just need to hear these things outloud so they don't stay in
If I don't say anything, it might be because
I've frozen up. It's probably not a game I'm playing. If I smile while
talking about, it doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt. Chances are that
I'm not ready yet to let myself feel the pain, but it's still there. I
know my mind, life, etc. much better than you ever will. I welcome your
insights as you offer a different perspective, but I need you to listen
to - and trust - my own insights into myself. If I say something doesn't
fit, it's doesn't. No need to take it personal, though.
i need help if im not admitted to the clinic
i wil die
I'm currently away from my former therapist due
to an international move, but I would like to thank her for her non-judgmental
My story from start to finish - but it takes longer
than a normal 1 hour sitting.
To be gentle when it comes to questions regarding
sex. And to be extra careful for me when I am fragile.
I need to be understood
That I have lied to her about something but I
am very scared of telling the truth because to me it is such a huge deal
A lot of time I feel that whatever happened to
me was not enough to make me feel as bad as I do. I guess I need reassurance,
validation of my feelings.
that i feal depressed sometimes, and medications
For her not to answer her phone during our sessions.
It makes me feel that I dont matter.
that I don't think she cares about helping me
deal with my "big issues," my history and especially my sexual
To understand that the details of a rape are very
hard to discuss and re-live and you can assume there's probably always
more to the story
Please let me know that I matter outside of the
office to you.
How much this really hurts - without the mask
or the protective barriers I put up. Just pure, blunt honesty
Sometimes I feel like I would be better off dead...I
was normal untill then
She has no idea how important she is to me right
now. She is all i have, the only person who gives me the time of day to
talk. She is caring and compasionate and respects me if i choose not to
talk about something. I am afraid to tell her this because i may sound
too needy and be asked to see someone else for therapy. I could never
talk to anyone else about the things i have talked to her about. It took
a long time to learn i could trust her.
I would tell her that I do think about cutting
more than I admit and that I do think about death more than I admit. And
that I wish she would not place the klenex on the chair assuming that
I am going to burst into tears and cry. It was like she automatically
assumed my weakness.
I need to talk more about what's happened.
"Thank you so very much." I have actually told my therapist this. When I was 15 I was ordered into therapy (I am 23 now) and have been seeing her since. I had a lot to work on then (and then life happened and I got a lot more that needed to be dealt with ... for example: the death of my mother at age 16 and a fire that destroyed all I owned in addition to almost killing me). Anyways, the point was that she has stuck with me. Looking back to 15 or 16 I can see how VERY hard it must have been to work with me (thank god for some progress!) and I could list a million other reasons why many therapists would have referred me out to another provider. Other reasons for the 'thank you': I probably wouldn't be alive today if not for her, the support I have recieved, and her general going above/beyond what her job requires in order to help me (for instance, she will sometimes send me an e-mail if there is an article or something she feels would be a benefit for me). Oh, and her boundaries. I have had boundary problems with providers in the past (I became very personally involved with a provider 3 years ago).
Please teach me more about what trauma is doing to me- my brain and my body. It helps when I understand. I feel less like it's my fault. Please also explain things with images and give me a paper copy. I have memory problems with ptsd and am pretty much only using the right side of my brain due to trauma. I found it really empowering when i looked up what ptsd does to the brain. I realized it was normal for me to have problems reading (bc of the corpus callosum not working properly in ptsd survivors). It also made the fear less real when i saw a picture of the amygdala receiving fear messages as a malfunction. It means there's nothing to be afraid of.
I would tell my therapist how much he means to me. I need the safety he has provided during our sessions. Sometimes I wish for more, a hug or a hand on my back, but in reality, I know that the boundaries we have are a good thing and that they keep me safe. I know that he is not good at everything and all the work I need done, but I forgive his mistakes – it makes him seem more human to me. I’d want him to know that he is the only person I have been honest and real with, to the point that it hurts. I don’t think he knows how much I need to know that it wasn’t my fault.
I will help you find another therapist you can
afford and not just end our sessions.
"Going to class doesn't have to mean everything's
okay."-I was struggling with how my actions appeared to others compared
to how I felt inside
That I am a courageous resilient person. (I was
You are surviving remarkably well considering
Where do those feelings go, kiddo?
Not so much a saying, but a breakthrough where
I realized just how much the abuse/attacks are still affecting every reltionship
I have today
"I love you" "I believe in you"
i appreciate when she gets emotional. it's pretty
rare, but i have such a disconnect from my own emotions that i am so profoundly
touched to see others affected by my story. it makes me wish i could connect
with those emotions & it challenges me to do so.
im sorry you had to go through that
That I can call her if I need to
When I was worried that my actions were going
to cause another person to hurt him/herself my therapist told me that
it wouldn't be my fault and that I was "not that powerful".
It really hit home.
that she cares about what happens to me
its not your fault. when they seemed shocked that
something like that could happen so many times and so brutally...i like
it when they show emotion, otherwise its like they dont care.
The best thing for me wasn't something she said,
but her body language when I was telling her some of my story. It was
a look of genuine concern and sorrow for what I'd been through. That look
was probably the singlemost thing that has allowed me to trust her so
much, because I know she really cares.
The best thing my therapist can ever do for me
is to empathise with me, to validate what i say, and to try and make me
understand my feelings. I think the best thing she has probably done for
me is to explain that feeling bad and upset is okay, and normal. My therpaist
also expresses how she would feel if she was in my situation and that
really helps me to accept that my own feelings are okay.
Take care of your physicall needs and it will
help your emotional health.
That he doesn't see a victim.
That she was proud of me and that it was ok to
feel any way I wanted to feel at any time.
One of them keeps reminding me that I can heal
and points out every single bit of progress I make. She makes me feel
strong and capable. By expecting me to handle things well while still
validating my pain, I'm much less likely to feel desperate enough to cut
or so panicky that I lose my ability to speak.
what are u scared of?
It would probably have to be "it's not your
fault, and you can't be responsible for everything that happens".
My history includes non-touching incestual abuse, familial emotional abuse,
deprivation, neglect and rape by clergy/authority figures, and most of
the blame for all those things was placed on me.
That she was a sexually abused child as well,
and it was clear to me that there was help available. And - "there
is no such thing as a magic wand where this will all disappear" -
and had the magic wand there to reinforce the idea.
You are more than your trauma story.
She told me, with conviction, that I was meant
to live and it (the depression) would get better. I clung onto that hope.
I clung onto her.
Actually it is her whole manner. I often don't
remember much of what she says! But she is very understanding and very
respective of me as a person. She does not overstep any bouncdaires that
are personal to me - even though I know they are very rigid and not really
acceptable, she accepts them and doesn't make me feel stupid for having
to be that way
It was actually something that my friend said,
it really hit me in a good way. She said, "You can't save the 14-year
old Lois, but you can save the 21-year old Lois". That was two years
ago - I keep modifying the age thing - I can still save the 23-year old
its not your fault. blame me... (as a joke cuz
i liked to blame others)
That I am not the only one that feels the way
I do. She told me that it is ok that my recovery is going slow, it takes
It wasn't so much what my favorite therapist said,
it was that she said it continuously. She always told me that I could
do or be anything I wanted, and she provided me with great validation
Not one specific thing as much as an overall caring
and patience and helping me to understand that I wasn't responsible for
Tie. When she laughs at my little jokes, and when
she told me I seemed like a pretty balanced person.
It was in my first session and I said I needed
help and she said so confidently - 'I can help you'
It wasn't your fault
She asked if she could give me a hug.
You're not alone...WE are survirors She did not
have to tell me about herself. But I was deeply moved that she trusted
me and accepted me as a survivor too.
It's ok, you're not an alien.
Hummm ... I have 8 years worth of session to think about for this one. I guess it would be that I am "very strong to still be alive after all I have been through (mostly referring to suicide) because most people who have been through what you (I) have don't make it."
The problem with sexual abuse is that it makes a person think they have no value. It helped me re-evaluate my thought system without feeling like I was wrong for thinking I was worthless.
3. Has your therapist ever said anything that upset you or made you feel bad? If you would like to share it please feel free. This survey is confidential and no one will know who answered it. If you don't feel safe then please don't answer.
yes. Generally I like all my therapists. One of
them didn't know as much about rape trauma syndrome as i thought she did.
I pushed her for a diagnosis after only a couple of sessions (so i could
tell my teachers why my work was suffering) and she guessed at this really
extreme condition having nothing to do with trauma. She also said this
right at the very end of a session. As soon as she said it our time was
out and I had to go home with this "door knob bomb". I felt
very stigmatized even though she had only seen me twice or so. She apologized
but i felt that if she knew more about rape survivors (i was told she
did- but it turned out she worked with severely ill people in an institution)
she would have realized it was just a complication of PTSD. That reminds
me of the book version of Girl Interrupted. Kept me from telling anyone
Over reacted to my disclosure about S&M. This
closed me down right away.
She told me that maybe my loosing my dog would
help open up the doors to having an actual relationship with a person.
Not really. Mre challenging my beliefs than making
me feel badly.
I was offended when she suggested I take a rock
from a glass jar and use that to ground myself when bad thoughts came.
I felt she did not understand the whole scope of what I was dealing with.
The rock never worked and really only made me angry.
once a long time ago she got really frustrated
with me and blurted out "I'm your THERAPIST-- not your friend!"
It was more her tone of voice than what she said. Even now 5 years later,
when I am trying to say something hard in therapy, I hear that in my head,
and I feel like a low-life, because I have to PAY someone to listen to
me, because I have no friends, and she only listens to me because I pay
i am heavy & i know that it is connected on
many levels to my childhood & to the sexual abuse. she knows it, too,
of course. but any reference to my weight makes me incredibly embarrassed
& eager to end the session.
What baby? in response to my CPN mentioning my
miscarriage. my psychiatrist had 'forgotten' about it even though she
had been my psychiatrist for 2 yrs by then. needless to say i put in a
form to change psychiatrist and have got the other psychiatrist in my
A pervious therapist used the word "rape"
before I was ready to call it that. When I questioned the terminology
and said that it upset me she did not address that.
that i should have told the police. went on about
that for ages and made me feel bad some one else could have been hurt
because i did nothing. also after telling i had been raped, the reply
i got was "mm that is becoming more and more common these days"
made me feel like i didnt matter...maybe i dont..
Again, this is more of a non-verbal thing for
me. It worries me when she fidgets after I say something. It makes me
scared that I've said something that has upset her.
There have probably been a few things that have
made me feel bad, but then again i think i really needed to hear them
in order to move on in the therapy session. so although it made me feel
bad initialy, eventually it made me feel better.
No my therapist has always been great
After talking about my latest rape he said that
he was sorry and that he felt partially responsible
Yes. Silence has actually been the most hurtful
- I tell them about the rape and then they don't say anything at all.
Sometimes they say, "that was then, this is now." I've had one
blame the incident on my poor boundaries. Once, I was sexually harassed
right before a session, and the shrink kept coming closer than I was comfortable
with, accusing me of playing games, and pressing me to tell him what happened.
Also, I've had shrinks use words for my body that I'm not comfortable
maybe you shouldnt see me anymore
Not that I remember. I have been very fortunate
in my search for a therapist in the past, and hope I find someone else
as understanding now I'm in another country.
I read a book which gave certain techniques of
remaining calm. These were physical activities. She refuted that they
would be of benefit to me and queried it - I feel I was making some sorts
of move to help myself, only for it to be shot down in flamess during
I'm on a medical leave of absence because I broke
down- it is hurtful that she makes assumptions when I should go back.
I know I'm not well, and work was not helping.
She told me my cutting was 'ridiculous'. She said
she felt manipulated by me.
She has never said anything 'unkind' to upset
me. She does challenge me and this can be upsetting, but I know it is
for my own good!
Once I had an appt lets say at 1pm. I came to
the office and I waited for about 20mins. Finally she came out and said
I wasnt scheduled to the following day. Which would have been unusual.
Then she decided that it would be ok if I came back because she didnt
believe her client was coming. So we sat back in her office. She looked
like she was falling asleep. In the middle of a story I was sharing she
stops me and asks if we could just meet tomorrow. I felt really upset
afterwards. Sometimes she really makes me feel as though I dont exist...
I had a therapist that treated me like she was
upset with me (I think she was but she would not admit it to me) because
we kept having to go over certain things over and over. That's what her
job was, and I felt very rushed and devalued by her attitude.
Not really -
One therapist I saw told me I was too young to
be in a serious relationship (20's??) with my boyfriend. We we're having
problems or anything like that. Current therapist says he seems like my
rock--the thing that helps me keep stable.
She asked me if I would come to her office and
sit and lie to her. It made me feel she didnt believe me
Who are you? Because I don't know
Not my therpist, she hardly talks at all. In fact
that was kind of weird no formalities, names, forms etc... She just listened
it was so nice. But I wish she would tell me that she is more concerned
and that she does want to see me again. You see I wasn't raped, aggrevated
sexual assault, attempted rape. I'm scared that my case is not a big deal
to her after all the horrific things I'm sure she has heard over the years.
Yeah, there is one thing. Even still it is a sore spot. A little while after I started seeing her I told her that I had been sexually abused. Lots of complicated stuff happened and years passed. About 2 years ago I opened up and was talking about some stuff ... long story made shorter, she said that when I was 16 most of my providers didn't believe what I had said about being abused. She even admitted that she was one of them. She did apologize (she said that it would have been a lot different if she had known what I told her in the session 2 years ago back when I was 16 and people were questioning if I was abused or not). We have also talked about how I felt hearing that - and the issue still comes up from time to time because I think about it every time I come close to saying, or working, on anything abuse related.
I had a therapist once tell me I was faking it. I had another tell me that sexual abuse was not always traumatic. I had a third person compare being abused to being in a car accident. Sometimes my current therapist says stuff that makes me mad, but I usually call his voicemail at 4 in the morning and tell him off about it.
Walking, books, movies, swimming. Online support.
Not going to work if I cannot cope.
Self-injury, in many forms, but especially cutting.
I push things and people away. I am a huge control freak.
Deep breathing seems to relax me best. Though
I wouldn't categorize it as a "favorite"!
drawing, writing, making collages
writing. collages. talking to myself. repeating
my latest realization to all my friends who know my story so i can hear
it again & again.
listening to music using pandys going to the gym
Eating chocolate and listening to Metallica
attending my therapy session. Writing in my diary.
Going for a walk.
Writing in my diary and moaning to friends.
eating disorder and self harm, not that they are
skills. More like behaviours but for now they help me cope with what has
Cutting? err. Doing things I wanted to do as a
kid but couldn't (draw, listen to radio dramas, curl up in bed with a
stuffed animal, etc.) Writing. Practicing a musical instrument. Refuting
negative beliefs. Do things that have physical sensations attached (draw
on myself with a red ballpoint pen, play with a cornstarch/water mixture,
rub a worry stone, walk barefoot, etc.). Talking with someone.
Curling up in bed and playing repetitive videogames,
pitching a crying fit in private, temporarily growing detached and finding
something constructive to do (drawing, jewelry making).
Sleep. Taking a walk. Calling a friend. journaling.
Drinking, cutting, bingeing, purging, sleeping
Whilst with her I pull my purse to pieces! She
has offered other things for me to destroy but I can't take anything off
I don't have many healthy ones. I used to listed
to music a lot, or go out to the mall with friends, but as I grew older,
these things don't work as much as they did.
making crafts, reading, watching tv, eating (bad
one i know)
The rubber band on the door knob. I have OCD and
once I lock the door and remove the rubber band from the door I know i've
locked it so I dont have to check a thousand times. Also I like to take
walks and I also like my worry box.
Talking in my 12-step group and at church, and
Writing down whatI'm feeling when it's too hard
to say it out loud
Rationalizing my feelings... They can get out
of control so quickly, but to look back and see that I don't always respond
in a wrong way is very nice to see.
Shopping, watching TV and coming to Pandys
Okay, please don't think i'm weird. But i have
a vm that i saved from my therapist, and when i wake up at night from
a nightmare or when i have flashbacks of my rape and am feeling so afraid
i go back to that vm and listen to it. It doesn't say anything specific
but just the sound of her voice helps. Its safe.
Healthy ones: warm baths, cuddling with my husband,
drawing, prayer, after silence
praying, reading my Bible
"Buying time." This is where, if I have an urge to do something destructive (or anything that I might need a coping skill for) I set a time frame for myself before I act. For example: I used to cut myself a lot so if I got the urge to cut I would pick an amount of time (usually about 30 minutes), use a distraction coping skill, and make a deal with myself that if I still felt the urge to cut after the 30 minutes I would re-evaluate what I was going to do (and, back then, sometimes I did cut after the 30 mintes).
I call my T and listen to his voice on the machine. Sometimes I leave a message, but mostly I listen. I also post on my message board or call one of my 3 friends.
5. Do you think it would be more helpful if your therapist taught you more coping skills or do you think you have enough?
YES. I am very sorry that it took five years before
anyone even mentioned coping skills to me. They would have helped immensely.
My EMDR therapist taught me. Other than that I picked some up on the message
boards. I think that's the first thing anyone should say to a rape victim.
There IS something you can do to feel better except just wait for it to
I could always use a few more
Always good to have more.
I need more work on the coping skills area. I
need more than just a paper. I need some practice in her office using
them before I just try them.
I need all I can get.
I need more coping skills, but sometimes I feel
I am too synical to really utilize what has been presented to me.
my therapist actually taught me to make collages.
she taught me to make them inside a manilla folder & then i can close
it when i want to or when my feelings have changed. i think i have probably
learned more coping skills form her than i even realize.
i could always do with more coping skills. i do
not have enough and the psychiatrist doesnt provide enough..
Yes I think it would be more helpful
I would like to learn more
i have enough
more could be ok, but if its just gonna be the
usual "talk to people, get support, surround yourself with good people"
that really does not help...at all.
I think I have enough
possibly, but sometimes i think i just develop
coping skills in the moment, i mean sometimes it feels totally appropriate
to go for a walk, other times it feels more appropriate to write in my
I had my own methods before therapy that worked
for me so my T just helps me maintain them.
I do things my own way and oin my own time. it
would almost be a waste of his time to try. I just apreciate being able
to talk to someone
I like to stick to what I have, but more suggestions
wouldn't be bad.
I think that learning more is always a good thing.
I don't like it when the focus is ONLY on that; sometimes, I just need
to talk (and be heard). Overall, I love learning new skills, though.
i think it would help if i had more coping skills
On the whole I'm right now looking for emotional
coping methods to help me outgrow my stunted childhood and stifled emotional
No - had enough - have a lot of coping skills
I could always use more.
I wish she would help me learn more helpful ones
She has taught me other coping skills, but mostly
she has validated the ones I already have
yes! you could always use more coping skills..
I would like to know more.
I think I am doing well with that.
I think he's done a good job of combining coping
skills with other therapies associated with energy psychology
More is always better
Nah they could definately teach me some more cause
I have a lot of bad ones as well
no I don't
i always am up for more coping skills. The more
the better. Because some may work only sometimes.
I have enough
yes, I could use some more
I have been in treatment for 8 years now. Almost every type of treatment one could think of ... DBT, Cognitive Behavioral, Chemical Dependency, many day programs, EMDR, many inpatient programs ... and more. So there really isn't a whole lot of coping skills that she could teach me.
I went years without being taught coping skills and I got nowhere in therapy. It was constantly crisis management. When I was taught the skills, we were able to move on to dealing with issues in the past instead of putting a band-aid on the present. I need to be reminded to use my skills.
I like needs meeting resources as a part of emdr.
I just like what my therapist does; She lets
me talk about whatever I feel I need to bring up and we go from there.
Often we talk about a little of everything since I tend to jump around
with my thoughts.
Painting Art therapy.
Talking. I need help in the breaking the silence
area of my life. Talking to her has given me a voice. Thus far her idea
has been to bombard me with information. Which information has its place.
However, I need time to practice the skills before I try to use on my
own in the moment of trial and tempataion.
I'm still learning
I have only experienced one style so far. Basically
it was her knowing just the bare minimum from my very early sessions and
then her asking questions in order to open me up little by little. I think
all in all it is a good starting approach.
tell my story, talk things over
emdr was not necessarily a raging success with
me. what aorks best for me is if i can prepare what i want to say ahead
of time & we use the poem or whatever i've written as a jumping off
i havent started seeing a psychologist yet i
just have a psychiatrist
None of it is my favorite-I feel too uncomfortable.
I guess my Favourite is when I have taken drugs the night before therefore
I can talk easily with her the next day. She doesn't know this.
talking and getting reassurance that the ways
I am reacting are normal
i write out whatever i feel on a paper. then
read it out loud and talk about it.
When i told about the most recent and worse of
the rapes that was pretty horrific, seemed really shocked and wasnt acting
so cold more like the way a friend would act if they found out.
I like to talk over how things are going in my
life that have been affected by rape and what I can do to try and make
Well so farw e have only done 'talking therapy'
where i just talk about stuff on my mind. although my therapist has suggested
doing things like invisable chair therapy, and also stuff like writing
my life line, or using pebbles to represent people in my life (and how
i feel they position in relation to me). I think the more 'activity based'
ideas are good as i sometimes struggle with just the talking all the time.
We talk through things and deal with flashbacks
at the time they occur.
Mine is just psychotherapy but over the years
it isnt so formal. we have coffee and a chat which is more "real"
One where I say what I need to say and then if
I want advice, I ask for it. Other than that, I just mainly need someone
to listen and tell me I'm not crazy.
I like a combination of techniques. Coping skills
are a necessary component, but aren't enough by themselves.
i think to tell my story and talk things over
Talk therapy with medication prescriptions for
the PTSD flashbacks and chronic depression. My therapist was qualified
for EMDR but I opted not to go for it.
I do no know what EMDR means. However, telling
talking and using body movement to change the
way the memories are stored.
Where my feelings are validated and help me to
realise more about where they dome from.
Mostly we just talk. But we have tried 1 session
of art and 1 of relaxation
Telling my story, how I feel, and being asked
just talking about what is on my mind...
IM not sure. I really liked EMDR but it was tough.
I really liked the way I felt when doing EMDR. I stopped to early with
it but I did like it. I really enjoy the one on one where I discuss my
wk and how things are going. Then discuss what I could do to get my through
the next wk.
I really would have to say that I am not familiar
with any other type of therapy session other than just talking and regular
cognitive therapy. So I can't say if any other type would be my favorite.
I think I benefitted alot from EMDR
I'm not going for sexual abuse, so for me, just
talking and BEING ASKED QUESTIONS. (simple questions) helps. So does helping
to set my own agenda..
Talking things over - it feels like the only
thing that will help me for some reason
I ve told her...but she hasn't listened to me
i'm not sure what this question means. sorry.
I've only had 2 sessions so far and we just talked.
I am surprised that I have said as much as I have to her and no she simply
reinforced my current coping skills.
telling my story, but, I rarely actually do that.
I would have to say it is regular talk therapy (compared to all the others I have done/tried). Yes, she did teach me coping skills years ago when I needed to learn some.
Talk-Therapy is defiantly my favorite. For a long
time I didn’t realize my thinking was wrong and I tried all kinds
of behavioral therapy, figuring out that if I could learn to act like
other people my problems would be over. That didn’t work and I just
got worse. I also have a different T for EMDR and I wish she would talk
more with me so I could trust her better to get out my story.
7. Do you feel that posting on support group message boards helps you cope and communicate with your therapist in any way?
Yes. I think it's empowering. I have seen so many
people go from blaming themselves and feeling stigmatized, isolated and
alone to being thriving, powerful individuals. I think telling your story
and not being met with disbeleif, discomfort or secondary victimization
is a big part of that.
Yes, it helps me think about things and can give
me ideas about what I need to talk about
Yes. Important support from other survivors, who
know the road.
OH HELL YES!!!!!! I can post and get feedback
from people who have been there. I still get to remain anonomous to a
certian extent, but I get to still have my voice. And sometimes the most
helpful thing I can do when I am struggling is to help someone else. This
gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment that I can take with me into
the next therapy.
Yes, I think that seeing other people with similar
problems makes me feel more able to admit to my own, therefore it is a
little bit easier to admit it to a real life person
i think the message boards really help me figure
out what it really is that i'm trying to say. if i post about it, there
are often perfect questions or comments that i can already be thinking
about before my therapy session. at the same time, i often use the message
boards as a way of getting more affirmation or feedback after a therapy
defintitely. i often think of printing out things
i say but i dont. i might do though.....
It most definitely helps!
yes I have often posted things before I have talked
about them in therapy
Definitely. Posting gives me insight into how
I'm really feeling so that I can be clearer with my therapist.
I actually don't think it does. I get lots of
support of the community boards, but i don't take any of it to my therapist.
That however may be because i am completely open on the boards and not
so much so with my therapist.
Yes definatly. The support from message boards
gives me the courage to talk to my therapist.
I don't currently have a therapist, but posting
does make me feel better.
They can help me cope. I don't know if they'll
help me talk to my therapist.
Yes, I do. I find validation and safety from online
anonymity and find that fielding a question to a support group can often
make it easier to disclose scary issues to a therapist.
Yes - more of an idea of not being alone with
Absolutely. It helps me to get and give feedback,
to know I'm not alone and be braver in what I tell my therapist.
It helps me realise other people have gone through
similar things. It helps to talk about things I'm not sure whether to
bring up with my therapist and gives me more courage to do so. She doesn't
really approve of online communities though so I can't really talk to
her about them...
Yes, I can sort out what I want to say and how
it will be recieved before I can say it to her. I kind of rehearse it
on the board first
yes. Sometimes I ask the group questions on topics
in my life. then i go to therapy and tell my therapist some of my "friends"
from the boards opinions.(never giving my therapist their names)
Nope, because I've never done that.
Definitely - seeing what others are thinking and
feeling helped me to understand my own emotions and realize I've made
alot of progress.
Oh yeah... Didn't even know how much until recently.
YES more than I could ever tell you!!! It helps
me to understand which in turn helps me to know that I have to push myself
I do feel that they help cope, i have only been
on one other site/message board and it was one that my insurance provides
its members . As far as helping with communicating with my therapist,
i have not learned any new ideas or tips.
Do you mean like after silence? My therpist does
not have a message board, but if she did I think it would help.
I don't do that ... but I do ask my therapist look at, or print out, my Live Journal before some sessions. It is helpful for the both of us.
Most defiantly. My therapist knows that my message board is a large part of my life and that a lot of my energy goes into Pandy’s. I think they work well together. There have been times when I am about to do something tough in therapy and I post for support and encouragement. There have also been times I have been afraid to post without talking to my therapist first. Either way, I usually end up posting. Sometimes I tell my therapist what other people (no names) think about a situation and I try to convey to him how real my companions are. Sometimes we even debate things he has said. He has on one occasion, when I was explaining something very difficult, if there was anyone on the support board who might have advice on helping me to explain to him what was going on.
8. What are the positive things that you have gotten out of therapy?
It makes me feel more grounded. Like someone is
there to make sure or at least keep track of whether I'm ok.
Able to control my thoughts a little more
Helped me with extreme pain, stopped me from being
frozen and destructive. Patience of T, just waiting, til I shift.
I cut far less than I use to. I feel like there
is someone out there who knows about 85% of my story (still parts I struggle
with revealing). And she still likes to see me come in. She doesn't think
that I am tainted and damages and broken without remedy. Her hope in me
has spawned the beginnings of hope in me.
More than anything it is the validation that what
I am right now is really okay, and that my reactions are acceptable.
encouragement, hugs, support, learning to use
my words, learning new ways of thinking, starting to trust someone
i am on a path to healing, whereas before i started
i was on the path to self-destruction. also, i know that my therapist
cares about me & even though at times it feels artificial (i am paying
her after all), sometimes knowing that i have an appointment every week
to talk with her & to be cared for (on some level) by her, gets me
through the worst days.
being listened to (most of the time although it
could be A LOT better)
I feel better about myself. I feel like I have
never felt before. I feel free. I feel like I can cope with the world.
I feel happy! I want to be alive.
I have a wonderful therpaist who has helped me
to deal with a variety of issues life has thrown my way. She is always
supportive and kind, but makes sure I talk about the things I need to.
i am not suicidal anymore. i have not cut myself
in a couple years. i can cope fairly well from day to day. and i feel
like im going to be ok.
getting another opinion, being able to talk about
The relief of having someone to talk to about
what happened to me and how it affects me.
having an outlet to talk and express my feelings.
Learning to understand me and the hurt i feel.
learning to like myself.
I don't try and kill myself anymore. I am alive
and I am surviving.
That I'm ok to go out of my house and not be scared.
A few new coping skills, feeling a little less
alone, and feeling a little more heard.
Increased self-worth, cessation of self-harm,
cessation of binge-eating, less severe depression and anxiety, less severe
nightmares/flashbacks, the balls to leave my abusive family behind and
move to a new country.
Been able to protect other children, gained self
That when I feel crazy I know I'm not.
Increased self-esteem, confidence to stand up
for myself, feeling less alone
More of an understanding of myself and how my
behaviour comes so much from my past
Mostly the reassurance that it is normal to feel
the way I do, that there is a future without all this pain, that even
when I think I'm doing so bad, I may still have some progress in the smallest
fealing better about myself, and acess to other
coping skills, knowing when to ask for help, learning
about myself, and having support.
Therapy has really helped me break out of many
patterns that I have been in throughout my life in choosing unhealthy
I've been able to pinpoint what's really bothering
me and also learned not to be so hard on myself. One statement he's made
has helped me deal with alot of different situation - that is people's
lives are their realities - or actions speak louder than words and no
matter people say theythink or believe it's how they live or act that
Self esteem. Confedince, etc.
So far only an understanding that it is ok that
I feel this way. I am not weak for letting it get to me
knowing it wasn't my fault
So far, its that i deserve to be heard and i deserve
to have help in dealing with my past and with my rape.
I broke the silence. But other than that it has
been really hard.
healthier than I was, I've learned things I didn't
I have better self-esteem. I am not cutting myself anymore. I have less relationship/communication problems. The biggest positive thing is that I am nowhere as sick as I was compared to when I first started in therapy.
If it wasn’t for therapy, I would be dead many times over. I have great hope for my life, but my coping skills just don’t match. Sometimes all I need is to know someone cares enough to see me every week and help me deal with my problems.
Thanks very much. I know it's triggering and difficult
to deal with trauma survivors and we appreciate it.
I have no idea why you guys feel the need to put
up with me, but thank you very much for doing so. I might not be in the
best place right now, but if it wasn't for you I'd be somewhere much worse.
Thankyou for believing me, listening, witnessing
Thank you to my message board. You got me through
sooooo much. You are a wonderful and compassionate tool that I am able
to use as much or as little as I need. You allow me to be hurting. You
try to life me up when I am down. You provide me with alternative perspectives.
You affirm, you care, and you allow me to be me. To my therapist, thank
you for encouraging me. For pushing me, for informing me, and for being
yet another tool in my bag of healing.
Dude, you're helping me save my life.
I guess, and this may seem ungrateful but I would
really want them to understand that even if it appears I am making strides
I still have a lot more to work on. I am always worried for people to
think I am "all better" and abandon me. But I would also just
thank them for getting me this far and not thinking that I was a disgusting
human being or that I "deservd" it.
You're such a good sport for sticking with me.
I love you so much, thank you for being so patient, thanks for always
being willing to work things out even when we get mad at each other, thank
you for being nice to me. Thank you for taking time to talk to my inside
people and hearing them and most of all, thank you for believing me.
you have saved my life. i appreciate the time
you invest & the emotional energy it takes to do what you do &
have the impact that i know you have had. thanks are not enough...
thank you for being there for me to exploreeverything
that i have inside of me. i couldn't have got through it without you...
thank you for listening to me
I would say thank you to my friends who know when
I am not okay, even when I insist I am. I would thank them for being constantly
supportive. I would thank my therpaist for understanding where I am coming
from and helping me to see things in alternative ways.
to my therapist id say thank you for being the
type of person i can trust. and thank you for trying so hard with me.
thank you for continuing to see me.
thanks for listening to me, it means heaps, thank
you for showing outrage at what i have been through, makes me feel like
im not just overreacting
Thank you for being such a wonderful listener.
Thanks for thinking about the things I've told you and helping me to understand
why I feel the way I do. Thanks for your patience and gentleness in helping
me to identify and work through problems.
Thankyou for listening to me, thankyou for understanding
me, thankyou for giving me a safe place to find out all about the masses
of feelings i feel. Thankyou for caring, thankyou for sharing ( by that
i mean my therpaist has been very good at sharing how she feels and that
has really helped me to feel that my feelings are okay.)
I would not be here without you thankyou.
I owe you my life, not just for being my therapist
but for being my friend for more than a third of my life.
I already have told her thank you, but I think
I would just like to give her a hug. No words can encompass the appreciation
I have for all she has done for me.
Thank you for believing me and for believing in
i appreciate everything you have done for me and
cannot thank you enough for all your efforts
I'd probably thank them for telling me to get
out of my home as fast as humanly and fiscally possible due to the climate
of constant invalidation and emotional abuse within.
I have already said thank you many times and that
they have saved my life
I'd say thank you for being safe for me.
Words can't say what I want to, you saved my life
and improved it.
I guess I'll have to do with THANK YOU, because
I can't find sufficient words.
thank you for being there in the highs and the
lows, and keeping me safe...
Thank you for helping me through the hard times.
I really apperciate it and I thank you for standing by my side. You guys
always knew I could make it. I still need help but I feel better today
then i did last yr. thank you.
You always made me feel like I could fly if I
wanted to when I got out of a session with you. I hope God blesses you
every day of your life, and I will pray for that to happen!
To my therapist it would be thanks for you patience
and non-judgemental nature -- if only all people could be so understanding.
To other survivors I'd say thanks for your insight and honesty in sharing
painful experiences -- it helps more than you know.
Thank you for helping me feel like I'm not always
wrong... and like I'm not always feeling bad for no reason.
You guys not only saved my life but also gave
it some sort of purpose and made me kinda like it. For that I can never
repay you or thankyou enough. I LOVE you guys sooooo much and without
you I wouldnt be half the person I am today. THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU
from the bottom of my heart!!!! (That was to Pandys :) )
You are making such a positive impact in my life,
more than you know. Thank you so much for all your help.
Thank you for listening and for accepting me
Thank you, for staying with me for soooo long
I have had team meetings where all of my providers attend, and I have said this: "There is no way I could ever put into words how appreciative I am of everything you have done, and are doing, for me. I don't take seeing any of you for granted because I have seen the providers friends and other patients have, and all of you have very interesting personalities (it's a big thing with my team - they are all "nuts" in a good way!) that make doing treatment so much easier. Thank you."
There should be a “therapist’s day” just like all the other faux holidays that we have. That way I could send my therapists a card and let them know how they have changed my life without it seeming obsessive and strange. I would thank them for saving my life, for keeping me safe, for listening and for being honest. But, more, I would thank them for being there every day, listening to me on the phone, calling me back, taking time out to read my journaling, reassuring me time and time again that I am safe, confirming that I am not crazy, and being there on their bad days to help support me through mine.
To Pandy’s. You have been
my life. When I found you I was lost and hurting. You have been there
for me through thick and thin and sometimes were my only link to sanity.
Being able to discuss my feelings and talk to other survivors and feel
normal and have a sense of belonging in this community makes me all mushy
inside. I wish none of us had to be a member, but I am proud to know each
and every one of you and I carry your stories in my heart.
Rape Crisis Information Pathfinder, UNC Chapel Hill, N.C., http://www.ibiblio.org/rcip/