Trust & Therapy

July 8, 2010

At what point do you feel you truly trust your therapist?

How long does it take to build that trust relationship?

After you reach that stage, do you feel you can trust your therapist with anything?

Do you trust your therapist more than your best friend or partner?

What do you feel creates that trust?

Something happened in therapy yesterday that told me I finally trust her, and it’s been nine months. Because of the situation she used different, intervention-like techniques I’d never heard of and they worked. When it was over I felt that I really trusted her, and I do feel I can trust her with anything. She is the only person who completely has my trust now. It was kind of a big deal for me, and something happened later in the day that had to do with what took place in therapy and I emerged in charge, confident, and not wishy-washy. I felt guilty afterward, but that doesn’t count.

It took me nine fucking months to reach this point and I’m still not sure why I have stuck with her so long, or what exactly created this bond/trust. I almost feel like she will expect more from me now, like I just passed a crucial exam.

Now it feels like someone has my back. I don’t know if I like this feeling yet. Now I feel like I need more coffee.


10 Responses to “Trust & Therapy”

  1. I saw my current therapist for a full year (for my kids behavioural issues) before I felt able to tell him about my stuff (history of abuse, DID). I then worked on trusting him with my stuff for almost another year before I felt more at ease. That’s just me. Other alters have their own time frames. We worked with one today who is just on the verge of coming away from the “I’ll NEVER trust ANYONE” point of view – that’s 18 months after beginning therapy with our current therapist. I don’t believe we will ever fully trust him. I think there will always be varying degrees amongst various alters.

    Yes, I believe my trust in my therapist is greater than any other I have or have had in the past. I think it is created by his constant validation, acceptance and efforts to make me feel safe, including strict boundaries. It also comes from seeing him handle my crises skillfully and calmly and the progress that I can see in myself that I know has only occurred due to his guidance.

    Hope this input is helpful. Glad you’ve had a good trust experience. I think 9 months is doing pretty well. 🙂


  2. roseroars Says:

    Thank you so much! I’ve never been handled in a safe way in a crisis so that was a huge thing for me. It was weird, too.

    Wow. It took like, forever, man, for you! Just kidding. By this time I have usually dumped my therapist, and I am in awe of you for staying so long with yours and feeling so comfortable about it. You get a gold sticker.

  3. tai0316 Says:

    I’ve been with my therapist since my bipolar diagnosis in 2001. She helped me deal with my feelings about being bipolar and how it was affecting me etc. Since then I have seen her when I needed to and especially when I was having a crisis, so we’ve built up a trust over many years. In a way you do trust your therapist more than anyone else because out of everyone in the world they’re the only person you can tell absolutely everything to and they can’t tell anyone else what you said. And they’re trained to handle our different situations so we feel like we’re with someone who can really help us. It takes a lot to build up that kind of relationship and I don’t think it works with every therapist you might go to, you have to find one that you can feel safe with.

  4. Lothlorien Says:

    I think timewise it is different for everyone. With my first two therapists, I felt trust pretty quickly. Both times I was in such crisis, I think I would have clung to an elephant. I was just desperate! But I did get hurt with the second one. It really wasn’t totally her fault. Nobody’s really, but I have been seeing a new therapist for 10 months and I am just beginning to feelthat trust and bond connection. I’m still weary….can I trust her with everything??? With my last therapist I did. I would’ve fallen backwards with full faith that she’d catch me or die trying. I am sure I can trust my new one this way, but my psyche won’t let me. I can’t really “let go” yet. I am still guarded about switching. She has met only one alter a very few times in 10 months. She catches me switching in session and when she responds I rapidly switch back like I’m trying to hide it. I wish that I could just allow myself to be.


    • roseroars Says:

      Thanks. I also have a huge problem “letting go”. That’s probably why I changed therapists so often.

  5. Bee Says:

    It took me a long time to trust my therapist. Maybe about 12-14 months before I really felt like I could talk to her and trust her with things. Most of my splits still didn’t trust her at that point though. But then I moved away and my T and I continued a relationship thru e-mail and she would phone me about once or twice a month to have a phone session. But then my T got really sick, and then she was pregnant, and then she had the baby, and the whole time I felt like I couldn’t completely trust her again – probably because we weren’t face to face. And then a really big event happened (too much to explain here) and I really didn’t trust her at all. I didn’t reply to her for about two months. Then she surprised me by calling me and leaving me a voicemail (I didn’t pick up the phone on purpose) telling me how worried she was about me and apologized for what had happened and she wanted me to come in and see her as soon as I moved back (which was in a couple of weeks at the time). I started going back to her and after a few months, the office she was leasing out had decided to sell so we had to start meeting at her house. It was SO hard for me to talk about anything when we first started meeting at her house. Her 15 yr old daughter was upstairs with her youngest at the time and I always felt like she could hear me. (I know my T’s family pretty well – known them since I was 8). It took me another 12 – 14 months to finally trust her again while we were meeting at her house. Now I fully trust her again but it took me a LONG time to get there! And most of my splits trust her as well, just some of them that still need to get to that point. Sometimes I don’t know if I can trust her with everything per say, but close enough. I trust her more than most of my best friends, and I trust her way more than I trust my parents. What I feel creates that trust is what she does with the information I tell her and how she helps me. She tells me all the time that she is thinking of ways she can help me during the week and all the research she does for me. She truly amazes me most of the time and I am the first multiple she has ever worked with in therapy (her ex-husband was DID). I agree with “Now it feels like someone has my back. I don’t know if I like this feeling yet. Now I feel like I need more coffee.” I always get really anxious when I first really start trusting someone. I feel like there is this thin line I can’t get near or else it will break or something. Most of the time it goes away… I’m sorry this comment turned out so long!


    • roseroars Says:

      Thank you! I’m also quite anxious about this whole trust thing. I’m also curious if she will bring up what happened at my next session.

  6. castorgirl Says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever really trusted a therapist. But then, I’m seriously attachment avoidant, so that doesn’t help.

    It sounds like you were in need (a crisis if your response to Dawn is anything to go by), your therapist was there and you allowed her to be there. That’s a freeing and empowering all at once!

    Take care,

    • roseroars Says:

      Thank you, my dear (your sunflower is doing extraordinarily well, by the way).

      I don’t trust anyone, and I was surprised by the way I let myself be helped by my therapist. It threw me. I came in, crumbled in front of everyone in the waiting room, fell down, and she really helped me through it. The session ended quite nicely.

      It’s difficult for me to gauge what level a crisis has to be before I call her. There are so many times when I probably should have called her, but I got through it, so was it really a crisis? I don’t know. If I had not been at her office when that happened I don’t know if I would have called her.

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