Me and my therapist see the world differently. What to do?
January 15, 2013 3:21 PM Subscribe
I've realised that I have serious philosophical disagreements with my therapist, as in extremely conflicting world views. I've been seeing her for a year and I'm not in the best place right now, how should I respond to this realisation?
posted by litleozy to human relations (42 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Just to put this into context, I started therapy about a year ago because I'd been wanting to for a while and because I'd always felt 'off', like I was getting in the way of myself. I'd also had a pretty chaotic childhood and my parents have a very mutually dependent and conflictual relationship which I knew would leave some scars even if, before therapy, I couldn't say where.
I've been seeing my current therapist for nearly a year and she was referred to me by an extremely reputable psychiatric centre and she is herself a member of three reputable psychotherapist groups. I'm adding this in to say that she's not a quack.
Today's session put things into perspective. I came in, talking about how my boiler had just been fixed by removing all the gunk in it. She said that this was an interesting metaphor that I had created or something similar. At first I thought she meant that this was an image sticking with me because of my mental state, but talking things through with her, it turned out she meant that I had created the boiler being cleaned in my mind to express my own mental state. I strongly disagreed. I can't remember all of the details but it basically came down to her saying that the exterior world does not exist independently of our perception of it and that we artificially create such separation between ourselves and the world, and that if we realise that such separateness is incorrect, then we can become part of the Mind, a kind of spiritual essence of which we are the expression. Nirvana in a word.
I think this is horse shit. I told her that no, I do think that things exist independently of us, and she advised me to check out Bruce Lipton and Rupert Scheldrick as two scientists that show that our understanding of physical reality is flawed. I've watched one video by Bruce Lipton and his main idea, as I get it, is that our thoughts can change our genes and our environment.
I'm really really not against the idea that our mindset shapes our perception of the world in ways that are not conscious to us. I'm also not against the idea of having a more spiritual connection with the world although I have to admit I haven't found mine yet. What worries me is that because my therapist and I have such different world views, this will impinge on the therapeutic process. I also admit that I do think less of her for holding these beliefs, however unfair that is, and that I will be more suspicious of her judgments.
My concern is that part of my reaction is most likely to be tied up with a self-hating rejection of healing and that that I am in a self-destructive phase right now. Plus, this is someone that I have been in an intimate relationship with for the past year and a strong connection has been formed, although I'm also not sure how much I've progressed since starting. I am the kind of person who is wary of intimacy and this may be a reflection of that.
Basically, is this a deal breaker? She's otherwise been very helpful and I feel like there are some things I can learn from her, but today's session has made me take more than a few steps back. I know from her credentials that she's not a quack and a lot of what's she's said has been on target, but she seems aligned with a belief system that I would call crap and that is espoused by quacks. One of the things I'd been hoping to achieve with therapy was a better connection with the reality within which I am in, and this doesn't seem to help that.
I hope this doesn't come across as me wanting to rehash a philosophical argument between me and my therapist here in metafilter as that's really not my intention. I just want to know how to respond to this situation.