Hugs in Therapy

Today was a day of therapy. I saw K at 1 today. We talked a lot about my different parts. She said she wanted to keep things simple today. She reassured me that I did a good job talking through things today and that I felt less resistant in session today than I have in the past. She had also moved her chair back to the other side of the table, so we were closer and the table wasn’t between us. It is the little things like that which led to me asking to hug her at the end of session today.

She always makes sure to turn off the sound machine because she knows it bothers me. She thought to bring art into sessions because I was struggling to talk. She makes space for me to use my voice every session. She moves her chair for me. She is willing to do the gazing. She gave me a phone check-in when I needed one. And letting me know she will still be available via email during break, even though she will be our this coming week. So, reflecting on all of that, I spontaneously asked for a hug.

She said, “sure, of course you can give me a hug!” So we hugged and it was surprisingly warm. I pulled away sooner than I wanted but I didn’t want to be needy. She asked afterward, if it was okay, if I was okay. I told her yes, that I was just grateful that she really hears me. She said it made her feel all warm and fuzzy which made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I don’t know why hugs are such a big deal in the world of therapy. I mean, hugs calm the sympathetic nervous system. Hugs are good. It felt like a breakthrough today which is good because group left me feeling kind of… broken.

We did another visualization at the end. We were supposed to picture a bright light, breathing it in, letting it hug the feelings, the dark feelings. But I couldn’t let the light in… no warm and fuzzies. Why is there such a contrast?

14 Thoughts

  1. Dear KD: This sentence at the end of your first paragraph really struck me:

    “It is the little things like that which led to me asking to hurt her at the end of session today.”

    Do you see why it struck me???

    As I read on, I saw you got to hug her at the end of your session.

    I understand how complicated and difficult it is to hug or be hugged by one’s T. I just don’t manage it – after 8 years of 3x a week.

    I was never hugged as a child … only hurt. What a contrast.

    I think you are hugely brave, KD. I stand with you. TS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, wow! Hah what a whopper of a typo. But one that has all sorts of meaning wrapped up in it. Touch can hurt. Lack of touch can hurt too. I think that’s why she was so shocked and careful with our hug.

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  2. How fab! PS you have quite the typo at the start of your blog here… T.S. has pointed it out… you wrote that you asked to ‘hurt’ her not ‘hug’ her. I hope that wasn’t Freudian or if it is that it’s good material to work thru…

    No but seriously. This sounds great and i am very pleased for you. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol I know! That typo! I went back and fixed it immediately after I saw T.S. point it out. Eek! I would never, ever want to hurt K. She has been so great through everything. Even when she knew I wanted to jump ship for J.

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    1. She really, really is… and there is so much more she has done that I didn’t even write about. I think it may have been a good thing that J couldn’t work with me. I’m warming to K.

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        1. She emailed me when she was about to get on the plane for vacation because I was in a lot of distress. She told me everything she talked about with any of my other providers after I expressed concern over what was being said (after the L debacle). She has let me stay after to cry it out, the one time I was really, really emotional. Just stuff like that. Every time I express a need, she delivers. And any time I express a boundary, same thing. She is really respectful of those boundaries.

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  3. I’m so glad to hear that you’ve begun sensing that true connection with K, and that a lot of is has come about from you being open and advocating for yourself. I think that’s truly wonderful because it is evidence that you have spoken up for your worth and reaped the rewards of it. I hope this continues for you!

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  4. This is so nice to read! I’m glad that ‘hurting’ was a typo because I teared up thinking that you were implying you were hurting K by hugging her. K seems lovely – warm and caring, but good boundaries too. I think that the value of hugs is underestimated in therapy and it’s a shame. I’m pleased that your vulnerability was rewarded. x

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    1. She was so sweet about it, there was no way I could think it was hurting her. She really is lovely. I’m kind of freaking out about it all now though. Because this is a big step, letting her closer, and now there is some part of me that think this means it is safe to let all the feelings come out.

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