I continue to lose confidence in K. This could be due to one of the following reasons:

  • I give up too quickly.
  • I’m way too skeptical of everything.
  • I don’t really want to get better.
  • I can’t stand parting with hundreds of dollars a month.

Or it could be because she really isn’t very helpful. Symptoms of unhelpfulness include:

  • Drawing one conclusion and then switching to another one when I disagree.
  • Taking several different kinds of behavior and lumping them all together as one bad habit: I “undo” the good stuff, whether I’m really denigrating myself and my accomplishments or merely clarifying a statement.
  • Having certain go-to conclusions and recommendations that she repeats tediously, fitting them into my situation even where they don’t make a lot of sense.
  • Continually telling me that whatever symptoms I have are perfectly normal.

Today I told her about my lifelong disappointment in so-called professionals who ask me what I want instead of using their years of education and experience, plus knowledge of my specific situation, to tell me what’s best for me. Cases in point: hairdressers and psychotherapists. She was amazed that I would expect a hairdresser to suggest ways that I would look good, rather than just following my instructions. She couldn’t believe that at the age of 59 I had no idea how I want my hair to look. About therapy she said, “I can’t give you your subjectivity. I can’t give you what feels good to you. Unless you’re willing to … respond to your own distress and want it to be different and also know what makes you feel good, I can’t help you.” What part of “I don’t know what makes me feel good” doesn’t she understand?

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