My psychiatrist and I have worked well together because of the safe and respectful relationship he set up with me. He was strict with boundaries but only with respect to what we talked about and in never doing any work outside the therapy work together. But he was and still is available outside of session times and I’ve needed it over the years. So if I was having a hard time I could call and page him and he said he would call within an hour – he always did.
That was critical to building trust. That he did what he said.
When I got upset with things I perceived him doing, he never got defensive. He listened and was thoughtful about it. Sometimes I was right and he would admit it and apologize and sometimes I was wrong and I would see my stuff coming up and sometimes we were both right.
For my trust issues what always helped was that he could see and would say that he could see how I might feel the way I would be feeling. That always helped me to refocus and reframe my thinking. I would easily go from not trusting him to realizing who he was in my life, which was and sometimes still is, a lifeline.
Another thing that was important was that he never talked directly to parts without saying to me something acknowledging the presence of parts. So instead of what could feel like reaching right in, he would say something like, it seems that there are some parts or a part present is that true. Or he’d say could you let everyone inside know that this is 2010 and you live in Wisconsin and you are safe. and then if a part wanted to talk to him, there was an opening and the choice stayed mine and my parts…
There’s tons more to say. But these were the most important and you’ll see when I finish the book I writing that this will be a big focus in there.
The Sum of My Parts Now Available
This memoir follows Olga as she splits herself into “parts” and develops dissociative identity disorder with the abuse, and then struggles to merge these parts and overcome the disorder in adulthood.
A Survivor’s Story Now Available
Olga’s critically acclaimed first-hand account of the impact of violence in her life is available in both English and Spanish.