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This thing we do • View topic - Therapists again

Therapists again

In a perfect world, discipline would cure all ills. But in the real world, not so much. How do we deal with those diagnoses that spanking just can't make go away. (You know, depression, ADD, DID/MPD. The thing a therapist would put on your medical record to convince the insurance company that they have to pay up, if you had a therapist and health insurance.)

Therapists again

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:21 pm

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Postby Rose » Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:53 am

I commend you for even entertaining the thought of sharing this with a therapist. Red and I have been talking about seeing a therapist to deal with our troubles, but the fact is, one of our biggest troubles is discipline. I just cannot see myself talking to a therapist about it. I am way too afraid of what he or she would say. (And I have had a number of negative experiences with therapists. One therapist told me not to cry because crying is manipulative. So I can't even begin to imagine the possible responses to "Oh, by the way, I get spanked when I misbehave.")

I guess that is why we haven't really taken the step of really talking to a therapist yet. At this point, I'm not sure it is worth it. There is no way to know what a therapist's view on this kind of arrangement will be until we gather up the courage to bring it up. I don't know if I see that ever happening...

We looked up Kink-Aware Professionals in our area... one looked good, but further research showed us that she was no longer licensed (though was oddly still working). The other seemed to be focused only on gay and transgendered couples.

Why aren't there any spanking-aware professionals out there??? :scream:
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Postby JigsawAnalogy » Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:51 pm

My guess (and I'll be able to report in on this in a week) is that there are a fair number of professionals out there in the mental health field who can pretty much handle anything you bring to them, in a respectful and helpful manner. And then there are the buttheads.

It sucks that you had one who told you that crying is manipulative! And it's hard to build up trust that therapy is going to help, when you have a lot of bad experiences with it. Years ago, in college, when I was actively suicidal and going to a therapist because my friends had gotten really concerned, the therapist insisted that I just had to decide to feel better. Um, yeah. (Honestly, if that method had been *working* for me, I wouldn't have been suicidal!) And then there were the ones I saw years later, also when I was feeling suicidal, who basically said that letting people know you feel suicidal is manipulative. (Way to teach me it's ok to ask for help, folks!)

BUT... I have also had some good therapists, and the good therapists are why I am still alive, and able to be as functional as I am today.

AND... when W and I brought up spanking with our not-officially-kink-aware individual therapists quite a while ago, they actually seemed to handle it really well. Not that I bring it up with my own therapist very often, but when I did, she really handled it well.
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Postby JigsawAnalogy » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:57 am

well, ok. so w and i managed to avoid the topic of "this thing we do" for another two weeks, and didn't get around to telling the couples' therapist about it until yesterday. and we didn't really start talking about that until the last fifteen or twenty minutes of the session, so we really only just started the whole process of discussing it.

one tip: :blush: if you can talk about it without giggling nervously and looking really uncomfortable, that might make the therapist better able to understand that you aren't ashamed of what you do, and aren't asking for her to help you to overcome this dynamic, and heal from your need for it.

even so, i think it went well. we'll see next week. the part i'm a little concerned about is making sure we're able to convey that the ambivalence we have is NOT about whether or not to do it, but about *how* we do it... and also, about the fact that we're kind of braced for people disapproving.

i mentioned how it's kind of similar to coming out as a lesbian, in that even if you're pretty sure you are one, and you're comfortable knowing that for yourself, and all of that, you're still gonna be nervous the first few times (or first thousand times) you tell someone else.

the difference for me is, i've had far more examples in my life of people being out about their sexuality than of people being out about DD. and far more negative examples in the world of people who do DD who are NOT people i'd want to be associated with (no offense to those who really agree with the whole "surrendered wife" thing).

AND, in terms of my chosen community, there's a lot of really negative, judgmental attitudes, and narrowness about "what it means to be a feminist." , and that's part of where i'm coming from.

so, yeah, hopefully we'll see in a week or so how our couples' therapist handles us "coming out" on this topic.
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Postby Rose » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:19 am

I agree with you. I kind of investigated that whole "surrendered wife" thing to see if that somehow had something to do with why I am the way that I am. The fact is, I just can't be that way. Nor do I think I should be that way.

It's a bit frustrating because I've pretty much signed up for every group I can find that has to do with DD, only to discover that so many of them are constantly talking about how the bible says that women are supposed to submit.

Can I just say how incredibly tired I am of hearing women disavow feminism? Without feminism, none of us would be able to choose to be in a DD relationship!

On the other hand, I'm also tired of feminists being so hard-nosed about exactly which choices we should all be making.

I should probably stop now before I start ranting for real. Let's just say that I'm looking forward to getting my hands on that article.
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Postby JigsawAnalogy » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:44 am

well, a lot of why i started this board was that i wasn't able to find a place that would accept the whole messy, complicated nature of how "this thing we do" works for me and w, and for people who we know through blogs (mostly the writers and commenters at the PB).

specifically, it was when i had finally found a board that seemed to work in terms of how people were relating to each other, but when i posted (without hiding that w and i are both female) they said i should only post in the bdsm section, because without being of different genders, it couldn't be domestic discipline.

and yet, i figured w and i couldn't be the *only* couple that wasn't fitting in somewhere else. it's not that i assume there is *no* place for gendered dynamics in a DD relationship, or that i think the dynamics of a same-sex relationship are exactly the same. but there's a lot in this world that gets called "gendered behavior" that is actually just *human* behavior. or so i think.

well, still not sure how it will wind up going with the new therapist, since we don't see her till wednesday. i hope it works out, though, because she is a good therapist.
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Re: Therapists again

Postby Eayore » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:54 pm

That comment, that it can't be domestic discipline if you're the same gender, I find quite freaky. How can anyone who does what we do be so narrow-minded?! I just can't make sense of it.

Then again, if they hadn't made this bizarre 'rule', you may never have started your forum, so I suppose we have them to thank for that.
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Re: Therapists again

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:05 pm

there are a lot of people in the world who believe there is only one possible truth, they have it, and anyone who disagrees with them is (choose one): sinning, lying, deluded, unhealthy, other.

I am happy to have this board, but in an ideal world, we would have all found a place on one of the numerous existing forums.

but I guess the world isn't ideal, so here we are. :many:
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Re: Therapists again

Postby Sara'sGirl(SG) » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:19 pm

I, too, find the ppl who say that same-sex marriages can't have DD frightening, but in my case, it's cause I feel like I DO understand where they're coming from. It is the ultimate in fundamentalism. And I'm speaking as a fairly conservative person, here...that mentality, that women have a role, and must submit to a man's authority is just...frightening. I think it far more likely to lead to potentially abusive situations, since it is NOT as much built on consent, as it is on the concept that a woman has a role she MUST adhere to. And in many of those situations, the woman has no recourse if she doesn't like the discipline, or the relationship. *shivers* It just seems like a bad situation waiting to happen.

Disclaimer: Just speaking of the stereotype of that view, and how *I've* seen it played out--if there's someone on here who DOES practice it, I would love to hear how it works for them, and please, please correct me if I'm misunderstanding.
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or you're breaking down

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Re: Therapists again

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:01 am

see, here's the thing. i read through the board beforehand, and they *weren't* the fundamentalist types. they *seemed* pretty sensible and straightforward (although there was a little of that weird dynamic where they would post in detail about punishments received, and the women would talk about shopping for implements, and even "good girl" spankings... but then they would go on and ON about how there was absolutely NO element of kink in it. um, sure. define your own identity, and who am i to disagree.)

what surprised me about the board where they moved my posts to the bdsm section was that otherwise accepting people had such a strong attachment to gendered ideas about relationships.

then again, i probably would've quit visiting that board before long after getting annoyed with the "i'm not a feminist" thing a lot of the women did. this board meets my needs *much* better. :)

:coffee: (no real reason to use this, except that smilie amuses the heck out of me)
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Re: Therapists again

Postby Eayore » Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:08 am

I kind of suspected that another aspect of that forum was it would be all male dominant, female submissive, but I was too afraid to ask. If so, I don't imagine there would have been much room for my relationship in there - at all!

I remember 'lurking' is similar sites years ago, but now I am just glad I don't have to because there are a few other forums and blogs that have room for my own experience.

The thing I really liked was that there seemed to be a community of people who talked so freely and easily about domestic discipline, which I found refreshing. However, it did get a bit repetitive and (like you) I found some of the preoccupations and distinctions rather bizarre. I guess every forum has to draw the line about what it accepts and what it doesn't (not to mention the nannies who host it, and I have known perfectly 'reasonable' and vibrant forums to be shut down without the slightest right of appeal because someone complained that they'd stepped over a particular line).

One thing which I found amusing at first, and then quite delusional and oppressive, was the idea that this kind of DD relationship was what "every home" would benefit from, that it was the natural order of things, catching on fast, and/or reviving a tradition established in more virtuous times than our own, etc., etc., blah blah blah. It was as if this was the only way that it could be made legitimate. The philosophy of This Thing We Do community is the exact opposite of that in my eyes, and bless you for that.
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Re: Therapists again

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:32 am

if there is *anything* i believe firmly, it's that there is no "one right way." different things work for different people.

mind you, that doesn't mean i don't think there are some WRONG ways. and i think if i saw someone posting in favor of something i (as the owner of this board) saw as actual abuse, i would confront the person about it and explain why it is WRONG WRONG WRONG.

heck, i think if people were coming here and talking about spanking external children, i might have something to say about that as a parenting choice. whether or not i believe i would have done fine with physical discipline (as opposed to abuse), i think with external children... there are just better ways.

but overall, i think the world would be vastly improved the more we're all able to listen to other people talking about their own ways of doing things.

my family had all kinds of fucked-up about it, but there was one quotation that kept being repeated: "I may not approve of what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." (not that this was something consistently adhered to, but the sentiment was there.)

and yeah, i think people have the right to be who they are, and my self-perception is rarely threatened by the idea that someone else finds a different way to do things.
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Re: Therapists again

Postby mickey » Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:31 am

JA -- Understand the feelings you're talking about here, particularly ones of guilt for not managing the parts on your own, having someone external responsible for helping maintain discipline, etcetera.

Today I met with a therapist and have started discussing some of this with him. To his credit, he wanted to assure me that if I choose to get my kids' needs for boundaries met through external discipline, he will not frown on it.
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Re: Therapists again

Postby DaddysLucy » Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:28 pm

Hello all! It's been awhile and this topic might be done now, but to anyone else who is seeking counseling and is afraid of what their therapist will say about their lifestyle choices, here's my two cents.

I decided to seek counseling for myself (I know many of you are/ were looking into counseling as a couple, but I think this will still work). When I was calling counselors to ask about rates, get appointments, etc., I just explained that I was in a domestic discipline/ BDSM relationship, and would that be a problem? My counselor is great, and I have been really comfortable since it was all on the table before I even paid for the appointment.

I haven't told him I am actually spanked, but that's not the focus of the therapy anyway, and I really don't think it would shock him.

Hope that's helpful to someone!
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Re: Therapists again

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:42 pm

Thanks.

Honestly, we've had better luck getting the whole constellation of our therapy needs met by bringing up spanking later in our interactions. Because after our experience with the "kink aware professional," we realized that comfort with spanking was lower on our list than a bunch of other things we wanted.

But W's and my experience also seems to confirm that decent therapists are going to be able to handle pretty much anything without being judgmental, and DD isn't so out there that it's going to throw things off (based on a sample of about five therapists, so take this with a grain of salt).

Honestly, it was the "kink-aware" therapist who had the hardest time understanding that there was a distinction between DD and kink... which, as I think about it, kind of makes sense. Easier, I guess, to establish that there is a difference between abuse and discipline than that we can do something that is sometimes sexual, and sometimes NOT sexual....

Our individual therapists handled us talking about discipline pretty well, although it's not a topic I generally need to talk about individually in therapy. I don't know whether or not W talks about it.

Our couples' therapist is doing all right with it, but I think we started off on the wrong foot describing it, and we're having a little trouble making it clear how it works. But again, she's really able to hear us and work with us where we are with it. Or so it seems thus far. :brow:
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