Monday, June 25, 2007

Lying Down

I once had a patient who told me this dream. He dreamed about me.
"I was driving you somewhere, you were in the back seat. I don't know why I was driving you somewhere, but I deliberately went in the wrong direction. I didn't want to take you where you wanted to go, and I didn't want you to know that we were going in the wrong direction. I was deliberately misleading you."
Fascinating, isn't it?

I always push people to give me their interpretation first, then I'll discuss the other alternatives. He continued:
"I try to hide from you. I hope I can mislead or deceive you, not let you see the real, horrible me."
But of course we talked plenty about the real horrible person, and he's not horrible at all, simply a little disabled.

And he worked pretty hard in therapy. We had designed a treatment protocol, a difficult therapy, honestly, and he resisted it and I knew that. But he agreed with it and wanted to do it, and for the most part did do it.

I think maybe I'm perceived as much more exacting than I really am. That could be because I do call people on their stuff (if it won't hurt them, sometimes I'm totally fine with a person lying to me, as you know from reading other posts).

We talk all the time about compliance or lack there of, especially since a treatment plan is designed with the patient's input. At one time we both thought it would help.

But if a person doesn't want to work on the plan, or if the plan is too hard, then that person is tempted to hide or to lie about what he or she did outside of treatment between visits.

Some people call that lying resistance, but I call it good communication. When they 'fess up, which usually doesn't take long, we have much more to talk about. Nobody really wants to keep up a charade. It's very boring and unproductive and we talk about the process.

Not working a plan tells me more that a person is either burdened or it's too difficult or both. And that's okay, we can dial it down.

Now the dream? The cool thing about dreams, as I've said before, is that they're ALL about the dreamer. If you're the dreamer, then everyone in the dream is you. The therapist in this man's dream is him, not me, because face it, I'm at home in my bed, not with him. He looks a lot like me in the dream. He's the driver and he's TherapyDoc.

So if you dream that you're hiding from your therapy doc?

I would say that means that you're hiding from yourself. A little silly, no?

copyright 2007, therapydoc


Anonymous said...

That's interesting-the fact that the dreamer is everyone in his/her dream. I have a re-occuring dream about my therapist. I dream that I am desperate to see her and when I get to her office, she's not there. Now it makes sense...I'm dreaming about my feelings of self-abandonment.
I really like this post...

therapydoc said...

I think that's a great way to look at it.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that idea about dreams before (from a friend's therapist)--that everyone in the dream is the dreamer, in some form. Is that idea theoretically driven? I'm not asking to be rude--it's just that I am in the field (clinical psych) too, and I've never come across that idea in any theory, nor in my own therapy or supervision. Maybe it comes from years of clinical experience with patients telling you their dreams and helping them interpret? I'm just wondering about the genesis of the idea.

Anonymous said...

I've had a couple interesting dreams about my therapist. But if I were in love with myself, I wouldn't need to see a therapist! >:(

therapydoc said...

I don't know. But look at the post on 6-27 for my answer.

Anonymous said...

I don't know....I think most often everyone in the dream is me but there have got to be exceptions. I mean, what about when I dream of abusers. They can't be me abusing me. So I agree for the most part but not wholly.

I saw your tag on lying to the therapist. Why on earth would someone lie to a therapist? What the heck for? Why waste time like that? I mean sheshhh! It seems the therapist would be someone you wouldn't lie to. I don't know....I guess I see it differently than others. If I want a therapist to save me from myself then I can't lie to him about what needs fixing. I'll never get fixed that way. Oh such games I do not even have time for. I wonder though if some can't help but play those games.

Austin of Sundrip

therapydoc said...

Austin, Of course you're not the abuser, but the abuser is your creation at that moment, nothing more.

People lie to doctors about their compliance all the time.

Is it silly? Sure. But it's easier than not owning up to not having taken proper care of themselves.