It’s All About Relationship Building: The Shoes Are On and Art Therapy Homework

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The Shoes Are On

I have been in some sort of therapy for pretty much the past….9ish years.  And until therapy with the Art Therapist, I had a habit.  As soon as I entered the therapist’s room and sat on the couch (or even at the PNP’s office) I would take off my shoes.  It is sort of my way of settling into the room…Into the comfort of the therapist’s space.  Only…I don’t take off my shoes at the AT’s office.  And I haven’t figured out why I don’t.  As a matter-of-fact, I have had back to back AT and PNP appointments and shoes on are in the AT’s office and a half hour later, they are off at the PNP’s office.  So, why don’t I feel settled at the AT’s office?

Actually, those back to back appointments have given me lots of pause for thought.  I do not feel the same way in the two settings.  I am so much more comfortable with my PNP.  I chalk that up to having a significantly longer relationship with her.  And she wants less from me…She doesn’t usually put me on edge.  I feel more open and relaxed in her office.  Plus her office is more welcoming.  She has plants on her windowsill, a fish in a small aquarium, a love seat with pillows.  It is just inviting.  The AT’s office is….more spare.  He does have a plant. He has some art on the walls (but it isn’t really accessible for viewing from “my” chair.)  He has two arm chairs, which I really dislike.  No loveseat.  IMHO, a therapist should at the very least have a love seat, if not a couch.  And a throw pillow or two would be awesome.  I like the option of moving my body around on a loveseat. In the chair, I always feel like I am attention and exposed…Maybe it’s just me….I don’t know.

And I know I have said it a million times, the AT is still new…And it takes me forever to get comfortable and trust….So, I guess for now the shoes stay on.  But I wish I had a shoes-off relationship with him.

Art Therapy Homework

The AT made a remark about the fact that I haven’t been doing my homework lately in AT.  I had an assignment on Thursday to look at the dolls I made back in July and see how/if my perspective on them had changed and to apply changes to the dolls if applicable.  And I didn’t get to it by Monday.  I was just plain busy, and I kind of like to do my Art Therapy projects during the week when I am home alone.  I like a little privacy and minimal distractions when I do my homework.    I didn’t tell the AT that part.  I felt kind of criticized for not having my homework done and I told him that I was busy…ummm…I might have been a bit snappish and I believe what I told him was that, “I have a life.”

I also explained about the Big Book of Safe Places and the perfectionism stalling me on that project.

But partly, I just don’t care about my current homework right now.  I feel a little bit….guarded?  Disillusioned? Not invested? No….I think it is more of feeling guarded.  I feel like I want to protect myself a little bit and doing the homework will make me feel exposed.  I still feel kind of wary of the AT after the Forgetting Incident.  And it has re-deployed some of my safety nets and I want to withdraw.

I think that is the hardest part about the Forgetting Incident…the part that I dreaded the most…trying to regain my balance…Like, I had a good thing going and now I will have to work to get back to the same place. I didn’t really need more of a challenge with the AT.  But…I guess I’ve got it and will have to deal with it.

Hmmm…So, somehow both parts of my post have ended with me wanting to better my relationship with the AT…Really, to build more trust…Shoes-off kind of trust.  But how do I do it?

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