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Thread: Some revelations with a therapist

  1. #1
    Senior Member Allison Chaynes's Avatar
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    Some revelations with a therapist

    I recently decided do use my employee assistance program at work to go talk to a therapist, mostly about how frustrated I have been with my job. I currently work in a hospital and an administrative role, dealing with a number of patients on a daily basis. Everybody seems to think Covid is the most frustrating thing with our jobs, but it isn't? It's just management and patients that seem to be frustrating. Anyway, as we were talking about other sources of frustration outside of work, I mentioned that I feel like I have very few outlets to relieve stress. One of the unintended consequences of Covid is that my kids are always home, because none of the neighborhood parents want their kids around my kids, simply because both my wife and I work in a hospital around Covid all the time. So, my kids spend a lot of time at home, even though we do go out and do a lot of things in the outdoors to get out, they're still around us all the time. I am closeted as far as my kids go, so this has been a major source of frustration for me. I try not to think about it much, but it is a frustration. I also moved to a new city two years ago, and don't really know anybody here outside of those I have worked with. The coworkers that I seem to work best with, and get along with, or a couple of lesbians, and we started hanging out on the weekends with a few other people from work and kind of have a little hang out group going. I'm not out to most of them, but I did tell one of them about Allison. She seems excepting, as I expected she would be,, and promised to keep that a secret for me. So at least somebody here knows a little bit about me that I don't have to keep bottled up.

    As I was discussing further with a therapist last night, at my third session, we really haven't talked on gender stuff. We had mostly focused on coping strategies for how to handle work on a daily basis. When I saw her Wednesday night, she wanted to talk more about the gender issues because she felt like it might be a bigger source of frustration for me than we had discussed. As we discussed it further, she started asking questions that I don't really have answers for yet. Basically, exactly where I am on the spectrum, how does that affect my life, if I didn't have to hide it, I would my life be different, some things that I had discussed with other therapists in the past but hadn't really gone into very much. What impressed me was that she actually put together a plan for us to have more discussion after she reaches out to some colleagues to further educate herself. In the meantime, she's kind of opened a Pandora's box that I guess I haven't been willing to explore or acknowledge for myself. I don't believe I am transgendered, but I can't say I'm just a straight guy who likes wearing women's clothes either. So trying to figure that out, which is already really been a decades long journey, is going to be our goal.
    Life is too short to be boring.

  2. #2
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    Nice post, Alli! I went to a therapist rite after I began dressing in secret. Altho, my wife knew a little.

    She asked what issues my dressing brought up? When I said, "Nothing yet." She said, "Then, let's leave that and move on to your problems!"

    We spoke about it 15 minutes at most!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  3. #3
    Junior Member Larissa Cassandra's Avatar
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    I've been considering going to a therapist to express my confusion about my current situation. I'm pretty sure I'm just a straight male crossdresser, but the more I do it the more I like it, and want to do it even more. If I were single or wasn't concerned about my wife "burning out" on seeing Larissa more than her male husband, I'd probably dress all the time at home and probably start going out dressed. I don't have any desire to transition, but I do find myself attracted to other crossdressers, so does that make me bi? No, because maleness and masculinity are an instant turnoff. I'm attracted to femininity, so maybe what's underneath the silk and lace won't matter to me. (Of course that brings up the question of cheating on my wife, which I can't see myself doing!) So a question for y'all is how do I find a therapist who can help me sort through all this? There are many to choose from, so do I "interview" them to see if there's a good match, or just start seeing one whose website looks the best????

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    Member Kris Burton's Avatar
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    Great post who among us has not asked themselves these questions? I think you already have the answers to some - the guy question with attraction to CD an TG person's seems to come up a lot but I think you already have that answer. If you still find yourself confused though be ready to be very specific with your therapist and try to find one that specializes in your areas of concern might be a marriage counselor as well from what you describe. Be ready to take some time with your counselor though...this where I think I could have benefitted more from my time in therapy.

  5. #5
    Member Mermaiden's Avatar
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    I can relate. I work at a hospital and find it more frustrating with time (seems more focus on money and compliance than patient care), and I have grappled with the question of my sexual identity. The answers don?t seem as clear as one might expect.
    Hope you keep posting on this.

  6. #6
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    Nice post. Hope therapy goes well for you. Too many times people forego therapy before the issues become overwhelming. Unfortunately, our source of stress relief and relaxation always seems to pose another problem. Sometimes it would be nice if stress relief consisted of something more customary; like golfing. Even when we find where we are on the spectrum and gain self acceptance, we still have the problem of dealing with other people's problems of acceptance.

    From what you have stated I'd watch out that you do not become your therapist's learning project since she felt she needs to "reach out to some colleagues to further educate herself."

  7. #7
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Good post, Allison. It is good that you took the therapist approach rather than the "I can fix it myself" approach. Sometimes that works, but therapists (my youngest daughter is one) seem have a sixth sense that allows them to see deeply into a person and with their training help them to find solutions. Often these big issues are not easily solved by the individual who has the problems simply because often that person is a part of the problem. Keep us updated on what your therapist does with your gender issues. I suspect she will help you to understand it better and accept it about yourself.

    Larissa, your thinking is on the right track. Sometimes there is a mismatch in the personalities of the client and the therapist. But therapists are very good at finding the proper behavior to make a client comfortable. So, pick a therapist that has experience in gender issues (most do nowadays) and try them out. If it is not a good match don't be afraid to say that. However, keep in mind that a good therapist will tell you or help you discover in yourself what you really need to know. They are not there to justify your beliefs and blindly support your every wish. Some people expect that; if the therapist is any good they will not provide that unless it is true. Been in therapy a few times and if you cooperate with the therapist and completely open the book to yourself it is amazing what happens. They don't fix you; they help you discover in yourself the things you can work with to fix yourself.

  8. #8
    Sallee Sallee's Avatar
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    I think therapy is great I have used it a couple of times and it helped Although I never discussed CDing in great detail. I did tell them both about it and was never questioned about it. I was kind of disappointed that it never was talked about in detail. I know its a problem because I suffer CDing guilt My wife is aware and has been out dressed with me but she is not a fan and would rather not be involved so I keep it secret, my bad I guess. Maybe I'll try again and maybe force the issue.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sallee

  9. #9
    Senior Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    I kept my wife sufficiently informed that she didn't think I needed to see a therapist. She saw one regularly.

  10. #10
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    When I started therapy, it was for similar generic complaints - depression, anxiety, etc. I have mild PTSD (lots of stuff from a 23-year EMS career that one can't un-see), but I was also ready to explore gender issues. It did not take long (two or three sessions) and the course took a similar turn, focusing in on the gender issues. Long story short, things are much, much better now.
    "Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones."
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  11. #11
    Junior Member Larissa Cassandra's Avatar
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    Gretchen, thanks for the thoughtful comments. Earlier today I started looking online for a therapist and found a few that look like they would be good matches. They all offer online introductions and sessions, so next step (after the holiday weekend) is to check them out.

    Sallee, I'm surprised your former therapists didn't follow up on your crossdressing comments. Perhaps they thought you were comfortable with CDing and didn't want to pry where they might not be welcome, and where they didn't think there was reason to. I've never been in therapy, but I'm taking Gretchen's advice in finding a good therapist who can help me with my gender and other issues. I hope you do try again and are able to get your CD and relationship issues out in the open - you shouldn't have to force the issue with a good therapist!

    Hugs,
    Larissa

  12. #12
    Member Kris Burton's Avatar
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    I have found in my experience with therapists is that you must be very specific with even the best of them to help correct your issue.That means an incredible amount of soul searching on your part...mentally working on your issue even when you are not in session with your therapist.
    In my own experience my success has been mixed. When I relied on the therapist to find my problem not so much.. My best experience was when I was at times brutally honest with myself...and he with me as well. The big breakthrough moment like you see on TV doesn't really happen at least for me...much more gradual but I do find I often derive benefit from these even to this day. If you do approach it with this in mind especially with a therapist who deals with gender issues you should find it very beneficial.
    ..

  13. #13
    Administrator Di's Avatar
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    Allison,
    You said
    [she's kind of opened a Pandora's box that I guess I haven't been willing to explore or acknowledge for myself. I don't believe I am transgendered, but I can't say I'm just a straight guy who likes wearing women's clothes either. So trying to figure that out, which is already really been a decades long journey, is going to be our goal./
    I think it is really great you will be figuring it all out. I know some that see a therapist and still keep this hidden. I never understood that.
    Best Wishes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris Burton View Post
    I have found in my experience with therapists is that you must be very specific with even the best of them to help correct your issue.
    ..
    Wow, this echos my experience exactly. I initially started seeing my therapist to discuss stress and the relationship with my then SO; I've brought up CD'ing and my feminine side a couple times but we've never really had a very deep conversation about it. Thanks for the reminder that I need to make a very specific request/ask for me to discuss this more.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Allison Chaynes's Avatar
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    Points brought up here, I definitely agree that if your therapist is not staying on topic and focused, you're probably not getting much out of it, at least as much as you could. Keeping yourself focused on what you're trying to accomplish is important as well.

    It's been rough at work, a very well loved cardiologist was in a patient's room last Thursday and dropped dead from a massive heart attack at work. I didn't know what was happening at the time, but I ended up being the one to gather his family together in a room so The house supervisor could tell them what happened. That was really rough. I didn't know the doctor, but he was one of those who would acknowledge everyone of the hospital and say hello, which is a lot more than many do. Very nice guy, and all the nurses enjoyed working with him because he was a respectful person. I digress a little, it's just had me a little distracted last few days, which is part of why I haven't been posting.

    Back on topic, one of the things we were talking about tonight was how the dressing progressed. I hadn't really thought about concurrent timelines of things that were occurring in my life at the time, but she asked me to consider the possibility that major events in my life led to changes in my cross dressing and self discovery journey. I started out thinking it was a simple lingerie fetish, and into adulthood when it grew into a lot more, there was a lot of stress going on at the time at home with a young kid, a wife in school, and me working a job I absolutely hated. So part of me wonders if the intensity and desire directly correlates with a need to escape from the reality we face every day sometimes. This is something we're discussing further when I see her again in two weeks. I should note this is not the first therapist I have seen, I believe she's actually the third, but this is the first one I've seen in several years since leaving the other side of the state. The last one I saw, I would show up to her office at least partially dressed. I haven't been bold enough to do that here yet, just don't have the comfort level established yet. We were talking tonight also about how far I felt like it usually goes, I don't feel the need to throw on a wig and make up and go all out, I'm perfectly content to come home and just don't want to dress most of the time when I have the opportunity to do so. I underdress 24 seven.
    Last edited by Allison Chaynes; 09-15-2021 at 09:55 PM.
    Life is too short to be boring.

  16. #16
    Member Kris Burton's Avatar
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    In my opinion, not as a therapist obviously but as a patient, it looks like you are well positioned to get maximum help from your current therapist. You seem to be well aware that your dressing plays a significant role in how you approach your everyday life, and the points you bring up here are well worth discussing in depth. How far into these issues did you discuss with your earlier therapists, and what was the result? I think you would find it interesting to make that comparison and judge the quality of the sessions you are now experiencing. I think you will find these upcoming sessions enlightening if nothing else, and good that you are "going deep."

  17. #17
    Senior Member mbmeen12's Avatar
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    Lots of layers of stressors that Ive read in your posts. Which in turn is a good thing to come up with action plans. Great job!
    Escapism isn't necessarily bad, but is definitely unhealthy in the long term. While helpful in the short term, things will degrade over time. At some point, the escapee will have to face the issue. Things simply blowing over isn't really going to happen in many situations.

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