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I could really do with advice from you guys as I had a bit of an experience earlier on this week which led to a recommendation for therapy.


I went to this chap to get some help to stop smoking, he's a hypnotherapist trained in nlp and various other things. Very well qualified with lots of years experience etc.


Anyway, part way through the therapy he asked me whether I'd been in an abusive situation, which I have so I fessed up and explained that I was raped when I was 18 and had an odd childhood where I was very withdrawn, regularly humiliated and ignored with one parent being quite threatening.


It turned out that because I have trust issues, he couldn't get me to relax into a state where he could help me as I was too analysing and couldn't let go - we were having difficulty throughout the session, and I swear to god I really tried! The whole situation was weird for me, as generally I don't have much of a problem talking about my childhood or relationship experiences but this really opened up one mother of a well of emotions with me and it was incredibly difficult to contain it.


I knew they were there, and they're pretty uncontrollable but I've kind of learned to live with them.


They impact on my life in that relationships with men generally being something I avoid, friendships are fine but anything else I find tremendously difficult and have little confidence in.


He told me that as things stand I'm unlikely to have a fulfilling relationship with a man as I can't let them in (I'm totally ready to admit that). He recommended that I come back to him for regular therapy for approximately a year (once a month) and that if I wasn't comfortable with him there was somebody he could recommend.


The point is, I'm absolutely terrified - what if it makes it worse? I was quite happy, I'd found a way to live and got lonely sometimes and yes one day I may regret never having children, but I'm just scared stupid of opening those cans of worms because I know I'll be a total mess.


Am I faltering on this because it's easier to carry on as I am, or will it actually make it worse if I go ahead with this? I'm so confused and have no idea what to do.


I know it holds me back from various aspects of my life, not just relationships, but it's also quite a frightening prospect to go back there, just when I thought I was moving forward.



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Well, you know, you could try switching therapists. Was there something about him that made you uncomfortable, or was it facing what he coaxed out of you?


People bottle things up and carry them around on their backs, all their lives, sometimes. If it's a heavy weight, it'll slow you down - you can't see it, but it's there. Therapy is a way to unload it bit by bit, sort through it and lighten the load. Looking at all those old experiences and their effects is going to be extremely painful at times, but you'll walk away with a lighter load, moving forward more quickly than you could have dreamed possible before.


That's how I look on it, anyway.

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Thanks very much for the replies - they're really helpful.


There wasn't anything about him that made me uncomfortable, other than the issues he was bringing up and that he was spot on about how I was feeling and reacting to things and the effects it has had on my life.


It's really unnerving as it's hard to differentiate whether the feelings that I'm having are that it's a bad thing to be doing or whether it's something I need to deal with and the feelings are my self protection racket. Just as I'd hit a lovely status quo with my life and I was quite happy (for the most part).


He's calling again to see how I'm doing tomorrow I think - any advice on what to ask and what to look for?

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