I wish that the incident that I described in the last post was the only trouble I was having in the psychoanalytic psychotherapy class. It isn’t. I had another run in about a clinical issue. I recieved such a bad and unprofessional reaction to something that I presented that I came home and decided that I will not be doing any further prevsnting in the supervision group.
When I told Igor he described the incident as “sadisistic”. If I could tell you what it was you would agree with him. Igor encouraged me to tell the supervisor my feelings about the incident and I am so glad he did. Conversely, as Igor knows the players in this drama, he most definitely did not advise me to confront the memory-phobic instructors. I did, however, call the chair of the program and tell her about the troubles I have had with the envious-amnesiacs. The chair was gracious and even apologetic—and she seemed eager for me to write all that I had shared with her in my course evaluation., “this is the kind of thing we want to know when planning for next year.”
When I contacted the supervisor I initially chickened out and said via email: “Just FYI:, I will not be presenting in supervision anymore.” The instructor wrote back immediately and said , in essence, “Of course. You should only do what is best for you. That said, is there anything I should know about. Do you need to process anything that happened?” I wrote back and said, “Well now that you mention it…” and then I told him how much I had enjoyed the supervision and how I had valued what I had gotten out of learning about his theoretical lens of perspective but that something had happened( I’m not at liberty to share the details with you of what happened) but I did tell him what happened and why I would be doing no further presenting. As soon as I sent him the email I felt both terrified and liberated. Why terrified? I was afraid of getting in trouble. I thought he would be defensive and deny the incident. Minutes later I got back an email in which the supervisor took complete blame for the incident and he sincerely apologized. His reaction felt honest and sincere and I was wonderfully surprised and felt something close to vindicated and acknowledged. I love it when people are mature, responsible and accountable.
I am not sure why I am telling you all this except that as this first quarter is almost over and the second quarter is scheduled to begin in January—and that I am feeling not a little ambivalent. I loved the class on transference and counter-transfernce. The material was fascinating. The teachers were engaging and well prepared—and I learned a lot. The other class, the class on the analytic frame was not. At best, the teachers seemed to be winging it. Truly, I think , without notes, I could have given a better class on the topic. And the supervision portion of the class was mixed( good and bad). So I am paying $650 a quarter for a class that I only enjoy 1/3 of the time. I an wondering what next quarter will be like. I gave igor the instructor list for the winter quarter. He thinks 2/3 of the instructors will be good. He doesn’t like who I have for supervision. He really doesn’t like the guy. He even used words like “terrible”, “torture”,”you will be made to feel wrong” and “you don’t need that”. Speaking of Igor, I resent like crazy how much of the last eight weeks of my therapy have been spent talking about this class.
I just don’t know what to do. I am wondering if I would be better off hiring a supervisor on my own( one I actually like and respect and trust) and reading the class material on my own( I have the reader for the rest of the year, so I do have that option). However, it is hard to stay motivated to keep up with the reading without having the class to keep me on task. I find that option of dropping out to be a disappointing one. All of this feels pretty disapointing. Only, as I said before, I have learned a whole lot in this class. And I hate quitting.
When I think about quiting this class I think of my father. My father was big on calling me a quitter. I think because I quit taking guitar lessons when I was twelve( He NEVER got over it. My mother neither. My mother still brings it up. That infamous guitar lesson quitting is what got me the identity as a quitter). But I finished college, grad schools, post-grad training and my dad is dead. How much do I have to do to prove to him that I am a non-quitter before I can quit something that doesn’t work for me? And did I mention that he is dead?
I am not one to ask for a lot of advice but I guess I wonder what you would do if you were in my Tory Burch leopard pumps? Suggestions of spending the money I would have spent on the class on a Prada bag are welcome and encouraged. So should I stay or should I go? For the record, I know that I sound like I am really wanting to drop the class but I LOVE learning and I have, as I mentioned before, learned a lot in this class. That is why( and the whole “I am not allowed to quit because that would make me a quitter” thing) this decision isn’t easy.