Image Image Image Image

Therapy has made me feel obsessive

  • Sharebar

I attended transactional analysis and gestalt therapy a few years ago for anxiety attacks, got over that but now I am going over and over all the things that I witnessed in the group therapy sessions, to become and put dialogue to objects ,example, be the coffee table, put words as though you are it, to find out about your hidden parts of yourself, same with dreams you are all the parts in a dream get a dialogue going, if you moved your foot or hand what is it saying. I am so tired of repeating these things and having the compulsion to act all these parts out,and believing I have to back in the past and talk to an empty chair and imagine someone one is sitting in it , then I have to become that person, if I had known it was going to affect me like this I would never have attended that type of therapy, is this obsessive thinking?, I am so tired and stressed with all this thinking, and feel overwhelmed.

This question was submitted by 'jedda456'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello Jedda. Thanks for writing in.

I hear this very often. People go into therapy for something pretty straightforward like for help with panic attacks but the therapy model has them over-analysing and does so with a load of over-complication. So you go in with one problem then feel you have many more. Therapists might try to convince you that a problem goes 'much deeper' and so on.

Support groups can be absolutely wonderful in some ways. But we have to bare in mind that emotions and attitudes can be contagious which means that we can learn undesirable as well as desirable emotional patterns from people we pay attention to - other people in the group. Over analysis can make us get more confused and cause people to lose perspective and become a bit obsessive. Some self observation and objectivity coupled with calm, is useful but the over-analysis promoted by some therapy schools can cause loss of perspective. People sometimes need therapy to get over their therapy if the original therapy wasn't based in common sense.

People work best when they are in a 'state of flow' which means being able, sometimes, just to be in the moment, without over-thinking or 'processing' everything consciously. Self understanding is vital but 'paralysis through analysis' leads us away not towards self knowledge. The levels of analysis at the meeting you attended sounds franky anti-therapeutic.

So my first piece of advice is to relax. You don't have to do all that stuff they tried to get you to do. It will not help you to try to get into contact with all these different metaphorical parts or have conversations with imaginary people or coffee tables and the like.

Secondly you can start doing exercises today to help you feel better about all this. Remember we obsess over stuff that feels emotional to us. This sounds so obvious but it means that when you feel less emotional about the thoughts then the thoughts become less compelling and so we think them much less. It's the feelings that glue obsessive thoughts in place - once the feelings lessen, the thoughts begin to drop away.

I suggest when you use self hypnosis to relax you play through some of those compelling thoughts whilst in a state of deep relaxation. This will enable your mind to re-label them as 'non threatening' and non-important and you'll notice that they begin to fade. You can always use the Obsessive Thoughts download to help with this.

All my best,


watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - November 20th, 2013 in

Have you got any other ideas for our questioner? Let them know in comments below: