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  1. #1
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Default Is my new counselor normal or a fruitcake?

    I'm trying to figure out if my new counselor falls within the realm of "normal" or is just a fruitcake.

    I've had about a half dozen counselors in my life. But this is the first one who, when I describe how my mother abused me when I was young, declared, "I don't like your mother."
    And when I told him how my daughter is sometimes curt with me on the phone when I interrupt her, he said "She probably won't be a very good mother".
    (This was on two different sessions and I've only seen him 3 times so far!)

    I should say that my first meeting with him was very productive because he sat there and listened while I got to the bottom of what was bothering me.
    But since my last meeting, I've been feeling a little paranoid because of his line of questioning which - in retrospect -
    seemed like he was trying to grill me to find out if I had become a child abuser, too - which I have not - so I have nothing to hide... but you see how he JUMPS to wrong conclusions.

    I don't know... is that a new ploy counselors are using? Was he just trying to see how I would react when he disparaged my daughter and took offense at my mother?

    Or is my counselor just "bad" at his job?

    UPDATE
    i called and had to leave a voicemail, but I told him I didn't feel comfortable meeting with him again... and why... which took some guts.
    Last edited by INTJMom; 09-09-2013 at 05:36 PM. Reason: UPDATE

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    I'm trying to figure out if my new counselor falls within the realm of "normal" or is just a fruitcake.

    I've had about a half dozen counselors in my life. But this is the first one who, when I describe how my mother abused me when I was young, declared, "I don't like your mother."
    And when I told him how my daughter is sometimes curt with me on the phone when I interrupt her, he said "She probably won't be a very good mother".
    (This was on two different sessions and I've only seen him 3 times so far!)

    I should say that my first meeting with him was very productive because he sat there and listened while I got to the bottom of what was bothering me.
    But since my last meeting, I've been feeling a little paranoid because of his line of questioning which - in retrospect -
    seemed like he was trying to grill me to find out if I had become a child abuser, too - which I have not - so I have nothing to hide... but you see how he JUMPS to wrong conclusions.

    I don't know... is that a new ploy counselors are using? Was he just trying to see how I would react when he disparaged my daughter and took offense at my mother?

    Or is my counselor just "bad" at his job?
    Sounds to me like "black-and-white thinking." It's when a person takes a short-cut and uses only the immediately-available evidence for a snap decision about the quality of something. Some sensors may fall into this habit, since their focus may be on doing quick analyses of data immediately at hand, rather than waiting and slowly constructing a more balanced or nuanced big-picture view.

    Usually it's not a big problem. Your counselor probably figures that he's just mirroring you and giving you permission to hold negative views about people close to you. When you later talk favorably about the same people later, he'll praise them along with you, again, in the spirit of mirroring. To him, there's no cognitive dissonance there; data are viewed as discrete and existing in a vacuum, and thus one's estimation of people can shift back and forth from black to white and vice versa depending on the nature of the data at hand.

    YMMV. Just brainstorming here according to my own experience with this stuff. My ESTJ step-mother does some ferocious black-and-white thinking, but like I said, she has no problem in seeing someone in very negative terms one day and very positive terms the next. IOW, there's a balance there of sorts, when you take the aggregate of all that.

    A bigger problem would be "Splitting." That's what happens when black-and-white thinking basically becomes so extreme as to amount to a disorder. Look it up in Wikipedia if you want to explore that route.

    Good to see you posting again, by the way!

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