Counterattacking schemas

I received a letter on Thursday from A St informing me I have an appointment with one of their psychiatrists on March 13. An appointment less than a month away? In the public system too? A-mayyyy-zing. Is this really the same service that left me on the DBT waitlist for over a year before removing my name without my knowledge? I’m not quite certain how it works though. Do I only get one appointment for a psych review and that’s it? Or do I get ongoing sessions with this psychiatrist?

You’d think it gets easier to say what you want and need to tell them after starting over so many times, but in fact I’ve become more reluctant to do so. It’s become tiresome having to retell the same story over and over again that I don’t know what to say any more.

In the meantime I’m still seeing D. Same problem. Not that I had much to say to start with. We, or rather he, has been talking about some of the schema stuff I had done when I was still seeing R in therapy. One of the schemas R and I had identified for me was subjugation. According to this sheet;

This schema refers to the belief that one must submit to the control of others in order to avoid negative consequences. Often these clients fear that, unless they submit, others will get angry or reject them. Clients who subjugate ignore their own desires and feelings. In childhood there was generally a very controlling parent.

According to the Reinventing Your Life book there are three ways you can cope with your lifetrap: surrender, escape or counterattack. These three terms are fancy names for what roughly equates to a freeze, flight or fight response respectively.

I guess at times I can be a bit resistant in therapy. I will sit there in silence or fail to do what the psychologist has asked me to do during the week. D has accused suggested I am in fact counterattacking the subjugation schema by not doing what he’s asked, whether it be practice relaxation or grounding exercises, record when I’ve self harmed or read certain handouts he’s provided me. How I’ve seen it though, my silence is indifference, not wanting to be there in therapy in the first place. I don’t do relaxation and breathing exercises because I find them lame. Not doing them is my passive aggressive way of saying so. Could D be right though? Is this my way of fighting the subjugation schema? I’m not quite sure. I’ve never looked at it like that before.

4 thoughts on “Counterattacking schemas

  1. Whenever I have had appointments with a psychiatrist in the public system, it has been a one off. They established what I needed and discharged me to my GP. Not sure if that’s what will happen to you but it’s what happened to me. Good luck with the psychiatrist, it is daunting.

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