Back to Joanne In time, as our therapeutic sessions continued, Joanne began to talk about her genuine feelings of sadness related to her oldest daughter's imminent departure for college. I never got the chance to know my mom before she died eight years ago. My mom kept her feelings hidden, and we weren't a close family. If they had been given the responsibility for the planning, operation, and evaluation of the course; Indeed, learner-centering would have taken care of all the other criticisms of the course. The training experience would have been improved if there had been more contact with clients, and if such contact had begun earlier in the program. At the time no way could be seen of bringing this about, but had use been made of multiple therapy, and of trainees working in multiple therapy with one another, as will be described later (see articles 471-473), this end could have been achieved. Provision should have been made for a follow-up institute, at least one week in length, after the counselor had had several months of experience. Lack of follow-up was recognized as a serious flaw in the program, but with the counselors scattered from Seattle to Puerto Rico it proved impossible to obtain the necessary financial support. A follow-up program would have helped greatly to enhance and deepen the learning which took place during the course. More adequate on-the-job supervision by experienced counselors would also have helped toward this goal. Perhaps this whole section may best be concluded by a letter from one of the counselors one year after the program was completed. I realize the dangers of the counselor's inconsistency, but at the same time I wonder if there is no need for further experimentation. I had been in denial about it, in fact. Granted, I was also attracted to men. But the attraction to women was hovering right there, always just below the surface of my recognition. Later, I would come to realize that I am attracted to people who do not neatly fit the gender binary, rather than to men or women specifically. Looking back now with a little kindness, I can gently say I was clueless. I hadn't realized that Rachel and her pals were lesbians, and my intense interest was not just admiration but a full-on crush.

When Lorde ordered me to identify myself, she was challenging me to own my identity as a lesbian (or at least bisexual or queer). I couldn't because I was drowning in shame. Having spent so much time in denial, I was helpless to own it. Lesbian was a dirty word. Even now I rarely see or talk to my brother and two sisters. I'm afraid I've repeated the same relationship I had with my family with my kids and my husband. I feel as though I'm running out of time to fix things. And I don't have many friends or outside interests. I learned to downplay having close relationships from my parents. And I'm starting to understand that my misuse of social media is not the healthiest way for me to distract myself from my feelings about my past, present, and future. Avoidantly attached individuals like Joanne are less likely to reveal their vulnerable selves. As discussed in article 1, self-disclosure is a necessity for cultivating emotional intimacy in our relationships. She had learned to suppress her feelings and downplay her emotional distress. This pattern became evident to me when she first talked to me about her relationship with her daughter. To be more specific, I have complete faith in ND once the client has accepted the counseling situation -- once he starts exploring his own attitudes and difficulties but I am not completely convinced that every client with a problem will open up in the counseling situation. In other words, I have a hunch that more than the counselor's role is involved in some of our unsuccessful cases. If so, isn't there a need for experimenting with modified variations of what other schools have learned about human behavior. Perhaps I am merely expressing my own limitations as an ND therapist. The other night I reviewed some of my notes of my initial counseling cases and I am amazed at the difference in the quality and frequency of reflections. Too many of my reflections at the beginning contained content material and as we both expected I was reflecting too often.

I have had considerable success with some of my experimenting, but I do not have sufficient evidence to draw any conclusions. What I wouldn't give to be able to listen to some of the recorded case material that is available at the Center. When I was there I didn't know what to look for. Now that I have some background in ND the material is not available. That couldn't be me. I felt humiliated in front of this group of people, even more so because of how aware I was of my shame in the face of their brazen willingness to embrace their stigmatized identities. Lorde captures this concept eloquently in her article, Sister Outsider. If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive. For most of my life, I had been carrying the weight of disappointing other people's fantasies about the girl I should be. After seeing how Rachel and her group boldly owned their identities, even identities that led to their marginalization on campus, I was too ashamed to face them in class or even look in their direction. I was actually too upset even to attend class for a while. I didn't want to be seen as associated with them, for fear that I would be identified as a lesbian. This was a turning point toward owning my sexual identity--and it contributed to my understanding of the broader issues of identity politics that would follow. Now I can appreciate Lorde's point, that we need to embrace our identities. But later in our therapeutic sessions, Joanne was able to express her true feelings--and the regret she felt about not having an emotionally close relationship with her daughter, her son, and her husband. Research examining the link between social media and avoidant attachment style suggests that avoidantly attached individuals inflate their positive self-views. They do this by underreporting feelings of intense emotion, concealing what they consider to be negative aspects of themselves to promote a positive self-image, and rarely posting personal information,[9] like posting a family picture or a comment about having a tough day at the office. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, research studies investigating social media and emotional well-being also suggest that we all feel worse, regardless of attachment style, when we passively consume social media. Since avoidantly attached individuals are more likely to passively participate on social-media platforms, by scrolling through newsfeeds rather than interacting with their virtual friends, one could assume that social media across the board negatively impacts their emotional health. Most of the work Joanne and I did in session was around helping her understand how her past influenced her current relationship style, which was characteristic of an avoidant attachment.

Examining her history also allowed Joanne to get more comfortable with talking about and processing complicated feelings. Joanne stated that for the first time she felt able to share with me not just her feelings and thoughts but her hopes and dreams as well. Over time, Joanne developed a closer relationship with her daughter, her son, and her husband. She was also excited about the possibility of using social media as a way of staying in touch with her daughter while she was away at college. My present job is so satisfying, in spite of no privacy and no recorder, because for the first time in my life I am doing the work that I've always wanted. I don't know if I ever told you about my disappointment as a psychologist when I learned that I could either give tests, develop tests, or become a statistician. It was a new experience for me as a psychologist when I hit the Center and found that you and the rest of the staff shared my interest in therapy. I don't think I have to tell you how stimulating I found my contacts with you and the rest of the staff. A CURRENTPROGRAM OFTRAINING INPSYCHOTHERAPY Considering the dearth of detailed descriptions of programs of training in therapy, it may be worth while to present the sequence of experiences which at the present time constitute therapeutic training at the University of Chicago. The program is continually fluctuating, developing, changing, so that by the time this appears in print it will probably not be accurate. In describing the program, effort will be made to mention those elements in it which we regard as best -- and of course this selection and emphasis may have a tendency to give a glorified picture of the situation. Probably no student has experienced all the best features which will be mentioned. We do not routinely achieve this best in carrying on the sequence. Failing to, I now see, leads to shame, separation, and oppression--precisely what I was feeling in those miserable first months of college. The dominant culture stigmatizes lesbians, viewing them as not worthy of the same respect and rights as a normal person, a heterosexual. Instead, as Lorde suggested, I could reclaim that identity and see my attraction to women as a positive aspect of who I am, thereby refusing to take on the shame people expected me to feel. FINDING MY IDENTITY Not being able to conceptualize your identity causes massive harm. For me, my inability to imagine myself as trans kept me separated from kindred spirits--and from the possibility of finding myself earlier.

Take, for example, my relationship with CJ. I was twenty-five when I met CJ, a person who would become significant in my life and my lover for five years. I felt instant attraction when I saw her for the first time. She was a woman* who crossed over the border of gender, appearing male with few hints of girl. She and her daughter even agreed to FaceTime once a week. Joanne also began to feel more comfortable using social media as a way to socialize and stay in touch with old friends. She even posted a few pictures of her and her family from her daughter's graduation. A few weeks after her daughter graduated, Joanne came to my office, particularly happy and bubbly. I think I've made some new friends, she said. Remember how I told you I posted a picture of our family taken at my daughter's graduation on Facearticle? A few of the moms from my daughter's school liked my picture, and one mom posted a comment suggesting we start a article club in the fall. I love to read, and it'll be a great way for me to make friends! Finding Safe Places Online As we've learned in this article, our earliest relationships determine our attachment style, and our attachment style dramatically impacts the quality of our life. Entrance into the Program The curriculum of experiences which we shall describe is carried on primarily under the Department of Psychology, though the first course is also listed as a course in Education. In practice, not only students in psychology, human development, and education are admitted, but students from other departments as well, providing they have the qualifications. The sequence cannot ordinarily be entered until the student is in his second year of graduate work. The reasons for this are based to some extent upon expediency as well as policy. Selection is easier after the student has had a year of graduate work, and he is likely to have a broader background.