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Mental Mudslide

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Trust

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Keel M.

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The ever reliable Merriam-Webster defines trust thus:

Quote

assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something

To be sure, there are other definitions of trust, but for this particular blog post, I’m focused on the one above.

I have a friend (whom I will call Theatre Gal) who has been going to therapy for a few weeks now. It’s something she sought on her own, but is very much needed as she comes from a very problematic family, to put it nicely. On the whole, it seems that the sessions she’s had have been good ones. At least until last night. She’s had to schedule her appointments in the evening because she cannot take time off work in the middle of the day and she works in another city at least thirty minutes away (on a good day).

Last night around 7:30-ish, I receive a text from her that she’s sitting in her car angry and near tears. Through several text exchanges I got the story of what was going on. The therapist had forgotten about their appointment. I can only assume that the doctor keeps normal business hours, but returns to the office for any evening appointments. Mondays aren’t the usual day for TG to have her appointment, but last week the therapist told her that that was the only day open for the evenings. Everything else was booked.

Long story short, TG has lost faith in people when even her therapist cannot remember that they have an appointment together. They were, ironically, supposed to talk about trust issues last night, as well, so that doesn’t bode well for the future. At least in TG’s eyes. TG also stated that the therapist is always late to their appointments; 15-20 minutes late. While this is never good on a professional level, I assume that TG gets her full hour or however long their appointments usually last.

I hope that the therapy sessions do not end because of last night. I am very fond of TG and do not wish, under any circumstances, to end the friendship, but the problems she has are more than I can help her with on my own. She needs a professional to talk to, with at least one friend to give the extra support. I want to help her regarding trust, but I don’t know how. Or even if that’s something I should try taking on myself.

While I relied solely on the definition of trust from the Merriam-Webster dictionary because of the long history it has of being a reliable dictionary. However, one word I saw in other definitions that is missing from the M-W definition is reliability. I’m not sure how important that part is. Do they go together? Can you trust someone who is unreliable? Is it possible to trust a person even taking into consideration that they might not be reliable?

I just want to help her grow into the young woman I think she’s got potential to be. She’s only a little younger than I was when I started to forge my own path. It’s not too late even at 30.


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simplybill

Posted

This is a great blog entry. Lots of food for thought. I've asked myself which is better:  to be able to trust others, or to simply become a trustworthy person myself? Should I loosen my ties with untrustworthy people and take the lessons I've learned and apply them to my own life, and strive to become someone that others can depend on to follow through on his word? 

I wish I could offer some sage advice for your friend, but I'm in the middle of a "trust issues" situation myself right now. Your blog entry has given me a new perspective. Thank you.

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tcgram

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Very thought-provoking.  I personally believe that reliability and trust go hand in hand, so to speak.   In order to fully trust another person, you need to be sure that you can lean on them.   Be that emotionally or physically, or both.  I can see why your friend is upset with her therapist.   If she doesn't want to return to this therapist, then perhaps you can suggest that she see someone else.  

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Claire.

Posted

Nonentity, my guess is that there's more to your friend's reaction — something deeper and related to whatever issues she's currently dealing with. During the rescheduling, her therapist may have forgotten to add TG to the schedule. Mistakes happen. It's also not unusual for such appointments to run a few minutes over their allotted time so a waiting time is to be expected.

Neither of these situations should be viewed as a sign that the therapist is unreliable (unless, of course, she repeatedly 'forgets' appointments).

TG's reaction to the waiting times and botched appointment scheduling is a tad over the top, but understandable given her fragile situation. She also may have been very disappointed in having to miss a much needed session. Therapists, more than anyone, should understand how important these sessions are and should make an effort not to be careless about them. If such behavior continues then TG might want to find someone else. But at this early stage in the therapy process, she needs to try and buck up a bit, and understand that what happened, happens.

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