Recording Sessions

Per some suggestions, I asked my therapist if I could audio record sessions. I thought it might help me gain some much needed clarity to hear her actual words and tone when I’m not scared, angry, or dissociated. 

And let’s be honest, I want to be able to hear her voice, to hear our conversations, in the time between sessions that feels eternal and so painful. I want to be able to connect to her and to our work together. 
She said she’s been thinking about it a little, but still hasn’t made a final decision. She typically does not allow recording of sessions, per her own parameters, but she’s willing to think about it. 

Whatever. I’m sure she’ll say no. 

She probably doesn’t want to give anymore of herself to me than she already gives. And it likely feels gross to her to imagine me listening to our conversations after the fact. I can see and understand why she’d want to distance herself from me. 

But I want her to say yes. I really want this and I think it would be good for me. And I think it will be very very hard for me to be told no about this. 

I wish I had more control over this but I just don’t. It’s up to her. That sucks. 

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13 thoughts on “Recording Sessions

  1. Jean says:

    As a retired therapist, my first thought would be, “Could this harm her in any way?” So a “No” might mean she wanted to protect you. It wouldn’t be a rejection, tho of course if might FEEL like one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura Black says:

    I can see both sides of this. I often wish I could record my sessions with J, to re-hear her words of kindness and reassurance and feel close to her when we are not together. At the same time, I’ve a feeling it wouldn’t be good for me. I think I would obsess over listening to those recordings and analyse every tiny detail of what we said. So I can see some danger in it – but only if you’d be inclined to do that too. Hope that whatever she says you manage to figure out how to hold her response. Hugs x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thecollectivesystem says:

    Hey Andi,
    I remember when I asked to record my sessions there was hesitancy from both my T’s. I think part of the hesitancy came from them thinking I may use the recordings to sue them, which has never-ever crossed our minds to even think about doing. After a while they both realized I was not the kind of person to sue a therapist. Another reason I think they hesitated was perhaps I would not use the recordings as I said I would and instead come in every session with an “ah ha! See! You said this and that and the other, you are bad, etc, etc” and split them black (know what I mean?) That has never happened with us. The opposite is actually true. When we listen to our sessions we hear the truth of what they said and how they said it. It has helped us trust and believe them more and question ourselves when we begin to obsess and doubt, get angry and want to blame them for our feelings. We use them so we can remember reality. What was actually said vs what we thought was said. I hope your T decides it would be beneficial for you. Maybe ask her to do it a couple times and find out? IDK.

    I know for us, we would not be as far along as we are without the use of the recordings. A surprising upside to listening to our sessions is that we don’t just listen to him, we hear us too. And that has shown us how we talk to others. Some of the things we used to say were not nice. Listening to the recordings has given us an opportunity to see ourselves the way others see us and we made adjustments. It doesn’t feel good to hear myself say rude and hurtful things. If I could remember without the recordings that would be best, but I can’t.

    Warmly,
    Lora

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sirena says:

    Recording my sessions has been exceptionally helpful to me. As a highly dissociative client, I often don’t remember a single thing from my session unless I listen back to the audio. And when I do, it clarifies a lot for me. In nearly two years, I have never wanted or needed to use it as a ” here’s proof, you DID say that” type thing.
    A therapist can think of all the potential pitfalls till the cows come home but until you try it you can’t know. I really hope she gives it a go.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. La Quemada says:

    I hope she’ll talk with you about what makes her hesitate. Maybe there is some kind of compromise trial you two can run. For example, maybe you can try recording the last ten minutes where you two together recap what happened at the session. With something shorter, she could see how it works for the two of you and if her concerns really hold up or not.

    If she says no, I know it won’t be to distance herself from you. Grown-up Andi knows that too, but some other part is still very afraid about the strength of that connection. My heart goes out to that part.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. skinnyhobbit says:

    I’ve done this, but secretly as it’s legal in my country, even though I feel I’ve engaging in something unethical since it’s secret.

    Having them means I remember much better as while I don’t dissociate in session, I have trouble staying present enough to remember a lot of what goes on.

    Being able to rehear emotional tone, the exact words said etc has been invaluable for me. Ditto for feeling connected to her when I’m in the chaos of believing she hates me and that she must find me utterly disgusting.

    I hope your therapist says yes, and I hope I’ll work up the courage to confess to mine eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Blooming Lily says:

    I agree with Q, I hope you can talk this through – that a “yes” or a “no” isn’t the end of the conversation.
    You were super vulnerable and brave to ask this, so amazing job in that regard, even if the answer is a “no.” Either way, I’d think your therapist would have to respect you for asking.
    But a “no” will feel crushing, no doubt, even if your logical mind understands the reasoning. So I am reaching out and saying that I care, and I am here, no matter what happens. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. e.Nice says:

    I was going to say something similar to Q and suggest that if the answer is no, you are able to explain what it is you were hoping to get from the recording and see if there is another way she can provide that for you. Like a separate recording that you could listen to as needed? I hope she just says yes though.

    Liked by 2 people

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