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Thread: Psychotherapist wants to "speak to my little side"... Confused!

  1. #1

    Question Psychotherapist wants to "speak to my little side"... Confused!

    (Sorry for the long preamble -- there is a question at the end!)

    I'm seeing a therapist for a portfolio of issues... depression, anxiety, bereavement, addiction, etc., etc.

    A few months ago I mentioned that I sometimes feel like a little kid and (since he seemed to think that was a kind of "normal" thing) I showed him some really cute photos from Privatina website with girls in cute baby clothes with dummies and teddy bears and... we've talked around it a fair bit and I think he "gets" it now. He seems to understand how strongly I feel a need to find someone to "look after" my vulnerable inner-child and even mentioned that he'd seen details of some kind of club in the States where a group of adults rent out a Wacky Warehouse type of place and play around like kids would...

    I've always been a bit vague about the whole thing... I refer to ADISC as "that forum for people that feel little" and I've never mentioned diapers or ABs or DLs or anything like that... I showed him my really cute kids' duvet cover and I've mentioned my footed pyjamas and teddy bear... I sort-of imagine that he might have filled in the blanks, however...

    He's been really accepting and at the last few sessions, I've subconsciously been more childlike (softer voice, childish mannerisms, etc.) which I didn't realise till he pointed it out. He knows that I sort-of accept this as "the real me", but have a massive problem with the way I imagine being perceived by others...

    As an adult, I don't "do" emotions... the only time that it feels "okay" to have any kind of emotion is when I'm in my "little kid" headspace. And "regressing" properly into that headspace (instead of half-heartedly pretending to be little) is a new thing for me too.

    My shrink has said that he wants to get some "games" for me to play in one of our sessions... I'm not sure what exactly, but he mentioned something about expression emotions through stuffed toys and a set of balls with various facial expressions on to... well... I don't exactly know what he's planning to do with them other than being something to do with me trying to figure out what it is that I'm actually feeling and "get in touch with my emotions"... or some psychobabble crap like that...


    My shrink has said that my adult-side is too coldly logical, guarded and analyses and filters everything I do, whereas my child-side is spontaneous and "allowed" to feel emotions without me trying to analyse and rationalise everything and reduce it ti unemotional logic. So he wants to talk to my "inner child" and asked me to think about "how I'd like that to work"... WTF?! What do I reply to that?!

    I think he's intending to use the facial-expression balls, etc, to "play games" with me while I let my "little" side express itself...

    I asked what he meant and what he hoped to achieve... but he just kept reflecting the question back at me... Eventually he asked if I'd prefer to be there with a "playmate" or a "parent" (and I mumbled "parent").

    I don't know if he expects me to "regress" while he pretends to be all paternal or... well... I just don't have a clue! And I don't know if he's expecting me to tell him that I wear diapers and would want to dress up like a little kid so he can somehow demonstrate that he, as a normal person, can "accept the real me" and I'm supposed to walk out suddenly cured from being embarrassed about being an AB/DL or what...

    It's driving me crazy! I don't want to just ignore it 'cos I'd love a chance to explore the "little" me and coax him out to play... but I just don't know what is reasonable or expected... and normally I would just tell my shrink that, but I don't think he really knows what he's expecting either and I'M JUST SOOOO CONFUSED!!!

    Damn. I don't even know what the question I'm asking really is... but... Has anyone got any advice or suggestions...?

    (Thanks so much for reading such a long post!)

  2. #2


    I came across this a couple days ago and was thinking of making a thread about it but it seems like it fits pretty well here: Letters of Note: Live like a mighty river. In short, I don't think it's going to hurt you any. I wouldn't expect any magical transformation or anything but you might learn something as a result. You're going there to be helped and it's your time.

  3. #3



    Maybe you should start off small and see what happens the first time. I don't think he would expect you to fully regress the first time around. You sound like me... Vastly too guarded for that to work the first time around, but too childlike to keep it hidden forever where you know it'll be accepted.

    Take it easy. Tell him directly this is something it will take time for you to move into doing because you're not used to expressing this in the slightest. That gives your adult's cold logic a means of safety whilst still allowing room for infinate growth if you become more comfortable once in the situation.

  4. #4


    Cheers, guys... Ted Hughes was my GCSE English teacher's favourite poet (bleurgh!) but I liked reading that letter (especially since it's hosted by a company called Tiny Letter! *gasp* A letter for me?!). I definitely understand the way that people hide their "inner child", even from themselves.

    My shrink said, the very first time he met me (and long before I'd mentioned anything about anything) that the mind is a powerful thing and even 55-year-old men can feel like they are four years old! I thought "Gah! He can read my thoughts!!!"

    He also said that everyone has an "inner-child" and I didn't really believe him at first (or... I didn't believe that the "inner-child" was as "real" or as omnipresent as my inner-child)... But I'm beginning to realise it. Part of the reason I've been so depressed and anxious is because I just don't realise that other people are "like me"... I think they're perfect and that everything they say is true (so criticism really hurts) and that they always mean what they say (duh!). I take people too literally sometimes...

    I really love my "inner-child", though, which is why my adult side is so incredibly over-protective and guarded and risk-averse and socially avoidant (to a degree). I could never risk him being hurt... I'm glad that my shrink sort-of understands that and wants to nurture my little side instead of banishing him into oblivion...

    The things is... it's the first time my shrink has ever said that he has no idea what we're trying to do... I suspect he has some idea but doesn't want to impose any kind of "expectations" on me but... I don't know what to say.

    If I was in the supermarket and had to choose between two identically-priced tubes of toothpaste I'd probably stand there for 10 minutes trying to decide and make a purely logical decision... So when he asks, "What would be the perfect session to connect with your inner-child?"... Well... I mean... I don't know what the choices are... He said I could say anything and all I could think of was flying in by helicopter to a champagne reception to be greeted by a professional mummy who would give me a massage to relax me before getting me dressed and joining me in my session... But none of that is realistic, feasible, or even... anything like what I'd really want or would benefit from.

    I guess maybe I could work up the courage to say I could bring my teddy and dummy and maybe, maybe wear footed pyjamas (and... a nappy...? *eeek*)... But I don't know "what the session should be like" to answer his question... Ah well... baby steps, eh?
    Last edited by tiny; 27-Sep-2012 at 00:29.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by tiny View Post
    baby steps, eh?
    ...Yes. o.o

    The mummy and diapers maybe later. Start small.

  6. #6


    I believe he is trying to create some trust and understanding break some barriers, and make you comfortable. You could maybe bring a bag of items with you, I wouldn't do anything you don't normally do, the important thing is to be yourself and it will probably feel awkward the first time. If you normally watch cartoons or baby shows while you are in "little mode" then tell him, if you don't talk baby talk tell him that too. he might ask you questions, just answer normally, and if you don't want to or can't think of a answer, just tell him you need to think that over. If you feel like he is getting judgmental, tell him you don't feel comfortable doing this yet.

    I am not an expert in anyway, this is my impression through what I know about psychotherapists, which comes down to one class.

  7. #7


    I agree with the above posters, and maybe I think he might try to get down to the root of why only your little is able to express that part of yourself.

    I don't know if it'll be active role-play but I'm sure using some child psychology would be at hand.

    Be as open and honest as you can, if you don't feel comfortable with things, let them know. You don't have to do anything you don't feel comfortable with.

  8. #8


    My shrink know's I'm an adult baby, and he just thinks it a behavior that should be stopped with medicine. So at least yours is trying. But I have to say, I am not sure how you are supposed to go about this, there is no way I could be "little" at my shrinks office. I am not comfortable enough with him or the environment. Maybe I just need to get a better shrink. It's cool that you feel comfortable enough to do this, I'm really curious what will come of it. But at least, I just want to say have fun and good luck, I know sometimes dealing with emotions with someone else can be difficult and make you feel sad afterwards, so just take care.

  9. #9


    To me it kind of sounds like both you and him would be uncomfortable with the idea of you just going all out "baby" on him. I would suggest you bring a game to your next session. It could be any game from your childhood that you enjoyed, so bring toys, army men, hot wheels, legos, etc or just like a board game or something candy land, chutes & ladders, etc. Since you're unsure how to proceed I'd start slowly and just bring or do something small next time you see him. If you do have a mommy/daddy/anyone to bring do so.

    Remember too that the idea of a "little kid you" and a "adult you" is just a construct and way of thinking about things. It is completely metaphorical and you can think of yourself as a whole being that doesn't show certain emotions at certain times, if you wish.

  10. #10


    Ahhh.... right.... So maybe he's just asking what kind of things my "little side" likes to do to "regress", as it were...? So maybe I could take in my teddy and dummy and mayyyybe suggest I could wear discreetly... if I can even bear to mention such embarrassing things as diapers...

    It's hard to get my head round who I am as an AB, though...

    My first experience was having a fascination with diapers (age 5)... They've always been more of a way to comfort myself than any kind of sexual thing... 99% of the time anyway (so I don't really identify as a DL)... And I sort-of feel little when wearing them... And I like to be treated like a little kid and generally looked after, etc...

    And I feel nostalgic towards some of the toys and games and TV programmes from my childhood... but I don't really feel the urge to play with them now. I don't have them now anyway. I told my shrink about a great marble-chute construction thing I bought my niece and he said I should open it up and play with it... But... I just wouldn't enjoy it. I could look at the pieces and put them together in my head; playing with it wouldn't be the fun learning-about-the-world adventure it would have been when I was 2 or 3. I'd like to play with it with my niece... but that would be me as an adult having fun and looking after her... I wouldn't regress because... it wouldn't feel right or "honest"...

    It's weird... even though I feel like a little kid... I don't want to surround myself with kid-stuff. I like my children's-style duvet and hugging my teddy at night... but... that's about it. I like my dummy because it makes me feel little somehow... but I don't use it much... I don't "baby talk" or feel the need to crawl around on the floor (not saying there's anything wrong with that, mind)... And a child's toy would keep me as engaged and interested as the average adult my age (okay... maybe I'd study it in a little more detail than average, but still...). Teaching me Photoshop or some programming language would feel more regressive and childish than teaching me to count (which, funnily enough, I find too trivially easy to enjoy as an adult...)

    I hadn't really regressed properly at all until recently where I just kind of "let it go"... but (even though it was pretty intensely... emotional then calm and... living right in the moment) I was really passive... The only thing I do when I regress is curl up with lots of soft pillows and duvets and snuggle... I don't really do anything when I feel little... I guess I'd be really cuddly if I wasn't so damned inhibited! (And I sure as hell don't want to cuddle my shrink!)

    I dunno... I just don't know who I am at all... either the adult me or the "little" me... I'm sort of stuck... not a kid and not an adult... Not a clue... just lost in the ether...

    Anyway... thanks for all the comments -- I'll see my shrink again later this afternoon so... I'll see what he says... :-)

    Oh, and this quotation from the Ted Hughes letter is so true:

    So everybody develops a whole armour of secondary self, the artificially constructed being that deals with the outer world, and the crush of circumstances. And when we meet people this is what we usually meet. And if this is the only part of them we meet we're likely to get a rough time, and to end up making 'no contact'. But when you develop a strong divining sense for the child behind that armour, and you make your dealings and negotiations only with that child, you find that everybody becomes, in a way, like your own child. It's an intangible thing. But they too sense when that is what you are appealing to, and they respond with an impulse of real life, you get a little flash of the essential person, which is the child.

    Quote Originally Posted by Becute View Post
    Remember too that the idea of a "little kid you" and a "adult you" is just a construct and way of thinking about things. It is completely metaphorical and you can think of yourself as a whole being that doesn't show certain emotions at certain times, if you wish.
    Oh, sure, everything's a construct! My whole identity, personality, nationality and mentality are nothing but trivialities of a banality...

    Ha ha -- seriously, though, I know I'm one person. The "adult me" and "child me" are just "outlets" for self-expression and self-identification... or some fancy psychobabble like that.

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