Posted by: Marie | May 18, 2009

(72) Setting boundaries – Part 3 of 5

Post #72
[The script I read to my therapist in a session in order to set some boundaries with him – Monday, August 25, 2008 – continued from the previous post]

“Boundary” Issue #2: Retaining key information

When . . .

– you repeatedly ask me the same questions about key information . . .

– I refer back to a major event in my life or to a significant discussion we have had and you respond with a blank look on your face, a little laugh and a comment like, “I tell my clients their secrets are safe with me because I forget what they say as soon as they leave the room” . . .

– you ask me to use our precious session time to tell you information I have already told you before . . .

I feel . . .

– unimportant as a client,

– short-changed and disappointed.

I believe . . .

– as a therapist, you have a responsibility to retain and recall key information about me – a reasonable person would say it is a minimum standard in your profession;

– doing so will:

– ensure we don’t waste time (and my money) because I will need to tell you key information only a minimum number of times,

– allow you to more easily see behavioral patterns across all areas of my life.

I need . . .

– to know that I’m making the best use of my money, time and energy,

– for people with whom I connect on an emotionally intimate level to remember key points from the material I share with them.

I want . . .

– you to retain and be able to recall key information about me.

If you . . .

– continue to not retain and recall key information . . .

I will . . .

– seriously consider ending our professional relationship.

I don’t want to end our professional relationship – I want to continue our therapy until I have moved into a healthy space, I really like working with you.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. I hope you found a healthy place emotionally and realized you needed to dump this therapist.

    Also, I can tell you were in a dependent place because you were contradicting yourself: listing all the your therapist making it difficult for you to work with him (major), and then saying you liked to work with him.

    Can’t wait till you get to the outcome.

  2. Sorry, I didn’t proof read very well.

    I meant to say – you listed all the ways your therapist makes it difficult for you to work with him.

    • Hi, Ivory –

      Hmmmmm .. very perceptive of you to notice the conflict — and to identify it as dependency! I sure could have used your sage-ness when I was in the middle of all this, LOL!!

      Thanks for your continued interest!
      – Marie

  3. Marie,

    It’s making me nuts wondering how it all washed! I’m enjoying this.

    Thanks for sharing.


    • Hey, Ivory –

      Glad I’m not the only nutty one, LOL

      P.S. I edited your last comment . . . (from N to M) . . whoops on my part!

      – Marie

  4. First, I can’t help but read this and take note. Feel a bit sheepish in that forgetting pieces happens occasionally, unfortunately, despite being engaged, interested and concerned. But yes, a frequent pattern is a different story. Second, I hope many therapy clients will check in and learn that their feelings, perceptions, disappointments, and unmet expectations are valid and that they will advocate for themselves half as well as you are doing here.

    • Hi, yogurtry –

      Thanks for reading and for both of your comments — it is nice to receive feedback from a therapist that indicates my experience was appropriate and valid. I wasn’t so sure in the moment because the experience of therapy was so new to me — I wasn’t sure what “normal” was. However, when my therapist kept forgetting that I had been married, that I had had an abortion earlier in life, that my dad was dead, etc. — that seemed a bit out-of-line to me.

      I agree that it would be nice to not spend therapy time/money on instructing my therapist about appropriate boundaries — however, it was money and time very well spent. This process (learning how to set boundaries) was one of the biggest leaps forward in my healing and personal development. I wouldn’t have traded the experience or changed it in anyway.

      Anyway, thanks again for stopping by!
      – Marie

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