Posted by: Marie | June 12, 2009

(85) Reader Input: End of therapy

Post #85

Solicitation for Reader Input

Okay . . . I’m going to take a short break (just a few days) from posting my journal entries. I really want to hear what you have to say about the manner in which a therapeutic relationship of yours ended or was suspended . . .

Who decided it was time to end or suspend it?

What criterion were used to make the decision?

What words were used to communicate the decision?

How was the relationship brought to a clean closure (or not)?

Was the door left open for the reinstatement of the relationship in the future?

Do you wish the relationship had not ended?

What would you have done differently?

I really want to hear your stories!! Please send me your comments!

Quotes 001


Responses

  1. Hi Marie,
    I am really enjoying your post. I think people like you really make a difference b/c you have the courage to write about your nightmare as a way out of it, allowing other people to identify with the story. Some time ago I had a therapeutic relationship that I ended for many different reasons. The first one is that I identified a transference window that I was not prepare to open, I was feeling attracted to this other person. I kept leaving and coming back, b/c for some strange reason I felt calm when around this person (which might be normal to certain point b/c many help professionals have a peaceful personality). I thought that I was getting crazy; I became obsessed with him and again decided to abandon the therapeutic relationship without saying any words. I never told him the way I felt. I would not have done anything differently b/c overall I do feel respect the person and the professional that he is. But I do wish the relationship had not ended the way it ended. I wish that someday that person crosses my path again to be able to say –“thanks,… you are one of the reasons why I have changed my life for the better”. I hope that day comes.

    Thanks for sharing Marie,
    Keep writing and don’t go away for long time!
    Marisol

    • Hi, Marisol –

      Wow! You are generous with your kind words! Thank you! I plan to write for a long time . . . I really enjoy it and there is so much left to learn . . more than a lifetime’s worth!

      Thank you for sharing your story of your relationship ending . . . I would think he would appreciate hearing those words from you! If that same situation developed again with a different therapist, do you think you would be able to handle it better?

      – Marie

  2. Been lurking your blog for the past few days, so hi.

    Who decided it was time to end or suspend it? My psychiatrist ended it.

    What criterion were used to make the decision? I’m not sure

    What words were used to communicate the decision? He just gave me a bunch of samples and said, “Good luck.”

    How was the relationship brought to a clean closure (or not)? It wasn’t. He dropped me to end the conflict between my mother and his receptionists, which had escalated to a point that every visit was full of drama

    Was the door left open for the reinstatement of the relationship in the future? I’d say no.

    Do you wish the relationship had not ended? Tough question. In hindsight, he wasn’t the best psychiatrist — there were lots of approaches he used (forcing religion, telling me I needed to control my periods, siding with my mom’s intrusive behavior) that were inappropriate. But the limbo and inconsistency in treatment I’ve had in these 2 years since has been hard on me. I suppose it worked okay that it ended, I have much better now.

    What would you have done differently? It was out of my control.

    • Hi, Jaleesa –

      I’m glad you took a break from lurking long enough to say “hi”, LOL! It is funny . . . every few days, I see a series of hits on the older posts, usually in chronological order, and I know someone is “lurking” on my blog . . . some people actually read it like a book, from “cover” to “cover”. When I see activity like that, I always wonder who it is . . . where they live, what their story is, what they hope to gain by reading. So, when someone says “hi”, it is nice to learn a little about one of the “lurk-ees”. (Can you tell — I like that term, LOL!)

      Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions . . . wow, that sounds like a downright yulky situation! Yikes! I hope you have had better luck with therapists since then!

      Welcome aboard!
      – Marie

  3. I have been to no other T except the one I currently see, but there was a time when we both were at the edge of needing relief from the other. It was awful.

    Because I live in a small town, I actually knew a member of my Ts family before I knew him. Eventually, a huge misunderstanding occurred and I was blamed for things I didn’t do (by the family member and T was caught in the middle). It wasn’t good enough that this person blamed me for something I didn’t do, but made it public by making sure no one would talk to me when we were at the same activities and I was openly ignored.

    It eventually caused so much emotional upset for me that I cautiously approached the subject one day in therapy. Neither of us really wanted to discuss it, but we tried and eventually, after months of addressing it, we were able to work thru it. But there were a few times that he mentioned it was getting tough and asked if I wanted to try a referral. I told him “no” because I couldn’t go thru what I’d already worked so hard at with him, again with someone else. On the other hand, he said he had promised me he’d see me thru this – and he has done his best, considering the circumstances.

    What I would have done differently was avoid the family member in the first place. That was not a good idea, but at the time, I didn’t know my T. So it was a difficult dance we engaged in.

    • Hey, Ivory –

      Wow . . . another downright yulky situation! But it sounds like you got it worked out . . and it probably served as a great life lesson . . . true? Or not?

      Thanks for sharing your story!!
      – Marie

  4. I’ve had several therapists over the years. Most have been at least helpful, and a few excellent. A couple ended because it was free therapy through a school or government program and my time was up. We had a session or two about the ending and ended. What helped is that during the time I was most needy, I was attending a 12 step group so still had places I could share what was going on for me even if therapy wasn’t working out.

    I had an instance more recently, couple of years ago I guess. I was seeing a therapist for a few months. One of the things we clarified in our first session is that I could not work with her if she needed to bring up her religion (which is different from mine) in session. Then she did awhile later, like she was testing me or trying to slip it in. Not cool. (What is it with Christians, anyways!) We talked it over and she apologized. I decided I would continue working with her, but was uneasy about it, we decided that I would give her ‘three strikes’ and that she had just used one up.

    A few months after that she used up two and three. The second (or third) strike was about her method of informing me that she’d decided to shorten her sessions for the same (high) price. Her fees were really inflated compared with other therapists with similar credentials I’d seen, but I decided to work with her anyhow. At first she provided hour long sessions, which was what I understood I’d contracted her for, but then later there is a printed notice in her waiting room, all righteous and crisp about how she’s been giving people longer sessions than she should and she’s going to go back to the rightful 50 minute hour. Very unprofessional of her to handle this in this way.

    I forget now what the third strike was, although it could have been that she was kind of pathologizing with me, using clinical terms that were a tad more extreme/judgemental than necessary when regular people terms would have done. I also found out one of my friends had seen her as a therapist and had had similar problems.

    I think I just called and left a message on her machine that I was cancelling my appointment and didn’t make another one. She didn’t call back or anything, which was fine with me.

    Anyhow, I was regretful that it left me without any support, and I didn’t find another therapist, just kind of went without for a bit. I interview new therapists pretty extensively before deciding I can work with them. I’m not interested in working with anyone who can’t handle hearing the heavy abuse stuff (a lot of therapists get freaked out which makes them useless) or who doesn’t have respect for me as a person.

    I’ve been a therapist and know that they’re just human beings, and all they can offer me is some compassion, a second brain to look at what’s going on and some structure to do my own healing work. Ultimately though, it’s me doing the heavy lifting and I have to feel comfortable with and trust my ‘spotter’. I’m not really interested in getting into long analysis stuff or transference, I don’t really see the point of how it would be useful to do so, and if I found I had a crush on my therapist or felt she was judging me or something I’d find another one to work with. Distractions from the real work in my opinion.

    -SDW

    • Hi, SDW –

      It sounds like you have some solid insight on what works and doesn’t work for you . . .

      So, does the ups/downs/starts/endings of your relationships with therapist reflect other types of relationships? Is does for me . . .

      Thanks for sharing your story!
      – Marie

  5. I’ve had several therapists, and in each case, I terminated the relationship due to the therapy not being helpful, or the therapist not being a good match. In one case, the ending had some fairly strong words exchanged between me and the therapist, but in the other cases, I pretended I was better and never confronted the therapist about the failure of the therapy, largely because the therapists I was seeing did not believe in my condition (DID) so it would have been pointless to confront them.

    • Hey, David –

      It sounds like you are wise in knowing when it is valuable and when it is a waste of time to give feedback to someone . . .

      – Marie


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