Jump to content
Mental Support Community
marijack

Missing my therapist

Recommended Posts

Another option, though perhaps slightly slower, might be to have your conversation with yourself in a journal.

I find it useful to keep a blog here, partly because it allows me to see the gradual changes in my own attitude over time in a way that no other medium does. I also find that I write differently longhand compared to when I type, so much so that I can't maintain a longhand journal despite having almost five years of blog entries here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IrmaJean, I'm not sure what the anger symbolises and I can't remember a time where I ever felt the same feeling. But there are massive junks of my memory missing around while I was growing up, so there might very well have been a time when this happened, I just can't remember it. It's just a rollercoaster of emotions at the moment. Anger is definitely one of them, but then the next day I am just happy to have met her and I'm quite ok to get on with my life, then the next day I miss talking to her terribly.

LaLa3, I'm going to try the "silent" talking in my head and see how that goes ;) . Anger is definitely one of the stages. You know the stage I am most afraid of at the moment? The acceptance stage. I'm afraid that once I get there, if I get there, I will feel nothing for the time we shared together. But then again, that would be a defence mechanism working to make sure I don't hurt anymore. This is so complicated :huh:

malign, I have also realised that my longhand writing is frustrating for me because it takes so long to write! But typing is another story. I can type as fast as I think and that is perfect! I'm not so sure about a blog as I don't know how they work, but I am definitely going to look into that. :)

Thanks again guys. ^_^ . Really helps a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Possibly there is no past signifigance to your feelings of anger, though, too. It may be part of the grieving process. About grief, though, I don't think it's as simplistic or as black and white as neatly following stages. You may be back and forth with your feelings, they may be intense or they may not. You may feel some or all of Kubler's described stages or you may not. They may come and go and not be in any specific order. It is your path to walk. I think it's important to try to be as accepting and gentle as you can with yourself.

About blogging,you can set up your blog as 'friends only' or all community members can read, whichever you desire. I find blogging to be so helpful at times. I post photos, song videos, and talk about anything and everything that I feel I need to. Please let one of us know if you have any questions about how to set one up.

Take care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know the stage I am most afraid of at the moment? The acceptance stage. I'm afraid that once I get there, if I get there, I will feel nothing for the time we shared together.

That's interesting; I was afraid of this "stage", too, but mainly: I felt strange when it came (in the end of this August): I felt like I was "betraying" our relationship, like denying the positive aspects, ... but I was mostly telling myself that I had to "take it and see" - see what would happen next. I was a bit sad about it sometimes, but now I can say that it's over and I don't feel like in such a "denial", but the "acceptance" still lasts. I can feel positive feelings about him again and it doesn't hurt.

You thank us quite often here, but I have to say I have to thank you, too, because this 'conversation' gave me a new way of looking at my feelings: I hadn't realize and at the beginning here even agree that my feelings could be seen as in accordance with some "typical stages of grieving". But now I realize better what IJ mentioned above - that the stages aren't in reality so simple and well-defined, we may go back and forth etc. and so if I look at them only as at a source of some insights, not as at "something meant to explain all", then it can be useful.

I really used to be in denial for a long time (more than a year), but in my case, it was because we had a hope to continue my therapy together sometime in future - and it was a real plan, so the denial was "based on a solid ground", not just a totally unrealistic fantasy in my head. Much later I realized that... sticking so much to this "plan" wasn't good for me anymore - it began to cause more problems than benefits. Later, I was in a stage of anger (not even the anger lasted "all days long" - it was present only sometimes, more or less intensive, ...) - and it was a very important and useful experience, "although" I didn't like it at all. But again; it was different from anger one may experience when, for instance, bereaved: I was angry at him because I didn't like the way he "treated" me during those months and I became much more critical to him in general, I realized many things that "weren't ideal" in my therapy - in his approach to me, ...

As I said, now it seems I'm "in the acceptance", in its "later, better phase". This may be the most similar to the acceptance phase in a "typical" grief, yet there still is the big difference that... it's me who choses not to meet him again, it's not "destiny" as in case if someone is death. And this decision makes it more difficult, in my eyes; it brings me a responsibility for not seeing him again (or at least not being in therapy with him anymore). So I expect more problems to arrive ("disturbing my acceptance"), but so far, I'm glad for the state I'm in.

Sorry for writing so much about myself, knowing that my situation is very different from yours and probably also most others'... :o Anyway; it helps me to clarify some thoughts when I write them down for somebody else... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what I am afraid of too. I'm afraid that I will disregard it as not meaning anything. I don't know if I'll ever be able to say it's over. I'm like a pitbull, I grab on and don't ever let go. I might forget but it just takes one thing to remind me and I'm latched on again.

So I've tried the blog now. It's actually nice to know that I am not just writing in my journal where no one will ever see what I'm feeling. I'm putting it out there. I'm even considering emailing my old therapist (she gave me permission to do so) and telling her that if I ever flitter into her thinking and she wonders how I'm doing, she can come on here and have a read. I don't know if that's a good idea but right now it feels like a good idea.

Lala3, I know I say thank you a lot and it's because I am just happy to have found this place where I can come and chat to you guys. It's so helpful and takes a lot of pressure off my immediate relationships. I'm so happy that you are finding new information and discovering new ways of looking at things through this topic. That makes it worthwhile. I think that we can learn a lot from other people through their life experiences and right now, everyone that has commented on this topic has gone or is going through exactly the same thing, or knows enough about what it feels like.

The stages of grief are interesting and you're absolutely right that they are not set in stone. I know Kubler Ross wrote a book about it too and I think that will be helpful for me, perhaps for you too? I just want to know why we struggle to let go of the relation with the therapist. I don't know about all therapists but I'm pretty sure they don't go through what we as clients go through. I imagine they go through it some way when they have their own sessions while doing their degrees, but when they become therapists, things change for them. They see what it's like to be on the receiving end of attachment from a therapists point of view and in that way, are better able to understand their emotions. But clients have no degree and for us it's gut-wrenching to lose this relationship. I would just really like to understand why we feel this as clients. I mean, we go to therapy for a reason right. Most of the time, we end up finding something out about ourselves that we didn't even know was remotely connected to why we went in the first place. For example, I went to sort out my anxiety attacks and depression. At the end of the therapy, I was on a full-blown self-discovery course. I came to know that I have a problem with endings, of any kind. I have severe depression if I can't talk to someone about how I'm feeling and heaven help me if I find some alcohol to drink when I'm in that state and alone. So I'm getting to learn about myself and have also realised that I have attachment issues, clearly. Now I have to try and figure out why I have attachment issues and why, of all people, I got attached to the relationship with my therapist. What does it mean? Who am I transferring in that relationship?

So we go through all these masses of emotions and I just can't believe that therapists go through the same thing. I think they might feel sad because it was a stimulating relationship; maybe they miss certain clients they had. That's why this ethics rule about terminating completely might be slightly outdated. These days we have so many media forms that allow us to keep in touch one way or another and it's draining on us as clients to know that we can get hold of them.....but we're not allowed to. I just don't understand the concept completely.

This is just hard. Like today, Wednesday, I would normally go for a session and he last 2 days have been emotionally draining on me with an episode of depression threatening to show itself if I don't talk to someone. And all I can think about is, if only I could talk to my old therapist. That's all I can think about. She would know how to set me on the right path again or we would at least try to understand why I'm feeling like this. I don't know.

Thanks again :)B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, marijack. :)

It might be helpful for you to understand where you are struggling with attachment in this. I know for me I have some anxious insecure tendencies and this makes me want to hold connection with others. Perhaps something to work with if you decide to return to therapy?

When you ask about who you are transferring... Maybe try and think of transference as being all about you. Your relationship with your therapist might remind you of some of your earliest relationships and so you may be responding in similar ways.

About therapists, I don't think that having a degree or a title as therapist prevents them from having human responses as well. The fact that they are every bit as human as we are makes the relationship very real and something to learn from. They are trained to maintain professional boundaries, yes, but I believe they too learn from their relationships with clients.

Take care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IJ, I am seriously considering going back to therapy with another therapist and when I do, I will definitely bring up this connection problem with her.

Believe when I say I know with almost all certainty that therapists are also affected by terminations. I've been researching a lot about therapy and everyone says the same thing. When therapy is terminated, the relationship also needs to terminate. I do understand all of that. It's just that, to me, it seems as if this is a concept that has been brought forward through time from Freud's era. So what I'm saying is that perhaps it needs to be revisited to see if "termination"in the old sense of the word can perhaps get a bit of a face-lift due to times being different now-a-days. In the old days of psychotherapy, the chances of a client ever talking to or seeing their ex-therapist again were slim. These days, we can still connect with them using a variety of media.

And I truly believe that therapists would also like to maintain contact with some of their clients. But I also understand that is a very thin line. But I don't believe it would take much more effort than the effort that therapists are putting in now to uphold termination boundaries.

That being said, things have changed a little for me. Since my last post, I have gone to being angry with my therapist to the beginning of acceptance. I think I was angry with her because I emailed her and received no reply. My first thoughts were that if she was not going to reply to my emails then why tell me that I can still email her? It made me angry, but now I am ok. I've accepted that she may not have access to her emails (she did tell me at the last session that I musn't think she is being rude if she doesn't reply to my emails because she is abroad and has limited access to them).

So I'm slowly moving to accept that the therapy with her is over now and I think that's a good place to be. I still get sad sometimes when I think about how much I would like to talk to her, but it subsides a bit quicker now.

Thanks again IJ :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi I too am quite attached/dependant on my therapist, for that reason I try not to see him too often. He allows me to choose when I see him, I manage now to stretch appointments to every couple of months or so. I agree with others about talking to yourself, I could never do this out loud though :mellow: . This has been quite an unconscious thing with me. When I have a dilemma I find myself thinking "what would John (my therapist) say"? if I had presented this problem to him. More often than not I am able to answer myself as if I had been in the session. If I still cannot work it out or if my anxieties get too out of control, I then seek an appointment, but I would still wait the 2 months as sometimes the anxieties can fade with time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi goose. You are very fortunate to have that flexibility with your therapist. :) That would work wonders for me right now. I also find myself asking what my therapist would say, but it's more a case of wishing I could talk to her. For example, last night was a bad one for me. I was told something that I apparently said wrong, even though it was not intended to come out wrong and I didn't even realise what I had said until it was pointed out to me. I became depressed and even got to the point of holding a knife in my hand. My intention with the knife was not to hurt myself but just to remind myself that there is a way to end all of the hurt. But the only thing that pulled me out was wondering to myself what my therapist would say if I would have had a regular session the next day. What would I tell her? Would I tell her what happened and how I was feeling and what led to the suicidal thoughts? She probably would have asked why I didn't phone someone at that time, even her.

So it definitely helps to think about what she would say in those situations. :)

Thanks for your post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've made a bit of progress on this issue. I thought perhaps it will help others on here too. I've managed to understand why I am so upset about my therapist leaving. I think we sometimes forget that anger is there to tell us that we are not happy about something important. For instance, I've been angry at my therapist recently for terminating. And today I realised that I am angry at her because I wasn't finished saying everything I needed to say. How dare she tell me that I can no longer talk to her (i.e: termination) when I'm not finished talking yet? So I realised this and it makes sense. I'm angry at her because I don't like the feeling of having to hold everything in that I wanted to say to her, for the rest of my life. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but although it helps to have people to talk to and a wonderful support network like this website, the person we really want to talk to, we can't talk to.

I feel so grateful to all of you on here that have offered advice and opinions and you have truly helped me in getting to know myself better, because now I know why I am so upset about her leaving. I have so many things I still want to say to her and talk to her about and I can't. And that's what's killing me. Going to another therapist will help, but it's not her and she's the one I want to talk to. This sounds almost obsessive and perhaps it is, but that's the truth.

Now that I know this, I have no idea what to do with it. At the moment I'm angry that she left without giving me the opportunity to tell her everything I wanted to tell her, but at the same time, that is near impossible. We had limited time and we did the best we could in that time.

I think the issue of transference needs to be dealt with later on. It's almost like a puzzle that needs to be put together. First, we need to let ourselves feel whatever we're feeling. Then we need to give the feelings names, such as anger. Then we need to figure out why we're feeling anger. Then we can start looking at things like transference and what it relates to in the past. Because if you start with transference right away, you might get confused and caught up in the roller-coaster of emotions and not know which way to turn. That's how I felt. Not sure if anyone else felt like that?

Would love any feedback.

Thanks again guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have so many things I still want to say to her and talk to her about and I can't. And that's what's killing me. Going to another therapist will help, but it's not her and she's the one I want to talk to. This sounds almost obsessive and perhaps it is, but that's the truth.

Yes, this was my main problem, too. Moreover, I also felt very misunderstood in many ways (/ in the context of several issues) and that was one of two main reasons I wanted to tell him so many things (the other was that I needed his feedback about some issues related somehow to him, to my perceptions of him and some of his reactions - I haven't got a clue how to understand them without his input - so any other therapist couldn't help!) In my case, my "obsessing" about is took almost two years. But it seems it's really over now. What helped, except for the time? That I met him this summer and told him at least a part of that all and asked him at least few questions and... I realized that... he can never understand me the way I would like him to, he'll never tell me everything I would like to know (because it's in principle impossible - there's always something new I'd need to tell or explain him and so our therapy would have to be endless...) - so no matter if I meet him or not, I need to learn to live with it - and, moreover, that meeting him would only perpetuate the pain of feeling not completely understood and of the feeling "I still haven't told everything I wanted, I can't wait to meet him again to do so" - this constant anticipation, expectation, ... wasn't worth it. I had to decide that it wasn't worth it. That it would be much better for me to give out the needs...

Because if you start with transference right away, you might get confused and caught up in the roller-coaster of emotions and not know which way to turn. That's how I felt. Not sure if anyone else felt like that?

Yes, I can only agree with your explanations as I felt the same.

Take care! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"P.S."

Still, sometimes something occurs to me and I regret for a while that I can't tell (or write) him. For instance even a song I would like to send him a link to, instead of some others I did in the past (to illustrate some of my moods / feelings / ...)... Today, this seemed so perfect in the context of my decision of not meeting him anymore (although not the whole text, of course, but... most of all, I like the idea in the refrain:

"But I won't cry for yesterday

There's an ordinary world

Somehow I have to find

And as I try to make my way

To the ordinary world

I will learn to survive")

[media=]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As more then 2 videos aren't allowed in one post, here is "the rest of my previous post":

I "gave" him several songs, as, for instance (although they are about romantic love, quite a lot from the feelings applied to me and to the end of my therapy:

Here, I like mostly:

"Without your love, will I ever be the same?

Will the spring arrive?

Will the rainbows chase the rain?"

[media=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_RMQQrHfUA

And here, I like the end (in this context):

"A chorus of sparrows in summer

Is how I remember you

The fire of maples in autumn

Is how I remember you

The Silence of snowfall in winter

Is how I remember you"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I thought I would post an update of how it's been going during the past months. Perhaps some of you feel or felt the same.

It's like an elevator / lift. Sometimes I'm at the top floor where I'm almost sure I will be ok, and then someone presses the button in the lobby and before I know it, I'm coming down to earth again.

Lately I've been thinking about her, just wondering how she's doing. I think it's crazy that one person has so much power over other people. How can a person that was met only a short time ago have such a profound impact on other people. I understand this concept with someone you've known your whole life or for many years, but with someone that, in the grand scope of things, hasn't been around that long, I don't understand.

Perhaps that says a lot about me as a person. It's strange, though, because I'm not angry, I just miss talking to her SO much. I have spoken to her on email a few times since last year August. In every email, I ask her to tell me if I am no longer allowed to email her, because I understand that it might just be that she felt bad for leaving and gave me the window for emailing her, but will at some point decide enough is enough. But on the other hand, I think she might genuinely be interested in what I'm learning and how it's going with me. She did say in one of her emails that she's always happy to hear from me and about my journey. I don't think, as a therapist, she would say something like that without realising the effect that words like that would have on me.

Anyway, It has been interesting the last few months. Hard sometimes. It almost makes me never want to go to therapy again because this letting go business is so incredibly difficult. Sometimes it really feels like I've lost a close friend, which I know is not the case, but it still feels like that. And it's seriously painful. You know what the other difficult part of this is, is that I feel like I've lost someone important and I have NO idea how she felt when we said goodbye. So at the end of the day, I sit and think that I feel this painful ending and, for all I know, she's rolling her eyes every time she gets an email from me. I guess I'll never know.

Thanks for listening guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think when we're dealing with attachment, it's not surprising there can often be a strong response. Therapy can offer us a safe space to share our feelings with another accepting and non judgmental person. Could that be part of what you're missing so much? I stopped seeing my therapist in 2008 (I believe) and I still have warm feelings for him. I think I always will. Shared human experience. Did you grow and learn within the therapeutic relationship? That part stays with you.

It's good to hear from you. Take care, marijack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An update so far.

I eventually decided to visit another therapist. It was the one recommended to me by my ex-therapist.

So I went and saw her for one appointment, and what a difference. The only thing I had realised by the time that hour was up was how uncomfortable I felt and how I really struggled to like this one.

I made some comparisons and found a few differences that meant a lot to me.

My ex-therapist never had a piece of paper or pen in her hand during the session. She talked to me, looked at me when I spoke and tried to pick up on every little thing I was doing with my body to pick up any signs of how I was feeling. This one sat the whole time writing away on her single pages. At times I would actually stop talking again to see if she was listening to me, and it took her about 5 seconds to realise I'd stopped talking and she would then look up and say to me "how did you feel when that happened". I wanted to throw something at her.

Also, she was late for our appointment.

It was a different experience, one that I don't think I'll be repeating soon.

Oh well, so continues the self-journey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's unfortunate that you had that experience, marijack, but like VBN1C says, that's all the more reason to keep trying. I've never heard of a therapist who was late for appointments. And it's precisely because different therapists have different styles that we need to keep shopping until we find one we want. If they're inattentive, they deserve to lose clients to those who are, but that only happens if you keep going until you get what you want.

Which may be a life lesson all on its own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi - it was so nice reading this and really seeing how other people feel so similar about their therapists. I recently terminated my therapy because the transference was of the erotic variety. It's troubling because I still feel like I care about him separate from the romanticized feelings and I find myself worrying about him.

Stages of grief have been very much a part of it. And they cycle. I've only been out of therapy now for one week and two days - not that I'm totally counting. I started to see a new therapist and 2 sessions in we realized that him and my old therapist share the same office (just of different days). So I've decided to move to a different office - I think the emotions would be too much.

I did have a question, however. I find myself negotiating with myself and trying to find ways in which I may continue to talk to my old therapist. I think - oh, maybe I can send him a card around his birthday. I think - oh, well, if I really ever got too depressed again I can always call him. I think - oh, I'll send him a nice photograph of birds that I think he would appreciate. Sometimes I even try to trick myself by thinking about how he felt about (after nine months of therapy) the abrupt ending. I tell myself that need to comfort him. I think these are all things that are trying to keep me from letting go.

I'm not a fan of feeling angry or sad about the situation or how things played out - but those feeling are pretty solid. The negotiating feelings are difficult - because I find myself at a crossroads where I've yet to make the choice about how I'm handling my after-therapy experience. What would staying connected to him really do for me? or him for that matter?

Additionally of note, the ending was abrupt, but I did go in and actually tell him face to face that I was leaving because I had like him, liked him for sometime, and finally got jostled into the reality - which was that I was censoring what I said to him because of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I advise you try and totally let go, never get back in touch.

One week is nothing, this is going to be with you for a very long time, months at least.

I found that venting those feelings when I had some me time helped me get through the rest of the day.

I wish you the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you. It's quite comforting to hear that - to not contact him. I just never know sometimes what is the healthy thing to do. I'm a recovering alcoholic (2 and a half months so far) and one of the things that has stuck with me so far has been to do the opposite of what I want to do. Seems to apply to this situation as well.

And I suppose trying to know if he's okay was never my business and is not part of my role as his client. All I can do is know that he's a professional and a seasoned one to say the least - he's got to have ways he copes with patients leaving abruptly.

He did bring me back from the brink, I'll always remember that. Along with tons of other stuff. I think this is the first loss of my adult life the I faced head on without avoiding/ drinking away the feelings. It's interesting. I cried for 3 days, then I was okay, then I cried after a week. I was worried I was going to forget about him, but after reading some comment above about remembering far more random people, I think I won't be forgetting him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear you that this can be difficult. It was for me as well. Grief is a personal journey and I think each of us has to walk on our own path to healing. We can stand by you. If it helps to talk about your feelings, we are here to support you. Sending care to you, renewablecloud.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you. It's quite comforting to hear that - to not contact him. I just never know sometimes what is the healthy thing to do. I'm a recovering alcoholic (2 and a half months so far) and one of the things that has stuck with me so far has been to do the opposite of what I want to do. Seems to apply to this situation as well.

And I suppose trying to know if he's okay was never my business and is not part of my role as his client. All I can do is know that he's a professional and a seasoned one to say the least - he's got to have ways he copes with patients leaving abruptly.

He did bring me back from the brink, I'll always remember that. Along with tons of other stuff. I think this is the first loss of my adult life the I faced head on without avoiding/ drinking away the feelings. It's interesting. I cried for 3 days, then I was okay, then I cried after a week. I was worried I was going to forget about him, but after reading some comment above about remembering far more random people, I think I won't be forgetting him.

How are you feeling renewablecloud?

You won't ever forget him he will just become less important as time goes on until eventually you realise he was just a therapist, it is hard to believe at the moment maybe but it will happen, I was there myself once, things will get better.

I am so glad you are staying sober, that stuff will only wreak havoc in your life right now, please please don't go near it! Do you exercise? That can help.

I am thinking of you and wishing you the best at this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the alcohol if you have one mouthful you will have another and another and go straight back to your old drinking habit, then your new life and all the progress you have made will go out the window.

I found repeating "one sip and it all goes to shit" over and over and over helpful when I felt weak. I also remembered it when I was not feeling weak to stop me getting complacent, you must never underestimate alcohol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...