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Should I change therapist?


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I like my therapist, but he really made me so upset today I am really thinking about finding someone else. While I was at my sister's this weekend I became ill and had to wait until Tuesday to see my M.D. who told me I could go back to work on Wednesday if I felt well. I felt better but not quite sit in a cube for 8 hours then spend an hour in therapy crying for an hour better. Since my therapist office is near my work office I called Tuesday after leaving the M.D. and cancelled my appointment for Wednesday for one later in the week. The receptionist told me that he was not going to be in the office Thursday or Friday and all of next week. I shoud have known then not to cancel but I did not know how I would be feeling the next day and to rather not have a "No Show" and be charged an arm and leg for nothing. When I woke up this morning I still did not feel well but I knew I would be able to make it to my appointment. I called this morning to see if he could still fit me in and he said no, he had absoutly no appointments for the whole day. I told him that I really needed to see him, I had the worst week ever. I got in a huge arguement with my mom this weekend, and I actually figured out what my huge problem in life was. All of these months of therapy and I put the finger on what the issue is and now I can't see the therapist to go through it for two freaking weeks. I am sitting there on the phone bawling my eyes out and it is just like "well I have no appointments for two weeks, oh well". I feel abandoned. I truly feel like my feelings do not matter. I can't help I am sick. I can't help that I followed his "rules" and so I am being punished. My husband said if it were him he would find someone else, but I should get an outside opinion.

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Well, I certainly understand your feelings; the frustration, and especially the abandonment. And when I don't feel well physically it is an automatic I will turn into a little girl and want to be taken care of, so you were probably especially vulnerable, even without the stuff that happened with your mom.

I think it is entirely possible that your feelings do matter to him, but just as you couldn't help it that you were sick, he can't help it if he is booked. He can't add more time in his day, he can't call someone else and cancel them at the last minute to make room for you. He is entitled to manage his schedule the way he wants, i.e., take a vacation or go to a conference or whatever. It would be nice if he could be considerate and sensitive about it, and not give you the impression that he was put out by your unhappiness ("Oh well"), if that's what he did. He probably felt helpless.

My T has had to cancel with almost no notice more than once, but it made it better that he offered to call me if he had a cancellation, and seemed genuinely distressed that he had to cancel, and told me the reasons, which were personal and technically none of my business (One time there was a problem with the sewer system in his neighborhood and he had to get home to let the utility people in and his mate couldn't do it for good reasons that he also explained).

In your case, you had to make a decision, and it turned out to be the wrong one, but it could just as easily have been the right one. It would have been nice if your guy could have had the flexibility to hold the appointment time open for you to see how you felt in the morning, but that was not the case. The reason you had to miss your appointment was because you got sick, not because of him, and you were thinking ahead about your finances. Your therapist has his rule to take care of himself financially, so it is only fair to him that you accept that he has that right, just like you do. It was plain bad luck that he was going to be out of the office for several days. But maybe he's going to a conference where he will learn something that will be especially valuable for your treatment. It could be. You never know!

You could go find someone else, and ask them how they would handle the situation, should it come up again, but I bet you will find the same thing with pretty much everyone. I think the longer you are with someone, the more likely it is they will bend over backwards for you, if they can.

I know it feels rotten to be in need and have a hope and expectation of help, and then not get it. But that in itself wouldn't be enough reason to fire the guy for me, because, really, what could he have done, except maybe be more sensitive in talking to you.

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I'm in basic agreement with Lalu22 here. This isn't an abandonment. you cancelled your appointment, and the therapist had every expectation that this was okay with you (becuase you initiated it) and every right to offer that slot to some other needy person. The therapist could conceivably have made an extra appointment just for you at the end of the day special, but then s/he'd be giving you something that intruded upon his/her family life, and on the way that other clients/patients are being treated. If the rules get bent for you, they ought to be bent for everyone the same way. And a therapist who neglects his/her family life by being a workaholic, quickly becomes a lousy therapist. You cannnot take good care of other people when you aren't taking care of yourself.

This much being the case, I totally empathize with the pain you felt at not being able to have the attention you desired when you felt you urgently needed it. That really is painful. It's just not abandonment.

Did you write down your great insight into your problem? Maybe you can share this insight with us here in the community ? We could help you to explore it and make sense of it even if the therapist isn't available immediately.

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Looking upon the situation I now know that I should have called when the answering service would have him call me, not to speak to the office manager/receptionist/billing office lady. She probably just thought I wanted to cancel and did not care why. When speaking to my therapist he always ask if there is a problem first. It just seems the one day I really needed to see him I couldn't. I have been dealing with stress at work and home and could not cope anymore. That is when I started going to therapy. I have never had a good relationship with my mother so us arguing is nothing new. It is just that she admitted that she didn't care about dealing with her children (my sisters and I) so instead of staying home and making sure we were taken care of she would go out because I was finally old enough at 13 to deal with making dinner, making sure everyone had their homework done and in bed for school. Like that ever got accomplished. When I said that it was not fair that I had to deal with that she said oh well it wasn't fair she had four children. I screamed at her "YOU HAD A CHOICE! I DIDN'T". Then I was told I am now a spoild B!tc#, because I don't have to work as hard as her and I have a husband that actually will work and pay bills. Whatever that is supposed to mean. I also figured out why I have been feeling stressed. I thought all my life all I wanted was a normal family, but does anyone really have a normal family? Now I wish I could be like I was when I was younger, going out until 3am every night and not worried about a million bills. It is pretty selfish on my part.

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Hi! I meant to say feeling of abandonment. The therapist didn't abandon you.

I feel abandoned if the dog doesn't come right away when I call, but that doesn't mean he abandoned me. I am preprogrammed to feel abandoned at the drop of a hat.

Anyway, I don't think wishing for a good, carefree time and not having to worry about bills is selfish. Now actually habitually going out 'til 3 am, and neglecting the bills, etc would be different. I have euphoric recall about my misspent youth and I am sometimes disappointed in the way aspects of my life have unfolded, but I think that is pretty common.

I'm sorry you had to deal with all that responsibility when you were thirteen. Sucks.

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