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Left in chicken limbo!

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I have been seeing a therapist or rather, been under a therapist for almost a year now.

I started seeing this therapist to help me with my problems. Manic Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Schizophrenia and Psychosis.

I used to go for 1hr per week and felt that it was doing me good, just talking about things. Then she went off sick in July. So... I haven't seen anyone. I did see my Advocate about this problem who has put me on the list to see their therapist, but... in the mean time, I just waited to hear when my therapist would be back?

Then at the beginning of December, I received a letter from the company that my therapist worked under, explaining that they have took me off the list for seeing my therapist as they feel that they cannot help me anymore. Even though it was my Psychiatrist who referred me there in the first place.

I just feel like I've been left in chicken limbo and feel as though it's something that I've done wrong, even though they reassure me, it isn't?

How do I explain this to my Psychiatrist and can therapist just do this when they please?

Any come back would be appreciated!

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Good morning Paula,

Paula, you were left in "chicken limbo", as you say, and this would frustrate and anger me to no end. I remember in graduate school being expected to be in therapy as part of our program-- 9 years and about 13 therapists in all. I found it nightmarish to have to recite my trauma anew with every therapist, but this was the design of the program, that we be exposed to the various therapy styles. I found it very disheartening, frustrating, and incomplete in some ways and almost disloyal and completely insensitive. At times it felt like abandonment, and this is where it gets tricky.

With respect to what to say to your psychiatrist, just take the letter with you and ask if he can not only refer you elsewhere, but see if he can open the door for you by calling the director of the new agency to make sure you're seen quickly.But first, ask if he will contact the agency you've been with and see if he can't talk them into assigning you back to the therapist you have been with. Psychiatrists have tremendous power in these situations b/c they are a huge referral source and also b/c they talk to other psychiatrists and clinicians-- a frustrated psychiatrist could hurt an agency's reputation and referral base from fellow clinicians.

Finally, the rules for professional conduct in most of our professions state that once we agree to treat/work with a patient or client, a therapist-client relationship is formed. Where such a relationship has been formed, unilateral and premature termination by the therapist w/o reasonable notice is seen as abandonment if services are still needed by the client. This now becomes a legal matter and one also affecting certifications of the treating facility and licensure of the therapist. I'm not sure you want to go this route, however, it might be worth mentioning to the agency-- the term abandonment w/o reasonable notice, if you raise it, it should rattle their chain immediately. Were you given at least verbal notice prior to the written notice, if so, how long n advance? If they can't treat you, their responsibility is to continue seeing you even if less frequently and also to help find you a new therapist within the agency or elsewhere-- but, they aren't permitted to simply abandon clients. If they terminate the relationship, they are also required to forward your records to the next clinician you see (they are required to do so anyway, just thru your written consent).

Good luck Paula and I hope this helps.


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Hi Ya Paula :D,

Is there any chance your advocacy worker can get in touch with your p/doc and maybe have a word to get you a new therapist a little quicker. Ok technically, this isnt meant to happen, but like I know it can and does.

It must be really difficult not having that support available to you at the moment, especially when you need it most. Is there maybe a local support group in your area that you can join ? ~ just a thought

I hope things ease for you soon, sorry no cool advice or anything, but were here and listening :P

take care


ooops, I forgot, dont know where you live, but here in England there is a p/crisis team. If you get really stuck you could call them out to you, maybe they could speed things up a little :(

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Hi David & Jessica, Thank you for your reply's


The information you gave was brilliant! Thank you.

You mention whether or not I had been given verbal notice in ending my therapy sessions. The answer is no! As I mentioned previously, the only notice that I got was in a written letter which, I will take for my Psychiatrist to look at, at my next appointment.


I live in the UK myself and am too aware of the Crisis Resolution Team, with being in the hospital Three times already. I found them personally, to be a waste of time. all they do is ask you how your feeling and whether you are still Suicidal at the time of their visits. Oh, and they came and gave me my medication as I've a tendency to OD!

I do not have a Support Worker, Social Worker or CPN and my Psychiatrist is trying to arrange for some support for me.

Thanks again!

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