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Taking a break from therapy

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Last week, I had to make a very difficult decision. For financial reasons, I had to stop going to therapy. After a long discussion with my therapist, we both agreed that if it was not for my financial troubles, I should be continuing with intense therapy. Nonetheless, he told me I could come back any time and that he would be there for me.

Leaving therapy that day, I felt so empty. I admit, the tears started streaming down my face as soon as I walked out of his office. I felt as if part of me had died. I've been going to therapy every 1-2 weeks for 2 years now, so it is part of my routine. I tend to keep everything boxed in and it took me a lot of time to get many of my issues out, such as issues with an eating disorder and severe manipulation issues with my parents. I felt like I was finally getting somewhere as i finally trusted him. I wanted to tell him everything.

I just feel a little lost right now. I've been crying off and on. All I can think is that i have no one to turn to. I do have my fiance who is super supportive, however there are some issues I still have trouble talking to him about. Also, I don't feel right dumping everything on him, as he is depressed at the moment and really doesn't need me bringing him down.

Bottom line is, I am super attached to my therapist. More than I realised I guess. And I don't know what to do. How can I stop feeling so sad about this? I suppose you could say I "love" him. I don't mean that in a romantic way, but more that he's been a surrogate father, mother, and friend to me when i needed him. I still do....:)

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Hello Buttons!

I am sure you can find many here who can relate to your situation, as many of us have been in similar situations. It's sad that sometimes those who need the most help recieve the least.

The World Health Organization study on mental illness found America leads the world in the rate of mental illness in spite of being the richest.:D

Anyway, His loss is our gain:)....we are here for you.

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Hello, Buttons!

I can't imagine how you feel, having to leave therapy like that. I know it would break my heart if I had to. I feel for you, and hope things get better for you in time.

I know you trust this therapist becasue you have been with him for so long, but, I wonder if there is anyplace that you can go that is based on your income to continue therapy, even though I know it would be haard. But, maybe it would be better than nothing? At least you would have someone to talk to.

I am very thankful for this site, although Ireally wish it had live chat, but it the ppl here have been there for me in times I didn't think I'd make it.

I wish you all the best. :D


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Thank you both. I know i will be ok. Thanks for letting me vent a bit! I've actually decided i will take this time to do some soul searching and come up with some self-soothing techniques. I've started keeping an extensive diary where i write down everything I'm feeling. I'm hoping I'll be able to discover a lot about myself on my own. Plus, one thing my therapist taught me is how to trust the people around me. I'll be able to lean on some of my friends and ask them for support rather than push them away like I usual do. It will be practice for me.

Luckily I have a job with health benefits that will allow me to continue therapy in January with some coverage. Also, I'm waiting to hear about a promotion at work...keeping my fingers crossed, because if i get this, then i can definately go back!

Thanks again, and take care,

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Buttons, I'm so sorry you are feeling sad. I've been through this and had a similar response. I left therapy (the first time) a bit too abruptly. It was a mutual decision, but I also had no idea how attached I'd become to my therapist until after I'd left. I experienced severe separation distress and a grief response. Needless to say, I ended up back in therapy after this. The second and last time I left things went differently, as I'd been able to better process the ending of the relationship and had had the opportunity to fully express my feelings. It is so unfortunate when money has to stand in the way of your health and well-being. :D

You're grieving, Buttons, and grief can be a difficult road. It's certainly okay to say you love him. The place you shared with your therapist was valuable, so this is naturally painful. As you said it was part of your routine and now you must adjust to a different routine. I think it is very natural and okay to allow these feelings of loss. I was comforted by talking to others and journaling about my feelings. In time, perhaps when the pain is not so close to you, you may consider what it was within this relationship that met your needs. Then you may look to other relationships within your life to try and get those needs met.

If you find it helpful, please continue expressing your feelings around this. I'm also available via PM if this feels more comfortable for you.

Take care, Buttons.

I must type slowly since there were 2 additional responses before I posted this. I'm glad you are feeling a bit better today, Buttons.

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Thanks again to everyone for their support. It means the world to me right now because I don't really have anyone to turn to.

I am slightly comforted by the fact that I know I will go back to therapy early next year. However, whenever I think of the time i won't be going, I cry. It is a bit like greiving isn't it? I guess I didn't expect to feel like this. My therapist has always stressed that I am a very strong person. I went into therapy thinking I was weak and hopeless, but I learned that I am extreemely strong. I need to realise though, that I am human, and I do have emotions. It's ok to cry. And it's ok to feel sad about leaving therapy.

IrmaJean, I think you are right....I am positive that if I do love him, he would want me to tell him. I do have a fear of rejection. I suppose I am afraid that I care about him while he doesn't care at all. With therapy, I have always looked at it this way: a therapist is paid to listen and to offer advice. But does that mean they are paid to pretend to care? OR do they really care? If I found out he didn't care at all, I would be devestated. Although, the more I think about it, he must care, because in our last session he told me he really thought i should stick with therapy, whether with him or with another therapist. He felt that it was what was best for my mental health.

I suppose I am afraid of what will happen in the next few months. I do binge eat. That issue has plagued me all my life, and I only now have it under control. Now I am feeling very down and I am afraid that I will fall back into the cycle. I've lost 20 pounds with the help of my therapist, and I want to stay healthy.

I think I have a good action plan in place though. I am keeping a journal and I am wanting to communicate more on these forums. Everyone here is so supportive. Everyone here makes me feel a bit better on my darker days. It's like a virtual hug! So thanks again!

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I believe they must care, Buttons, or they couldn't be effective with us.

It sounds as though you made wonderful progress with your therapist. This is wonderful. :)

Having an action plan in place is a great idea, I agree. This is very proactive. Support is always helpful as well. I hope you will continue to express your feelings here. Best of luck to you.

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I totally agree with IrmaJean :)

It is a bit like greiving isn't it?

Yes, it is greiving and it's natural. When you leave therapy "by a usual way", it means because you don't need it anymore, (I'm not there yet, by the way...), the last period is a preparation for the end, including greiving (I know it, I know my therapist will surely be very supportive even in this last period, but... I still have a fear of the end... I'm absolutely sure I will cry a lot - maybe even as much as you, even though it will be a "normal" end (-I hope so; I hope I will not get out of money... But who knows?...).

I had a break from therapy for one month, twice (and I will have another one soon). (Around Cristmas and then in the end of spring.) And both the breaks were at the same time hard and useful for me. I realized a lot of new insights, I saw how I was able to "function" without my therapist.

I wish you that this long break becomes mostly very positive for you, too!!! It probably will be hard sometimes, but... I hope in the end you'll say "it was useful"! You can make a progress even without therapy and you will be proud of it even more, because it will be your own, personal progress, without any help (except for this forum and... hopefuly also your partner :))

Good luck! :)

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, so on the advise of my fiancé and a friend, I e-mailed my therapist today. I told him that I made a big mistake and I needed to see him because I've been feeling horrible ever since I left. Everything seems to be triggering bad memories and I have a hard time dealing with everyday situations. He e-mailed me back and told me he'd be happy to meet with me next week, or this week if there's a cancellation. Just getting that e-mail back from him was so soothing.

I feel a bit better tonight. Maybe I'll sleep! That would be fantastic.:)

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