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Friday, 10 August 2012 21:26

The Break Up

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One awkward thing about treatment is, what do you do when you've outgrown your therapist? I mean, it's great, they probably helped you a lot. So how do you end treatment with them?

Technically, the therapist is supposed to see when things are at an organic end point but that doesn't always happen. I saw my former therapist for almost three years. She was exactly what I needed when I needed it but when my life finally began to change and stop sucking so much all the time, I actually felt like she didn't trust me. I felt that she was overly critical and even territorial when it came down to it. I didn't feel that she understood the extent of the suckage that was my life. I was legit living in the ghetto for just under two years. And my original land lord had died and left us with her horrible partner in charge.  

The partner (Slum Lord Biotch or SLB for short) was truly the most horrible human being I have ever met. And let's face it, I attract assholes like moths to a flame. So I wasn't surprised that she was awful, I was just surprised she was THAT awful.

When we got the opportunity to move out of there 2 months before the lease was up we were all over it. We did everything by the book but...being a psycho SLB, she continued to hound us and hound us for more money. The last time I ever saw her I had been cleaning the apartment top to bottom for about 4 hours. And it was HOT. I so happened to go outside to put something in my car when she appeared out of nowhere. She claimed to have paid the handyman to remove the giant pile of trash we'd left on the sidewalk. I told her the town was going to pick it up for free as I had called them and spoken to a very nice lady about it. But she'd already paid the guy so I figured I would suck it up and pay the $150 just to keep the peace. (Apparently peace pricey!)

Except she followed me upstairs. And stood really close to me. And then demanded more money. And I completely lost my shit.
Lost. It. (I suspect now, looking back, I was angry at two other women who'd had some form of power over me and I never got to tell them off so this was kind of my moment.)
Anyway, I think I may have blacked out. Because I could hear myself screaming at her and calling her every name in the book. The C-bomb, which I try to only use on special occasions...stole the show. It was as if I developed Tourettes Syndrome and that word was all I could get out. Loudly. Very loudly. Until I finally came back to my body a bit and had the sense to scream "GET OUT! Get out of my house you evil crazy bitch!"
Then called my husband and cried "I just called Lori the C-word like, 87 times and I'm totally freaking out!"

My therapist's response to our moving out of the ghetto was that it was wrong of me to break a lease and that renting from my landlord was wrong because he was the step-dad of a former client. Her exact words were, in fact, "I will fire you as a client if you do that. For as long as you live in that house you will be going completely backwards."

I went back one time after that. It was okay, I did tell her I didn't appreciate what she'd said. Or her weird denial of the fact that we have the same job. (Seriously! I felt so judged by her!)

I didn't call her and she never called me. I consider that not just poor business, but poor social skills.  After three years of treatment, I feel a client falling off the face of the earth would merit some form of communication.

The real deal breaker was later that spring, I had a horrifying experience trying to wean off Effexor (My med of choice for years. Too bad it was the wrong one!) I basically went into withdrawal and could not function.
I have no idea why, but I thought I had an appointment. I called her and stated, "I am extremely ill, in withdrawal from Effexor, the doctor gave me cancer meds to stop the nausea and I'm so scared but I really hope I didn't mess up your schedule because I hate missing appointments and I am so sorry and baaahh..."
Her response? "No, we didn't have an appointment."
That's all.
And she never called me again.

It may be crazy of me, but if one of my clients dragged themselves out of a withdrawal stupor to call me and apologize for missing an appointment that didn't exist, I would have called them again in like, a week, to see if they were alive.

Anyway, if you want to stop meeting with a therapist, it's okay. Really. We are surprisingly resilient and don't take that personally. It's okay to tell your therapist face-face that you're ready to move on. In my case, you could even text or email. No hard feelings. Come back and see me sometime if you'd like a tune-up.

That about sums it up. It's not always about you!
(But it is usually about me.)
Read 6416 times Last modified on Saturday, 03 November 2012 17:23
Erin Doolittle

I am a marriage and family therapist who so happens to have also suffered from chronic anxiety and panic disorder for at least 15 years. I am thrilled to report that I have dramatically improved the quality of my life thanks to excellent therapy, proper medication, and a wellness retreat named Kripalu and an amazing guest presenter named Rhonda Britten - the expert in fear. Google her! She is awesome!


  • Comment Link Grayson James Thursday, 25 March 2021 05:30 posted by Grayson James

    It is impressive if not strange to read everything that a person can go through in a short space of time. I don't want to imagine how that person felt when he saw what he was going through with his therapist, some people from to whom he entrusted her life for three long years and who is now harassing her like this.

  • Comment Link Erin Doolittle Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:18 posted by Erin Doolittle

    Great response - thank you for taking the time to share your reaction! I apologize for not seeing it sooner! I love hypnotherapy and use it in my practice as well. I only have basic skills in it but even with that I'm able to at least introduce people to the idea and remove the fear/stigma surrounding it. I fully agree - we are born perfect with all the tools we need to get through life we just kind of stray away from them at times and need to be guided back to our best selves. That's what I see as my job - to guide, not instruct.

  • Comment Link White Shaan Thursday, 13 September 2012 15:12 posted by White Shaan

    Wow, what a story. I like the bit where you talk about attracting assholes like moth to a flame, I thought I was bad lol.

    I myself am a Hypnotherapist, and what is particularly important in what i do, is knowing how to work with a client. In my numerous blogs that i write, i really highlight this thought process, that we already have all the tools we need to function and overcome our issues. I can remember when i went through my anxiety and trauma, none of the counsellors really knew what was going on, and some of them were just plain rude and aggressive.

    The thing is, the only one who knows you the best is you. A good therapist recognises that the client has the answers, and knows that their role is to guide, and be on hand to support and encourage that client to release their full potential. It's something that i feel very strongly about are therapists and counsellors etc who just don't treat people as Human Beings, but rather just another statistic.

    Thanks again for the post it was genuinely really interesting to see another perspective on how people view therapists, and what their experiences where.

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