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Re: what *it* was (long) messadivoce

Posted by 10derHeart on August 2, 2005, at 1:46:14

In reply to Re: I second you, posted by messadivoce on July 29, 2005, at 23:43:55

> The problem was, I didn't even see it as social. I didn't know WHAT it was. I just missed him.

And there you have really gotten to what may be the heart of the issue, especially when your T. physically moves away. I think Ts. need to- MUST - figure out how they are going to define it - better sooner than later. Unfortunately, perhaps it takes a special blend of experience, good instincts and courage to be able to pull this post-term. contact off in a way that works for everyone...

Most of you know my story (well, not Ms. Lott. obviously, but I'll recap it later, if needed..) I am certainly the poster child for gentle, skillful termination, and am eternally grateful. My pdoc, when termination had to happen last summer when he moved away, eventually catagorized the continued email contact he agreed to, as "transitional therapy."

Now as good as he was at handling the whole thing, I could tell the first couple months he really hadn't thought of how he'd label it, or what his training told him (likely nothing, from what I gathered later on) he should do. He didn't really bring it up. I forced the issue at one point as I became frustrated trying to sort out how he was okay with it - and frankly as you said Voce, what *it* even was - when previously he'd cautioned me when talking abou our contact, not to forget about ethical issues, his not being licensed in my state any more, etc. It was then he started describing this as supporting me by email until I found a new T. He was very honest about it, and never tried to act like he wasn't treading on new ground, or that it wasn't confusing and risky for him. As of last year, he'd been a pdoc for 16 years, and said I was the first person to ever ask, straight out, to stay in contact after termination. In his simple way of speaking, he said he'd only known me during therapy to ask for things that were reasonable, and since maintaining contact when Iwas so attached was reasonable, too, he had no problem with it. If only it was just that simple with everyone - just be reasonable and poof!! - no abandonment and much less pain... :-(

And, even though I've been w/current T. for 7 months, ex-T. is still in touch. All I can say is once, when I expressed still-intense fear of him one day saying, "Stop writing to me," (abruptly? maybe) about 3 months ago, he said he supposed he'd probably do that (though not abruptly) *if* he thought it was therapeutic, but he "didn't know enough" to say that, so he wouldn't. His only concern was what current T. felt about it, which was - and is - to be fine with the contact. It does NOT interfere with our therapy realationship now, which I'm sure is key. I'd say that it's been fine because both ex-T and I have been very careful not to "do therapy" every since I had my current T. Not easy at first, but it's been manageable, because we both are willing to make it that way. And we've VERY gradually weaned me off the 2-3x a week emailing, which would make it more likely to slip into a therapist-client mode.

I think a lot of it is that all three parties is this scenario have been open, honest, and determined to fight for what's best for ME as a unique individual, whether or not they've (or I've) encountered the feelings or situation before.

For what it's worth, this "transitional" therapy concept was totally fine in my ex T's (pdoc) way of thinking as a psychiatrist, ethically, I mean. Maybe he was/is technically wrong somehow, and perhaps, having never gone through this before, he rationalized his way around a rigid interpretation of the rules - for my sake? If so, nice to see a T. make choices out of a place like that within himself, isn't it? No doubt he knows he has nothing to worry about from me - trust goes deep both ways. It's worked out immensely in my best interest, and been truly a healing thing.




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