Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 359709

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Therapy heartache

Posted by Bent on June 24, 2004, at 7:50:38

Hello. This is my first post but I have been reading posts on this site for a while. I have so often felt very comforted reading posts on this page. I, like many of you, am dealing with massive transference issues. I am not dependent on my therapist as much as I am majorly attached. Some background: I am a 25yo FM and I have been seeing my pschodynamically-oriented FM T for about two years. Right now I am really sad/hurt. I feel almost heart broken. I have cried off and on for two day after last seeing my T. It was our last session before she is to be gone for several weeks. I know she will be back, and we even have our next appointment set up for four weeks from now. I am just so hurt. It’s not that I don’t think she deserves a vacation- I want her to have a break. I just wish she had been as reassuring as she usually is. I left with a bad feeling. This is all happening at a bad time (I know there really isn’t the right time but this is especially bad timing) because I am having a lot of relationship problems at home. I am making some decisions now that I have been avoiding for YEARS! She did acknowledge that she was sorry the timing of her vacation is a bad time for me. I guess I wanted to hear something else. I wanted her to say that it might be hard to be away from her but that I could do it. I even for the first time in two years wished she would give me hug at the end of our session (she has never touched me before and we have never talked about it). Then I get mad reading posts where other T’s have given their client a stuffed animal or something and mine didn’t do anything- or so it feels. All she said was “take care.” She knows that when she goes on vacations I feel better if I know generally where she is going and last week she told me that she would tell me. She didn’t. I guess she forgot..but then again I didn’t ask again either. I didn’t communicate what I need. I feel so mad at her. She hasn’t left for her vacation yet and I thought about calling her just to feel better before our break from therapy. She never has an issue with my calling her but I am so hesitant because I just called her a few weeks ago when I freaked out after she told me about her vacation plans. I don’t want to seems so desperate and clingy and call again. I am afraid she’d be mad. I have a huge huge fear that she will eventually reject me because of my clinginess (due to a past experience) but she always understands. Sometimes I think that maybe I will just write her a letter and then read it when she returns. I just don’t know what to do. I never thought it would hurt this much. Sorry to go on.

Can I ask….are you guys mainly others in therapy? Or therapists even?


Re: Therapy heartache » Bent

Posted by Dinah on June 24, 2004, at 8:04:31

In reply to Therapy heartache, posted by Bent on June 24, 2004, at 7:50:38

Hi Bent. This is a mutual support board, so we're pretty much fellow clients.

I don't think any of us got anything from our therapists without asking. When mine was going out of town a lot, I asked for a meditation tape recorded in his own voice. He nearly always tells me I'm free to call him while he's gone, because he knows if he tells me I won't need to call. But we discussed that first. If he's gone for some reason where calling him wouldn't be possible, we talk about any feelings I have about it. He does bring up those conversations, but only because he's aware from my telling him that it's an issue.

If she's not gone yet, and hasn't been discouraging of phone calls, I'd call her and tell her that I wasn't totally forthcoming about how distressing this trip was going to be for me, and what I needed from her (in terms of empathy or reassurance). You might not get it (I don't always), but a good therapist should be sensitive to the subject (and familiar with it too).

When in doubt, disclose, is my motto in general with therapists. They can't help us if we don't tell them what's going on.


Re: Therapy heartache

Posted by antigua on June 24, 2004, at 10:08:56

In reply to Therapy heartache, posted by Bent on June 24, 2004, at 7:50:38

Welocme to babbble.

Please try and call your T so you can save yourself some heartache over the next four weeks. Tell her how you feel. She probably will be very glad to hear from you, as this indicates your attachment to her and will help you through your hard issues.

One other thing. It's not so unusual to be in an extra needy position before they go away. You said a lot is going on at home and you're making decisions and need her help. I've often set mysef up w/a neediness battle w/mine right before she goes away because I need to know that she cares, that I can trust, and that she will be there if I need her. She always walks me through it. Some vacations are harder than others.

good luck,


Re: Therapy heartache

Posted by gardenergirl on June 24, 2004, at 13:58:12

In reply to Re: Therapy heartache, posted by antigua on June 24, 2004, at 10:08:56

Welcome to Babble, Bent!

I agree with Dinah and antigua that calling your T likely would be helpful. It's so hard to cope with the loss of your T, even temporarily, when you are dependent on them for being a reliable, consistent, source of support and comfort.

My T has not taken a vacation yet since I've been working with him (just over a year, I think), but I took three or four weeks off at the holidays. I didn't realize in advance how it would affect me. I got more depressed, and I didn't put that together with not having sessions until I returned and we talked about my break. So you are ahead of the game, I think, because you are aware of how difficult this will be.

Your T relies on you to be as honest as you can with her about how you are doing. If you are putting up a brave front somehow, she may think you are doing better than you actually feel. Please consider calling her and letting her know how hard this is so you can get some reassurance.

And also, many of us use our therapy time while T's are gone to do something nice for ourselves. Like reading a book, getting a massage, doing something fun, etc. You can also post here for support if you find it helpful.

Do take extra care. I wish you the best while your T is away.



Re: Therapy heartache

Posted by Bent on June 24, 2004, at 14:23:59

In reply to Therapy heartache, posted by Bent on June 24, 2004, at 7:50:38

Thanks for all your support. I don’t know why I am making it such a big deal to call her. It’s like I am afraid to. One minute I feel like I can handle the next several weeks alone just fine and then another minute I want to fall apart.
I have a hard time in therapy asking for what I need and being open so many times I will bring along what I have written about an event, or usually about our relationship. My writing is “uncensored” and shows more ‘raw’ emotion than just talking to her, when I can avoid details that are too difficult. Writing about the anger, the hurt, and the way she handled this has helped me today but I wonder if it will last through the four weeks. I’d kinda like to not call her but just share all this with her when she returns. I don’t know if this is a good idea…or me avoiding her.
All this transference/attachment stuff really makes want to run from therapy altogether, but I guess it happens for a reason, and while I have a therapist who doesn’t see it as a bad thing I should try to work through it. But will it ever end?


Re: Therapy heartache

Posted by LG04 on June 25, 2004, at 10:33:17

In reply to Re: Therapy heartache, posted by Bent on June 24, 2004, at 14:23:59

Hi Bent,

I also get into a lot of pain from transference with my therapist. I also wish it would go away and often want to run away. It makes sense that we'd feel that way. After all, the feelings are painful and frustrating (sometimes infuriating) and deeply uncomfortable to say the least. I try to remind myself that these are feelings that I have inside of me from my childhood experiences. It's not really about my therapist...she just triggers them. If I don't work thru them, they will still be inside of me and they will keep my outside relationships from being as intimate/rewarding as they could be. (and my relationship with myself)

As I posted somewhere else, I also know that I have had intense transference with people outside of therapy that has been equally if not more painful because I couldn't talk to them about it or work thru it with them. So, I'd rather have it with my therapist.

But yes, it sucks.


p.s. I agree with the others that I'd definitely call your therapist before she goes on vacation. I wouldn't want to have those feelings stirring around inside of me the whole time she is gone. I think that would be very painful.


Re: Therapy heartache

Posted by shadows721 on June 25, 2004, at 15:32:07

In reply to Therapy heartache, posted by Bent on June 24, 2004, at 7:50:38

Hi Bent!

I feel what you are going through is TOTALLY normal. Four weeks is a long time. It sounds like you have a good working relationship with your T. Maybe, this is a good time to learn how to ask for what you need from your T. For example, you stated you like the idea that other T's gave there clients something to hold on to. Well, you know now that you have that need. So, now, you can ask for it. You can say to the T, "YOU KNOW IT WOULD MEAN A LOT TO ME IF YOU JUST TOUCH BASE WITH ME WHILE YOU ARE ON VACATION." This could be e-mail or a voice message. Sorry, My caps locked on that. When she comes back, ask, "You know I would be great if you gave me something to hold on to while you go away. I would really appreciate that..":)

I think it's great that you are learning what you need Bent. Welcome to Babble.


Re: Therapy heartache - I called!

Posted by bent on June 26, 2004, at 12:03:43

In reply to Therapy heartache, posted by Bent on June 24, 2004, at 7:50:38

Hi again!
I called my T yesterday! I was so scared but the result was reassuring, and that's what I needed. I sweated it out for a while because she didnt call until hours later! I felt like such a clingy little child 'needing' her. So afraid because she's leaving for a month. I do feel as best as I can about it now. Her return call started off a little 'cold' (I hate how T's always want to u to talk first!). But in the end she said she was glad that I called and that I spoke up about what I was needing. She said she thought she had been reassuring but if I needed more she could do it. So I feel better. Going to hate the next few weeks but I have things I need to focus on. I feel like I just want to tell her that I love her (it's a maternal thing, not romantic) and my heart hurts because she's away. (can you tell them something like that? I'd feel so weird)


Re: Therapy heartache - I called!Great! » bent

Posted by antigua on June 26, 2004, at 12:40:33

In reply to Re: Therapy heartache - I called!, posted by bent on June 26, 2004, at 12:03:43

I am SO happy you called, and i'm glad it made you a feel a bit better.

Yes, I've told my T that I love her. As a matter of fact on Wednesday after a particularly tough, but productive session, she was telling me how great she felt about what we had accomplished and as I was leaving I reached out and gave her a hug and told her that I loved her. She said it back too!

So, hang in there the next month.
best wishes,


Re: Therapy heartache » Bent

Posted by terrics on June 26, 2004, at 12:56:37

In reply to Therapy heartache, posted by Bent on June 24, 2004, at 7:50:38

If your T has not left call her and politely ask where she is going. She sounds like my old and most caring T. Then while she is on vacation post here alot. This is a very helpful group. You will usually get answers and support. Welcome to psychobabble. [ps I am just a patient] terrics


Re: Therapy heartache - I called! » bent

Posted by LG04 on June 26, 2004, at 16:25:51

In reply to Re: Therapy heartache - I called!, posted by bent on June 26, 2004, at 12:03:43

I tell my therapist often that I love her. She says it to me too, though not necessarily right after I've told her. It feels really good. I tell her corny, mushy things too sometimes. I feel a lot closer to her since I started to tell her I love her some months ago. I was very scared the first time. I told her that and we talked about it. A few times I've asked her to tell me that she loves me, or I've asked her if she still loves me, when I'm in particular need for reassurance.

My only cautionary thought for you is that for me, it would've been hard to say it for the first time right before she would be leaving town for a month. I needed to be able to say it and then have continued contact and reassurance, it was a big deal for me.



Re: Therapy heartache - I called!

Posted by gardenergirl on June 26, 2004, at 17:59:13

In reply to Re: Therapy heartache - I called! » bent, posted by LG04 on June 26, 2004, at 16:25:51

I'm so glad you called and that you found it helpful. Hopefully that will ease the void a bit. But please do post here. I know I find it really helpful.

Take care,


Re: Good for you!!! » bent

Posted by Dinah on June 28, 2004, at 17:04:21

In reply to Re: Therapy heartache - I called!, posted by bent on June 26, 2004, at 12:03:43

Feels good, doesn't it? :)

I've told my therapist that I love him, wrapped in the million caveats and explanations that are probably more necessary for opposite sex therapists. He says he could never say he loved me, because of the whole therapist boundary thing, but that he could say that he cared about me and he thinks that he means more or less the same thing I mean.

But the truth is (and he's not afraid to agree) that I care more about him than he does about me. That's just the way it is.


Re: Therapy heartache - I called! » bent

Posted by terrics on June 30, 2004, at 10:58:31

In reply to Re: Therapy heartache - I called!, posted by bent on June 26, 2004, at 12:03:43

Hi, It is funny about Ts. but it is hard for us to realize they are all so all people. Some can understand and withstand almost everything. Some are very private. Some want power. Some are so gentle and caring, patients want to take care of them. How you approach your T. is up to you. Follow her lead as you know if she has tight or loose boundries etc. Don't forget us as we are here to help. terrics


that was really nicely put (nm) » terrics

Posted by mair on June 30, 2004, at 21:12:52

In reply to Re: Therapy heartache - I called! » bent, posted by terrics on June 30, 2004, at 10:58:31


call her

Posted by shortelise on July 1, 2004, at 12:29:17

In reply to Therapy heartache, posted by Bent on June 24, 2004, at 7:50:38

callher. tell her. ask for what you need.



Re: Therapy heartache - I called!

Posted by KindGirl on July 9, 2004, at 22:30:47

In reply to Re: Therapy heartache - I called! » bent, posted by terrics on June 30, 2004, at 10:58:31

I have been on and off these days, but read this thread and wanted to jump in. You guys give such awesome support! It is always a comfort to come here and drop in, read a bit. It feels like a cup of coffee by a warm fire on a cold night for me.
I am soooooooooooooooooooo glad you called. Good for you. That took an incredible amount of courage.

You are so cute. You sound so much like me with the things that you struggle with, but much cuter. :)

I have a great t... a very warm and touchy t...I love love love love it....she is the dream therapist I think. But I am in AGONY when we are apart each week, which is 6 days and 23 hours, unfortunately. I miss her so much...I think about her so much...I know she has a separate life from me but I will never know anything about it, and that can kill me.

She tells me over and over and over again that I need to need her. I need to call her, to lean on her, to ask her for what I need. She says just the fact that I come every week is a tremendous act of trust and courage, and she also has told me my dependency "muscle" needs exercise. I need to work those muscles that I have never used (i.e. needing someone, depending on someone, crying with someone, sharing my despair) is the hardest thing we will ever do, she says.

I don't know if this helps you, or anyone, but one thing my t. said this week that helped was how exhausting this work is (recovery) because I am breaking generations and generations of abuse, neglect, alcoholism, drug abuse. I am not passing these on to my children, and as painful as this work is, it is the most important thing I will ever do in my life. She says my children will have me, all of me...they will not have the shame and fear of the family line because I am doing the work to break it. That made a lot of sense to me, and it also helped me understand why I am totally wiped out after sessions and even the next day. This is very hard work.

Thanks everyone for continuing to share. Yes, post here while she is gone!!!!! You will get enough strength from the folks here to carry you through till she gets back from vacation.


Re: Therapy heartache - I called! » KindGirl

Posted by gardenergirl on July 10, 2004, at 8:08:38

In reply to Re: Therapy heartache - I called!, posted by KindGirl on July 9, 2004, at 22:30:47

It's really nice to see your name on the boards again. What a great description of Babble. It sounds like your therapy is continuing to be helpful for you. I wish it were not so hard in between sessions.

Take care,

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