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Re: email contact after termination gardenergirl

Posted by Lonely on September 25, 2004, at 20:46:12

In reply to email contact after termination, posted by gardenergirl on July 21, 2004, at 23:56:47

Many decades ago (!!!) I saw a therapist at the University counseling center for a semester. He was actually the head of the group and I was lucky to get in to see him. He was really good. Somehow, I found out that he was leaving the university and moving across the country. I was crushed ... really crushed. Panicked. We didn't have antidepressants then and no doubt the theories and practices were different too. I went through various benign "antics" including anger and grief. I even suggested that he take me to lunch which we did - and he paid for it and it was in the faculty dining room! I'm laughing as I think back because that was really pretty brazen for me. I'm a shy person.

Anyway, I did write to him and received, I think, 2 letters back from him. One line I still remember from his letter, paraphrased, was to not let my dad get me down as he was mean and good at that type of thing. I needed to hear that. There probably were a couple other letters that he did not reaply to; I don't know.

A couple years later after I had graduated and moved across the country myself, I called him on the phone. He remembered me. We had a nice visit and I remember him asking me if I was dating yet. I wasn't but a couple months later was engaged! I think that was my last contact with him.

I assume he's probably deceased now although I still think about him and wish I could talk to him again.

But, back to YOUR question (and my apologies for taking over with my stuff here!) I still don't see anything wrong with a T having a platonic contact with a patient after therapy. I'm sure that if you saw it was becoming truly dependent in an unhealthy way you could redirect her and explain what was happening and why and then let it go. I guess the other issue is that you DO feel comfortable with her so that also makes it more affirmative to have friendly limited contact with her for whatever period of time.

I'm curious about how all this works out several months down the road since you are a T. It's good to hear that perspective.

> Hello,
> I just wanted to ask for some input on contact between therapist and client after termination. I received an email today from a former client. It was lovely to hear from her, and she seems to be doing well. This client was someone I worked with all year during my placement, and I enjoyed working with her. Termination was difficult for me with her, as I was aware that I would want to know how she does in the future.
> She also had become somewhat dependent for the majority of our working together, but had worked through some of that before termination. Termination happened because she was ready, but also because of the end of my placement at the agency. When we terminated, I used a model set forth by one of my professors, saying, "I would always enjoy hearing from you and how you are doing, but I may not be able to respond to contacts, once our therapy relationship ends." I'm not sure I am totally invested in this approach, but I did try it on for size.
> Anyway, I would like to reply, but I am a tiny bit concerned that it could trigger some of the dependency. On the other hand, it could reinforce her internalization of her therapist which helps her with moving forward indpenendently.
> What do y'all think? If you've contacted your former T's in the past, have they responded? If they did or did not, how did that feel? What were you looking for in the contact?
> Thanks in advance,
> gg




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