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Re: Happyflower, I'll answer that for ya ;o) LadyBug

Posted by Dinah on July 3, 2008, at 8:32:54

In reply to Re: Happyflower, I'll answer that for ya ;o) lucie lu, posted by LadyBug on July 2, 2008, at 23:07:06

> I haven't heard back from her so I can only assume she's fine with me quitting.

The fact is that you haven't heard back from her. Your conclusion based on that fact is that she's fine with your quitting. That may be the correct conclusion, but it might not be. I find I always get in trouble when I try to assume motivations for the actions of others. I tend to cause myself more grief than is necessary. Sticking to the facts and holding off on conclusions is not easy by any means. And I usually assign motivations that have to do with me. X hasn't emailed me because she's mad at me, rather than X hasn't emailed me. I wonder if anything's wrong? Or maybe she's really busy?

Did you directly ask her to contact you? My therapist would not have responded unless I specifically asked him to. He would have come to the quite incorrect conclusion that I had decided to quit and was trying to get some closure, I suspect. I think therapists try to be very careful when a client decides to quit, since they want to respect a client's decision.

She did say that if you left she would mourn the loss of your relationship just as she would mourn any other relationship. That also sounds like something my therapist would say. It wouldn't be therapeutic or professional of him to ask me to please stay, or to dwell too much on his own feelings of loss and abandonment.

I'm struck by the number of things she *has* done for you over the past recent couple of years. Not only the things you mentioned, but other things I recall from your posts. Perhaps she feels she has overstepped the therapist boundaries, and given you support more as a friend would. Perhaps she feels that this wasn't beneficial to you, or that she isn't comfortable with the boundary blurring. The sad fact is that when therapists feel uncomfortable with the blurring of boundaries, we tend to be the ones who get hurt as they reestablish them. The boundary crossings feel good at the time, but they come at a price to us.

Perhaps what she said about being too supportive to you has more to do with this lack of professional objectiveness than it has to do with you. Perhaps she feels that stepping outside her therapist persona to the extent she did, an extent my own therapist would not do I confess, was not the most helpful way she could have behaved.

I have no way of knowing if this is true, and those are speculations and not fact. But when you add it all up it does make a certain amount of sense from her possible point of view. It might also explain the prohibition on between session calling.

It would be poorly handled on her part, but boundary corrections after boundary looseness on the part of a therapist are nearly always poorly handled. Perhaps it's part and parcel of allowing boundaries to stretch beyond what a therapist thinks is therapeutic in the first place. Boundary corrections *hurt*. Not getting something in the first place is less painful than getting it and having it taken away.

But the difference between thinking of what happened in these terms, or in other terms that may be true, at least leaves you with a therapist who did care. Who cared perhaps a bit too much. Not one who didn't care, or doesn't care.

I'm not saying that this is the case. There are many possible reasons for her behavior. She might be having personal problems, she might have been triggered in some way. It's just that not all possible conclusions reflect uncaring on her part about you or about whether you return to therapy.

Mind you, I'd be in a fury myself if I felt my therapist had done this. And in no fit mood to consider the possibility that his behavior didn't mean he didn't care about me. We've fought about that a few times too.

 

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poster:Dinah thread:837641
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/psycho/20080616/msgs/837820.html