Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 39

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Feeling dependent on therapist

Posted by bookgurl99 on May 20, 2002, at 11:53:40

Lately I've been under massive stress -- overcoming memory problems that may be anxiety induced, dealing with the basic crumbling of my life -- and I feel that I've become quite dependent on my therapist. I think part of it is that I don't have a lot of support -- in that my 'friends' that were here when I was well have trouble dealing with my right now.

Often, I want to call her and be reassured, although I make myself not do this.

Is this a 'normal' feeling?

 

Re: Feeling dependent on therapist bookgurl99

Posted by Dinah1 on May 21, 2002, at 10:31:19

In reply to Feeling dependent on therapist, posted by bookgurl99 on May 20, 2002, at 11:53:40

It is an absolutely normal feeling and you are to be congratulated for not acting on it. It takes a lot of willpower I know.

I have long been concerned with my dependence on my therapist, especially since I have never been able to understand it. I'm not in love with him. I don't want to be his friend. I don't want anything more from him than weekly sessions. But I have recurring nightmares of losing those weekly sessions. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Have you read "In Session" by Deborah Lott? It discusses a lot of those feelings and puts them in context.

I'm sorry I'm not more coherent. But I did want to reassure you that your feelings are perfectly normal. Probably the best thing to do is to talk them over with your therapist.

 

Re: Feeling dependent on therapist

Posted by waterlily on May 21, 2002, at 16:31:41

In reply to Feeling dependent on therapist, posted by bookgurl99 on May 20, 2002, at 11:53:40

I think it's completely normal to seek the help of a trained professional when you're going through a tough time. After all, they can help pull you out of a difficult time quicker than friends or family members. Heck, sometimes only one sentence from my therapist is all it takes to get me turned around. I still worry, like you, that I'm dependant. I just discovered that my insurance will not pay for any sessions beyond 20 in a calendar year, even if you have a medically based diagnosis. That leaves me with eight more in the next seven months and I'm bummed about it. Paying out of pocket adds up really fast at $115 per session.

 

Re: Feeling dependent on therapist waterlily

Posted by Dinah1 on May 21, 2002, at 18:16:27

In reply to Re: Feeling dependent on therapist, posted by waterlily on May 21, 2002, at 16:31:41


>>Heck, sometimes only one sentence from my therapist is all it takes to get me turned around.

How on EARTH do they do that? I call my therapist's voice mail sometimes to help me ground myself. I wish I knew how it worked.


 

Re: Feeling dependent on therapist bookgurl99

Posted by terra miller on May 22, 2002, at 12:08:15

In reply to Feeling dependent on therapist, posted by bookgurl99 on May 20, 2002, at 11:53:40

you know, for me, it comes and goes. i can go weeks and months feeling fairly stable and doing the work of therapy each week. then sometimes out of nowhere, i kind of lose it. i have always told my therapist that he represents for me a firm metal pole firmly planted in the ground that doesn't move. i need that, because sometimes my life seems to spin out of control. anyway, just yesterday i left a message on his pager because i had a dream that upset me and just needed his reassurance. he returned my call after a few hours between appointments and it was what i needed to get me through until my next appointment tomorrow, where i can be there and lose it in the safe environment of the office.

i think there has to be some of that dependence on your therapist because you have to trust them with your stuff that you don't tell anybody else. for me it can feel more dependent than other times, but i don't think my therapist sees it that way but as being entrusted with my care. usually the times when i feel like i am the most of a "bother" are times when it's good that i trusted him with more information.

for what it's worth.

take care.

~terra

 

Re: Feeling dependent on therapist

Posted by waterlily on May 22, 2002, at 13:42:22

In reply to Feeling dependent on therapist, posted by bookgurl99 on May 20, 2002, at 11:53:40

I saw my therapist today for a regularily scheduled appointment and voiced my concerns about dependance. She said that she was glad that I had the guts to bring up the subject because a year ago I never could have. Then she said that she certainly does not want my therapy to go on forever because it would look bad for her professionally, she expects my therapy to go on for another year or so. She says that my extreme caution against dependance has hindered my progress because it causes me to not allow myself to be helped. She assured me that she has no plans on moving like two psychiatrists I had did, so not to worry and to put my trust in her. She said that either she or my psychiatrist (whom I consider the most compassionate guy on the face of the earth) would be there for me whenever I need them. With luck, therapy will help me to not need therapy but for now I need to give in and let her help me.

I found this to be an enormous relief. I hope your discussion with your therapist brings relief to you as well.

 

Re: Feeling dependent on therapist waterlily

Posted by terra miller on May 22, 2002, at 16:57:28

In reply to Re: Feeling dependent on therapist, posted by waterlily on May 22, 2002, at 13:42:22

wow! that must have felt terrific. i'm really happy for you that you had that discussion with your therapist. :-)

~terra

 

Re: therapist might be leaving?

Posted by Bookgurl99 on May 24, 2002, at 14:22:30

In reply to Re: Feeling dependent on therapist, posted by waterlily on May 22, 2002, at 13:42:22

Actually, my therapist mentioned that she's thinking of closing her office and doing 'mobile' therapy. I see it as an 'early warning' to help me adjust to the possibility of not having her as my therapist -- but she's the first one I've trusted in my life, and I'm going through such a crisis. It feels horrid.

I'll bring up my fears/concerns next week. (This week I was out of it and babbled purposelessly.)

 

Re: therapist might be leaving?

Posted by waterlily on May 24, 2002, at 16:17:06

In reply to Re: therapist might be leaving?, posted by Bookgurl99 on May 24, 2002, at 14:22:30

That is terrible. I hope your therapist will help you deal with the transition to a new therapist. Let us know how your next appointment goes.

 

Re: therapist might be leaving? Bookgurl99

Posted by Dinah1 on May 24, 2002, at 17:21:51

In reply to Re: therapist might be leaving?, posted by Bookgurl99 on May 24, 2002, at 14:22:30

Oh I hope that isn't true Bookgurl. I have a recurring nightmare about that. (And yes my therapist knows about it.)

But perhaps she really is just trying to save money by letting go of the office. I understand the therapy field is not the most lucrative profession and that it is not a steady income.

Did she say what she meant by "mobile"?

 

Re: therapist might be leaving?

Posted by Bookgurl99 on May 24, 2002, at 17:26:02

In reply to Re: therapist might be leaving? Bookgurl99, posted by Dinah1 on May 24, 2002, at 17:21:51

I didn't ask what she meant by 'mobile.' Maybe she'd travel to people's homes? But she charges a very reasonable sliding-fee scale, and I think she'd have to start charging more than I can afford.

 

Re: therapist might be leaving?

Posted by Bookgurl99 on May 25, 2002, at 14:57:27

In reply to Re: therapist might be leaving? Bookgurl99, posted by Dinah1 on May 24, 2002, at 17:21:51

> Oh I hope that isn't true Bookgurl. I have a recurring nightmare about that. (And yes my therapist knows about it.)
>
Yeah -- I just had a bad dream about it last night. :(

 

Re: therapist might be leaving? Bookgurl99

Posted by jazzdog on May 29, 2002, at 14:23:47

In reply to Re: therapist might be leaving?, posted by Bookgurl99 on May 25, 2002, at 14:57:27

Maybe you should ask your therapist exactly what she means by a mobile practice. Perhaps she's closing her office to save on overhead so that she can keep her rates low.

 

Re: therapist might be leaving? Bookgurl99

Posted by Fi on June 5, 2002, at 11:13:19

In reply to Re: therapist might be leaving?, posted by Bookgurl99 on May 24, 2002, at 14:22:30

She owes you a clear explanation of what venue and cost she could offer you in future, so you know if you can continue. And she should tell you this *now*. Its cruel to leave you in an uncertain position.

If you cant carry on with her, she also has a responsibility to work hard with you on dealing with the ending, and to help you find another therapist, if you want one, by making suggestions on who to try.

Theoretically, therapy gives you the chance to have a more positive experience of the horrible situations you may have encountered before, like having an enforced parting. Tho dont know how supersonic your therapist has to be for that to work!

My first therapist decided to emigrate. I could cheerfully have strangled him (at least in my imagination) at the time, as he got all excited and happy about it and he was leaving me in the lurch. However, he did give me a couple of months warning. He was hopeless at the referral bit, though- I asked him about 3 sessions from the end to suggest someone, and he said it was too early. In the last session, I asked again (as he hadnt said more and it was my *last* session) and he reluctantly gave me a couple of names. And told me I should have brought it up in an earlier session!!

As you can tell, he is still not my favourite person. But I survived him going, and can now look back on some of the work we did as useful.

Good luck- and get a clear answer out of her, next session?

Fi


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