Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 319

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Sudden end to Group Therapy

Posted by Greg on June 11, 2002, at 18:46:11

I went to my regular Monday night group last night. The therapist started things off by informing us that he was cancelling group for the summer. We had had two member recently leave, another had given notice that they were leaving, which would leave us with four including the T. He had two people considering joining but they both declined stating that they didn't want to tie up their summers, which had influenced his decision to cancel the group over the summer. He said he thought it would be a "cool" idea to take a break over the summer. He said that if anyone wanted to discuss his decision to feel free, but that his mind was made up. He says we may or may not pick the group up again in the fall...

At first I had a "whatever" attitude about the whole thing as my head has been in a pretty bad place for the last week or so anyway. But the more I think about it I find myself getting angry. It takes time to get comfortable in a group dynamic, and I was finally reaching the point where I was really opening up to everyone. Now we have one week left and I have the option of doing without or finding another group and starting over from scratch. It's a lot of work starting over. I really had a lot of respect for this man and had he gave us the chance to voice our opinions and be a part of the choice of whether or not to end the group I might not be so angry. I'm not sure what I'm going to say to him next week. I feel like what he did was wrong, or at least the way he handled it.

I'd appreciate some feedback on this. Thanks in advance gang.

Greg

 

Re: Sudden end to Group Therapy Ľ Greg

Posted by judy1 on June 11, 2002, at 19:13:57

In reply to Sudden end to Group Therapy, posted by Greg on June 11, 2002, at 18:46:11

I think you're absolutely right to feel angry- and as a professional your therapist acted in a very unprofessional manner. I hope you tell him this. In a sense it's almost like your personal therapist saying well I'm out of here in a week. First of all that's illegal (in California at least- where 30 days notice has to be given unless it's an emergency). I can tell you have invested a lot in this group and probably him and in addition to confronting him, ask for suggestions on how you can cope with this 'loss' of support. I'm really sorry this happened, I've never been able to join a group and I'm curious if this type of thing has happened to others. I hope your personal therapist or shrink will be able to offer you extra support for a while. Take care, Judy

 

Re: Sudden end to Group Therapy

Posted by riverrick on June 12, 2002, at 0:49:06

In reply to Re: Sudden end to Group Therapy Ľ Greg, posted by judy1 on June 11, 2002, at 19:13:57

Yes, this is very abrupt. I believe you should have been given 4 weeks notice. I'm sorry you weren't.

It may be helpful to take advantage of the last session to express your feelings about this issue and then (from my own experience), be sure to address each individual and say your goodbyes. I find that closure is very important in this setting, difficult though it may be.

 

Re: Sudden end to Group Therapy

Posted by coral on June 12, 2002, at 5:45:39

In reply to Sudden end to Group Therapy, posted by Greg on June 11, 2002, at 18:46:11

"Cool"? He thought it'd be "COOL"?????? Where'd he get his license? K-Mart? Angry doesn't begin to describe . . .
Two other points: since you said you'd just started feeling "safe", is it better to have found out now than when you were in the throes of spilling your guts? (looking for the pony in the box of manure here....) If others are sharing your feelings, perhaps you could collectively find another therapist? (There HAS to be a pony in here somewhere!!!)
(((((((((((Greg)))))))))))))))
C-Kitty

 

Re: Sudden end to Group Therapy

Posted by mair on June 12, 2002, at 7:00:31

In reply to Re: Sudden end to Group Therapy, posted by coral on June 12, 2002, at 5:45:39

Greg - I've never been in group therapy so I don't understand much about the dynamics. However, I agree with Coral - "Cool" is hardly how I'd describe this. It's bad enough that our politicians constantly "spin" - you'd expect a bit more honesty from a therapist. Was there any apology in all of this?

Mair

 

Re: Sudden end to Group Therapy - All

Posted by Greg on June 12, 2002, at 14:59:28

In reply to Re: Sudden end to Group Therapy, posted by mair on June 12, 2002, at 7:00:31

I appreciate the feedback everyone, this whole thing has really caught me off guard. Iíll try to address the questions the best I can.

Judy, he is actually my one-on-one therapist. He convinced me that I would benefit from being in a group atmosphere. It has left me wondering now if there was just a space to be filled and I just happened to be in the right place at the wrong time. He requires us to give him a 2 week notice before leaving the group and he did the same with us, but so many of us had notified him that we would be taking the 24th off, that he saw no sense in only having the last group for one person. He did offer his services to all of us on an individual basis, but given what happened, I donít think I want to go back to him. I certainly donít have the energy right now to start over with someone new. SighÖ

Riverrick, I will definitely let him know (hopefully in a constructive way) how I feel about the whole thing. And I do want to say my goodbyes to everyone. There are a few there that Iím hoping to stay in contact with. One guy in particular that I really made a connection with, we really helped each other a lot. Youíre right, it is going to be difficult.

Hi C-Kitty! Yeah, those were his exact words. Like I said, I had my ďwhateverĒ attitude on at the time and shrugged it off at the time. I really feel now that he didnít think he was getting what HE wanted out of the group and didnít feel it was worth his time. I donít know, maybe he thinks heís doing the right thing. We have lost a few members lately and he hasnít been able to fill those spots. If he thinks itís going to fall apart anyway, maybe itís better to end it gracefully that to have it disintegrate? I just feel like I would have like to have been given a say in the matter, I am paying for the service after all. Your idea about collectively finding another group is a great one and Iíll bring it up next week, thanks! I hope everything is good with you, expect an e-mail :).

Mair, nope, no apology. He actually seemed a little detached about the whole thing when I think about it. He was very straight-forward that he had made the decision, we were free to talk about it (which no one did), but it was a done deal. For a man who has been extremely sensitive to the needs of other people in the time Iíve known him, he was very out of character. As Iím writing this Iím wondering now if there might be something going on in his personal life that prompted this? HmmmÖ

Oh well, another day, another chapter. Thanks again for the help everyone. Iíll let you know what happens next week.

Greg

 

Re: Sudden end to Group Therapy - All Ľ Greg

Posted by judy1 on June 12, 2002, at 17:48:13

In reply to Re: Sudden end to Group Therapy - All, posted by Greg on June 12, 2002, at 14:59:28

"He did offer his services to all of us on an individual basis, but given what happened, I donít think I want to go back to him. I certainly donít have the energy right now to start over
with someone new. SighÖ"

I understand your anger and disappointment, but I think that's a big step to dismiss him as your personal therapist based on what happened in group. I hope at least you talk to him about how you feel, and I suspect there will be some lost of trust. I just worry when you wrote you didn't have the energy to start with someone new. And I think you did reply to another poster that maybe something was going on in his personal life, since he had been compassionate in the past. I guess with all the pdocs I've run through, once I 'click' with someone I try very hard to work it out (because I know how difficult it is to start over). Whatever your decision is, please do what is best for you and let us know. Take care, Judy


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