Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 309843

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termination of psychotherapy - long one!

Posted by shortelise on February 5, 2004, at 15:18:14

I am new here, found this site doing a search on "therapy termination" so know you've talked about this before. I only to go one other discussion forum, and that one for migrainers, and that gives me an understanding of how tedious it can be when a subject has been dealt with over nad over again. I do hope that some of you will find the energy and patience to toss this around with me.

I am a 48 year old woman, married 23 years, no kids (by choice), two cats and a very challenging job that I do by contract, not full time. It is that job that sent me into therapy five years ago: I found myself overcome with anxiety whenever I had a job, the night before I'd be wrung out by fear. I had periods of intense self-loathing, and thoughts of suicide.

The past five years have been what I guess is the usual up and down, in and out, round and round of transference, projection, hate, need, rejection, blah blah. Please don't imagine that I have any profound understanding of the therapeutic process - I don't - it's been mostly a "felt" thing, not a "thought" thing. But I have read a little; most recently I came across Bowlby's "Separation" for 49 cents in a junk store. Couldn't walk away from that when I am trying to separate from my shrink, could I?

My psychaitrist is a man in his early 40's, to whom I am very attached. He has been my mother for most of the time I've been seeing him, poor thing. He has been kind, respectful, intuitive, and appropriate in all ways.

Now, I am better. I have worked through difficulties with interpersoanl relationships, have overcome my anxiety to the point where I can work without any difficulty, in general I feel very well and know - intellectually - that I can go on without my doc. He agrees that it's time.

However, my body tells a different story, a much older one. This feels like abandonment, rejection. I feel unloved, ugly, unlovable.

Also, this "end phase" of therapy terrifies me. It feels like I will lose control if I go into this raw place of such old emotions, and in doing so will give him ... the last key to my kingdom ... so much power ... does that makes sense? I am afraid to go there, afraid that is it so much about love, love that I have refused to feel for him because therapy is a false relationship in a way, and also because I have always known that therapy would end and if I didn't love him, it would be easier.

I know I should go into it, go to the depths of these feelings, but I don't know if I can ... stand it.

So, hoping that I have given enough info, my question is this: does this resonate with anyone out there? Have youlived through a similar situation? Do you have any insights on termination that would help me through this? It seems like if I understood the process better, I might be able to go through it more easily.

Thanks for reading this far, and thank you for taking the time and energy to answer. I do understand that you write your opnions, and from your experience.

Shorte

 

Re: termination of psychotherapy - long one! shortelise

Posted by Penny on February 5, 2004, at 15:31:31

In reply to termination of psychotherapy - long one!, posted by shortelise on February 5, 2004, at 15:18:14

Are you tapering off? Like going for a month or more between visits? Or are you just stopping when you've been seeing him weekly?

I haven't terminated therapy myself for the reason that you are ending - b/c of being ready - I terminated when I moved, and then started therapy again with a new therapist. But my feeling about it would be that it's going to be painful, regardless of how 'ready' you are - especially if you've done the type of transference work it sounds like you've done. I think you to need to, perhaps, leave it open with him for follow-ups, if the need arises (if life throws you a curve ball that you're not able to deal with as well as you need to, for example). And give yourself time to grieve, because it is a loss, however you look at it.

P

 

Re: termination of psychotherapy - long one!

Posted by Speaker on February 6, 2004, at 9:19:24

In reply to Re: termination of psychotherapy - long one! shortelise, posted by Penny on February 5, 2004, at 15:31:31

I hope you will taper off so that it doesn't feel like abandonment to you. However, it is grief and you will have feelings you don't want no matter when you do this process. I don't look at it as termination but just a change in statis. The way I look at it is its not closing a door but more like changing it into a swinging door that I can go through any time I need to again. Just for now I am better! For me that doesn't seem so final and if it ends up being final its my choice. Hope this makes sense...take care.

 

Re: termination of psychotherapy - long one!

Posted by shortelise on February 6, 2004, at 12:17:07

In reply to Re: termination of psychotherapy - long one!, posted by Speaker on February 6, 2004, at 9:19:24

Thanks to you both - it is so very difficult.

Shorte

 

Re: termination of psychotherapy - long one!

Posted by terrics on February 7, 2004, at 11:00:26

In reply to Re: termination of psychotherapy - long one! shortelise, posted by Penny on February 5, 2004, at 15:31:31

Penny, you say that so well. Especially the 'leaving open' a chance for intermittent therapy as needed. Unfortunately there will still be grieving. I hope my therapist outlives me so I do not have to go thru it, as I intend not to leave therapy ever. Irrational huh? terrics

 

Re: termination of psychotherapy - long one! terrics

Posted by Dinah on February 7, 2004, at 11:13:24

In reply to Re: termination of psychotherapy - long one!, posted by terrics on February 7, 2004, at 11:00:26

Not at all irrational. My therapist and I had this conversation yesterday, as he knows he will never be rid of me voluntarily. And I was obsessing that one day, unless I'm lucky enough to die first, he'll abandon me.

He said that the nice thing about being a therapist is that they can continue to practice for a long time, and that any conversations we had now about abandonment wouldn't have any meaning because it would be so far in the future.

So I don't think it's at all irrational. :D

 

Re: termination of psychotherapy - long one! terrics

Posted by Fallen4myT on February 7, 2004, at 21:11:27

In reply to Re: termination of psychotherapy - long one!, posted by terrics on February 7, 2004, at 11:00:26

I don't think it is irrational at all..I hope to see my T always :) I have not talked about abandonment issues with my T yet cause it is kind of an unspoken thing we dance with and he told ne to read a book on attachments cause..well he didnt say but :)

 

Re: double double quotes shortelise

Posted by Dr. Bob on February 7, 2004, at 21:40:22

In reply to termination of psychotherapy - long one!, posted by shortelise on February 5, 2004, at 15:18:14

> most recently I came across Bowlby's "Separation" for 49 cents in a junk store.

I'd just like to plug the double double quotes feature at this site:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#amazon

The first time anyone refers to a book without using this option, I post this to try to make sure he or she at least knows about it. It's just an option, though, and doesn't *have* to be used. If people *choose* not to use it, I'd be interested why not, but I'd like that redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20020918/msgs/7717.html

Thanks!

Bob


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