Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 309907

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contact w/T after last session

Posted by pegasus on February 5, 2004, at 18:18:39

Iím curious what you all will think of this. As you may know, I lost a therapist to a move (his, not mine) recently. I have a new therapist now.

Iím still so confused and sad about losing my old therapist. Sometimes it all seems great, and a good experience, and I'm so glad I did it, and I'm glad to have known him. And sometimes it sucks. How can it be OK to develop this intimate relationship, and tell all of my secret things, and then have him move away, and I'm supposed to start talking to someone else. I've had plenty of close friends move away etc. But this feels totally different and harder. I don't understand it. Sometimes it's really hard to *stand* him being gone.

Iíve emailed him a few times, and he replied (briefly) to a couple. I know Iím not paying him anymore, and heís not my therapist, and I need to move on. But it really breaks my heart that a relationship that seems so strong can just go away like that. How is that supposed to be OK? It seems like a major flaw in the system. How am I supposed to get close to my new T when I know that the caring etc. that make therapy possible are so limited? Itís so confusing.

Should I stop emailing him? He said it was ok before he left. But I'm not sure it helps me, and I would guess it's a burden for him. Any thoughts would be very welcome.



Re: contact w/T after last session Ľ pegasus

Posted by DaisyM on February 5, 2004, at 18:52:14

In reply to contact w/T after last session, posted by pegasus on February 5, 2004, at 18:18:39

I'm sorry you are hurting about this. I've not experience this loss, but since it is one of my major fears, I've talked about it with my Therapist ALOT.

First, just a reminder that acknowledging something as *hard* doesn't make it stop hurting. Wanting contact with someone who knows you intimately, who helped you and who you have a spiritual connection with is normal. Not missing them would actually be more questionable.

But moving on is the sadly, I think you are right that your emails don't help you. My guess is that you wait anxiously for a reply, only to be disappointed at the superficial "good for you!" nature that is all too brief. (Apologies if I'm wrong, that is a guess.) Space is what you need, a chance to not compare new to old and to not *need* anything from the former Therapist -- like an email reply.

I'm sure your new Therapist can help you process your grief. I think it just takes time to mourn the loss.

I feel how sad you are. Take care of yourself.


Re: contact w/T after last session Ľ DaisyM

Posted by pegasus on February 6, 2004, at 15:58:56

In reply to Re: contact w/T after last session Ľ pegasus, posted by DaisyM on February 5, 2004, at 18:52:14

Thanks much for your response, Daisy. I think you're pretty much exactly right about how I feel. And I guess I know what I need to do, I just don't want to do it. I had a good session w/ my new T today, who said that just because it's part of life that people leave for their own reasons, that doesn't mean that it has to be OK with me that he left. I've been trying really hard to be understanding, etc. Which just makes it more confusing. I think maybe I just need to feel OK about being hurt, and, like you said, grieve it for a while.

On the up side, I think I like my new T. She's a little weird at times, but it seems helpful to talk to her.



Re: contact w/T after last session

Posted by Laurajean on February 7, 2004, at 1:24:17

In reply to contact w/T after last session, posted by pegasus on February 5, 2004, at 18:18:39

Hi P,
I'm sorry you are feeling sad about losing your T. I was in a similar position last year....when my T of three years moved far away. I was so very sad by the loss...and feeling the same confusion about the relationship. you, she said I could email, but it was far less frequently than I would have liked. :) And it sometimes seemed more painful than to make a "clear cut." Plus, it was a bit awkward b/c I wanted to tell her about NEW T, and how T was going...and when I did write about it, she wouldn't respond to that part.

I am happy to say that a year later, we have fallen into a nice rhythm of emailing back and forth...maybe twice a month or so, and her responses don't seem so vital to my emotional life. We have re-defined our relationship, and as I have dealt w/the loss over time, it's been nice to have her in my life, although never in the therapist role again.

Just know that the sadness won't last forever...and for me, it was an important lesson in endings and attachment--that the attachment can still go on, even if the relationship changes in very real ways. I hope you work through it, and if you do want him in your life in some capacity, then I would keep contact.

Or if you need some "time off" maybe give yourself a couple months break and then see if you feel like picking it back up again. Also, if you're unsure about the expectations of how much to email or content...just ask! I did that after I didn't hear from her for like a month, and she just let me know she had been out of the country and apologized for not letting me know.

Hope this helps,


Re: contact w/T after last session

Posted by pegasus on February 7, 2004, at 13:41:58

In reply to Re: contact w/T after last session, posted by Laurajean on February 7, 2004, at 1:24:17

Thanks, LJ, for your story. It's nice to hear that maybe it could work out to stay in contact. I've been feeling so rotten about having things just end so suddenly. Even though he said that it didn't have to be that way, and we still have a relationship etc. But he's not very good at email, and it seems weird to actually call him, just to stay in touch. So I figured this was just one of those things that was going to not work out. I like the idea about asking what is reasonable to expect, and maybe letting him know what I'd like. I think I've been trying to guess where he's at, and of course, assuming the worst. So maybe what I'll do is try to cool it for a while, and then try to be more direct and clear and work out with him what to expect. Thanks so much! I feel a lot better.



Re: contact w/T after last session Ľ pegasus

Posted by rs on February 7, 2004, at 20:37:25

In reply to Re: contact w/T after last session, posted by pegasus on February 7, 2004, at 13:41:58

Hi. New here. Would like to say I am so sorry abut what you are feeling right now.
I did metione in another post I lost my T about 3 years ago due to his move. Painful. But what made it worse that there was no further contact after that. All he told me was what state he moved to. Thought that was very unfair but maybe for the best here because it would of been harder to let go. Someone did a search for me a few months ago and got his address. I did write to him to express how angry I was over his move. He did respond and says he thinks about me and wonders if I started therapy again and how I was doing. I know this T will never forget me due to the work we were doing together. I was like a whole new experince for him in which I hope he is able to work again with someone like me to help them. Also that he would talk with new T if helpful. I choice not to. But just would like you to know I hear you. Tell my new T at all times that fear that this will happen again and could not feel that pain again. Also think many times this gets in my way of therapy now. Please hang in there and it does get easier. Yes many times would love to call him and just say hi but scared to do that. Maybe some day I will. Tell my T that and he sees no problem with that.

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