Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 330998

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argh - termination - help?

Posted by shortelise on March 31, 2004, at 19:20:22

I have come back to troll for wisdom.

Why oh why do I have to go through this? Why can't I just stop seeing my psychiatrist?
I've seen him every week for five and a half years, I'm much better now.
I've dealt with an anxiety disorder. And lousy interpersonal stuff. And an attachment disorder - maybe that's where termination is supposed to be important - to go through termination the way my shrink thinks is the right way would help to heal the attachment stuff. Great. I want to head for the hills, or at least get under my bed, cry for a week, and forget about him.

He says it won't be easy, that I can taper off, and go back to him should I ever need him.

It feels like my heart is being rent in two, slowly, slowly. He says it's better to do it this way than to compartmentalize the pain.

I can't talk about it without feeling like I'm going to die.

OUCH OUCH OUCH. OUCH!

Any wisdom, advice (good or bad), jokes, good ideas, stupid ideas, any observations, intuited solutions, tarot card readings, atrological observances, or anything that you think might help make this easier - please make a note, write it here, zing it into the world of psychobabbling Dr Bob.

I thank you most profusely.

Shorte ouch ouch ouch

 

Re: argh - termination - help? shortelise

Posted by Dinah on March 31, 2004, at 19:47:47

In reply to argh - termination - help?, posted by shortelise on March 31, 2004, at 19:20:22

No wisdom. Tons of sympathy. :(

 

Re: argh - termination - help? shortelise

Posted by Fallen4myT on March 31, 2004, at 19:49:36

In reply to argh - termination - help?, posted by shortelise on March 31, 2004, at 19:20:22

Shortie :*( I am sooo sorry I almost busted into tears just reading this cause I just know how you must feel I dread the day I have to taper off...so to speak....Is there NO way to stall this? I would but I am crazy...or loopy as I am I would just jump and dump him...I would feel the same that heart tearing and just weeping..I really am sorry..this sucks!
Maybe tell him you need more sessions and then bargain down to what you have now? :) Seriously tell him you will see him 3 times a month for a while thats 1 less session....would that work?

 

Re: argh - termination - help?

Posted by pinkeye on March 31, 2004, at 20:11:49

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help? shortelise, posted by Fallen4myT on March 31, 2004, at 19:49:36

No matter what you do, it is going to be rough and tough. I have been there and have left my therapist sometime back, but still have a deep attachment to him and wish I would be able to talk to him for 10 mins. But I don't have the guts to call him (afraid of him saying something rude).
My advice would be to taper off very very slowly and gently. Talk to him openly and get him to agree with it.

 

termination is a torture of sorts!!!

Posted by Speaker on March 31, 2004, at 21:01:46

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help?, posted by pinkeye on March 31, 2004, at 20:11:49

I am sorry you are going through all of this. I went through a termination I didn't want to happen...even the T didn't want it to happen but there was no way around it. I was given a three month notice and I felt like I was in the intensive care unit watching someone die! Now that it is behind me I realize that the anticipation was much worse and the last sessions were worse than being done and moving on. Many times in my life I have realized that anticipation was much worse that the event. I hope that is the case for you. I felt the last few months were torture so maybe it ending was somewhat of a relief. Take care of YOU :).

 

Re: argh - termination - help? shortelise

Posted by fallsfall on March 31, 2004, at 21:05:31

In reply to argh - termination - help?, posted by shortelise on March 31, 2004, at 19:20:22

There was a time when I was starting to feel a little better, and we started reducing sessions. Once a week, to every other week, to once a month, to every other month - and I actually had an appointment for 3 months out - but I didn't make it quite that long. Each and every time we reduced the frequency it was incredibly painful. But I knew that it was important (I have dependency issues), and I really was proud of myself for surviving each day.

I guess, I would say that you shouldn't expect it to be easy or painfree. And sometimes you'll have to slide back a little for whatever reason. But give yourself credit for each day that you survive. And be proud of even trying.

 

Re: argh - termination - help?

Posted by shortelise on March 31, 2004, at 22:50:52

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help? shortelise, posted by fallsfall on March 31, 2004, at 21:05:31

Thanks for the sympathy, D. I feel so d**m sorry for myself!

I sure didn't mean to make you cry, Fallen, but I think it may be a good idea to taper down as slowly as you suggest. It's kind of like cheating, but if I have to cheat to get there, so be it. I do like the idea of asking to see him more often and bargaining down... do you think he'd catch on?

Pink, I will never have to worry about this man saying anything rude to me - I am so sorry you do! Do you really, honestly, think he might, to you , I mean? I sometimes read in to my shrink a certain "Jeez, is she ever gonna shut up?" and I ask him and he tells me if he is feeling impatient, which is rare. He has promised to be honest with me, and I believe he is, I wouldnot have gotten anywhere if I hadn't been able to trust that he is honest with me.

Speaker, that's just it: I know the anticipation is worse than when it will be all over, which is why I want to quit now! But he thinks that's a lousy way for me to go. And I trust him, that if he believes I need to slog through this in a methodical way, then I guess I should. But it does feel like torture. He's said to me that I should do as I please, that he is not forcing me, and he isn't. He would say goodbye to me on the phone tomorrow with as much warmth as he will at the end of however many months it takes us to "terminate".

Thanks, Falls - I think I'll probably do what you describe, cut down on session and end up having to go between the appointments, and I'll try to remember that it's ok. To know that someone else has had that experience makes it feel more "normal".

Can anyone tell me the point of the long, drawn out termination? Why not just say, Well, doc, I'm feeling a whole lot better, so see you around?
Seriously, why a "termination phase"?

Thanks all. You are so kind to write.

If anyone else wants to comment, please do. All opinions are most welcome.

Shorte

 

Re: argh - termination - help? shortelise

Posted by Fallen4myT on March 31, 2004, at 23:02:35

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help?, posted by shortelise on March 31, 2004, at 22:50:52

Shortie...hi, way I see it if you have to "cheat" to feel well one should cheat all they want. I mean it I would do the 3 not 4 sessions a month...then fake freak out...then get more sessions ...then end up where you are at one a week...Now, I am loopy and all and I would do that for real IF he would not let me bargain...Or knowing me...and this isnt smart for many people..I would say screw it to him and just say I am done to him....I am an all or nothing kind of gal which can get me in trouble ...I am a dependant person and yet can be just the opposite to protect myself...I know you didnt mean to make me almost cry I just feel sorry for you, me ...heck all of us who get something GOOD and steady good in our life and it has to end..You got some GOOD ideas in here and I would listen to all of us :) We are a mixed bag..but I think the VERY VERY slow to no cut down on appts is best....and I would say youre soo upset by this to him that you need ER sessions and all ...but be warned I am..odd :)

 

Re: argh - termination - help? shortelise

Posted by fallsfall on April 1, 2004, at 8:55:10

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help?, posted by shortelise on March 31, 2004, at 22:50:52

I think that there is a lot of discussion about tapering sessions vs. stopping abruptly. It seems to me that different orientations see it differently, I also think that different patients may need to do it one way or the other.

There is a book "When to say goodbye to your therapist" that talks about these kinds of things. You might find it helpful.

 

Re: argh - termination - help? shortelise

Posted by judy1 on April 1, 2004, at 11:15:20

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help?, posted by shortelise on March 31, 2004, at 22:50:52

when it was a therp initiated termination- then legally (in my state) they notify you that 30 days are what's left. I've had 3 terminations (for different reasons), the last just ended a week ago. I think dragging things out just make it worse. I do think that 2 or 3 sessions are necessary to address abandonment issues, etc., but anything more just makes it that much more painful. As upset as I was over this last termination, I honestly feel better already. I'm fortunate in that I have a therapist who is there for me (my shrink who also does therapy is the one who terminated).
take care, judy

 

Re: argh - termination - help?

Posted by shortelise on April 1, 2004, at 13:48:47

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help? shortelise, posted by judy1 on April 1, 2004, at 11:15:20

I live in Canada, so I don't have to pay (not directly - we all pay for healthcare through taxes) my psychiatrist, and no one can cut off the payment for sessions.

I need to do this right. I don't want to leave feeling that in doing so I am contradicting what I learned there, or in any way negating it.

I try not to lie to him anymore. Lying to him is like lying to myself, and I try to avoid that.

It is my knee jerk reaction to just drop it, and not go back, but that brings old, bad feelings. The point of therapy was to learn new habits, better habits.

I'll look into the book - when to sy goodbye... Thanks for that.

Thanks for all.

Yes, I know termination has been discussed here, and I know how tedious it can be to cover old ground, but hopefully it is as helpful to some others as it is to me to talk about it.

Thanks again. I cannot express how very much I appreciate all of your words. Any other thoughts would be equally appreciated.

Shorte

 

Re: argh - termination - help?

Posted by pegasus on April 1, 2004, at 15:12:08

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help?, posted by shortelise on April 1, 2004, at 13:48:47

I think it's good to have some time for termination, so you can communicate some of the feelings that go along with it, and make it be how you want it to. Just quitting is like reacting instead of acting. Do you know what I mean? It's good to be able to be conscious and choose your actions, rather than just do reflex things in response to the immediate emotions.

I terminated with a T last December, and we had about 8 sessions between him telling me he was moving, and our last session. I didn't want to go through the torture of it, but I did get some major things done during those 8 weeks. And we had a really good goodbye for which I am very grateful. The part that was the most important to me was that I had a chance to think about what I needed before I said goodbye, and we addressed all of those things. And we made a plan for contact afterwards, and had a chance to tell each other about our good wishes for each other etc. I think it really helped me to go through that, even though it was painful.

- p

 

Re: argh - termination - help? shortelise

Posted by Dinah on April 2, 2004, at 6:58:04

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help?, posted by shortelise on April 1, 2004, at 13:48:47

I'm afraid I have plenty of thoughts, but none that are likely to prove helpful to you. :(

Except for the actual act of termination, do you feel that you're ready to take what you've learned in therapy and go out into the world without your therapist?

 

Re: argh - termination - help?

Posted by shortelise on April 2, 2004, at 15:19:31

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help? shortelise, posted by Dinah on April 2, 2004, at 6:58:04

Dinah,

In a way I do feel ready to go, but without the weekly presence of my psychiatrist, without the cheering section he has become, without his observations, his reflections, his kindess and understanding, the world seems a pretty frightening place.

I'm afraid I might tumble back into ways of being that are not healthy for me.

My life is so much better, my relationships are better, I feel so much better most of the time, and I know myself better.

Maybe I am afraid of what this ending will reveal about me.

Shorte

 

Re: argh - termination - help?

Posted by pinkeye on April 2, 2004, at 15:48:07

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help?, posted by shortelise on April 2, 2004, at 15:19:31

Maybe you should go out and experience the real world without your therapist support. And if it gets bad, I am sure you can go back to your therapist. Talk to him about coming back if you feel you need to, and then go out and experiment.

 

Re: argh - termination - help? pinkeye

Posted by Fallen4myT on April 2, 2004, at 16:28:33

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help?, posted by pinkeye on April 2, 2004, at 15:48:07

You know Pinkeye that was/is a great idea....very common sense and I may use it in the future when I come to the end of therapy....I like it ....

> Maybe you should go out and experience the real world without your therapist support. And if it gets bad, I am sure you can go back to your therapist. Talk to him about coming back if you feel you need to, and then go out and experiment.

 

Re: argh - termination - help?

Posted by shortelise on April 2, 2004, at 17:24:20

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help? pinkeye, posted by Fallen4myT on April 2, 2004, at 16:28:33

My life is full. I work, though not as much as I would like, but that has nothing to do with me at the moment; I am married and have a good relationship wiht my husband, I have friends and family with whom I have good relationships, I ride my bicycle, garden, read, go out, cook, entertain, paint, sew, volunteer ... I do a lot, I think I *am* lving my life.

And I live six days and 23 hours a week without him. It's that one hour that I'll miss, that yawns like an abyss.

It sounded as though you were suggesting I pull up my socks and get on with it. I keep yanking on the d*mn things. :-)

Shorte

 

Re: argh - termination - help?

Posted by pinkeye on April 2, 2004, at 17:43:51

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help?, posted by shortelise on April 2, 2004, at 17:24:20

Actually I am in the same position as you.. I live my life well nowadays and don't need any therapy really. But still I miss him and nothing was able to reduce the pain.. On top of it, I have erotic transference towards him which only makes it worse. And you know, he actually lives in a different country so I cannot see him even if I wish to or even if I am desperate for atleast a year :-(.. Sometimes I envy you guys so much who atleast get to see your therapists :-)

And maybe if you can get your therapist to agree, you don't even have to terminate. I feel it might be good to have somebody who will be like a life coach.. somebody to go and talk to once in a week (well if you can afford it and if he agrees to take you). My therapist is quite strict in that he doesn't treat patients who are well... but he is a psychiatrist and not a therapist. Maybe regular therapists will have more flexible boundaries and yours might agree to see you perhaps once in a month for however long you like.

 

Re: argh - termination - help?

Posted by shortelise on April 2, 2004, at 20:28:58

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help?, posted by pinkeye on April 2, 2004, at 17:43:51

Oh, how lucky I feel to have escaped what you call erotic transference!

My therapist is a psychiatrist, and I live in Canada in the luxury of socialized medecine. This adds a factor that would otherwise not be there: I feel it is unethical to use health care funds that I don't strictly need, and I'm sure my shrink feels the same. There is a need for psychiatrists here, there aren't enough of them, not good ones, and mine is a very good one so is in great demand.

It would make it so much harder were I facing your situation where after "termination" I wouldn't be able to see him if I needed to. I do feel for you.

I'd love to see him as a life coach. I'd love to have a life coach.

What I've heard said of a teacher I think also applies to a good therapist: s/he makes himself redundant. I just wish it weren't so painful, but it's inevitable, according to everything everyone here has said, and according to my shrink, and everyone else.

Is it possible I won't understand the importance until I'm through it?

Sh*t.

Thanks

Shorte

 

Re: argh - termination - help?

Posted by LG04 on April 3, 2004, at 12:00:08

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help?, posted by shortelise on April 2, 2004, at 20:28:58

Hi, I am new to this list, I have been reading posts for a few weeks and this is the first time I am posting.

I am in the middle of terminating with my therapist. She is the most amazing therapist I have ever had. I am moving to another country (I currently live in Jerusalem, Israel and am moving back to the States this summer, not by choice but because I have to) and am in terrible pain over leaving my therapist. I am very very attached to her and have never had a more intimate and trusting relationship in my entire life. (I'm 36 years old, single). If I could stay here, I'd probably see her for 4-5 more years. She is perfect for me. We have a very close relationship. We are working hard on trying to figure out what to "do" with our relationship when I leave. I can't just leave and never speak to her again, no way, no how, I could never do it.

Thankfully, she is very flexible and we are even talking about gradually turning our relationship into a friendship ( I will be visiting Israel every summer at a minimum, if not twice a year, and after my 3 year obligation to teach in America, I will probably return to live here). She wants to do whatever is best for me. She has warned me about becoming friends because then if I moved back here, she could not be my therapist. And there are other reasons not to become friends, maybe I need to keep her in my head as my therapist, etc. We've talked about them all. She is basically willing to do whatever is best for me. But clearly she can't continue to be my therapist when I am a few oceans away. It's just so painful. And how will I ever be able to build a connection with a new therapist in my new home? It's like breaking up with a boyfriend, it feels like I can't just go to another therapist so quickly. It would hurt so much.

She's been practicing for 15 years, I know 2 of her other clients who also think she is simply amazing, and she said she has never turned a client relationship into a friendship before. This is highly unusual but the connection between us is so strong. (it's not a sexual connection by the way; she is married and I am heterosexual and I do not have erotic transference with her though I have some intense transference with her that is slowly fading). I know we all think it would be amazing to be friends with our therapist and now that the opportunity is coming my way, all I want is just to be able to stay here and have her stay my therapist...but that's not a choice I have. So I have to figure out what will be best for me from here on out...the pain for me is that our relationship will change, no matter what I decide. It hurts so much.

Anyway that is my situation. I could so relate to this termination thread and the pain it causes when you don't really want it to happen (or heck even if you do).

I do want to say that we are continuing to meet until the day I get on the plane. I too have feelings sometimes that I just want to run and say forget it, goodbye, but that wouldn't be healthy for me. And I would regret the time that I could have spent with her.

If anyone wants to comment, I'd be happy to hear your thoughts.

Thanks,
LG

 

pegasus and LG

Posted by shortelise on April 3, 2004, at 14:11:40

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help?, posted by LG04 on April 3, 2004, at 12:00:08

Pegasus, it helps to hear that you accomplished some important things in your last 8 weeks with your T. Your post is really helpful. The difference between acting and reacting ... that's an important concept for me right now. Thanks.

LG I never had a relationship like the one I have with my therapist. I swear it IS like having a lover, but no one gets laid :-) (forgive my ribaldry, please.)

What a decision you have to make! I feel for you.
My good friends have been friends for a long time, we've lived through life's curve balls and wonderful times together, and here we still are, friends.

My therapist is not my friend. He is my psychiatrist, my doctor of the mind. But he is not my friend. And if I had to decide at this juncture if I wanted him as a friend or a therapist, it would make me crazy. It is not a decision I would want to have to make.

I'm talking about me, not you, ok? You sound very advanced, more than I am. In your situation, I think I'd go to the states, shop around and find a good therapist, and see how it goes. If after a year or so I felt I had another good therapeutic relationship, I'd consider a friendship with the Israeli T.

One thing I think is wonderful about your relationship with her is that she knows everything there is to know about you, and she so sincerely likes you that she wants to be friends with you. That's a gift for you, isn't it? That to me would be more healing than any number of years with my therapist. Hmm.. I am contradicting myself, but I still have difficulty believing my T likes me.

Change is hard.

Shorte

 

Re: pegasus and LG shortelise

Posted by LG04 on April 4, 2004, at 5:08:42

In reply to pegasus and LG, posted by shortelise on April 3, 2004, at 14:11:40

Thanks for your post, Shorte. You're right, there is something very healing about knowing your therapist likes you so much that she'd be willing to be friends. Most therapists wouldn't tell a client that though unless the situation was such that it made sense to say it. So who knows, maybe your therapist feels the same way but there's no good reason to bring it up since it's not a possibility right now anyway. I know that for me, I could not have done all the work I did this past year with my therapist if I had thought that our relationship would end after a year. So it's a true blessing that we talked about becoming friends, because in that way I knew that when the end would approach, I'd have a choice about continuing our relationship...it gave me the trust and safety to do the work throughout the year. With my abandonment issues, I never could have stuck with her knowing it would all end after a year.

Change is hard, yes that's about the understatement of the year!

I HATE CHANGE.

LG

 

Fallsfall

Posted by shortelise on April 15, 2004, at 1:29:10

In reply to Re: argh - termination - help? shortelise, posted by fallsfall on April 1, 2004, at 8:55:10

I ordered both "when to say goodbye to your therapist" - which hasn't yet arrived - and another book "In Session"" that I'm reading now. What a helpful read it is and how I wish I'd read it five years ago when I started therapy!

Thanks very much
Shorte

 

I'm glad they are helpful! (nm) shortelise

Posted by fallsfall on April 15, 2004, at 6:21:14

In reply to Fallsfall, posted by shortelise on April 15, 2004, at 1:29:10


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