Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 705783

Shown: posts 1 to 11 of 11. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

what is your contat with former T if any?

Posted by shrinking violet on November 21, 2006, at 9:41:55

Hi,
Just curious:

Those of you who had been with a T for a while then had to terminate for whatever reason, do you keep in touch with them? If so, is it a one-way communication on your part, or do you ever hear back from your former Ts also?


Thanks in advance.
SV

 

Re: what is your contat with former T if any?

Posted by anneke06 on November 21, 2006, at 10:17:56

In reply to what is your contat with former T if any?, posted by shrinking violet on November 21, 2006, at 9:41:55

I'm in e-mail contact with a former t (terminated because she moved out of state). We e-mail each other a few times a year to just say hello and catch up. It's usually initiated by me, but sometimes she'll write first, just to see how things are going.

It's nice and I feel like it's humanized the experience. Of course, she was an intensely humanistic (I think that's the right word) therapist to begin with.

What about your ex-t? Do you hear from her?

 

Re: what is your contat with former T if any? shrinking violet

Posted by 10derHeart on November 21, 2006, at 11:12:46

In reply to what is your contat with former T if any?, posted by shrinking violet on November 21, 2006, at 9:41:55

Hi sv,

So glad when you come back around here :-)

I can email my ex-T (pdoc) any time and he always answers. He'll even apologize if it takes a while 'cause he's been on vacation or very busy. Which is silly as he doesn't owe me that, but very polite of him.

We ended therapy 2.5 years ago when he moved across country and it was terribly difficult for me. I've always told him the fact he chose to allow the emails afterwards was brave of him (never had this situation before in 16 years of practice) and the most healing thing he ever did for me.

It is one-way only in the sense he *never* initiates an email (same with my current T) as that is apparently a boundary of his, but he does faithfully answer, and the *door* will remain open indefinitely, I believe. This helped me so much to let go and attach to current T...I can't even put in words how deeply grateful I'll always be.

But, sv, I don't think this was an average, or customary response. I think this pdoc is unusually gifted and sensitive in certain areas and was willing to go with a gut feeling when *all* his training told him 'no'....or more accurately, there was no training to fall back on re: termination. Sadly, I think many T's must feel their way through as this topic just isn't addressed. Or wasn't back when he was learning. Maybe things are getting better? He wrote to me once, after I asked why he was willing to keep it up (we emailed regularly for almost 1 year) "If I didn't think this contact was helpful or therapeutic for you, I wouldn't let it continue. But I do." ...or something like that.

What I'm saying is, based on Babblers posts and other reading, my situation is really an exception. IMO, it shouldn't have to be, but it is. This is a very special man who was a special blessing to my life. Now, I send birthday greeting, holidays cards (mostly e-cards)and I can tell by his answers he's happy to hear from me and sometimes touched.

Guess I'd better go read your dvd post above....hope you're doing better these days.
-- 10derHeart

 

Re: what is your contat with former T if any?

Posted by ElaineM on November 21, 2006, at 14:06:58

In reply to what is your contat with former T if any?, posted by shrinking violet on November 21, 2006, at 9:41:55

I'm pretty much like Anneke. I have occassional email contact with my old T. Maybe once a month, just to update, or ask a question, or to have her say something comforting. 80% of the time I'm the one to make contact (which she prefers). But sometimes she will send out a few lines asking how I'm doing. (her messages aren't really long though) I also get to meet with her inperson once (or twice) a year to check-in (she hasn't decided yet). I get to visit her for free in Feb. It's so I can believe in the continuity of relationships. So I can know that we meant something to each other, and that people don't cease to exist for one another just cause they aren't in the same room.

I love her for that. She doesn't get paid to see me then, or correspond with me - so I find it really touching. I'm grateful that she's comfortable with boundaries like that. My old physician from school though is another story. She's very uncomfortable having contact now that our clinical relationship is over. She's answered two emails I sent her though (brutally curt but not rude or anything) She just included a note though in official test summaries she mailed to me, and I really appreciated it. But I can tell what she's not comfortable with so I don't push her boundaries. I usually do always send her a Christmas card though - and she's always seemed okay with that.

EL

 

Re: what is your contat with former T if any? anneke06

Posted by shrinking violet on November 21, 2006, at 19:26:40

In reply to Re: what is your contat with former T if any?, posted by anneke06 on November 21, 2006, at 10:17:56


Thanks for the feedback.

No, I neer hear from my ex-T. I'm not surprised as I figured I wouldn't, but given the way she was with me I can't say I understand why. I never broughti t up to her either when I was seeing her so I'm kicking myself for that now.I guess I'm confused, given how she almosth ad no boundaries with me as a client and then suddenly she shuts the door on ever knowing me. I can't really figure it out.

Thanks again.
SV


> I'm in e-mail contact with a former t (terminated because she moved out of state). We e-mail each other a few times a year to just say hello and catch up. It's usually initiated by me, but sometimes she'll write first, just to see how things are going.
>
> It's nice and I feel like it's humanized the experience. Of course, she was an intensely humanistic (I think that's the right word) therapist to begin with.
>
> What about your ex-t? Do you hear from her?

 

Re: what is your contat with former T if any? ElaineM

Posted by shrinking violet on November 21, 2006, at 19:30:07

In reply to Re: what is your contat with former T if any?, posted by ElaineM on November 21, 2006, at 14:06:58

> ... It's so I can believe in the continuity of relationships. So I can know that we meant something to each other, and that people don't cease to exist for one another just cause they aren't in the same room.
>


I find what you said above interesting as my ex-T was *always* trying to impress upon me that our relationsip was "real" and "genuine," that she cared for me deeply, and that oru connection would always be there even if we weren't seeing each other. I guess I then findit confusing that I'd never hear from her after she terminated.

I don't know,I may never figure this out. :-(

Thanks for sharng your experience, I appreciate it.

SV

 

Re: what is your contat with former T if any? shrinking violet

Posted by TherapyGirl on November 21, 2006, at 19:45:55

In reply to what is your contat with former T if any?, posted by shrinking violet on November 21, 2006, at 9:41:55

I hesitate to post this, because it's not exactly the situation you are asking about, but when I stopped seeing my T for about 6 years (I've been in therapy for 21, including those 6), for the first couple of years we met for lunch every now and then and had phone calls in between.

She is now semi-retired. So I asked her last spring what kind of contact I would have with her after she retired and she said she was picturing it as similar to that 6 years -- lunches and phone calls. She said she would always want to know how I was doing.

I'm sorry you haven't gotten a better (or any?) response from your former T. It's not right -- you deserve better.

 

Re: what is your contat with former T if any? shrinking violet

Posted by ElaineM on November 21, 2006, at 19:53:53

In reply to Re: what is your contat with former T if any? ElaineM, posted by shrinking violet on November 21, 2006, at 19:30:07

>>>>>I guess I then findit confusing that I'd never hear from her after she terminated.

So you've emailed her before and she hasn't responded? Did she give you her email address or did you find it out? Cause sometimes filters would just toss and Unknown Mailer into Spam (and that usually empties automatically quite often). But if your messages did get read, she may not know how important it is to you for her to acknowledge what you've written. She may be worried that you would be asking for advice or to be "treated" over the internet, if she "encouraged" you by answering. Could you ever tell her why you write, that it's important you hear back from her, and what it means in terms of your past work with her (and then mention some of the stuff about continuity and the other stuff you mentioned about your relationship with her).

You could even ask her if she'd like to set guidelines. Like, my ex-T said that she would always read everything I sent, but that she couldn't make guartantees about response time, or length. Maybe your T would feel more comfortable if she got to set the regularity of messages etc. (like once a month, or whatever).

I don't know. Trying to brainstorm here :-)

 

Re: what is your contat with former T if any? ElaineM

Posted by shrinking violet on November 22, 2006, at 3:18:10

In reply to Re: what is your contat with former T if any? shrinking violet, posted by ElaineM on November 21, 2006, at 19:53:53

Well I have her email, as a client I was allowed to email her, then just before our termination she asked me not to email her anymore. She said she'd be glad to hear from me and how I was doing, but she never mentioned any reciprocation. Normally I would respct this, but again, since our working relationshiop was so intense and different I sort of find it odd that she put up walls toward the end. Even our last session was horrid, both of us sort of angry and putting up walls and trying not to cry. I'm trying to understand that maybe she ddi this for herself, that maybe she was too attached and at the end was trying to pull back and fix it (as my current T suggested) but all it did was really hurt me more and leaves me with a lot of questions and resentment.

Thanks for your feedback. As I mentioned in another post, I do plan to write a long letter to her, telling her everything, how I feel about what happened, etc, and I will bring up this issue. I dont' expect anything to change, but I at least want her to know how it effected me in the hopes that she can prevent this happening with someone else.

Thanks again.
SV

> >>>>>I guess I then findit confusing that I'd never hear from her after she terminated.
>
> So you've emailed her before and she hasn't responded? Did she give you her email address or did you find it out? Cause sometimes filters would just toss and Unknown Mailer into Spam (and that usually empties automatically quite often). But if your messages did get read, she may not know how important it is to you for her to acknowledge what you've written. She may be worried that you would be asking for advice or to be "treated" over the internet, if she "encouraged" you by answering. Could you ever tell her why you write, that it's important you hear back from her, and what it means in terms of your past work with her (and then mention some of the stuff about continuity and the other stuff you mentioned about your relationship with her).
>
> You could even ask her if she'd like to set guidelines. Like, my ex-T said that she would always read everything I sent, but that she couldn't make guartantees about response time, or length. Maybe your T would feel more comfortable if she got to set the regularity of messages etc. (like once a month, or whatever).
>
> I don't know. Trying to brainstorm here :-)

 

Re: what is your contat with former T if any? shrinking violet

Posted by LadyBug on November 22, 2006, at 4:17:10

In reply to what is your contat with former T if any?, posted by shrinking violet on November 21, 2006, at 9:41:55

SV
I don't have an ex-T. I've been seeing mine for 9 years going on 10.
I do think what you plan could be helpful for you to do so I think it's ok to go ahead. She should know how you're feeling about everything. It might be what you need to do to let go. You have nothing to lose right? You don't have contact with her anymore?
I hope you come to a decision that feels right to you. When I can't make a decision about contacting my T for whatever reason, I'm always glad I did. It helps me and in turn helps her understand what I'm thinking about. That's important.
LadyBug

 

Re: what is your contat with former T if any? shrinking violet

Posted by pegasus on November 22, 2006, at 10:56:14

In reply to what is your contat with former T if any?, posted by shrinking violet on November 21, 2006, at 9:41:55

I saw a T for two and a half years, and then he moved away about three years ago. I emailed him every week or so for a while, then it tapered off. Right now I email him every few months. He responds to about half of my emails. He was pretty clear to set the expectation that he might not always reply before he left, but it still hurts when he doesn't reply. But I promised that I'd not interpret it as meaning that he forgot about me, or doesn't care.

I had a phone session with him a couple of months ago, to talk about some stuff around that therapy ending that was still really painful. It was really helpful, I think for both of us. I figured out that I'd been misinterpreting some things that had happened as he was getting ready to leave. And he figured out that what he'd been trying to accomplish in my therapy ending had not worked, and that it was very different from what I'd needed at that point.

I think that in school they tend to teach therapists that when you need to leave a client, your ethical obligation is to make sure that they have referrals to other good therapists. And that's all they talk about (in my experience as a student in an MA program in counseling psych). In one of my classes it was specifically recommended not to have contact with ex-clients. Which I, of course, vehemently argued against. But that is definitely one school of thought. The idea is that if you have continuing contact then you'll be in danger of setting inappropriate expectations for your ex-clients of continuing therapy or support with you, when really it's in their best interests to find another therapist who can more fully provide that therapy and support. Which makes sense in a logical sort of way, but doesn't account at all for the damage that can be caused by abruptly ending an attached relationship.

My guess is that your ex-T has gotten that sort of misguidance, and is trying to stick to it.

peg


This is the end of the thread.


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.