Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 1102468

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therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere

Posted by broken123 on December 17, 2018, at 2:21:35

Hello, My husband and I moved to our community about 5 years ago and then had a baby so I was home bound. We have no family here and no support network. Overall, I have a lot going on emotionally. My husband and I have big differences over how to parent our kids. My dad died about a year ago in horrible circumstances. Since then, there has been less than positive things going on in my extended family. This affects me greatly (even though they are far away, they are still my family). A month after my dad's death, there was a double suicide in my extended family (one of the deceased I was quite close to). I started a new business a few months ago. My husband lost his job a few weeks ago, primary income earner, just weeks before Christmas. We have 3 young kids.

I've been seeing a therapist for about the past 3 years and have really liked her. She has helped me a lot. I liked that she would tell me what she thought about things, unlike others who would just dance around things and were more passive. She knows me better than anyone. As I was starting my business, she referred me on to her daughter to provide me with something I needed for my new business. It would have been a 5 month project for her daughter, who agreed to do it for very cheap for me. My therapist said several times that whatever is between her daughter and I is separate from the therapist and I. Her daughter didn't take the project seriously. She "sat" on it for months, and then had to do a whole lot of work at the end to get it finished. I was upset that she left it all to the last minute. When it was finished, it seemed good, and I offered to pay 4 times more than the price she originally offered (which was still a good deal, if it had been done properly I didnt know then that it was going to have problems subsequently). Recently there have been problems with the stuff her daughter did for me. They are not easily fixed. The daughter isn't acknowledging that she did a less than stellar job. I have talked to someone else in that field, who tells me they the work will have to be re-done (thousands of $$), to fix the problems. I didn't want to pay for the same thing twice, and didn't want to make my last payment to my therapist's daughter, but I blamed it on my husband having lost his job, as this was an issue for us also, and I thought it would be more palatable to her. But the daughter became EXTREMELY upset, said she has credit cards to pay, etc, etc... And, her mom (my therapist) was furious with me.

In our last session, she sat at me and had a look that could kill on her face. I cancelled the next 3 apts after that, because I couldn't bear to see that look again. Then, I sent her an email and said I'm struggling with whether we should continue, because on one hand, I've really valued her support -she has been invaluable to me - and on the other hand, I don't feel that I can speak openly with her about her daughter and without being able to do that, I wonder if there will be a barrier between us. She replied "I think you are correct that the situation causes a barrier and it would, therefore, be more effective for you to see someone else." "I can honestly say that I am so sorry the way this has gone. I have grown to be very fond of you and I am very proud of you." She went on to say that because she's just as new here as I am, she doesn't know of anyone to refer me to.

I am devastated. I had hoped, I suppose, that she would have said something different... that there would have been a way to work through this (possibly at no charge, as I dont think I should be seen as shouldering the blame). I really liked her, and viewed her as almost a pseudo-mother. It hurts to realize our relationship, to her, was just a series of economic transactions. She says she's fond of me, but obviously that can't be true if she's sending me on my way. Her daughter and her can turn to each other. I have no one to turn to and no one to talk to this about. She doesn't seem to be responding to my messages. I don't know where to turn. Our community isn't that large and the therapists here aren't nearly as good as she was. I want things to be back the way they were. But now she hates me. I don't know how to interpret her message or what to do. I don't need more to grieve, but feel that this is a big loss, and am unable to concentrate on my work.I feel that I must be the bottom of the barrel if my therapist fires me! Am I so horrible that I can't even find someone to pay to listen to me? I have one more appointment booked with her this coming Wednesday (Dec 19) that I haven't cancelled. I assume given her note that her expectation is that I not show up.

As I say, I have no support network here. I would be very grateful for any thoughts. How to interpret her message? Do I try to talk to her about this (if that's even possible)? Should I have to pay her to do that? How do I cope with this rejection? I feel that her telling me to take a hike is harsh and cruel, especially when she knows how much I have going on. I feel like I've just been left dangling with absolutely no regard for how this affects me emotionally. I feel very hurt deeply disappointed, and broken hearted.

 

Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere

Posted by alexandra_k on December 17, 2018, at 15:40:05

In reply to therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere, posted by broken123 on December 17, 2018, at 2:21:35

I guess it is up to you to decide whether you want to see her anymore and see if you can work through the barrier, or whether you would rather work with someone else.

I don't know that she has said that she thinks things are irrevokable.

Sometimes things like this come up in therapy relationships -- little tests or whatever -- that threaten the intimacy.

This has to do with a perceived rivalry or something that could create a conflict of interests for the therapist. Something about whether she needs to take sides or something along these lines.

Is this something that you are prepared to try and work through with her to maintain the relationship, or would you rather cut ties?

I honestly don't know.

Her looking furious at you... Is it possible that it was projection because you were furious about how you were being treated by her daughter? Maybe angry at her for suggesting you see her daughter, if her daughter was going to behave as unprofessionally as that?

I don't know / can't tell whether the therapist is giving you space to decide how much you want to work on the relationship or whether the therapist is as unprofessional as you fear she might be being in all this.

 

Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere broken123

Posted by baseball55 on December 17, 2018, at 17:30:55

In reply to therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere, posted by broken123 on December 17, 2018, at 2:21:35

Wow! If ever there was an argument against "dual relationships" between therapists and clients, this is it. Getting you involved with her daughter was completely unethical of her and led to this impasse. Her daughter is angry with you and you with her daughter and this rubs off on your therapist's attitude toward you. Even if she were willing to keep seeing you, would you even want to, given that you can't mention a big elephant in the room - namely the amount of money her daughter's shoddy work is going to cost you while you are struggling with money?

You definitely need to move on. If she can't refer you, go through your insurance company's website (if you have insurance), or just start calling people.

Sorry this happened to you. Professional ethics codes for therapists prohibit dual relationships (when you have a relationship - business, social, intimate - outside of the therapy).

 

Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere

Posted by alexandra_k on December 18, 2018, at 17:26:02

In reply to Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere broken123, posted by baseball55 on December 17, 2018, at 17:30:55

some more thoughts...

it might be helpful to get some indepenent advice to help mediate a fair price for the work that was done.

that is between you and her daughter, though, and not between you and the therapist.

some therapists are forever agnostic about what their client / patient says about the way things are in the world. whether it be about things that happened in the past or the way things are with others or whatever.

other therapists show emotional support by agreeing with the client / patients assessment of the way things are in the world.

a former therapist would not worry about whether or not you were correct in your assessment of 'fair' price, for example, or 'shoddy' work. a later therapist would be more likely to accept your interpretation as the 'right' one.

the later line can lead to conflict.

the former line can be... the sort of position that a mother would take when her kids are arguing over... an exchange of toys, or the like...

did your therapist say specifcially she was her daughter -- or did you work out the nature of their relationship yourself? presumably you could have seen a different person for the work you contracted to her daughter -- finding someone to fix up that work is easier than finding someone to fix up the present therapy work?

it seems to me that she asked for things to be kept separate (but did show relaxed boundaries in referring you to her in the first place). but then you accepted those relaxed boundaries by pursuing her for the contract... initially offering her a price that you yourself didn't believe was fair... getting upset... feeling maybe the upset wasn't justified... paying an excess (to justify feeling upset?)...

this all seems like something that may be worth processing...

and some kind of sibling rivaly. you don't know about the nature of their relationship. some professionals have greater intimacy with their patients / clients than with their people in their own / home life...

i don't know.

i think if i was you i would maybe try and work things out with her.

i don't think she has said that she isn't willing to work with you, anymore. but you need to demonstrate some committment to keeping the relationship.

perhaps...

just some more thoughts...

 

Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere

Posted by alexandra_k on December 18, 2018, at 17:31:11

In reply to Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere, posted by alexandra_k on December 18, 2018, at 17:26:02

i meant that a therapist with very strict / small / or tight boundaries would work to process how you interpret or what you feel rather than taking a stand on your interpretation or feeling as correct or incorrect or justified or unwarranted. they would be seeking to discover patterns in the way you tend to habitually respond to things so as to try and get at what is driving some of those patterns / responses.

that way of doing therapy can feel aimless while the therapist gets to know you, however. it can also feel invalidating / unsupportive for people who want help in deciding which things are justifed vs which things need backing down on etc.

it sounds like you sought out more of the latter -- but that does make things a bit harder... messier... with respect to boundaries and so on. i don't think your therapist has necessarily shown bad boundaries... just broader, wider, more encompassing boundaries... things get messy...

i prefer the former sort of traditional thing... but many don't.

but you should be able to still vent to her about how you feel and how angry you are and so on. and your therapist should be able to help you process your anger and so on... without committing to her daughter being the bad guy or without taking sides.

do you have siblings? how do y'all get along?

 

Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere alexandra_k

Posted by broken123 on December 18, 2018, at 18:03:23

In reply to Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere, posted by alexandra_k on December 18, 2018, at 17:31:11

Hello all, thank you for the comments and observations. I feel so confused. I reached out to her for clarification but no response. I have very much valued her advice on so many things and can't believe that she would just leave me hanging, but that seems to be what's happening. Usually she replies to email right away, but it's been 4 days now with no response.

In response to aleksandra's posts, she did tell me that this was her daughter, and had specifically said that the dealings between her daughter and I were separate from the therapist and I. Her daughter offered an inexpensive price for the work, which I accepted. Then she ended up doing more work than either of us had expected, so I offered a higher price, which she accepted. I was trying to do the right thing, and didn't realize problems were going to surface. Now it is apparent that the work, which looked nice on its surface, was substandard. The problems are deep and not easily fixed. It was cobbled together quickly and now it shows.

I do have a sibling, with whom I want a harmonious relationship, but he is an alcoholic and doesn't seem to want one with me. The therapist has siblings too, none of whom she speaks to. It crossed my mind that possibly she is quick to shut me out just like she has shut out her siblings. Except that I was paying her, for whatever difference that makes.

 

Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere

Posted by alexandra_k on December 19, 2018, at 2:00:56

In reply to Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere alexandra_k, posted by broken123 on December 18, 2018, at 18:03:23

Okay, I'm sorry I misunderstood about the work... And I'm sorry she hasn't replied to you, too. I don't really know what to say. Going through some stuff of my own, right now. Disappointment. Yeah.

 

Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere

Posted by baseball55 on December 19, 2018, at 16:58:51

In reply to Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere alexandra_k, posted by broken123 on December 18, 2018, at 18:03:23

I also find it odd that she said she knew nobody to refer you to. Yet you've been seeing her for 3 years, so she's been there for at least 3 years. For a conscientious therapist, 3 years seems like more than enough time to develop relationships with other therapists in the area to handle referrals.

I understand how hard and painful this all is - both losing a productive relationship and now coping with the fact that she is not responding to you. But, IMHO, she has acted in a way that is unprofessional and borderline unethical.

 

Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere

Posted by broken123 on December 20, 2018, at 14:43:46

In reply to Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere, posted by baseball55 on December 19, 2018, at 16:58:51

Thank you again so much! Yes, it all seems so odd to me. One minute she's the greatest advisor ever, and the next, left by the wayside, without even a referral. Apparently her conscience allows for this.

 

Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere

Posted by alexandra_k on December 23, 2018, at 14:46:04

In reply to Re: therapist saying 'more effective' to go elsewhere, posted by broken123 on December 20, 2018, at 14:43:46

> Thank you again so much! Yes, it all seems so odd to me. One minute she's the greatest advisor ever, and the next, left by the wayside, without even a referral. Apparently her conscience allows for this.

that doesn't sound like professional conduct to me, either, and it is strange that she is claiming not to know any professional colleagues in the area when she has been in the area for three years.


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