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Advice About Past Therapy

Question:

I was going to a therapist for several months. I had a problem opening up. She was a great help, considering I went to several others before her and got no where really. In my denial and lack of ability to really open up and say what I wanted, she said our time was over and that there was nothing else we had to work on. This was completely based on my lack of opening up and really talking about what I wanted to. I felt there was a lot more I needed to say and talk about, but when she asked, several times, I would say that I didn’t know what else to talk about. I have ended therapy a month ago, but want to call her back and explain myself, but dont know if this is what I should do, or maybe seek another therapist. Please advise. Thank you!

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Answer:

After trying several therapists you finally found someone with whom you could work. It seems that, during the month the two of you worked together, you felt helped but something happened and you could "not open up." At that point the therapist ended the therapy.

All things considered, I would strongly urge you to not return to this therapist. The reason is this:

When you put your trust in a professional psychiatrist, psychologist or clinical social worker, you are relying on them to make their best effort to help you. It does happen that a therapist runs into an "impasse" in which progress has stopped. Under these circumstances it is expected that a consultation would be sought with a practitioner who has greater skills. That consultation could be held with both therapist and patient or with the therapist asking for an individual consult. In my opinion, the therapist never blames the patient if an impasse occurs. You seem to be blaming yourself for the failure of the therapy and that certainly is the feeling she left you with. In the end, if a therapist, even after a consultation and after doing all in their professional power to help, is not able to move the therapy forward, the accepted practice is to refer the patient to a colleague with greater skill and ability. This is gently explained to the patient.

Please understand that it is very hurtful for a therapist to discharge a patient the way in which your therapist discharged you, with no explanation and with no referral.

I want to urge you to find a new therapist but under the following conditions:

1. Find someone skilled in Cognitive Behavioral or Dialectical Behavior Therapy. For someone, like yourself, who finds it difficult to speak in traditional therapy, this works much better. In fact, learning to find your thoughts and put them into words is a goal for you in therapy.

2. You may need a medication consult with a psychiatrist, but only after you have started with a new practitioner who does the referring to a psychiatrist if they agree it is needed. It may be that you have too much anxiety, depression or too much in the way of obsessional thinking, to benefit from treatment without medication. However, that would be best decided by a practitioner who is skilled in the types of therapy I mentioned and who is a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker.

Remember, the problems you had with your therapist are not your fault because those are some of the problems for which you are seeking help.

Best of Luck

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Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    Thank you very much for your prompt response, and I appreciated it. I will defenitely take the advice you've given. thanks again!

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