Psych Central


The time has to come to end therapy. After thirteen years it’s not an easy decision and one that I’ve wrestled with for at least the past two. Ending a therapeutic relationship for some is relatively easy; a handshake, a few well wishes and off to experience life post-therapy with fresh eyes on an old world.

But what about some of us for whom parting with a therapist is like having your heart ripped out with a blunt spoon and although you can function more than adequately in the real world you now have to deal with a grieving process for which there are no books, no information and no-one to talk to.

The person you are grieving for is still alive and well and functioning, is only a phone call, a letter, a text-message or an email away. Also you can if you wish go back to therapy anytime you want to. It’s not like the person is no longer available ever.

So the strength of the situation lies in the ability to move on from a loving/kindness, almost perfect relationship and enter into one with less than perfect others and the real world.

No-one has ever measured up to my therapist – although my husband has come a close second. I’m now at University studying psychology and there are lecturers and tutors and people with the same qualities as my therapist. I’m doing very well at Uni and recently got a high distinction for an essay, part of which was on the association between academic success and emotional/social intelligence. I had a smile when I learned there is very little correlation between the two. I understand psychology but I don’t understand why I am finding it difficult to move on and live an authentic life post-therapy.

I’m afraid to leave her because I dread the grieving process which may go on for months if not years. I tried two years ago and lasted three months. Thank God a crisis occurred and I had a legitimate excuse to re-establish my relationship with her again.

This time I want to handle crises on my own. I’m strong enough and capable enough. I’m not the same person I was when I had my last baby, now almost fourteen. But I’m terrified she will forget me, that I will sink into historical oblivion and that she will scratch her head when she comes across my name in a few years time. I want to remain fresh and poignant in her memory banks as her very favourite client of all time. I know I hold the standing record for longevity, but that is not quite the same.

I know she will be pleased to see me go. Last time I told her I was leaving she had tears in her eyes. Joy I was mentally well and sadness I was going. It’s part of her job to eventually kick me out the door. It’s not part of her job to hang onto me and grieve for me. And that’s the bit I hate. I want her to grieve for me as much as I am grieving for her.

A happy client is a successful one. There can be no better feeling for a therapist than to see a client fly off the rim of the nest and never look back. I feel successful and at times I feel happy. My therapist will always be in my heart and my memories. And those I can visit at any time I want to.

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 28 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.






    Last reviewed: 17 May 2009

APA Reference
Neale, S. (2009). Ending Therapy – A Grieving Process. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 21, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/unplugged/2009/05/ending-therapy-a-grieving-process/

 

Therapy
Unplugged



Subscribe to this Blog:
Feed


Or Get a Single, Daily Email (enter email address):

via FeedBurner



Archives

 

Subscribe to this Blog:
Feed


Or Get a Single, Daily Email (enter email address):

via FeedBurner



Recent Comments
  • jenna anonymous: What about a therapist that is stalking you? There is an LCSW in Louisville, Kentucky that is...
  • Anonymous: I find the title of this blog post creepy and the post Creepy in general. “Google Stalking your...
  • Anonymous: You absolutely have the right to look at your friend’s video.If your therapist does not want to be viewed...
  • therapist and client are not equals: I know this is an older post but I couldn’t pass this up…The client...
  • The client is not an equal: I know this is an older post but I couldn’t pass this up…The client said she...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!