34 Comments to
Client Dumping by Therapists

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  1. Imagine being notified that your therapist is on leave for about two and a half months via email, with no reason given and no back-up therapist offered.

  2. I suffer from therapist dumping in a different way not during his vacation but even if he’s not, plus I’m a kind of pt who really cant bear abundant especially in crises times when experience sucidallity and lose control and ended up for me to recurrent overdose.

    As from beginning of treatment my therapist knows my specific problem and him self offered to give me his mobile number and can call him in crises time and this agreement was discussed and but all boundaries and condition when and why to contact him .many times I’m calling him not respond or answered and told me to call him later ,

    What I mean he is promising some thing and doing different ,plus last time I was really in crises and he saw me in clinic and seem worry about me he request me to call daily afternoon to ease my tension and all bad emotion through talk even he advice me to write an email for him ( by the way my therapist living in another country but I can reach him within 2 hrs in clinic ), so, I called many times and send massages he didn’t respond and what happened that he didn’t have proper manage in my case as he ignore my cry for help and post pond my appointment and cancelled another one just because he is busy with other pt but what about me which really effected me and ended me in emergency room after massive overdose

    At the end I’m not plamming my therapist for what happened to me but he is some how responsible as he didn’t be on his promise and he knows my condition and my need well, so, really no excuse for him for his behaviour

    (BPD sufferer )

  3. please sonia i need your comment on my condition with my therapist and adviced regarding changing him as now i’m 3 yrs with him ,and really uncomfortable with him at the same time its hard for me to start with new one and remember all the pain and difficult emotion and tell all details again

  4. I find it harmful that therapists reinforce a parent-child relationship to begin with. Many clients walk in the office as self-reliant adults and in time revert to dependent, anxious creatures who treat therapy like a fix they need. I don’t consider this healing.

  5. I was in crisis this week. I have contacted my therapist in the past but usually over everyday things.
    This week I was in crisis, I contacted them. No reply. After 18 hours I sent another text to check they had received it and they answered they had not yet read it as were busy with stress. I felt for them, was their family ill. A bit later I received another text to say there stress was good so not to worry.

    I was devastated, I had been in a bad place, had asked for help for the first time and was met with silence/no response and then that.

    I feel like sacking him for it, takes my money but when I needed him emotionally he was busy, why give me his number if he is not even going to acknowledge my desparate text.

  6. My therapist emailed me on a Satuarday to say that she was leaving for two weeks, but she would be checking her email.

    When I complained via email, about the short notice she did not answer me for two full weeks, and when she did answer me she lied about having a family emergency.

    I know this is a lie, because about a month ago she mentioned she had a trip (to the sameplace) coming up sometime in the future. Also it could not have been an emergency as half of her party was planning on driving all the way across the country to get to their destination, rather than flying! I also know that she got back 4 days ago, because her email said that is when she would be back then.

    This is the second time she has done this!

  7. Also there was no back up counselor set up.. just a sudden email saying she was leaving, followed by two weeks of silence and then another sudden email claiming it was an emergency trip and asking me to see her in two hours. And she forgot to schedule an appointment for me the week before she left.

    Another time she was counting down on Facebook the days until her vacation for about 6 weeks in advance so, I knew she was leaving but she did not know that I knew. I kept wondering when she was going to tell me or if the trip was just a weekend trip and there was no need for her to tell me. Then day of her trip (a week long trip it turns out) she emailed and asked me to see her that day! Remember she had been counting down the days til this trip on Face book for the last six weeks, but she thought it was OK to tell me the day of the trip and reschedule me for that morning. She did not know I could see her Facebook.

    She put up a sign in her office saying that some group that she was supposed to run was cancelled due to illness.. another lie.. it was cancelled due to her flying to Jamaica!

    This is so frustrating because she is a good therapist when she does not have a migrain and when she actually keeps her appointments..

  8. My psychologist of 8 years recently had to have heart surgery. When she first said she would be out about 8 weeks, my first response was what will happen to me… then I thought again, what would happen to her if she didn’t take the time for the surgery and recovery. That brought me back to the correct issue, her health. She said her partner could see me if I needed but because I had never talked with her, I didn’t want to see her and start a new therapeutic relationship for only a few weeks. Instead, my case manager saw me on the days that I would have seen my psychologist until she was able to return. After eight weeks, she is back, healthy and ready to be a therapist again. Even though I had some depression while she gone, and a crisis (my sister was diagnosed with cancer) she was entitled to meet her own needs.

  9. My therapist died so I don’t expect any phone or text messages soon. Think about that, therapists die too so let them have a vacation. it is good for them and will help you deal when they kick it.

  10. My therapist is from France and vacations there yearly. At first I was kind of freaked but now after 5 years I don’t have such problems with abandonment so for me the vacationing therapist has been a good thing. She even calls me from France for a minute or two each year which really makes me feel like a special client.

  11. As a psychologist, I would like to chime in on this topic. A client who assumes that a therapist is not allowed to have personal time away from work (including electronic contact)needs to remember that we are human and have to clock out and take vacations too. I believe that non-DBT therapists who allow clients an all access pass are not only enabling unhealthy, dependent, and insecure attachment patterns- but not allowing the client to learn self soothing skills and learning to cope without them. It is also extremely unhealthy for the therapist’s wellbeing not to have boundaries and limitations in place in regard to client contact. Emergency contacts should be in place when the therapist is not available. I tell my clients that in the case of actual life threatening crises, the person needs to call 911 and the place to go is to the ER. All other matters can wait until the next appointment as distressing as they may feel in the moment, but this is called coping and what I strive to eventually have my clients internalize.

    • I have to disagree with you as does Marsha Linehan who states: One cannot do therapy with a dead client.

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