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loss of therapist?

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loss of therapist?

Postby greenfig » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:28 pm

Hello everyone,

I have been in therapy for the last four years. I had a great therapist, I feel that we have worked through many things and being in therapy helped me in many ways.

About a month and a half ago I got a call from my therapist about canceling the upcoming appointment. She had a medical emergency procedure coming up and she said that she will be away for a month recovering. She gave me 2 referrals in case I needed to talk to someone in the meantime.

If you asked me in the past what reaction I might had to this, I would of told you "stuff happens, no big deal". But in reality I had a very rough first week, felt kind of devastated. This brought up a lots of feelings and issues that would be good to explore. I am learning how to bear through feelings (to feel them all the way) and soothe myself (sometimes with the help of this board)

I have lost 4 very close people in my family the last 3 years, a 7 year personal relationship ended when I entered therapy. So I had a lots of loss and grief to plow through.

I am afraid of my therapist dying. I have not heard from her, she said she will call when she is ready. I do not want to bug her. I called the other numbers she gave me, one never called back, the other one was kind of rude.

I found a therapist trough my insurance, I have an appointment tomorrow. It's just so hard to start all-over again. With my old therapist I just started having what some might call "transference" and we just started digging very deep. Not a good time to stop. Anyways...has anyone had a loss of the therapist?
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Postby jasmin » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:58 pm

Hey, greenfig! I'm sorry you're going through this and I really hope that she will be ok. Maybe if you just called her once and asked how she was, telling her that you're worried about her, it would be fine and she wouldn't mind. It might make you feel better to know that she's alright.
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Postby greenfig » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:36 pm

Well, somehow I have the feeling she is not ok. I asked if I could call her in a month, but she was pretty insistent on her calling me instead.

It's kinda odd because she is normally very direct, does not communicate in cryptic terms. This is also unusual because she has never canceled late or missed an appointment or flaked out and always kept her word. I am trying to convince myself that she is still recovering. I am also telling myself that if I was her, I would like to be left alone and free of my clients needs during a time of recovery. I am trying to be respectful of her request, but in the same time I feel anxious.

I also think about what if the news is not good. In that case I would like to thank her for all the work we have done together, and all that I have learner from her....or something like that... :cry:
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Postby greenfig » Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:04 pm

Well, today I found out she is dying of cancer.

I called her house, a friend of hers answered. She said my therapist was still in the hospital and she was "not doing too good" she said that "she has cancer" and "will probably not coming back". She asked if I wanted to call her, but I was not sure that moment, so she said to maybe write a card that they can give to her. Then I changed my mind and decided to call her at the hospital. Her friend said it was OK.

It was very odd conversation.
She said everything was ok and it was a minor procedure she was getting done and she was coming home in a few days. But I don't think that's the case. Why would her friend make the situation so serious if it was not? I know different people deal with dying and cancer in different ways, but it's just hard... :( :cry:
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Postby jasmin » Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:43 pm

(((((((((((((((greenfig)))))))))))))))) I'm so sorry! Wait a bit and see what she sais, or call again in a few days. Maybe her friend was misinformed and she will be ok. We're here for support.
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Postby greenfig » Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:11 pm

I just think it would be more simple to know she is not coming back. She is not being straight with me. I feel guilty about being angry with her, she is dying and I am thinking about my pain, crying like a baby because I s--t my diapers and it needs to be changed. But I was left with no explanation and feel like being deceived by false hope. Underneath I think I know the truth, but why should I have to guess it? I feel that I am feeling around in the dark.

At night I go to bed and I think about all the family I have lost over the past few years. I go over their faces, smiles, their house, how they smelled, the things they said and remembered and then I cannot belive it's all gone, into nothing their body into just carbon, plain ash along with their thoughts. And to think the woman that has been teaching me how to think about life differently (so that I can live) is dissapearing into that nothingness. All I feel is my hearbeat and have to get out of bed.
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Postby tunafishpastries » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:48 pm

My therapist passed away in her sleep on Thursday. It was completely unexpected. The coroner couldn't find anything that might have killed her. She was young, too.

Anyway, it's been really hard on me. I have only been with her for a few months, but I feel like I don't have much hope to get better now. She was an excellent DBT therapist. I really believed that DBT would help me recover from my BPD, and now that's taken away from me. I've been having a hard time coping.
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Postby DizzyRuby » Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:10 am

Hi, I wanted to reply and say that I really do feel so sympathetic toward you guys. I am so sorry about your losses, both one who is battling cancer and one that passed away suddenly. Both are such grievances to bear and I'm truly sorry to hear it.

Please do not give up hope. I know that hearing "I'm sure your therapist would want....... [fill in the blank]" is not the best thing to read if you're in a stage of anger, but I do believe that your therapists would not want either of you to give up.

When you experience transference with a therapist, I am sure it can be hard to imagine that you can experience it again. Over the years, I have been able to experience it and found it amazing and every single time it surprised me because I never thought it could happen again. None of the experiences were exactly the same, but I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Green, I do hope you get to talk to your therapist soon. I do think sending a card, writing a note to your therapist would also be helpful. Good luck with this and I hope you get some closure, some more explanations soon.

And Tuna, I am sorry about your loss. I have only recently heard of DBT, and while your experience can't be replaced, DBT has been known to help with BPD and hopefully you can find some resources for other therapists who have DBT training. It is impossible to replace the person you knew, the one who taught you DBT this time... but hopefully you can take the knowledge and wisdom you've garnished thus far and carry it further... In time, this may seem possible if it doesn't now. We can't build Rome in one day.

I hope both of you can find the silver lining in the dark cloud of grief... I haven't lost a therapist but can only imagine that such a loss is as excruciating as the loss of a friend, a security blanket. Just try to take what was given to you and hold on to that if you can. Good luck!
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Postby S3 » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:03 pm

I hope it all turns out well for both you and your therapist Green. And I'm sorry for the unexpected loss of your therapist, Tuna. It must be really hard for you, Green, to be so close to yours and now not know whether that relationship will continue.

To everyone:
Remember and apply what your therapist has taught you and no matter what happens you'll have part of him/her with you. I believe in an afterlife and that has helped me to accept loss much more easily. Believing that I still have a relationship with all of the people I care about who have died and that I'll see them again when I join them some day has been a tremendous comfort to me that I cannot do without. Despite reality I've come to know that some things are too good not to be true.

My counselor recently finished working nearby. He's moving, and though I never experienced transference, (to my knowledge), I understand the difficulty of changing professionals and rebuilding that relationship of trust. I feel blessed that the relationship with my guy ended very well, with decent closure, but I've known several psychs whom I never trusted as much as this one even though I only knew him for a year. He taught me about mindfulness, the first module of DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) in case others don't know, and it helped me a lot with my emotional issues. There's plenty of anxiety about who'll be my new psych, but I can handle it like I have before, and hopefully the next person will be as good.

I wish you both the best of luck, and again my condolences to you Tuna.
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Re: loss of therapist?

Postby MichelinMa'am » Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:10 am

greenfig wrote:Hello everyone,

I have been in therapy for the last four years. I had a great therapist, I feel that we have worked through many things and being in therapy helped me in many ways.

About a month and a half ago I got a call from my therapist about canceling the upcoming appointment. She had a medical emergency procedure coming up and she said that she will be away for a month recovering. She gave me 2 referrals in case I needed to talk to someone in the meantime.

If you asked me in the past what reaction I might had to this, I would of told you "stuff happens, no big deal". But in reality I had a very rough first week, felt kind of devastated. This brought up a lots of feelings and issues that would be good to explore. I am learning how to bear through feelings (to feel them all the way) and soothe myself (sometimes with the help of this board)

I have lost 4 very close people in my family the last 3 years, a 7 year personal relationship ended when I entered therapy. So I had a lots of loss and grief to plow through.

I am afraid of my therapist dying. I have not heard from her, she said she will call when she is ready. I do not want to bug her. I called the other numbers she gave me, one never called back, the other one was kind of rude.

I found a therapist trough my insurance, I have an appointment tomorrow. It's just so hard to start all-over again. With my old therapist I just started having what some might call "transference" and we just started digging very deep. Not a good time to stop. Anyways...has anyone had a loss of the therapist?


I know what you mean about starting all over again. My situation was a little different in that I was only with this particular therapist for a few months. In that time, she asked me some pretty stupid questions, as I'd later discover. She was my first therapists, so I didn't know any different at the time. So, when I found out I was going to have to go to someone else, I did dread telling this new therapist everything I had gone through. But, it ended up being the best thing for me. We had some really great sessions that were a tremendous help to me. I don't see her anymore because she said she couldn't justify it to my insurance since I was doing so well. I was sad to end the sessions-it was like having the best friend ever who was completely nonjudgmental and very insiteful. Ironically enough, now my daughter sees her. Anyway, if you need help finding another therapist, you may want to check the directory on www.goodtherapy.org. The therapists on there are screened and highly qualified. So, you may want to check there if your new one doesn't work out. I wish you all the best!
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