been in therapy for eight years. I saw my first therapist for four years
until she left the practice; we worked towards an ending over a period of
months, and I started to see a therapist from the same practice shortly
afterwards. I have been seeing my current therapist for four years. Two weeks
ago I had difficulty talking to my therapist as we had been talking about
some sexual abuse I suffered as a child, and I found it difficult to talk
about it. I said this cant go on for ever can it and my
therapist said no it cant. From there my therapist started talking
about endings and said maybe I needed to set an ending to the therapy. I
said I did not want to do this and she persisted and suggested a time frame
of six months. I have talked to her about it and said whilst I realise that
the therapy cannot continue inevitably I do not feel ready to set a date.
She said that as we have started the process of ending the therapy I have
to set a date for ending or she will do it. When I asked why she said that
it is an issue of boundaries and that we have started the ending process
and there is no going back. My questions is why is this an issue of boundaries,
my therapist can not explain this to me. I feel that the therapist wants
to leave and that she is forcing me to end the therapy so that the same thing
doesnt happen as with the first therapist. I feel I can not untangle
what is coming from me and what is coming from my therapist. She also implied
that setting an end date was in my best interests and I dont agree.
I dont know the best way to deal with this.
The key issue here can be found in your statement that
I feel that the therapist wants to leave and that she is forcing me
to end the therapy so that the same thing doesnt happen as with the
The truth is,
your treatment with your first psychotherapist ended when she left the practice.
So does your current psychotherapist now have plans to leave the practice
herself? Well, we dont know.
But we do know
how you feel. Look to the emotional content of your statement. You feel that
she is forcing me to end the therapy. Actually, this is a statement
of belief, not feeling.
To get to the feelings associated with this belief, we can
say that you must feel pressured, confused, hurt, and abandoned. Furthermore, if
you think about this a bit, thats exactly how a child feels when she
is sexually abused.
So, given these
feelings, are they coming from your
or from your psychotherapists veiled motives for ending your treatment?
Well, the only way to untangle this mess is to ask her directly if she has
plans to leave her practice.
If she says that
she is, in fact, planning to leave, then you know that your feelings are
coming from herthat is, that you have intuitively perceived what she
has failed to say openly.
If she denies
that she has plans to leave, then that leaves you with a mess of its
We have to wonder
why she is forcing an end to the treatment. Is it a matter of your insurance
running out? Is she afraid to deal with sexual abuse issues? Is she frustrated
that after spending eight years in treatment you still find it difficult
to speak openly about the abuse?
motive, she owes you an
If she fails to give that explanation, then she is re-creating within
the treatment the same sort of abuse that happened to you as a child, leaving
you with the same feelings nowand the same lack of
the same lack of respect for your needsthat
you experienced as an abused child. In that case, it would be best for you to get
away now, while you have the chance, and to find someone who can treat you
according to your best interests.
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