30 years old and have been seeing a psychotherapist for a little over a year
2x a week for PTSD, Panic Attacks, etc. In the last four months I have no
longer suffered any of the symptoms of PTSD nor have I experienced any panic
attacks. I desperately needed a psychotherapist previously to take the healing
journey (with me) recovering from the effects of abandonment, child-abuse,
teenage rape and violence.
My anger has dissolved into compassion, self-hatred into love, my life has
changed hugely, and I feel immensely happy within my deepest sense of self
thats not dependent on anything or anyoneIm so very grateful
to my psychotherapist for taking this journey with meshes been
amazing, supportive and perfect; however, I feel that I no longer need a
psychotherapist, and I believe that Im ready to move on. I have discussed
my feelings (over a few weeks) with my psychotherapist about wanting to end
our therapeutic relationship, but it would appear that she believes Im
not ready. She has mentioned that the feelings shes experiencing about
loss (of our therapeutic relationship) is indeed a transference of the
loss that Im denying. I respect her deeply; however, I
feel that this is incorrect (and have mentioned this to her). I feel I will
miss her as a psychotherapist but no longer feel I need a
My question is: When is it OK to move on? I would not like to leave if Im
missing something vital but all I have is my own sense of
When your psychotherapy begins because of specific
know that you have reached the end of your treatment when the symptoms have
resolved and you feel confident that you no longer need the guidance of your
psychotherapist. Its that simple.
Now, some persons
might want to continue in psychotherapy for the sake of self-growth, even
after their initial symptoms have been resolved. Theres nothing wrong
with that, if its your choice. From what you say, this is not your
choice, and thats not a problem.
problem, therefore, is with your psychotherapist. She seems to be confusing
two distinct psychotherapeutic concepts: a psychotherapists personal
feelings in response to the moment, and
That is, if your psychotherapist were to feel distracted in the moment, it
could be an indication that you are distracted and are avoiding an issue.
Your psychotherapist could then mention those feelings as a way to deepen
the therapeutic work. But if your psychotherapist has a personal, emotional
response to the treatment in general, thats countertransference, and
it should be dealt with privately by the psychotherapist.
In your case,
the feelings of loss your psychotherapist describes are a matter of
countertransference and are her problem, not yours. So feel comfortable to
move on. It would be nice to have your psychotherapists blessing, but,
since she is not really perfect and is incapable of giving it to you, move
advertisingno sponsorjust the simple truth . . .