I asked my therapist about the therapy process, he told me I wasnt
the kind of person who needed long-term therapy. Then several months later
when I was wanting to terminate therapy he said that I should be in therapy
with him my whole life, so I could work on my intimacy issues with him. He
said that if I left I would be sabotaging myself. When I asked him to explain,
he then said that I should be in therapy for two years and it didnt
have to be with him. I asked him to share with me what he felt my issues
were. He asked me what I was going to do with the information. I was perplexed
by this question and responded with get better. The relationship
deteriorated fast after this and I terminated the therapy, as I didnt
feel safe with him.
I feel I did the right thing in this situation, but needed reassurance from
a friend (a therapist) to terminate the therapy.
When you are in therapy to work on issues and may experience transference,
how do you know if you are sabotaging yourself by terminating the therapy
or if you are taking care of yourself by terminating the therapy? How can
patients educate themselves more to recognize what is unhealthy therapy and
what is healthy therapy?
Elsewhere on this website, on the page called
Psychotherapy, I discuss many issues related to the termination of treatment.
Moreover, on the page called
Psychologist I say the following:
If for any reason
you do not feel comfortable with the psychotherapy, be sure to tell the
psychologist exactly what you are experiencing. Quite often, psychotherapy
provokes uncomfortable feelings, known as a
and the whole point of treatment is to deal with these feelings in the
treatment, not to run away from them.
But if, after
talking things over, you both agree that you should see someone else, then
politely and reconsider one of the candidates you have previously
points to the fact that sometimes a client will try to talk things over and
will be left feeling unsafe. From what you have told me, it sounds as if
your psychotherapist has been less than straightforward with youto
say it politely. You received inconsistent answers about the length of
psychotherapy. And when you asked a legitimate question about your treatment
issues, you received an evasive answer.
So, at least
you tried to talk things over.
And there you
have the answer to your ultimate question. If you make an honest effort
to try to talk things over, and the psychotherapist does or says anything
that leaves you feeling unsafe, then say goodbye and be confident you have
done the right thing.
Note also that,
if you choose to continue your psychotherapy with another psychotherapist,
then your termination with the previous psychotherapist should be discussed
as a primary, opening issue in your treatment. Being able to talk openly
and honestly about
what makes you feel safe and unsafe is, after all, one of the goals of any
emotionally intimate relationship.
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