Long-Term Therapist Skipped Town/Disappeared/No Contact

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
It looks like you may not be posting anymore. In case you are reading this.

I understand how upsetting it is to lose a T. My old T left to take a medical leave just after a 3 week vacation of his. Nothing was set up for me. There was no back up therapy setup. No contact. I didn't know if he was coming back or not. I was a mess. At the same time, therapists have lives and "abandonment" takes many forms. I also had a psych nurse who suddenly left town right after I decided I could trust him. It made it hard to trust other therapists, psych staff. Unfortunately therapists are human and have lives. Sometimes things happen in their lives they can't control. Feeling abandoned is understandable and dealing with those feelings is important. But ultimately, those feelings are about you, your past trauma, and your decisions about how you are going to heal.

Support here comes in a lot of forms. One of the things people do is help others check in to see if their thoughts are distorted or not. And it's a common thing for people with PTSD to have distorted thoughts. Or to react emotionally to something and not be able to slow those emotions and think in ways that are healing. The question to ask yourself, is how do you want to heal from this. Focus on you and what you need, not what you think happened with your T.
 
D

Dami

Dear tool rocks....
brand new to this forum while searching online for support myself I saw your post.
not sure why so many people would inadvertently come off so callously on a forum for ptsd in response to you but it came off like that to me. Sorry you got that double whammy!

I was JUST in a similar situation like yours and it still smarts! My therapist after nearly 1.5yrs of intense therapy that I was reluctant to commit to weekly, but did upon her insistence, decided right before COVID that she was changing her policies and no longer had room for me. Boom out of the blue, without a conversation about it which they are supposed to have beforehand. I was devastated esp as the insanity of COVID came under way, I ended up really needing a therapist more than normal. When I confronted her about it she said the thing about policies and that she felt she was not effective for me. Either way, it would have been more professional had she and I talked about it in person or on phone before telling me only after I called to make an appointment; and more considerate and less harmful in the end. I told her I would have accepted it easier had we just talked about it beforehand so it wasn’t sprung on me.
I read about normal policies with counseling board and licensing that a therapist IS supposed to have several appts beforehand with the client to talk about parting ways so as NOT to cause further damage, esp to those with abandonment or trauma issues. Both of which you and I had. Thus it did damage to us more than it would have some others.

so no, you are correct in your instincts to feel/think something about this is wrong. We can have compassion for our therapists, as they are people too. But they are in a position of power that needs to be respected and not cause further damage by pulling moves like this..
establishing trust for some people is extraordinarily difficult and when it’s broken can cause serious harm. I wrote my therapist a long letter telling her both how I appreciated both her good qualities but also told her how inappropriate and harmful it was to do things this way to me. I never heard back. But it was in keeping with her behavior which was to avoid a conversation about it.

The hardest part is coming to terms with the fact that there may be nothing we can do at this point, unless you want to file a formal complaint about it otherwise finding a way to honor what you’re feeling, grieve it and then move on and find some other form of healing with someone new. I won’t lie it’s been really hard for me and the trust issues huge right now because the question in my mind is why should I trust anyone knew when they can just do the same thing and bail out on me? So this is where we need to take the lead in our own lives and find a way to continue on the path of healing, with a new therapist or a new group etc. but keep going.
 
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