Not sure- therapy relationship concerns (again)

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I agree with @that_1_girl in that you pay a therapist to always keep the focus on you.....and not their own personal life. A therapist who overshares, is focused on them. Each time a therapist overshares something personal, it takes away from your own recovery in that moment. A therapist who is preoccupied is not helping you. A therapist who makes you feel guilty by telling too many personal details, is focused on themselves-and not you. A therapist who dumps their emotions on you about their dying dog, is not being a therapist in the moment. I had one who cancelled last minute over her dog.......then she said, "I don't trust my husband to pick the dog up from the vet after surgery" and that's why I cancelled last minute. I didn't need to know that, but more importantly, that told me my T was having relationship problems. You pay for your T to be present for the hour you are there, supporting you and also to be well enough to manage their own home stuff......you do not pay to support them and their issues, and it is a rare thing for a therapist to need to give you a lot of personal details about their feelings or their personal life stuff. That doesn't "change" if you aren't paying.......it's still 100% their job to monitor and not let their personal stuff intrude into the counseling relationship.
 

RNrecovery

Learning
This thread makes me sad for you. I don't think your therapist when into this with intent to hard you, but that has what happened. It is possible to build rapport without disclosing things that put focus on her. While I am not a therapist, I am still careful to make sure my interactions are mindful of what my patients need. When they call in crisis, then don't need to know that I recently had a death in my family or that my cat died. I have never had a problem creating rapport and expressing empathy without self disclosure. You can be warm and inviting without disclosing too much. I have been seeing my therapist for over a year (twice a week in recent months) and she is incredibly kind and caring. I don't know if she has kids, a dog, a cat, etc. I only know she is married from her wedding ring. She doesn't sit there coldly, she laughs at jokes, and it is clear she "gets it" when I talk about painful things. But I don't have to worry about her. I tend to worry about others. Especially in my role where I have trained new MSWs how to run groups, and help take care of my providers to prevent burnout. If I get any sense than someone needs to be taken care of I will shift into that mode and lose focus on myself.

As far as seeing you for a discount/free.... She doesn't need to bring that up. there is a way to say "I can make sure to keep seeing you, we just might have to be a little creative with scheduling" without directly reminding you that you aren't paying and that's why you are getting the short end of the stick.

What she is doing is unethical and any school taught her the risks of doing so. It is hard because you have spend time developing a relationship with her and now you are tasked with starting over with someone else. That is scary and extra hard with someone who has a history like ours. That is why she learned on school not to do this. Do you feel like you can tell her how these self disclosures are affecting you and making you feel like you need to worry about her? If she gets supervision it might be salvageable but honestly deserve better. If you can start looking for someone else it will mean you aren't loosing more time.

So sorry you are going through this.

Email to t (I guess I should call her old T?). have NOT sent this.

Hi,

sorry my last email was so terse. I'd just gotten into a minor accident. A boulder rolled into my car. I'm not hurt or anything. I know I put myself on the waitlist and I appreciate that you let me know a space opened up. I said "no" because I need some time to decide what to do about us. As I said a while ago, I'm still struggling with our relationship and it's not just because of W. And I've been trying really hard to be ok with things but there's too many things I can't let go of. I already felt guilty for what you're not charging me and then you told me how much you could have made and it just settled the guilt in deeper. And I haven't brought that up because there's just no good way of fixing that. The email you sent where you were freaked out and said you couldn't help us. And we talked that out a lot and I really appreciate that but it still is lodged inside. And we know you have had lots going on and are glad you are doing better. You are super busy though and we feel like maybe it would be better for both of us if I stepped away and used other supports. We aren't ready to say goodbye forever, we can't imagine not having you in our life. You've helped us so much and been so generous and smart and helpful. We don't want to be a problem or feel like a problem. But maybe we need to say goodbye for right now. We are just holding on to too much stuff in our relationship with you. And the idea of telling you all this feels like I'm betraying you which isn't what I want. I don't want to hurt you or disappoint you. Even though you've told me over and over it's ok to disappoint people. I know you will have stuff to say about this and that we will need to talk about it. I'm sorry.

This is a very professional email. You are not accusing. She is the one who got you in this position. You should be proud of yourself for being able to write something like this that sticks to facts and expressed any emotion you have in a kind way.
 

RNrecovery

Learning
This thread makes me sad for you. I don't think your therapist when into this with intent to hard you, but that has what happened. It is possible to build rapport without disclosing things that put focus on her. While I am not a therapist, I am still careful to make sure my interactions are mindful of what my patients need. When they call in crisis, then don't need to know that I recently had a death in my family or that my cat died. I have never had a problem creating rapport and expressing empathy without self disclosure. You can be warm and inviting without disclosing too much. I have been seeing my therapist for over a year (twice a week in recent months) and she is incredibly kind and caring. I don't know if she has kids, a dog, a cat, etc. I only know she is married from her wedding ring. She doesn't sit there coldly, she laughs at jokes, and it is clear she "gets it" when I talk about painful things. But I don't have to worry about her. I tend to worry about others. Especially in my role where I have trained new MSWs how to run groups, and help take care of my providers to prevent burnout. If I get any sense than someone needs to be taken care of I will shift into that mode and lose focus on myself.

As far as seeing you for a discount/free.... She doesn't need to bring that up. there is a way to say "I can make sure to keep seeing you, we just might have to be a little creative with scheduling" without directly reminding you that you aren't paying and that's why you are getting the short end of the stick.

What she is doing is unethical and any school taught her the risks of doing so. It is hard because you have spend time developing a relationship with her and now you are tasked with starting over with someone else. That is scary and extra hard with someone who has a history like ours. That is why she learned on school not to do this. Do you feel like you can tell her how these self disclosures are affecting you and making you feel like you need to worry about her? If she gets supervision it might be salvageable but honestly deserve better. If you can start looking for someone else it will mean you aren't loosing more time.

So sorry you are going through this.
I apologize for not totally catching up before posting. I am so happy you are working with a new T. This is a great step. If it makes it seem less overwhelming to keep old T in your back pocket.... do it. That relationship meant a lot to you. When yo are ready- talk to new T about what happened. Then can help you process and see that this wasn't your fault.
 
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