• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Therapist didn't show and I may be done

@Muttly of course you have a right to be upset! She disappointed you and seems to be downplaying it. I think you’re headed in the right direction by sending an email, their response may well tell you whether you’re done, done for now or not done at all.
 
I am having a rough day. Will come back and reply more when I have some mental energy. I did send my therapist the email below. I'm kind of stunned.



Hi,

I am sorry I haven't answered your text about my next appointment. I've been very busy and also thinking. I've been pondering off and on, for a few months stopping therapy. Life is so busy and I am the most stable I've been in decades. I've not felt like I (we) are fully committed to therapy. There's just so much to put my energy into - creating a new life with James, the new job, school, and being in a brand new place. There are definitely times when I feel like going to therapy is taking away from that more than adding. I had told myself I was going to wait until after Christmas as this is typically my hardest time of year.

I was really exhausted earlier this week and I pushed myself hard to not only show up for therapy but planned to be mentally there and talk about stuff. It was pretty disappointing that you forgot. I really like you and think you have great insights and experience. You are also kind and I am very appreciative of the discount you are giving me.

It is hard for me to trust that you'll show up though. That combined with the fact I was already questioning my commitment to therapy is making it really hard for me to schedule another session. Writing this makes me realize that I really do want to be done. I've been in therapy for decades now. The idea of not doing it is scary, but also a relief. I have learned a lot and one of the things I've learned is it's ok to take a break.

I really do appreciate the help you have given me.
 
Well said and good for you for saying it! (Meanwhile, I hope Christmas this year is great for you and the first of many to be that way.)
 
I think you’re controlling yourself and handling it remarkably well. Things do go wrong and people make mistakes but I think therapy appointments have to be held to a higher standard. Good luck with whatever you decide but you’re doing great IMO.
 
Thank you all

w do you forget to show up for regularly scheduled office hours? I can see, maybe, if you scheduled something for an day/time you didn't normally work and then forgot but??????

Sigh. She replied to my email and said that family came to town and things got crazy. I guess her schedule was light and she only had myself and 1 other appointment and since it was just those two, she forgot about them?

My only 2 cents would be don't let this feeling of being let down by therapy be the conclusion to your therapeutic relationship. Take the offer of "the next session is free" and explain and talk about your thoughts and feelings about this.

I get the perspective and normally I would agree. I think the email was enough for me right now. I think I'm feeling pretty burned out in general and having one less thing on my plate feels like a relief. And my therapist says if I decide I need therapy again, she will be there.

I'm able to be much more mindful of...well, of just whatever else is going on. It sort of takes me out of that therapy headspace and allows me to *live*. I'm not goin to say it's easier in terms of symptoms, etc., but I notice more of the good stuff when I'm not focused on the others.

Ah, that makes sense. Thank you for explaining.

…So? I learned than when I’m “done”… I need to take a vacation, rather than walking away & burning all my bridges in the process.

Heh. Yes, I get this. Except I normally push way, way past the "I'm done" point until I'm so... overwhelmed by whatever it was that once I leave, I feel dread even thinking about going back to whatever it was. (hmm... hopefully that makes sense).
 
Heh. Yes, I get this. Except I normally push way, way past the "I'm done" point until I'm so... overwhelmed by whatever it was that once I leave, I feel dread even thinking about going back to whatever it was. (hmm... hopefully that makes sense).
This is why I walked away from dozens of jobs/apartments/lovers… and “woke up” weeks/months later, in heartbreak… until I finally saw the pattern for what it was.
 
This is probably a dumb question, but... I'm mad that she didn't show. Is that ok? Reasonable? She did apologize in her text but I don't know if she gets just how big a deal it is. Of course, text isn't a great vehicle for communication. It was our last session before Christmas which is my hardest day. In years past, this would have been freaking devastating.
I wonder whether this is normal on some level... For us, therapy sessions often feel like a matter of survival, we're hugely invested in it.
Whereas for the therapist, it's acutally "just" a scheduled appointment in their work week.
There's always going to be that imbalance, I think?
And while a therapist is showing up to appointments and providing decent care, I don't think that imbalance shows up that much or bothers us so much.
And in fact, it's a very healthy "imbalance". If the therapist was just as emotionally invested as we were, they would not be in a healthy place to help us professionally.
To me it sounds kind of like a child/ parent dynamic.
The child has all the "neediness" and the parent holds all the "power" in the relationship.
It sounds like the child part of you feels abandoned by the parent part of the therapist...?
Maybe the adult part of you is rationally "fine" with a therapist forgetting about an appointment.
But the child part of you says "it's a dealbreaker".
Maybe the therapist would have to communicate with the child part of you to heal the breach, rather than offering the adult part of you a "free session" as a repair for the breach?
I've found that these kind of breaches of trust in a therapeutic relationship can be a) intensely and suprisingly hurtful but also b) deeply healing in surprising ways if you are able to work through it with the therapist (which is only possible if there is enough of a bare minimum of mutual like, respect and trust to work with).
 
Whereas for the therapist, it's acutally "just" a scheduled appointment in their work week.
The same way a concert musician is “just” having another day at work rehearsing or performing, or a surgeon is “just” saving someone’s life, or a mother is “just” giving birth? Sure.

Don’t get me wrong, there are craptastic asshole therapists out there. Or pseudo-therapists putting out a shingle with little to zero training/education/advanced training/supervision/passion/skill …etc. I don’t choose to work with any of them, nor befriend such shallow icky creatures… so my experience is limited to the people who actually excel in their chose professions. Whether they’re artists, scientists, psych, mechanics, etc.

Therapy? Is NOT a “mc’job”. It’s 8-12 years of school to even begin (unless you’re a craptastic snake-oil shingle fronting fraud). Even then? You’ve got the normal bell curve of “worst bad meh better best”.

GOOD therapists?

Are like good doctors, good musicians, good teachers, good mechanics, good parents, etc. They may not be “best”, but they’re still dayum good at what they do… because passion, and aptitude, and depth of investment.

Would you like fries with that?
 
Sigh. She replied to my email and said that family came to town and things got crazy. I guess her schedule was light and she only had myself and 1 other appointment and since it was just those two, she forgot about them?
My job involves scheduling appointments and then remembering to show up. In her defense, this is the situation where it's easiest for me to imagine forgetting to show up. In a normal week, I don't remember what I'm doing tomorrow, necessarily, but I have an idea in my mind about what days I have something and then check the calendar the day before. If it's a time of year when it's slow, it's pretty easy to get it in my head that there's nothing going on on a given day and forget to look. Not saying that's ok, I don't think it is. It's just a little easier to understand. And, whether or not I forget an appointment has nothing to do with whose appointment it is. It's just got to do with what else is going on. In this case, I'll bet it means something that she scheduled your appointment at all, more than it means something that she then forgot.
 
Back
Top