Therapist is Moving

On Thursday my therapist told me she's moving to her winter location full time. We usually do online therapy half the year and in person half the year since she started spending winters away. Of course throughout COVID there's been more online than usual. So I can still do online with her, but it will not be the same. I can't fully grasp the enormity of this change and what to do about it. Do I continue with her full-time and just accept that it will be all online? Do I seach out another therapist that does something additional for in person support such as an art therapist? Do I switch therapists?

This is so scary for me. I have only ever worked with my current therapist. Well, other than when I have been inpatient and worked with amazing therapists there. It's been 9 years. My therapist is amazing. She's kind ecclectic which has suited me. I don't believe there is anyone else around here who will be able to support me with my trauma and dissociative identity disorder.

I want to cry, scream, run, and hide in a hole and pretend this isn't happening. For now, I am letting the news out in pieces and mostly pretending it isn't happening. After all, she'll be here through the summer. But I know just ignoring it isn't going to help. I know that lots of people have switched therapists for many reasons. I never have and have always been grateful for having my therapist. Now, I don't know what to do. Any words of support or suggestions are welcome.


Do I seach out another therapist that does something additional for in person support such as an art therapist?
I kind of love this option.

As it changes her moving into an opportunity that whilst you’ve technically always had it? There hasn’t been this extra “thing” (like some in person connection to others), that tips the scales, until now.

It also allows this…
I don't believe there is anyone else around here who will be able to support me with my trauma and dissociative identity disorder.
…whether rational assessment, or fear based clinging to what you know? (Or both!) To broaden it’s scope & flexibility.

- Keeping her as the central therapist in your life (in a medium you’re both familiar with, and have practiced/ease) whose focus is centered on trauma/PTSD/DID
- Adding other supports whose central focus MAY NOT be trauma/PTSD/DID, but still geared in that general direction.

For example:
- Art Therapy
- Equine Therapy
- TF-Sports (trauma focused yoga, trauma focused martial arts, trauma focused fly fishing, trauma focused hiking groups, etc.)
- Retreats & Symposiums
- Etc.

^^^ Any/all of which fill both the in-person connections to others, as well as creating a more well-rounded therapy experience.

Of course, you could nix the trauma focus altogether, and simply work on connections with others without the trauma byline… but not knowing how full your life is with passions, hobbies, & social events? (IE There may be no need to work on connections with others & building a life full to the brim with interesting people/places/events/activities). The shared focus bridges the gap that is so often there, with PTSD, otherwise.

As your central therapist is switching to Tele therapy only? It creates a brilliant opportunity to stretch your wings, a bit; whilst still keeping her as the wise counsel she’s always been for you.

((ETA - As well as nixing any possible guilt about “cheating” on her, if you tend that way; as ridiculous as it is, I feel guilty about “cheating” on my hair stylist… so just recognizing that’s a thing for others, sometimes, as well.))
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You've got lots of options and the ball is in your court. You have control here to decide what works for you.

My therapy has been online since March 2020 with no clue when my T will go in person again. I kind of feel that it won't. It's still working. I am still making progress and still have immense attachment to her.

What is the worry about being 100% online? Do you find a difference between in person and online?

Even if you decide to go online with them, it doesn't mean you can't change your mind at a later date.
It also sounds like there is no rush to make a decision.
@Friday thank you for your thoughts. I really like everything you said. I think if I could find an art therapist for in-person, that would be the ideal first step. Keeping my therapist as the central one and adding to. I can relate to that "cheating on" the my therapist mentality. I get that way about things sometimes. I have been working on being more social and have a few friends that I do things with occasionally. I have been looking into what else I could do as things start to re-open.

@Movingforward10 , I am not opposed to continuing fully online with my therapist. But I know soon, she will be fully retiring and this is the first step towards it- her moving. I enjoy in person so much more than online. I have done quite well online with my therapist and sometimes online has its benefits. But in-person therapy always seems to help just a little bit more.
The great thing about having an amazing therapist is knowing what the correct standard is for you, and accepting only therapy that meets that standard.

When my amazing trauma therapist told me she was moving away, I was devastated. But having the experience with her led me to a therapist who was even better than she was. That took awhile to organize, and in between those therapists I had a therapist that did not meet the previous standard. In the past, I would have kept on with her and I would have done adequate work. But since I had had the experience with an amazing therapist, I knew I could do better work with someone better suited for me.
I have two more session wish my therapist before she moves. I haven't made any moves towards looking for someone in person. I was pretty much pushing it off. Now I am feeling like I have been wasting time. I only have one more session in her office. I hate that this is it. I feel comfortable there. I know I still get to see her and I know that telehealth has worked for me and her through the winters. I just hate the change. And the not knowing where we're having out session next week and when the one after that will be. And I could go on and on with the ands, but I am going to breathe now. Maybe even try sleeping, which hasn't been happening recently. Thanks for the support and suggestions.