Quitting Therapy and the Potential Return

I quit therapy a week ago. It feels like longer. She didn’t handle the break up well. I wanted to leave it off in a way where I could feel comfortable coming back after a break but her resistance to my decision to leave sabotaged that. It was partially my fault for waiting until the end of the appointment to mention it, but it was also only my 4th appointment with her so leaving shouldn’t have been considered a big deal.
I feel burnt out about therapy. Theoretically, I would love to be in therapy. The reality doesn’t work the way I need. 10 therapists in a little over a year was just too much to handle. I’d repeat my history over and over, never quite catching them up to where prior therapists were. Therapists became somewhat disposable. I feel that taking a break might make the experience be more appreciated and valuable upon return. Hopefully that would make me better able to tolerate therapist’s imperfections in their ability to understand me.
I’m pretty depressed, but I don’t attribute it to the therapy situation, nor do I think therapy right now would help. At least I’ve got the extra time in my week freed up.

This break is going to last at least until summer.
This summer I am going to be living in the area where a prior therapist (S.M.) works. The decision I have to make is if I should call him to ask if I can meet with him during the summer. I probably will in the end call him, but I have worries about if this is a good idea.

Why I should call him:
1. He was the best therapist I’ve ever met with.
2. I plan on going to Grad school (If I get in where I want) in the city where he works. I would want to meet with him regularly then, so continuing this summer with him wouldn’t be strange since I plan to meet with him again in the future.
3.Even though it would be a short period of time it could help give me insight into the problems I’ve had with staying in therapy with the same therapist since I moved here.
4. It would be wonderful to meet with a therapist who already knows my background information. I just would have to fill him in on the past year and a half. Not the other 20 years of my life.

Why I should not call him:
1. I’m worried he’ll say no. Saying no because of a full work load is fine, but if he said no because he objected to only meeting for a few months rather than long term, I’d be crushed. I’d feel stupid for even asking.
2. I’m worried it would crush my idealization of him. He helped me realize I could major in psychology, that I didn’t have to love it but hate those who used it. Because he is a good person who uses psychology. What if i went back and decided I didn’t like him anymore? I don’t know if I could handle that.
3.I have trouble talking about my interest in psychology to therapists. I get worried about saying something wrong. I feel very intimidated. I’ll talk about computers or photography non-stop, but psychology; I’ll say nothing. Anyone else I’ll babble about Freud to for hours, but not a therapist. When I left him to transfer schools I didn’t tell him I was going to major in psychology even though this was my plan. I didn’t lie. I mislead. I talked about getting an MBA, which, it’s true, was at one time a consideration. After the psych undergrad, of course. This summer, I’ll be in the area for a psychology internship. All of my activities will revolve around psychology. If I can’t get over this problem or even mention that it is a problem, I’m not sure it makes sense to go.
4. I leaving would be hard.

Again, I’ll probably call him eventually. I just have a lot of worries.

5 thoughts on “Quitting Therapy and the Potential Return

  1. Wow, see I can’t imagine having seen SO many therapists. It would drive me crazy. CRAZY! I’ve seen two. One I loved to pieces, one I hated (you may recall me writing about “dippy diane” on amessage board a few years back).

    I’ve been thinking about going back to therapy. Part of the reason I don’t want to go is because of having to retell my history. But then I remind myself, there are different therapy styles. If I worked with someone on some CBT or some solution focused stuff we wouldn’t have to go into my past at all. Because really, I think for me, I’ve mostly made amends with the past. I want therapy to move forward, not to look back, I did that already.

    Maybe a break from therapy will be good though?

    • Yea, I hope it helps. I’m really proud of myself with how well I’m handling it. A year ago not having a therapist would have made me suicidal within a couple of days.
      I’m depressed, but it’s not a major depressive episode. It’s more like a dysthymic episode even though that’s not a real term used like that.
      If nothing else it’s nice to know that I do have the strength to do this without falling to pieces. I’ve spent the majority of my adolescence in therapy. I’ve grown up with it. I don’t really know life without it.

      I wish CBT or DBT stuff could work for me. I have a hard time finding a goal. One day I’ll be really set on fixing problem an the next I’ll decide I can live with it. The therapist will still be focused on the goal that I’ve abandoned. I’ve never done legit CBT though, just quick things in hospitals and partial hospitals and paid psych studies. With the right person I could maybe get past my “ew behaviorism” mindset. My cognitive psych prof has presented some interesting evidence about CBT that makes me respect it more.

      If you go back to therapy good luck:) Also good luck with the new job.

      Also I asked before but didn’t get an answer. Are you going to the APA convention in toronto? You should go it’ll be fun.

  2. I’d phone him, if I were you- that way you have taken control of the situation, no matter what his answer is. Everybody needs a break from therapy… It is so emotionally exhausting! Going back after a break I think is very beneficial.
    I think you know what’s best for you and I’m sure you’ll do what’s best for you- it’s just that depression clouds and muddles your thinking a bit. Best of luck with it all.

  3. Hmm, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with calling him…the guy I’m having the blow up with now is someone I went back to after a couple of years. Of course, I shouldn’t have, because I quit him for a reason, basically the same reason as now.


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