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Posted by: G | 2011-02-09

need to cut apron strings

I am having difficulty with terminating therapy. I''ve been in therapy for 4yrs and have a wonderful psychologist and this is the problem...he is too good a human being and I am putting him under too much pressure. I think I am a high maintenance patient and hate that I am. I have a lot of trust issues I posted to you a long time ago about being " friends"  with one''s therapist (hich I know is impossible.) The thing is I have led a secluded life and he is my first real " friend"  and because I have so much respect for him, I have decided to rather quit now before I become a nuisance and he asks me to leave. He doesn''t want to accept me quitting. It is easy for people to say just stop seeing him, but I need to have his approval and understanding. Can you please help me

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hello again G,
Any competent therapist, especially those with more traditional or analytic types of training ( where this is normally part of training and supervision and valuably a topic discussed i training, and often omitted in other forms o training ), have to be aware that this is a common problem ; one that should be anticipated and prepared for.
OK, some o us are more high maintenance ; some of us are simply rather lonely ( especially if we have devoted a large part of out life to succeeding in our profession rather than in forming lasting relationships and forming families ). There's no reason to hate oneself for being who and what one is.
Its important to draw accurate conclusions in a situation like this. He may at present be your only or main friend, but that is not inevitable ; it's a product of how, for many different reasons, you have spent your time. THe friendship you feel for him is proof that you can form sustaining and enjoyable friendships - they don't have to be with him. Presumably it wasn't Like at First Sight, so it would have taken time and work to get to know him and feel safe and content in his company, So it can be with other people too, carefully chosen but available to you.
Others can and will approve of you, and understand you. Rather than just to cut and run, discuss the situation frankly and gently with him, and explain that you feel you must now work towards ending therapy in a positive frame of mind. I'm sure he would understand, and accept, and facilitate this.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: G | 2011-02-09

Thank you both for your advice, I appreciate and take note of what you are saying. " Woman,"  it feels as though I know you (weird hey!). I trust this man more than anyone. I know I am blessed to have him as a therapist and will highly recommend him to anyone. This has made me think...why do I want to end therapy? It took 4yrs of weekly sessions to believe that he is concerned about my wellbeing and wants to help me start a new life. I am so scared of stopping, yet this is what I feel I must do. After reading your replies, I realise this is the closest I have allowed anyone to come near to me and I think I am scared/uncomfortable about being so dependent on him as I am/was a very independent person. I just realised....i don''t want to lose him but i hate the dependency issue. I am scared of stopping but at the same time, I am scared of him getting tired with my nonsence and " chase"  me away. I have never been this dependent on anyone. I am scared of being dependent but am more scared of stopping therapy. I can''t do therapy with someone else. If I stop, I will go back to hiding away. I''ve come this far and it hasn''t been easy. I am so confused. How do I stop myself from pushing away the only person who is concerned re my wellbeing? I genuinely only want to be in contact with him during sessions but as soon as I leave his office, my mind is being bombarded with thoughts. How can I stop being so obssessive? I''ve spoken to him, we drew up a " contract"  where I would respect his privacy and not sms him, i have even promised him that I want to show my respect by stopping therapy. I think I have OCD. Sorry for my ramblings and thank you for listening.

Reply to G
Posted by: Woman | 2011-02-09

Hey G! I hope you''re fine otherwise! Allow me to say that it''s so hard to find a therapist who you gel with and who really gets your issues and helps you. In time, however, it might be more beneficial to get a fresh input and a fresh approach. This is so hard, especially if it is hard to trust.

My advice is to try to think of it the other way around - maybe you''ve outgrown him/her. Maybe it''s time to move on to aomeone who can give you another view, another input, another way of thinking and doing things. Then it''s not so much a termination as a step forward.

Good luck G, heads up, be strong, you know and I know that you can do this, and do it with grace and courage!

Reply to Woman
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-02-09

Hello again G,
Any competent therapist, especially those with more traditional or analytic types of training ( where this is normally part of training and supervision and valuably a topic discussed i training, and often omitted in other forms o training ), have to be aware that this is a common problem ; one that should be anticipated and prepared for.
OK, some o us are more high maintenance ; some of us are simply rather lonely ( especially if we have devoted a large part of out life to succeeding in our profession rather than in forming lasting relationships and forming families ). There's no reason to hate oneself for being who and what one is.
Its important to draw accurate conclusions in a situation like this. He may at present be your only or main friend, but that is not inevitable ; it's a product of how, for many different reasons, you have spent your time. THe friendship you feel for him is proof that you can form sustaining and enjoyable friendships - they don't have to be with him. Presumably it wasn't Like at First Sight, so it would have taken time and work to get to know him and feel safe and content in his company, So it can be with other people too, carefully chosen but available to you.
Others can and will approve of you, and understand you. Rather than just to cut and run, discuss the situation frankly and gently with him, and explain that you feel you must now work towards ending therapy in a positive frame of mind. I'm sure he would understand, and accept, and facilitate this.

Reply to cybershrink

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