terminated psychotherapy after 3½ years. I saw this psychiatrist for
PTSD, anxiety and depression. I feel I made good progress. For the past 2
years my therapist and I often discussed my attraction to him. Just recently
the attraction became more intense and he encouraged me to come over to his
chair and touch his arm if I felt it was unbearable. I did that. He then
said the relationship was unworkable. Then he asked if I could come in for
3 more sessions. I said no & cancelled all of my twice weekly appointments.
One week later he called my house in the evening asking if I would come in
for a visit at no charge for closure because I was anxious the day I left.
I agreed to the visit. Nothing seemed resolved & the appointment seemed
a little stressed. He did not attempt to talk me into returning to therapy.
He said it was not a regular session and that I could stay or go. I stayed.
I returned for one final session the following week and told him I was definitely
terminating. I had spent the whole week crying, and didnt realize why
until I got there and he told me it was because of this loss. He asked if
I wanted a referral and I said no. He asked why not. I said I felt I have
made enough progress. He said he thought I had one more visit at no charge
available. I refused. He said he agreed with that decision, and said it was
not in my best interest to return. This has now been about 6 weeks. I called
twice after this last session, and he did not return my calls. I miss him
and sometimes wish I had not left therapy. I am feeling some guilt, especially
after he gave me his time at no charge. I feel I may have ruined the relationship
by telling him of my attraction. My question is, are there circumstances
when a therapist offers a visit at no charge after the patient terminates
and why? I am left feeling confused and still unresolved.
This is a sad story because it illustrates what can happen
when a psychotherapist botches the treatment when he (or she) doesnt
know how to deal with a clients attraction to him (or
You were right
to have spoken about your feelings of attraction for the psychiatrist, because,
as I say throughout this website, that is what
is all about. Unfortunately, your psychiatrist apparently did not know how
to treat your feelings clinically, so he essentially kicked you out of treatment.
Offering the free sessions sounds to me like an expression of his guilt.
Its no wonder you feel confused and unresolved, because when a
psychotherapist makes this sort of mistake, it leaves the treatment unresolved.
I would hope that you can find another psychotherapist who is more competent
who can help you resolve your feelings for the injury that has
though, that such an incident does not necessarily have to be seen as a setback.
Coming to terms with personal injury is the whole focus of the treatment
for PTSD that you
were seeking in the first place, and this is a good test of all you have
learned so far. I say this only to help you realize that psychotherapy often
has unexpected twists and turns, and, if you accept them all gracefully,
you will find true healing. Getting stuck in bitterness and resentment will
hurt only yourself. Accept the
this man, but dont terminate psychotherapy, and dont
terminate the human need for faith, hope, and love.
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