15 August, 2011 00:55

 

COMMITMENTS :  Cutting the Cord :  Saying goodbye to your therapist can elicit bad feelings–unless it’s handled right. Then the parting can be a chance for growth.

December 04, 1995|LIBBY SLATE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
You’ve been in psychotherapyfor a while and feel your therapist just isn’t meeting your needs anymore, so you decide it’s time for a change. Or perhaps it is your therapist who is moving on–leaving town, going on maternity leave, retiring because of age or illness.Whatever the reason for bidding adieu, when the two of you part company, you’re not just breaking off with a mental-health professional. Therapy involves transference, in which you transfer feelings about important figures in your life onto the therapist. So you’re also saying sayonara to your mother, your father, significant others past and present, best friend, maybe a sibling or two–so many people it’s a wonder you can all fit into one office.

That period of wrapping up therapy and saying goodbye is known as “termination,” a word that evokes images of being fired from a job or being stalked by Arnold Schwarzenegger. But mental-health experts consider termination a crucial stage in therapy.

If handled properly, it provides an opportunity to re-examine the issues that led the client to seek help in the first place, to evaluate the therapy itself and to deal with feelings that might bubble up in the face of bidding farewell.

A so-called natural termination, in which the two of you agree to end treatment because your goals have been met, is difficult enough. Who, after all, likes to say goodbye, especially to someone who has helped you so profoundly and so intimately? But a premature termination, where a dissatisfied client leaves without much notice or a therapist departs before the patient is ready, can be downright traumatic.

“It’s always best if people can have time to pay attention to the process of saying goodbye,” says Carl Shubs, a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills. “If people leave too abruptly, it interferes with the process–they’re not able to deal with the sadness or anger, the mourning that occurs.”

Adds Sylvia Martin, a licensed marriage, family and child therapist in private practice in Sherman Oaks: “Termination is a time when people start to deal with all their losses. It can trigger feelings about old issues, or issues about the relationship between the therapist and client.

“If there is an old loss they have not grieved, they will tap in and experience the same feelings,” she says. “Maybe they had a feeling of abandonment when they were young and did not understand it. Or maybe they have not had the luxury before now of dealing with a loss–for example, going through a divorce with two kids.”

*

If it is the patient who says so long, a good therapist will try to determine if he or she wants out because the topics being discussed are becoming too painful. In those cases, the therapist will encourage the patient to remain, so as to work through the discomfort and resolve those issues.

Many times, though, the client is willing to slog through the hard stuff, but feels this particular therapist is less than able. Such was the case last year for Laura, 41, who works in the travel industry in Orange County and sought counseling for marital problems.

“I was therapy illiterate,” she recalls. “I had no basis for comparison. But I never felt I was getting help. I would drive home and think, ‘Why did I just go there?’ I didn’t expect a magic cure, but I was just begging my therapist, ‘Give me some tools to help me.’

“All she said was, I had to divorce my husband, which I wasn’t ready to do. I felt her attitude was, ‘You won’t take my advice, so I don’t know what to tell you.’ ”

Laura–who is still married and on better terms with her husband–found another therapist to her liking. But she stuck with her first counselor longer than she preferred to because, she says, “The last thing I wanted was to look for someone new to spill my guts to, to start over again.”

Indeed, for some people, leaving the current therapist is the easy part; it’s finding a new one that poses problems. Says Studio City writer Catherine Johnson, author of the book “When to Say Goodbye to Your Therapist” (Simon and Schuster, 1988), “Finding a new therapist is not like finding a new dentist. It’s extremely difficult to find a match.

“It’s a bit like finding a lover, or best friend, or a parent. You don’t just go out and find a new best friend. You have to find a real emotional fit, on top of basic competence.”

Lisa Moore, 34, a West Los Angeles advertising account executive, discovered that last year when she left the marriage and family counselor she had been seeing for 15 months because she thought the therapist had crossed the professional line and was becoming too friendly. After six weeks with a new therapist recommended by her physician, she decided to return to her former counselor.

http://articles.latimes.com/1995-12-04/news/ls-10124_1_bad-feelings

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14 August, 2011 23:16

 

How to Figure Out When Therapy Is Over

Published: October 30, 2007

If you think it’s hard to end a relationship with a lover or spouse, try breaking up with your psychotherapist.

A writer friend of mine recently tried and found it surprisingly difficult. Several months after landing a book contract, she realized she was in trouble.

“I was completely paralyzed and couldn’t write,” she said, as I recall. “I had to do something right away, so I decided to get myself into psychotherapy.”

What began with a simple case of writer’s block  turned into seven years of intensive therapy.

Over all, she found the therapy very helpful. She finished a second novel and felt that her relationship with her husband was stronger. When she broached the topic of ending treatment, her therapist strongly resisted, which upset the patient. “Why do I need therapy,” she wanted to know, “if I’m feeling good?”

Millions of Americans are in psychotherapy, and my friend’s experience brings up two related, perplexing questions. How do you know when you are healthy enough to say goodbye to your therapist? And how should a therapist handle it?

With rare exceptions, the ultimate aim of all good psychotherapists is, well, to make themselves obsolete. After all, whatever drove you to therapy in the first place — depression, anxiety, relationship problems, you name it — the common goal of treatment is to feel and function better independent of your therapist.

To put it bluntly, good therapy is supposed to come to an end.

But when? And how is the patient to know? Is the criterion for termination “cure” or is it just feeling well enough to be able to call it a day and live with the inevitable limitations and problems we all have?

The term “cure,” I think, is illusory — even undesirable — because there will always be problems to repair. Having no problems is an unrealistic goal.  It’s more important for patients to be able to deal with their problems and to handle adversity when it inevitably arises.

Still, even when patients feel that they have accomplished something important in therapy and feel “good enough,” it is not always easy to say goodbye to a therapist.

Not long ago, I evaluated a successful lawyer who had been in psychotherapy for nine years. He had entered therapy, he told me, because he lacked a sense of direction and had no intimate relationships. But for six or seven years, he had felt that he and his therapist were just wasting their time. Therapy had become a routine, like going to the gym.

“It’s not that anything bad has happened,” he said. “It’s that nothing is happening.”

This was no longer psychotherapy, but an expensive form of chatting. So why did he stay with it? In part, I think, because therapy is essentially an unequal relationship. Patients tend to be dependent on their therapists. Even if the therapy is problematic or unsatisfying, that might be preferable to giving it up altogether or starting all over again with an unknown therapist.

Beyond that, patients often become stuck in therapy for the very reason that they started it. For example, a dependent patient cannot leave his therapist; a masochistic patient suffers silently in treatment with a withholding therapist; a narcissistic patient eager to be liked fears challenging his therapist, and so on.

Of course, you may ask why therapists in such cases do not call a timeout and question whether the treatment is stalled or isn’t working. I can think of several reasons.

To start with, therapists are generally an enthusiastic bunch who can always identify new issues for you to work on. Then, of course, there is an unspoken motive: therapists have an inherent financial interest in keeping their patients in treatment.

And therapists have unmet emotional needs just like everyone else, which certain patients satisfy. Therapists may find some patients so interesting, exciting or fun that they have a hard time letting go of them.

So the best way to answer the question, “Am I done with therapy?” is to confront it head on. Periodically take stock of your progress and ask your therapist for direct feedback.

How close are you to reaching your goals? How much better do you feel? Are your relationships and work more satisfying? You can even ask close friends or your partner whether they see any change.

If you think you are better and are contemplating ending treatment but the therapist disagrees, it is time for an independent consultation. Indeed, after a consultation, my writer friend terminated her therapy and has no regrets about it.

The lawyer finally mustered the courage to tell his therapist that although he enjoyed talking with her, he really felt that the time had come to stop. To his surprise, she agreed.

If, unlike those two,  you still cannot decide to stay or leave, consider an experiment. Take a break from therapy for a few months and see what life is like without it.

That way, you’ll have a chance to gauge the effects of therapy without actually being in it (and paying for it). Remember, you can always go back.

Richard A. Friedman is a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/30/health/views/30beha.html

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How I Feel, Suicide Poems

 

How I Feel, Suicide Poems

How I Feel

© Jaclyn
Sometimes I just wish, I could run away and hide.
No matter where I go though, these feelings stay inside.
How can I stay here and live each day a lie,
When all I want to do is close my eyes and die?
I see the pain I cause you, with every tear I shed.
I plead with you now mum, let me go instead?
I wish I could take you with me, to a happy place,
Whether it exists though, is time for me to face.
Can I ask for your forgiveness? For you to set me free,
It may seem ungrateful, but this life’s not meant for me.
Thank you for all your love, for all the time we shared,
It means the world to me, to know that someone cared.

Source: How I Feel, Suicide Poem http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/how-i-feel#ixzz25wCmVBgk
http://www.FamilyFriendPoems.com

 

Depression

 

Depression

© By will pharis
Alone and depressed, dwelling on the absence of success. I trudge trough life focused on nothing but strife. Every now and then hope shines through only to be repressed by the things that make me blue. When people try to help I close my mind for they are also blind. Time after time I ignore everyone and their cliche lines. If people were clever the world would could last forever. Unfortunately conformity has unconsciously been proclaimed the better.

 

Life Is A Prison

 

Poem not my own but seems to fit the words

Life Is A Prison
by Puff
Life is a prison,
Oh God let me out.
No one to listen,
To hear when you shout.

Climb the walls of insanity,
Ride the waves of despair.
If you fall it don’t matter,
There’s no one to care.

Used to wish for a window,
To see birds, trees and sky,
But you’re better without one –
Stops you aiming too high.

Watching freedom is painful,
For those locked away.
Seeing joy, love and happiness,
Another price that you pay.

Strong is good, weak is bad.
Be it false, be it true.
Your mind makes the choice,
And enforces it too.

Cell walls built by society,
With rules to adhere.
If you breach the acceptable,
You had better beware.

Hide the pain, carry on,
Routine is the key.
Don’t let on that you’re not,
What you’re pretending to be.

Lock it all up inside you,
How badly that bodes.
Look out for that one day,
When it all just explodes.

Leaving naught but a shell,
Base functionality too.
But killing all else,
That was uniquely you.

So how do you grow,
With a timebomb inside?
Or how to defuse it,
Without destroying its ride?

You can’t.

 

december 5 2008

Each day that passes I create more misery in my world. I try to fit in with others and be accepted but i really am not. They are just wanting me around to be as miserable as they are. I have never had a problem with people liking me but it has always been people who don’t have anything to offer me as far as happiness and stability. it has always been drug addicts or people just as unstable as I am. I have always fit in well with these people and do whatever they do. I have now had a friend for about 8 months who has been good to me and helped me do some positive things in my life and now have completely almost pushed her out of my life because of my using drugs and inability to stabilize for any period of time because when I am not using drugs I am trying to kill myself or using self harm to cope with my feelings and thoughts about myself, my current and past life, and all that has happened in my very long 29 years of life. this all began with me as a little girl taken from my home and ripped from my family only for the foster home to not want me and for me to end up in a residential for troubled children where i was very angry little girl and learned to hurt others when i was angry. after several years of that i went home to my mom only for her to abuse me in many ways and for her boyfriend to sexually abuse me after 4 years of this and six weeks after my son was born i tried to kill myself and ended up in a psychiatric hospital ever since i then my coping has been to hurt myself but avoid hurting others physically because i am so angry at the world and myself especially for allowing my life to get this way and being unable to do anything about it and when i try to do something i end up in a worse mess than i was in before i tried stabilizing. now over the past 2 years drugs has become an alternative to cutting myself but yet i still yearn for the cutting since it is the only things that has truly relieved my emotional suffering. when i am using drugs with these people it is because they are or want to even when i don’t want to or i feel i should not be i do it anyways. i continue to do this and try to move away from these people that i involve myself with but yet when i do i just get involved with others who are deeper into it. I have tried to kill myself more than a dozen times in the past 2 almost 3 years and have done nothing except end up in ICU a few times and end up in the psychiatric hospital or a crisis stabilization program for a few days to a couple weeks. Nothing is changing. nothing is getting better it pretty much as increasingly gotten worse. I increasingly try to get my life together and then fall flat on my face deeper in the ground than before i tried to get out of the trenches i have dug. my family hardly even calls me unless they or someone else needs something from me money or food and so on and so forth. although my life is at its stablest it has been in so long. i have a place to live. I pay my utilities. I have food in my house. I am in school and have been taking classes with straight A’s for 2 semesters now and everyone wants me to get a hold of this and pull through all right i am not sure that is what I want. I want to just end it all. I am debating on pulling my ceiling apart to expose the framing and test my weight upon it. Since I have tried the overdose thing several times and gotten nowhere with it and at one time I tried drinking cleaner it that never worked either I guess I need to find something foolproof. Eventually I will succeed at killing myself and ending my misery so why don’t someone just help me do it instead of prolonging the inevitable. I do live by the train tracks pretty much like a hundred feet from my back door and I have timed the trains coming by and though about it seriously but have not been able to got through with it. I have just to afraid. i guess I want a painless method that does not take much thought. i got my check today and have entertained the idea of purchasing a gun but do not want others around me to know and I can not purchase it legally. and all the peeps I know that could get one from the streets for me will do anything to stop me from doing it and sure will not help me get the means to do it. they enjoy me being miserable and giving into there wants needs and desires. they like everyone around them being in a hopeless situation in life because they are all older than I am and don’t seem to want anything different and seem to enjoy their lives being miserable and smoking crack and not paying rent and having to live with their parents and friends who they can bring down with them they sure will help bring me down but yet wont help bring me up or out of this miserable world. I have tried to create the life i want with no amount of measurable progress so why keep failing at trying why not succeed at escaping. Someday soon I will submit and gain the courage and means to commit suicide without being able to be saved. I am setting my date and got to start saying my goodbyes without really saying goodbye so something is not suspected. I wont cry I will feel relief over the next few weeks since I know that after I die there will be no more pain and although others may suffer emotionally for a few days and cry most will not even be effected and some will feel relief that it is over and finally they no longer need to worry about me doing it or how they can save me because its too late my life is just waiting for me to give up and give into my suicide..

december 12 2007

 

i realize that i can not do this much longer…i feel so trapped and like there is no way out…my hands are tied…he is my son but yet she has raised him from birth…she has caused him so much instability and nothing i have ever wanted for him has ever mattered…now she tells me one night she wants to just let me have him and take care of him knowing how much pain i am from losing my parental rights to my other kids and that she needs time to herself and to get away he she is having difficulties with him…he took off from the house and couldnt be found…so of course i jumped i say i will do it she told me she didnt want to move him again and switch his schools and she wants me to take care of him…but yet then the next night she sounds like she is staying and is going to be there to control me and fuck with my head like so many times before… she has done this allowed me to have him and then took him from me when we disagreed about something else nothing to do with corey…so i dont want her to fuck with my head again…i just want out of this world

 

december 7 2008

 

why not finally succeed at something instead of always failing why not succed at my finality

I sit here pondering why I feel the need to cut when it has been 70 days since the last time I cut. Yeah 10 weeks. That’s a long time for me lately even if it does not seem that long it is a long time for me since in the past almost 3 years I have gone 96 days one time without self harm and mainly less than 30 so this is a while for me to go without it. Although I can not say that I have gone without hurting myself for that long or without avoiding and escaping my thoughts feelings pain and suffering. During these 70 days there was one day where I smashed my head into the door several times for being angry at myself. Then there are the several times that I have used drugs and can not seem to get away from them where I am living currently. I also have gone some days without eating trying to control that since everything else has been out of control. I do not understand why I continue to struggle day in and day out with thoughts of suicide and then want to cut just to minimize my suicidal thoughts and lesson them. The desire to cut recently has been extreme although not sure if the cutting thoughts or the suicide thoughts have been worse. I have been actively planning my suicide although have not acted upon the thoughts of trying to purchase a gun just to have around incase. I have been watching the clock for the exact times of the trains coming incase I build the courage to jump in front of it. Although not really sure I have that much courage. I am a coward and try to think about the least amount of pain and suffering I will use to complete my suicide. I have searched for the beams in my ceiling in case I believe I can complete my death by hanging myself although with how fat I am the rope will probably break or the beam will. So I am not too sure about that method. I did give one of my treatment providers my check because of me wanting to cash it and purchase a gun off the streets somewhere but I will get that back tomorrow and may just go buy one if I can find one just to have in case I can build my nerves up to pull the trigger on myself but not sure I have enough oomph to pull it. I want to cut as an escape from all these thoughts and although I am in therapy I am not sure she really does care whether I am dead or alive anymore. A month ago she told me she would not do therapy with me if I did not attend IOP and quit using drugs. And I hadn’t seen her since she said that for an individual therapy session but I have been going to IOP although have been unable to quit the drugs for any major length of time since I can not get rid of certain people in my life lately even when I flip out and try to run them away. Although the people that I want in my life and want to be here and around to help me through seem to not care and just want to get rid of me and not have anything to do with me any more. My family could care less about me and most of them have not lived around me for years. I have not spoken with my sperm donor father since 2005 and my mother appears to call me less and less. An then it seems it is only when she wants something from me. The same thing with my brother. Then my brother who my son lives with only calls when he can not deal with something that is going on with my son. Other than that he does not tell me much about my son although makes sure he tells me when he is doing something wrong but nothing when my son is doing nothing wrong. I do not seem to really matter to anyone that has been part of my life both growing up or as of now. I have grown up with so much of the system and none of them people who worked with me even care how I have done or what’s up with me or even if I am still alive. Supposedly cared so much but yet I do not seem to see that any of them ever really cared or the ones I work with now even though they say they care I do not feel they do. And then alls they do is manipulating me into their own ways by blackmailing me into more services and keeping my pills and so on and so forth. Why should I continue to try to get anywhere in life when life is worthless and there is really nothing here for me in life. Yeah so I am supposed to wait another 10 years try to create a life and live in society and wait for my kids to search for me and when they don’t what am I supposed to do then. Continue to live in misery yearning for them wanting them to hold and love. But yet they wont want too be loved by a loser mother like me they probably won’t want anything to do with me ever. So why should I sit here and wait for them and then end up killing myself because of there rejection. Why not just end it now and not have to deal with the rejection pain and suffering. Why sit back and wait for the inevitable when it is bound to happen then. Why not just do it and get it over with and allow everyone else to stop dealing with my pain and suffering. The sooner I get this over with the sooner they will be able to move on with their lives and be relieved by not having to wonder when I will do it because deep down they know eventually I will succeed in killing myself and even though I have failed so many times before they still await the day of that call waiting for some relief from the fear of the unknown not knowing when and how I will do it. So why keep putting it off and failing why not finally succeed at something in my life…..

 

June 23, 2008 post 2

Current mood:contemplative

thoughts of my despair
sitiing here i just want to die…i am so sick of life and everyone in it….i just want to take my life and know that everyone will be alright…i know most people that are in my life would be better off without me but there are a few people that it might bother a bit for a while if i kill myself…but will those people even be bothered by me killing myself or will they be relieved to have me gone and not to have to deal with me…i am not a good friend and i cant handle life at all lately…it feels like life is falling and i am buried under all the worlds debris…more and more is piling on…why wont they stop holding on and just let me go…why cant people see i will be better off putting myself out of the misery i am in….my son would be better off knowing that i am finally in a place that he knows where i am at all times…he wont have to have that stress and worry about where i am what i am doing or when am i going to end up in the morgue needing to be identified…i will never become anything…i will never be able to get anywhere in life so why keep struggling to try to get somewhere…my mother wont even be bothered by the death of me she will rejoice knowing that one major trouble is gone from here life…i just want to kill myself…i want an escape from life…i am so sick of being alone with no one to love me and for me to have no one to care about…too many things i should have or could have done to get my babies back and i didnt…i just cared bout tring to end my pain…what about their pain…wjhat about what they were going through by not having me…why couldnt i get through shit to get them back…the only things i was still living breathing for and i let them all go…i did nothing to get them back in my life…i am no mother…i never deserved to have kids…i fucked them all up and now what i am stuck here without them wanting to kill myself because of everything i jhave done to them and allowed to be done to them….i gave up on them but yet they never gave up on me until the end…i gave up from the start…i feel so hopeless and just want to kill myself and get it over…i will never get over all this shit and they will never be able to love me like a mom…i was never and will neevr be their mom…corey will always have resentment and ager towards me and that will never change no matter how mucjh i do for him or how much i try to love him. i want an escape from this life….i really want to die

march 24 2008

 

poems i wrote
Current mood: contemplative

A stabbing pain runs through my head

with hopeless thoughts penetrating

its so hard to pretend

but i have never felt so much agony

life without them is so empty

thoughts of my suicide make me content

there seems to be no meaning to continue on with my life

when everyday every breathe i take i feel this way

i wish that things didnt happen this way

i have always just wanted to succeed

but how can you when no one has ever wanted you to

they all just want you to continue to go on in misery

do they really love to see me suffering from so many failures

when will this all enad and i no longer feel this despair

or maybe they all all just trying to push me

to see how much i can take before i succeed in ending my life

keeping all my sorrow and suffering ablled up inside

trying ot keep it hidden so no one will see

no one seems to understand how much my life has been a living hell

i have tostart built some stronger walls

begin to put on my mask and act and also appear content

inside i may feel as if i am in pieces

but on the outside everyone needs to see differnet

i will build my wall high and where my mask and not let anyone in

pretend i am at peace and have risen above

dont let anyone know whats really in my head

when i try to explain alls they do is critisize

whatever i say no one wants to believe

so i will pretend to them all

i am well and on my way that my life has changed

i will hide this agony and bury it deep pretend to be strong

when i am good and ready the rage i hide will come out on myself

out of the blue when no one sees it coming

i will end my life and finally prove my courage

THIS IS FOR YOU MY SON DANIEL

i sat there hoping for another chance

to be mom to you

hoping that i could hold you in my arms

so i could comfort you

let you know everythings going to be alright

i was such a fool to believe this would ever happen

my hopes and dreams have been shattered

i am drowning in misery

dreaming dreams of us being happy together

i would wipe your tears from your saddened heart

if we were not apart

i dont believe i will ever be happy

i feel i will always be miserable as long as we are seperated

the day that comes when you search for me

i hope will end my misery

my scars will remind me of all my misery

they remind me of the suffering and pain

all my tears and many fears

over so many years

my scars have just become a part of me

i am reminded of the days

when no one else understood

nothing else could take my pain away

they will be with me forever

when i am saddened and in despair

when my tears wont stop flowing

when the last time comes that i watch my best friend

help me through to my bitter end

know life has finally taken a toll

when the pills begin to kick in

the scars will be the last things i see

as i end my life and know they were a part of me

for they will always be there shining on me

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/hopelesslynogood/blog?page=5#ixzz13mK9sM2C