Friday, 13 March 2009

Psychotherapy And Termination

As usual for a Thursday night I had to make do with just a couple of hours sleep last night. But for all that I was quite alert when I left the house this morning to make my way to the hospital and my psychotherapy session. And I was fine until my psychotherapist came to fetch me. From that moment on I started to get into a panic and by the time that we got to the room that we use my heart was pounding and before I knew it tears were running down my cheeks. I don't know why I was like this, maybe it was because of the way that I have been feeling for the last week or 10 days.

My psychotherapist let me get myself together again and then started the conversation by asking if I had thought about the termination of the therapy that I have been undergoing. I haven't; probably because I know that I am not yet ready for this eventuality, but there is a problem with the fact that I am not ready. I have known from the start that this therapy would only be for one year and the end of that period is approaching. I should have been prepared for this subject being broached because of something that my therapist asked me last week, but I suppose that I didn't want to think about it because I don't think that I am ready to end therapy.

It is about six weeks until my year is completed, but Easter is going to fall within this period and that means that I will not have therapy on Good Friday. So today we talked about the termination of our therapeutic relationship and how that made me feel. That was easy to answer. I feel like I am being abandoned. Though I have made a lot of progress over the period that I have been having psychotherapy, I know that there are still a lot of things that I need to come to terms with before I can say that I can cope without it. And that is an achievement in itself.

When my GP referred me to the hospital for this psychotherapy, I was sceptical about it. I was not sure that it was the right thing for me, possibly because of my horrific experience with the first therapist that I saw all those years ago. The two assessment appointments that I had at the hospital were very traumatic but the psychologist who carried out the assessment thought that I was a good candidate for this type of therapy and that it would help me. He was right; it has helped because I am able to do some things that would have been impossible a year ago. But I am still not at the stage that I want to be and this means that I need to continue with therapy of some sort so that was the next thing that we discussed.

One of the three possibilities was sort of dropped almost immediately. I don't think that my therapist thinks that it is right for me, so although he offered it as a possible option, it formed no further part of our conversation. The other two possibilities have given me a lot of food for thought. He could refer me for group psychotherapy at the hospital that I attend now. This would mean that I would be taking part in the same sort of psychotherapy but in a group rather than as an individual. There are merits to this but also one major difficulty. The difficulty is that I am not sure how I would cope in a group as talking to other people about myself and my feelings is not something that I find very easy. The other possibility is that I be referred for full-blown psychoanalysis. Unfortunately this would not be available on the NHS so I would have to pay for it, but my psychotherapist does feel that this could be the way forward for me.

Obviously this is going to form the basis of my psychotherapy session next week, at least to start with, and it is something that I need to think about and investigate in the meantime. I wish that I didn't have to stop therapy with my present psychotherapist because I have got used to him and I feel that we have been getting somewhere. But it has to happen and I will have to accept that. But I can't help feeling that I am being abandoned and that whatever happens I will have to start all over again.


alhi said...

I suppose the real question is whether you can afford to pay for the psychoanalysis. I remember when I finished my stint with the psychologist: I felt bereft. It was possibly a sign of thigs to come.
And, from what I can tell, you are like me in that it takes you a while to fully trust someone enough to open up to them so I know how you feel about having to start building a relationship all over again. To be honest rather than sit down with a psychologist for a ten week stint for an hour at a time, I would rather check in with my GP once a week and speak to her for 10 mins.

steph said...

I cheered when I heard you mention group psychotherapy.

You've often stated that you spend a lot of time alone. Would group therapy not provide an opportunity to mingle with others in a 'safe' environment? You might find that listening to other people's concerns helps you to find a new perspective to your own?

Plus, it's available on the NHS so if you find it doesn't work for you, you won't feel pressurised to continue.

Life is continually moving on and changing. I find it helps to think of change as an 'opportunity' rather than an obstacle. A change of therapist could well work in your favour.

Hope my thoughts help, not hinder!