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AppleLime
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Question Feb 12, 2024 at 02:15 AM
  #1
Is this normal?
So I decided to change therapist due to my mental health declining and I started to notice early warning signs that if I let it keep going it would get worse.

Background of interaction with my therapist.
I sent a email to my therapist that I sent to my pervious therapist before back in 2022. My pervious therapist went on maternity leave.
My Pervious therapist didn't mention it was long email. I will explain why this is important.
The reason why I sent the email is because at the time so 2023, Christmas was coming. I was anxious and on edge because I will have to see my mother in law and I get panic attacks and flash backs of bad memories of my mother in law being mean to me and yelling at me. Basically I sent the email I previously sent to my pervious therapist to my current therapist to explain what happened in 2022 Christmas. So they can understand what happened and be able to help me.

The current Therapist well...was didn't mention my email for 2 sessions. I come into session one day and the therapist printed the email to me.
They told me they didn't need to know unnecessary details and put the printed email on the table and flip the pages counting 1,2,3,4,5,6 pages.
I felt ashamed, I didn't had any idea it was 6 pages. I felt I was in trouble. Therapist realised towards the end it didn't came out right and said I didn't do anything wrong. However to me the damage was done.
This was pretty much the whole session about the email and I didn't get a chance to talk about my issues.

It ended up with my partner having to take time off work to come into therapy session To explain to my therapist what happened. Because the therapist didn't want to read my email or listen what I needed to explain.

They did blame it on there dsylexia. But I have dsylexia myself and audio processing disorder. I'm familiar with this and had teacher aids at school. They always victim themselves with there dsylexia. However if there dyslexia was that "bad" how did they get first class honours with their psychology qualification, I wonder?
I'm not dissing people who have dsylexia I have it too as well some of my family members . But when does this become a excuse?

Anyways I was afarid to bring it up I was upset with her what she said. I became anxious and scared going to therapy.

I finally bought up when my mum told me I need too tell her. I did however it felt like this therapist didn't want to take into account what they did was...unhelpful. They just said on the side "oh I guess I could've been more sensitive about it".

Besides the email situation.
They were always late! went from 5mins to 10mins to 15mins!

Sometimes therapy sessions would go for 2 hours!
and sometimes it would finish 10mins before my session ended but we started 15mins late and they tell me I have a next client after this.

When my partner did came into the session. Afterwards they told me they found this therapist not engaged or no connection, lack of empathy. One of the examples was when they said to related to my mother in law "Oh and I suppose you are happy having none thing to do with your mother in law". I said in response "well, yes because I get highly anxious and then she gets into our business".
My partner thought it was insensitive of the therapist to say this.

With EMDR therapy. I asked at the beginning do we need to create a trusting realtionship , they said it didn't matter. So during the months no EMDR. I asked one time why no EMDR? and they said oh we are creating a trusting realtionship.
Then the day we first did our EMDR session they told me I was stalling EMDR?

How would I know as a client I was stalling EMDR? I had no idea.

Therapist also told me I wasn't allowed to bring anything into session that was bothering me and it had to be all EMDR.

Before I left I started to feel depressed and getting sudcial thoughts.

My OT so my occupational therapist was beginning to be concern with my increased panic attacks.

I decided this was enough, I had my fair share of nightmare student therapist in the past.
Put up with that for 2 years. I wasn't going to do that again!

So I went back to my previous therapist recommendation of the therapist they suggested. So far I had my first session and it seems good. On time and seems to be on point and wanted me to do some assesment tests which I didn't mind. Hopefully it goes well.

I thought to at least email my therapist so I said this.

I email my therapist and said this

To Therapist

After a long time thinking and reflecting I've decided to move to a different therapist
because I felt stuck in the last five months in therapy and my life has become small, as well as heightening anxiety and now unhelpful thoughts.
The experience with printed 6 pages did not help and it caused lack of trust and anxiety coming into therapy, which I shouldn't be feeling that way going into therapy. I did feel projected blame especially when I was told before we started EMDR therapy that I was stalling EMDR? I felt blamed for this and it made me even more uncertain about continuing therapy.
I thought overall we aren't a good match and it would be best if I move on.

I appreciate the help you have provided and the insight and your time you have given me.

I wish you the best in your career and also with your family."

End of email


Now is it normal to not get a response from that therapist? I haven't heard from them for 5 days?
is this unprofessional?
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Default Feb 12, 2024 at 06:54 AM
  #2
I think you did the right thing by emailing them and stopping to go.

I don't have extensive experiences with different therapists, but here are the things that would bother me, and whether or not it's "okay" for a therapist to do those (some I think are not), if it bothers you, it's fine to move on.
I will say that for your next therapist, it's generally always good to just talk to them and let them know if you are bothered. Like with the printed email, tell them as best you can that that makes you feel unheard and like you can't bring up your things, and if they then react similar to this therapist, it's at least not a good match (and possibly the therapist sucks).

So, for the points that would bother me:

- saying 6 pages of writing is too much and printing it out to show (there might be a policy here about email contact, rather than how much writing. But as for just having to read writing, my T used to have to read about 30 pages a week for me, and my new T said it'd be fine for him to read a 50 page clinical report... some people do better with writing, totally normal)

- having to have your partner come in: not only is that rather special (it's your therapy after all), it also tells me that you didn't feel comfortable to tell the T those things yourself. Not a good sign

- trying to blame something on their dyslexia. If they had that issue, they better tell clients in the first session, because you will get writen journals by lots of them

- they don't sound like they own their part (the oh I guess I could have been more sensitive thing)

- being late

- not having a clear session length (I think it's normal for it to fluctuate a bit, but not 2 hours vs 40 mins constantly)

- your partner does not think the therapist is good (if you trust your partner that is)

- being blamed for stalling

- not being able to talk about different things and saying no to emdr

I think it's very nice and kind of you to let them know you're not going to see them anymore. I think a good therapist would respond to the email. Normally after 2 years, people don't just disappear, and if you didn't even have a real final session, I'd think a therapist would want to have the closure as well and write something back. To me, this just sounds like a therapist who doesn't want to or know how to do their job. I'm sorry you had to go through this. I hope it works well with the new one!
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Default Feb 12, 2024 at 08:19 AM
  #3
I think the non response is a reflection of her, not you. Changing therapists seems like the right thing.

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Default Feb 12, 2024 at 01:32 PM
  #4
Many therapists will not chase after a client. So her not responding to your email about ending isn't surprising. Then you add how she treated you, it makes sense why she wouldn't respond.

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Default Feb 12, 2024 at 02:31 PM
  #5
Agreed on the not chasing thing, though I think it would have been good of her to have at least said something like, "Thanks for letting me know. Let me know if you need any referrals" or something. And wishing you well.

Just as a heads up--it's possible she'll send a formal letter discharging you from her practice. Though I see you're in New Zealand, and that may be more of a U.S. formality.
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