Aid! My therapist has ended her practice and I do not know what to do


Dear GoodTherapy,

I had seen my healer for 28 years. Around March, it was not good. This was a rare incident in our time together. But her viral infection continued until about six weeks ago when she told me she would not return to her practice. I was destroyed.

I asked whether it would be ok to send it by email. He said yes, but when I did, he said he was still ill. Initially, I applied our relationship, which I had come to internalize. However, as the weeks have passed, I felt angry with the way it was over. And as a recovery alcoholic (dry for 10 years), I am afraid of the future. I would appreciate your views. -This to dry

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Dear sir to dry,

Thank you for asking this question and I guess that other readers also thank you. Few things may be more painful than the sudden end of a relationship, especially the one in which I felt a strong relationship and trusted our vulnerabilities. I can hear the loss and confusion you feel and what I'm supposed to be is a sense of abandonment. These are enormous, potentially overwhelming feelings. Congratulations on finding help.

When treatment is terminated prematurely, especially when it is characterized by a deeply established relationship, it may feel that your world is turned upside down. It is not uncommon to feel the way you feel. I imagine it is difficult to understand what led your therapist to end her practice so abruptly and reduce communication. It is understandable to take this as a personal loss. In an ideal scenario, when a therapist plans to withdraw or end his practice, he communicates this plan to clients much earlier and discusses and processes the transition to the session, perhaps over time.

There is no doubt that you have correlated a lot between your therapist's role in recovery and progress. It is clear from what you have written that your therapist has contributed to your healing process. I would like to point out something else: You have accomplished it through the challenges you faced during your work with your therapist.

Unfortunately, sometimes illness and / or other circumstances beyond the control of the therapist may require less than the ideal end to the healing relationship. In this case, it is up to customers to take the pieces and move forward, perhaps with the help of another therapist. (It is worth noting, although it is unclear what happens in your case, that when a client leaves the treatment prematurely or without closing, this is another challenge for recovery.)

You said you recognized how you internalized this relationship. There is no doubt that you have correlated a lot between your therapist's role in recovery and progress. It is clear from what you have written that your therapist has contributed to your healing process. I would like to point out something else: You have accomplished it through the challenges you faced during your work with your therapist. You've kept your sobriety in the last decade. Your therapist was not likely with you during one of your darkest moments, but YOU ARE. Although you may have incorporated your therapist's voice when experiencing these dark moments, you have finally managed to cope with these circumstances. You made your decisions.

It is understandable to fear what is for you. Hopefully, you are able to look at your future from an empowerment site based on your previous successes. Another important step is the reconstruction of the support network. This helped in the past and will probably continue to be a tool in the future.

If you have not done so, you will want to explore your treatment options to get ahead. I think it is a positive success mark for your future that has created such a strong alliance with your former therapist. You can do it again. The new relationship will not be the same because the therapist will not be the same. The new therapist will not always answer in the same ways nor offer the same ideas. That's okay, and undoubtedly a really positive one.

The change, though terrifying, can sometimes push us further into growth. You can explore options and consult more than one therapist before re-starting. As you know, finding the right adjustment can make a world of difference.

I hope this comment would be useful and I wish you good luck as you go.

Marni Amsellem, PhD


Marni Amsellem

Marni Amsellem, PhD, is an authorized psychologist. He maintains a part-time private practice in New York and Connecticut that specializes in clinical health psychology, tackling illness and adapting to life transitions. Additionally, he is an interventionist and research consultant with hospitals, organizations and companies, both locally and nationally, engaged in research exploring the role of behavior, the environment and individual differences in multiple aspects of health and reception decisions.