An Unexpected Stress

About 10 days ago I was able to get in to see my counselor.  We had a brief chat.  As I ran through my giant list of stressors occupying my mind, she listened, added a few thoughts here and there.  But, before we could really get into anything my 30 minutes was gone as time ran out.  So, she decided that we needed to book a 60 minutes appointment for as soon as possible – I stood there while she worked with her receptionist to move her schedule around to fit me in.

We made a time work.  We scheduled the appointment Wednesday of this week.

Or, rather, I should say it was scheduled for Wednesday.

I just got a call from the clinic’s receptionist.  My counselor is leaving the clinic for another position and I will no longer be able to see her.

So, after 4 years, 5 miscarriages including one termination for medical reasons, seeking an expert out of country medical advice for recurrent pregnancy loss, seeing us through the international adoption process, being a reference for our adoption and be part of welcoming our son home, she has left.  I have no ability to contact her.

I’m selfishly very sad to be losing her – I don’t bear my sole to people in my real life very often.  In fact, I’d say I never do.  And now I am faced with the choice of walking away from counseling (possibly just for the time being) or finding someone new.  I can honestly say, I don’t have the energy to start this process over with someone new right now.  Yet, I also realize I’m pretty stressed these days, and I know talking things out always helps me.  But I really don’t feel like re-hashing the past right now and I know a new counselor will require that of me.  The thought of finding someone new is intimidating right now – it feels like one more stressor to add to my life.

But, if I’m honest right now I’m more upset about how she is leaving – I saw her 10 days ago and she didn’t say a word, instead I just got a call from the clinic’s receptionist.  After about 4 years of sharing my intimate life with her and turning to her for advice, she’s just gone.  I feel hurt and disappointed that she didn’t tell me herself.

And so, just like that she’s vanished from my life.

Right now I’m tempted to take a break from counseling and see how I feel in a few months time, which is odd as I am typically an advocate for seeking counseling at times of stress.  It just seems like too much work to try to find someone new.  I just don’t know.

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29 Comments on “An Unexpected Stress

  1. As a psychologist myself I’m actually horrified at how she managed her leaving. She could and should have terminated with you properly. As someone who’s had to find a new therapist… it’s not necessarily that bad. You don’t have to tell them everything all at once, you can deal with what is relevant and they will get to know you over time.

    Liked by 5 people

    • So, I greatly appreciate this comment! Firstly because it’s nice to know this isn’t normal! And secondly, if I do consider finding someone else I think I do have to remember I don’t have to release all my “crazy” in 30 minutes – I can dole it out slowly and as I feel comfortable. Who knows, maybe after so long with one person it could be a good time to change anyways?
      Thanks so much for this comment this morning. I really do appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can understand how stressful it must be to revisit the past (especially with such happenings) . You were seeking counselling to let go of the past and ironically now counselling will make you remind all about it. I am surprised your counsellor scheduled the appointment for you making you feel you are very important and suddenly shes leaving. If only she would consider seeing you regardless of her new position….but guess ppl dont think that way..

    Tc of yourself . You are in my prayers regularly 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. She just feels so fake! I mean poking around the calendar looking for an hour spot knowing very well it wont be happening.
    I dont know much about consellors, never had one, so I just wish you good luck and hope you find someone who
    Is a good fit for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry. How incredibly heartbreaking to lose her so suddenly and with no explanation.

    I remember when I did therapy there was to be a transition session when I decided to stop. I never made that appointment but I think it would have benefited me. I wish you could have had that option.

    Sending you lots of love. What a stressful situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can totally understand why you’re feeling hurt and disappointed. She could have at least given you a heads up that it might be happening or a personal call once it was done. I’m not a counselor but I am a good listener so if you ever need to talk/vent, please feel free to call me! I’ll email you my number. Sending you much love, my Friend and as you deal with this extra source of stress!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ugh, yeah, it’s no fun to have to establish a new relationship with another counselor and go back through all that history that your (now former) counselor already knew.

    Nevertheless, I think that it will be well worth your effort to find someone new. There is just something in talking with a professional counselor that is helpful in ways that even talking with the most understanding and empathetic friend can’t be.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Goodness. That doesn’t sound professional at all. I wonder if there was something else going on. (Not to excuse her – just curious). I hope you can find a way to help with your stressors whether it incomes another counselor or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely get what you mean. I feel like I know her and this just wasn’t like her. I really hope nothing negative is occurring in her life, but I cannot help but wonder given how odd this was.


  8. I agree that her behavior was unprofessional and not typical of the profession – she should have gone through formal termination of the relationship, which might have included helping you determine your priorities for working with a new counselor and how to seek that out and begin a new therapeutic relationship. In any case, I’m so so sorry. I hope you’re able to decide whether you want to see a new counselor or forgo the process right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorry your therapist just vanished like that! I agree with others, there should have been a “closing” appointment where she helped you set goals for finding a new one and maybe even some recommendations on who might be a good fit, she knows you and surely she knows other therapists, so that would have been helpful!!

    Hope you can find someone new that can help. I am sure that you don’t have to deal with everything in one appointment and the new person may have a new perspective which could be refreshing 🙂 Thinking about you and hope your life just gets easier with each new day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about this. I agree that it seems a bit odd she didn’t even mention the fact she could be leaving. As someone who is taking care of patients in this type of emotional way I feel like it’s important the lines of communication be clear. I know starting over with someone else seems daunting right now so maybe taking a break is a good idea. I do hope that if you decide to start again you find someone who you connect with.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Whoa. Not cool. Hope you find a new one that is more professional than that. And that’s really weird that she would leave without even a forwarding email.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup, that’s pretty much how I’m feeling. And it’s not a good feeling especially because she’s the one I turn to when things get crazy stressful and now I don’t have that.


  12. I am so sorry this happened to you; I can’t imagine how painful this is and how betrayed you must feel. I am always trying to defend others so I’ll play devil’s advocate here and try to defend your counselor. Perhaps she really didn’t know she wasn’t going to be there when she set up this longer appointment. Perhaps she was told when she quit/was fired (gulp) that she could not talk to her clients again. Taking off the devil’s advocate hat, both the counselor and the clinic handled this very poorly. Why would they not have more respect for someone who has been reaching out for help for four years? I can understand your not wanting to dive in again, and I am in no position to offer advice except to say, Do what feels right to you, when it feels right.


  13. Sorry she left you high and dry 🙁 When my wife’s councellor left the clinic she was at and we could no longer afford her, my wife took a break from counselling and discovered that all those years of going to a councellor gave her the skills to get through stressful times on her own. I can even see with my own eyes how capable she has become at working through things, almost like she has a little councellor personality living in her brain now. Maybe you will find the same thing? But also perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get the ball rolling with someone new and see how it goes, just so you have someone on the back burner in case you find you really need it. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh that is disappointing. Surely she could have handled that better! I hope you do find someone else as a great therapist is worth their weight in gold for us anxious types.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I just had to say bye to mine after 5 years. She told me she was leaving and we had a closure session. I have my first appointment for a intake to find someone new. I’m scared and sad that I have to find someone new. Thank you for posting this I’ve been trying to understand my feelings and it helps to know other people feel the same way when they say bye to their therapy.


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