Viewpoint: Therapist left me and I feel bereft

I was with my psychotherapist for four years, but now I have been
dropped like a hot potato. Life seemed bright and full of promise
until the therapist pulled the plug on our appointments and left me
high and dry. What I feel now is akin to bereavement.

Without realising it, my regular sessions with the therapist
stopped being stepping stones towards something else. The ability
to continue leading a “normal” and real life lasted because I
always knew that another session was planned for a specific date in
the future. A blank diary without these scheduled meetings would
have been difficult for me.

It took time to realise and accept that my therapist was also a
human being with a life of her own. I came to realise that the
far-away look on her face when I was discussing my life was not
always the result of her deep concentration on my problems. Instead
it could have been her thinking about how she was going to tackle a
family situation or visit the bank.

But I felt annoyed by this as, although I was the client, I was the
one being cut off. Each week, in a face-to-face situation, it was
supposed to be me who was important, with my changes in mood being
the only ones warranting analysis and consideration. How unkind for
the therapist to allow her own worries and problems to intervene
and ruin things. Perhaps I am being unfair on her, but what else
was I to think given that our relationship was terminated by

I now feel that I surrendered part of my mind to the therapist and
abandoned too much control. Perhaps I became infatuated with the
idea that therapy could bring order and peace to my life. Yet I
felt that it had been a good professional relationship so why can’t
I empathise with the pain and discomfort that my therapist is
suffering? Perhaps because I feel that it is not half as bad as the
pain that I am going through.

The psychotherapists’ professional organisations must surely
prepare their members for situations such as this. There must have
been a training session teaching them how to end a relationship and
let the client down in a gentle and controlled manner. Why, then,
was this not the case with me?

Surely there must be a better and more professional way of saying

Anna Young saw a psychotherapist for four years

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