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Can you meet up with a counsellor after your sessions have finished?

(17 Posts)
CruCru Thu 26-Jun-14 19:15:51

I have been seeing a psychologist to help with PND. I like her a lot and we have a laugh. Next week is my last session. Would it be weird to suggest meeting up socially sometime?

SilverStars Thu 26-Jun-14 19:25:07

Therapists usually have very strict therapeutic boundaries and do not meet patients outside of a therapeutic relationship. They work to particular rules in the NHS which you would have to ask the therapist about.

Helpys Thu 26-Jun-14 19:29:01

Be prepared to be knocked back. How would that feel? To be fair she should have set strong enough boundaries so you wouldn't be considering this.
I really feel for you, she might say yes (but its unlikely), I think it would definitely undo a lot of the work you've done if she said no.

MaryShelley Thu 26-Jun-14 19:30:44

I'd say no.
Part of the relationship has been formed within the theraputic relationship. Part of her job is to 'get on with you' as it were. Particularly if she has a humanistic approach.

CruCru Thu 26-Jun-14 19:38:52

Hmm. I'm glad I checked. I think she may say that she isn't allowed because she knows loads about me (weird family, bullying at school, work stuff) while I know little about her (late twenties, wears an engagement ring, has been skiing and gets her highlights done) so it's a bit unequal.

cjelh Thu 26-Jun-14 22:22:52

she should say no!!!

ShoeWhore Thu 26-Jun-14 22:25:58

Ooh no bad idea, sorry OP. You are absolutely right about the inequality of your relationship.

You could discuss with her how it feels to know you won't be seeing her any more though?

Hope you are feeling better PND-wise.

PicardyThird Thu 26-Jun-14 22:26:05

It would be unethical of her to enter into a non-therapeutic relationship with you, even after your work together has ended. I should think she has professional guidelines/regulations to that effect. If some time (and I mean at least a couple of years) later you bumped into each other again in another context, then there might be no barrier to entering into a friendship because the ground is new, so to speak, but I'm not sure.

CruCru Thu 26-Jun-14 22:41:59

Thanks all. It just feels a bit weird that I won't be seeing her any more.

Helpys Fri 27-Jun-14 09:10:40

And it's a really good idea to tell her that!

JJXM Fri 27-Jun-14 09:29:38

It would be highly unprofessional to have contact with a therapist after a relationship has ended. I had a three year therapeutic relationship but we weren't even allowed to talk on the phone once it had ended. Therapy is a safe place where almost anything can be discussed in the room - if that relationship moves outside the room then it transgresses boundaries and undermines the whole therapy. It took me a further two years to come to terms with that.

You won't want to hear this but what you are experiencing is transference - she's not your friend, she's your therapist. But I'm surprised she hasn't discussed the ending of your therapy as this is usually one of the major themes.

cjelh Fri 27-Jun-14 13:27:52

Its a good idea a few sessions before the end to discuss it. Talk about how you would like to end. When I finished mine we talked about how I would now manage things then the last session we wrote each other letters and read them out and I took cakes!!!

callamia Fri 27-Jun-14 13:33:39

This is quite a normal feeling, and suggests that you've built a good relationship - she just be good at her job.

Don't worry - feeling like this doesn't make you odd. Breaking off a therapeutic relationship can be a little sad, perhaps for both of you. Your therapist can work through this in her own supervision sessions. You should discuss it with her before your sessions end.

I still think very fondly of my own counsellor that I saw over ten years ago. She helped me get through a tough stage, and I feel really grateful to her.

CruCru Fri 27-Jun-14 15:12:53

Thanks all. Next week is my last session. I think I'll just tell her how much I've enjoyed talking with her and wish her the best for her wedding.

CruCru Fri 27-Jun-14 15:13:59

I know I sound a bit pathetic here - I do have lots of friends etc, I will be fine.

Helpys Fri 27-Jun-14 16:27:52

You're not being pathetic and it sounds a diff you've done really well. It's important that you do tell her you're feeling sad about coming to an end. Don't worry about worrying her and making her feel guilty. Part of being a counsellor is that she has someone to talk to after the sessions (supervision). Look after your own feelings!

ShoeWhore Fri 27-Jun-14 17:52:01

CruCru I really would urge you to talk to your counsellor about this - it's totally normal and she won't at all think you are being pathetic (neither do I fwiw) It will also give you a chance to chat about what you can do when you no longer have her to talk to (hopefully she's planning on addressing this anyway).

I had an amazing counsellor many moons ago who I still think of now - in tricky situations I often think "what would M say?" I'm not sure whether she realised how much impact she had on me or how long term it would be. Pretty good going for 6 phone sessions!

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