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Support thread for people whose therapists are off for xmas

(20 Posts)
jessjessjess Fri 21-Dec-12 23:19:24

Wondering if anyone is in the same boat. Only just started therapy - mainly to work through some stuff from my childhood - and it's awful timing. Don't regret starting now as I was feeling very overwhelmed and desperate, but wish I'd started earlier as I've only been twice, was just starting to open up and now he's off and I won't see him again until early Jan.

Since the last session I've had a load of horrible memory flashes and am feeling really shitty. No idea how I'm going to get through the next few weeks with all this stuff in my head. Feel so abandoned even though I know he needs a break like anyone else.

violetsrblue Sat 22-Dec-12 22:59:35

That's a horrible situation to be in..maybe write down every day how you have been feeling that day, and then show him or talk to him about it when you see him again? It's not that long now til early Jan, just take it one day at a time.

jessjessjess Sun 23-Dec-12 00:51:10

Thanks so much for your reply. I am writing - but doing that has triggered memories.

You're right though, it's not long.

Millie2013 Sun 23-Dec-12 07:13:02

Did he leave you with any suggestions or techniques to employ while he was off?

Echo the writing stuff down, if it helps and also be sure to talk to him about the feelings of abandonment when you go back. Breaks and how clients tolerate them are very, very significant in therapy, as they can re-activate past experiences of loss and abandonment and therefore it is really important to explore them. Have you got anyone you can share some of this with? I don't mean relying on someone to be a replacement "therapist", just being able to say "I feel bad/sad/lonely today" can help to share some of it and help you to feel less alone

I am very lucky, my therapist is brilliant and is seeing me on Friday, rather than for our usual Wed session, which would be on boxing day

I'll be popping on here on and off smile

jessjessjess Sun 23-Dec-12 13:17:36

Thanks for your reply. We only just started - have seen him twice - and he was clear about breaks etc. I hadn't really opened up much and it just so happened that after session 2 a whole flood of stuff came into my head and it felt like so long before I would get to discuss it.

I have called Samaritans to talk about some of it and have sent a very considered, polite email saying I have written stuff down and should I send it to him.

Interesting about the significance of reactions to breaks - I wasn't sure whether to bring it up. I feel very angry and it is actually tapping into some stuff we discussed about feeling adults let me down or don't see me.

There are people I can talk to but appear to have a lot of displaced anger towards Mr Therapist which could help the process in the long run.

Thanks for responding, it's appreciated.

Millie2013 Mon 24-Dec-12 09:29:51

Yes, definitely bring it up at your next session (He will likely bring up the impact of the break anyhow). Therapy is a process and breaks can be just as therapeutic, albeit in their unique way, as the sessions. Providing they are managed well and explored, that is. In your case, I'm not surprised that it has reactivated some of those old feelings and given rise to some feelings of anger. This is perfectly normal, I promise (and I speak as both a therapist (although I'm not working at the moment) and a client)

jessjessjess Mon 24-Dec-12 12:41:20

I panicked a bit when I saw your other post - where you said your therapist is brilliant - and wondered is mine not good? Though I'm sure he is good (happy so far) and am just questioning myself.

Interesting to hear from a therapist btw

Millie2013 Wed 26-Dec-12 08:52:53

Ahh, no, I didn't mean that. Mine is older (80ish) and can be a bit more flexible with working hours, etc, as fewer demands on her time. So she suggested a session later this week, rather than skipping a week or two.

If yours feels right, then he most likely is. What is important is the fact that he makes it clear when he is and isn't available and works through this with you, be it for one week, or longer.

How have you coped over xmas? I'm meant to be seeing my therapist today, so it feels a bit odd! And it will feel odd seeing her on Friday too, I think smile

jessjessjess Wed 26-Dec-12 13:24:17

Oh I see! Mine is fully booked so can't see everyone over the break.

Thanks for asking - have coped okay I think, wasn't doing so well last week though.

Millie2013 Wed 26-Dec-12 17:10:17

Coping ok is good enough, for now smile

When is your next appointment?

jessjessjess Wed 26-Dec-12 17:38:16

Thank you for your continued replies! It's much appreciated.

Seeing him week after next.

Hoophopes Wed 26-Dec-12 23:33:17

Hi - great to explore how you feel with no therapy, as that can be useful. My therapist told me several weeks ago that the NHS are moving her jobs so last week was my last session - right in the middle of my work with her that was it, finished!! Or rather after starting work with her, not really in "middle". Only a few sessions to end, with no transfer to other care due to NHS cutbacks etc. It does happen and it is hard. She told me to rely on myself, as ultimately she couldn't "save me" and whilst I found that hard, as being saved is probably what I wanted, she is right - I have to do this ultimately myself, as a therapist (for me) cannot be there all the time. What I focussed on in those last sessions was coping skills for being on my own, as that was for me the best use of the time. So perhaps you can ask your therapist to help you cope when he is ill or off work etc (somthing more than just writing things down)?

jessjessjess Wed 26-Dec-12 23:41:58

Hoophopes I'm so sorry that has happened - it doesn't seem right somehow. I am paying for a private therapist after a previous bad experience on NHS. Not cheap but at least I feel in control. And they all charge on a sliding scale according to income etc so I am getting him at a much cheaper price than some who earn more.

Can you go back to your GP for some other help? Surely they can't just leave you in the lurch, maybe ask your MP to step in and help as they do help with nhs stuff? Or try Mind?

Hoophopes Thu 27-Dec-12 00:23:35

Thanks JessJess - I went down the private route before, really got on well with the therapist, then the therapist got very ill and retired. Spent a lot of money and ended up with a good trusting relationship but didn't get as far as needed to - so don't feel I can afford to do that again. Had very bad experience on NHS before, so this was quite important to have had someone good. I am trying to get more help, but I am going to start working part-time soon and that means not available necessarily in the day somedays etc. Oh and yes, they can jsut leave me in the lurch - as the NHS manager made all the decisions, and has refused to return any calls to me!!!

jessjessjess Thu 27-Dec-12 01:19:07

I don't think that's bloody good enough and I would be contacting your GP or local PALS, it's terrible to just drop someone from therapy at zero notice - that is just not on!

Hoophopes Thu 27-Dec-12 14:47:53

Done all sorts JessJess - perinatal mental health turned me down when I was pregnant/had new born - all I got from that referral was a CAF and a referral to children's social care!! They said that was only way to get support - but got nothing. If have pnd where I live you can have up to 18m support from a psychologist under perinatal, but because I had struggles before pregnancy they don't accept referrals. 18m NHS psychology would be AMAZING!! All I have got is a cpn who has no therapeutic skills whatsoever, nor is she good at paperwork, actually she is no good at anything whatsoever. Contacted all sorts of people, they tell me the person is leaving her post so there is nothing they can do. Typical NHS, has nobody replacing her!

Millie2013 Thu 27-Dec-12 14:59:53

Hoophopes, that is rubbbish and stories like that really do worry me! I know that things happen and circumstances change, but when I knew I was stopping work in the NHS, I gave my long term patients a good few months notice, to get used to it and work towards an ending and I only took on new patients who had issues better suited to shorter term work (and contracted as such)

I do despair over mental health care in the NHS at times, much as I know that there are some damn good therapists out there, who work entirely ethically

Hoophopes Thu 27-Dec-12 17:54:37

Thanks Millie - the therapist I had, for a short time, was excellent but her manager moved her roles giving me 3 sessions notice. Worst thing was starting work as opens things up and leaves it. Glad you able to give more notice and hopefully arrange passing people on etc.

Hope Xmas ok for you OP

jessjessjess Thu 27-Dec-12 18:13:37

Thanks Hoophopesv- am doing ok. Really sorry you have been let down so badly.

Millie2013 Fri 28-Dec-12 08:30:20

I've got my appt this morning and am now wishing I'd opted for a week off (because I don't want to get out of my PJs). Awkward me ;)

Hope you are both doing ok this morning

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