If My Therapist Won’t See Me Anymore, Is That A Graduation or a Break-Up?

My next session with my therapist will be my last.

We had planned to continue seeing each other through the end of the year, but through an insurance glitch we discovered that I am only covered through one more session.  Next year her insurance changes, and I won’t be able to see her then.

SO.  Here we are – the end of the road.  She says I’m ready to be therapy-free, and she’s maybe right.  Obviously with bipolar disorder there’s no guarantee I won’t end up back in therapy at some point (actually, it’s veritably guaranteed that I will…), but it won’t be with her and it won’t be this year – the year I was diagnosed, the year that my life was blown to pieces and then built up again, and the year that I learned to let go.  It’s been a crazy twelve months, and I have put a lot of my heart and soul into that well-worn therapy couch.  This is a significant ending to me.

I don’t know how to feel about our last session.  Should I be happy?  Sad?  Hmmm…maybe I will talk to my therapist about it. 😉  I told her I’m bringing cake to celebrate, but I don’t know what to have the bakery people write on the cake.  Here are the main contenders:

“Congrats Therapy Class of 2016”

“To Never Coming Here Again”

“I Won’t Get Crumbs on the Couch”

“Feeling All the Feels”

“Sorry For All the Kleenex I Used”

It’s weird to think of life beyond therapy.  I’m glad that my therapist has confidence in my stability, but I feel a little like I did when my parents took away my yellow blankie when I was six years old.  The blanket had become so ragged and dirty that it had long been unable provide any warmth, but it was my blankie.  I was not at all confident that I could survive to see my seventh birthday if I didn’t have that blankie.  But I did turn seven…and seventeen…and twenty-seven, and life went on like they promised it would.  I’m hoping it will be the same here: scary at first, but surprisingly okay.

I don’t know how to say goodbye at the end of next session.  It’s a weird thing, therapy.  This person knows all of your deepest secrets, and then one day it’s simply, “Bye.  Have a great life.”  Does this strike anyone else as incredibly odd?  Who invented therapy?  Did they write a manual on how to say goodbye properly?  Am I supposed to cry?  Am I supposed to hug her?  I’m so not hugging her.  I’m not very huggy.  I want her to know how much she helped me, but I don’t want to get all gushy about it.  Maybe I’ll put it on the cake: “Thanks.  You’re sweet like cake.”  I’ll let the frosting convey my sentiments.

Also, I would like to point out that even though she repeatedly said that there are no grades in therapy, I am taking her approval of my moving on as a tacit passing grade.  If she won’t give me the grade, I’ll give me the grade.  I’m a teacher, so I think I’m authorized to do that: HAZEL THERAPY 2015/16:  PASS.  PROMOTED TO NEXT LEVEL OF INDEPENDENCE.

I don’t know about this, blog world…you’re about to see untherapized Hazel.  Let’s hope she’s as ready for this as my therapist says she is.

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18 thoughts on “If My Therapist Won’t See Me Anymore, Is That A Graduation or a Break-Up?

  1. I love this. I have a goodbye post somewhere in my early days, an ending with my last therapist, Em.

    My advice is write her a letter or something about how she helped you and how you feel, and that way if you don’t manage to get it out, you know she has it.

    I’ll be thinking of you, endings are tough but can be perfectly handled.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Its natural to feel conflicted and a bit frightened of change, especially when we feel things so intensely. In an emergency, therapy is a phone call away, or a blog post away, a coffee with a friend. This is what I’d write on the cake – To Next Year’s Abandonment Issues 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I would try to take her statement that you are ready to move on and lay it squarely into your heart. Do everything in your power to believe it. Lay aside even a small amount of money out of each paycheck just in case you need her in an emergency and have to pay cash, but like Pieces said, remember that therapy is always a blog post away

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eeeek! I know, but blog people aren’t always super supportive. I mean, a lot of them are, but I literally PAY a therapist to be supportive. Sometimes strangers are mean, lol. Thanks for your encouragement, though – I will really try to believe what she said.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been seriously considering stopping therapy. We’ve reached the point that half the time we’re talking about books and movies rather than what I’m going through. It’s a scary thought though, because its become such an integral part of my life. Be proud of yourself that she’s suggesting moving on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Definitely a graduation…. you learned, tested, assessed, learned again, grew, and graduated. All I can say is adulating sucks, so any tool you have to help you progress through life is a good thing. And look at it this way. You graduated from one level. If you need/want/should go back to therapy, you are already one step ahead!!!! I vote for a strawberry cake with whipped icing, saying, “I will plant a tree in honor of tissue.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I want a bumper sticker that says “adulting sucks.” Finally one thing that I think all groups across all schools of thought can agree on.

      It was all downhill once we no longer got scheduled nap times. 😉

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  6. This is definitely a graduation! There is a time for everything. A time for therapy and a time for therapy to end, at least for awhile. Now you can practise some of the things that you learned.
    My therapist also ended our relationship although she didn’t really do any therapy, just leading me through a medication discovery. She said that she has so many others waiting for a spot who were way sicker than me. I had to be thankful for that news.
    Don’t give up, you ca do this. There is always hope, even for depression!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I think you’re right – I’m on to a new phase here. And really, who wants to stay in a depressive, mentally unstable phase anyway?? I should be dancing in the streets throwing confetti because I’m so happy that she thinks I’m ready to move on!

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  7. When my therapist brings up the idea of “someday” ending therapy or me switching to a different therapist to try EMDR I feel like my heart sinks into my stomach. I know that the main goal is getting me to a point where I don’t need therapy for a while but it freaks me out. And when I stopped seeing my last therapist (because I was moving across the state) it was interesting. Usually in a session I bring up what I need to work on or want to get around to working on. Not having another session makes things different. It might be different for you, but my old therapist and I went over some basic strategies of how to cope and stay “stable” or something like that. :/ Saying goodbye was a bit weird, because in a way it seems sudden. Writing a letter could be a good way of saying anything you might want her to know. 🙂 Wow, this response was ramble-y and probably not too helpful. Sending encouraging thoughts your way – good luck being therapy-free! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t think it was rambly at all – you have some good ideas there. I like the letter idea, and I think that the “planning for the future” session is good but also a little overwhelming. Eeek – we’ll see what happens!

      Like

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