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Nancy, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience:  ABD for a PhD in Psychology, Psychotherapist for over 20 years
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I am a 23 year old individual who was recently diagnosed with

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I am a 23 year old individual who was recently diagnosed with PTSD as a result of childhood abuse. After a particularly difficult session today, I had to return home which is also the site of the abuse. In a moment of severe panic associated with this I left a voicemail for my therapist stating that I was currently unable to enter the house. Contacting him outside of the session isn't something I've ever done before nor have we discussed if this was acceptable. I am wondering if my actions were appropriate or may have crossed a boundary?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Nancy replied 7 years ago.

I am Nancy and am a therapist myself.

You have not crossed a line, and your actions were not *just* appropriate, but are commendable! You did the right thing by calling him - as he is an important part of your support system.

I would suggest though, that you do discuss what his perferences are - as all therapists have a protocol they wish for you to follow. If he has not provided you with a written set of rules regarding these types of issues - ask him for his. Sometimes we put those in at the beginning with the rest of the paperwork - and you may not have realized it.

As therapists, we expect and want patients to contact us if they are immobilized in a situation - we want you to move past these experiences - that's part of why we do what we do!

So, relax, you did the right thing.

I hope you are feeling safe and secure tonight :-)

Nancy and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.


I appreciate your quick response and thorough feedback. I have been seeing him on and off for some time, probably about 10 years, so if we ever discussed his preferences I've long since forgotten them. I suppose I found myself in panic over my actions because he is part of what I would consider a very structured outpatient clinic run by a medical center and he did not return my call. In any case, I have a feeling you are most likely correct. I am working through the night one moment at a time. :-)

Thank you.


Lauren Lamb

Expert:  Nancy replied 7 years ago.
<p>Hi Lauren,</p><p> </p><p>I am sorry he did not return your call. We all have (or should have) ways in which patients can contact us after hours, so he should have.</p><p> </p><p>But the good news is that you worked through it - successfully, on your own. </p><p> </p><p>So, discuss this with him next time, and find out what your options are for needing his help outside of your hour. And know that JustAnswer has this mental health forum where you can always come to talk to one of us!</p><p> </p><p>One moment at a time is just right! Good for you!!!</p><p> </p><p>Nancy <img src="/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-smile.gif" border="0" alt="Smile" title="Smile" width="18" height="18" /></p>

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