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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Im missing my therapist, is this normal. I was seeing the

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I'm missing my therapist, is this normal. I was seeing the same therapist for severe child abuse and abandonement issues for over 2 years. He told me he was taking a short leave as his wife was expecting. After 1 month I emailed and we scheduled an appoint, but then he cancelled it. He said we had to postpone it. I waited 3 weeks and wrote again. He said he is not seeing clients yet but would still see me, he said he would schedule me within a couple of days. I didn't hear back. I waited 2 wks & asked again, this time he said he thinks of me every night when he goes to bed but he still isn't seeing anyone. After that I decided to respect his space and wait. I waited to months and no reply. Finally I wrote him again and he said he has reduced his practice to assessments only and doesn't know if he will ever go back to therapy. I have been crying all the time since. Why can't I move on?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.


I can imagine how distressing this situation must be for you. You are clearly having a difficult time making the transition from this therapist to your next therapist. And the reason is not difficult to spot; you write the reason yourself: the therapy itself has been for abandonment issues.

And so intellectually you know this was not an abandonment situation. You, in fact, have gone to great lengths to describe to me why he needed to discontinue the therapy relationship with you.

But in your emotional self, this is indeed another abandonment in your life. And it is very difficult for you to deal with it. In therapeutic terms, the situation is called transference.

Transference is not uncommon. In fact, in many forms of psychotherapy, especially psychodynamic psychotherapies, transference is worked with as a very important aspect of the treatment of the problem. It is PURPOSELY brought into the therapy session. So not only should you not be embarrassed to bring it up with your next therapist, the therapist would ENCOURAGE you to bring it up and to work on it. In other words, as you move on now to your next therapist and move forward in your work toward healing from the sexual abuse, this will be the first thing you work on with the next therapist.


This brings us back to the question of why would transference be encouraged in psychodynamic therapy. And as we said, BECAUSE when you become AWARE of your transference, it means you are starting to bring into conscious awareness some of the parts of the upbringing you needed but didn't get and are ready to reprocess some of those things that were messed up. Or parts of your past experiences that weren't processed properly that are now ready to be reprocessed. A trained therapist can use this to work on that developmental gain you are perhaps ready to make and help you bring it out.

What I very much want you to take from what I've said to you above is this: I haven't focused on your trying NOT to feel the sense of loss because of the end of this relationship with your therapist. Rather, I'm focusing on how you need to move forward. Yes, you're feeling loss; but you know that this is part of the problems you've been dealing with in therapy itself. Therefore, I'm focusing much more on how to now find a new therapist and to bring in the feelings you have, the transference I discussed above, into the new therapy. Because that's what is so important here. And because this is how you will make the relationship with your therapist properly become part of your past, a healthy part of your past.

Here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory if you need help finding a new therapist. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful (because they seem smart and not so easily manipulatable!) look at the listing and see if they list psychodynamic therapy in their orientations.

http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/

Good Therapy is a non profit directory. Same idea as the one above:

http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

 



Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm not sure I totally understand about transference as yes I very much liked this man but I don't feel anything sexual towards him. He even told me once in therapy when I was going through details of my abuse that it was only sex. He has also invited me to his church and introduced me to is family. After church he would judge me in therapy as how I handled certain things in church. He has told me that I am a very special client and he sees us as friends. I have volunteered in the nursery just so I can see him when he drops off his baby. He has also stated that he will only leave his child when I'm there. Is this normal?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
No, this is not normal in therapeutic relationships. I can't address why the therapist chose to have such a strong relationship with you outside of therapy, but your sense that this might not be the normal way therapy is conducted is correct. It is not.


This fact makes the feelings you have of loss more clear. But it also makes it more imperative for you to find a new therapist with whom you can work on these feelings and begin to sort them out. And also begin to get back to the issues that you need to work on to move forward: the abuse in your past and your own issues.


I'm glad you explained the boundaries of the relationship with your past therapist. Or, actually, the lack of boundaries with your past therapist. Because there were not good boundaries between you as the client and him as the therapist.


So, please don't delay in establishing a relationship with a new therapist so that you can move forward. Because you do need to move forward, okay?


I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is it wrong for me to hold out nail we become friends. He mentioned omething about waiting 2 years, it his wife looks at meas though I've got the plague. I don't think she likes me. I'm so confused, I thought therapy would help not make it worse. Do therapists only pretend to care?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
This is why there are boundaries that therapists usually maintain with clients. Exactly because of this problem that you are experiencing. And I'm so sorry this has happened for you. Because you are correct, this has not been helpful for your therapy.


However, it is not a problem with psychotherapy. It is a problem that your therapist did not maintain the proper boundaries for therapy. That you and he became personally involved. That you became involved in his life outside of therapy.


Because therapy to really be helpful to you needs to be a one way relationship. It has to be focused exclusively on you. Thus, the therapist is not supposed to have you involved in his life in any way. Because this compromises the one way relationship. And it becomes too confusing and no longer the helpful relationship.


Again, I'm so sorry that he didn't maintain these proper boundaries. But you need to move forward. I'm very concerned for you. I'm concerned for you that you don't get stuck in this relationship with your former therapist. Because it is not beneficial for you. So, please move forward in finding a new therapist and work on getting over this past relationship in your new therapy, okay?



I wish you the very best!


My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will try to consider getting a new therapist, however I feel extremely vulnerable right now. It took me over a year with seeing this therapist every week to finally start to trust him. Trusting men when you were threatened for over 5 years, age 8-12 yrs old. Scared of being killed or raped day in and day out. It finally ended when my foster brother was arrested for murdering someone else. He brainwashed me in believing he was the only one in the world that cared. When he was arrested I was lost, and I actually missed him even though I hated what he was doing to me. This therapist was the only man I've ever trusted since.i so want to believe he cared. I hate wondering if it was a scam it just hurts way to much.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
It doesn't sound as though it was a scam. It sounds as though he did indeed care. But he let his caring lead to blurring boundaries between therapist and client. And that did not help in the long run.


And this is why you need to continue as soon as possible in therapy: so that you can work on these feelings you have and build on the trust that you had, rather than close up that trust. This is why I'm so concerned you move forward in new therapy.


This event in your life, of having a therapist you trusted and who you know cared and yet he was honorable and did not abuse you is so vitally important. But it needs to be built on. This is my great concern here: that you build on it.


I wish you the very best!


My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
After your advise last night I went to my doctor to get a referral to start again. I explained everything to my Dr., including your advise. She thinks I should see a female & even suggested I report my previous therapist. She told me also that I have to quit going to his church. I love going to this church now and have made quite a few new friends. I don't know if I have the strength to go somewhere else. What's your opinion?
The Dr. also put me on Effexor, Clonazepam, & temazepam. I haven't told her that my best relief so far is a bottle of wine and cutting myself.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
These are difficult ethical questions. I would rather you discuss with your new therapist whether you should take these two steps. I know that MDs like to make quick decisions. But this may not be a quick decision type situation.


You see, my concern is not just "objective" like a doctor's might be. My concern is foremost for you. And so this decision, or these decisions of whether to file a report and whether to leave the church need to be done with your therapist once you're forming a new relationship.


I am not of the same opinion as the doctor in terms of a female therapist. I think it can be "safe" for you. But a male therapist allows you to work more on the fears inside. If you are feeling vulnerable right now, then maybe your doctor is correct and you should, for a while, work with a female therapist. But if you feel like you want to move forward, a male therapist might be more conducive to that.


I wish you the very best!


My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you really believe I can get to a point of healing? I'm frightened most of the time, also my Dr mentioned EMDR, but I don't know what that is.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
Healing is a subjective feeling, not an objective measurement. I am more concerned with you continuing to move forward, building on the gains you've made with that past therapist.


As for EMDR, it can be very helpful. Take some time and learn about it on the internet. Then, if you would like, a while from now start a new question and we can talk about it when you know more, okay?


But don't let it stop your momentum.


I wish you the very best!


My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5170
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice