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Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1073
Experience:  20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
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I have a problem. My therapist has told me that he is

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I have a problem. My therapist has told me that he is retiring, and will be away in September definitely, but that he may be coming back for a day or two after that part-time, but that he is not sure, and that it will be less easy for me to see him. He has not recommended a person that I can see instead in the event that he doesn't return. How do I talk with him about this? I'm concerned that he may retire in September and then I'll never get to see him again, or have any type of closure. I feel like perhaps I've been started in a termination process that isn't quite the process I would have expected, I guess. I'm afraid to discuss this with him because I don't want him to think that I can't get by without his help, etc., but what am I supposed to do if I feel like I still need some support in therapy with some changes that I am working on making for myself?
Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm pleased to try to help you today.

I'm sorry that you are finding yourself in this uncomfortable and uncertain situation with your therapist. Based on what you have said, I would have to agree with you that he is not handling your termination very well. To give him the benefit of the doubt, it may be because he really isn't sure what he's doing, and he thinks he's giving you a "head's up" that this is likely coming. But you are right - it's not clear and he hasn't done a good job of preparing you and helping you with this process.

By all means, talk to him about it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you flat-out telling him that this feels uncomfortable for you, that you are somewhat dependent on him, and that you are feeling somewhat abandoned. There is nothing to be ashamed about that you are afraid to do this without him - and he needs to know that. I don't know how long you have been working with him, but a month's notice is really not very professional and not very well thought out on his part. When I have thought about the day I might cut back or retire, I'm looking at giving some client's (a few) a year's notice, and many of them 6 months. I don't think I would give anyone only a month. That seems inconsiderate and irresponsible.

Make it clear to him that you are feeling scared and let to deal with this without any kind of a process or help on his part. Tell him how you feel. Be honest. You have nothing to lose. Tell him you need some referrals -now - and that you need more transition time with him. Also, express your concern that he isn't being clear (as you have come to expect with him) and that that makes you feel insecure. This is a relationship, and you have a right to a better termination.

I feel that I have to say that there may be something going on in his personal life that is causing him to not handle this very well. So give him the benefit of the doubt that he may not be thinking clearly, but let him know how hard that is making things for you.

I wish you the best, ***** ***** let me know if I can answer any further questions. Tamara
Tamara and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so much for your help. I will try to talk with him about it at our next session.