Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What To Do When Your Therapist Leaves You

I knew it was coming. K, my therapist, is moving on to greener pastures. We've been working on my bullsh*t together for about three years now. She's helped me through getting married, two relapses of OCD-related anxiety and depression, countless family dramas and learning how to love myself. I'm still working on most of that, but I'm still alive, so she did her job. She did it well and I really like her, so I'm understandably sad that she is going. However, I'm very happy for her and maybe a little bit hopeful that change isn't so bad. If your therapist up and leaves you for something better or just because they change offices like I change med schedules, you can do what I'm doing–at your own peril.

1. Pretend it's totally cool. Say things like "That's awesome." "I'll be fine." and "Don't worry about it."
2. Go about your scheduled therapy like nothing is different. Talk about your family, your job and your "homework" like you would any other day. Change the subject when it comes to the impending breakup.
3. Acknowledge the fact that not only has your therapy buddy decided to move on, you have to find a new therapist.
4. Panic.
5. Cry.
6. Frantically research therapists in the area in case the other ones at your soon-to-be estranged therapist's office are d*ckwads or flakes.
7. Continue to go to therapy and act like nothing is wrong. "Who me? Worry that the therapist who talked me through a wedding when I couldn't leave my house without panicking a year earlier and who called the doctors when I stupidly checked into an in-patient facility and explained that I'm not an addict or a psychopath, so give me my meds and then let me go home is not going to be calling me on my sh*t anymore? That doesn't sound like me. I'm fine."
8. Pull up your big girl panties and seriously talk about the next move, meaning finding a new therapist.
9. Find new therapist.
10. Try to find fault with new therapist whom you have yet to meet.
11. Resign yourself to new therapist.
12. Say goodbye to old therapist while crying and telling her to keep in touch with you, as if that is an ethical move on her part. "What do you mean boundaries?!"
13. Meet new therapist.
14. Chill because new therapist is cool.
15. Cry all the way home because old therapist was cool too.

. . . and that's all I have so far. I'll give you the other 20 steps once I've completed and identified them. Good luck on your journeys from therapist to therapist. I know we all do it and some point or another.