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So I do read the threads here from time to time, even if I don't always post in them. Sometimes, I either feel I don't have any advice to give, or that the advice I would have given was already succinctly covered. One of the comments that stuck with me was what someone said in Ender's thread (I think it was Odine) that if you aren't getting anything out of your therapist, you should move on and find a new one.

I did benefit greatly from my therapist very early on, and I believe I have enjoyed most of that benefit all the way up until we started having our sessions remotely due to COVID. There was one instance when I was in the office, though, that really put me off: I had revealed to her something that was not honorable, and I knew how messed up it was. But she got angry and berated me about it for the remainder of our session, for something I already knew wasn't an okay thing to do and wanted help so to prevent it from ever happening again. I must've cracked a nervous smirk at some point, which made her go off even more. "Is this funny to you?" So that was strike one.

Strike two came after we went remote, where we'd spend a good deal of time--sometimes half our sessions--talking about COVID and people's responses to it, or lack thereof. At this point she started getting a tad political as well. Our sessions started to feel more like glorified conversations between friends, which wouldn't be bad under normal circumstances, but I'm there for therapy! It should also be noted that during this time she would multitask without even trying to hide it, like when she told me she was cleaning out her refrigerator while we were talking.

Strike three was when the mask came completely off and she went full political, even trying to tell me how to vote and what matters should be important to me and why. Under any normal circumstance, I would have gladly engaged in debate, but since this was my therapist, I just let her yammer on and patiently wait until she was done to get around to my issues (which would sometimes only leave ten or fifteen minutes left in the session).

The last time we spoke, I politely asked her if we could steer clear of COVID and politics as it made me anxious, to which she agreed, yet somehow she sort of kept tiptoeing back in that direction and before I knew it, there I was listening to another political monologue about how great this candidate is and how terrible this one is, and how this one lied during the debate and so on. I'd willingly been suckered back into the conversation and it bit me in the ass.

To top it all off--and this is the kicker--I started to talk about something that was very important to me, a self-realization that I wanted to bring to the forefront, and what did she do? She turned her attention to something on the news and completely missed what I said! I had to ask her if she was still on the line! That pissed me off and I didn't repeat what I said because I felt like she wasn't interested, and this fourth strike (I guess I've been a very lenient umpire) was the deciding factor in getting the hell out of there.

Here's the thing, though: I have always been very mindful of other people's feelings, especially in recent years. Therapists probably often feel like emotional dumpsters, which has to be draining, so I feel it's very important to consider their feelings. Revealing your inner demons to them and forming a mild friendship is a fairly intimate thing, so the separation cannot be easy from the patient's perspective, and probably not from the therapist's, either. Further, as someone who has been reprimanded and fired for my job performances, when you are told that you're not performing your job adequately, it hurts.

So how might be the best way to sever the relationship? It's going to be completely unexpected because I always seem satisfied and willing to reschedule.

I'd hate to say that I want to talk about me the entire time, but that's what my insurance is paying her for. After the separation, I think I'd like to start seeing an actual psychiatrist, preferably one who can do a psychiatric evaluation so I can know what exactly is wrong with me, if I truly am autistic or if it's something else. The insurance companies are waving copays right now for mental health therapy, so I might as well take full advantage of it.

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I think it was Brando/Fozzie who said that to you, not me. But I agree with his point.

If the therapist is as bad as you say I'd start looking for a new one and sort that out before you leave so you don't have a big interim of time where you aren't seeing one. 

In regards to your therapists feelings I wouldn't worry about it. They're (supposed to be) professionals so if you arent getting what you need just tell her/him that you are going to go elsewhere. Pull the bandaid off quick. You don't need to go into the whys, but if she asks you could just say you don't feel your needs as a patient are being met and you have decided to go elsewhere for therapy.

And this should go without saying, but only go with a therapist/counsellor who has adequate credentials, so that  if they are not equipped to deal with your needs they are able to identify that and refer you to someone else, who can meet your needs. Which it doesn't seem like your current therapist does.

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Describing a relationship with a therapist as a mild friendship betrays what the relationship should be. It might make it easier to talk to her if you think that way, but she isn’t your friend and never should be. I’ve seen 5 different therapists during my lifetime and I’ve eventually parted ways with all of them.

The worst was similar to your situation - he was a Lutheran minister and found out that I’m Catholic and wanted to debate religion. I got along with him well before that, but after a couple of sessions that involved that, I realized that he wasn’t helping me to achieve my goals.

You should feel comfortable with your therapist, definitely. If you aren’t, they aren’t for you. But they’re also medical professionals. If you went to a doctor about a medical condition and she just wanted to talk about her politics instead of your cancer, you would find someone else. It sounds like you’re bringing up stuff that she’s ignoring.

Berating you is another red flag. Now, I don’t know the full context, meaning what you said, how you said it, and what she said and how she said it. We know you have trouble with social cues at times, but at the same time, it sounds this is different. If the therapist isn’t helping you move forward, find someone who can. It doesn’t have to be a long break-up, it can just be “I don’t feel like our sessions are helping me, so I want to find someone who may be able to help me better.” Not every therapist is for everyone. 
 

As for Odine’s advice about lining up someone first, it’s great if this therapist is helping you. If not, and it sounds like not, there’s no point in paying for her services.

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I only suggested to line someone up before leaving so that there is less time not getting therapy. If you leave/pause something with a long period of time in between picking it up again, the less likely you are to pick it up the longer that time is.

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Yeah, it’s true, but at the same time don’t pay for something that might be causing more problems. I definitely left one therapist even though it took me a while to find someone else, because the relationship was toxic. They were causing more problems than they were solving.

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You should end you're seeing a therapist the same way you end a relationship.

Miss an appointment, feign that you're sorry. Miss a second one, gaslight them into thinking it's their mess up. Go to the next appointment, act like nothing is wrong, but be a little with-holding.

Text them that you don't think it's working out. Text them back the next day apologizing. Miss another appointment, and when they call you on it, explain how it is their fault for taking it someplace you didn't want to go. After three weeks of silence, text them late saying you need help. When they hit you back, ignore them forever.

Run into them in the parking lot of a grocery store a year later and pretend to be super happy to see them, or act like you have no idea who they are.

Kidding of course. But you do end it like a relationship-- clearly! Tell him that you appreciate how he's helped you, but that your last few sessions have left you more frustrated due to the straying into political talk, which you said you did not want to do. If he apologizes and says he'll do better, say you've already found somebody else.

 

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Call the therapist in the middle of the night, remind them you're done, but also point they were the only one who could solve this one problem...

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/8/2020 at 9:33 PM, Zerimar Nyliram said:

So I do read the threads here from time to time, even if I don't always post in them. Sometimes, I either feel I don't have any advice to give, or that the advice I would have given was already succinctly covered. One of the comments that stuck with me was what someone said in Ender's thread (I think it was Odine) that if you aren't getting anything out of your therapist, you should move on and find a new one.

I did benefit greatly from my therapist very early on, and I believe I have enjoyed most of that benefit all the way up until we started having our sessions remotely due to COVID. There was one instance when I was in the office, though, that really put me off: I had revealed to her something that was not honorable, and I knew how messed up it was. But she got angry and berated me about it for the remainder of our session, for something I already knew wasn't an okay thing to do and wanted help so to prevent it from ever happening again. I must've cracked a nervous smirk at some point, which made her go off even more. "Is this funny to you?" So that was strike one.

Strike two came after we went remote, where we'd spend a good deal of time--sometimes half our sessions--talking about COVID and people's responses to it, or lack thereof. At this point she started getting a tad political as well. Our sessions started to feel more like glorified conversations between friends, which wouldn't be bad under normal circumstances, but I'm there for therapy! It should also be noted that during this time she would multitask without even trying to hide it, like when she told me she was cleaning out her refrigerator while we were talking.

Strike three was when the mask came completely off and she went full political, even trying to tell me how to vote and what matters should be important to me and why. Under any normal circumstance, I would have gladly engaged in debate, but since this was my therapist, I just let her yammer on and patiently wait until she was done to get around to my issues (which would sometimes only leave ten or fifteen minutes left in the session).

The last time we spoke, I politely asked her if we could steer clear of COVID and politics as it made me anxious, to which she agreed, yet somehow she sort of kept tiptoeing back in that direction and before I knew it, there I was listening to another political monologue about how great this candidate is and how terrible this one is, and how this one lied during the debate and so on. I'd willingly been suckered back into the conversation and it bit me in the ass.

To top it all off--and this is the kicker--I started to talk about something that was very important to me, a self-realization that I wanted to bring to the forefront, and what did she do? She turned her attention to something on the news and completely missed what I said! I had to ask her if she was still on the line! That pissed me off and I didn't repeat what I said because I felt like she wasn't interested, and this fourth strike (I guess I've been a very lenient umpire) was the deciding factor in getting the hell out of there.

Here's the thing, though: I have always been very mindful of other people's feelings, especially in recent years. Therapists probably often feel like emotional dumpsters, which has to be draining, so I feel it's very important to consider their feelings. Revealing your inner demons to them and forming a mild friendship is a fairly intimate thing, so the separation cannot be easy from the patient's perspective, and probably not from the therapist's, either. Further, as someone who has been reprimanded and fired for my job performances, when you are told that you're not performing your job adequately, it hurts.

So how might be the best way to sever the relationship? It's going to be completely unexpected because I always seem satisfied and willing to reschedule.

I'd hate to say that I want to talk about me the entire time, but that's what my insurance is paying her for. After the separation, I think I'd like to start seeing an actual psychiatrist, preferably one who can do a psychiatric evaluation so I can know what exactly is wrong with me, if I truly am autistic or if it's something else. The insurance companies are waving copays right now for mental health therapy, so I might as well take full advantage of it.

This was very hard to read. My wife is a licensed therapist, and if she ever pulled any of this shit, the state board would yank her license in a heartbeat.

You're right about the emotional dumpster thing. It is draining. However, that is not an excuse for some of this behavior. That is part of the job description, and therapists that cannot handle that, have no business in the profession. The best way to sever this relationship is just tell your therapist that you do not feel as though its a good match anymore and you believe you would be better served by another therapist. Building a relationship between a therapist and client is essential, and sometimes even if a therapist seems like a good fit on paper, you just don't click with them. That's okay. A good, experienced therapist understands this and will not hold it against you.

Your plan to see a psychiatrist is reasonable. Another thing you might want to look into is locally active professional organizations. See if there is an association for mental health professionals that specialize in Autism. If there is, find a member in your local area. Members of associations like these typically have much more training in specific disorders than your average therapist, and since they tend to accept a much higher client load of people with that disorder, they are much better at determining severity, identifying a misdiagnosis, and treatment.

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