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My Therapist Broke Up With Me And Here’s How I Recovered
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My Therapist Broke Up With Me And Here’s How I Recovered

I’ve been through more than a few break-ups in my life, but my therapist breaking up with me is nothing I could’ve imagined.

I take my life and my mental health very seriously, so this isn’t a relationship I would play with nor put at risk of losing. This was my first real therapy experience. In the past, I’ve called my insurance company and talked to whoever was available, but I needed something more consistent. I was looking for a relationship where I met with one person, I can build a relationship with (for the sake of healing), and, most importantly, who I trust and had a connection with.


So I got on Therapy For Black Girls and began my search. This is no reflection on the site because I do believe it’s an amazing resource for people who are searching for a therapist. The thing about finding a therapist, or anyone for that matter – doctors, nail techs, you get the gist – is that it can be a process of trial and error. You may have to go through different people to find the one. Based on my search and what I read about this therapist, it seemed to be a perfect fit, so I made my first appointment.

Things seemed to be going great, we talked about building healthy self-care habits to get through the rough days, how to tackle the loneliness (this was during quarantine), and navigating the relationship with my parents. I found all of her talks and recommendations very helpful, and most of them seemed to work. So much so that I discovered the mental and physical space I was living in was starting to get to me.

Mentally, I was lonely, and although I’m someone who loves alone time, this felt different. Every part of my life seemed to be filled with loneliness. I would walk through empty airports, fly on empty planes, and come to an empty home. I started to feel a sense of abandonment. My mom was so afraid of catching COVID that she didn’t want me at the house and vice versa. The apartment management completely abandoned its tenants and slowly but surely neglected their responsibilities which made my home a place I came to hate.

I talked about all of this with my therapist, and we worked on ways to resolve these issues. One resolution was to find a new place.

Yvonne Orji Therapy GIF by Insecure on HBOGiphy

A place that I loved and had the quality/amenities I wanted and wasn’t influenced by financial fears of the pandemic. I set a budget, assessed my savings, and made a list of what was important to me. After that, I let my therapist know that I would be moving and because I still had to travel for work, attending our sessions would be too much, and I would prefer to continue once I was settled. She agreed and had no problems with that.

However, two and a half weeks later, I was unable to book an appointment. I was confused and decided to contact the office. When I couldn’t get through by phone, I sent an email. The reply I received was: “Our policy states that after three months from the last appointment without communication from a client, it is assumed that services are no longer needed and future counseling services are terminated.

I was very confused because it hadn’t even been a month since my last session, so I reached out, hoping this was a mix-up, and instead received a referral to other therapists. This was a huge slap in the face. I was heartbroken, to be honest. For my therapist to terminate services just didn’t sit right with me.

It had me questioning myself and therapy as a whole. How could you terminate services in the middle of someone's healing? How can you be mistaken about your own policy and not even respond when I’m trying to rectify it? Did she always want to terminate the relationship? How could this be so transactional? All of these things kept going through my head…what did I do?

Suffice it to say, I took all of this very personally because what in the actual f*ck! I wrote off therapy entirely and decided to pursue healing on my own. That only worked for so long. I actually felt like I ended up with more issues than I started with. This added another layer of trust issues and abandonment.

It took me a year and a half, but eventually, I was able to finally start therapy again. A few things that helped me do that include:

I had to find acceptance and forgiveness. 

I had to accept the situation for what it was. If I didn’t, I would’ve carried resentment not just for her but for therapy as a whole. I had to remember things happen for a reason and this was just a redirection. I had to forgive not only her but myself for carrying that burden and internalizing all of it. I kept affirming to myself: I did everything I can do.

I learned how to cope.

While the departure was hurtful, I did learn valuable skills from our sessions. I used those habits to help me grieve and move forward. I read books about healing and articles about people who also experienced this, I created the affirmations I needed to hear, look for value in the experience, and noted everything I learned.

I didn't rush back into therapy.

I took my time to think about what I wanted from therapy and what qualities I wanted in a therapist. I understand it’s a business, but it’s also an emotional bond of trust, care, and respect to work toward a goal. I wanted a therapist who was understanding, had policies I could adhere to, and had the integrity I looked for.

This is also a grieving process. I had to heal from this situation and all that came with it before moving on.

I committed to reading and understanding the policies during consultations.

My mistake the first time was not reading or asking questions about the policy. Moving forward, this is a must!

I learned to read the policy agreement through and through and ask questions about things I didn’t understand or needed more clarity on. I try to do this for the consultation, if possible, or the first session. If the policies are too strict, I know it’s not the right fit for me. I want a sense of ease, I don’t want to be fearful or anxious about having to reschedule an appointment or skip a session or two.

I let my new therapist know what I'd been through.

I definitely think it’s important to discuss this with your new therapist, it gives them an idea of what your experience with therapy has been like. It also gives them the opportunity to know what reservations you may have and what the process of building trust might entail.

I realize through all of this, there’s good in the bad. I love how my current therapy sessions are going. I love the homework, the feedback, and the vulnerability. I decided to use this experience to find a therapist and healing process that works for me.

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Featured image by SDI Productions/Getty Images

 

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