Why would therapist abandon me?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have struggled with depression for years. It has progressively gotten worse over the past two years. I have been in therapy and do have a safety contract with my therapist, which I do understand the purpose of. Yet, it has been made very clear that if I were to attempt that all ties would be cut and I would no longer be able to continue therapy. Why is that? It’s as if when I am at my lowest that is when the person that I trust would just discard like everone else.

A: There are many effective ways to do therapeutic work. I don’t know for sure why your therapist says she will cut all ties if you attempt suicide. Perhaps she is hoping that your relationship with her is important enough for you to think twice when you are contemplating an attempt. It’s not that she doesn’t care about you. It’s that she is reminding you of your caring for each other as one of the things that can help you hold on to life. Of course, the person who can answer your question best is your therapist. Please discuss your concerns with her at your next appointment.

I’m sorry you have been struggling with depression for so long. It must be discouraging and exhausting. If you haven’t done so already, I urge you to talk with your therapist about maybe trying some medication in addition to the therapy. An antidepressant might give you enough relief so that you can take better advantage of the talk therapy. An additional resource for you is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. ( 1 800 273 TALK ) Counselors are available at any time, day or night.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Apr 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Why would therapist abandon me?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/04/04/depression-3/