Can’t Stop Thinking About My Therapist

By Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D.

I went to see same therapist for about 3 years. He says I have a dependent personality, not really sure I really understand what that means. My life was pretty chaotic when I started with him and is much better now. I go to a group session with another therapist now which is helpful in maintaining my coping skills. I know I see the first therapist as a father figure and think alot of my issues come from growing up with a mostly absent father who was an alcoholic. The therapist has essentially said he can’t do anything more for me, because he has nothing different to tell me than he has already. My  spouse has addiction issues and I have thought about and discussed in therapy leaving, but I guess I never find it bad enough to actually leave. Overall right now most things in my life are manageable, but I keep wanting to continue seeing the therapist. I feel like I need his approval or guidance or assurance on any decision I make. I haven’t seen him in several months, but keep thinking about calling him. Why can I not move on?
There are a couple of things that come to mind when I read your letter. First, if your therapist said that you have a dependent personality, it means that you can become dependent on many things, including people. Dependent people are often addicted to substances, food, and can easily become dependent on his/her significant other and therapists. Therapists are typically a safe place for patients, and can often be viewed as loving and understanding. Because of that we can fall “in love” with a therapist and have a strong need to be with/around them.  You were able to function prior to going into therapy, and you mentioned that you are married. While it may feel like you can’t make it without this therapist, you will survive. You are probably going through some grief issues with separating from your therapist, but understand that he didn’t want to become yet another problem, or person to become dependent or addicted to.  If you feel that you continue to need therapy, find another therapist, or find a support group in your area for, perhaps, co-dependency issues.
Best of luck,

Dr. Diana Walcutt

 

 

 

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Apr 2009

APA Reference
Walcutt, D. (2009). Can’t Stop Thinking About My Therapist. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/04/27/cant-stop-thinking-about-my-therapist/