Return To Therapy?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hey I would really appreciate your help for this problem. I was in therapy during the last 4 months, because I have family issues (my father died when I was ten and my mum has been depressed since he died) and because I’m having hard time in College, I’m having a very important exam this year and I have been very stressed and very nervous because of it. Yet I stopped therapy three weeks ago, because I thought I was feeling better and that I could continue my way on my own and my psychologist totally agreed about it.

However I have been feeling so bad since I quite therapy, I just don’t want to do anything, I cannot concentrate at all, I have troubles sleeping and spend days just waiting for the time to slip by, I feel like I have lost interest in everything and that I don’t want to study or to go to college anymore. The problem is that my entrance examination is approaching and by not studying , I’m just ruining my life.

I’m thinking about going back to see this therapist but still hesitant and reluctant to do so. We both thought the work was done and I don’t want to be the kind of person who’s dependant on someone else , especially on a therapist. I don’t want to be a burden to carry.

I really don’t know what to do, I just feel I’m some looser, incapable of moving on my own and always needing the help of someone else.

(I apologize if my message is not clear, I did only learn english at school).

A. You should return to therapy. It helped you. You know that for a fact. You are not a “loser” for needing help. You’re being too hard on yourself. Your thinking is incorrect because it is oriented toward negativity and putting yourself down. You are not becoming dependent on your therapist. You are not “incapable of moving on your own and always needing the help of someone else.” I suspect that you terminated therapy prematurely. You may have misjudged your progress when you chose to end it. That is likely the case.

If you had a friend who was in a similar situation I hardly think that you would consider him or her a “loser” for returning to therapy. You would most likely advise your friend to return and if so, it would be very logical and sensible advice.

You mentioned that you thought you would be a “burden to carry.” Again, you are being very self-critical. Please realize that it is you who perceives yourself in a negative light, not the therapist. The therapist is there to help you. Therapists typically do not perceive their clients as “burdens.” They are in the helping profession presumably because they want to assist other individuals. That is their job.

Would you be this hard on yourself if you needed to hire an attorney to defend a legal case? Would you consider yourself a “loser” because you weren’t an expert in the courtroom? Why would you; you’ve had no training as a lawyer. Would you call yourself a “loser” if you needed a plumber because your toilet was clogged and you weren’t sure how to fix it? The answer to those questions is likely no. You probably would be okay with calling in an expert in those situations. Your feelings about going to a therapist should be no different. If a therapist helps you make wise decisions and helps improve your quality of life then you should not hesitate to return. You should continue therapy until you feel like you no longer are benefiting from it.

You know therapy has worked for you in the past and there is a high likelihood that it will help again. I hope you make the right choice. Thanks for your question.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Mar 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Return To Therapy?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/03/21/return-to-therapy/