How Do I Survive My Therapist’s Summer Vacation?
From Sweden: I have seen my current T for one year during which we have managed to build a good, trustworthy relationship. My road to therapy has been very traumatizing, complex and very painful. My T started his summer vacation 3 days ago, when I last met him. We had 3 sessions per week, which for me is the absolute min. and not always sufficient.
I got mentally ill and a severe somatic disease in 2014, which isolated me from my friends and family and all authorities. I was and still am very lonely due to my physical and mental state. I have sought help from doctors, nurses, therapists, psychologists, NGO:s, mental health organizations, medical associations etc., but no one can understand nor help me. Everyone has beaten me up, hurt and traumatized me more.
This current T is the only thing that helps me and keeps my head above water, although it is not sufficient. I had an appointment at the psych. outpatient ward the other day, but he didn’t understand me and said all the traumatizing things people have told me every single time I have sought for help, support and understanding. I have tried and done everything I possible can and am able to do, and turned to everyone.
Now I am pretty sure I will not survive this 6,5 half weeks my T is on vacation. Me and my T’s relationship is not equal: it is very unfair and unjust. He just goes on holiday while I am struggling to keep my head above water. That’s how therapy is I think. My T made me promise him not to kill myself during his vacation but really there isn’t anything that could help me like our T does.
I have googled a lot of things about ‘how to survive through your T’s holiday’ but all those tips hurt me more and doesn’t meet my need(s) (to be understood, supported). I am really traumatized and beaten up and lonely. Can you advice me? Please no quotes or general advise because I’ve really done everything, and only gotten more hurt and traumatized. One psychologist once told me I am too hurt and traumatized for her or for anyone to help me. Please when suggesting, do also keep in mind that my physical disability won’t allow me to go outside much.
A: I am so, so sorry that life has been so hard for you. I’m also very concerned that only one person in the world has proven to be helpful. That exclusivity isn’t fair to you or to your therapist. It puts extraordinary pressure on you both.
I wonder if you have tried to reach out to people in similar circumstances. Please take a look at the forums here at PsychCentral. People from all over the world who have similar problems provide support and practical help for each other. Go to the “Find Help” tab. Click on “Forums and Support Groups”. Identify the group that you think may be most helpful. (You may have to try more than one.) Often people who are going through much the same kind of distress can offer compassionate support and good advice. You can log on as much as you want and need to.
Becoming part of a supportive community may provide the bridge you need until your therapist gets back. In fact, that community may also provide additional support even while you are in treatment.
I wish you well.
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2017). How Do I Survive My Therapist’s Summer Vacation?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 18, 2017, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/08/09/how-do-i-survive-my-therapists-summer-vacation/