January 8, 2010 7:53 AM Subscribe
Was my therapist trying to manipulate me, or am I just being paranoid?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Last year I had some short-term counselling when I was diagnosed with moderate situational depression by my G.P. I had to visit a view therapists before finding someone I got on with and finally agreed on six sessions initially with a Gestalt practitioner in order to focus on a specific issue. Each session helped a great deal, but I saw it as a finite process.
During the last session we agreed it had been useful but that there were probably other issues I needed help with. He asked me about why I was quitting therapy at that time. I told him it was because I was worried about spending so much money on something that feels like a luxury (I'm trying to save to buy a house and £200 a month on therapy is a big deal for me) and also because I didn't want to become dependant on him - part of my problem is extreme introversion and I felt that I needed to work on developing stronger connections with family/friends rather than having my social energy focussed on someone I was paying to listen to me.
He persisted with the question saying that he still couldn't understand why I was ending things at that point. I was upset and felt that he was trying to strong-arm me into continuing the current arrangement. I asked why my explanation wasn't enough and he said that he thought it was a shame that I'd decided to stop there and that he was sad that the process was over. That felt weird to me - I didn't know if he genuinely found our work interesting, or just didn't want to lose a client. It may have been a bit of both, but regardless, should he have even told me that? It seemed a bit unprofessional. The session ended ok but I was unsettled.
However, I'm now thinking I was over-ambitious on the shoring-up-friendships-while-depressed front and would like to suck up the cost and continue therapy after all but I'm not sure how to proceed. Until that last session I really trusted the therapist, but then it went weird. I'm aware that my current state could be clouding my perspective but I'm feeling a bit fragile and don't want to have to deal with the therapist's feelings as well as my own. Should I ask to return to him and discuss this or just find someone else? Many thanks for any perspective.