Is my therapist okay? (hasn't responded to calls for 2 weeks

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_cora_
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06 May 2022, 8:36 am

So, I've been seeing this therapist about a year now. Last time I was there, I had no more appointments and she didn't tell my mom to schedule more. I decided to not bother her about it and go home.
My mom called her last week, and left a message that she wanted to schedule more appointments. I'm sure we reached the right voicemail. She doesn't respond for a few more days. My mom tries to text her. We just think she's on vacation.
Next week, my mom leaves another voicemail. It's been about 2 weeks and I'm getting concerned. No calls, texts, emails, nothing to tell us what's going on. She is forgetful, but not this bad. I'm starting to worry something bad happened to her. Because I doubt she would just ghost me (I'm not that mean, right??) I need her the most now because I'm going back to school, which was a disaster last time. I don't know what to do?



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06 May 2022, 9:02 am

Is there some website/organization she's connected to? Maybe they should know.


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Sarahsmith
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06 May 2022, 5:26 pm

If you’re desperate couldn’t you just get a new one? For the time being at least. Until you get a new one.



_cora_
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06 May 2022, 8:43 pm

magz wrote:
Is there some website/organization she's connected to? Maybe they should know.

There isn't really anyone that we could contact other than her, she has a business with a few other people but they don't have a receptionist or anything, it's pretty small. I will search if they have a website though.



_cora_
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06 May 2022, 8:46 pm

Sarahsmith wrote:
If you’re desperate couldn’t you just get a new one? For the time being at least. Until you get a new one.

I really don't wanna get another one, because I've been to so many therapists before this one that didn't understand me or decided they didn't want to work with me. Hopefully she will reply soon, because I will wait for her. I hope I don't have to start from the beginning with another therapist, because it takes so long for them to even understand what I'm telling them about my specific problem. Not that we've done any work on that problem in the year I've seen this therapist, though.



IsabellaLinton
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06 May 2022, 8:48 pm

I'm sure there's an explanation for her absence, even though you feel concerned.
I used to see an old man as my therapist.
I asked him flat out what would happen if he retired or even died.
He said that all therapists have "partners" so if one dies the other will notify people.
The other person is also responsible for housing all of that therapist's files until they're returned to patients.
Files are confidential and can't just be left in limbo.
Even if your therapist was extremely ill, chances are someone would notify all her patients.



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06 May 2022, 8:49 pm

Lol If you just can’t get a hold of her couldn’t you try online therapy? From a professional. Yes I know it’s slow. I’m sorry this is troubling you. I hope you get a hold of her.



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06 May 2022, 9:50 pm

I've had some experience with my two of my daughter's therapists who worked with her saying to me there is nothing further they could do for her specific issue (which has never been addressed) namely her noise sensitivity.

My daughter attempted to contact one of them herself about something she was told during therapy that she did not understand . For about a year my daughter kept sending texts to the therapist asking questions who simply blocked her texts (we did not know she was doing this or had the therapists mobile).

Eventually the therapist threw a tantrum and phoned us ranting about harassment. We apologised and spoke sternly to our daughter about privacy etc.

The upshot here is that once therapists tell the client there is no further need to see them (whether they have addressed the problem or not) they will not respond to your questions anymore.



_cora_
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07 May 2022, 1:18 pm

Sarahsmith wrote:
Lol If you just can’t get a hold of her couldn’t you try online therapy? From a professional. Yes I know it’s slow. I’m sorry this is troubling you. I hope you get a hold of her.

I've tried online therapy, actually, and had multiple bad experiences, so I don't really think that's an option at this point. All 3 online therapists refused to address the issue and said I should go to my doctor (which I did, and she said she couldn't do anything). I'm sorry if I seem overly negative. I'm hoping that my therapist will be okay and respond soon.



_cora_
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07 May 2022, 1:21 pm

cyberdad wrote:
I've had some experience with my two of my daughter's therapists who worked with her saying to me there is nothing further they could do for her specific issue (which has never been addressed) namely her noise sensitivity.

My daughter attempted to contact one of them herself about something she was told during therapy that she did not understand . For about a year my daughter kept sending texts to the therapist asking questions who simply blocked her texts (we did not know she was doing this or had the therapists mobile).

Eventually the therapist threw a tantrum and phoned us ranting about harassment. We apologised and spoke sternly to our daughter about privacy etc.

The upshot here is that once therapists tell the client there is no further need to see them (whether they have addressed the problem or not) they will not respond to your questions anymore.


My therapist never said she didn't want to see my anymore. She never said anything that could really be interpreted as her being done with me. I don't get it. They can't just abandon you without telling you why, right?



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07 May 2022, 9:58 pm

_cora_ wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
I've had some experience with my two of my daughter's therapists who worked with her saying to me there is nothing further they could do for her specific issue (which has never been addressed) namely her noise sensitivity.

My daughter attempted to contact one of them herself about something she was told during therapy that she did not understand . For about a year my daughter kept sending texts to the therapist asking questions who simply blocked her texts (we did not know she was doing this or had the therapists mobile).

Eventually the therapist threw a tantrum and phoned us ranting about harassment. We apologised and spoke sternly to our daughter about privacy etc.

The upshot here is that once therapists tell the client there is no further need to see them (whether they have addressed the problem or not) they will not respond to your questions anymore.


My therapist never said she didn't want to see my anymore. She never said anything that could really be interpreted as her being done with me. I don't get it. They can't just abandon you without telling you why, right?


I'm afraid they are entitled to professional objectivity/privacy outside of scheduled appointment times. One of the misconceptions I had about health professionals was based on movies where like a local village doctor who follows up to see how their patients are and counsel them in a caring manner and make them feel they are being looked after.

The reality is that health professionals run a business and (for a therapist) their professional ethics requires them to be empathetic within the appointment to build rapport and facilitate treatment. While I have heard of some therapists who will talk on phone outside of appointments when patients follow up, in my experience I have never ever had a any type of professional in healthcare, counselling, speech therapy, OT or any other form of allied health follow up or talk to me outside outside of appointments.

If your therapist has advised your mother to not schedule any further appointments then this means the therapeutic relationship is over, One criticism I would have of your therapist (and its one I have experienced) is it sounds like they have not completed or done their job. This means they should have debriefed you on what still needs to be done and at least refer you on to a colleague if they don't think they can help further. But therapists are subject to the same human frailty as all of us, and ego probably prevents them from facing you knowing they can't help you.



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07 May 2022, 11:01 pm

cyberdad wrote:

If your therapist has advised your mother to not schedule any further appointments then this means the therapeutic relationship is over, One criticism I would have of your therapist (and its one I have experienced) is it sounds like they have not completed or done their job. This means they should have debriefed you on what still needs to be done and at least refer you on to a colleague if they don't think they can help further. But therapists are subject to the same human frailty as all of us, and ego probably prevents them from facing you knowing they can't help you.


_cora_ never said that her therapist was finished with her or that she had advised the mother not to make new appointments.

That's not stated in her OP post, and it's confirmed here, in a post by _cora_ that you actually quoted:

_cora_ wrote:
My therapist never said she didn't want to see my anymore. She never said anything that could really be interpreted as her being done with me. I don't get it. They can't just abandon you without telling you why, right?



cyberdad
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07 May 2022, 11:06 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
cyberdad wrote:

If your therapist has advised your mother to not schedule any further appointments then this means the therapeutic relationship is over, One criticism I would have of your therapist (and its one I have experienced) is it sounds like they have not completed or done their job. This means they should have debriefed you on what still needs to be done and at least refer you on to a colleague if they don't think they can help further. But therapists are subject to the same human frailty as all of us, and ego probably prevents them from facing you knowing they can't help you.


_cora_ never said that her therapist was finished with her or that she had advised the mother not to make new appointments.

That's not stated in her OP post, and it's confirmed here, in a post by _cora_ that you actually quoted:

_cora_ wrote:
My therapist never said she didn't want to see my anymore. She never said anything that could really be interpreted as her being done with me. I don't get it. They can't just abandon you without telling you why, right?


I'm interpreting this from Cora's statement - I had no more appointments and she didn't tell my mom to schedule more.

Yes its possible the therapist has left for vacation or left the state but (really?) usually its not that difficult to verify this,



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07 May 2022, 11:15 pm

cyberdad wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
cyberdad wrote:

If your therapist has advised your mother to not schedule any further appointments then this means the therapeutic relationship is over, One criticism I would have of your therapist (and its one I have experienced) is it sounds like they have not completed or done their job. This means they should have debriefed you on what still needs to be done and at least refer you on to a colleague if they don't think they can help further. But therapists are subject to the same human frailty as all of us, and ego probably prevents them from facing you knowing they can't help you.


_cora_ never said that her therapist was finished with her or that she had advised the mother not to make new appointments.

That's not stated in her OP post, and it's confirmed here, in a post by _cora_ that you actually quoted:

_cora_ wrote:
My therapist never said she didn't want to see my anymore. She never said anything that could really be interpreted as her being done with me. I don't get it. They can't just abandon you without telling you why, right?


I'm interpreting this from Cora's statement - I had no more appointments and she didn't tell my mom to schedule more.

Yes its possible the therapist has left for vacation or left the state but (really?) usually its not that difficult to verify this,


I'll let _cora_ clarify, but in my opinion that sentence means "I didn't have any other appointments booked and she didn't mention scheduling more before I left."

I seldom have any future appointments booked when I talk to my therapist. She would never say "Hey, book me again!" because that's left to my discretion. Maybe I don't want to book her again. It's not her job to schedule me because I do that through her receptionist on my own time. I wouldn't use up therapy minutes to flip through our mutual schedules.

Even if _cora_'s therapist operates differently, she didn't indicate that the therapeutic relationship was over.

Just another reassurance to _cora_, many therapists are extremely busy and overworked right now because of the pandemic. Some of them are on their own mental health breaks. I talked to mine on 19 April and she isn't available again until late June. The April appointment was booked last December, and that's the soonest she had.



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07 May 2022, 11:22 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Just another reassurance to _cora_, many therapists are extremely busy and overworked right now because of the pandemic. Some of them are on their own mental health breaks. I talked to mine on 19 April and she isn't available again until late June. The April appointment was booked last December, and that's the soonest she had.


All of this is possible but 2 weeks is a long time to not respond. I am assuming the therapist doesn't have a vacation message on phone or checks her emails or has a secretary.

I would drive by during business hours to check if the therapist is open.



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07 May 2022, 11:25 pm

cyberdad wrote:

All of this is possible but 2 weeks is a long time to not respond. I am assuming the therapist doesn't have a vacation message on phone or checks her emails or has a secretary.

I would drive by during business hours to check if the therapist is open.


Fair enough. I understand why she's concerned. It doesn't seem like the norm for this therapist.


@ _cora_,

Is this the first time you've left with unscheduled appointments?
If so, perhaps she's always slow in responding but you never had an opportunity to notice?