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playgroundlover22695
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18 Mar 2024, 7:53 pm

I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I got a text from my social worker saying that he has to start taking less appointments per week and therefore, is unable to see any of his patients weekly anymore. He told me that as a result of this, our appointments would now be bi-weekly and he would see me on the 30th of March. He told me that if something serious comes up during the week, we can always talk over the phone for a few minutes on a weeknight. This therapist has been affiliated with my family for over 40 years. I don't want to give him up because I like him, but at the same time, I'm having a lot of mixed thoughts.

First off, I don't think I've had time to fully process this yet because today has been extremely busy with work and everything. Off the top of my head though, I have a few thoughts. One being that I wish he had told me this on Saturday, or agreed to meet with me this Saturday and started this after. I don't particularly like the fact that he told me this over a text and not in person where we could discuss how this might affect me. Also, it has left me wondering what came up that made him decide to do this since he has never given any indication in the past of wanting to slow down or decrease appointments. In addition, last week, I saw some new clients coming to his house for an appointment just as mine was ending. (Yes I know they were new because they asked him "Are we at the right place?" as they entered the house.) I hope he's not getting sick physically. (He's 72 years old.) Finally something going through my mind is whether or not I did something to provoke this. I don't think so, but the possibility is there I suppose.

I am wondering when it is finally going to "hit me like a ton of bricks." Will it be this Saturday or before then? When will I just break down in tears. As soon as I saw the message, I felt like crying, but as I said I was at work with children and about as soon as I finished reading the text, it was time to escort another child to the bathroom, so off I went. Any thoughts on this would be helpful. :roll:



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18 Mar 2024, 8:42 pm

I'd say the odds are that it's age & workload related. He may have decided that he wanted more hobby time, or less paperwork, or has developed medical issues, etc. New patients may only mean that he's lost a patient or two, which would be normal in the course of business.

What may be good would be to look over your feelings about the announcement. And perhaps start thinking about a transition plan to another counselor. That would be a great thing to go over in your next session. It doesn't mean the transition will happen now, but when it does you'll have a better foundation on where & how to start. Or it could be a growth opportunity to start looking now & have a monitored (as it were) transition. (Like, beginning to see a new person on his off weeks when you don't see him.)



playgroundlover22695
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18 Mar 2024, 8:55 pm

Blue_Star wrote:
I'd say the odds are that it's age & workload related. He may have decided that he wanted more hobby time, or less paperwork, or has developed medical issues, etc. New patients may only mean that he's lost a patient or two, which would be normal in the course of business.

What may be good would be to look over your feelings about the announcement. And perhaps start thinking about a transition plan to another counselor. That would be a great thing to go over in your next session. It doesn't mean the transition will happen now, but when it does you'll have a better foundation on where & how to start. Or it could be a growth opportunity to start looking now & have a monitored (as it were) transition. (Like, beginning to see a new person on his off weeks when you don't see him.)


I've tried having a conversation about that with him, but he always says basically the same thing. He says that he has no plans to retire and that he plans to die in his house still working because he enjoys his clients. He said he has roughly 30 clients and 18 weekly appointments. Then he changes the subject to something else such as how my family is doing or how my week is. This just seems sudden to me. Like it came out of nowhere. It makes me wonder if he had a medical episode of some sort recently or something. As for finding another therapist to fill in the gaps, I don't want to because I only want to share my deepest personal thoughts with one person. Having to catch up the other therapist with my suicidal story from last year would be a lot for me. Plus, I really feel comfortable with this man being my therapist.



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18 Mar 2024, 9:21 pm

I saw my gp, in his early seventies, & asked if he'd finally be retiring soon. He said no. Four months later I got the letter in the mail that they were closing entirely in thirty days. I hadn't pre-planned what to do, so it was a life lesson.

Also, I figure it would be more productive & a good distraction to focus on making a plan than assuming & worrying that you're the issue. He should want to help you prepare to navigate thru a big change.



ASPartOfMe
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19 Mar 2024, 1:55 pm

Finding out something that you have depended on for a long time is going to change especially when you have no choice in the matter is especially difficult for autistic people.

I would not take him texting you the announcement personally. A few years ago texting important announcements was considered rude and unprofessional. Now it is common.

While it won’t make the transition easier something you wrote indicates it could be a blessing in disguise. He seems to be tone deaf about how important an explanation is for you. That might be an indication he does not understand autistic people. Something to keep in mind as you decide what to do and if you decide to search for another social worker.


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playgroundlover22695
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19 Mar 2024, 6:19 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Finding out something that you have depended on for a long time is going to change especially when you have no choice in the matter is especially difficult for autistic people.

I would not take him texting you the announcement personally. A few years ago texting important announcements was considered rude and unprofessional. Now it is common.

While it won’t make the transition easier something you wrote indicates it could be a blessing in disguise. He seems to be tone deaf about how important an explanation is for you. That might be an indication he does not understand autistic people. Something to keep in mind as you decide what to do and if you decide to search for another social worker.


Next time I see him, I am going to ask for an explanation because yes, I would appreciate one. I at least want to know if everything's okay with him. Also, the other thing is too, 45 minutes once per week is not really a lot of time to get everything out that I want to say. 45 minutes every other week is going to be a lot less time. I just don't know what brought this on. In addition, I know he said I could contact him if something comes up I want to discuss during the week, but I don't want to because I will feel like I'm bothering him and it's uncomfortable to talk about really personal things at home in front of my family. I love my parents, but some things are just reserved for therapy only when it comes to conversations. I think for right now, I'm just going to wait until the 30th and discuss this with him to see what he says. If everything's fine, but he just honestly can't fit everyone in or something to that effect, then I will understand.



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19 Mar 2024, 6:39 pm

playgroundlover22695 wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Finding out something that you have depended on for a long time is going to change especially when you have no choice in the matter is especially difficult for autistic people.

I would not take him texting you the announcement personally. A few years ago texting important announcements was considered rude and unprofessional. Now it is common.

While it won’t make the transition easier something you wrote indicates it could be a blessing in disguise. He seems to be tone deaf about how important an explanation is for you. That might be an indication he does not understand autistic people. Something to keep in mind as you decide what to do and if you decide to search for another social worker.


Next time I see him, I am going to ask for an explanation because yes, I would appreciate one. I at least want to know if everything's okay with him. Also, the other thing is too, 45 minutes once per week is not really a lot of time to get everything out that I want to say. 45 minutes every other week is going to be a lot less time. I just don't know what brought this on. In addition, I know he said I could contact him if something comes up I want to discuss during the week, but I don't want to because I will feel like I'm bothering him and it's uncomfortable to talk about really personal things at home in front of my family. I love my parents, but some things are just reserved for therapy only when it comes to conversations. I think for right now, I'm just going to wait until the 30th and discuss this with him to see what he says. If everything's fine, but he just honestly can't fit everyone in or something to that effect, then I will understand.

That sounds like a good plan.


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playgroundlover22695
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30 Mar 2024, 9:09 pm

I saw my therapist today and he almost made me cry. I asked him why he dropped me to just twice per month and he said it was because he gets tired easy. However, he told me that he will be taking new patients still as needed, especially couples who need counseling. This left me feeling a little bit hurt inside, but I didn't want to rock the boat, so I just said okay. He did offer to let me call him on a weeknight if anything pressing comes up in my life. I almost cried when I left the therapy room, but I never cry in front of people if I can fight it, so I didn't.

My therapist said we would talk about my evaluation today. I thought he meant we'd have an in depth discussion about his interpretation of the information, but all he said was "well, you already know you have Autism and sometimes you get depressed, and you have the anxiety." He also said he thinks DBT groups are a waste and that I shouldn't use Autism to define myself because I'm much more than that. He wants me to sign up for groups in Boston which I have a hard time getting to because I don't drive. I would have to get a ride to the train station and then take a train and a subway to get there. It would be a lot. My evaluation said a lot of things about having a therapist teach me strategies to better manage my stress. I was hoping he would talk about that today with me as well.

Then, I asked him about the exposure therapy for bugs and he said to work on it at home by playing insect noises online for me to get used to and getting a pet ant in a jar. He said we can't really work on this issue in his home office because he doesn't see a lot of bugs. This is frustrating for me because bugs cause me a lot of anxiety.

Anyway, it's hard sometimes for me to say what I really want to say sometimes. I told him a long time ago about my suicidal thoughts and stuff, but I don't always complain about what's happening every week. For example, yesterday my anxiety was through the roof for some reason and I didn't know why. I wanted to tell my therapist about my episode and how it woke me up at about 6:30am and I couldn't get back to sleep well. I wanted to tell him about my bellyache that wouldn't let up no matter how much I tried massaging it and taking deep breaths. It felt like I was extra gassy and bloated. It took me until 10am to get enough of an appetite to eat breakfast and stop "internally shaking." I also wanted to tell my therapist about how my lower back has been sore all this week and I don't know if it's from stress or what, but it sucks. Anyway, I wanted to tell him all of this stuff, but I'm just not a good complainer. Also, he tends to change the subject a lot to ask me if I went the pool and the gym, or did I see my Memmere, etc. Lately, I just let him ask whatever he wants and just answer, once in awhile mentioning something I want to say. Anyway, I know this is a lot and typing this made me tired, but this is how I feel. :roll: