Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for the ‘Termination’ Category

Internalizing The Therapist

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on December 13, 2012

Brit, sixty-five, decided to end 2012 with the monumental step of stopping her twenty-year long weekly psychotherapy. “I will talk to you constantly,” she tells me, explaining that she will keep our conversations alive and she will wonder what I would say as she navigates her world. “I am sad,” she says, knowing that she is making this decision, which is, of course, layered with feelings of strength and autonomy, as well as deep sorrow for the change in our routine. “You know how to find me,” I say, understanding that on the one hand, I am still in practice and happy to see her, but on the other hand, I respect her decision to leap forward into the world in a new way. “It is sad for me too,” I say, gently reminding her that our relationship is a steady part of my mental existence as well. I tread lightly, knowing that I want to communicate both that she is important to me, but at the same time, she should not come to therapy to make me feel needed. We reflect back over our twenty years together. Her children have grown up. I feel, in some small, but meaningful way, that I have helped raise them. She agrees. “You are one of my longest relationships,” she tells me, reminding me that she has been married multiple times, and that both of her parents passed away when she was in her twenties. I think about that. I am not sure I appreciated that before. Wow. This is the privilege of my work. Brit and I have been on a long journey together, and in different ways, we are both very appreciative. “Happy Holidays,” I say, ending our last session, feeling deeply that I hope things continue to go well for Brit. I also know she wishes me well. “I will think about you and I hope you keep me posted,” I say, reminding her that my curiosity continues after our official relationship ends. “Oh, I will,” she reassures me. Happy endings, I think to myself.

Posted in Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy, Termination | 6 Comments »

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