I read your column often and hope you can help me. A year ago, I moved to Denver from Boston, where I’d lived for three years, and had to find a new therapist. I chose one recommended by a friend and liked her okay in the beginning. I’m in my late twenties and she’s about forty-two, so not too far apart in age but old enough to be experienced. My problems are probably garden variety: relationship issues, unresolved issues with parents, anxiety about work and career, etc. After a few weeks I noticed that my new therapist was giving me a little more information about her life than I needed and that made me uncomfortable. My old therapist hadn’t done that. Then I noticed she was judgmental. If I made a decision she didn’t approve of, such as go out with a guy after I’d decided to back off dating for a while, she’d lecture me. That seemed inappropriate. She’s good at EMDR, which has been really helpful for me and she often has good insights, but I don’t think she’s the right therapist for me and am not sure how to let her know that I want to leave her and move on to someone else. Do I talk to her about this in person? Email her? Leave a voicemail that I’m not coming back anymore? It’s all very awkward and I don’t know the correct way of going about it. Thanks in advance.
How Do I Break Up With My Therapist?
What sounds like a dilemma to you is actually very simple. There is no requirement for you to interact with your current therapist on the awkward subject of discontinuing her services. Anything you might want to say to end the relationship can be put in an email. To talk to her in person would not only be uncomfortable but would almost seem to the practitioner as if you wanted to rehash the whole thing and be talked out of your decision. Best to make sure you’re paid up and notify her in a timely manner that you won’t be returning. If she demands an explanation, stick to email and keep it simple and polite. You’re the client, the decision is up to you. Hope that helps.
REACTIONS TO FRANTIC GRANDMA
I wouldn’t waste time on nicey nice talk to the boy. You need to sit him down and give him hell. If he were mine, I’d slap him upside the head, that’s what. I’ll bet you’ve been soft on him all along.
Terence B., Detroit, MI
He has a choice. Either he makes money the right way or your doors are closed, simple as that. People in this country are dropping like flies from drugs. Is he aware of that? Does he want that on his conscience?
James T., Atlanta, GA
Submit your question to Knowles Knows here.
Disclaimer: CD Knowles is not a doctor or psychotherapist. Any opinions expressed on Knowles Knows are just that — opinions.