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Dear Dr. Robert,

You are amazingly wise and I learn so much from reading your website.

I have been seeing my therapist for a year. We have great rapport,

she is wonderful and I adore her. She has announced that she will be

taking a year off (starting Jan 2009) to study. She is not sure if

she will continue to see me after she is finished studying.

I am heartbroken. I would like to give her a small watercolor

portrait of her, at the last session. ( I am an artist.) Do you

think she will accept it?

Thanks Dr. Robert.


ask dr-robert

Hello, Azure--

Thanks for your kind words.

I am sorry that you will not be able to continue with your therapist whom you like so much. I understand that coming to the end of your time with her must feel like a real loss, particularly since you hold her in such high esteem. I don't know if your therapist would accept your gift or not—this depends in part on her training and attitude towards what therapy is and how it should be done--but in my view your wanting to give her your portrait of her is a lovely idea. Personally, I would accept such a gift from a client at the end of our time together, so I encourage you to offer her the portrait, and I hope your therapist is able to accept your gift in the proper spirit.

I strongly recommend also that you use your remaining time with this person to discuss your feelings about her leaving and your sadness at the possibility that you will never be in therapy with her again. I imagine that you will have much to talk through along those lines if you will give yourself permission to speak with her about it, and I believe that a conversation along those lines will be of great help to you in facing up to this change.

Since therapy has been good for you, I encourage you also to begin to look for a new therapist. Although, obviously, every therapy feels totally personal, and in a sense is totally personal, being, that is, a relationship between two specific persons, that is only one side of it. There is something about good therapy which is also quite impersonal (which is part of what makes it good therapy), and I imagine that you will be able to find that goodness again with the right person. Just keep looking until you find someone with whom you feel comfortable in continuing the work which you have begun with your present therapist.

Be well.

ask dr-robert

Hi Dr. Robert,

Thank you! I am so excited and honored to receive your quick reply.

It is so kind of you to help, and you gave me great advice. I am

touched by your caring.

I was not sure if it would be creepy to give my therapist a portrait

of her, but I'm glad you think it is fine.

It is extra hard for me to deal with my therapist leaving because I

am... um... kind of in love with her. I have already told her that I

want to "marry her". I realize I can't actually marry her, but she is

just perfect in my eyes: kind, caring, accepting... unlike all the

jerky men I have dated.

Even though I'm a girl, and not especially gay, I still have a big

crush on her. She accepts my feelings and told me it is OK to feel

what I feel.

I have already talked with her about my many sleepless, heartbroken

nights thinking about life without her!

She will transfer me to a new therapist, if I want. I feel unsure

right now. I do want to "get better", but I feel anxious about

working with a new "step-mom". To avoid the "step-mom", I think I

will just use my willpower to solve my problems ASAP. But if my

willpower fails, I will give in and work with a new therapist.

Sigh... it's hard to imagine anyone can be as wonderful as my "mommy".

Thanks again Dr. Robert, you really made my day. Your reply meant a

lot to me and I'm very honored to have corresponded with you!

I wish you all the best.


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page last modified November 12, 2008

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