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    Shmuel
    Participant

    I have a question…

    Do you communicate with your therapist between sessions?

    If yes how does it work?

    I am currently seeing my therapist once a week my therapist says i can email him between sessions but when i do he never responds… Is it typical?

    If its something that bothers me should I look for someone else?

    Hey Shmuel!

    That’s a really good question. It makes sense that this is bothersome if you understood that he would email back and forth in between sessions since he offered you permission to email initially.

    I would recommend asking for clarification on this boundary.

    It is very likely that he encouraged you to email your thoughts to be used as a springboard for the next session without clarifying that he wouldn’t respond.

    In general, it is very generous for a therapist to allow that one-way email (if you want to call it that) and maintain the boundary of not responding since responding can disrupt the therapeutic process.

    I hope that helps. I am rooting for your success!

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    Chavy
    Participant

    Yeah, my therapist doesn’t allow contact with me outside of sessions because I was emailing and calling her too much, so she made firm boundaries which is very annoying.

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    I_am_okay
    Participant

    I am in individual DBT therapy which allows for coaching calls in between sessions. My therapist responds to my texts but I only use it if I really am in distress.

    Shmuel,

    Not getting a response from your therapist is  uncomfortable. Many therapist will send a one sentence reply so that you know it was received. Doing more than that is not helpful.

    It also sounds like your therapist is not the only silent one. He doesn’t respond to your emails and you don’t respond to his silence. Do you bring up his non-reply the next time you meet? if you don’t, why not?  This discussion may reveal some wonderfully useful information. I don’t think you will regret it.

     

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    Chavy
    Participant

    In response to I_am_okay's post #11776:

    I used to be able to do that, but not now because I was contacting my therapist too much… I’m also in a clinic so it’s different, but b”H I have other supports I can contact. I also have Dependent Personality Disorder, amongst OCD and various other diagnoses, so I was reaching out to her way too much. But I kind of see how it’s not good for me because I get all excited when she calls me. She had to call me for a technical reason, and I just wished I could talk to her more…

    Does anyone here have experience with Dependent Personality Disorder and the need for constant reassurance?

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    Penina
    Participant

    Hi,

     

    My therapist allows absolutely no contact between sessions. And to be very honest, I think it’s the best thing ever! I know you might wonder why, and yes, oftentimes I wish I can reach out to them. But I know that is not an option. So I have to decide for myself whether I want to schedule another session, or, I have to keep myself strong till our next scheduled meeting. And while I wait impatiently to meet my therapist, I have no choice but to search for and dig up all the possible skills I know of and use them. This forces me to become stronger within myself, as I can’t rely on my therapist to come and ‘save’ me. Yes, if I’m in need, I can schedule a session. But I do that only when I feel I absolutely can’t wait, as it is quite expensive. And even then, when I do schedule, I don’t have the session right away, it might be the next day or two, or even three! Depending on my therapist’s availability in their schedule. Yes, I can feel completely shattered and broken at times, but I must gather all the strengths I have left in me, or I need to look for them, and maybe even create strengths. And then, when I finally do find myself in session, I find it much more helpful, as I have such a limited time slot, and therefore, I so appreciate the moments of being there.

    In response to Penina's post #11801:

    Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Struggling is what builds us and it’s really important to balance that fine line of having support and also not allowing that support to become a crutch and impede our growth.

    Kudos to you for finding that balance and appreciating a therapist who creates a boundary that allows you to expand.

    Also, pretty incredible how you reframed that boundary into something so positive and beneficial to your growth instead of seeing it as an impediment.

    I am very inspired by your words and appreciate you bringing this value to our community.

    Welcome, and I hope you stay awhile.

    X, Fay

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    Climber
    Participant

    In response to Penina's post #11801:

    Wow Penina. Can I say I envy your attitude towards these boundaries?

    It feels very hard for me to believe I can get there…

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    Climber
    Participant

    In response to Fay Brezel's post #11701:

    This is in response to Shmuel’s post…

    I just want to throw in that whatever it is that you want an answer to in regards to your therapist or the boundaries, or any part of the therapeutic process and relationship- It can feel very scary to ask, or like you are violating the professionalism of the relationship in some way.

    In the beginning I would constantly be afraid to ask, wanting to be the ‘perfect client’.

    I don’t know if this applies to you, but if there is fear involved in asking your therapist for clarification- I would sweetly suggest (take it or leave it!!!) to challenge yourself to be honest about it to your therapist and see how your needs ARE really considered this time (considering your therapist is an effective one). It can be very healing to feel like your questions deserve answers:)

    Hope this helps, Hatzlacha!

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    Chavy
    Participant

    In response to Climber's post #11806:

    I know, me too!

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    Shmuel
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you all for your great responses!!

    I really really appreciate this space & that i can come here to gain important perspectives for me in my journey!!

    Great Q. Shmuel, I think this varies significantly between therapists.

    As was mentioned, many DBT therapists allow for and even encourage the use of coaching goals.

    More traditionally trained therapists are very uncomfortable with the idea.

    There are also scheduling and other logistical things that pop up that may require contact prior to session.

    My hunch is that if a therapist is not responding they probably assume that doing so will hinder the therapeutic process.

    There is no 100% correct way of handling this.

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    TStein23
    Participant

    Hi,

    I would definitely recommend talking to your therapist about it.

    I definitely have emailed my therapists in between sessions, and if it was something that wasn’t simple like about scheduling, then a lot of times usually my therapist wanted us to discuss it in session, not through email

    when my depression got really bad i had an agreement set up with my therapist, where i texted her what i was feeling ( i really wanted to tell someone, and my family was getting super overloaded)the thoughts in my head, and our agreement is that she would not respond to them, which i was more comfortable with anyways, it would take so much of her time, and energy plus its not fair to ask her to do that outside of session, and can’t talk it through effectively through texting anyways,

    so i’d send stuff like “I hate myself so much, I’m disgusting, not worthy of being liked”… etc (all those garbage thoughts)

    and sometimes, especially when they were really intense and frequent we would discuss the texts in session. this was fir my 2nd therapist, my first one was much stricter with the communication boundaries, but think about it, this therapist has his/her own life and family outside of their job, and especially with such a sensitive and emotional job, they have to keep a clear separation, annd not let their work get tangled up i their personal lives

    they have t do this in order to be able to help treat clients at their best, function at their best for themselves, for their families, and other relationships,

    also with email you cant hear tone of voice or see facial expression, its very hard to give  proper response, really a lot of things need a one on one talk,

    it could be you would work better with a different therapist, but definitely have a talk with your therapist about the issue, your feelings, and concerns, and you should feel comfortable voicing and discussing these concerns with your therapist, try to get over the nervousness, your therapist is providing you with a service that you are paying for, and this is part of doing their job properly – answering your questions, and giving you the best treatment they can,

     

    good luck!

     

     

     

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