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    I’ve been with my current therapist for six years now and I’ve done great work with her. Like most relationships there have been ups and downs but mainly ups thank g-d. Lately I’ve been finding myself feeling very sad and lonely every time I leave session. We’re doing good work and in session I feel so normal and then when I leave this overwhelming feeling of sadness overtakes me. Wondering besides bringing it up with her (which I did today but we didn’t have time to talk about it) is there anything I could do? Just a bit of background on me I’m currently working on increasing my social support because of the loneliness and sadness I am feeling, so loneliness and sadness is a common emotion I struggle with…

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    I also feel sad and lonely after leaving my sessions many times. One thing that my therapist told me to do is to remind my younger self how old I am now and that I am capable of taking care of myself. I place my hands on my heart and speak to my younger self reminding her of where I am now. Maybe you can try that, and it might help. Of course, building social support is also important as you mentioned.

    Sending love,


    Dear I_am_ok,

    Thank you for putting into words the feelings that many people have after they leave session. For some reason, perhaps more in Western society, we expect to put our feelings in segregated little boxes, and neatly wrap them up to fit ‘society norms’. The heart doesn’t work that way 🙂

    For many people who come from a background of trauma and/or chronic neglect, their therapist is the first adult person in their lives whom they have consistent access to, whom they have an ongoing relationship where it is ‘good enough’ (a la Winnicott, who talks about the ‘good enough’ mother, who gets things right 33% of the time, and the rest of the time, is mis-attuned AND MAKES REPAIRS to strengthen the relationship – key critical point!), who is kind, boundaried, and skilled, and is clearly out for the client’s good.

    So although it might feel somewhat squirmy to name, many people love their therapist and wish that they would see more of him or her. And then they feel guilty or weird about it. It’s perfectly normal and in many ways, encouraged. The hope is that this positive, secure attachment will generalize onto other relationships in the client’s life.

    When you love someone, and especially if there has been a background of loss, each time you leave them, sadness at leaving them and grief about what you didn’t get from other caregivers can come up. There can also be some worry – will he/she be here next week? What if something happens to him/her? This is all part of caring about someone. As Rumi says, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

    One thing I suggest to clients that I’ll share here: When you leave session, invite yourself to go inside for a moment and find your Kind Parent voice – the opposite of your inner critic – the voice that a kind parent or caregiver would use with a child that feels sad and lonely. H/she might say to you, “Ouch. This hurts. I’m with you while you’re hurting” and wrap you in a hug. Feel that hug as you leave session and go about your day. This is tough stuff and very human.

    Wishing you bracha v’hatzlacha,


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    Wow!! This is so beautifully written and so validating!! I feel “normal” again too!

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    In response to Chavy's post #14505:

    same as well!! Thank you

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    I totally understand how you feel. I sometimes feel the same way. When you are in session you are with someone that is only focus on you and listening to what you have to say. I feel validated, understood, and not judged. Then after session you leave and you have to face EVERYTHING on your own. This is EXTREMELY daunting and scary. I try to keep myself busy and out of my head and try to hang on tight until my next session. If I am desperate I do reach out and sometimes she answers and sometimes not. I would definitely keep working on it during session.



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