Do It For You!

Due to health reasons, my therapist of about three years recently retired. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of months, but I had planned to return when I found out that he would no longer be seeing patients. To say the least, I was upset. I truly believe that he was the best therapist that I have ever seen. He was kind, caring, and in my opinion, had the best methods for helping me get through my anxiety. I could tell that he genuinely wanted to see me get better. I will miss him dearly.

For now, and I think at least for a while, I don’t plan on seeing anyone else. I know what I have to do to make the progress that I want to make – I have to face my fears in small, manageable steps on a consistent basis. I have to continue to work hard.

I have to admit that it’s strange not seeing my therapist anymore, but not just because of the usual reasons. Not only am I not physically going to his office as much anymore (I’m still seeing my psychiatrist), but I was regularly sending progress reports of how I was working daily to get through my anxiety. It’s strange not sending these reports on a daily basis. When I first decided to stop sending the reports (I was never told to stop, but out of respect for my therapist, I decided it would be best), it felt weird not reporting to him about my progress. It almost felt unnatural.

The thing is though, that I was never working hard to gain my therapist’s approval in the first place. Sure, there may have been some days where I didn’t feel like doing anything productive, but I did in order to look like I was trying (I know that sounds awful, but I’m only human), but I never once tried my hardest to get better for merely my therapist’s sake. I want to get through my anxiety for myself – so I can enjoy my life to the fullest and do things with the people I love, along with being more independent.

I realized that just because my therapist retired and I wouldn’t be sending him emails citing my progress, did not mean that I couldn’t and shouldn’t still be recording said progress. Every step that I take in order to get through my anxiety is important and in order to remind myself that I am strong enough to conquer my fears, I should be writing down the progress I make – not for my therapist, but for myself. After all, I am working hard so that I can be happy with my life, not so that someone else can be satisfied.

The point is this: you should be trying your hardest to get through your anxiety and over your other obstacles for yourself – not for anyone else. If you want to keep track of your progress, don’t just do so because you’re told to do so, do it because it’s beneficial for you. I understand the desire to want to get better so that you can spend time with the ones you love and that’s fine, but your main reason for getting better should be so that you can improve your life!

*Please know that I am not trying to state that if your therapist retires, that you shouldn’t search for a new one if you believe you should keep going to therapy. I may eventually see someone again for my anxiety, it’s just that at the moment, I think I need to simply utilize the tools I was given – to work hard on a consistent basis to get through my anxiety!

 

10 Replies to “Do It For You!”

  1. I think that continuing your progress reports is a fantastic idea. Not only would it keep you accountable (to yourself instead of the therapist), but it would be a great way to see the incremental progress you’ve made & may not have realized.

    Perhaps, since you like this therapist so much, if he’s still available, you could ask him for a recommendation. You could explain your issues, if any, with looking for a new therapist & see what professionals he knows. (I’m not saying that you need to keep going to therapy, rather that this could be helpful if you want to go back in the future.)

    1. You make a great suggestion. I think that my therapist probably did set something up in case I want to continue therapy (he once mentioned that he would do that just in case). I also agree with you about keeping progress reports. Thank you for sharing your opinion!

      1. Haha! When can you get me to not share my opinion? 😀

        I’m glad you found the idea helpful. It’s my understanding that most private practice therapists have someone to whom they can refer people if they retire, or go on vacation. Still, that might be an assumption. It can’t hurt to ask!

        I hope your records show you how much progress you’ve made & continue to offer you some drive to push yourself to “try harder,” to paraphrase you. Now you’re not reporting it to a therapist – you’re reporting it to someone even more important; yourself. 🙂

      2. That’s a valid concern. Maybe you could try to pretend like you’re going to send them to your therapist? Or send them to a friend? Or even email them to yourself?

      3. I’m glad you thought they might be helpful! If nothing else, maybe they’ll get your wheels turning & you’ll come up with something that really suits you. 🙂

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