Consultation after Therapy
"I was in therapy for two years and seven months," said Jacob, "and it ended six months ago. This was not easy for me. Separations have never been easy for me, and I am proud of having been able to end therapy successfully. But now I really miss it and realize how much I need it."
"So why don't you call your therapist and ask him to take you back?" I asked.
"Because that would mean that our work has failed," he said. "I was addicted to this relationship, as I have been addicted to other relationships in my life, and therapy helped me overcome this. On the other hand I miss it now. I know that this looks like addiction, but it is hard to overcome it by myself." Jacob told me about the background of his therapy, and about the hard work he had done with his therapist.
"What do you think" I suggested, "about meeting me for a few supervision sessions, to conclude your therapy and understand why you miss it? I feel as if this is 'unfinished business' and I understand why you don't want to call your therapist. Supervision is not therapy, although sometimes it has therapeutic value. I think that before you decide to start therapy again, we should process the ending of your therapy and try to understand your difficulties in separating from your therapist."
Jacob accepted my suggestion, and we met for six weeks. As I expected, our meetings focused on processing the mourning at therapy's end, and we actually conducted a burial ceremony for the therapy and erected a grave stone for it.
Using such difficult images enabled Jacob to renew the tools he had acquired through therapy and use them to cope with ending the therapy and separating from his therapist.
(An excerpt from Dror Green, Psychotherapy: A consumer's guide)
If you have ended a therapeutic process, either recently or a long time ago, and if you are still occupied by thoughts concerning the therapy, a single consultation may help you cope with your post-therapy questions. Such meeting can enable you to tie the loose ends and make more effective use of the tools you acquired during therapy.