Last Friday was my last session with my therapist before I leave the country . I was expecting a bittersweet goodbye, or at least I thought that I would end up crying at the end of session. I had already been feeling overwhelmed at the mention of ‘termination session’ few weeks back.
Instead, it was light hearted, consisting of concluding and wrapping up whatever I have learnt over the past few months. I would still need to update her about my progress every 2 weeks so, knowing that I was still able to contact her actually lessened that feeling of being overwhelmed. I was telling my friend that she actually didn’t need to do it because I was not paying her. She took down my number in my home country as well in case I needed to talk to her. I understand and respect that their time is money but the fact that she is willing to go out of her way to make sure that I will be okay despite knowing that she wouldn’t be paid, is very heartening.
After the previous session, I wrote to her expressing how comforted I felt knowing that I could still contact her even though we have ended therapy. She mentioned that it was a good thing that I email her to let her know how I feel because emotions will change over the week.
A few things discussed during the session:
- What would I write to myself today? (I will write this in another post)
- Why did I choose to come to therapy even though it goes against my beliefs (next post)?
- What other objectives do I want to focus on in therapy?
- How did I find therapy overall?
- What she thinks of me
My thoughts on therapy
I’ve only had 9 sessions so far (would that be considered a lot?) but yet I find therapy relatively new to me. I’m so used to people coming to me for advice or talk about their problems, but I have yet to find one person who is willing to with me when I talk about the difficulties I’m facing. Talking about myself for the whole session was mentally exhausting. However, over time I find it rewarding because I managed to see different perspectives to the situation that I am facing and ways that I can manage my feelings. I have never been open about talking about my family and yet, my focus in therapy was just on this topic.
What she thinks of me
She said that I am resilient and that it takes a lot of courage to discuss about my problems. However, I am still hesitant about fully opening up about my childhood and my mom. Most of the time, I would start to tear up or choke on tears each time I wanted to bring up about the past and she would divert the topic to stop me from breaking down like in the first session. Once the dam is broken, the tears do not stop flowing. She said that I have the positive qualities to keep fighting for a better future. I think in one of my sessions, she was surprised when I told her that I don’t feel affected when my mom criticises my qualities and that I don’t feel that way about myself.
Other objectives I want to focus in (future) therapy
- Sensitive to rejection
- Lack of trust in people (Told her that even though I grew up with Bestie, I still don’t trust her. I don’t even trust my own parents, who else then can I trust?)
- Anger issues
- Abandonment issues
- Fear of marriage (more specifically, I am afraid of anyone touching me intimately so how can I get married if I don’t want to be touched)
She mentioned one thing which is important – everyone defines the above differently and that all of us draw different lines that would be considered as crossing our limits. So, where is my line and how do I define these issues? If I had more sessions with her, we could possibly cover these.
At the end of session, I gave her my favourite book ‘Daring greatly’ by Brene Brown of which, she immediately said that she doesn’t accept gifts. I said that I checked with Bestie about the kinds of gifts I can give to my therapist without crossing the boundary. It was my copy because the book I ordered for her has not yet arrived so the cover was slightly blackened. I told her that Bestie used it with her patients and herself too, and I found it useful for my own personal development. I told her that maybe she’ll find it useful for her future patients as well. Then she said, if you lend it to me then I can accept it. I said, ok, I lend this book to you and if I don’t come back, please keep it.
When I came back, I regretted having not said to her what I wanted to tell her initially. She was telling me all my positive qualities and I wanted to do the same to her. I ended up sending another email saying that I don’t express myself well verbally. I’ve always had trouble expressing myself in person but I do better through writing. This was what I wrote to her:
Dear XXX,Sorry to bother you again with another email. I tend to not express myself well verbally so there are some things which I did not get to say in the last session.I think you’re a warm and caring person and I could sense that in the first session. Therapy has not been easy because I find that words would constrict at my throat even though it was liberating to get it off my chest. You have provided a safe environment where it was non-judgemental especially since it involves talking about shameful things and I really appreciate that you made it easier for me. Thank you for sharing your insights, expertise and helping me see a different light to my situation. I think I came out of therapy feeling a bit more ready to tackle the world (i.e. my mom lol)If for some reason we do not meet again (I know I have to email you in 2-3 weeks!), I hope you continue doing what you do best and to keep reaching out to people. May you succeed in all your future undertakings and in your career!Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers,YYY
She replied my email within less than an hour thanking me for expressing my thoughts.
I’m still finding ways to come back to the country for more sessions. However, Plan B right now is also to find another therapist in home country because it will be easier for me. I hate ending sessions because it means ending our relationship but I am glad we ended it well. I also found out that my ex-T is volunteering in a humanitarian aid as a psychologist in disaster affected areas – more reasons why she reminds me of my social worker ex- close friend in A! Right now, I’m glad that she left the centre (and my sessions) for people who are in dire need of help. I wish I could tell her that I’m proud of her. And even with her, I’m glad we ended on good terms and at least I wished her well too.