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  1. #1

    A therapist's responsibility when quitting a practice

    ...I have read about and met many people who say that they developed a strong relationship with a therapist only to have that person suddenly pull up stakes and disappear. How can they do this!?!? Jeez, Louise! That's like a bride suddenly running away at the alter! I know that many of the therapists did offer to help in finding a new therapist, but from what I have heard that involved handing a list of names and numbers to the client, then washing their hands of any further responsibiliy. Dogs and cats at pet adoption centers are treated better than that!

    Perhaps this is not unethical, but it sure is damaging to many clients. It could destroy the client's ability to trust anyone in the future. Don't they teach how to gently end client/therapist relationships in college? Is it always just a haphazard affair? Personally, I think the therapist should be taking more responsibility, and making sure that the client is transferred successfully by personally introducing the client to the new therapist, attending the first session, and telling the client that they will still be available for X amount of weeks to help ease the transition.

    I believe that if a therapist genuinely cares for their clients they will go to great lengths to make sure that the well-being of their clients is up-holded.

  2. #2

    A therapist's responsibility when quitting a practice...

    I would mostly agree, at least when the client is severely depressed and very prone to falling between the cracks. I don't think attending the first session would be necessary, even for the more depressed, suicide-risk clients, since there usually is a well-documented psych history and therapists are good at putting people at ease. However, it could help some people and desperate times call for desperate measures.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3

    A therapist's responsibility when quitting a practice...

    In an ideal world, that's the way it would work, Allegro, although I agree with Daniel that in most cases having the old therapist attend the first session is probably unnecessary and possibly counterproductive. I also don't know that "being available for several weeks" after the transfer would be beneficial to the client in most cases.

    On the other hand, the world isn't ideal, not even close. There are many reasons why a practitioner (psychologist, physician, dentist, even optometrist) may need to leave urgently, either due to personal or family health reasons or other reasons. It's usually not a matter of callous indifference but more one of a personal or family crisis. When that is the case, it's not like the practitioner has a lot of choice.

  4. #4

    A therapist's responsibility when quitting a practice...

    I am well aware that this is not an ideal world, and I also know that sometimes circumstances don't allow the therapist to have the time or other resources to smooth the transition to another therapist. However, I am refering to cases where the client is more seriously ill than most, not to the therapist's entire client load. And I didn't say "several weeks". I said, "they will still be available for X amount of weeks to help ease the transition. "

    I'm feeling rather defensive here. Maybe I should go take my meds and go to bed. Sorry if I come across as a bit b*tchy. This is a subject that hits pretty close to home, and I read a few posts earlier that discussed this topic. My wounds have not scabbed over yet.

  5. #5

    A therapist's responsibility when quitting a practice...

    What I was reacting to was the suggestion that your therapist "suddenly pulled up stakes and disappeared". I assume there must have been a reason for this which isn't mentioned. There may even have been some notice or warning, although that isn't clear in your post.



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