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Therapist is retiring. I'm shattered


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I am diagnosed with Recurrent Severe Depression and Anxiety and PTSD.  I have been with my therapist for 6 years, going pretty much weekly that whole time.  I had noticed about a year ago that he was exhibiting some signs of Parkinson's disease.  I asked him about it maybe 6-8 months ago and he confirmed my suspicions but reassured me he had no plans to leave his practice and when and if he got to that point he would give me 4-6 months notice so we could work through the termination process.  Last week, as soon as I sat down, he told me he is retiring at Christmas.  I was dumbstruck.  I know that it must be because his health is deteriorating and his is finding continuing to work too hard, but I'm a mess.  We have 8 weeks left together.  He is the only one I've told all the details of my nightmarish childhood.

I can't stop breaking down, sobbing.  I've tried to talk to a couple of friends, but no one gets it (except one close DF friend).  They don't understand how strong a therapist-client bond is and don't understand why I'm such a mess.  Recurrent thoughts of s*icide are a daily thing.  Everyone keeps saying "You'll get another therapist".  I can't even think about that.  The thought of starting over after 6 years.......I feel sick.  And he told me maybe I could write him a letter about how I'm feeling about the news (because I completely shut down after he told me and left halfway through).  I did write him a short letter and dropped it off a couple of days later and .....nothing.  Normally he will call to discuss the letter (we've done this before), or at least for him to say he understands how I'm feeling.  But this time, when I really needed a response.  I get nothing.  Part of me just wants to swallow all the pain and sadness and just never go back, but I know I owe it to him and to myself to go back and try for whatever time if left.

Has anyone else dealt with a similar situation?  How did you cope?


Edited by callierose303
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I am in a very similar situation.

I have seen my therapist for 11 years, and she has been like a big sister to me.

Now, because of some new law regarding health insurance here in the United States, I can't see her unless I'm willing to pay the full amount of the visit.

It has stressed her out and it has made me miserable. I miss her like crazy. She is the only (moral) support I have.

I'm afraid I may not see her again, and so I am with you. I saw her once a week as well.

I wish I could think of something to say to help, but I can't. I'm really sorry.

This sucks, for us both.

My thoughts are with you.



- KS

Edited by KidSurvivor2011
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i am so sorry to hear this. i went to my gp once....was told at the counter she had retired. i wasnt told until then and i burst into tears right there in front of everyone. she acted as argerapust to me and really understood me. i hate that you are going through this. hugs.

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I am so sorry for your pain. This will be a grieving process for you. So many feelings involved here to work through. There is no easy way out. It feels like abandonment. I mean no fault on anyone's part... But the feelings are still very real.

I get the su*cidal thoughts.  I really do.... But please know you can't follow through. As horrid as it is... Give yourself time and space to work through this. 

You know as well as i do it won't be quick.

Know that people care. That I care. 

I'm so sorry..... It's not how it should be for either of you.

Edited by lp44
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