*Trigger warning for mention of SA*

I know I need a new therapist. I have known this for a long time. Even my internship supervisor from last year said I did (yes, social workers talk about their own therapy in their clinical supervision, and my opinion is that you will never meet a good social worker who isn’t in therapy themselves). I just don’t know how or when to do it.

One part of me is afraid of hurting my therapist’s feelings. I know that if she is good, she will understand. I’ve been fired by clients before and it is true that sometimes, it is just not a good fit. However, I’ve been working with this person for two years now, and the “not a good fit” reason kind of doesn’t ring true. I think we’ve just hit a plateau in our work.

One of the reasons for this is that I feel I cannot talk about my sexual abuse with her. The first time I disclosed it to her, I was understandably a mess. I could hardly breathe and kept covering my face, and cried so much that my eyes were basically swollen shut the next morning. I came back two weeks later needing to talk about it but not really able to broach the subject. She did not mention it and has not brought it up since (this was over a year and a half ago). The one time I brought it up again, it seemed as though she had forgotten about it, so I let it go. So I’ve been wanting to address this for a long time, but I don’t feel able to bring it up in session because I’ll be horrified if she’s truly forgotten such a big thing.

We’ve done a lot of good work related to my issues with my father, guilt, and boundaries, and it was with her help that I made the decision to end contact with him and have been able to maintain no contact for a year and a half now. I am grateful to her for that. However, our sessions have become her worrying about whether I’m getting enough sleep (I’m not), how I’m going to maintain my health over the next year of school (I don’t plan to), and how my fiancée is doing with her job search (I don’t know). These are not issues I feel a need to discuss in therapy. At my appointment this week, I arrived on time, she arrived late, we talked about the weather, and she ended the session early. I wonder if I am doing something wrong, if she feels I don’t need therapy anymore, or what.

The real problem with ending with this provider is that she prescribes my medications. I am on two medications that have significantly helped me, and I wish to stay on these medications (I tried to wean myself off my antidepressant once and became paranoid, angry, and anxious. Yikes.). I don’t really want to wait to get in with another provider and possibly run out of meds in the meantime. I also feel that over the next year I will probably not have the time or energy to really do therapy the way it is meant to be done. Therapy is an investment of time, both in session and out of session using the tools one has learned and processing what was discussed. It is looking more and more like I will be maintaining my current work schedule while adding on more internship hours. So I don’t know if I’ll realistically be able to benefit from therapy. Maybe I would be better off just keeping my current provider to maintain medications and then find someone new once I graduate in May.

Does anyone have experience with switching providers or effective ways to communicate with therapists about frustrations in therapy? I feel like this should be easier, but it is much different being the client than it is being the worker.

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