Sorry for the long post…
It will take me a while to type this out. I broke my wrist on Sunday. Nothing major, just some small bone called the scaphoid. It is slow to heal. Now my left wrist is in a cast. What more can go wrong, right?
I finally worked up the courage to phone the intake counsellor back. When we quit playing telephone tag she said the clinical supervisor wanted to talk to me. She said she had phoned me and left a message. I didn’t get the message. (I found out later my iPhone was having an issue with voice mail after the update.) Then I played phone tag with the clinical supervisor (CS). It did pass through my mind that it was odd she wanted to speak with me. But my thoughts didn’t go any further than that.
During this time of phone tag to my horror she left a few messages on my home phone, one of which my sister listened to. Of course CS says she’s so and so from certain agency and she’s trying to reach me. That pissed me off. Nobody knows my therapy history least of all my family. My sister passed me the message but hasn’t asked about it. I wished the clinical supervisor could have been a little more discreet about it. It should have been written all over my file about contact. Cell phone only. I was really clear with my former t about this.
So finally today I was able to contact her. It just went from bad to worse.
So the conversation goes loosely like this.
CS says”can you go to the mental health clinic in your town?” “No” I said because I know one of them personally plus I know all the office staff. (perks of living in a small town)
CS says “can you go back to your t at the mental health clinic?” (which is government-run in the city). “No” I say, “she quit working there a long time ago”. Besides I told her my pdoc doesn’t recommend me going back there. “oh” she says, “why is that?”. I said “they are over burdened with clients and treatment may be only once a month. And besides my pdoc told me they refer most of their trauma clients out. (to places like yours I say in my mind). “Oh” she says, “that’s too bad they don’t have anyone who does that work there.” “And besides” CS says, “it’s gov’t run, they are allotted funds for counselling.” “It’s harder for us since we are a non profit always trying to seek funds”. She also mentioned often their people get trained in trauma work and leave to start private practices. She also mentioned another agency I could try.
“Well” CS says, “I’m looking at your file and we can’t offer you long-term therapy”. She said she was looking at my after care plan and it said “if I was looking for long-term therapy I would need to seek it elsewhere”. (which I know, how could I forget) I said to her “what if I wasn’t looking for long-term therapy”?
She said “how would I know you wouldn’t want long-term therapy once you started it. (this where I start to wonder if I’m dreaming what she is saying or if I’m in some sort of nightmare). I told her if I had a start date and an end date I would be fine with it. I also said during the group there were a few issues that came up that I would like to work on. And I didn’t think it would take long-term therapy as long as I had an end date. She said to me that she couldn’t be sure of this with me (the long-term thing). CS also said to me “Well the therapist you want to see is so nice you won’t want to stop seeing her once you start.” So I will have to decline your request to see a therapist here.
Then CS says, “This is usually considered a conflict of interest but since you were with us for a while I will make an exception”. “The therapist you want to see also has a private practice”. “I will give you her phone number and you can contact her.” I asked her if she was going to talk to the therapist to make sure she knew what was going on. The CS said she would do this so that the therapist would know it was ok.
By this time I am stunned and at a loss for words. And it was all I could do not to burst out into tears. I who will rarely cry.
This conversation has raised many questions in my mind. My former t said the door was always open to her. She said therapy would only be short-term but I was welcome to come back. Is this still true?
What has my former t and the clinical supervisor discussed about me? I know my former t told me on occasion that the CS was wondering when therapy was ending for me. I think my former t fought CS to keep me in therapy.
Does the CS think I’m not intelligent enough to make my own decisions on whether I want long-term or short-term therapy at any given time? How can she make that decision for me? Based on my past history? Does she have that right? And even if I got attached to this therapist, therapy is done when they say it’s done no matter how I feel. Am I the only one like this that they’ve had/have in their agency.
Who supervises the clinical supervisor? She seems to have a lot of decision-making power about who gets therapy?
The therapist I wanted to see was concerned about what was opened up for me within the group and said it wouldn’t be right or ethical to leave me hanging with this stuff all stirred up. Apparently the clinical supervisor doesn’t think the same way.
You’re on your own kiddo.
I did phone the therapist I would like to see at her private practice and left a message on her voice mail.
Now I wait once again.
The CS said “you must be disappointed with this decision”.
Disappointed, no, Crushed, yeah…