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Thread: My counselor canceled our appointment

  1. #1
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    My counselor canceled our appointment

    I wasn't sure if this belonged here, or in Family Matters & Relationships. I am so disappointed and kind of angry. I had a scheduled appt. today with a therapist, and her office called me at 8:30 to cancel (she's sick). I made this appointment a month ago. The only reason I am going to this woman is because I get four free visits before the end of '17 through my Employee Assistance Program (if I can squeeze them in). Here's a bit of a backstory.

    I saw her for five sessions last year, two of which were with my husband. I cannot remember her telling me anything useful whatsoever, just listening to my tales of woe and shaking her head and saying, "Oh, frugalone..." in a sad voice. When she saw us as a couple, she had some advice for my spouse about dealing with his problems that affect both of us. Not to sound snotty, but we're both pretty intelligent and and were in therapy (together and separately) for a number of years, and we're also middle-aged, and so...well...this advice was not news to either of us. (e.g. 12-step programs, ACOA).

    So I stopped going. But things have not gotten better, nothing has really changed (even thought my spouse and I have talked about our issues many many times). Recently, our stress level went way up due to a lawsuit with a trouble-making neighbor. I've been so stressed out that I have constant chatter in my head about just running away and how much I hate just about everything about my life, except maybe my pets. I have been angry constantly at my spouse. My job is OK--just bores the living crap out of me and makes me wonder "is this it until retirement?"

    I should also add I quit taking my SSRI in the summer, hoping my vacationing libido would return, but it has not. Which, I understand, can be a perfectly normal symptom of menopause. I have started another SSRI (a different one) but it's only been a day.

    So...anyways...I do have an option of calling a friend's therapist, but it will not be free. I am also on the ACA exchange and have no idea whether 1) their firm will accept my insurance plan; and 2) what the heck it will cost me even if they do. Currently, our plan (which ends Dec. 31) pays $90 a visit--which is why I'm trying to squeeze in the Free Four. I'm also entitled to another Free Four in 2018.

    OK, so, the advice questions are:

    1. I couldn't get another appt. till three weeks from now. How do I deal with this sh*t in the meantime? I've been feeling like I'm barely hanging on.

    2. Should I call my friend's therapist and see what the deal is there?

    3. Spouse has offered to talk to me about whatever is bothering me. But I feel like "we've had this conversation before" and the particular situations worrying me do not change. I'm not trying to paint him with a black brush either. He's a very good person, but he's got issues, as they say. I've tried "acceptance" and to be honest, I don't even know what it means. To me it sounds like giving up in despair. Should I try yet again to talk to him?

    Anyway, I've gone on long enough here. Thank you for listening.

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I'm sorry you're feeling so down about stuff, frugalone. A bummer about the therapist.

    You mentioned that you've been to other therapists before, and that you've gotten advice to go to 12-step programs. Did you ever go? I don't know what your/your spouse's "ism" is, but could you go to a meeting in the meantime? I've spent a lot of time in Al-Anon, and the one thing it's good for is putting the focus on yourself. And it's cheap. Maybe hitting up a few meetings in the meantime, even if you don't get excited by them, will help take the edge off. And they help you frame "acceptance" in a way that's very useful and healthy. Let me just say that acceptance is not giving up. Far from it.

    I don't think "talking again" to your spouse is going to be very helpful.
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  3. #3
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    I'd look at and research all avenues available especially since it sounded like you didn't like working with the free counselor. Is she the only one on the list you can use? She doesn't sound like a real working counselor to me. Around here it's $85 a session. Our church assists with 1/2 up to 6 visits since we don't have clergy that do counseling.
    I'd definitely have another sit down with your spouse. Just lay it out there. "These are the things I'm having a hard time dealing with and completely done in by. I've not seen the changes I need for the quality of life I need. I'm at a crossroads in deciding what is best for me." Use a lot of "how it affects me" instead of "this thing about you". State your plan of action, come up with one and what time you are willing to allow this to go on. State when you'll hopefully have your decision made. Sometimes giving ourselves a time limit gives us the freedom to make the change we need or empowers us to make the dedication we need to get to the deciding point. I'd also do this in writing...something you can refer to daily if needed so that you can work daily on it.
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  4. #4
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    Yea people do go to 12 step or al-anon meetings to deal and temporarily feel less alone with their problems etc.. Even if they just go to listen to other people and don't contribute it can help in feeling less alone. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but some people find it helpful. I guess the obvious thing is you could call your insurance company and see what they could do, some of them also offer programs where you can just call a number and speak to a person if you have troubling issues in your life, I don't think this is many times. Around here for $85 a session your getting the psychology interns not people with years of experience or anything as they charge a lot more (and yes experienced is better, but it also takes skillsets that seem pretty rare to do it well, so many are not that good), but that's why you want to get the insurance to try to pay much of it of course.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  5. #5
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    I would try the other therapist. It seems like the free one is not helpful. The other suggestions were also good.

  6. #6
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    I've been to an AA meeting with a friend (years ago) and I used to go to ACOA.

    I'll have to Google our local meetings and see what's available. I found ACOA very hard to deal with. I remember kind of getting up and sneaking out of the meeting and never returning. I felt so vulnerable.

    Thank you, catherine.


    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I'm sorry you're feeling so down about stuff, frugalone. A bummer about the therapist.

    You mentioned that you've been to other therapists before, and that you've gotten advice to go to 12-step programs. Did you ever go? I don't know what your/your spouse's "ism" is, but could you go to a meeting in the meantime? I've spent a lot of time in Al-Anon, and the one thing it's good for is putting the focus on yourself. And it's cheap. Maybe hitting up a few meetings in the meantime, even if you don't get excited by them, will help take the edge off. And they help you frame "acceptance" in a way that's very useful and healthy. Let me just say that acceptance is not giving up. Far from it.

    I don't think "talking again" to your spouse is going to be very helpful.

  7. #7
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    There is no "list." This is it. And in fact, she is the only counselor that works at the place. It is a legitimate counseling center (it's part of Family Services of Our County). Funding has been cut so much that it doesn't surprise me that she's the last woman standing there. This is just another infuriating thing about my employer. And if they offered decent health insurance to people with families, I wouldn't be on the ACA and probably wouldn't have a $90 copay. With my last employer, I paid $15!

    I've never come up with an action plan because it terrifies me. I've been told by counselors that I should "think about what I want my life to look like." It terrifies me. I don't know how many times I've been down this road before, and I don't know if I can do it. We had the "how it affects me" chat last year in counseling. I think my spouse knows I'm a coward and that I'll never do anything differently. We've been together a long, long time. I guess one of the things I'm seeking from counseling is courage and reassurance that I will be OK.

    But yeah, I probably should lay it on the line.

    I did look into other counseling centers. I tried to make a deal where they just ignored the health insurance and did a sliding scale. No one will cooperate with that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Float On View Post
    I'd look at and research all avenues available especially since it sounded like you didn't like working with the free counselor. Is she the only one on the list you can use? She doesn't sound like a real working counselor to me. Around here it's $85 a session. Our church assists with 1/2 up to 6 visits since we don't have clergy that do counseling.
    I'd definitely have another sit down with your spouse. Just lay it out there. "These are the things I'm having a hard time dealing with and completely done in by. I've not seen the changes I need for the quality of life I need. I'm at a crossroads in deciding what is best for me." Use a lot of "how it affects me" instead of "this thing about you". State your plan of action, come up with one and what time you are willing to allow this to go on. State when you'll hopefully have your decision made. Sometimes giving ourselves a time limit gives us the freedom to make the change we need or empowers us to make the dedication we need to get to the deciding point. I'd also do this in writing...something you can refer to daily if needed so that you can work daily on it.

  8. #8
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    I was married for 22 years to a controlling man that was also verbally abusive and had a job I hated. WE went to joint counseling and things never got better. One time I woke up and could not go back to sleep because in the dream my face had fallen off. When I looked in the mirror I had no face. Think there was a message in that dream? Finally I went alone for a year and started to look for a job out of state. I got one and moved. I did not know a soul. I divorced my husband. I was 43 and it was hard. 20 years later my life is good. I am remarried and happy. I loved the job I recently retired from. It was the best thing I ever did for myself.

  9. #9
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    You might want to try ALANON, rather than ACOA.
    One up side is that there are usually more meetings available.

    I couldn't sit in an ACOA meeting, either. There was way too much trauma in that room, and I was already overwhelmed.

  10. #10
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    Can anyone tell me what a "closed" Al-Anon meeting means? The web site says "open to members and interested parties."

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