When Your Therapist Quits You…

…and then hires you.

Lucy-van-pelt-1-

Next month, I will embark on yet another new adventure. I will still be in Orlando, still doing the same work, but it will be in a different office. I have absolutely enjoyed my time with Redeemer Counseling Center over the past year, so when another opportunity arose to move my practice to a different location, I had a very tough decision to make. Do I stay where I am because it is an encouraging environment, I just got into a routine, and I adore the people with whom I work? Or do I take this leap across town and chance losing what I have worked so hard for over the past year?

If you know me at all, you know I tend to avoid doing things the easy way. I met with some people whom I really trust to walk through my options and explore questions I had not even thought to ask. There was a lot of appeal in staying, and there was a lot of appeal in leaving. There was no clear answer, so I had to make a decision based on the facts in front of me and faith in God’s provision.

To add another layer of complexity, moving to a different practice wasn’t just any move. This whole idea came about because my counselor, the man who knows every single nook and cranny of my story – the good, the bad, and the truly ugly – quit me. He didn’t kick me out the door with one of his very shiny shoes, he just said I didn’t need to be in therapy every week anymore. (At which point my jaw dropped to the ground because I have been in some form of therapy since I was 15 years old.) Then, he completely undid my world. He offered me a job. He asked if I would consider joining his practice and being colleagues.

To say I didn’t have a category for this in my brain would be an understatement. The LAST person on earth I would expect to trust me as a colleague would be this guy. We met three years ago when I was in a required weekly process group with fellow classmates. I knew he had my number (as in, he could see right through all of my bull honkey) from moment one. He made me SO ANGRY! I am not proud of this, but I resisted him in group, trash talked him to my peers, and complained about everything he said and did. Jeremiah is really good at his job, but I hated him for it because I knew I couldn’t hide anymore.

After a year of process groups, I asked him to be my individual counselor. Maybe I have a masochistic bent to me, but I really think I knew this guy would point out the truth no matter how much it hurt or how hard I would fight, and that is what I wanted for myself. With the exception of a few sick days and stints out of town, I have been sitting across from this man every week for two years, weeping, raging, confessing, cussing, throwing things, and curling up in what I call “my anxiety blanket”. He has stuck with me patiently as I called him names, challenged his insight, and admitted the depths and darkness of my shame.

And this guy wants to work with me. During our last session as counselor and client this week, we reflected on who I was when I moved to Orlando and the woman I am today. Through tears, I thanked him for being so generous with his time, his compassion, and his eccentricity. We talked about how this is going to be a hard transition, blending roles and working together. I thought about all the times I have told my clients to borrow hope from me when they didn’t have it for themselves, and all of the times I had borrowed hope from Jeremiah when I felt I had nothing in which to hope.

If he could accept, appreciate, and hold with great care the depths of my story, then maybe we could do that for others as a team. I greatly respect his business partner and the others who will be joining us, and while I will miss Redeemer and everyone with whom I have been working for the past year, I do look forward to this new adventure and what lies ahead. That also comes with a certain amount of fear – What if I lose clients? What if I don’t have enough space? What if my now-former-therapist gets sick of me? My fear is real, but the threat is not. I think this is a good move for me.

I have a hard time trusting people, but I hope to borrow my-now-former-counselor’s final words to me before we become coworkers: “Lindsey, you are a wise, healthy woman. I believe that, but you have to believe it for yourself.” That is the gift I hope to continue to give people: trust me for now if you need to, but eventually know you can trust yourself.

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One thought on “When Your Therapist Quits You…

  1. Wonderful news Lindsey and a wonderful new venture – I know you are relying on the Lord’s leading and He will not lead us astray.

    Like

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