Unfortunately, the title is true life.
My therapist for the last two years left, and he didn’t come back. Now let’s run it from the top, shall we?
This story starts, well, two years ago to the month actually.
Hannah and I met three months prior to me starting my first session with this therapist. We’ll call him David for the remainder of this story. Two years ago, I was suffering from a large amount of anxiety, both social anxiety and generalized anxiety. I’ve had three therapists prior to starting sessions with David, so I knew my disorders pretty well and what I needed from him.
I was clear with him from the start. I need to focus on my anxiety.
By the time my sessions with David started, I knew I needed to be focused on my anxiety. I needed to talk about it, and I needed to talk about it a lot.
Fortunately for me, David was nice, direct, and calm. So, I decided that he was the therapist for me. David met me at a time in my life where I needed some serious changes to happen in order for me to be mentally healthy. He talked me through a lot of difficult times. He even talked me through the beginning of my relationship with Hannah.
So if it was going so well, why did he dump you?
To answer that question simply: the shit show that is American healthcare. He dumped me over insurance. If you have health insurance, then you might complain like me from time to time because it’s absolutely ridiculous. Even though I complain, I would say that I have a great health insurance plan. It has a low monthly cost, ton of coverage, little to no bills, mental health coverage, and an extremely low co-pay. It’s literally a great insurance plan.
However, things got hectic and I forgot to pay my insurance plan back in March. So what happened? What always happens. My insurance plan was deactivated. Fair enough.
What follows is the extremely annoying part.
Once my insurance was deactivated (this was in April), so were my sessions with David. I’m not sure about you guys, but I don’t have $150.00 to give my therapist per session, so I really needed my insurance to get it together. My insurance company told me that my insurance wouldn’t be active again until 1 month later.
I completely understand not being able to schedule a session with David, so I let him know I was having some issues with my insurance, and that I would be reaching out to schedule a session when it was sorted out.
You would think that scheduling would be simple, it’s not.
A month goes by without insurance, so that’s four sessions. My life was really busy around this time, so once my insurance was re-activated, I didn’t rush to schedule a session. It just wasn’t on the top of my to do list. I struggle with anxiety daily, but overall I’ve learned to cope. My sessions with David have changed my life for the better, but I was doing alright during this period of time.
Four sessions turned into eight and then twelve. Three months without therapy! That’s the longest that I’ve gone without therapy in two years.
During these twelve weeks, I kept attempting to schedule a session. But with only one available session early in the morning, I just couldn’t wake up at 8:00a.m for a 9:00a.m session. We always did therapy in the afternoon, and I was trying to get back into my weekly routine with therapy.
So, I told David to please reach out to me once he had afternoon availability. Although I put the ball in his court, I texted him multiple times just to remind him that I’m still here and I still want to schedule a session. He went weeks without reaching out to me, so I tried to consistently remind him to keep me in mind.
What happened when you finally scheduled an appointment with David?
After weeks of not wanting to do morning sessions, I talked to Hannah. She suggested that I try a morning session in the hopes that it’ll be a baby step into getting me back into my regular afternoon sessions. I caved and scheduled a morning session two weeks in advance.
The day before our session, I get a text from David.
The text said, “Please call the office to discuss your insurance benefits”. I’m thinking, they probably just need some details, considering it’s been twelve weeks. NOPE! I was NOT ready for what came next. I called the office and the receptionist broke the news to me that the entire practice is no longer accepting my insurance. I was immediately disappointed and sad because I had a feeling that David knew about this insurance situation, but he didn’t want to tell me himself. So he had the receptionist tell me. I don’t think I deserved to find out from the brand new receptionist, instead of my therapist of two years.
I’m sad that my sessions with David have ended, but I would be less sad if he had had the decency to break the news himself.
I’m writing this post two weeks after finding out that I need to find a new therapist, and I haven’t received a single text from David. I deserve better than silence, and I sure as hell deserve a farewell text after two years of sessions.
After two weeks of being upset about this entire situation, I called my loving mother for her advice. Without hesitation, she said: “I would send him an email without a second thought.” I mentioned how I never had his email, but I do have his cell number. She recommended that I send him a very decent text expressing my disappointment in his lack of concern for me. After about thirty minutes of her trying to convince me, I left that phone call with the decision to send David a text expressing how I felt.
The text said the following, word for word.
“Hello David, It’s Ariana. I completely understand not being able to meet anymore due to insurance, but I’m honestly disappointed and sad that you haven’t reached out to wish me well. We’ve been meeting for two years now and I would have appreciated a few kind words from you. Take care.”
He responds with the following text message.
“Hi Ariana. I am sorry to have disappointed you. It is unfortunate that the insurance issues could not be resolved. Part of the reason why therapy works is that it exists within the frame, that being 45 minutes per week that we meet each week. Outside of that time frame, I tend to everyone else. That said, I do wish you well, and would be happy to keep seeing you if we could work it out.”
Um… excuse me?
What does all of this even mean? What does a 45 minute session a week have to do with wishing me well after an untimely end to our sessions? His farewell was buried with excuses. But hey, at least I got some closure.
There’s a lesson in this story.
American healthcare has its issues, but please. Guys, make sure you find a therapist who won’t make you feel like it was all about the money. Because that’s how this situation has made me feel. It’s so important that therapists make their patients feel comfortable and safe. This untimely end has made me feel anything but comfortable and safe.
Anyway, that’s the story of how I got dumped by my therapist after 2 years.
Luckily, as I mentioned, I have great health insurance coverage! My insurance company sent over a list of therapists, and with the help of Hannah, I quickly found a nice contender. I had my first session this Wednesday (August 15th) with this therapist. On first impressions alone, I think he’s the kind of therapist I need right now. All tea, I can’t wait to share this story with him!
Until next time,