To the Therapist I Fired, Thank You

You told me I was faking it — that my suicidal thoughts were elaborate attempts to gain attention. Despite genetic evidence to the contrary, you told me I just didn’t want to take medications. You threw out words like “difficult,” “resistant,” “defiant.” In my despair, I believed you. I thought my treatment-resistant depression, crippling anxiety and inability to experience happiness were all my fault. When I didn’t get better, when nothing worked, when I couldn’t get out of bed, I sent lengthy emails and booked extra sessions with you to figure out why. 

I’m surprised it took me so long to catch on (I used to be a therapist myself). But in my vulnerable state, all I saw was darkness. Languishing in yet another dank hospital room, traumatized and alone, I had a sudden epiphany. 

You, Mr. Therapist, are wrong!

I am not damaged goods. I am not my illness. I may not be the best at expressing how I’m feeling, but in no way am I making up this horrible disease. I am not lying about my emotions. 

At that moment, I had two choices. I could be bitter. I could sit in my cold, lonely room and plot my revenge, or I could forgive. Admittedly, for awhile, I did wish for justice. I was tormented by your actions, filled with shame that I’d believed the ignorant words. But just as there are bad plumbers and bad accountants and bad salesmen, there are bad therapists. You are one of them. So I fired you. 

This is not to say you, the reader, should jump ship the minute there is a problem in therapy. This is just a friendly reminder (from someone who has been both a therapist and a patient) that it is OK to find a therapist who works best.

To anyone who feels hesitant about firing your therapist, there are options. Though it may be scary, tell your therapist how you feel. They may have no idea their particular style of therapy is not working. When I had my private practice, I had multiple clients who I could not develop good rapport with, so I chose to start a conversation with them about the subject. For some people, this showed that I, too, was not perfect. There may not be anything “wrong” with either party, but the therapeutic fit may not be beneficial for the client. It is every therapist’s ethical duty to do what is best for the client. I would never buy a car from someone if I knew they were trying to rip me off. So why would anyone stick with a therapist who made their depression and anxiety worse? 

Buddhist teachings say holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. So I chose to forgive my therapist. I have enough on my plate to sit around worrying about people who do me wrong. Forgiving this individual was liberating. Every day, I work hard to balance my emotions, practice self-care and continue living despite my mental health challenges. 

To the therapist I fired, thank you for teaching me about forgiveness. In the end, it was empowering.

You are now one less thing I have to worry about.

sidewalk chalk that says forgive

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

girl in bed fast asleep - hand drawn, space in dream bubble for text/image

I Am Skipping Today, and That's OK

Depression wants me to harm myself. It says, “Isolate.” “Sleep.” “Starve.” “Binge.” “Hide.” It says, “Hate yourself.” It says, “Kill yourself.” ”It says, “Tell everyone you are OK, then come back so I may abuse you further.” It does not whisper these words; it shouts in my ear. It claws at me, pulls me under [...]
vector illustration girl in the bedroom

The Most Unhelpful Things You Can Say to Someone Who Is Depressed

We know sometimes people don’t fully understand our mental illness and are only doing their best when they try to give advice. Never the less, some of the “advice” given can be extremely unhelpful. For example: “Try not to spend all day in bed. It will only make you feel worse.” “Why don’t you try and go for a [...]
Girl wearing a gold mask.

Finding a Way to Say Depression Out Loud

During the past months, it occurred to me several times to speak my truth and to tell my close ones about the deafening silence in my head, the crumbling thoughts and the chaos. I have been willing to tell people about the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been living inside — and to do it openly. However, [...]
meme that says 'amazing things will happen today if you choose not to be a miserable cow'

A Response to This Viral Meme, From Someone Who's Experienced Depression

Well, I’m not sure who created this meme, but they most likely didn’t think about how this could be interpreted by someone experiencing major depression, bipolar depression, grief, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anorexia, addiction (and the list goes on). Who knows? I don’t know the creator’s story. Maybe his or her intention was to say choosing optimism has helped them overcome difficult [...]