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View Poll Results: What is your tís policy on friendship after therapy?
My therapist would not allow friendship after therapy 21 36.84%
My therapist would be open to limited contact after therapy 10 17.54%
My therapist would be open to friendship after a waiting period 1 1.75%
My therapist would be open to friendship right away 3 5.26%
I would not want contact or friendship after therapy 9 15.79%
Unknown- I have not asked 10 17.54%
Other 3 5.26%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-16-2018, 12:09 AM   #1
growlycat
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Default Friendship after therapy

I am wondering what your tís policy is on friendship or friendly contact after therapy has ended. This could mean anything from keeping in touch by email once in awhile to becoming friends. From right away to a waiting period. I donít know if there is an acceptable standard.

My t is open to it but believes it is two years after therapy ends. I always thought that two year thing was for romantic relationships not friendships. So would love to hear your tís policy or if you know the rule on this thatís great too.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Friendship after therapy

As far as APA, there is no waiting period mandated for contact, excluding romantic contact. There is a 2 yr ethical mandate for romantic contact, but such contact is discouraged, regardless of time passed. It also depends upon whether or not the T is retired, at least in terms of logistics, because once a license is surrendered, there's no sanction to pursue. Basically, the APA urges members to give serious thought and reflection to any contact and cautions against the T initiating contact.

I don't think my T had a specific policy across the board. I'm sure he considered a former client's vulnerabilities, progress, and termination status individually. I'm pretty sure that in most cases, contact was somewhat limited, if only because of the nature of his client base: transient Univ students, so not usually long-term.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:05 AM   #3
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We haven't discussed it in detail.

I read some limited contact is accepted after therapy ends in the schema therapy clinician books. It actually wrote that some patients "never fully terminate" and may email to update the therapist etc. That gave me hope because eventually I'm leaving my home country to immigrate away. In a phone call, I...was crying hard and told T how I don't want to lose her permanently...

The next session she said I could email after therapy ends and though she might not reply swiftly, she would "always reply". I said it can't be email therapy but I want her to be part of my life in this limited way because I don't want to lose her forever.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Friendship after therapy

My T says that I can meet her for coffee maybe once a year after we terminate. She said she could never be friends with me
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:28 AM   #5
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He said it's possible that he'll friend me in a social network after we terminate (I never asked and I'm not sure if I want to add him)
He also said something like "I'll always be here for you"

I doubt I'll ever terminate, but if I did, there would be no contact between us, I'm sure
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:28 AM   #6
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I very much doubt he would be open to it and my boundary on it would be the same. I love the guy but the boundaries are mutual and I know friendship could change the relationship and undo the hard-earned progress I have made thanks to my relationship with him.
I imagine we will have occasional contact but it will always have professional boundaries and that's the only way either of us would have it.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:45 AM   #7
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I voted that I don't know. I would like a friendship, or at least some friendly contact, after I terminate therapy. That time is likely in the distant future, so I haven't mentioned it, but I'm also afraid to discuss it. My T seems like the type who will suggest that I e-mail from time to time, and I don't think I would do that. It would almost feel insulting.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:51 AM   #8
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We've never discussed it. I wouldn't want to be friends with my T, but I don't want her to completely be gone from my life either. I see her at my university clinic, so I stop seeing her when I graduate. I'd love if there were some way she could keep up with me, just in terms of seeing what I'm up to and (hopefully) seeing me succeed after she's spent so much time helping me. Maybe Facebook friends? Of course, that would have to mean she would be comfortable with *me* knowing about *her* life. She's pretty blank slate so that probably won't happen. I guess maybe we'll talk about it when we get closer to termination (three more semesters).
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: Friendship after therapy

It's not something I've ever considered or really talked about. Although we did talk about the end once and she said I would always be welcome to come back like if I needed to, so it doesn't have to be final when we do end.

I'm pretty sure even if I wanted friendship afterwards it wouldn't be possible, I think she would be a great person to be friends with however and I wish I had a friend like her in my life, although I'm not sure I would be a person she would even want as a friend cos I'm not very good at that lol!
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: Friendship after therapy

Damn, I lost my reply.

Long story short - my answer is 'other'. I don't expect us to become friends (regardless of his policy) because our relationship does not contain any friend vibes. However, I do expect to keep in contact via occasional emails.
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