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Old 06-29-18, 01:08 PM
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How to confront therapist about (their) memory loss?

-------SHORT WINDED:-------
My therapist is forgetting things I tell her, and she offers to do things like setting me up with other people who work at the same facility who can help me...but forgets to do so, and doesn't even remember telling me she told me she would.
Any ideas on how I can go about confronting her in a healthy way on this?
She is an elder (she's in her 70's).
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-------LONG WINDED:--------
This isn't ADD related...but I'm not sure where else to post this.

I have an excellent therapist right now. Though I wasn't so sure about her at first...she's really proving to be a real keeper. She's helped me do a lot over the last 3 or so months I've been seeing her regularly 1on1 (she also runs a group I'm a part of).

The issue I'm having...
Is she forgets things. It's frustrating me and makes me feel like I'm not a priority of hers.

I'll talk to her in a session about things, and we'll have a good talk about it. She also takes lots of notes during our sessions.
But then a session or 2 later (seeing her weekly atm) I'll bring the topic up again briefly...only she'll act surprised often saying things like "Oh really?" or "I wasn't aware of that!", "I hadn't realized!!" and on and on.
And it's like... we JUST had a conversation about this.

But that's okay. I can accept this.

The one that's really bothering me right now...is she keeps telling me she's going to do things to help me, and then doesn't remember to do it.
About 1 1/2 months ago, she told me she was going to refer me to another lady who works at the facility that helps people with employment. She told me she was going to go talk to her directly after our session.
Then last week I was talking to her about employment again...and she's all like "Oh, there's a really neat lady I'm going to have you talk to who I think can really help you out! In fact I'm going to go talk to her after our session and I'll see if she can see you!"

So then I just had a session with her today and the first thing I asked, is if she was able to talk to the lady on my behalf like she wanted to do for me last week.
She looked at me puzzled and didn't know what I was talking about. But she said she's hoping to have the lady step into our group to talk to us the week after next.

So I just dropped it. I'm not sure how to confront her on this, so I decided I'll think it over before I confront her, and hopefully I can do it without coming at her with anger and frustration.

She is an elderly lady. She's at least in her 70's. Was retired but got bored so she jumped back into therapy less than a year ago.
She also sees a lot of people...so her cup is very full.

But I have certain expectations of my therapist...and though she's nailing tons of those expectation, her forgetfulness is really making it difficult to have confidence in her.

Holy heck this is a long post!!
I haven't talked to anyone about this frustration. Felt good to get it out.
-------/LONG WINDED.-------
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Old 06-29-18, 01:36 PM
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Re: How to confront therapist about (their) memory loss?

Do you think she is forgetting things because of dementia or alzheimers or is it cause she's really busy?

I'd tell her what you said about her being a fantastic therapist but you've noticed something that's been happening recently that's made you concerned. Then mention her forgetfulness and give her some examples.

To me, if you try to say things softly I think no matter what, you'll say it soft enough. And her reaction will not be based on whether you said it wrong. It'll be that no matter how nice you said it, she would have reacted the way she did regardless of how you said things. Whether she reacts positively, negatively, or neutral.
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Old 06-29-18, 01:40 PM
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Re: How to confront therapist about (their) memory loss?

If the therapist is any way good at her job, the best thing to do is to raise it explicitly.

Developing this interpersonal explicitness between therapist and client is what most therapy is about, therefore the therapist should welcome it, however I know that many don't. How she hand'es it is the measure of her ability as a therapist.

It may be she is beginning age related memory decline, in which case she would need to change her way of working to accommodate that.

In the UK all accredited therapists have to have a "supervisor"... someone that the therapist talks to on a regular basis to ensure they are parctising ethicaly and "within their competence" The supervisor is also there to ensure personal maaters in the therapists life are not negatively affecting the client work.

If you wee in the UK I would be saying, raise it and ask the therapist to go and talk to their supervisor about it....... however I've found that in the US therapists don't have generally have supervisors once they finish training, so there isn't anyone to raise such issues with.

In the US, there isn't the framework for the therapist to examine their own conduct, unless there is some form of practice complaints policy, which could be used in as gentle a way as possible.

If the therapist is not following up on accessing resources for you, this is something you need to follow up for your own wellbeing.
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Old 06-29-18, 02:25 PM
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Re: How to confront therapist about (their) memory loss?

You don't need to "confront" her. You can just tell her what you observe. It's her job as a therapist to figure out what to do with that information.

She'll probably be able to keep doing her job as long as she makes appropriate accommodations. Such as seeing a lower volume of patients, taking meticulous notes during the meetings and reviewing them before that start of the meetings, etc.

If she ultimately can't do her job and refuses to acknowledge it, you can bring it up with the professional licensing board, but that's way in the future.
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Old 06-29-18, 07:35 PM
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Re: How to confront therapist about (their) memory loss?

Awesome guys. Thank you so much.
And you're right...she's definitely not the kind of person who'd take offense to me bringing this up to her.

Like I said, she's been an amazing therapist for me. I've been in and out of therapy and institutions since I was 6 or years old...she's become one of the top therapists I've had. The understanding and empathy she has...and the way she focuses in on our sessions.
And I'm loving our sessions right now...because we're focusing in on change and my future and success. Most my therapy has centered on the what's wrongs, and the sufferings and you know...all the unpleasant stuffs lol.
I walk out of her office just about every week with a smile on my face and renewed faith in my future.
And it's great! She's good.
That, and I have no doubt that she's a fighter. Fierce. And by that I mean that if anything major happened in my life (like being evicted from my apartment or something)...she would fiercely fight on my behalf to help me get all the help and such that I could possibly get to make sure I remained safe and secure. And I gotta tell ya...I love having people like her in my corner. People that have my back so strongly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acdc01 View Post
Do you think she is forgetting things because of dementia or alzheimers or is it cause she's really busy?
I think it's a little bit of both.
Well...not necessarily from dementia or alzheimer...but just from age.
But she is also VERY busy. I know she has a full case load and is no longer taking in new clients...and then on top of that she does a ton of work on the group she runs that I'm a part of. And we meet twice a week...so she's just got a VERY full plate...
And with having so much going on, it's gotta be very difficult to keep everything sorted out.
And yet still...even though she's got such a packed schedule, and for being at her age...she's still a very happy person who's always ready to go! lol
She's really great
I really like her.

-------
So yeah, at any rate...I'll just bring it up honestly with her.

Thanks a lot guys. haha I think I made this thread more to just vent then really anything

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Old 06-29-18, 07:47 PM
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Re: How to confront therapist about (their) memory loss?

You absolutely want to bring this up with the therapist.

It's probably a sign that she's not checking and reviewing her session notes and/or isn't taking good session notes.

My current therapist can remember any issue of importance and any person I mention that has an important role (even small one) in my life. But he takes notes after session ... Sometimes when I go to the bathroom and return, he's scribbling notes ... And he checks his notes ...

He's just incredibly well organized ... ironic because for a long time his specialty was working with ADHD people.

Remembering details of a client's life and following through with promises and offers is really bad for a therapist.

Bring this up ... You can use the "One thing bothers me. You told me ... and you haven't ..."

I confronted a therapist once ... and it was the best thing in the world ... Later on, she told me that's when she knew I was gonna "get better"--that I confronted her and told her something was off about our sessions. This woman relaxed and ... really opened up ... really helped me ...
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Old 06-30-18, 04:05 AM
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Re: How to confront therapist about (their) memory loss?

Treat it like work.

After your appointment send an email recapping what was discussed and what you have both agreed to do
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Old 06-30-18, 05:37 AM
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Re: How to confront therapist about (their) memory loss?

(you are probably like"oh boy here she goes...")
You have a right to make your needs known. We cant have expectations if we do not say what those expectations are. If one of your expectations is for her to follow through on her offer of employment info (help) and that she is able to remember and reference things you have told her in the past, then you have to to tell her that that is what you expect. It doesnt have to be a bad convo just something like.." I would like you to follow up on xyz and we can talk about it in our next session". Or " remember when I told you about xyz? I'd like to explore that more next time".
THEN if she drops the ball you can remind her again of what she agreed to do. If it doesnt get better after that you have to weigh if her therapy help is worth it enough to overlook these things, or if you need a therapist that can both help you mentally and follow through on things that are going to help you in your life.
Nothing has to be bad. I feel like she might be too busy combined with light forgetfulness. I dont know what her case load is like. But you are just as important as anyone and you shouldnt have to retell everything and be responsible for reminding her.
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