• I posted this question as an update yesterday by mistake. Are there any other therapists in the network?

    Asked by Valentinegirl on Sunday, August 5, 2012

    I posted this question as an update yesterday by mistake. Are there any other therapists in the network?

    I was out on medical leave due to mastectomy and reconstruction for two months and have just returned to work. I did not share specifics with my clients, as I wanted to protect my privacy, and did not want them to feel as if they had to take care of me. I am now undergoing chemo, and hoping that I can continue to work. I know that some of my clients are curious and/or concerned about what has happened to me, and part of me would like to share what I've been through ion order to remind women to have regular mammograms, etc. Are there other therapists in network who have had this experience? Or anyone who has a therapist who has shared this type of info with them. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

    3 Answers from the Community

    • GetMyLifeBack's Avatar

      I am also a therapist and totally understand the need to keep that boundary with your patients. I think you have to address it and process it with them because it will otherwise become that elephant in the room. They will notice and they will worry and may even have fears of abandonment. You have to process it and you are human too and thier recognition of your humanity can be a big moment in thier recovery too.

      almost 9 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Not sure what type of therapist you are looking for, but I really don't see why this question would pertain only to any kind of therapist. My rule of thumb is, if the issue potentially affects clients, co-workers, employers, etc. then they are entitled to know. In your situation, I think that is the case, since time off for surgery and chemo (which is likely) may affect your clients appointments. Even without time off, certain common side effects (nausea, fatigue, chemo brain, peripheral neuropathy, etc.) could affect the quality of their care from you. Other side effects such as hair loss and other obvious physical changes are going to make it apparent anyway, so the news is probably better coming from you rather than have clients assume, imagine, and wonder how it may affect them.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Angela's Avatar

      I too am a therapist, but currently just a caregiver. Since my experience is as a contract therapist in various medical facilities we are expected to keep our personal matters out of the work enviroment and be professional with an unending smile. That futher complicates the issue when any of us obviously don't look the best or are gone for an extended period. Sometimes when I have shared a little it's been ok. Other times I've gotten a talking to from my supervisors and even the head nurses/administrators of the facility. It's a difficult issue. I suggest to get input from your supervisors on what they feel is professionally appropriate to share before talking to/with patients about any of it.

      almost 9 years ago

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