How your therapist signs their emails.

Okay, I have a thing. A thing that really pisses me off and no one else I speak to sees why it’s a thing.

This thing, let’s call it a pet hate, is email sign-off’s. You know the thing people write just before there name? And more specifically, the way my therapist signs off on an email or text.

Now, I’m typing this slightly tongue in cheek but you should know this does give me rage!

Phrases I particularly hate are

  • Best Wishes – My ex therapist signed off with this after every communication, ugh.
  • Kind regards – Kind fucking regards? What the fuck does that even mean?
  • Regards- Regards? Regards? Really? My utilities company can muster more effort than that.
  • Warm Wishes – This one is the least offensive but still… warm wishes still reminds me of a warmed-up just vomited fur ball that I’ve stood on in bare feet the middle of the night.

 

Now just to explain, while these phrases seem perfectly fine and on the surface seem to exude care or warmth… I just don’t want to hear them from my therapist’s.

The relationship between therapist and client is a strange one. Yes, it is partly a business relationship, it’s also a professional relationship and as such there needs to be a certain level of propriety but my therapist is also likely to be my closest ally, someone I pour my heart and soul out to, someone I (am trying to) trust. This person is kind of like a mentor and a friend, a sister, a parent, a spiritual advisor and life-coach all rolled into one. I spend hours connecting on a really vulnerable, authentic and soul bearing level, and I believe on some levels my therapist is equally authentic, sometimes vulnerable and connecting to me on her side. The relationship between client and therapist is really special, actually.

So when I’ve just bared my soul, let myself connect to someone in a way I don’t allow many others in my life to do, when I get correspondence from my therapist and she signs off with any of the above, well, it just sets off my rage-o-meter.

It feels for me, jarring, unnecessarily formal, lacklustre, and just cold, man!

I am definitely reading too much into it but when I see those sign-offs, it’s like they are creating distance from me, reminding me I’m “just a client”, just a business proposition, just someone they vaguely know. None of those sign-offs hint at the relationship we are building, the tender moments created in therapy, the emotional intimacy that occurs in the therapy room.

Just imagine getting a text from your bestest friend or closest sibling or something and them saying “ hey, wanna go to the cinema on Saturday? Best wishes…. “ – *shudder* it would just be weird, right? Well that’s how I feel with those sign-off’s from my therapist.

I am not expecting them to sign off with “Love, therapist” or “hugs to you” or anything like that but honestly…. Can I please just get something less cold, something that suggests you know me a bit more than my dentist or postman or Utilities Company? Can I please have something a bit more familiar and comfortable?

May I suggest something like :

 

  • See you soon
  • Speak soon
  • See you Monday
  • Enjoy your week
  • Take care
  • YOLO
  • Peace, Out!
  • Just your name or initial
  • Or no sign off at all.

 

So anyway, after having this really bug me for years and after several therapist and several private rants to myself later, I finally emailed Sienna and asked politely if she’d mind not using those sort of generic shitty sign-offs. And she said “ no worries, it’s just habit.”

Phew, that was way easier than I expected. And yes I know I’m being a weirdo, but surely there’s someone else out there who gets irked with those sign-offs from their therapist, that it just kind of jars with?

Rant over.

 

 

 

 

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23 thoughts on “How your therapist signs their emails.

  1. Life in a Bind - BPD and me says:

    I get it 100 percent and feel exactly the same. It’s so hard to take I had to raise it with my therapist pretty quick! I’m not sure if i asked her directly not to use it but i told her i couldn’t use it because it felt way too formal. So she stopped using it and now either signs her name or something like see you on Tuesday. The really ‘special ‘ ones are when she signs them ‘take care’ and quite often she does ‘looking forward to seeing you’ which feels nice 🙂 so glad you had the courage to mention it and that it was a lot easier than you thought! 🙂

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  2. plf1990 says:

    Lol mine writes warm wishes too. If it’s been a very emotional or painful email that I sent which she is replying to, she writes warmest wishes. Which I quite like because I like the differentiation… I don’t mind in emails, but she then ends all text messages with warm wishes T and that pisses me off something chronic! Never said anything though lol. Sure it is just habit and to keep boundaries professional.

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  3. e.Nice says:

    Your post just cracked me up! I know the feeling behind it aren’t a laughing matter, but I sooooo get it! I once sent an email to one of those online therapist peeps and she responded with “warmly” and I was like “what the hell does that mean?” Does anyone actually say that in real life? I didn’t even know you, why would you be warm? Was it luke warm? It just so weird and maybe even tacky. I don’t email my therapist, but I’m sure she would probably put something generic like warmly. ugghh. I tend to close each of mine with Thanks, my name. If its a more personal or heartfelt email then I use the little squiggly sign ~my name. I feel like maybe a “how to not be a sucky therapist for me” flyer/reference sheet would be helpful if I ever see a different therapist. But maybe working through the pet peeves with someone is helpful too. Oh great. I just went and got all therapy-y. crap.
    ~e.Nice
    🙂

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  4. e.Nice says:

    to me its a more personalized response, like an actual signature often has a little squiggle in front and afterwards? Basically its not love, but its more then thanks if that makes any sense. I should probably clarify that with the people I use it with 🙂 since I also use a squiggle to denote about or around. For example about 20lbs would be ~20lbs.

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  5. Rachel says:

    YOLO?! Haha!! Funny. Very funny.
    I’m going to offer a different perspective – I LOVE that my therapist signs every single email with “warmly, (therapist).” I absolutely love it. Why? Because it is the same, regardless of the content, whether it be a logistical email or email in response to something emotionally provocative from me (my emotions are provocative). It helps ground me, because if she changed it, I would be obsessing – “what does that mean? Last time it was ‘warmly’ and this time it is just her name, but that one time it was ‘regards,’ etc.” My mind takes any opportunity in contact with her to find reason why she is one step away from ditching me.
    That said, although she always signs ‘warmly,’ she does add something above it (if a non-logistical email) at the end of her content, such as “see you on Monday-” or “I look forward to talking about this in session on Monday” or “take care.” So not sure if that negates the ick factor ‘warmly’ would have on you?
    Anyways, just wanted to offer a different perspective. I think also because I find my therapist to be exceptionally genuine, I don’t find “warmly” to be tacky or inauthentic; she is warm, so of course she signs it ‘warmly.’ She means it.

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    • Sirena says:

      warmly is slightly better than others but I still find it a bit contrived. And my therapist does write different sign off’s and like you I vaguely obsess at what it means. I spent months being pissed off at ! warm wishes until I got fucking demoted to “regards” the other day hahahahahha!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Life in a Bind - BPD and me says:

    Reblogged this on Life in a Bind – BPD and me and commented:
    I love this post because I haven’t seen any other blog posts about this subject, and it describes exactly how I feel! I’d be interested in knowing how many others feel the same way, and whether you have raised it with your therapist. For me, email sign-offs came up as an issue very early on with my current therapist. My ex-therapist would never have emailed between sessions and so it wasn’t a topic that we discussed. However, the very first time my current therapist sent me an email, the use of ‘Best wishes’ at the end, really grated. At the very next session I said that I hoped it was okay, but that I couldn’t sign my own emails in that way, because I felt it was far too formal for the kind of relationship that I hoped therapy would be. I didn’t ask her to change the way she signed her own emails, but from the next message she sent me, ‘Best wishes’ had gone!

    The comments at the end of this post show that there are a variety of opinions on the way that individuals prefer their therapists to end emails. Some find consistency to be absolutely key, so that there is no temptation to ‘read something’ into different end phrases. Others appreciate small variations particularly when used to highlight care or support at more difficult times. My own therapist varies her email sign-offs, mostly, I believe, without any specific intention. However, there are times when it seems clear that she has used a particular word or phrase for a reason – for example, she uses ‘take care’ rarely, but when she does, it is always in response to emails and times when I have been in much more distress than usual. At other times, her sign-offs vary from simply her first initial, to her name, to ‘see you next week’, to ‘until tomorrow’, to ‘looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday’. Her use of ‘looking forward to seeing you’ is also very important to me, as it’s often easy for me to fall into the temptation of thinking that she doesn’t really want to see me three times a week, or that she finds our sessions difficult or uninteresting.

    If you are in contact in between sessions, how does your own therapist end their emails? Is this something you pay attention to or that bothers you? And if so, have you addressed this with them, and what has the outcome been? I would love to hear from you!

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  7. drgeraldstein says:

    YOLO, I’ve been told by a high school counselor I know well, is used by some kids who are trying to justify any and all kinds of thoughtless, spur-of-the-moment screwing around. I’m glad you solved this as easily as you did. I suppose one should be glad that a therapist doesn’t write, “You’re history!” or “Never darken my door again!” 😉 Just kidding of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. drgeraldstein says:

    I’ve decided to write a post of my own on this topic, looked at from one therapist’s point of view. Thanks for getting me to think about it. Of course, I’ll link back to your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. blithelyloquacious says:

    Hi, have just started following you 🙂

    I LOVE this post. It made me laugh so much because my therapist always signs off ‘best wishes’ with EVERYTHING and it drives me NUTS! On the plus side, I do quite like the consistency, even though my boyfriend has nicknamed her ‘Ice Maiden’ for her, shall we call it, dry communication style. I always do a bit of a mini eye roll at her sign off but then she didn’t do it once and I was all like, “What does that MEAN?!” That’s therapy for you!

    I know it sounds cold and uncaring and I guess I’m ok with it because I know she isn’t. But she does have incredibly tight boundaries and I guess they are reflected in her written communication.

    I think I would die of laughter if I got a YOLO! Take care is much nicer, I would suggest it to her but I doubt she’d change it, and after almost 4.5 years of working with her it might be weird for me also.

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    • Sirena says:

      Hi, thanks for following! I’d die of laughter if I got a YOLO too but anything is better that warm regards *shudder* 🙂
      Ice maiden in a great name, i hate tight boundaries, they just make me want to rebel. LOL

      Like

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