Yes, I often think of clients after therapy has ended. This question can be read different ways. You may be referring to when a session ends or possibly when treatment ends. In either case I occasionally think of patients when I’m not working.
I often think of people ok working with because their cases require lots of thought, and I may be considering how to proceed with them. Other cases proceed very organically, but I’m moved to think of them because of something they recently shared with me. In other situations I may feel stuck and need to consult with someone to get some new perspective or direction.
Then there are times when I think of patients I worked with in the past. There are people I may have worked with years ago, but are impossible for me to forget, and I wonder how they are doing.
It’s quite natural to think of people you have worked with so closely, and who have shared such personal details about their lives with you. I think it would be odd to not think of them. I know more about my patients than I do about many friends and family members. It’s part of the therapeutic relationship that makes it so special. It’s one of the reasons I love the work I do. Yes, I love helping people, but I also love knowing them. It’s very meaningful to me that they share what they do with me, and because of this, I’m not likely to forget them.
When is it too much? I think in my early days of being a therapist and I was less secure in the work, I would worry more about what was going on in a particular case. In retrospect I might have been worrying too much, but then again when you don’t feel confident about what you’re doing, there is reason to worry.
These days those cases are far less frequent, as it takes much more to make me nervous, but it still happens on occasion. The difference is, these days, the cases that make me nervous, are probably cases that should make me nervous, so it’s not “too much”.