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Is My Therapist Attracted To Me/inappropriate?


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#1 hippocampus

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:13 PM

Hi there,
 
I have been seeing a therapist (social worker) for about 4 months now. I am female and he is male. We are around the same age.
 
I'm wondering if this is a case of transference/counter transference or if some of his behaviours are inappropriate.
 
1) He has cried three times in reaction to things I've discussed
2) When we were talking about dating advice (I recently went through a breakup of a 12 year relationship) he suggested I date a health care worker, maybe a social worker ?!
3) He has offered to lower my fees to help me out, and has forgotten to charge me for a few sessions.
 
I should add that I am most definitely attracted to him sexually and emotionally. He is good looking, my age, and well, he has deeply connected with me on my emotional issues.
 
Thoughts? Opinions?

Edited by sufferinsilence, 20 April 2013 - 08:59 PM.
remove identifying information per member request


#2 SufferInSilence

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:57 PM

While one really cannot control who they are attracted to, I would say this is treading in dangerous waters.  Rules about professionalism are in place for a reason.  They are meant to protect both you and your therapist.  My therapist cried quite a few times as we discussed some things.  I don't know if that is necessarily a bad thing as it showed me she was human and I think it helped me to connect with her.  Because of this I was able to share things I maybe would not have otherwise.  It is hard to say the intentions here because I really don't know the background to these circumstances.  Some therapists may do work pro bono if they know you are strapped for cash.  It might be in the form of a few sessions not being billed or reduced rates.  The comment about dating a health care professional or social worker is the thing that really raises the red flag for me.  Pllease be very careful.  You are in a vulnerable state and he should be aware of that.  If things go any further down this path I would say it is time to find a new therapist.


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#3 nessa

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 07:14 AM

Hey there,

 

Just from what you said, in my own opinion, I don't see any problems.

 

1) All of my therapists have cried in front of me, and most within the first couple months. If he is crying as a reaction to stuff you have said, I don't think that's a problem, unless it bothers you. 

 

2) I know the person above mentioned they thought this was a red flag, but I honestly see it as advice. As a health care worker, you are probably a very caring person, and you probably deal with some pretty difficult stuff. It is just general dating advice, especially for people in service-type professions, to date someone who has a similar job. You would probably have more in common with that person, and you would understand each other's struggles better. He may also have recognized that you need a partner who is understanding, compassionate and a good listener, so suggesting someone in social work may have just been his way of letting you know a good filter for finding those types of people.

 

3) I see this as being kind and considerate, not really a red flag. He probably cares about you, and if you are struggling financially but are benefiting from therapy, I could totally understand that he would let a few payments slip while things got better for you. 

 

Again, this is just my opinion, but I really don't see any of those things themselves as signs that there is anything more than one human who cares about another. However, tone and body language are the tell-tale signs for attraction, so only you can really tell.

 

The thing that worries me is that you said YOU are sexually and emotionally attracted to him. I'm not you, but I think it would be hard to work with someone I was attracted to. I think that regardless of how he feels, you should probably decide what you are going to do based on your own feelings.

 

My piece of advice (which seems to always be my advice on this subforum :sigh:  ) would be to talk to him about what you are feeling. If those things that you mentioned make you uncomfortable, then tell him that. You are still getting to know each other, so he might just not have a good idea of how best to interact with you yet. I would also be honest with him and let him know what your feelings are, and see if you can still find a way to work together, or if maybe he can help you find a new therapist. As difficult as it is to be open and honest (and I know, myself, I am super guilty of hiding things from therapists for long long periods of time) it really is the best thing you can do to get the most out of therapy.

 

I wish you the best, and please keep us posted!

 

Smiles,

Nessa


Edited by nessa, 13 March 2013 - 07:15 AM.

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#4 StoniumFrog

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 08:09 AM

Sorry for the confusion but I gotta disagree. He is there to help you as a professional, not as a "friend" or whatever.

Forgetting about attraction and all that, just think of one thing - if you are someway interested in him emotionally or sexually and if this goes beyond the point it is at now, how will this affect

a. His judgement

b. His career. You may not think it, but that is most definitely a Red Flag if ever there was one. All grand and hunky dory while things going ok, but what happens if they don't.

 

 

An analogy - I was a lecturer.  I have seen so many unreally beautiful women in the classes. But supposing I just ended up with one. That would open up a barrel of cr@p it would make Pandora's Box seem like a Christmas Cracker (If I gave her a bad grade: Harassment. If I gave her a good grade: Favouritism). Now thats in a domain where not much deeply personal information is passed. All it takes is one jealous work colleague to spill the beans and hey presto - his career in tatters. We live in a cynical and cut-throat world at times. Its Fight Club, not Mills & Boons.

 

Am I saying not give up on your emotions? No. What I would suggest is that if this urge is continuing, and if you can't fight it, well then, change theraphist and then follow up on your emotions. I believe in love but in certain situations you have to be aware.

 

Sorry for the ****-joy attitude but hey, you did ask for an opinion. More than anything I hope you are ok in the long run and I am sorry for being the f@rt in a phonebox about it.


Edited by StoniumFrog, 13 March 2013 - 08:12 AM.

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#5 spiritsage

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:32 PM

There are a lot of pertinent facts that are not clear here, but the ones that are indicate a very simple solution: 1) Get a new therapist 2) this opens you up free and clear with #1 to move ahead however might be appropriate. There are a lot of "lines" here....simplify, and reach out for happiness.



#6 hippocampus

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 05:26 PM

Thanks everyone for the feedback, I really appreciate it :sigh:

 

Forgot to mention two other things that are very relevant:

 

-Before my breakup but while things were rough with my partner, he suggested I bring my SO in for a couples session. So I did. Granted, my SO was definitely not right for me and the relationship was crap, but my T ended up cornering my SO and just telling him how crap he was, what he should be changing, and that I had made a decision to move out. I didn't speak one word in this session, and was  bit shocked. My SO was sooo angry after the session.

 

I brought it up with my T later on, and he apologized and said that he normally doesn't let his own biases interfere with a couple's session but with mine he did.

 

Also, my T is fairly recently divorced and I think he's single.

 

I'm not looking for a particular answer, I really do want both opinions on this. I guess I'm trying to figure out if this is something I can "talk" through with him or if I should just go get a new therapist and take things from there. He has really helped me on several things, but obviously therapy can't continue if these "feelings/attractions" don't go away.

 

Feel free to ask me about more details, if that helps.

 

Thanks again everyone!



#7 spiritsage

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:48 PM

The T is totally out of line professionally. Move on...then you can decide how your personal affairs can be best managed for personal happiness. IMHO.
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#8 FeelinBlueAllTheTime

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:29 AM

Sorry for the confusion but I gotta disagree. He is there to help you as a professional, not as a "friend" or whatever.

Forgetting about attraction and all that, just think of one thing - if you are someway interested in him emotionally or sexually and if this goes beyond the point it is at now, how will this affect

a. His judgement

b. His career. You may not think it, but that is most definitely a Red Flag if ever there was one. All grand and hunky dory while things going ok, but what happens if they don't.

 

 

An analogy - I was a lecturer.  I have seen so many unreally beautiful women in the classes. But supposing I just ended up with one. That would open up a barrel of cr@p it would make Pandora's Box seem like a Christmas Cracker (If I gave her a bad grade: Harassment. If I gave her a good grade: Favouritism). Now thats in a domain where not much deeply personal information is passed. All it takes is one jealous work colleague to spill the beans and hey presto - his career in tatters. We live in a cynical and cut-throat world at times. Its Fight Club, not Mills & Boons.

 

Am I saying not give up on your emotions? No. What I would suggest is that if this urge is continuing, and if you can't fight it, well then, change theraphist and then follow up on your emotions. I believe in love but in certain situations you have to be aware.

 

Sorry for the ****-joy attitude but hey, you did ask for an opinion. More than anything I hope you are ok in the long run and I am sorry for being the f@rt in a phonebox about it.

 

 

LOL, Stonium, I think I'm falling in love with you!   "It's Fight Club, not Mills and Boons".   Props for bringing up that old romance stuff from back in the day.  I haven't read one of those books since the mid-90's.

 

But seriously, Hippocampus...I'm with the folks who say you need to proceed with caution.  This could be a slippery slope.   I agree with Nessa that you should talk to him about this.     


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#9 Subliminal

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:35 AM

agree w/ @sufferinsilence


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#10 hippocampus

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:26 PM

I had to cancel my appointment this week so no resolution...hehe...avoidance much?


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#11 Subliminal

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 07:46 PM

I would like to add, you are in no way avoiding, but doing something healthy for yourself.

You're actually giving yourself time to sort it out, perhaps even continue to share here.. and especially get support & advice from the female members, who will understand it from that perspective.

Altogether, I would agree that the 'treading carefully' notion implied with the responses that have been shared here - is one to go with.

Best wishes in figuring things out, and also with the community at large here, brimming with ideas :)
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#12 Imim

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 08:53 AM

I had to cancel my appointment this week so no resolution...hehe...avoidance much?

yes, I think you are avoiding the issue instead of confronting; it would be best to bring it out in the open and see what he says.

 

as others suggested, go ahead and talk to him about these things bothering you and possibly look for another therapist. you are NOT hanging out with him as a friend, he is your therapist, you are the patient and as such, professional decorum should be observed at ALL TIMES.

 

if he is truly attracted to you, it won't change just by discussing it with him, so I think its best to find another therapist. when he's no longer your therapist and he decides to pursue you further, I don't see anything wrong with it. if your relationship develops to more than friendship, so be it.

 

Live and love,

-Im



#13 hippocampus

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:07 PM

Well to be fair, I really did have to cancel to do unforeseen circumstances. I am seeing him either next week or the week after. I don't know if I have the courage to discuss this with him.... :unsure:



#14 Subliminal

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:12 PM

I had to cancel my appointment this week so no resolution...hehe...avoidance much?

 

yes, I think you are avoiding the issue instead of confronting; it would be best to bring it out in the open and see what he says.

 

as others suggested, go ahead and talk to him about these things bothering you and possibly look for another therapist. you are NOT hanging out with him as a friend, he is your therapist, you are the patient and as such, professional decorum should be observed at ALL TIMES.

 

if he is truly attracted to you, it won't change just by discussing it with him, so I think its best to find another therapist. when he's no longer your therapist and he decides to pursue you further, I don't see anything wrong with it. if your relationship develops to more than friendship, so be it.

 

Live and love,

-Im

 

hi @Imim

 

i have to agree with you - what is Professional, stays Professional.. regardless of any external influences.

 

speaking to her therapist is the fastest way get it straightened out, but, I still think that @hippocampus may have needed a bit of time to sort things through her mind.. prior to taking action, as we share our suggestions with her here.

 

However, any longer.. than a supposedly appropriate time to consider or to cancel the appointment a second time may be in the area of avoidance.

 

And of course, as a Therapist (Social Worker) or any other field of work.. Strictly Professional means Strictly Professional.

 

It is his duty to ensure that nothing else enters into the line of work. He should know it.

 

@hippocampus do you have any family members or relatives you can confide in about this, or speak to to discuss what your strategy or plan may be going about this?

also, I have to agree with @imim that if he is attracted to you then speaking to him about it won't change anything - and should it be the case, I feel it is best to switch therapists, as the Professional Decorum @imim certainly has to be observed at All times. After which, whether he decides to pursue you or you him - can be a separate matter aside from YOUR therapy which YOU Need for your healing, where external influences can be distractions.

 

 

P.S. I feel social workers and therapists (helping others) should be respectful enough of whoever they're helping and of THEMSELVES to have the morals and INTEGRITY not to cross the line. They have to know better. If they actually cross the line of professionalism, it's an immediate sign a switch has to take place.


Edited by Subliminal, 16 March 2013 - 12:13 PM.

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#15 SufferInSilence

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:32 PM

Can you write down your concerns and present it to your therapist? He can read what you have to say and either discuss it with you at this appointment or schedule a time after he has collected his thoughts himself. If it isn't put out on the table for discussion you won't be sure until it is possibly too late. That would not be healthy for either of you. Please let us know how things go for you. :hugs:

Edited by sufferinsilence, 16 March 2013 - 12:35 PM.

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#16 hippocampus

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 06:32 PM

Hi, thanks for the feedback. Yes, I have discussed this with a friend of mine. She has already given me the name of another therapist and suggested I switch immediately. I have thought about writing him first about my thoughts and feelings...I have his email address, and I think you're right that it might be a good idea to send him my written thoughts and feelings first. I just have this feeling that he will ask me to come in person to discuss anyway, but like you said, at least he will have time to think it over first before discussing with me...

 

I will definitely post when there's an update!


Edited by hippocampus, 16 March 2013 - 06:35 PM.

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#17 Subliminal

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 06:43 PM

Pardon e typo in my latest post.

Meant: "as the professional decorum @imim *Had Mentioned* certainly has to be observed at all times"

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#18 Imim

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:26 AM

P.S. I feel social workers and therapists (helping others) should be respectful enough of whoever they're helping and of THEMSELVES to have the morals and INTEGRITY not to cross the line. They have to know better. If they actually cross the line of professionalism, it's an immediate sign a switch has to take place.

I totally agree. Counselors and psychiatrists should observe professional decorum at all times. More often than not, patients come to them for help and it is safe to assume that most, if not all patients that seek treatment are emotionally and/or mentally vulnerable. They should not take advantage of their patients so that IF they think/feel they cannot act appropriately towards a patient, they must end the therapist (or pdoc)- patient relationship and refer their patients to another professional. What happens later outside of their practice is now up to them. Just my opinion


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#19 LaurynJcat

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:36 PM

Hi Hippocampus.

 

You're in a tough situation and I hope you're doing okay.  Let us know how it goes.  I have friends who are therapists, and sexual involvement with a client is the biggest taboo in the industry.  I'm not sure how it is for social workers, but for psychologists and counsellors, The APA's Code of Ethics even prohibits sexual contact two years *after* the cessation of therapy.  This is to protect the client/patient, because the power balance between a therapist and client is completely abnormal for a romantic relationship.  I've copied the section below.

 

p.s. I think even if he has not considered you as a romantic/sexual partner, the fact that you are so attracted to him means you should seek another therapist.  I do think some level of attraction is inevitable at times, and can be a distraction even if you're not interested in a relationship with the person -- this is why ALL of my therapists have been female (except when I was in couples' counseling with my husband).  

 

Hugs and best wishes to you,

Lauryn

 

 

-------------------------------------

 

10.08 SEXUAL INTIMACIES WITH FORMER THERAPY CLIENTS/PATIENTS

(a) Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with former clients/patients for at least two years after cessation or termination of therapy.

(b) Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with former clients/patients even after a two-year interval except in the most unusual circumstances. Psychologists who engage in such activity after the two years following cessation or termination of therapy and of having no sexual contact with the former client/patient bear the burden of demonstrating that there has been no exploitation, in light of all relevant factors, including (1) the amount of time that has passed since therapy terminated; (2) the nature, duration, and intensity of the therapy; (3) the circumstances of termination; (4) the client's/ patient's personal history; (5) the client's/patient's current mental status; (6) the likelihood of adverse impact on the client/patient; and (7) any statements or actions made by the therapist during the course of therapy suggesting or inviting the possibility of a post-termination sexual or romantic relationship with the client/patient. (See also Standard 3.05, Multiple Relationships.)


Edited by LaurynJcat, 17 March 2013 - 04:51 PM.

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#20 hippocampus

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 11:02 PM

Quick update: Have been completely distracted by other things going in my life, but finally went in to see my T today.

We were discussing my ex (who is trying to get me back) and dating, he said I'm attractive, and I shouldn't go back to my ex (for various reasons, which I agree with). He then said he's not supposed to say that but feels protective towards me. I am still totally attracted to him, so I am going to write him a letter to end the therapy ask him why he feels protective of me, and let him know how I feel about everything.

 

Anyone else ever had a therapist say they felt "protective" of them?


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#21 nessa

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:47 AM

Hey hun!

 

Thanks for the update...I've been wondering if you had another appointment with him.

 

I think the letter sounds like a great idea - letters are always nice, because you can plan out what you want to say ahead of time, and make sure everything gets out. I always chicken out at the last minute when I know I need to talk about something, so writing it down ahead of time works. 

 

In terms of a therapist saying they feel "protective" of their clients - it has happened to me before. Most people in general feel protective of me (I'm short and look young, and can seem naive because I'm generally very accepting of people...so it kind of brings out people's protective instincts) but I have definitely had therapists say it. I've never had a male therapist say it though (but I haven't had many male therapists). It actually always makes me feel better when I hear it, like a reminder that they care and have my best interests at heart. 

 

How did you feel when he said it? Was it comforting, or unsettling? 


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#22 Dontlikeme

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:21 AM

hippocampus, you need to walk away.  Now.

 

This therapist is manipulating you for his own purposes.

 

SpiritSage has given you the best advice of all these posters

(although I think everyone has posted useful advice here).

 

This therapist is NOT someone whom we should coddle or try to empathize with;

we should not be looking for his supposed good intentions.

 

This situation is one where there is an IMBALANCE of POWER.

 

hippocampus, please do yourself the favor of leaving this therapist.

 

Forum Editor:  PLEASE do not delete this post!  

PLEASE let the woman hear advice from all points of view!


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#23 Imim

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:25 PM

hippocampus, you're better off ending your therapy sessions with him. Better back off now before this guy who is acting unprofessionally takes full advantage of you.

 

don't be swayed by his being protective of you, that is pure BS!

 

If your therapist was female and said she was protective of you, I would think it may be her maternal instincts and will take it positively;

 

but for a male therapist to say that and he probably knows you're attracted to him, I'd stay it is best to stay away from him now before any untoward incident happens later.

 

Live and love,

-Im


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#24 hippocampus

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:49 PM

Thanks for the differing opinions. I do think that I need to terminate therapy with him and find someone else.

I am writing him a letter explaining everything that I think and feel about our relationship, and that I am terminating our therapy. I'm really nervous about sending it :shocked:



#25 Imim

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:23 AM

Thanks for the differing opinions. I do think that I need to terminate therapy with him and find someone else.

I am writing him a letter explaining everything that I think and feel about our relationship, and that I am terminating our therapy. I'm really nervous about sending it :shocked:

I hope that regardless of his response to your letter (if you decide to send it), you DO NOT change your mind about terminating therapy. If you decide not to send it and quit seeing him, you do not owe him an explanation. If, in case he pursues you for an explanation, just tell him you're not friends, you're his patient. Period.

 

There is no doubt that your therapy sessions with this guy is not going to be productive. Worse case scenario, he takes advantage of you and leaves you high and dry. Then you'll be far worse than when you started. I hope you find a therapist that can truly help you, not take advantage of you.

 

Live and love,

-Im


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#26 hippocampus

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:30 AM

I did send the letter (email). His response was "let's discuss this in our next session". Period. I'm not really sure what to do?!



#27 Imim

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:32 AM

I did send the letter (email). His response was "let's discuss this in our next session". Period. I'm not really sure what to do?!

 

This is a red flag to me since he's trying to bait you to go back to his lair.For your safety, don't fall for this trap.


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#28 Violet31

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:13 AM

Hi hippocampus,

 

This therapist is taking advantage of the situation and is incredibly unprofessional.

 

1. Crying. First of all, if anyone should be crying, it´s you. It´s his job to gently guide you towards a solution so you can build up your self-confidence and self-reliance.

 

In my country no one who is professional cries in session. Granted, we do hide our feelings and you can see people on TV discussing very tragic things without shedding a tear, but his crying more than once is excessive and confusing, like you´re meant to comfort him.

 

2. Advising you to date a health care professional - like him. Amazing. Why?

 

3. He should feel protective, but he should not tell you that like a man who obviously likes you in an inappropriate way.

 

4. "Let´s discuss it in our next session". This is wrong. He´s calling all the shots and behaves as if he´s on a date. I would email him righ away saying that you feel this therapy is not helpful. That should be enough, but you can add that he does not respect boundaries and you don´t feel it´s beneficial for you.

 

In my country this therapist would be reported like immediately. This is a serious issue. Mental health care givers can never be too careful and this guy is anything but a trustworthy professional.

 

I really hope you leave him and if he pursues, he is breaking the law.

 

Sending you strenght and hope.

 

Violet


Edited by Violet31, 30 March 2013 - 10:15 AM.

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#29 hippocampus

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:30 PM

Hi hippocampus,

 

This therapist is taking advantage of the situation and is incredibly unprofessional.

 

1. Crying. First of all, if anyone should be crying, it´s you. It´s his job to gently guide you towards a solution so you can build up your self-confidence and self-reliance.

 

In my country no one who is professional cries in session. Granted, we do hide our feelings and you can see people on TV discussing very tragic things without shedding a tear, but his crying more than once is excessive and confusing, like you´re meant to comfort him.

 

2. Advising you to date a health care professional - like him. Amazing. Why?

 

3. He should feel protective, but he should not tell you that like a man who obviously likes you in an inappropriate way.

 

4. "Let´s discuss it in our next session". This is wrong. He´s calling all the shots and behaves as if he´s on a date. I would email him righ away saying that you feel this therapy is not helpful. That should be enough, but you can add that he does not respect boundaries and you don´t feel it´s beneficial for you.

 

In my country this therapist would be reported like immediately. This is a serious issue. Mental health care givers can never be too careful and this guy is anything but a trustworthy professional.

 

I really hope you leave him and if he pursues, he is breaking the law.

 

Sending you strenght and hope.

 

Violet

Well to be fair, I am also a healthcare professional and he knows that. I just thought it was weird that he suggested dating someone from his OWN profession, but it was along with other healthcare professions he was naming off..so I don't know.

 

I'm not sure how to take the email, but I'm guessing that he probably did not want to address the issues in written form. But it would have been nice if he mentioned SOMETHING that I brought up in the email, rather than cutting it short like that!?


Edited by hippocampus, 30 March 2013 - 12:30 PM.


#30 Imim

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 02:54 PM

I hope you're not trying to cover up for him to validate this unethical behavior. I had to re-read your OP and realized all the red flags right from the start. Spare yourself of heartaches and complications, quit seeing this therapist and find another one.

 

Even if you say you're both health care professionals, fact remains he has entered into a therapist-patient relationship with you. If you were not his patient, then I don't think it's improper for him to pursue you but since you came to him as a patient, his behavior can be reported to the board that regulates practice of his profession.

 

Try to ask opinions of people you trust and see what they say. I wish you well.

 

Live and love,

-Im


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#31 Dontlikeme

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:09 PM

I'm glad you sent the email, hippocampus.

 

Hope you follow the advice of Violet31 and Imim, 

they sound like the true protectors of your heart and soul

(if you'll pardon the puffy poetry).

(Imim, i like your line "trying to bait you to go back to his lair."!)

 

I hope you stick to your guns and refuse to see this predator again.



#32 hippocampus

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:56 PM

There's definitely a 50/50 split on opinions, both here and with my friends. I think it is a "grey" area, as his behaviour can certainly be interpreted in different ways. I want to add that he has not done anything illegal, despite what some folks are saying. And yeah, as a healthcare professional myself, I do know exactly what is and isn't illegal. I have patients of my own and am well versed in that.

 

I do think that either 1) i am misinterpreting my t's actions/words-that he may just be showing me that he cares, which I am not used to (for many reasons I will not get into here)

2) he is attracted to me

 

In any case, I feel confident in my own ability to judge the situation. I am having another therapy session and will see what his response/feedback is.


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#33 SufferInSilence

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 07:02 PM

I hope you get some answers. Please go in with your eyes wide open. Let us
know how it progresses.
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#34 Imim

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 07:11 PM

@ hippocampus: you are probably correct, he hasn't done anything illegal,

 

but I hope you see his behavior as unethical and he has been unprofessional in dealing with you as a patient based on what you shared.

 

I pray you'll have clarity of mind and good judgment the next time you see him.

 

Live and love,

-Im


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#35 Imim

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:54 AM

Thanks everyone for the feedback, I really appreciate it :sigh:

 

Forgot to mention two other things that are very relevant:

 

-Before my breakup but while things were rough with my partner, he suggested I bring my SO in for a couples session. So I did. Granted, my SO was definitely not right for me and the relationship was crap, but my T ended up cornering my SO and just telling him how crap he was, what he should be changing, and that I had made a decision to move out. I didn't speak one word in this session, and was  bit shocked. My SO was sooo angry after the session.

 

I brought it up with my T later on, and he apologized and said that he normally doesn't let his own biases interfere with a couple's session but with mine he did.

 

Also, my T is fairly recently divorced and I think he's single.

I think I overlooked this post. Those 2 things I bolded and underlined are red flags to me.

 

Your sitch has been interesting discussion, I talked to my cousin who is a clinical psychologist practicing overseas for her view on romantic (and later sexual) relationships between therapists and patients/clients (refer to this as T-P from hereon). She told me to get hold of a book, Sexual intimacy between therapists and patients by JC Bouhoutsos and K Pope. I checked it out on amazon and read this review,

 

""The authors outline the types of sexual abuse and draw together clinical studies that claim to document this phenomenon. Since this is a new research frontier, there is not yet the comprehensive understanding of the ethical, legal, and psychological issues that encompass this complex issue. Nevertheless, the authors have done an admirable job of describing therapists at risk, the vulnerabilities of patients, and consequences of therapist-patient sexual intimacy. The authors also discuss critical changes in the training of mental health professionals. Guidelines for lawyers and suggestions for patient-victims are also offered." -- Choice"

 

while I understand you have not gone this far with your T, since both of you claim to be attracted to each other, it is not far and remote for the relationship to get more intimate.

 

I am not a psychologist but I've been told that since therapists weild MORE power over their patients/clients (we should remember clients come to them seeking assistance, not the other way around) and therefore, the T is deemed taking advantage of their client's vulnerability which can be considered  not just abusive but also unethical transgression. T-P romantic relationships become highly one sided such that the T knows a lot about the P with the latter not knowing much about the T. In your case, you said you *think* he is single, right?  I don't think romantic and therapeutic relationships work well for the patient's benefit. In your case, he has admitted he let his personal biases interfere and that does not help you at all when he takes sides.

 

Just think when we go to a therapist, they can ask us anything and if we want help, we don't hold back and tell them (almost) everything, but does the patient get to ask the T those same things? Romantic relationships will definitely affect the T's objectivity and affect his/her professional service rendered to his/her client. Therefore, it is best to terminate T-P relationship.

 

Also, for most states here in the USA, I think at least one year should pass after terminating T service when the therapist can see his/her client. This is regardless of the fact the patient may be willing to have a relationship with the T.  If you're in Canada, check the laws there regarding this matter.

 

Will discuss more later...


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#36 Dontlikeme

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:27 AM

As usual, hippocampus,

Imim is giving you a lot of wisdom, information, and unselfish support.

 

Your predatory therapist has given you none of those.

 

I hope you will follow Imim's advice.


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#37 Imim

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 01:39 PM

@Dontlikeme, thanks for your kind words.

 

I'm back from therapy so I'll continue. hippocampus, you said you *think* your T is single so you're not sure, right? meanwhile, he knows a lot about you probably more than any other person that's close to you. he has met your exBF, which he chewed out the last time (didn't he tell him he was a POS/crap?) he came to therapy with you. He forgot your ex is NOT his patient so he should've not said those things. I'm surprised there was no fist fight that ensued, kudos to your ex for not making a scene. Btw, did you check his credentials and how long he's been in practice? Don't just assume he is licensed, make sure to ask if you don't see it displayed. Over here in the states, we can also check practitioners records for any malpractice suits filed against them. I hope you did a background check on him. For social workers, there is the National Association of Social Workers you can call to ask about credentials and or if they have been sued/convicted for unethical practice(s).

 

Feel free to ask some of the questions above and hear what he says. As always be careful.

 

Live and love,

-Im


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#38 Violet31

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:17 PM

I do agree with Imim.

 

I won´t say more about the relationship, but there are red flags all over. Be very careful and remember you may be setting yourself up for lot of pain.

 

Clarity is the best tool in seeking recovery. If things are full of doubts and things are not clear, it´s not a good sign.

 

I wish you the best.

 

:hearthrob:


When you´re going through hell, keep going.
Winston Churchill


When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Viktor Frankl

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
Jean-Paul Sartre


Use adversity      Declare Independence 

Violet :rose:

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#39 hippocampus

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 08:22 PM

@Dontlikeme, thanks for your kind words.

 

I'm back from therapy so I'll continue. hippocampus, you said you *think* your T is single so you're not sure, right? meanwhile, he knows a lot about you probably more than any other person that's close to you. he has met your exBF, which he chewed out the last time (didn't he tell him he was a POS/crap?) he came to therapy with you. He forgot your ex is NOT his patient so he should've not said those things. I'm surprised there was no fist fight that ensued, kudos to your ex for not making a scene. Btw, did you check his credentials and how long he's been in practice? Don't just assume he is licensed, make sure to ask if you don't see it displayed. Over here in the states, we can also check practitioners records for any malpractice suits filed against them. I hope you did a background check on him. For social workers, there is the National Association of Social Workers you can call to ask about credentials and or if they have been sued/convicted for unethical practice(s).

 

Feel free to ask some of the questions above and hear what he says. As always be careful.

 

Live and love,

-Im

Hi Imim,

 

Thanks for looking into this and the feedback. I haven't heard anything from T so I still have no idea what his response will be. I have to hear what he has to say, just for my own closure.

 

I almost laughed when you mentioned that you were surprised a fist fight didn't break out. I thought that was going to happen! It was extremely tense and I was in a full panic attack during that session. My ex was absolutely fuming afterwards, but as it turns out my ex was in the middle of a torrid affair throughout this whole thing and lying about it etc. So nobody should feel bad for HIM. He did indeed treat me like crap. But yeah, T did make me feel weird about that session. I felt that it was an unproductive session.

 

To answer your question, yes I have checked out his history, licensing etc. Nothing amiss there.

 

I will check out the book you mentioned above.

 

Hippocampus



#40 Imim

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 03:17 PM

hey girl, any update?

 

Live and love,

-Im






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