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Re: Choosing a therapist ?

Posted by Victoria on April 13, 1999, at 18:54:58

In reply to Re: Choosing a therapist ?, posted by Daniel on April 13, 1999, at 8:31:09

I responded to the earlier thread, so I hope you don't mind my jumping in here, too. This is an issue for me, too. I'm the opposite--a woman who is generally more comfortable with and trustful of men (based on family experience). Partly because I had a lot of anxieties about entering therapy and had had a not-so-good experience with a female therapist in the past, I chose a male therapist this time. It has worked out well; in fact, thanks to him, I was able to resolve some issues with my mother before she died last year that I would never have otherwise. But some things (sex, for instance) are much harder to talk to him about, and there are times when I feel that he's not fully understanding me, for reasons that seem to be based on the gender difference. But because I trust him, we talk about it and work it out. Bottom line, since there are advantages and disadvantages for either choice, I think the person and how you feel about him/her is more important than his/her gender.

> Hello everybody,
> This was originally intended to be a follow-up the the thread starting with "What is 'normal'?" and "Choosing a therapist," but I would like to receive replies from people with different experience, so I'm starting a "new" thread:
> You may read in the original thread that I am considering to start a psychotherapeutic treatmet. I know the general guidelines on how to choose a "right" therapist for me, but there is one more question that comes to my mind:
> Should it be a male or a female therapist? I guess this will differ from person to person and their experience, but is there any guideline who can offer "more help?" To illustrate what I mean: I was raised up almost exclusively by my mother alone - so there was virtually no male role model in my up-bringing, I had no "real" father to rely on during my childhood and adolescence. I remember being always very good friends with girls, boys seemed so superficial (I do not intend to hurt anybody here!); although I do have a couple of really good and close male friends, I almost never confide in them, I feel that in this respect my female friends are much more receptive and sensitive and accepting... to all these irrational and emotional matters that I have to discuss with them... it's perhaps strange, and I view it as strange, but I have a strong feeling that my male friends just wouldn't understand/comprehend(!) those things that I commonly discuss with my female friends...
> So, as I have mentioned above, I am really good friends with a lot of girls (lots and lots more than boys), well, actually, young women/ladies (in their early 20s), but... but it comes to some problems when a question of my relating to them sexually is raised... I guess I have some difficulty here of nature that is not known to me as yet (I understand it needs a good deal of exploration), but I presume it has something to do with my single-parent up-bringing...? I do not feel that I am particularly dependent on or strongly/abnormally attached to my mother as you might infer, in fact, I live on my own, quite independently. And no, I am not a gay. Also, it might be worth mentioning here (I know I shouldn't go into much detail here as this is not a therapeutic session :-) that I had a couple of really nasty experiences with romantic affairs... OK, maybe they were not so "nasty," it was more my viewing them as a total failure. As a result, I became extremely cautious when venturing into any new affair again... Ok, now I'm becoming really confused, so I stop here.
> I am not sure about this question with whom it would be better to discuss (and explore my views about) the issues of romantic relationships (a female therapist - for me it is easier to confide in a woman about any emotional aspect), my attitudes towards sex... (a male therapist - discuss it from men's point of view, and I guess I would feel pretty embarrassed discussing this with a woman...)
> All thoughtful responses are greatly appreciated.
> Thank you.
> Daniel




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