Posted by estrellita on November 30, 2007, at 15:01:23
In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by beautymarked on November 26, 2007, at 22:05:17
Thank you SO MUCH for your responses - they really helped me as I began to think things through. I did a little more reading on the therapeutic relationship, and thought about that wrt to experiences with my previous therapist as well as this current one. I spent a lot of time thinking about this situation, and am trying to be as honest as possible with myself - I appreciate your honesty as well.
What I have done is emailed him and asked how to go about switching therapists. He responded and asked if we can discuss it next time we meet. Given the videotaping aspect of the sessions, and my extreme nervousness about telling him why I want to make a switch, I think I will ask him if we can begin the conversation ahead of time through email. I just don't think I can sit there 3 feet away from him while being taped, knowing he's going to watch it later on with his supervisor, and tell him I have this crush that's affecting the therapy. So hopefully I can get at least that part out through email and then we can talk about it. I'll still be nervous, but at least I can get the hard part out in the open before seeing him face to face. I'm interested to see what he thinks about how this therapeutic relationship is affecting the therapy I'm doing.
I realize that some people have used a crush/attraction like this as a motivation to do better work in therapy, and I think that can be valid. I think it could have been useful for me in the past. However, at this point I feel that I need to be doing the work only to please myself. Otherwise, the things I am learning won't be sustainable long-term. If I took the approach of using my attraction to him as motivation to do well, once therapy ended I would lose the motivation and would probably go right back to where I started.
It's a hard decision to make, and I feel that it's unfair that I have to give up spending time with someone I'm attracted to, but I do think it's the right thing to do. Maybe I'm letting the crush control me, rather than it being the other way around, but I know myself and I'm already starting to spend too much time thinking about that aspect of things. Not good for my mental health... Especially since I know it can only end in rejection (or even no lack of acknowledgment at all).
I've never been a big fan of psychology precisely because of things like this. As I've been doing more reading, I'm starting to see how powerful therapy can be, but I still feel like in some ways this can mess you up just as much as anything else in life. Just because it's powerful doesn't mean it's powerful in a good way.
I felt a weight lift once I sent that email asking about switching therapists - in the past, I would have handled this in a way that would have been an attempt to incite drama, but I'm really trying to be rational and honest about it. So far, so good.
The sad part is that doing therapy with this guy has been great so far, in terms of defining goals, learning how to make steady progress toward achieving them, etc. I hate to give that up just because my lizard brain is trying to take over. I really think that's the best choice at this point, though. This guy is not my friend, and apparently someone who has been a therapist to me can never be my friend, so I feel like I need to extinguish any hope and just get out of the situation so it can start to fade away sooner rather than later.
I'm sure this is just more avoidance (I do that a lot), and maybe that will be an argument for continuing with him. Maybe even the attraction part is okay - learning to be with someone I'm attracted to without it having to turn into something physical. But that just seems too complicated...I don't know. We'll see what he and his supervisor have to say, I guess.
I know this was a long ramble, but it's great to have someplace to write this down where I might get some feedback or at least empathy!
> Hi there,
> I was in the exact same situation. I had a therapist in training. I'm in my early 20s, and I estimate that he was in his late 20s. I think it'd be helpful for you to know that our therapy has ended, and I do wish I made more of a hint as to what I really felt about our therapeutic relationship--not necessarily even in the context of a crush. It was more about the dynamics, the way we talked, his types of responses, and what I was looking for. In reality, I concentrated more on circumstantial problems in my everyday life, but when I'd go home, all I'd think about would be our therapeutic relationship. I wish I had brought it up really, and although I did not feel comfortable talking about how I really felt or talking about our interactions in depth, he did make some comments and questions about it. It really is our job to direct the way our therapy goes by bringing up what we think is important to discuss, IMO, because a lot of therapists will just let us talk about whatever we want, and I personally felt like I just used the time inefficiently. My crush on my therapist really inhibited me and the sense of what our therapeutic relationship/expectations really were, and I didn't regret it until the end when he stated his opinion on our therapeutic relationship--which really surprised me ONLY because our therapeutic relationship to me seemed so undefined. Was it a result of his inexperience? Or a result of my crush? I'll never know because I never brought it up. Because it is interfering with your therapy, I'd recommend at least bringing up some aspect of your relationship. I agree with you on many points--that it'd be helpful for not only you but your therapist's training to bring up. If you do, please post back. I'd be interested in hearing how your experience went, especially since I regret mine. Whether or not he'd be uncomfortable with it, I'm sure he'll enjoy it. He doesn't just want a safe patient. He probably wants to be challenged and wants to train and learn. It's his job to feel uncomfortable and be challenged :)
> Also, I don't want to urge you to do it....I'm more just stating my regrets. I don't know if I ever would have had the courage to. Good luck :)