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Re: Crush on psychologist in training annierose

Posted by estrellita on March 2, 2008, at 20:19:36

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by annierose on March 2, 2008, at 6:56:22

Thanks for your comments, annierose. Actually, the last psychologist I saw for any length of time was mostly psychodynamic. At the time, I didn't understand that modality of therapy, but in retrospect I do. At the time, I was extremely depressed (sometimes suicidal), and that kind of therapy worked well for me. But that was an entirely different kind of relationship - we actually had a really good connection (which I never thought I'd find with a therapist since up until then none of them had been helpful at all). She became like a big sister, though clearly within the bounds of the therapeutic relationship. It was really hard to say goodbye to her, and it wasn't until our last session that I realized we wouldn't be able to hang out, but I think the fact that she'd helped me immensely was something I never thought I'd find and that felt like enough. Trying to have a regular friendship would have meant having a different kind of relationship with her and in that case I do feel it wouldn't have been in my best interest.

I definitely felt safe talking to her, and I see now how that relationship was enormously healing for me. At the time, I didn't understand what the point of coming in to talk to her was - I was sometimes frustrated that things weren't goal-oriented, and was also frustrated that I didn't understand how talking to her was supposed to accomplish anything. But, I came to trust her, and ended up respecting her because she kept to her promise toward the beginning of therapy that she would stick with me no matter what (when it seemed nobody else would - my depressions, suicidality, and all that came with were just too frightening for most people).

I think you're right that this new therapist is letting me know that his boundaries are firm, but underneath that I feel like he knows there is a real need to do that - do you know what I mean? This boundary is something that seems unnatural in this case, for me and possibly for him. With my last therapist the boundary made sense - the psychodynamic nature of the relationship made those strict boundaries necessary. With a CBT-based therapy, I'm not so sure that's the case.

I haven't really addressed any of this with him in session, because mostly we do focus on the exercises and talking about whatever comes up around those, and also because I definitely felt like after we discussed the letter he wanted to put the matter to rest (for his sake even more than mine). What makes it much harder for me is that (I think) our sessions are videotaped so he can discuss them with his supervisor afterward. If it were just him and me, I would consider letting him know some of my thoughts about it, but I can't bear to do that knowing it's going to be recorded and later dissected by him and his supervisor. Knowing this adds an extra layer to everything I say and do there, because it's NOT just me and him - if it was, I would feel much more comfortable talking about things like this.

I know he can't act on his feelings (if he has them). I guess I keep imagining that after the therapy is over (which will definitely happen sooner rather than later), we could have a friendship of some kind, or I could at least tell him I'm interested in him romantically even if nothing ever happens. Like I said, I think that with a psychodynamic therapy, the boundaries are extremely important since it's the relationship with the therapist that is the primary tool of treatment. With therapy that's largely CBT, however, I really get the feeling that a friendship or romantic relationship could happen with no problems given that it's the exercises and the CBT framework that are the primary tools - not the relationship itself. Sure, there is a therapeutic relationship there as well, but it's not the focus of the work being done. I see a CBT therapist more as a guide/teacher, someone who provides feedback as I do the work. This is not the same as someone who is using himself/herself as the mechanism for promoting change in the client.

I don't think I could be a therapist. Somehow, the idea that there have to be boundaries that are immovable for all time doesn't sit right with me.


> You mentioned your therapist is a CBT psychologist. I think you would find more "relief" to your feelings with a psychodynamic trained psychologist. Obviously, that is neither here or there right now since your t is a CBT guy and that is who you have developed feelings for.
> The imtimacy that is created in the room is a special type of relationship. Yes, it's awkward at times and abides by boundaries and such. It wouldn't be a safe place to explore all your feelings if the possibilty to act on them existed. From what you wrote, it sounds like your therapist is letting you know that his boundaries are firm.
> I've never been to a CBT person before so I have no idea how much talking you do besides the exercises. Besides the letter, have you ever expressed your feelings during a session?
> Remember, if he acted on his feelings, which you don't really know, he couldn't be your therapist any longer.




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