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Re: What is wrong with therapy today? Happyflower

Posted by Dinah on May 16, 2008, at 19:08:43

In reply to What is wrong with therapy today?, posted by Happyflower on May 16, 2008, at 12:27:03

I don't think that's the only reason, and I don't know that therapy was ever any different in theory. In practice, boundaries have always been crossed. But except for the wild seventies, theory has usually been even more strict than it is today, hasn't it?

I have mixed feelings on the topic. Therapy is in some ways a crazymaking relationship. All sorts of messages are given out. The relationship has elements of a parent/child relationship and a *lot* of elements of a romantic relationship. Boundaries are what keeps therapy clearly therapy. And what keeps clients from getting hurt even worse than they already get hurt.

And clients do get hurt, every day, in thousands of little ways. Well, depending on the type of therapy I suppose.

It hurts to smash up against a boundary. It hurts to feel the sort of loneliness those boundaries can create. But it seems far preferable to me than the kind of hurt that could come if the boundaries weren't so clear that this wasn't friendship or romance or parenting but therapy.

I say my feelings are mixed because over time and because of circumstances beyond our control, I think boundaries did get a bit bent in my therapy. And I don't think it was entirely a bad thing, although I suspect I'm going to be hurt someday. But even in our case, some barriers got bent, but the really important ones are kept as much by me as by him.

I suppose I'm seeing some advantage to therapists using their own discretion to some extent. But... Well, the problem with that is that decisions about boundaries and what's healthy for a given client would probably be the easiest thing to be affected by a therapist's feelings for a client, and their own needs. There are a lot of therapists out there, and all too many of them hurt their clients more than need be. I guess I'm not as trusting as I could be.

 

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poster:Dinah thread:829464
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