Posted by Solstice on February 21, 2012, at 20:25:35
In reply to love and therapy, posted by emmanuel98 on February 21, 2012, at 18:56:18
> I have been feeling for some time that I need to gradually break away from my p-doc. I have been seeing him for 7 years and now see him every other week, since I mostly do therapy with this DBT social worker (who is wonderful). I told him that I had been talking to the SW about this (I see her weekly) and she said I still need this. I told him I thought of him like a father and still felt this need for the relationship. He said he gives me unconditional love like a parent, but eventually, I need to learn to give that to myself. He said you didn't just have problems with your father and now you are getting unconditional love from two people -- me and the SW.
> I can't tell you how moved I was by this. He has never said this before -- has talked about unconditional "positive regard" as they say in the psych textbooks, but not love. It's like he said he truly loves me. I felt so grateful and happy afterwards.
This is really beautiful. My therapist has never said the words "I love you," but I feel very loved and cared for within the relationship. I believe I matter. I believe that during times of my deterioration, I have been held in my therapist's mind. It doesn't feel like romantic love, and I've never had trouble with that issue. It does feel somewhat like parental love. Maybe there's something about the commitment a therapist makes to the profession - to 'the code' of it - that is kind of parental. A reasonably decent parent is incapable of thinking in terms of being able to dump or get rid of their role as a parent. Likewise, a good therapist feels 'bound' do their client's well-being. My therapist's commitment in tending to and sustaining what we call my 'tether' is what feels like love to me. Therapeutic love... that's what he has for you.. and it's warm and safe, like a cocoon.