Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 810221

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Male or female T?

Posted by Maxime on February 1, 2008, at 23:06:07

What are your preference in terms of the gender of your T?

I can't decide if I prefer a woman or a man. I know I don't like having a T who is younger than me!

The T I am seeing on a short term basis is male. Normally I am scared of ALL men. But he is really gentle and empathetic and I am not scared of him.

Thoughts?

Maxime

 

Re: Male or female T? Maxime

Posted by twinleaf on February 1, 2008, at 23:47:46

In reply to Male or female T?, posted by Maxime on February 1, 2008, at 23:06:07

This is such an interesting topic! Reading the boards here, there are a lot of examples of successful same-sex and opposite-sex pairings. Since you are about to start looking for a new therapist, you'll probably interview both men and women, won't you? The one you eventually choose will probably be the one you feel is the most understanding and empathic- and with whom you have a sense of "good fit". It could be either a man or a woman.

Having said that, I do think people tend to have preferences based on their life experiences. I looked primarily for a man, probably because I have so many brothers, and am used to talking intimately with them. When you let your mind float freely over what qualities you would like to have in a therapist, does it seem that you are talking to a man or a woman?

 

Re: Male or female T? twinleaf

Posted by Maxime on February 2, 2008, at 0:00:28

In reply to Re: Male or female T? Maxime, posted by twinleaf on February 1, 2008, at 23:47:46

> When you let your mind float freely over what qualities you would like to have in a therapist, does it seem that you are talking to a man or a woman?

It's strange. I have a fear of men, but I tend to like them as therapists. I want some one is empathetic, non judgemental, nurturing and gentle. My interim therapist is respectful and will never play games with me and that is important.

Sometimes I find that women are not always gentle because they feel like they have to prove something to world. Do you know what I mean?

Although the best T I had was female. She was nurturing and quiet. She had recovred from anorexia and I found her to be inspiring.

It's hard to know.

Maxime

 

Re: Male or female T? Maxime

Posted by Phillipa on February 2, 2008, at 0:16:53

In reply to Re: Male or female T? twinleaf, posted by Maxime on February 2, 2008, at 0:00:28

Can't keep the one you have now since you like him? Phillipa

 

Re: Male or female T?

Posted by Racer on February 2, 2008, at 0:18:52

In reply to Re: Male or female T? twinleaf, posted by Maxime on February 2, 2008, at 0:00:28

I'm pretty sure that one day I'll have to switch to a male therapist, because I have so much trouble being around men. Which I guess is a good clue that I have only seen women therapists, and can't imagine seeing a man at this point.

I have enough trouble relaxing and allowing myself to be vulnerable with a woman -- I know I couldn't manage that with a man at this point.

Maybe someday.

I liked TwinLeaf's advice -- I will say, though, that the very most important part is the individual fit. Years ago, I interviewed many therapists -- had initial sessions I paid for with them, and chose the one who fit best. It was a very expensive project, but I ended up with the right therapist for me at that time. Short of doing that, I strongly recommend having a few questions to ask on the telephone before you commit to a session with anyone. I did that this time, although didn't find many therapists willing to see me at all -- one even told me I wouldn't find a therapist willing to work with me, because "no one sees adult anorexics. That's because adults with anorexia *die!*" (By the time I spoke with her, I had already gained almost fifteen pounds, but she still said that with my height/weight, I needed to be in the hospital. Grrr. Thanks, lady, for offering that hopeful picture of recovery for me...)

Best luck to you, Maxie.

 

Re: Male or female T? Maxime

Posted by twinleaf on February 2, 2008, at 0:24:53

In reply to Re: Male or female T? twinleaf, posted by Maxime on February 2, 2008, at 0:00:28

It sounds like you will do well with either a man or a woman- and in fact have already done so in the past. I do think it's so important that they are respectful, empathic and nurturing. Another thing to think about is how interactive they are. As you know from experience, some are quite quiet, and some respond verbally all throughout the session. Some people need the support that more verbal interaction brings, but others find that it gets in the way of their probing deeply into an issue.

I think a good question to ask is what do they think actually helps in therapy. The first therapist I had answered that by saying that it was empathic listening. The second one (the one I have now) said that it was "bearing witness" to past traumas. He also felt that it was very important to keep the client fully in mind every moment of the session. He feels that real change occurs after a lot of time spent listening- at times when the therapist's and the client's minds engage one another in what he calls a "moment of meeting". By this, I think he means that the work of therapy gradually loosens our old ways of thinking and feeling, so that we are able to engage our therapist in a new healthier kind of way. This one is actually quieter than the first one, but it works out very well.

 

Re: Male or female T? Maxime

Posted by MissK on February 2, 2008, at 11:11:43

In reply to Male or female T?, posted by Maxime on February 1, 2008, at 23:06:07

It shouldn't really matter. Try to look at them as the professionals they are first. It will likely come down to who you feel most comfortable with and who is available.

 

Re: Male or female T? Maxime

Posted by MidnightBlue on February 2, 2008, at 12:11:27

In reply to Male or female T?, posted by Maxime on February 1, 2008, at 23:06:07

I liked either as long as they were older. Had an older male pdoc/t who was terrific. Daughter had an older female t who talked with me as much as her because she was a child. I really liked her.

I think it is personality more than gender.

MB

 

Re: Male or female T? Maxime

Posted by Poet on February 2, 2008, at 12:39:42

In reply to Male or female T?, posted by Maxime on February 1, 2008, at 23:06:07

Hi Maxime,

I would not like a T younger than me, either. I choose my T because she offered what I needed therapy and energy work wise. She has a business partner, who is female, and I picked my T because I liked her first name better. Hmm, maybe I am not the one to give advice on this topic.

Poet

 

Re: Male or female T? Phillipa

Posted by Maxime on February 2, 2008, at 12:57:42

In reply to Re: Male or female T? Maxime, posted by Phillipa on February 2, 2008, at 0:16:53

> Can't keep the one you have now since you like him? Phillipa

Sadly, no. He can't do longterm therapy. His mandate is to help people who are in the hospital. God I wish I could.

Maxime

 

Re: Male or female T? Maxime

Posted by Phillipa on February 2, 2008, at 18:53:15

In reply to Re: Male or female T? Phillipa, posted by Maxime on February 2, 2008, at 12:57:42

Same as the young girl I clicked in the ER. No outside patients. Phillipa

 

Re: Male or female T?

Posted by raisinb on February 3, 2008, at 7:29:26

In reply to Re: Male or female T?, posted by Racer on February 2, 2008, at 0:18:52

I have so many father issues that I always assumed I'd avoid serious problems if I saw women Ts.

Boy, was I wrong *painful grin.*

Now that I have seen so many, for differing lengths of time, I think their styles are so individual that gender might not even matter. I also think that certain qualities in a T can bring up memories of either parent. I know I'm hitting up against father--as well as mother--issues with mine--perhaps more of the former.

 

Re: Male or female T?

Posted by Dinah on February 3, 2008, at 8:08:20

In reply to Male or female T?, posted by Maxime on February 1, 2008, at 23:06:07

My experience with adjunct therapy and a previous therapy as an adolescent is that I have trouble with therapists of both genders. Of the various therapists I've seen, some have been too soft, some have been too hard, and only two, one male one female, have been just right. Also, I'd have left my male therapist in a heartbeat for my female neurologist if she did therapy. I don't connect really easily but I have a history of being able to connect to only a very few therapists and that gender isn't important in that.

That being said, I am often intimidated IRL by well groomed women, and are afraid they are judging me negatively. Moreover, at times this fear is justified. I had the distinct impression that my third therapist (T3) felt more positively toward me in our initial sessions on the phone, and was more inclined to interpret what I said negatively in person. She also made at least two comments about my appearance. Comments I'm reasonably sure a male therapist would not have made so early in our acquaintance.

So if I were to go out looking for a new therapist, I'd probably wish to look for a man. But if I were presented with a roomful of existing therapists from which to choose, I could choose the one that felt just right, and gender would likely be a nonissue.

I'll be the first to say I probably should work on issues related to my mother. But I don't think gender would play a major role in evoking her.


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