Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 797201

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Re: Crush on psychologist in training beautymarked

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 :)

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training star008

Posted by estrellita on November 30, 2007, at 15:04:26

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by star008 on November 27, 2007, at 0:05:00

Thanks for your advice. It definitely got me thinking about my situation more calmly and rationally. It's so easy to get swept up in daydreams and fantasies, and to let them affect reality. And it just feels really creepy to be having those thoughts and feelings when the other person doesn't know about it... Your words definitely helped me stay (mostly!) grounded.

*****

> This is such a rough one..the crush goes on and on and doesn't go away.. MIne finally got to the point where the thought never enteres my mind but I went through so much bs before I got there. Transference, yeah probably,, maybe not, but it doesn't make any difference.. There is no way any therapist in practice or in training will have anything to do with you... I don't know why the ehll we have to go thourgh this bs, (as if the rest isn't enough).. but it is a part of therapy.. gag... take care est and keep things as distnat as you can with this one.. YOu wil only get hurt.. I know,, I did that too..>>>not too bright, this one>>>me

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by star008 on November 30, 2007, at 16:47:58

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training star008, posted by estrellita on November 30, 2007, at 15:04:26

please excuse all the typos in my posts!! yeah it is ceeepy when the other person does'nt know what you are thinking. It is really hard but try to squash this one..Realize that this guy won't have anything to do with you.. Kind of like a teenager who has a crush on a teacher in school.. any teacher with any ethics at all would not have anything to do with her and would not be attracted to her either.. It sucks but it is all part of therapy....

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by estrellita on December 4, 2007, at 23:38:36

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training beautymarked, posted by estrellita on November 30, 2007, at 15:01:23

Update: I decided to bite the bullet and tell the psychologist what was going on. I asked about switching therapists, and he suggested we discuss it at the next session. I couldn't imagine telling him that I have a crush on him in person, so I asked if I could send him a written explanation ahead of time. Did that, laid it all out, and he didn't respond until I asked (days later) if he'd read it. He responded and said he had, and that we're still on for the regular appointment time.

So that's it until my next session. This whole thing feels kind of cruel in a way - not anything the psychologist is doing, per se, but more the fact that he's not doing anything. Not that he necessarily should be, but it feels really strange to have been completely honest with him and then not hear a peep. I have no idea what kind of reaction he's going to have during session, so I am nervous. Things will turn out one way or another, as they always do, but until then my anxiety is elevated and I feel negatively toward him for not at least responding with a "thank you for sharing, let's discuss at session next time." Something.

Maybe it's due to his inexperience that he decided not responding to a heartfelt and honest admission was the best idea, or maybe he's maintaining the boundaries of the relationship in the best way he knows how. All I can really say for sure is that I feel horribly exposed, nervous about the next session, upset that he didn't bother to acknowledge what I wrote (until I asked), and mad/sad that he's off-limits to me other than as a therapist.

Stuff like this is part of why I think therapy's a huge joke. Sometimes it makes so much more sense to do what comes naturally for me - avoid, avoid, avoid.

Do I wish I hadn't said anything? No, because last week during session I was looking at him as he was writing something down, and kept thinking about what nice hair he has, and how I would love to...you see why I had to disclose the crush? I'm not paying money just to have the chance to go sit by him and think about touching his hair, etc. Hopefully getting it out into the open will turn out to have been a good decision. Right now, though, it's affecting the way I feel about him as a therapist, so maybe it was a mistake to say anything after all.

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by beautymarked on December 5, 2007, at 2:38:51

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by estrellita on December 4, 2007, at 23:38:36

Hi estrellita,

I'm really proud of you for expressing to him how you really felt, and feeling completely your reactions to...his reaction/lack of expression reaction. It's something different than you would normally do. And how important it is to you that you expressed this is evident because of the lack of progress in your therapy. I would be saddened too to not have seen a response. Perhaps he doesn't know what the proper way to respond is. I'm sure he's never encountered a situation like this before, or maybe he thinks it is better addressed in person, so that all your immediate thoughts can be addressed. I'm glad for you because it sounds like your next session will be completely productive with you, at the least, expressing everything you really feel. Maybe even your thoughts that therapy is a huge joke (I feel like that right now). I look forward to hearing more about your next session :)

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by estrellita on February 21, 2008, at 0:09:28

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by estrellita on December 4, 2007, at 23:38:36

Thought I would update since last time I posted I hadn't had another session since telling my psychologist I had a crush on him...in writing. That was a few months ago, and things are definitely better now. At the session following my letter, we had the whole "nothing can happen, it's against legal, ethical, etc. boundaries, blah blah." It was a little embarrassing, and more than a little nervewracking, to show up at that session. But I'm still glad I put it out there, because I hate hiding things like that and pretending things are different than they actually are. One thing he mentioned really annoyed me, though - obviously he and his supervisor talked a lot about what I'd written, and he said how his supervisor has had to deal with this issue as well. For whatever reason, I didn't like that - I got this image of him and the supervisor sitting around saying "yeah, that's how it is with female patients, we're irresistable, it happens." So I am totally making that up, but in some ways it felt like he was treating it as a rite of passage if that makes any sense.

Anyway, that's basically behind us, except that I still think he's a good-looking and intelligent guy. The crush has waned a little, but mostly because it had to in order to continue working with him. It's frustrating to meet someone like that and not be able to pursue a friendship at all. This therapy stuff makes for really bizarre interpersonal interactions in my opinion.

Finally, I can't help but wonder what he thinks about me when (if?) he's not in professional psychologist mode. Probably I am projecting this onto him, wondering what he's like in everyday life. But I do wonder if he thinks about me as a person, not just a client. I feel like he is being super conscious of boundaries, and I wonder why that is since apart from telling him about my crush I haven't done anything to test them in any way (that I know of). I wonder if he has his own crush, or what. It's like he's being too careful sometimes to stay quite distant. With my last psychologist she would laugh openly at my jokes, express empathy, etc. This guy seems like he is purposefully holding back much of the time. That makes me wonder if he's feeling like he has to work really hard to maintain boundaries, because outside of therapy they would easily break down.

Just some thoughts...I hate that he's not someone I can talk to as a friend. It's all very structured CBT exercises, and then I leave and wish this guy was a friend I could just talk to, and listen to as well.

The weirdest thing to me is that, after a session or two, you can't EVER be friends with a therapist. ??!! That is something that is hard for me to accept. Unless you see someone you don't really like, part of therapy seems to include forming a close relationship with someone who, at some point, you'll have to stop seeing cold turkey and never interact with again. Not very healing, or healthy.

Thanks for letting me vent...

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by sassyfrancesca on February 21, 2008, at 12:11:19

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by estrellita on February 21, 2008, at 0:09:28

Hi, Estrellita: I resonate. I have been in love with my t for over 5 years; verrry long story. I like you, didn't feel right hiding it; it felt sneaky, so I told him. We have had many loong discussions about my/our feelings. Unfortunately, he has "bent the rules and let me "see" him"--a Few of the 100's of comments from him.

WE find it hard to end the session and WE find it hard to say goodbye. You are in my heart and in my head.......If i were not married, I would probably go for it.

I would have fallen in love with him, had I met him in another place; we are alike in over 30 different ways.

He lets me bring in flowers, candles, and something (non-alcoholic) to drink and beautiful champagne glasses (we toast each other every week), and listen to music.

Yah, I know; it's a date, LOL, LOL

It is very painful for me, but I told him I would rather be in pain WITH him, than in pain WITHOUT him......Hugs, Francesca

 

Crush on T - to estrallita +sassyfran estrellita

Posted by JoniS on February 22, 2008, at 9:08:26

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by estrellita on February 21, 2008, at 0:09:28

estrellita & sassyfran

I am right there with ya. I have been seeing my T for 4.5 years and continually sink to sadness frustration over it. I agree with sassy - I'd rather be with him and hurting than not with him at all (I think) the problem is I dont even feel like I'm "with" him anymore. I like how sassy describes her sessions - as long as they are still "therapy" that's how I wish mine was. I am most likely going to quit therapy as soon as my T gets back from sabbatical and I can have a couple of final sessions. I have been grieving the "loss" for the past couple of months and I don't want to go through this again. I want to try to take the good things I've learned and apply them to my life.

Good luck to you both

Joni

 

Re: Crush on T - to estrallita +sassyfran

Posted by sassyfrancesca on February 22, 2008, at 10:31:26

In reply to Crush on T - to estrallita +sassyfran estrellita, posted by JoniS on February 22, 2008, at 9:08:26

(((Joni)): Thank you sweetie; i wish you well, and know how painful it will be, if you choose to leave your t.....would you like to elaborate any on your experience

Love, sassyFrancesca

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by estrellita on March 1, 2008, at 23:05:22

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by estrellita on February 21, 2008, at 0:09:28

Okay, I guess I was expecting more responses to what I wrote, but that's a selfish wish. I have read other people's threads about love and crushes, and am reading (apparently everyone's favorite!) In Session.

This past week has been hard - I am starting to fall for this guy. I imagine that we could become friends after this therapy thing is over, even if that's not for a couple of years for now. And then reality comes seeping into my mind, and I slowly face the fact that it's horrible of me to even consider the idea that he'd act against what he feels to be right - ethically, not to mention legally, etc.

I keep thinking that if he is as interested in me as I am in him (who knows...not impossible), maybe he'll agree with me that meeting someone you feel that way about happens so infrequently that it'd be unthinkable to throw it away no matter what the rules. However, I don't know him personally and have to realize that it's unlikely he'd risk throwing away his career/reputation just as he's starting out simply for a chance to find out what a relationship between us would be like.

I thought I could shut the crush down, because I had to. But my imagination makes me believe that if he's attracted too, then anything can (and will) happen.

I've read a lot about this dilemma I find myself in, and know all the arguments for and against. I know that him upholding the boundaries established at the outset demonstrate that he cares for my welfare and that he's fundamentally an ethical clinician. I've also thought through what the repercussions could be for him if he crossed those boundaries, and I do care about him and don't want to see any ill effects for him or his career.

I just can't help but wonder if it isn't foolish, when something like this presents itself in life, not to pursue it? It happens so rarely.

Each time I lose myself in imagining, I end up breaking my own heart because I don't want to put him in a bad position...and of course he's not going to put himself in that position if I never say anything.

Even if I write him a note after therapy is over, I'm afraid he'll be obligated to let his supervisor know and that that alone could tarnish his reputation (not to mention mine).

And even if, beyond all possibility, we broke the boundary and realized we were happy together, it would have to be kept secret from anyone he knows, because of how we met.

The first time I posted here it was just a crush, but now I love him as a therapist (I guess I'm starting to trust him), and I'm starting to think I'd fall for him had I met him anyplace else. The worst part is not being able to talk to him outside of monitored sessions... And that, of course, from the perspective of everyone but me, is the reason boundaries need to be strictly maintained.

Put two youngish, intelligent, and attractive people with similar interests into a room with no distractions for an hour a week, mix in intimate conversation, frequent eye contact, minimal physical distance, and sharing of ideas, and then prevent them from getting to know each other any further and from having contact outside of that single hour in the same sterile room, and what you have is a recipe for frustration and heartbreak...along with enough "healing" to keep the "client" coming back for more.

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training estrellita

Posted by Lonely on March 1, 2008, at 23:26:16

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by estrellita on March 1, 2008, at 23:05:22

I think I know how you feel as I've been there too - and I'm not that young, either! I've found that the relationships end in heartbreak though due to normal life events such as the T moving or losing interest or not having enough money to continue or because boundaries were broken.

A few years ago I was at a lecture given by a local psychiatrist who is very interested in client & therapist relationships outside the theraputic aspects. (I don't think he was supporting it - it was just his interest) He mentioned a therapist he knew and the patient who "fell in love" with the therapist. They ultimately married and the wife ended up coming to him - the psychiatrist. It seems that after they were married all the husband (her former therapist) did was to lie in bed and scratch and pass gas and pay little attention to her. None of the attentiveness she had experienced in therapy.

That level of attentiveness is not real. It's something to be strived for in a marriage or committed relationship and quite possibly a spouse could learn some tips but no one can be that attentive all the time - in my humble opinion.

A friend tried to tell me recently that he thinks he is his T's favorite. Ok, maybe he is (this is NOT a romantic T-patient relationship) but I really doubt it. It's just the way the T works and yes for that period of time there's a lot of direct involvement. It's satisfying for a T to be liked and also to see a patient improve.

This series of postings pushed some buttons in me - I'm glad to see it and will use it to work on some of my own thoughts and feelings.

Thank you!

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by annierose on March 2, 2008, at 6:56:22

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by estrellita on February 21, 2008, at 0:09:28

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.

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training estrellita

Posted by sunnydays on March 2, 2008, at 12:08:12

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by estrellita on March 1, 2008, at 23:05:22

See, I have wishes that I could do all sorts of things with my T outside of therapy - totally with him as a parental figure though. We've talked about it a lot, and I know it can't ever happen and wouldn't be good for me. But he said something the other day that I liked and might help you, "This relationship is real, and I know this probably the most important single hour for you in your week. And sometimes we meet people in our life that are special to us and we think are really amazing, and it's almost a life-changing experience for us. Perhaps I'm one of those people for you. If so, that's something to be treasured, not looked down on as something wrong or bad (I was feeling like it was bad that I came to therapy). And in that case this will always be something you can look back on and treasure whenever you do decide to end therapy. It really is ok to have these feelings."

Can you look on it as a relationship to treasure, but one that just can't go outside the boundaries? There can be more than one person in life we fall in love with, so I would encourage you to talk with him about how to look for a similar feeling with someone outside of therapy.

sunnydays

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by estrellita on March 2, 2008, at 17:50:43

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training estrellita, posted by Lonely on March 1, 2008, at 23:26:16

Thank you so much for your response - I was starting to feel so alone in my experience, even though I know I'm not.

What you said has made me stop and try to imagine a relationship post-therapy, and how it would necessarily be different from the therapeutic relationship we have at present. In fact, I had been doing that before reading what you wrote, except without the worst-case-scenario part (e.g., him being a lazy slob outside of therapy!).

I keep telling myself that he doesn't dress like this at home, he doesn't give his undivided attention to everyone like he does when he's acting as a therapist, he doesn't make constant eye contact, he doesn't continually try to help people become better, etc. I think we tend to assume, when somebody talks about romantic feelings for a therapist, that what they're feeling has to do with the idealized person the therapist is during sessions.

The trouble with that, for me, is that I have thought about that pretty carefully - I KNOW he's not the ideal person he seems to be during our sessions. I know that, being a guy, he probably has habits and whatnot that I would classify as yucky boy stuff. ;-) I grew up with brothers and no sisters, and have dated my share of men. I know they have their own slobbish or otherwise annoying habits that are far from perfect. Obviously I don't know him outside of his therapist role, so I don't know what his particular idiosyncrasies are. But I know he has them, as do you, I, and everyone else.

On the other hand, I also know enough about him to know that, no matter how I'd met him, he's someone I'd be interested in getting to know further. I told him exactly that when he was giving me the whole "this is transference" talk. I have thought a lot about whether this IS transference, and while some part of it may be, much of it is not. There is definitely an attraction there for me, to HIM - not him as someone onto whom I'm transferring feelings about someone else. Yes, I suppose in general that that's part of what I'm doing - envisioning a romantic relationship (which I don't currently have) with him as the object of affection. Yes, it's safe for me to imagine that in that the boundaries are there and supposedly nothing can happen. I can't find out more about him outside of therapy, so there's nothing about him that is going to disappoint me (as recently happened when I started talking to a guy I'd had my eye on...he looked good from a distance, but was not at all who I'd imagined him to be once we finally talked).

But what I know of him, I really like. We're both working on doctoral degrees, and have similar research interests. Based on a few things he has said, we have some similar interests outside of academia too. He definitely has a sense of humor at least somewhat similar to mine, though I think he tries to hide it some of the time. And though at first I didn't know whether he was straight or queer (or both, for that matter), I think he's straight given his early tendency to veer away anytime I brought up romantic relationships during sessions. He also tended to do some blushing when I said anything along those lines (not related to him - to guys I'd been seeing, exes, etc.). I don't even know if he's single, but I have a feeling he is (wishful thinking?).

I have to keep telling myself that all of these tiny details I've gleaned might not add up to the picture I'm painting of him and his feelings toward me. It's so hard to do, though, and the only way I know to really drive the point home that he's not who I imagine him to be would be to get to know him as a friend after the therapy is over.

The best part of what you wrote, Lonely, for me was "It's satisfying for a T to be liked and also to see a patient improve." I think that this guy is very driven to succeed in everything he does, and I'm sure that what you said is playing a really large role for him. We talked once (during the transference/boundaries session) about how he consciously tries to build rapport during sessions by laughing at my jokes, reinforcing common ground, etc. And in my own work, I use the same techniques so people will open up to me. There is some element of genuineness to it, but there's also a need to do it in order to do your job better. And it does feel great when someone starts opening up to you, telling you things they don't talk about with most other people. It reinforces the feeling that you're skilled at what you do, and that the person who's opening up to you WANTS to do that because you're just so darn easy to talk to. And this therapist is also focused on measuring improvement, so the part about him wanting to see me improve would undoubtedly be true for anyone he works with.

What you wrote was a great reminder to continue trying to think about him as realistically as I can, but it's hard to do when therapy itself is such a constructed situation far removed from all other social interactions. Further, I've been telling myself all along that the therapist I see each week is only one part of the person I'm interested in. I know he's not like this most of the time, and that's actually not been a deterrent to thinking about a romantic relationship. In fact, part of what is so frustrating is that I WANT to know him as an everyday guy. I suspect I would really like him outside of the therapist role. And it's killing me to know that I've come across someone who genuinely interests me (doesn't happen very often at all), yet I'm not supposed to pursue that because of this whole therapy thing.

I have even tried to imagine the repercussions for me if we became friends after therapy and it turned out badly. But I'm convinced I could handle that, too. I know he's a real person and could easily disappoint me (as so many other people do). I really feel, though, like I'm prepared for that possibility as well. I'm an independent, strong, self-sufficient person who has been through a lot of emotional stuff with other guys, and I have no doubt I could handle a disappoint with him, too. I just really hate that I'm not supposed to have the chance to find out whether he's someone I could be happy with.

Thanks to anyone who reads all this...as you can tell, I'm really struggling right now.

*estrellita


> I think I know how you feel as I've been there too - and I'm not that young, either! I've found that the relationships end in heartbreak though due to normal life events such as the T moving or losing interest or not having enough money to continue or because boundaries were broken.
>
> A few years ago I was at a lecture given by a local psychiatrist who is very interested in client & therapist relationships outside the theraputic aspects. (I don't think he was supporting it - it was just his interest) He mentioned a therapist he knew and the patient who "fell in love" with the therapist. They ultimately married and the wife ended up coming to him - the psychiatrist. It seems that after they were married all the husband (her former therapist) did was to lie in bed and scratch and pass gas and pay little attention to her. None of the attentiveness she had experienced in therapy.
>
> That level of attentiveness is not real. It's something to be strived for in a marriage or committed relationship and quite possibly a spouse could learn some tips but no one can be that attentive all the time - in my humble opinion.
>
> A friend tried to tell me recently that he thinks he is his T's favorite. Ok, maybe he is (this is NOT a romantic T-patient relationship) but I really doubt it. It's just the way the T works and yes for that period of time there's a lot of direct involvement. It's satisfying for a T to be liked and also to see a patient improve.
>
> This series of postings pushed some buttons in me - I'm glad to see it and will use it to work on some of my own thoughts and feelings.
>
> Thank you!

 

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.

*estrellita


> 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.

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training sunnydays

Posted by estrellita on March 2, 2008, at 20:38:32

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training estrellita, posted by sunnydays on March 2, 2008, at 12:08:12

Thank you for your post, too, sunnydays! I'm curious as to what kind of therapy you're primarily doing with your therapist (see my response to annierose for more about my thoughts on that)?

I like what your therapist said, and I understand what you mean - whatever feelings I happen to have about a therapist always feel wrong/bad to me. I have this idea that I shouldn't care about them at all. (I realize you felt it was coming to therapy, not the relationship itself, that felt that way.) It does feel good to realize that it's okay for therapists to be special people to us, even if not in the way we'd choose. Also, how did you feel when your therapist told you he realizes that hour with him is "probably the most important single hour for you in your week"? If a therapist said that to me, I'd react strongly and tell them that of course it's not, and how arrogant of them to think so. But the vast majority of the time when I'm in therapy - no matter with who - it has been. Whether it's been working with someone I like or don't like, who's good or bad, that hour each week takes on a nature of its own and I don't really know why. I just know that as I'm heading to the appointment, and heading to wherever I'm going afterward, that it feels very different from anyplace else I am scheduled to go.

Thanks for your suggestion about how to change my perspective on the relationship. I have tried to think about it that way, but it hasn't worked. I just think I'm not in a place where I'm able to accept that those boundaries aren't going to change. I still have this hope, and it seems very real, that at some point I'll be able to start a friendship with him. And the fact that all our sessions are videotaped for him and his supervisor to review later on means I am very unlikely to start any kind of conversation with him again related to my feelings for him, or for my desire for a romantic relationship with an intelligent, handsome, funny, and considerate man. At the time we discussed the letter I wrote him, I definitely got the feeling that he was relieved that the conversation was over. And there are little things here and there that make me think that in other circumstances he'd be interested in me, too. I think he has his own reasons for not bringing up the therapeutic relationship very often.

Thanks to everyone for your responses - they're definitely helping me think this through in more detail, and that's a good thing.

*estrellita


> See, I have wishes that I could do all sorts of things with my T outside of therapy - totally with him as a parental figure though. We've talked about it a lot, and I know it can't ever happen and wouldn't be good for me. But he said something the other day that I liked and might help you, "This relationship is real, and I know this probably the most important single hour for you in your week. And sometimes we meet people in our life that are special to us and we think are really amazing, and it's almost a life-changing experience for us. Perhaps I'm one of those people for you. If so, that's something to be treasured, not looked down on as something wrong or bad (I was feeling like it was bad that I came to therapy). And in that case this will always be something you can look back on and treasure whenever you do decide to end therapy. It really is ok to have these feelings."
>
> Can you look on it as a relationship to treasure, but one that just can't go outside the boundaries? There can be more than one person in life we fall in love with, so I would encourage you to talk with him about how to look for a similar feeling with someone outside of therapy.
>
> sunnydays

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training estrellita

Posted by sunnydays on March 2, 2008, at 21:09:14

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training sunnydays, posted by estrellita on March 2, 2008, at 20:38:32

> Thank you for your post, too, sunnydays! I'm curious as to what kind of therapy you're primarily doing with your therapist (see my response to annierose for more about my thoughts on that)?

**** Definitely more psychodynamic, although he is eclectic in his approach as well and brings in other theories/techniques as he thinks they might help.

>
> I like what your therapist said, and I understand what you mean - whatever feelings I happen to have about a therapist always feel wrong/bad to me. I have this idea that I shouldn't care about them at all. (I realize you felt it was coming to therapy, not the relationship itself, that felt that way.)

**** I get that feeling too. I know people not in therapy wouldn't understand why he is so important to me, and that makes it feel wrong.

It does feel good to realize that it's okay for therapists to be special people to us, even if not in the way we'd choose. Also, how did you feel when your therapist told you he realizes that hour with him is "probably the most important single hour for you in your week"?

**** I loved it. It showed that he really understood me and got me, and by him naming it without me even having to, it showed that it's something that seems totally natural and normal to him and that I don't need to be ashamed of that.

> Thanks for your suggestion about how to change my perspective on the relationship. I have tried to think about it that way, but it hasn't worked. I just think I'm not in a place where I'm able to accept that those boundaries aren't going to change.

**** Then you need to bring it up with your T. His supervisor is there to talk about the techniques he is using with you - not to analyze you as a person. At least try to bring up that there are things you would like to say but that knowing his supervisor sees it makes you feel awkward. And I think that no matter the therapy modality, there is at least some recognition that having a positive therapeutic relationship is beneficial and necessary to the therapy - CBT isn't going to work if the patient feels like the therapist doesn't care about them or feels hostile to the therapist.

I still have this hope, and it seems very real, that at some point I'll be able to start a friendship with him. And the fact that all our sessions are videotaped for him and his supervisor to review later on means I am very unlikely to start any kind of conversation with him again related to my feelings for him, or for my desire for a romantic relationship with an intelligent, handsome, funny, and considerate man.

**** Again, you'll never meet his supervisor (most likely) and his supervisor and he don't discuss you as a person, they discuss the therapy and the techniques. I've been in taped group sessions, and I get that awkwardness a little bit, but I wonder if you really might be having some transference. It doesn't sound like you trust your therapist enough to be able to tell him your feelings and trust that he will respect them, even when not in the room with you, which doesn't sound like the basis for a strong romantic relationship to me. You may want to think about this. It might be that although the feelings FEEL real, they might be a little exaggerated for what you actually know about him. I know that feeling - it's kind of the key idea behind transference - it feels so real that it really is hard to recognize it as anything except reality.

At the time we discussed the letter I wrote him, I definitely got the feeling that he was relieved that the conversation was over.

**** Can you ask him about that? You could be right, or maybe there was something else going on for him.

And there are little things here and there that make me think that in other circumstances he'd be interested in me, too. I think he has his own reasons for not bringing up the therapeutic relationship very often.

**** Yes, probably because he is CBT-oriented, and those therapists are not trained to bring up or work with the relationship. That would be my best guess as to why he wouldn't want to bring it up - I gather that is a strong belief in CBT.

sunnydays

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by sassyfrancesca on March 3, 2008, at 8:46:29

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training estrellita, posted by sunnydays on March 2, 2008, at 21:09:14

Put two mature adults who love to tease and flirt in a room (which is dark, with flowers, candles and music);2 people who have so much in common it is hard to believe. We even have the same rare eye disease, and know 2 different men with such an odd name and they both play the violin. We are alike in oer 30 different ways (I know, I counted.)

As he said, "He allowed me to 'see' him"---and he can't go back......

I could write a book at what has transpired between us; I do repeat myself; the last thing he said to me: "If I were not married, I would probably go for it."

He is in a struggle with his feelings (he said: 'I am torn and confused, scared and conflicted.); we are both so open with each other.

He also said: "My colleagues would tell me to run fast and far, but I will never abandon you."

He is incredibly ethical one moment, and then teasing me the next....very confusing. I love him; I always will.

Francesca

P.S. We are both attending a conference in Hawaii; I will be all alone; may meet him at one of the seminars. I know all of the rules and regulations about client/therapist relationships.

The heart doesn't have boundaries. I do however, although it kills me.

He said: "We are both very restrained people."

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training sassyfrancesca

Posted by estrellita on March 3, 2008, at 14:07:23

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by sassyfrancesca on March 3, 2008, at 8:46:29

That sounds intensely frustrating. How long has he been your therapist?

The main problem for me in that situation would probably (but how can I really know?) be not that he was my therapist, but that he's married. For me, that is a much more serious boundary than a professional relationship. Can you use that to strengthen your resolve not to cross a specific boundary? And how does that affect how you, and he, deal with the situation?

It's interesting to me that you say you know all of the "rules and regulations" of therapist/client relationships, yet you begin your post describing a setting which sounds like nothing other than a romantic setting. I guess I am just curious about how you resolve those two (to me, contradictory) descriptions of the situation you find yourself in.

The main thing your post brings up for me is why we willingly continue to place ourselves in situations that are so painful for us. And I'm not just thinking of the specific situations we've been describing, but more generally. For example, I have been in love with a friend of mine for 5+ years, and he has never made a commitment or told me that he feels the same way. He'll give me enough to make me feel like a mutual romantic relationship could happen someday, then he'll pull back (to the point of dating, having sex with, etc. other women, and not communicating with me for months on end). I have to ask myself why I continue to believe that someday he'll love me too, and why I let that belief be the reason I justify my tolerance of all the hurt that he causes me in between those brief, blissful moments when it feels like anything could happen.

I think for me, the way I rationalize my tolerance of this ridiculous behavior is by letting myself believe that the possibility of a relationship someday, and the amazing feelings I have during those oh-so-rare moments when he's being loving, are outweighing all of the pain, disappointment, and anger I feel at other times. Feelings of possibility can be so powerful, even when our rational minds tell us that what we want to see as possible is nothing more than teasing that is vastly unlikely to result in what we want it to.

I know I probably sound pessimistic, but your post touched a part of me that is more rational than the rest of me. It made me ask, again, why I insist on remaining in situations where pain far outweighs bliss and where those moments of bliss blind me to this fact.

As far as my therapist is concerned, I am definitely making progress therapeutically through the CBT exercises, and so far the feelings I have about him are not so strong as to negate what I'm learning in therapy. For you, I'm sure you've asked yourself, but I'm curious as to why you feel it's acceptable to continue to place yourself in a situation that is a continual source of pain for you (with, yes, some pleasure as well). Why is it okay to keep hurting yourself like that?

What he says to you is so contradictory: if he weren't married (but he is!), he'd "go for it," which to me says that he's not going to go for it; on the other hand, he says he'll never abandon you. How could he, when he's not truly with you, or committed to you, in the first place?

I hope I haven't overstepped in saying any of this; I just see some familiar things in what you describe and it's really got me thinking about why we decide it's okay to put up with situations that we know are detrimental for us.

I wouldn't want to hear it if I were you, but when you describe him he doesn't sound great at all. He sounds like someone who has it both ways - a marriage, and an adoring client who professes her love and desire for him each week. To my mind, he sounds more cowardly than anything else (same as my "friend" I described above) - he isn't making a full commitment to either his wife or to you. We make so many excuses for people when we have strong feelings for them - I've seen it over and over in my life as well as in those of people I know.

*estrellita


> Put two mature adults who love to tease and flirt in a room (which is dark, with flowers, candles and music);2 people who have so much in common it is hard to believe. We even have the same rare eye disease, and know 2 different men with such an odd name and they both play the violin. We are alike in oer 30 different ways (I know, I counted.)
>
> As he said, "He allowed me to 'see' him"---and he can't go back......
>
> I could write a book at what has transpired between us; I do repeat myself; the last thing he said to me: "If I were not married, I would probably go for it."
>
> He is in a struggle with his feelings (he said: 'I am torn and confused, scared and conflicted.); we are both so open with each other.
>
> He also said: "My colleagues would tell me to run fast and far, but I will never abandon you."
>
> He is incredibly ethical one moment, and then teasing me the next....very confusing. I love him; I always will.
>
> Francesca
>
> P.S. We are both attending a conference in Hawaii; I will be all alone; may meet him at one of the seminars. I know all of the rules and regulations about client/therapist relationships.
>
> The heart doesn't have boundaries. I do however, although it kills me.
>
> He said: "We are both very restrained people."

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by sassyfrancesca on March 5, 2008, at 8:03:17

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training sassyfrancesca, posted by estrellita on March 3, 2008, at 14:07:23

> That sounds intensely frustrating. How long has he been your therapist? (I hope this goes through; I responded to everything you said, but I don't see the posting)......Five years.
>
> The main problem for me in that situation would probably (but how can I really know?) be not that he was my therapist, but that he's married. For me, that is a much more serious boundary than a professional relationship.

Yes, and that is the major reason I do not act on my feelings, although he has tempted, teased, tormented me and led me on.

Can you use that to strengthen your resolve not to cross a specific boundary?

And how does that affect how you, and he, deal with the situation? I cannot answer for him, but for me, it is excruciating; none of my friends can believe I have been able to hold back. He had said: "If I gave you the green light, would you go for it?" He has given me so many green lights, I should be blind.
>
> It's interesting to me that you say you know all of the "rules and regulations" of therapist/client relationships, yet you begin your post describing a setting which sounds like nothing other than a romantic setting.

I do know the rules and regulations, but he is the one who allows the romantic setting.

I guess I am just curious about how you resolve those two (to me, contradictory) descriptions of the situation you find yourself in.

They are contradictory (well, that depends on what you meaning of that is)....he is a senior therapist, and different t's allow different things; it is up to HIM and him alone to set the tone and boundaries. I can behave any way I want, but HE is the one who is supposed to adhere to the rules, regulations, etc......that is why it is all SO confusing. Come here go away...push me pull me, etc.
>
> The main thing your post brings up for me is why we willingly continue to place ourselves in situations that are so painful for us.

Because we want to be loved.

And I'm not just thinking of the specific situations we've been describing, but more generally. For example, I have been in love with a friend of mine for 5+ years, and he has never made a commitment or told me that he feels the same way. He'll give me enough to make me feel like a mutual romantic relationship could happen someday, then he'll pull back (to the point of dating, having sex with, etc. other women, and not communicating with me for months on end). I have to ask myself why I continue to believe that someday he'll love me too, and why I let that belief be the reason I justify my tolerance of all the hurt that he causes me in between those brief, blissful moments when it feels like anything could happen.

It is hope that keeps us hooked.
>
> I think for me, the way I rationalize my tolerance of this ridiculous behavior is by letting myself believe that the possibility of a relationship someday, and the amazing feelings I have during those oh-so-rare moments when he's being loving, are outweighing all of the pain, disappointment, and anger I feel at other times. Feelings of possibility can be so powerful, even when our rational minds tell us that what we want to see as possible is nothing more than teasing that is vastly unlikely to result in what we want it to.
>
I resonate with that; we are willing to be in pain, because there is some good things that happen. Yes, teasing is sadistic.

> I know I probably sound pessimistic, but your post touched a part of me that is more rational than the rest of me. It made me ask, again, why I insist on remaining in situations where pain far outweighs bliss and where those moments of bliss blind me to this fact.
>
> As far as my therapist is concerned, I am definitely making progress therapeutically through the CBT exercises, and so far the feelings I have about him are not so strong as to negate what I'm learning in therapy. For you, I'm sure you've asked yourself, but I'm curious as to why you feel it's acceptable to continue to place yourself in a situation that is a continual source of pain for you (with, yes, some pleasure as well). Why is it okay to keep hurting yourself like that?

It isn't okay to keep hurting myself, but i am in love with him (and I know he feels the same), even though he is such a jerk sometimes (LOL)...as i told him, I would rather be in pain WITH him, that in pain WITHOUT him.
>
> What he says to you is so contradictory: if he weren't married (but he is!), he'd "go for it," which to me says that he's not going to go for it; on the other hand, he says he'll never abandon you. How could he, when he's not truly with you, or committed to you, in the first place?

He is committed to me (too long to explain here), but not in the romantic sense; he is a man on the edge and all over the place with his feelings for me. He said: "I am torn and confused, scared and conflicted."

>
> I hope I haven't overstepped in saying any of this; I just see some familiar things in what you describe and it's really got me thinking about why we decide it's okay to put up with situations that we know are detrimental for us.

It isn't okay.
>
> I wouldn't want to hear it if I were you, but when you describe him he doesn't sound great at all. He sounds like someone who has it both ways - a marriage, and an adoring client who professes her love and desire for him each week. To my mind, he sounds more cowardly than anything else (same as my "friend" I described above) - he isn't making a full commitment to either his wife or to you. We make so many excuses for people when we have strong feelings for them - I've seen it over and over in my life as well as in those of people I know.

I've never made any excuses for him. I do deeply resent that he has his cake and eats it to; perhaps someday I will give him the "speech" I have prepared in my head for a very long time.

Francesca
>
> *estrellita
>
>
> > Put two mature adults who love to tease and flirt in a room (which is dark, with flowers, candles and music);2 people who have so much in common it is hard to believe. We even have the same rare eye disease, and know 2 different men with such an odd name and they both play the violin. We are alike in oer 30 different ways (I know, I counted.)
> >
> > As he said, "He allowed me to 'see' him"---and he can't go back......
> >
> > I could write a book at what has transpired between us; I do repeat myself; the last thing he said to me: "If I were not married, I would probably go for it."
> >
> > He is in a struggle with his feelings (he said: 'I am torn and confused, scared and conflicted.); we are both so open with each other.
> >
> > He also said: "My colleagues would tell me to run fast and far, but I will never abandon you."
> >
> > He is incredibly ethical one moment, and then teasing me the next....very confusing. I love him; I always will.
> >
> > Francesca
> >
> > P.S. We are both attending a conference in Hawaii; I will be all alone; may meet him at one of the seminars. I know all of the rules and regulations about client/therapist relationships.
> >
> > The heart doesn't have boundaries. I do however, although it kills me.
> >
> > He said: "We are both very restrained people."

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by Jouezmoi on March 5, 2008, at 23:59:45

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by sassyfrancesca on March 5, 2008, at 8:03:17

What if you found out that you are not the only client that he does this with. Something here sounds pathological. You have to remind yourself that they are human too, many with all the idiosynchracies (or maybe more) that we have too.

> > That sounds intensely frustrating. How long has he been your therapist? (I hope this goes through; I responded to everything you said, but I don't see the posting)......Five years.
> >
> > The main problem for me in that situation would probably (but how can I really know?) be not that he was my therapist, but that he's married. For me, that is a much more serious boundary than a professional relationship.
>
> Yes, and that is the major reason I do not act on my feelings, although he has tempted, teased, tormented me and led me on.
>
> Can you use that to strengthen your resolve not to cross a specific boundary?
>
> And how does that affect how you, and he, deal with the situation? I cannot answer for him, but for me, it is excruciating; none of my friends can believe I have been able to hold back. He had said: "If I gave you the green light, would you go for it?" He has given me so many green lights, I should be blind.
> >
> > It's interesting to me that you say you know all of the "rules and regulations" of therapist/client relationships, yet you begin your post describing a setting which sounds like nothing other than a romantic setting.
>
> I do know the rules and regulations, but he is the one who allows the romantic setting.
>
> I guess I am just curious about how you resolve those two (to me, contradictory) descriptions of the situation you find yourself in.
>
> They are contradictory (well, that depends on what you meaning of that is)....he is a senior therapist, and different t's allow different things; it is up to HIM and him alone to set the tone and boundaries. I can behave any way I want, but HE is the one who is supposed to adhere to the rules, regulations, etc......that is why it is all SO confusing. Come here go away...push me pull me, etc.
> >
> > The main thing your post brings up for me is why we willingly continue to place ourselves in situations that are so painful for us.
>
> Because we want to be loved.
>
> And I'm not just thinking of the specific situations we've been describing, but more generally. For example, I have been in love with a friend of mine for 5+ years, and he has never made a commitment or told me that he feels the same way. He'll give me enough to make me feel like a mutual romantic relationship could happen someday, then he'll pull back (to the point of dating, having sex with, etc. other women, and not communicating with me for months on end). I have to ask myself why I continue to believe that someday he'll love me too, and why I let that belief be the reason I justify my tolerance of all the hurt that he causes me in between those brief, blissful moments when it feels like anything could happen.
>
> It is hope that keeps us hooked.
> >
> > I think for me, the way I rationalize my tolerance of this ridiculous behavior is by letting myself believe that the possibility of a relationship someday, and the amazing feelings I have during those oh-so-rare moments when he's being loving, are outweighing all of the pain, disappointment, and anger I feel at other times. Feelings of possibility can be so powerful, even when our rational minds tell us that what we want to see as possible is nothing more than teasing that is vastly unlikely to result in what we want it to.
> >
> I resonate with that; we are willing to be in pain, because there is some good things that happen. Yes, teasing is sadistic.
>
> > I know I probably sound pessimistic, but your post touched a part of me that is more rational than the rest of me. It made me ask, again, why I insist on remaining in situations where pain far outweighs bliss and where those moments of bliss blind me to this fact.
> >
> > As far as my therapist is concerned, I am definitely making progress therapeutically through the CBT exercises, and so far the feelings I have about him are not so strong as to negate what I'm learning in therapy. For you, I'm sure you've asked yourself, but I'm curious as to why you feel it's acceptable to continue to place yourself in a situation that is a continual source of pain for you (with, yes, some pleasure as well). Why is it okay to keep hurting yourself like that?
>
> It isn't okay to keep hurting myself, but i am in love with him (and I know he feels the same), even though he is such a jerk sometimes (LOL)...as i told him, I would rather be in pain WITH him, that in pain WITHOUT him.
> >
> > What he says to you is so contradictory: if he weren't married (but he is!), he'd "go for it," which to me says that he's not going to go for it; on the other hand, he says he'll never abandon you. How could he, when he's not truly with you, or committed to you, in the first place?
>
> He is committed to me (too long to explain here), but not in the romantic sense; he is a man on the edge and all over the place with his feelings for me. He said: "I am torn and confused, scared and conflicted."
>
> >
> > I hope I haven't overstepped in saying any of this; I just see some familiar things in what you describe and it's really got me thinking about why we decide it's okay to put up with situations that we know are detrimental for us.
>
> It isn't okay.
> >
> > I wouldn't want to hear it if I were you, but when you describe him he doesn't sound great at all. He sounds like someone who has it both ways - a marriage, and an adoring client who professes her love and desire for him each week. To my mind, he sounds more cowardly than anything else (same as my "friend" I described above) - he isn't making a full commitment to either his wife or to you. We make so many excuses for people when we have strong feelings for them - I've seen it over and over in my life as well as in those of people I know.
>
> I've never made any excuses for him. I do deeply resent that he has his cake and eats it to; perhaps someday I will give him the "speech" I have prepared in my head for a very long time.
>
> Francesca
> >
> > *estrellita
> >
> >
> > > Put two mature adults who love to tease and flirt in a room (which is dark, with flowers, candles and music);2 people who have so much in common it is hard to believe. We even have the same rare eye disease, and know 2 different men with such an odd name and they both play the violin. We are alike in oer 30 different ways (I know, I counted.)
> > >
> > > As he said, "He allowed me to 'see' him"---and he can't go back......
> > >
> > > I could write a book at what has transpired between us; I do repeat myself; the last thing he said to me: "If I were not married, I would probably go for it."
> > >
> > > He is in a struggle with his feelings (he said: 'I am torn and confused, scared and conflicted.); we are both so open with each other.
> > >
> > > He also said: "My colleagues would tell me to run fast and far, but I will never abandon you."
> > >
> > > He is incredibly ethical one moment, and then teasing me the next....very confusing. I love him; I always will.
> > >
> > > Francesca
> > >
> > > P.S. We are both attending a conference in Hawaii; I will be all alone; may meet him at one of the seminars. I know all of the rules and regulations about client/therapist relationships.
> > >
> > > The heart doesn't have boundaries. I do however, although it kills me.
> > >
> > > He said: "We are both very restrained people."
>
>

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by sassyfrancesca on March 6, 2008, at 8:07:15

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by Jouezmoi on March 5, 2008, at 23:59:45

> What if you found out that you are not the only client that he does this with.

I extremely doubt it...I have my reasons, which are too long and complicated to go into here.

Obviously, I know he is human....before anything else...he is a man, etc., etc.....

We cannot help who we all in love with, but we CAN help how we behave because of it.

So far, my restraint has been beyond human!

Sassy

Something here sounds pathological. You have to remind yourself that they are human too, many with all the idiosynchracies (or maybe more) that we have too.
>
>
>
> > > That sounds intensely frustrating. How long has he been your therapist? (I hope this goes through; I responded to everything you said, but I don't see the posting)......Five years.
> > >
> > > The main problem for me in that situation would probably (but how can I really know?) be not that he was my therapist, but that he's married. For me, that is a much more serious boundary than a professional relationship.
> >
> > Yes, and that is the major reason I do not act on my feelings, although he has tempted, teased, tormented me and led me on.
> >
> > Can you use that to strengthen your resolve not to cross a specific boundary?
> >
> > And how does that affect how you, and he, deal with the situation? I cannot answer for him, but for me, it is excruciating; none of my friends can believe I have been able to hold back. He had said: "If I gave you the green light, would you go for it?" He has given me so many green lights, I should be blind.
> > >
> > > It's interesting to me that you say you know all of the "rules and regulations" of therapist/client relationships, yet you begin your post describing a setting which sounds like nothing other than a romantic setting.
> >
> > I do know the rules and regulations, but he is the one who allows the romantic setting.
> >
> > I guess I am just curious about how you resolve those two (to me, contradictory) descriptions of the situation you find yourself in.
> >
> > They are contradictory (well, that depends on what you meaning of that is)....he is a senior therapist, and different t's allow different things; it is up to HIM and him alone to set the tone and boundaries. I can behave any way I want, but HE is the one who is supposed to adhere to the rules, regulations, etc......that is why it is all SO confusing. Come here go away...push me pull me, etc.
> > >
> > > The main thing your post brings up for me is why we willingly continue to place ourselves in situations that are so painful for us.
> >
> > Because we want to be loved.
> >
> > And I'm not just thinking of the specific situations we've been describing, but more generally. For example, I have been in love with a friend of mine for 5+ years, and he has never made a commitment or told me that he feels the same way. He'll give me enough to make me feel like a mutual romantic relationship could happen someday, then he'll pull back (to the point of dating, having sex with, etc. other women, and not communicating with me for months on end). I have to ask myself why I continue to believe that someday he'll love me too, and why I let that belief be the reason I justify my tolerance of all the hurt that he causes me in between those brief, blissful moments when it feels like anything could happen.
> >
> > It is hope that keeps us hooked.
> > >
> > > I think for me, the way I rationalize my tolerance of this ridiculous behavior is by letting myself believe that the possibility of a relationship someday, and the amazing feelings I have during those oh-so-rare moments when he's being loving, are outweighing all of the pain, disappointment, and anger I feel at other times. Feelings of possibility can be so powerful, even when our rational minds tell us that what we want to see as possible is nothing more than teasing that is vastly unlikely to result in what we want it to.
> > >
> > I resonate with that; we are willing to be in pain, because there is some good things that happen. Yes, teasing is sadistic.
> >
> > > I know I probably sound pessimistic, but your post touched a part of me that is more rational than the rest of me. It made me ask, again, why I insist on remaining in situations where pain far outweighs bliss and where those moments of bliss blind me to this fact.
> > >
> > > As far as my therapist is concerned, I am definitely making progress therapeutically through the CBT exercises, and so far the feelings I have about him are not so strong as to negate what I'm learning in therapy. For you, I'm sure you've asked yourself, but I'm curious as to why you feel it's acceptable to continue to place yourself in a situation that is a continual source of pain for you (with, yes, some pleasure as well). Why is it okay to keep hurting yourself like that?
> >
> > It isn't okay to keep hurting myself, but i am in love with him (and I know he feels the same), even though he is such a jerk sometimes (LOL)...as i told him, I would rather be in pain WITH him, that in pain WITHOUT him.
> > >
> > > What he says to you is so contradictory: if he weren't married (but he is!), he'd "go for it," which to me says that he's not going to go for it; on the other hand, he says he'll never abandon you. How could he, when he's not truly with you, or committed to you, in the first place?
> >
> > He is committed to me (too long to explain here), but not in the romantic sense; he is a man on the edge and all over the place with his feelings for me. He said: "I am torn and confused, scared and conflicted."
> >
> > >
> > > I hope I haven't overstepped in saying any of this; I just see some familiar things in what you describe and it's really got me thinking about why we decide it's okay to put up with situations that we know are detrimental for us.
> >
> > It isn't okay.
> > >
> > > I wouldn't want to hear it if I were you, but when you describe him he doesn't sound great at all. He sounds like someone who has it both ways - a marriage, and an adoring client who professes her love and desire for him each week. To my mind, he sounds more cowardly than anything else (same as my "friend" I described above) - he isn't making a full commitment to either his wife or to you. We make so many excuses for people when we have strong feelings for them - I've seen it over and over in my life as well as in those of people I know.
> >
> > I've never made any excuses for him. I do deeply resent that he has his cake and eats it to; perhaps someday I will give him the "speech" I have prepared in my head for a very long time.
> >
> > Francesca
> > >
> > > *estrellita
> > >
> > >
> > > > Put two mature adults who love to tease and flirt in a room (which is dark, with flowers, candles and music);2 people who have so much in common it is hard to believe. We even have the same rare eye disease, and know 2 different men with such an odd name and they both play the violin. We are alike in oer 30 different ways (I know, I counted.)
> > > >
> > > > As he said, "He allowed me to 'see' him"---and he can't go back......
> > > >
> > > > I could write a book at what has transpired between us; I do repeat myself; the last thing he said to me: "If I were not married, I would probably go for it."
> > > >
> > > > He is in a struggle with his feelings (he said: 'I am torn and confused, scared and conflicted.); we are both so open with each other.
> > > >
> > > > He also said: "My colleagues would tell me to run fast and far, but I will never abandon you."
> > > >
> > > > He is incredibly ethical one moment, and then teasing me the next....very confusing. I love him; I always will.
> > > >
> > > > Francesca
> > > >
> > > > P.S. We are both attending a conference in Hawaii; I will be all alone; may meet him at one of the seminars. I know all of the rules and regulations about client/therapist relationships.
> > > >
> > > > The heart doesn't have boundaries. I do however, although it kills me.
> > > >
> > > > He said: "We are both very restrained people."
> >
> >
>
>

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training sunnydays

Posted by estrellita on March 13, 2008, at 18:25:22

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training estrellita, posted by sunnydays on March 2, 2008, at 21:09:14

> > Thanks for your suggestion about how to change my perspective on the relationship. I have tried to think about it that way, but it hasn't worked. I just think I'm not in a place where I'm able to accept that those boundaries aren't going to change.
>
> **** Then you need to bring it up with your T. His supervisor is there to talk about the techniques he is using with you - not to analyze you as a person. At least try to bring up that there are things you would like to say but that knowing his supervisor sees it makes you feel awkward. And I think that no matter the therapy modality, there is at least some recognition that having a positive therapeutic relationship is beneficial and necessary to the therapy - CBT isn't going to work if the patient feels like the therapist doesn't care about them or feels hostile to the therapist.
>
> I still have this hope, and it seems very real, that at some point I'll be able to start a friendship with him. And the fact that all our sessions are videotaped for him and his supervisor to review later on means I am very unlikely to start any kind of conversation with him again related to my feelings for him, or for my desire for a romantic relationship with an intelligent, handsome, funny, and considerate man.
>
> **** Again, you'll never meet his supervisor (most likely) and his supervisor and he don't discuss you as a person, they discuss the therapy and the techniques. I've been in taped group sessions, and I get that awkwardness a little bit, but I wonder if you really might be having some transference. It doesn't sound like you trust your therapist enough to be able to tell him your feelings and trust that he will respect them, even when not in the room with you, which doesn't sound like the basis for a strong romantic relationship to me. You may want to think about this. It might be that although the feelings FEEL real, they might be a little exaggerated for what you actually know about him. I know that feeling - it's kind of the key idea behind transference - it feels so real that it really is hard to recognize it as anything except reality.
>
> At the time we discussed the letter I wrote him, I definitely got the feeling that he was relieved that the conversation was over.
>
> **** Can you ask him about that? You could be right, or maybe there was something else going on for him.
>
> And there are little things here and there that make me think that in other circumstances he'd be interested in me, too. I think he has his own reasons for not bringing up the therapeutic relationship very often.
>
> **** Yes, probably because he is CBT-oriented, and those therapists are not trained to bring up or work with the relationship. That would be my best guess as to why he wouldn't want to bring it up - I gather that is a strong belief in CBT.

Thank you for your responses - some of them really got me thinking about things in ways I hadn't previously done.

I think you're right that there is some amount of transference going on with my thoughts/feelings about him. Really, how could there not be? I don't know that much about him outside of the therapist role that I see him in each week. So when I imagine him as a friend or boyfriend, and what he would be like in those roles instead, part of what I imagine is my needs pasted onto him as I currently know him.

I don't, at all, want to be involved with him in any way right now, while I'm still doing CBT with him. The idea is not at all appealing. I wouldn't even want to go have a cup of coffee with him (or something similarly innocuous) at this point, much less anything else. I am very clear on how any kind of dual relationship would be a bad thing for me (not to mention him), and I don't want to go there. It would confuse and complicate things to the point where I don't think we could ever have any kind of healthy relationship as therapist/client, friends, or lovers. I am only interested in having healthy relationships (of whatever kind) with people.

What I want (at least I can say it here) is, AFTER therapy ends, and maybe with some time in between, to spend some time with him once or twice to find out if a friendship/intimate relationship would make sense for us both. Basically, I want to ask him out on a date and just get to know him better. Just like I would any other grad student who seemed interesting to me.

This is part of why I think this situation is different from a lot of the ones I've read about here, where there are spouses/partners/children/etc. involved. I'm single, working on a doctorate related to mental health (though not in psychology), and have certain things I'm interested in. He may or may not be single (no wedding ring), is around my age, is working on a doctorate in mental health, and seems to share some of the same interests I do (based on things he's mentioned from time to time). There's no doubt in my mind that no matter where I had met this person, I would be interested in getting to know him romantically.

The fact that the therapy I'm doing is CBT makes it seem more realistic that I could get to know him after the therapy is over. I don't see him as an authority figure in any way, and I don't feel like he has any kind of power over me. It's more like we're collaborators, but the collaboration is on me learning strategies for living a better life post-depression than on research or something like that. So yes, that is the part that makes this a little bit strange, but it's never like he's telling me what to do. He makes suggestions based on his knowledge, and I'm free to take them or leave them.

I understand that there is no way I could get to know him "as an equal" later on and pretend that this is not an experience we've shared. But I think that the fact that he's not someone who's been doing this for decades does make it different from someone who has. I see us as being in very similar positions in life right now, with the difference being that he's studying clinical mental health and I'm more focused on research. Yes, he's a clinician TO ME, but I definitely see us as equals more than anything else.

In my last session I again got the feeling that he'd be interested in me, too. It's nothing that he says directly, just the way he comments on things I say about myself, and how we have similar interests both in our research and apart from that, too. I don't want to say too much more about what makes me believe he'd be interested (even on an anonymous website).

I keep thinking the only thing I can do is wait until the last session and ask him if we can talk after it has ended? Or give him a note (but that seems kind of childish)? I have no idea if he would be willing to pursue something later on. For me, I know why the rules/laws are in place, and I understand now how boundaries work and why they're so important. But I'm not the kind of person who follows rules just because they're there. If they make sense, fine. But in this case, I think taking a careful approach could work out alright in the end. I just don't know how he would feel about doing that. I don't want to put him in a bad position, but I also don't want to have to wonder what would have happened if I'd let him know that I'm interested in him not as a therapist, but as a person. I think that just letting him know that once therapy's over would be okay, and then he's free to ignore it or to get back in touch with me. I kind of doubt that he would get back in touch even if he wanted to, but I feel like I at least have to try.

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by biogirl23 on April 10, 2008, at 16:06:41

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training sunnydays, posted by estrellita on March 13, 2008, at 18:25:22

Estrellita!

You are in my head--everything you're expressing is how I've been feeling about my psychologist-in-training. While we only saw each other for about 6 weeks (trying to get over a rough breakup and all the baggage and self-doubt that came along with it) I developed a crush. An intense crush. Now it's been about a month and I'm dying to seem him again.
I don't know what to do. I want to let him know somehow but to be honest some of the other posts were pretty harsh and scared me way off from doing that. But it seems that they were just trying to be honest, therein helpful.
I certainly had the same thoughts as you as far as feeling like the crush was reciprocated. Obviously though, that may very well not be true in this case.
I guess I have to let it go, it's just safer to hold on to it for now. (You know, *having* someone instead of no one--even though you don't actually *have* that person at all. Know what I mean? Maybe not, lol, not sure if I even get it.) That's part of the reason I benefited from therapy in the first place--I place a lot of my self-worth and self-esteem as being dependent on men. Not cool. Also, it's turning out to be pretty inconvenient. :)

 

Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by estrellita on April 17, 2008, at 19:48:07

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by biogirl23 on April 10, 2008, at 16:06:41

> Estrellita!
>
> You are in my head--everything you're expressing is how I've been feeling about my psychologist-in-training. While we only saw each other for about 6 weeks (trying to get over a rough breakup and all the baggage and self-doubt that came along with it) I developed a crush. An intense crush. Now it's been about a month and I'm dying to seem him again.
> I don't know what to do. I want to let him know somehow but to be honest some of the other posts were pretty harsh and scared me way off from doing that. But it seems that they were just trying to be honest, therein helpful.
> I certainly had the same thoughts as you as far as feeling like the crush was reciprocated. Obviously though, that may very well not be true in this case.
> I guess I have to let it go, it's just safer to hold on to it for now. (You know, *having* someone instead of no one--even though you don't actually *have* that person at all. Know what I mean? Maybe not, lol, not sure if I even get it.) That's part of the reason I benefited from therapy in the first place--I place a lot of my self-worth and self-esteem as being dependent on men. Not cool. Also, it's turning out to be pretty inconvenient. :)
>

Hey, biogirl - I think we're definitely in each other's heads, or each other's shoes at the very least. And yes, I know exactly what you mean when you say that holding onto something like this feels very different than not "having" anyone at all.

In fact, in my reading about this stuff, that is one argument against not having a relationship with a (former) therapist. Some researchers have written about how clients keep a mental version of the therapist in their minds for 5-10 years after therapy has ended. Thus, a real-world relationship would get in the way of having this "mental" relationship that is ongoing even after therapy has stopped.

I really, really hate this idea and any other that says I shouldn't be able to pursue someone just because he was my therapist. BUT, I will also concede that I have mental (imaginary, I guess some would say) conversations with people I know - I do this a lot. And yes, therapists I've worked with are among the people I have these dialogues with. So I think it's actually a valid concern, not doing something to destroy this resource that continues to exist years after the actual therapy has ended. Yet at the same time I hate the idea that just because I met someone as therapist/client, that means I can't do whatever I want once therapy is officially over. (And yes, I realize that relationships are two-sided, but this is all strictly hypothetical...)

I so commiserate with what you're feeling. I don't know if you're the same way, but personally I have had some very intense crushes over the years, though these have lessened as I grow older. Still, when they hit, they hit HARD, you know? And it feels like there's just no way to satisfy that longing. Really, it's a bizarre mixture of pleasure and pain at times. For me, it sometimes takes a looong time (think years) for crushes like that to fade, and sometimes they never go away completely. I hate admitting that, because it sounds so...I don't know, LAME. And other crushes don't linger at all.

In thinking about which ones have lingered and which haven't, it does seem like getting to know someone (even in a 5-minute conversation) can help me get a really good read on whether they'd still be attractive if I knew them better. Sometimes all it takes is a dose of reality to kill a crush. The problem with therapists is that they are actively working to ensure that you DON'T know anything real about them, which serves to fuel a crush or desire to know more on the part of the client.

So, for example, I'd had a crush on this random guy I'd see from time to time, for something like 6 mos. or maybe a year. I decided I just needed to talk to him and find out if he was still someone I was interested in. We talked for maybe 10 minutes, and I walked away knowing that, while he's an interesting and good-looking dude, he's not someone I'm interested in getting to know on a romantic basis. And it was a relief to finally find that out.

With this therapist, I am explicitly prohibited from doing that. Just like before my conversation with the other guy, I remain interested because I don't have any other information to go on. He could tell me something about himself in 5 minutes that might convince me he's not for me, but that's never going to happen and that's frustrating.

I know all the reasons for all of this and blah blah blah, but when it comes down to it I just feel so mad, like screaming IT'S NOT FAIR!!! Maybe I don't WANT to put my own wellbeing above my interest in some guy! Maybe I'm tired of being restrained in my interactions with other people, and maybe I don't want to dissect that very thought in therapy. All of my thoughts around this seem always to end up in a tangled mess.

So yeah...basically, it sucks. I'm not sure what you could do to make your crush go away...I know they fade over time, but sometimes it's a long wait. Maybe you'll run into him someplace and see him doing something that makes him look really bad...? Ha ha. I hope it's going alright with you, anyhow.

Personally I hate hate hate knowing that the end of my sessions will be here before I know it and that in all likelihood I'll never see or hear from him again. And that thought just makes me feel like blocking all feelings so I won't have to hurt - but that's exactly what I'm supposed to be learning to STOP doing in therapy. Hm. But every week I learn a little more about him (even though it's within the context of therapy), and I like him that much more. Lately (and again, I hate admitting it) I keep thinking about being able to sit close to him - like right next to him, maybe putting my head on his shoulder. I don't even know if I'd WANT to do that if I "really" knew him...so this crush is marching on, dragging me along behind it, and I don't get a chance to stop the parade and find out if there's even a reason for celebration.

So I sit there and restrain myself, have to make eye contact with him which just about kills me (he has gorgeous, huge eyes), and keep trying to stop thinking about touching him or knocking off the whole therapy thing and meeting up for dinner and a long walk afterward.

Okay, I've thought about this enough for one day. Thanks for your response, and for letting me vent back!

*estrellita


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