Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 908083

Shown: posts 1 to 12 of 12. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

how does your therapist dress?

Posted by friesandcoke on July 22, 2009, at 22:29:58

I am therapist shopping. Interviewing therapists for one time and getting a feel for them. The last two I saw were wearing sandles and during the session both slid their sandles off and were conducting the interview in their bare feet. These two are not in the same office, not even in the same town. I hate to judge someone by that however I find that extremely unprofessional. And one of them was wearing peddle pushers. You know, pants that come right beneath your knee. 3/4 lenght pants. This is really important to me but since I have interviewed 3 so far I am not sure what to do when stuff like this bothers me. Would that bother you? How does your therapist dress?

 

Re: how does your therapist dress?

Posted by Deneb on July 22, 2009, at 22:45:12

In reply to how does your therapist dress?, posted by friesandcoke on July 22, 2009, at 22:29:58

My pdoc/T usually wears a blouse and trousers or a suit. She is very professional. I on the other hand am a slob. I don't think she minds. I'm not there to impress her anyways.

 

Re: how does your therapist dress? friesandcoke

Posted by obsidian on July 22, 2009, at 22:51:21

In reply to how does your therapist dress?, posted by friesandcoke on July 22, 2009, at 22:29:58

my T is usually wearing a button down shirt, a tie, casual dress pants, casual dress shoes
he's not a bad dresser in fact, guess that is an interesting thing to think about...

 

Re: how does your therapist dress?

Posted by obsidian on July 22, 2009, at 22:55:27

In reply to Re: how does your therapist dress? friesandcoke, posted by obsidian on July 22, 2009, at 22:51:21

yeah, it is sort of a stark contrast. I don't even want to think about my fashion sense, or lack thereof

 

Re: how does your therapist dress?

Posted by Dinah on July 22, 2009, at 23:06:34

In reply to how does your therapist dress?, posted by friesandcoke on July 22, 2009, at 22:29:58

My therapist used to dress more formally than he does now. Now it's usually khakis and a casual untuched shirt. Or jeans.

I didn't like the time he wore boat shoes with no socks, because his ankles were hairless and didn't look very healthy. If he wore sandals, I'd hope he kept his toenails short.

But in general, I like him better casual. He seems more relaxed, I feel more relaxed. Back when he was very trendy, he intimidated me a bit.

I'd be ok with capris or sandals or bare feet even. Moreso than I would be with a formal suit really. If I were seeing a woman, I'd probably feel most comfortable if they wore clothes that I could see myself wearing.

But I was also fine with a dog in the office. In fact that was the only thing I did like about the hypnotherapist. She did ask me first if it was ok.

I guess maybe it depends on how a person sees therapy. If a person sees therapy as a business arrangement where the therapist imparts knowledge and the client learns what they need to know, business attire would feel more comfortable. It would invest the wearer with an aura of competence and authority.

If a person sees therapy as a "real" relationship that is designed to be beneficial to one of the participants, they might be more comfortable with attire that would encourage comfort and bonding.

That works out pretty well, actually. Since I'm sure to some extent, how a therapist dresses shows not only who they are as a person but how they see the therapy process.

So it's all good. Their attire tells you something about them. Your expectations of their attire tells you something about you. There is no right or wrong about any of it. Just personal preference.

Maybe you could develop a screening question around what a therapist thinks the therapy process should be, and how the therapist sees their own role. If they emphasize professionalism and more formal attitudes, their dress will probably reflect that. If they emphasize a more emotion based attitude, their attire will probably reflect that too.

 

Re: how does your therapist dress? Dinah

Posted by sassyfrancesca on July 23, 2009, at 10:16:53

In reply to Re: how does your therapist dress?, posted by Dinah on July 22, 2009, at 23:06:34

My t dresses professionally: dress pants, jacket, etc...I would be very uncomfortable with someone dressing UNprofessionally.

I am very big on manners and proper etiquette and I always dress in dresses, heels, earrings, etc., etc....I LOVE to dress up.

 

Re: how does your therapist dress? sassyfrancesca

Posted by Dinah on July 23, 2009, at 11:13:05

In reply to Re: how does your therapist dress? Dinah, posted by sassyfrancesca on July 23, 2009, at 10:16:53

I'm very big on manners and etiquette myself. My therapist always behaves with perfect propriety. I wouldn't accept anything else.

I just don't consider manners and etiquette to be connected with formality of dress. Not even warmth and welcome are connected. Someone in a suit and tie could have a very warm and comfortable smile.

Perhaps we all prefer people who dress more like us? If I were seeing a woman, I'd probably be most comfortable with someone in a graceful shirt-dress like I used to wear before I got fat. Or a flowing skirt. Ballerina flats maybe.

Not that I dress that way now. I'm so fat that shirtdresses and flowing skirts look absurd. I dress for comfort and coolness. Coolness above all. The heat is intolerable to me. I don't spend a lot on clothes, because why bother? And while I'd be perfectly comfortable with someone who dressed like me now, my bad feelings about myself would probably cause me to feel less than confident with a therapist dressed like me. Which is about me and my feelings for myself, not anyone else who dresses like me.

My ob/gyn dresses like she's about to go out on the town, in low cut and shiny clothing, and it always makes me feel very anxious. T3 was all pearls and tasteful restrained perfection of clothing. It was a bit scary to me, though I recognize that that too was about me, and my feelings about myself.

Different people feel differently, and that's why it's good that there are so many therapists.

My therapist now dresses an awful lot like my father. At least the clothes are the same. Daddy was like me. No matter what he was wearing, something was untucked or awry or tags were showing. One of my favorite pictures of myself was in first or second grade. One knee sock was at half mast. The other had slid all the way into my shoe. My shoes were unevenly worn sneakers because I tended to walk on my toes and roll outward a bit. My dress was very nice, because I had very nice clothes when I was young. But one ponytail was high, the other was low, and I had a first grader's gap toothed grin. It was so *me*. My father was the same way. My therapist wears the same clothes but (aside from zipper malfunctions) is always neat and fastidious. Even so, it freaks me out sometimes to see him in a shirt that could have come from Daddy's closet.

 

Re: how does your therapist dress?

Posted by fleeting flutterby on July 23, 2009, at 11:57:05

In reply to how does your therapist dress?, posted by friesandcoke on July 22, 2009, at 22:29:58

It's interesting, isn't it-- how people's preferences can be so different.

The T. I see currently, wears a wide array of outfits, from skirts and dresses-- to professional pant suits-- to capri pants(peddle pushers) and sandals. I feel more comfortable when she is dressed in something I would find comfortable to wear myself. Dressed professionally sends me an aura of -- "they think they're better than me", "they will be strictly by the book - no gray areas" (i struggle to find gray areas, so thinking my therapist would also be as strict really sends me into emotional isolation) I was raised to dislike/distrust professionals and educated people, or people that have money(not that I feel that way now, no, no, no-- I don't dislike anyone until I truly get to know them)........
I came from a family with blue collar roots......

flutterby-mandy

 

Re: how does your therapist dress?

Posted by antigua3 on July 23, 2009, at 12:02:49

In reply to Re: how does your therapist dress?, posted by fleeting flutterby on July 23, 2009, at 11:57:05

Great question.

My T is always dressed to the nines, totally professional from clothes and shoes to jewelry and hair. Everything matches. She likes monochromatic outfits, and always wear slacks. She is tall, but she always wears heels. I can't imagine, well maybe, that she would ever take her shoes off.

My pdoc is always dressed in a very nice polo shirt and slacks, unless he is in a shirt and tie because he has to do a media thing. Well dressed. Reminds me of my father.

I have only taken my shoes off once, with my T, because my foot hurt. I could never imagine doing that with my pdoc.

antigua

 

Re: how does your therapist dress?

Posted by emmanuel98 on July 23, 2009, at 21:29:23

In reply to Re: how does your therapist dress?, posted by antigua3 on July 23, 2009, at 12:02:49

My p-doc wears chinos and a blue or white or blue and white striped dress shirt. Long sleeves in cooler weather, short sleeves in the summer. This never varies from spring to fall. With this he wears soft tan loafers and nice socks. His socks are always interesting, fashionable even. The only variable in his mild weather wardrobe.

During the winters he wears black or grey corduroys and a dress shirt, also usually blue or white, sometimes covered over with a fleece vest or crew neck sweater.

He is always neat and clean. I once asked him if he purposely dressed a certain way and he said, not really. But, he said, he does work quite a bit with children and adolescents and it's important not to be too formal. He once worked at a large group practice and said he always wore a tie then because it was the norm. I asked him if he owned any shirts that weren't blue or white and he said, a lot, actually.

It used to alarm me if he varied his dress -- the first time I saw him in corduroys, it made me upset -- like he had a closet full of clothes that I was unaware of -- how little I knew of him. I actually cried and started having dreams of him as this preson unknown to me in all these elaborate outfits -- silk brocade dressing gowns, dark blue power suits. In these dreams, he was always inaccessible to me.

He has two watches -- one with a black band and one with a brown band. The brown band goes with the chinos and brown loafers; the black band with the corduroys. I know so little about him, so I have memorized the details of his dress. I find his predictability very comforting.

My DBT therapist dresses casually but professionally, slacks and a blouse with a sweater. In the warm weather, she wears knee-length skirts and shows a lot of leg. But she is a woman near my own age and this doesn't bother me. I have never had transference issues with her, so I don't obsess so much on what she wears. In the summer, she sometimes wears backless sandals which will slip off her foot. I don't mind. I do the same thing.

 

Re: how does your therapist dress?

Posted by onceupon on July 23, 2009, at 21:40:32

In reply to Re: how does your therapist dress?, posted by emmanuel98 on July 23, 2009, at 21:29:23

Mine seems to rotate among the same few outfits, which used to drive me to distraction. But now it just seems like she's not super concerned with how she looks - and I like that - because I'm usually not super concerned with how I look. She doesn't look un-professional, or anything, just rotates among several ankle-length skirts and slacks. In the summer she's always wearing the same pair of sandals.

I almost wish that she dressed more similarly to me, as if that might strengthen our connection in some way. LOL.

I took my shoes off in session for the first time last week, and sat cross-legged on her couch. I'm the most comfortable when I can sit cross-legged, but I was, for some reason, really nervous when doing so, like maybe I was breaking some kind of taboo. As it happened, I felt really out of it during most of the session, spacey, almost dissociative. At one point my therapist asked me if I could touch the bottom of my feet - to ground myself - and I totally froze. Couldn't move, couldn't think. It was really weird.

OK, enough random associations for now. Interesting thread!

 

Re: how does your therapist dress?

Posted by Nadezda on July 24, 2009, at 7:47:30

In reply to Re: how does your therapist dress?, posted by onceupon on July 23, 2009, at 21:40:32

My T wears a suit and tie, or sports jacket and tie-- He tends to rotate the same few ties and suits, so you see a few outfits at any time. He always wears gray or brown or monochromatic ties-- nothing at all colorful or showy. Always very subdued and unornamented. But if you're looking at all, the effect is to catch your attention with how insistently unchic or non-lavish it is.

His office is like that, too-- other than photos and a few relics from trips, which he has on the wall, it's very plain and understated-- the rug has always been a kind of industrial fabric, with a matte color. Even his current red color doesn't glow, but rather is flat and stolid.-- So if the sofa. Large, graying tan. -- Even the photos have this sort of muted, reflective quality-- earth colors and at most a pale grayish-green.

He's worn the same watch the entire time I've known him.

He's slightly the formal side, but doesn't give any impression of formality-- he's always a bit rumpled, looking as if his shirt tails will come out-- although they don't. I've always thought he didn't want to attract attention, or seem ostentatious-- and while the furniture is in the same neutral color range as his clothes-- almost pointedly so--it's all kind of aggressively blah.

It puts him out of the spotlight-- and makes him disappear into the background-- which is hard because he's a very tall, imposing figure. It's all of a piece, and hard to pick anything out of, because nothing calls for your attention--

Nadezda


This is the end of the thread.


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.