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Situation with former Therapist (very long sorry)

Posted by tryingtobewise on July 10, 2004, at 20:48:45

Hi All,

I've been reading your posts and you sound like a wonderful group. I am in a very odd situation and would like some input. It may just fall into the truth is stranger than fiction category...

In 1994 I began therapy with an excellent counselor. He helped me with several issues over the course of 5 years. At most I saw him every other week, and near the end had tapered down to every 3 or 4 weeks. One problem that I had that I never brought up was that I did feel that I was "overly" attached to him. I am married & have a family but found myself looking forward to sessions, counting down the days, etc. Not in a romantic sense really, basically just because I really liked him, and liked the undivided attention, etc. When I "quit" there was no official termination process, I basically just stopped going. I really missed him but also felt very good to have "gotten free" of him.

Then about 2 months later, out of the blue, he called me to find out if I was working (no), and would I like to become his administrative assistant. I told him I would meet with him to talk about it. Sort of thrilled in an "I get to be teachers pet" sort of way. When I went to meet with him it was really weird, he had put out a notice to the other counselors in the group that I was the new Office Manager, had hand written me my own very long personalized manual, made me a set of keys, etc. I asked him what he would have done if I'd said I wasn't interested, and he just shrugged and said he would have tossed it all. Basically I think he felt very confident I would accept.

So during the first year I worked for him I alternated between feeling that this is so weird and wrong, and feeling quite special that I was the one "let in" to his real life. We literally never talked about the fact that just months prior to beginning my work for him I was his client, and basically for all he knew at that time I still was as we never did terminate.

So after about a year I got past the weirdness, and if I do say so myself I do a really great job for him. I have learned over time that he has many boundary issues with clients/former clients (recruits them as tenants of our suite, barters with them for services, dates(!) one of them, even an issue resulting in disciplinary action (5 year probation) from our state's Department of Health. I will reiterate here that in spite of all this he has a thriving practice and people do love him (actually they seem to either love or hate middle ground).

Now I am in a place (mentally)where I really want to just get away from him. The idea of leaving this job and my "special treatment" is pretty unfathomable to me though. I've left other jobs before & I'm not great with change but have pretty easily gotten through it. I can't wrap myself around the idea of not having this person in my life as counselor or boss, even though he hasn't been my therapist for a long time.

Do any of you have any ideas regarding how I can mentally convince myself it is ok to go? That I won't suffer terribly because I am not around him? Have any of you encountered anything even remotely similar?

Thanks so much!




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