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Re: Confused, need some advice, please help please » happyflower

Posted by Tamar on October 21, 2005, at 16:54:29

In reply to Confused, need some advice, please help please, posted by happyflower on October 21, 2005, at 14:25:15

OK. Here’s what I think…

I think you are special to him and he wants to come to your concert partly because he likes music and partly because he acknowledges that your playing is related to your therapy and thereby to his work with you.

I think his continued chatting with you after the end of your session and 25 minutes into his lunch break is a bit of boundary pushing and while he no doubt enjoys it, he probably has a few concerns about it, and it might cause him to strengthen other boundaries… for example, by saying you aren’t VERY special to him and he doesn’t want to be VERY special to you.

But I think it’s inevitable that he will be very special to you. I believe he ought to understand that many clients feel their therapists are very special. I worry about that more than I worry about the 25 minutes chatting after session. It sounds to me as if he isn’t aware enough of your likely responses to him.

Unless… he means that he doesn’t want to be VERY special in the sense that he doesn’t want to encourage you to think there could be a relationship outside therapy.

Nevertheless, you have a relationship outside therapy if he chats to you during his lunch hour. But that’s probably as far as he’s prepared to go.

I am sure you’re right when you think he’s probably attracted to you. I’ve never seen you, but I suspect that most men are attracted to you. You have a very appealing sense of humour and honesty that I think almost any (straight) man would find alluring.

HOWEVER… most therapists simply will not get involved in friendships or romantic relationships with their clients. It would be risking his job if he did. And if he’s read the literature, he knows that it would also mean exploiting you because you are vulnerable right now. If he were prepared to exploit you, he wouldn’t be the good guy you believe he is.

On the other hand… I do believe that there can be real love between a therapist and a client. And also real attraction. Some of it may be transference, but some of it can be real love, attraction and affection.

The challenge in those circumstances is to enjoy the real love for what it is. And believe me, I’m still working on that! My own attempt to solve this is to acknowledge my love for my ex-therapist and try to focus on what I *can* have rather than on what I *can’t* have. It’s easier said than done, of course... And it’s hard to be satisfied with only part of what you want. But if you can enjoy looking at him in therapy and at the gym, if you can enjoy being the focus of his attention in session, if you can enjoy having sexual fantasies about him, and if you can enjoy some mild flirtation with him (knowing that he’s probably interested in you too), then that’s a lot of enjoyment.

I’ve often wished my therapist were so attracted to me that he would throw caution to the wind and risk everything for a couple of hours with me. And of course, in that scenario, he wouldn’t regret one second of it. And I curse my average looks and my extra weight and our marriages and his profession and all that stuff.

But… I know that even if I were a supermodel he wouldn’t f*ck me. And what’s better is that even though I’m not a supermodel, he liked me and enjoyed working with me.

And you’re in an even better situation: you know in your heart that he’s attracted to you. Even if he’d never do anything about it, you know he’s thought about it. And so you know that it’s something of a sacrifice to him to maintain professional boundaries. Unfortunately, part of maintaining those boundaries means never telling you if he feels attracted to you. So even if you’re sure it’s true, you’ll never get him to confess it, and that’s a real bummer.

Nevertheless, he’s thinking primarily of how to work with you so that you can find lasting happiness in life… I have no doubt that it’s a sacrifice for him not to throw caution to the wind. But in a way it’s also the ultimate compliment to you that he doesn’t.

Just my two cents.





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