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Would you be offended?

Posted by Dinah on February 26, 2006, at 15:07:37

Ok. The place where I meet my therapist has a very long couch with a chair at each end. Next to one end is an end table, placed lengthwise that starts at the front end of the couch (not beside the couch) and continues to a couple of feet from one of the chairs where my therapist sits.

When I first entered this office I surveyed the situation and chose a spot halfway down the couch, perhaps a bit more, from the chair where my therapist sits. After several weeks where he really wasn't himself, he told me he was having trouble hearing me, that the acoustics in the room weren't too good, and I offered to move closer if that would help. He said it might. So I started sitting about a foot or so from the closer end of the couch and he said he could hear me from there.

Over time I sort of gravitated to the cozy corner, where I could burrow into two sides of the couch. Because I sort of like to do that with couches that have high sides. So I did move closer, really without thinking.

Last week he told me he was having trouble concentrating and that he needed to walk around a bit. He stretched and moved to the chair on the opposite side of the couch. I was hurt, felt rejected, and told him so - asking him if I was sitting too close. He told me that he "didn't think" it was a problem for me to sit where I was sitting but he would tell me if he decided that it was.

Not being a total idiot, I realized that probably meant that it was a problem. Ouch.

So this week I pointedly sat in the middle of the couch. He commented on it with a smile. At the end of the session I asked if he felt more comfortable with the additional distance. He said he thought it had felt more comfortable, yes.


So as I was blinking back tears, he asked if that was a problem, and when I nodded yes, he expressed disbelief that I would feel hurt by him wanting me to sit further away. I'm not talking about a little surprise. Total disbelief. He clearly thought this was very odd of me.

So I asked my husband, who is really hard to offend. And he said yes, he would be offended. So I figure if *he* would be offended, my therapist really shouldn't be surprised that I am.

Would you be offended?




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