Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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Re: Gifts

Posted by DAisym on January 28, 2009, at 12:02:04

In reply to Re: Gifts, posted by backseatdriver on January 28, 2009, at 11:05:59

I think all therapists are different around this. But I think, like all things, talking about it is important, both on the client side and on the therapist side. I believe that an awful lot of therapists have been trained to look at everything a client does as pathology. They assume if you give a gift you want something, either consciously or unconsciously. But I think expressing gratitude or marking significant occasions is human and shows a connection - and isn't that what therapy is suppose to be leading to?

And I think the opportunity for a therapist to model acceptance, grace, humility and appreciation is lost with a harsh stance. I'm also a firm believer that if you have such policies, these should be disclosed to the client up front - kind of a "rules" page. To not do so is cruel and calls out the power differential - the therapist has control of when you see them, how long you see them, whether you get to give them something, if you can eat or not in their office, and on and on. I'm fine with all that, as long as both parties know what the expectations are. Otherwise, it is like one person waiting to catch the other doing something wrong and then interpreting it as a boundary issue.

All that said, I give my therapist small gifts at the Holiday and to mark special occasions. I try to find things that mean something about the work we've done together. Most recently I gave him a tiny gold rocking chair. :)




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