Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 309240

Shown: posts 1 to 19 of 19. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!

Posted by KindGirl on February 4, 2004, at 9:24:07

I am new here but really liked what I read. You guys are really cool and open and honest.
I have read about male-female attraction in therapy but not much on female-female attraction. I am married, with kids...and am struggling because I find myself daydreaming about my therapist...sometimes I fantasize about her....and it scares me.

I don't think I could ever talk to her about this...way too scary!!!!! Can anyone help...does anyone relate?

She has said that longings for her are normal...as in when I tell her I miss her between sessions, but I am scared THESE longings are not. HELP!!!!

 

Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!! KindGirl

Posted by Penny on February 4, 2004, at 9:41:16

In reply to ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!, posted by KindGirl on February 4, 2004, at 9:24:07

I'll start by giving the standard book recommendation - if you haven't seen it already - "In Session" - and it talks about all sorts of therapy relationships.

Second, let me say that YOU ARE NOT ALONE as you've probably figured out by looking at this site. I, personally, haven't been attracted to my same-sex therapist, but there are others here who have who I'm sure can shed some light on the subject. Just know that it is normal for you to be thinking/feeling this way!

And welcome!

P

 

Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!

Posted by Asya on February 4, 2004, at 12:40:28

In reply to Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!! KindGirl, posted by Penny on February 4, 2004, at 9:41:16

Please, please, please don't feel weird or ashamed of this. I am a young woman (age 28) and I have a female therapist who is in her 40s. I am in a relationship with a great guy. I know she is married. Yet, I fantasize about her a lot. Not in an overtly sexual sense but definitely about her holding me, hugging me, etc. I do find her attractive too. There are all sorts of "crushes" people can have and I think women becoming attracted to and infatuated with other women is not an unusual phenomenon. I've come to the conclusion for myself that this happens for me with older women because I crave the maternal affection I never got from my own mother. So, perhaps you have some reason you can point to. And even if not, realize this happens to women all the time, perhaps not just with their therapists, but female bosses, professors, friends, etc. That said, I also think you are in the best position to assess whether telling your T about this would be productive for YOU. I know for me, I could never tell my T because the embarassment and loss of face that would result would probably damage the trust that has been built up and then the relationship would be less useful to me. Also, I have reflected on it enough to understand that it is a part of life and that nothing will ever come of it in real life. I hope this makes some sense.

 

Re: I ask myself... KindGirl

Posted by 64Bowtie on February 4, 2004, at 13:36:02

In reply to ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!, posted by KindGirl on February 4, 2004, at 9:24:07

KG,

I ask myself if continueing is scarier, or if changing and having to start all over again is worse. Comfort seeking can be illusionary. I focus on why and what I am doing in any endeavor. I now seem to get more done when not seeking comfort.

I have found that therapists "worth-their-salt" do good boundary management. Bad therapists, who still need alot of work themselves, can re-enact the enmeshment of their childhood.

Enmeshment is total "fuzzy" boundaries, where you don't know where you end and the other person begins. Co-dependency is earmarked by enmeshment. They can screw-up clients in many and new ways, adding more layers to client issues and problems, further extending therapy needs.

Early in my teenage working life, I was trained by a boss with "Shop-Keeper" sayings, like "First, get the money!" Another that has echoed at my moments of weakness, "Don't 'date' the help!" Meaning for me in this latter day that I should keep my cotton-picking hands off co-workers and the (clients) customers. I can hear his words, "Nothing sadder than seeing a guy wasting my (company) time following a customer around, with a "bulge" in his pants!"

Truly, your same sex therapist doesn't sound inclined to get a "bulge" for clients. I am only contrasting a bad therapist in hopes you can look for and find the true goodness in your therapist.

I didn't talk about myself as entertainment or self-deprecation. I said what works for me.

Rod

 

Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!

Posted by alexandra_k on February 4, 2004, at 18:58:01

In reply to ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!, posted by KindGirl on February 4, 2004, at 9:24:07

Hi there. I get transference stuff most strongly for male T's / p-docs etc, but have become fairly strongly attached to a female T that I had once.

I have realised that what I most want / fantasise about it curling up on their lap, crying my eyes out, and being held. With guys that gets confused with sex first..

I am not sure whether this helps or not, but I did feel really confused about my feelings for my female T for quite a while. I managed to kind of work it out by myself though, so didn't need to discuss it. If it is really disturbing and / or confusing to you then it might be best to bring it up with her - it is her job to help you work through stuff like this. Writing it down is probably the easiest way to get the ball rolling on this.. Otherwise, it might resolve itself in time.

 

Re: I ask myself...

Posted by Racer on February 4, 2004, at 20:21:32

In reply to Re: I ask myself... KindGirl, posted by 64Bowtie on February 4, 2004, at 13:36:02

As a heterosexual woman, who has had fantasies about other women and male pdocs, I've found the following to be true for me:

1. Fantasizing about other women is perfectly acceptable. Even if you act on them, it's still not a punishable offense, unless you decide for yourself it is. (Mind you, as a married woman, acting on any sexual fantasy would not be the best decision I've ever made.)

2. Acting out fantasies is usually disappointing, anyway. Sometimes the fantasy itself is much better than the experience would be. (Or at least so I tell myself after every visit to Dr EyeCandy...)

3. Exploring your attraction can often be very relevatory. I've found that the women in my life I've been attracted to, usually not people in my life, but movie stars, etc all have one thing in common: they represent what I want to BE, not what I want to sleep with.

4. Most of my other fantasies are about perceived protectors, parent figures. In a sense, your therapist is supposed to be a surrogate parent, so feelings of attraction are kinda what I'd expect from most patients. I know that half my fantasies about Dr EyeCandy are coming from the "I want him to put his arms around me and protect me from myself and the rest of the world." In other words, I don't feel capable of protecting myself, so I look to the outside to find that sense of security.

My guess, for myself, is that if the therapy (not with Dr EC, he's just the pdoc) works, my attraction towards him will diminish as I start to feel strong enough and capable enough to protect myself. (Won't go away, though: he really is what my old boss would call a "slurp" -- from an episode of Ally McBeal, where she imagines her tongue growing out of her mouth and slurping a guy's face.)

Also, with my life as it is right now, having a focus for fantasies isn't such a bad thing for me right now. Actual, conrete reality is limiting my ability to act on some of my ambitions, even on those days when I have the motivation. My options ar pretty well limited to reading, fretting, and fantasizing. So, I've given myself permission to fantasize rather than fret.

What's that? Oh, yeah, I do tend to fantasize about a lot of different men. Kinda like men are alleged to do, almost every man I see, I'll at least give a cursory thought to. And, based on my experience, I don't think the reality with Dr EC would come anywhere near as good as the fantasies are, so I've got incentive never to try to find out. (In other words, thoughts don't count, actions do.)

 

Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!! KindGirl

Posted by Crooked Heart on February 5, 2004, at 6:39:27

In reply to ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!, posted by KindGirl on February 4, 2004, at 9:24:07

Hi KindGirl

So join the club! Everything that Asya and Alexandra K have said rings a bell. I think I'd go more for Alexandra's approach about talking it over with one's therapist, although of course Asya's right about knowing what's best for oneself.

I found the intense feelings for my therapist very scary and it was wonderful to realise that it actually seems to happen a lot. What Asya and Rigby said, better than I can, about lack of maternal affection and the greater the lack the greater the intensity of attachment to your therapist just feels so true.

Reading what so many other people have posted about this, I wonder if it isn't in one way easier to deal with if the attraction is overtly sexual, whether same-sex or not. Because then there would be (or should be) a big NO, and you would grieve, maybe very painfully, and that would be resolved. But do we ever stop wanting mother-love (parent-love)?

Anyway, as recommended by Penny, "In session" is brilliant"". (Hope I've got the double quotes right, this time!)

 

I'm glad you're here Racer

Posted by 64Bowtie on February 5, 2004, at 11:28:24

In reply to Re: I ask myself..., posted by Racer on February 4, 2004, at 20:21:32

>>>So, I've given myself permission....... to fantasize rather than fret.
>

<<<I enjoy hearing wisdom, and exercizing of options. There was alot more in your post. That part just zinged me the mostest. Please, let us hear more.....

Rod

 

Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!! KindGirl

Posted by lookdownfish on February 5, 2004, at 13:57:45

In reply to ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!, posted by KindGirl on February 4, 2004, at 9:24:07

I am female and married with children. And I am very attracted to my female therapist. I think it's fairly normal and nothing to be afraid of. I do recommend speaking with your T about it though, however embarrassing it might be. It's a great weight off your mind, and together you can explore what it means and it will really help with your therapy. I agree with the idea that it is evidence of some basic needs not being met, some feelings from childhood resonating in the here and now.

 

You don't know... 64Bowtie

Posted by Racer on February 5, 2004, at 15:02:52

In reply to I'm glad you're here Racer, posted by 64Bowtie on February 5, 2004, at 11:28:24

You don't know how good that is to hear today. Today, my therapist told me that she's going to be dropping all her clients. Today, I'm torn up inside over problems in my marriage, in my home, in my psyche. Today is Not A Good Day.

But you just made it a whole lot better than it was.

Thank you. I'm glad you're here, too.

 

Re: You don't know... Racer

Posted by Penny on February 5, 2004, at 15:34:06

In reply to You don't know... 64Bowtie, posted by Racer on February 5, 2004, at 15:02:52

> You don't know how good that is to hear today. Today, my therapist told me that she's going to be dropping all her clients. Today, I'm torn up inside over problems in my marriage, in my home, in my psyche. Today is Not A Good Day.

(((Racer)))

I'm sorry that things are rough for you right now - more you'd like to share with us?

You are a wonderful support for the folks on this board - can we help you too?

Take care of yourself, and keep posting.

P

 

Re: You don't know... Racer

Posted by Dinah on February 5, 2004, at 17:14:51

In reply to You don't know... 64Bowtie, posted by Racer on February 5, 2004, at 15:02:52

Wow. She'll be dropping all her clients? Didn't you say you started with her fairly recently? If so, she shouldn't have been taking on new clients. :( Or maybe I'm just confused.

I'm sorry you're having a not very good day.

 

Thanks everyone

Posted by Kind Girl on February 5, 2004, at 19:50:26

In reply to Re: I ask myself..., posted by Racer on February 4, 2004, at 20:21:32

Hey you guys...I wrote a really long reply and then lost it somehow!!! But I want to say thanks for everyone opening up and sharing....I did order that book In Session online today so I am looking forward to reading that asap.

Everyone here has shared great wisdom....it comforts me to know I am not alone.

I have a horrible mother who was very abusive to me from the time I was an infant and I have a lot of baby stuff I am working on....I am sure the longings and crying for her are all tied into that somehow.

I also think that the urges and instinctual things we feel involuntarily can get all mixed up....like "am I feeling sexual or do I just want to nurse from my mommy I never had?"....those are the kinds of questions I ask....and since the urge and desire is so HUGE and so involuntary...WHAM! I go to sex right away in my mind...afterall, what do I call adult feelings of desire that are involuntary?....

Anyway, thanks so much to all who shared...you really helped.

 

Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!

Posted by terrics on February 6, 2004, at 20:00:27

In reply to Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!! KindGirl, posted by lookdownfish on February 5, 2004, at 13:57:45

I'm sort of glad this post came up. I am very attracted to my T. [female] and I am female. She knows, and has said she is very hetero, but she has also said she loves me. I am married, but have never really been attracted to a male, which gives me a real dilemma. I think life would be so much easier for me if I had a female-female relationship. I would not know where to start. terrics [ps T. is 11 yrs older then me.]

 

Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!

Posted by KindGirl on February 6, 2004, at 21:29:09

In reply to Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!, posted by terrics on February 6, 2004, at 20:00:27

Terrics...you said you are not attracted to males but are married. That must be so hard.:( Good for you for talking about it!

One of the things I struggle with is crying at night....I have always cried at night...it is pretty pathetic and sad...I have always cried myself to sleep from the time I can remember....ANYWAY!!!!....I was talking with my T. about this...how I think I am crying for her at night....like that baby in the crib crying for her mommy, and I have to tell myself, "No, she is not coming so quit crying."

But I am usually too distraught by this time and it doesn't work. Told T. about it....she said if I could I should picture her there with me, holding me, holding that baby. I try it and it sometimes works, but this is what I told her...I could ask my husband to hold me when I am crying like this...she thought that was a great idea and was going to suggest it herself and then I realized that is just isn't the same thing as being held by a woman.

I don't want my husband to hold me when I am like that!!!! I want my T. to hold me...she is around 14 years older than me and I wish she really was my mom and it just isn't the same. Does anyone understand this? Am I making any sense?

I think the attraction for a man is going to be different than the attraction for a woman...at least for me it is. I want the nurture and soft hugs and sweet smells of a woman...crying on her soft chest. There is nothing like it. I am fortunate that my t. has been very loving and wants to hold me if that is what I want. It scared the s&*t out of me to finally get up the nerve to ask, but I am so glad I did. She holds me every week now. Does anyone else have t.s that do this? It has really helped me though I know some people are opposed to t.'s doing this. I am glad she does. Whatever! I am getting off on a tangent!!

 

Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!

Posted by terrics on February 7, 2004, at 11:19:20

In reply to Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!, posted by KindGirl on February 6, 2004, at 21:29:09

Well, I find it interesting that your T. holds you. If you feel it doesn't interfere with therapy or won't cause problems in the future I guess it could be o.k. My T. wuold more than likely say yes to holding, but like you said women are warm and soft etc. [loving, gentle]. I am afraid it would become sexual for me and I would want more. p.s. my husband is a nice guy.

 

Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!

Posted by KindGirl on February 7, 2004, at 12:56:22

In reply to Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!, posted by terrics on February 7, 2004, at 11:19:20

I knew I wanted her to hold me for about a year but I didn't think it was appropriate for me to ask. I was scared to death to come off as gay or weird so I never asked....at least not until a year later.

She told me that we needed to do whatever was needed to help that little baby inside...what did the baby want? what did the baby need? And I said I think the baby wants to be held....YIKES!!!!! That was pretty hard to say.
I felt like I was on a date with a guy and I was at the door and I had that feeling like "Is he going to kiss me or not?"....that horrible feeling....and it was very awkward for me the first time she held me. I was afraid it would make me feel the same way you said you were afraid it would, but it hasn't...thank God.

It has made it easier for me to see her as more of a mother type than a lover actually. Before, the desires were out of control and confusing for me....now I see her holding me and it feels more open and innocent...but yeah, it is pretty risky. Best luck to all of you! thanks for sharing with me.

 

Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!! KindGirl

Posted by Pfinstegg on February 7, 2004, at 16:46:35

In reply to Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!, posted by KindGirl on February 7, 2004, at 12:56:22

I think it's wonderful that people here are talking about the different forms their transference feelings, needs and longings take. You did take a huge risk, and it worked! That's what counts. What people have written here- including you- have helped me realize in a much deeper way how each therapist-client pair gradually work out what will be most helpful. Your therapist may have gradually come to the conviction that this was the right thing for you, whereas she might come to the opposite conclusion about another client. My analyst recently remarked that each relationship he has with his patients is different- sort of a co-creation which can't be duplicated. He said, "you can never step in the same river twice, even with the same patient."

Pfinstegg

 

Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!!

Posted by KindGirl on February 7, 2004, at 20:35:59

In reply to Re: ?tion to same-sex therapist...HELP!!! KindGirl, posted by Pfinstegg on February 7, 2004, at 16:46:35

Thanks Pf....I like what your t. said about going through the same river....that helps me because I often think that my t. holds all of her clients like she holds me, I am not special...she must clump me together with all of her clients, like a teacher in front of a class.

My t. says the same thing....each relationship is different and separate, and she often tells me to try to think of just her and me and only us. My t. is pretty well known in my area, has a waiting list (I didn't know how "famous" she was until after I made my first appt with her and did some research on her).....and so I often pressure myself to "hurry up and get better because there are a lot of people waiting to get in".....and she tells me that I can stay as long as I want.

Yeah it is interesting and helpful to hear of others' experiences, and it is my impression that everyone here so far has pretty awesome therapists. I shy away from these types of forums because they have discouraged me in the past. :( I often hear of others' therapy experiences and they don't sound remotely like mine. Here, I feel like I fit. Thanks for making me feel welcome!!!


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