Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 364844

Shown: posts 1 to 5 of 5. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

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 him...no 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!

 

Re: Situation with former Therapist (very long sorry) tryingtobewise

Posted by Dinah on July 10, 2004, at 22:01:17

In reply to Situation with former Therapist (very long sorry), posted by tryingtobewise on July 10, 2004, at 20:48:45

Goodness gracious. Those *are* very poor boundaries!!! To say the least.

Would concentrating on any of those things help you feel less attached? I guess that's the reason for the duel relationship rules. It's really hard to see them as just a boss once they've had the power a therapist has.

 

Re: Situation with former Therapist (very long sorry)

Posted by tryingtobewise on July 10, 2004, at 23:37:16

In reply to Re: Situation with former Therapist (very long sorry) tryingtobewise, posted by Dinah on July 10, 2004, at 22:01:17

Dinah - thank you so much for your response! Yes, it does help when I focus on the the less ethical things he does. It is just a very weird thing. Sometimes I think I'm ok with it and other times it just feels bad...like I'm kind of trapped even though I know I'm not.

I did recently begin therapy with my psych MD, she presents a very calm front but she did look very surprised and displeased when I described (in a lot less detail than above) my work situation. In a way that made me feel better... to know that another professional thought it was a bad deal.

Thanks again for replying.
Kim


Goodness gracious. Those *are* very poor boundaries!!! To say the least.
>
> Would concentrating on any of those things help you feel less attached? I guess that's the reason for the duel relationship rules. It's really hard to see them as just a boss once they've had the power a therapist has.
>
>
>
>

 

Re: Situation with former Therapist (very long sorry)

Posted by steelmagnolia25 on July 13, 2004, at 6:59:30

In reply to Re: Situation with former Therapist (very long sorry), posted by tryingtobewise on July 10, 2004, at 23:37:16

I'm so sorry that I can't offer you some advice. I think I would also be very conflicted if I were in your shoes. I do wonder what your husband/family thinks about all this. I only ask because if your DH didn't like the situation, then perhaps focusing on that aspect would help you break free.

One thing I remember someone telling me is that after a certain time period the therapy relationship is considered officially terminated even if it's the result of the patient quitting. I don't remember the timeframe, but I think maybe it's defined as 1 month w/o therapy. So if that's true, at least it would seem that you were no longer his "patient" when you began working for him. I'm *not* saying that it was ethical for him to hire you so soon, but that part of your post just struck me and I wanted to share that information.

 

Re: Situation with former Therapist (very long sorry)

Posted by tryingtobewise on July 16, 2004, at 1:08:08

In reply to Re: Situation with former Therapist (very long sorry), posted by steelmagnolia25 on July 13, 2004, at 6:59:30

SteelMagnolia - thank you for your post. My dh does not understand my conflict -- not that he wouldn't support my leaving the job, but he does not "get" the way I feel. I'm still trying to sort this out.

Thanks again!

I'm so sorry that I can't offer you some advice. I think I would also be very conflicted if I were in your shoes. I do wonder what your husband/family thinks about all this. I only ask because if your DH didn't like the situation, then perhaps focusing on that aspect would help you break free.
>
> One thing I remember someone telling me is that after a certain time period the therapy relationship is considered officially terminated even if it's the result of the patient quitting. I don't remember the timeframe, but I think maybe it's defined as 1 month w/o therapy. So if that's true, at least it would seem that you were no longer his "patient" when you began working for him. I'm *not* saying that it was ethical for him to hire you so soon, but that part of your post just struck me and I wanted to share that information.


This is the end of the thread.


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.