Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 565861

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Re: Need advice about friendship with former therapist orchid

Posted by orchid on October 12, 2005, at 13:33:19

In reply to Re: Need advice about friendship with former therapist Blossom, posted by orchid on October 12, 2005, at 13:21:37

But I had another thought.

How would you feel though, in case your T stops all contact abruptly with you? For some consideration like ethical issues etc? I think that will be devastating for you?

I think maybe atleast being aware of the possibility that he might end all contact with you suddenly one day might help. Even if he says he won't do it now, you never know what is up in the air. And if he would change his mind. I don't think there can be an completely open and honest friendship given the fact that he holds an upper hand in the relationship. Also there will always be concerns like "Can I tell this to him?", "Oh, what about this", and you would likely take each of his statements quite personal.

So in view of all that, real friendship may never be possible. But limited social contact and mild friendship would definitely be possible - but don't over do it.

 

Re: Burned all right.

Posted by Blossom on October 12, 2005, at 19:50:28

In reply to Burned all right. Blossom, posted by muffled on October 12, 2005, at 12:26:13


> ***Isn't therapy usually 2 sided?
>
Okay, what I mean here is, I share about myself, he shares a bunch of personal stuff about himself too. Not the usual therapy stuff. More like you do in a friendship.

> He even admitted that he had told me at least twice as much personal information about himself as any other client, and he said at one point "yeah, I guess we have become friends."
>
> ***'Yeah, I guess'......that doesn't sound very enthusiastic
>
I guess under the circumstances (considering how he does NOT become friends with his clients), I took it as a reluctant admission.

> He also made some remarks that led me to suspect that he had some erotic feelings for me, though he never made any direct admission of that.
>
> ***WHOAH!!! RED light. STOP now. Gaaack. Not good.So, so, bad, bad, bad. Career destroying. Marriage destroying. Life destroying.
>

Right. But we all know how therapists sometimes have countertransference. I posted on this subject some months ago. At first, it really freaked me out when I realized it, but I don't think that he intended me to know how he felt, and I became comfortable believing that he did not intend to act on those feelings. Anyway, as I said, I have absolutely NO intentions of that kind of relationship.


> When I finally terminated, I grieved horribly for him. It was just terrible. It was like he had died.
>
> ***Alarm bells. Way too attached. Not good, not good.
>
>
You're right. I completely agree. After that, I vowed that the only thing that would get me back into therapy with anyone would be a risk to my very life. Yeah, everyone grieves to some extent when they terminate, don't they? But I think that it was worse for me because there was already a very clear boundary crossing. So instead of losing a therapist that I clearly didn't need anymore, I was losing someone with whom I had formed a different kind of bond.

> I kinda wonder why he allows this after he's reiterated that he doesn't do things this way.
>
> ***YOU initiated it, not him. He's human. He's having a weak moment. You are pushing some buttons for him that he likes.
>
Wait a minute, here! That's akin to saying that a woman is at fault for being raped because she's flirtateous. I may keep in contact with him, BUT, let me reiterate that HE started it back in therapy. He's the one who crossed the boundary. And, yes, I may unintentionally push his buttons with my charming self (whatever ;) but HE is the therapist here. He's the one who's supposed to keep this from happening if it's not supposed to. I'm responsible for my own integrity and to some extent, my own protection. But for me, this is not a matter of integrity, since it's not a romantic relationship. He's responsible for his personal AND professional integrity. Thus, my wonderings about the relationship. Why does he allow it if it's not okay? I need to know.

>
> Maybe I should ask? But then I'm afraid that he'll terminate the friendship.
>
> ***YES, yes, yes. Listen to yourself!!! You keep answering your own questions, you just don't like the answers and don't want to hear them.
>
>
Maybe I don't like the answers, or maybe I'm just wondering. I feel like I'm emotionally healthy enough to do the right thing, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

Blossom

 

Re: Need advice about friendship with former therapist

Posted by Blossom on October 12, 2005, at 20:05:11

In reply to Re: Need advice about friendship with former therapist orchid, posted by orchid on October 12, 2005, at 13:33:19

Hi orchid,

> How would you feel though, in case your T stops all contact abruptly with you? For some consideration like ethical issues etc? I think that will be devastating for you?

At this point, I don't think this would be nearly as devastating as it would have been six months ago, as long as he does it properly and explains his reasons.

Right now, I email him from time to time, and he only answers about half the time. I don't take it personally. It's just the way things are. I actually learned that back in therapy with him too. Sometimes, he'd come in and be kinda grumpy, and I'd find out that there was something else going on, and it had nothing to do with me. I think that getting to the point where I could see things that way was part of the emotional healing process for me.

>
> So in view of all that, real friendship may never be possible. But limited social contact and mild friendship would definitely be possible - but don't over do it.

Yeah, maybe. It is definitely not your normal friendship, because there are all these rules and expectations, and prior history involved.

Blossom

 

For muffled.

Posted by Blossom on October 12, 2005, at 20:07:43

In reply to Burned all right. Blossom, posted by muffled on October 12, 2005, at 12:26:13

Hi again, muffled.

I'm just curious. You obviously have pretty strong views on this subject. Forgive me for my ignorance if this is common knowledge here, but I'm wondering where you are coming from. Are you a therapist, a client who has gone through something like this, or known someone who has or just someone with common sense : ) ?

Blossom

 

Re: For muffled. Blossom

Posted by muffled on October 12, 2005, at 20:26:41

In reply to For muffled., posted by Blossom on October 12, 2005, at 20:07:43

> Hi again, muffled.
>
> I'm just curious. You obviously have pretty strong views on this subject. Forgive me for my ignorance if this is common knowledge here, but I'm wondering where you are coming from. Are you a therapist, a client who has gone through something like this, or known someone who has or just someone with common sense : ) ?
>
> Blossom

I'm all mixed up right now. Things are going good and I'm not used to that. It seems that when things go good thats when I get slammed somehow.
Mebbe your post resonated w/me somehow. It sure pushed my buttons somehow.
I still think I'm right however. I also don't think I'm responsible for my friends behavior, but if I think somethings not right I'm gonna call it. I just got scared that you are so setting yourself up for a great big fall. There are so many negatives and very few positives. he may be older, he may be a T., but he's also a man. Just a guy. He can screw up like everyone else.You don't need him, he don't need you. Its all just so ripe for trouble. Thats my exalted opinion. I am a completely uneducated idiot who's f*cked up most of her life.I've made many choices in my life. Most of them bad. Thats my credentials. So obviously, what I say don't really mean much. You take what you want and leave the rest, or just pitch it all in the dumpster.
By the way, you seem quite pleasant Blossom.
Muffled

 

Re: For muffled.

Posted by Blossom on October 12, 2005, at 20:49:37

In reply to Re: For muffled. Blossom, posted by muffled on October 12, 2005, at 20:26:41

Well, life experience is definitely worth something, and if I wasn't the least bit concerned, I wouldn't have brought it up in the first place, right? Obviously, some things haven't gone right, since he had already majorly crossed boundaries before we terminated, which is worrisome. So I will definitely consider your advice.

Thanks!

Blossom

 

Re: For muffled. Blossom

Posted by Susan47 on October 12, 2005, at 22:23:48

In reply to Re: For muffled., posted by Blossom on October 12, 2005, at 20:49:37

What boundaries had he crosssed before you terminated?

 

Re: For muffled.

Posted by Susan47 on October 12, 2005, at 22:29:39

In reply to Re: For muffled. Blossom, posted by muffled on October 12, 2005, at 20:26:41


You said, "I am a completely uneducated idiot who's f*cked up most of her life.I've made many choices in my life. Most of them bad."

Just to be clear, hon', an education doesn't make a person un-f*cked-up! And being uneducated doesn't automatically make a person f*cked up either.
I liked the way you broke up what Blossom said, and provoked thought instead of blind acceptance of what she had to say.
Because really, you have excellent, valid points. You do. And what you say does mean much, it means a great deal, because it comes from your life, what you personally have lived and have to share with everybody, and I hope you just keep sharing, because that's how we all help each other .. and sometimes not, we can't always be there the right way and that's just a fact of life (which I hate, BTW)!

 

Re: Need advice about friendship with former thera Blossom

Posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 0:20:55

In reply to Re: Need advice about friendship with former thera, posted by Blossom on October 12, 2005, at 9:19:28


> Considering the fact that his wife and I work in the same building, it would be extremely unwise of me to even consider anything more than a casual friendship. She could come downstairs and strangle me ; )

Not only that, but she could make your life a living h*ll as a student! Not that she would, but she could.

fw

 

Re: For muffled. (and Blossom) muffled

Posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 0:31:55

In reply to Re: For muffled. Blossom, posted by muffled on October 12, 2005, at 20:26:41

Hi muffled,

I think you're basing what you said on everything we know to be what's supposed to be true, from the experience of ppl on the board, from reading "In Session; ", and from every lick of information out there on the web on transference and countertransference. It's okay to state your opinion, when it's strong or not, you have good stuff to say, please don't quit.

((((hugs))))
fw

Blossom,

Maybe for your ex T developed some countertransference, and maybe because you're a student in the psych dept. he feels like a mentor somewhat, maybe more, it's been known to happen. Who knows, I think Tamar is right, facing it head on is probably the best way to go, but maybe wait till you're done with your studies, so it doesn't devastate you if something goes wrong, or if his wife gets wind of it?


 

Re: For muffled.

Posted by Blossom on October 13, 2005, at 8:44:45

In reply to Re: For muffled. Blossom, posted by Susan47 on October 12, 2005, at 22:23:48

Welll....I would consider the fact that our sessions had degenerated into conversations with mutual sharing of both parties to be a boundary crossing, wouldn't you?

I think that a different kind of relationship forms when the therapist trusts his client with personal information about his own life, and current struggles and trials. That's what has happened.

Blossom

 

Re: For muffled. (and Blossom) fairywings

Posted by Blossom on October 13, 2005, at 8:54:43

In reply to Re: For muffled. (and Blossom) muffled, posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 0:31:55

> Maybe for your ex T developed some countertransference, and maybe because you're a student in the psych dept. he feels like a mentor somewhat, maybe more, it's been known to happen. Who knows, I think Tamar is right, facing it head on is probably the best way to go, but maybe wait till you're done with your studies, so it doesn't devastate you if something goes wrong, or if his wife gets wind of it?
>
>
I'm not sure. I definitely think there's some kind of countertransference here, but while I'm in the psychology department, my field is not clinical. It's actually probably the farthest removed from clinical that you can get (Behavioral Neuroscience). He has told me that he really doesn't know that much about that field, but perhaps because I know more about psych than many people, it makes me easier to talk to, and I might seem sort of intelligent that way ;).

The problem with waiting until my studies are done is that I'll probably be here another three years! A lot could happen in that amount of time.

Blossom

 

Thanks Susan47

Posted by muffled on October 13, 2005, at 11:25:10

In reply to Re: For muffled., posted by Susan47 on October 12, 2005, at 22:29:39

>
> You said, "I am a completely uneducated idiot who's f*cked up most of her life.I've made many choices in my life. Most of them bad."
>
> Just to be clear, hon', an education doesn't make a person un-f*cked-up! And being uneducated doesn't automatically make a person f*cked up either.
> I liked the way you broke up what Blossom said, and provoked thought instead of blind acceptance of what she had to say.
> Because really, you have excellent, valid points. You do. And what you say does mean much, it means a great deal, because it comes from your life, what you personally have lived and have to share with everybody, and I hope you just keep sharing, because that's how we all help each other .. and sometimes not, we can't always be there the right way and that's just a fact of life (which I hate, BTW)!

Thanks susan that was nice what you said. I heard it. Thanks.
Muffled.

 

Re: For muffled. (and Blossom) fairywings

Posted by muffled on October 13, 2005, at 11:28:31

In reply to Re: For muffled. (and Blossom) muffled, posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 0:31:55

> Hi muffled,
>
> I think you're basing what you said on everything we know to be what's supposed to be true, from the experience of ppl on the board, from reading "In Session; ", and from every lick of information out there on the web on transference and countertransference. It's okay to state your opinion, when it's strong or not, you have good stuff to say, please don't quit.
>
> ((((hugs))))
> fw
>
> Blossom,
>
> Maybe for your ex T developed some countertransference, and maybe because you're a student in the psych dept. he feels like a mentor somewhat, maybe more, it's been known to happen. Who knows, I think Tamar is right, facing it head on is probably the best way to go, but maybe wait till you're done with your studies, so it doesn't devastate you if something goes wrong, or if his wife gets wind of it?
>
> Thanks FW. I sometimes get alittle uppity. I don't know much. But this board is sure cool. And the people beautiful.
Muffled.
>

 

Re: For muffled. Blossom

Posted by Susan47 on October 13, 2005, at 21:10:27

In reply to Re: For muffled., posted by Blossom on October 13, 2005, at 8:44:45

Definitely. And if he or his missus ever tried to make things tough for you, you could use that information. I'm wondering if he's admitted his boundary crossings to himself, yet. And if he's pussyfooting with you because he knows you could use that against him, should he make you angry.

 

How are you doing Muffled?

Posted by happyflower on October 14, 2005, at 21:59:54

In reply to Re: For muffled. Blossom, posted by Susan47 on October 13, 2005, at 21:10:27

Just thinking about you and wondering what you are thinking about all of this. :)

 

I's sorry I meant Blossom, how are you? (nm)

Posted by happyflower on October 14, 2005, at 22:10:28

In reply to How are you doing Muffled?, posted by happyflower on October 14, 2005, at 21:59:54

 

Re: I's sorry I meant Blossom, how are you?

Posted by Blossom on October 15, 2005, at 20:14:55

In reply to I's sorry I meant Blossom, how are you? (nm), posted by happyflower on October 14, 2005, at 22:10:28

Hi Happyflower,

Nice of you to wonder about me. Actually, I'm still not quite sure what to think. Here's the latest: I went to see my doctor at the clinic on Friday, and popped my head in to my ex-T's office on the way in. He was there and we chatted for a minute. Then he was saying, "We may need to do some more work..."

I was thinking, "What on earth? You should know that that should not happen." I didn't have much time to talk, but later in the day, when I was feeling bold and frisky, I sent him an email basically saying I think you and I both know that you're NEVER going to get me back "on the couch" and that I don't need therapy anymore, and that, even though I don't think he'll ever admit it, he's saying that just because he enjoys my company.

How's that for boldness?

So either he'll get really mad at me, or he'll get the point. Maybe both. If so, oh well. Or maybe he's so oblivious, that he won't see what I'm trying to say, cause I was kind of being a tease about it to try to keep things light.

It'll be interesting to see how/if he responds to that.

Blossom

 

I say, Good for You, Blossom Blossom

Posted by Susan47 on October 15, 2005, at 20:38:17

In reply to Re: I's sorry I meant Blossom, how are you?, posted by Blossom on October 15, 2005, at 20:14:55

My last post was meant for you too, Blossom, not Muffled, and I'm glad you told us 'cause I was wondering also. Keep it light, and he'll have to as well. Unless he wants to disclose.. which probably shouldn't happen. If there IS something to disclose. What the hell, let's be honest. There's ALWAYS something to disclose, if you want to. Because there's Always stuff happening, no matter who the people are, and there's always stuff you don't know the other person's thinking.
My guy was a non-disclosure man. I think. I'm not sure. I'm not sure of anything when it comes to Him. Ha-ha. He was a Mystery. And I miss him, but if I close my eyes, and I meditate on it, I can see him so clearly, I can see his incredible smile. I love him, I loved him, and I hope I'll always love him, and I hope nothing bad ever happens to him.
'Cause he is/was really, very special to me.
So how's about this guy, it doesn't sound like you feel that way about your ex-T.
Ex. Therapist.

 

It will interesting! Blossom

Posted by happyflower on October 15, 2005, at 20:47:13

In reply to Re: I's sorry I meant Blossom, how are you?, posted by Blossom on October 15, 2005, at 20:14:55

I think it will be so interesting how he responds to your post. I am glad you are standing so strong! :)

Do you think he is wanting to you to get back into therapy because of something you might have said to him after therapy? Or do you think he just wants to see you? Kinda weird thing for him to say. Normally is should have come from you that you thought you needed more therapy, not him especailly after termination. Please let us know what happens. :) Babble me anytime! Stay strong!

 

Re: It will interesting!

Posted by Susan47 on October 16, 2005, at 12:55:19

In reply to It will interesting! Blossom, posted by happyflower on October 15, 2005, at 20:47:13

I'm wondering if he's playing Therapist, the little stool these people stand on sometimes, so to speak, they get behind their little mental podiums and go, "Ah, I see, and now you shall also See, and I will show you, my dear" ... not realizing that maybe you're not in the audience, anymore.

 

Re: It will interesting!

Posted by Blossom on October 16, 2005, at 13:58:28

In reply to Re: It will interesting!, posted by Susan47 on October 16, 2005, at 12:55:19

> I'm wondering if he's playing Therapist, the little stool these people stand on sometimes, so to speak, they get behind their little mental podiums and go, "Ah, I see, and now you shall also See, and I will show you, my dear" ... not realizing that maybe you're not in the audience, anymore.


(laughing) I think you're right. He's so arrogant! I feel like maybe partly it's his way of keeping the upper hand in the relationship, because in many ways, the playing field has been leveled.

You'd think the way I talk about him that there would be no question about what I should do about him, but the truth is, I just LOVE pushing his buttons. It's so much fun. How can I stop? ; )

Blossom

 

Don't stop! I love it too!!! (nm) Blossom

Posted by crazy teresa on October 16, 2005, at 14:30:23

In reply to Re: It will interesting!, posted by Blossom on October 16, 2005, at 13:58:28

 

Re: Need advice about friendship with former therapist Blossom

Posted by terrics on October 17, 2005, at 10:07:38

In reply to Need advice about friendship with former therapist, posted by Blossom on October 11, 2005, at 21:51:58

Hi, Sounds ok to me. Especially if romance is not involved. I think though that going to the clinic might not be such a good idea. The coffee shop sounds like a good place to chat with him.
I am friends with my former therapist but we are both female. We go shopping, out to dinner and talk on the phone. She said that she could not be my therapist because we were too friendly and suggested another therapist. At first I thought that she dumped me, but she didn't. terrics

 

Re: Need advice about friendship with former therapist terrics

Posted by Susan47 on October 17, 2005, at 18:47:58

In reply to Re: Need advice about friendship with former therapist Blossom, posted by terrics on October 17, 2005, at 10:07:38

That is so nice. Is she a good friend or just someone you do stuff with? Because I have both, and I can't just describe someone as a friend anymore without going, oh hold on, maybe that's just a light friend, not a deep one. I don't shop with my deeper friends, I do other stuff, like garden together, make dinner together, jump on her trampoline and laugh and play like crazy, and we have very very deep talks. But there's a ton of stuff I don't do with her, either, but with other friends, but they're not at all like she is, she's my deepest best buddy who would be there for me as much as she could, always, but it took years and years to get to that stage.


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