Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 790537

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Allowed to HUG my Therapist????

Posted by moonlightsonata on October 21, 2007, at 19:33:18

I've been in therapy with a wonderful psychiatrist who has helped me tremendously, and I dread having to leave her when I move away in a few months. She is the second therapist I've had, and I came to her when my relationship with my former therapist fell "fell apart," I mean that a lot of boundaries were crossed, and the first therapist finally realized we couldn't continue. In the final months of that therapy, she started talking me into going with her to meet a faith healer, who she believed would cure me of an illness (I was seeing her to help with feelings of depression surrounding this chronic illness). She was this prim, proper, incredibly intelligent, sharp as a razor, well-read, highly professional woman in every way....everything about her seemed together, and she couldn't be crazy. Normally, I would be the last person open to seeing some faith healer in the desert, but the fact that this professional woman I trusted completely and admired with all my heart....the fact that it was her idea...somehow it seemed okay. Well, needless to say, I was not cured, and entered an even more profound depression. And I guess because I'd traveled with this woman, and shared a hotel room with her, and the fact that she kept telling me I was "like the child she never had"....I became far too needy. When we returned, I'd call her too much, and always ask for sessions, just too needy overall....because I couldn't deal with the intensity of my depression and despair at having to accept (yet again, as if from square one) that I'd never be cured of my disease. And at some point, this therapist got overwhelmed by my neediness, and she just cut our relationship off....saying that she felt she couldn't help me, that my problem was far grander than she could deal with, etc.

Now, I was a college student in my mid-20s at the time (a girl) ...but on some strange level, I think I "fell in love" with this first therapist." Not "in love" in any sexual way, but I fell in love with her intellect, her professionalism(I wanted to be like her), and with the promise (however irrational) that I could be cured of my disease. When she terminated so abruptly, I felt I would literally die.

So then I found this other therapist (the one I'm currently seeing and afraid of leaving), and she helped me get over the trauma (b/c that's what it was) and the despair of letting myself believe in a miracle that would never happen. Having heard the story about my previous therapist, she probably created firmer boundaries with me. We've never hugged, none of that.....but it was an incredibly healing and supporting relationship, and one I'm vey scared of leaving.

I've always been rather an introvert, never very social, and I've devoted so much of my time to studying and career. Friendships always took the back burner....this is something I'm starting to regret. One of the issues I've dealt with with this current therapist is my immense sense of being alone in the world. In some ways, this therapist is a central figure in my life. Sometimes I'm ashamed of this....thinking it's abnormal to feel closer to yout therapist than your friends. Some weeks I feel like I live for my sessions, like I can't wait to get there....and when I see her, I feel safe and protected and less alone.

Now, I'll be horrendously alone when I move away. And before I go, all I want to do is hug this current therapist....something I've never done, and something I long to do for reasons I dont' understand. i feel I'll be devastated if I don't but I'm afraid she won't allow it, that it'll be "against her rules," and I couldn't deal with the rejection of asking her and having her say no.

I know I've written a ton, and all over the place, but I was wondering if anyone else ever felt any of these things, and if so, please write.


Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist???? moonlightsonata

Posted by LadyBug on October 21, 2007, at 22:54:37

In reply to Allowed to HUG my Therapist????, posted by moonlightsonata on October 21, 2007, at 19:33:18

I think I understand the situation you are in with your T. You live to see her and feel safe when you are with her. I feel the SAME way! I too am not allowed to hug in therapy. A year ago, I was preparing to undergo a major surgery. I had BOTH of my knees replaced. I wanted to see my T the night before I entered the hospital. At the end of our session, I told her I thought about a hug and how it would be so nice but I knew it was against our boundaries. She said under the circumstances she thought it would be ok. So, she hugged me as I was leaving. It felt SOOOOOO good to me and gave me so much peace.
I think if you talk about a hug I'm willing to bet your T will think a hug is ok given the circumstances. I'm hoping I'm right. My T always tells me to talk about why a hug would be so nice.
Oh and when she hugged me, I told her I loved her and she said she loved me too. It was a warm and tender moment that I cherish. We've worked together for over 10 years. We have a strong connection.
Talk about it before you ask and get rejected.
I hope it all goes well for you.



Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist???? moonlightsonata

Posted by red house on October 22, 2007, at 7:36:39

In reply to Allowed to HUG my Therapist????, posted by moonlightsonata on October 21, 2007, at 19:33:18

welcome -- i'm a newbie myself and mostly a lurker, but i wanted to say hello.

i think what you describe in terms of your intense feelings of connection and closeness with your T and your desire for a hug are really all very okay and normal. i think it's probably a sign of really good therapy and a strong relationship that you've built with your T. i think a lot of us -- at least i know i do -- struggle with feeling like they need too much from their Ts or that our Ts are too important to us. for example, i had a complete freak out the other week when i, due to traffic, missed almost my complete session. i yelled at my T on the phone and was livid, all in an attempt to mask the panic i was feeling about not seeing her. she called me on it and it felt good, actually, to acknowledge how important it was for me and that she knew that too and was completely okay with it.

i suspect, too, that your T will permit the hug, especially under the circumstances. my first T, who had very rigid boundaries around touch said that the only appropriate hug would be at the end of our work together. (i had asked during a particularly difficult time in my life around the midpoint in our work together and she turned me down.) so i think it's probably likely that it's just something you have to ask for, i hope.

best wishes for you -- i can really feel your pain and sense of loss over the end of this relationship. please honor that loss for yourself.



Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????

Posted by rskontos on October 22, 2007, at 18:26:33

In reply to Allowed to HUG my Therapist????, posted by moonlightsonata on October 21, 2007, at 19:33:18

moonlightsonta, I think in light of the upcoming move your T will relax the rules. I never want hugs and most of the time I am paralized to give or rec'd them unless I have loads of advance warnings but I do understand the need. i have the need but I can't get past the trust issues. Go ahead and ask I think your T will surprise you. Good luck and I know this is a truly a hard time for you and so sorry for the pain. I think the first situation with the 1st T and faith healer was a very traumatic experience and your 2nd T helped you get over that so it is so understandable why you are so close to her and afraid to give that up. She made you feel safe again. That is a hard thing to lose.

I too would be very nervous losing that support system and it seems that you too became friends in the process. She should be able to help some with getting you ready for it. Ask her for help. And a hug she will be there to help and good luck. Let us know how it goes.....rk


Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????

Posted by rskontos on October 23, 2007, at 11:43:24

In reply to Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????, posted by rskontos on October 22, 2007, at 18:26:33

Moonlightsonta, Have you talked with your therapist yet? rk


Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????

Posted by moonlightsonata on October 23, 2007, at 21:53:33

In reply to Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????, posted by rskontos on October 23, 2007, at 11:43:24

Hey RK,
My T is currently out of town. It's always so hard whenever she's away and we have to miss a session. I get scared because we have such little time left, and she's gone 2 weeks now, and I'll be out of town several times over the next months. Time is running out so fast. Thank you for all your support and caring words.

You know what I wrote about my first therapist, the one who took me to the faith healer in the desert...the one who, in spite of her eccentricity, I adored?? Anyway, I've been watching Dancing with the Stars, and Jane Seymour reminds me of her so much. Everythign about her. She was English, she's the same height and build, and there's just something about the way she carries herself. Anyway....tonight Jane almost got eliminated off the show. The show kept us in suspense the whole hour, and I was literally shaking and crying. If anyone had seen me!!! I thought I'd die if Jane was kicked off....

I guess I'm still not "over" my old T. And it's been years since I've seen her. I tend to get really attached to certain people, and I'm afraid I won't be able to take another separation when I have to leave my current T.

Sorry for going on and on. I'm just so full of dread.


Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????

Posted by I need a hug on October 28, 2007, at 0:33:51

In reply to Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????, posted by moonlightsonata on October 23, 2007, at 21:53:33

How are you? I just started posting recently and you are not alone. I've posted several places(psych, relationships and newbies.) If you have a chance, read what I have posted. I have felt many of the same things you have felt. As a matter of fact, that's why I started posting. I've battled major depression, chronic pain, become socially withdrawn, felt totally dependent on my T and recently I've started to think I've fallen in love with her. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to give her a hug or ask for one. I've been seeing her for 9 years and I think she would be o.k. with it but I'm just a big coward. I think, considering your circumstances, everything will be fine. If I can help in any way, let me know. Lots of luck to you.
P.S. How do you think I came up with the name I use to post? HA!HA!HA!


Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????

Posted by moonlightsonata on October 28, 2007, at 19:34:23

In reply to Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????, posted by I need a hug on October 28, 2007, at 0:33:51

I love your name! And I love knowing I'm not alone. My problem is that, compared to many people, I am alone. I don't know why. Although I am a bit of an introvert, I get along with people very well, and am able to make friends easily. Sometimes, being social just tires me out, and it's "easier" to just be by myself....easier in the short term, but heading for disasterous consequences in the long run if I stay alone forever and isolate myself.

I, too, have struggled with depression for over 5 years, and with an eating disorder for the better part of my life. I was anorexic in high school, and then went to the opposite extreme once I started college. I felt I had to "eat to survive" the intensity of was hard being away from home, and I went from being valedictorian of my high school, to just a small fish in a huge pond at college, where everyone was brilliant. So I ate to cope, and put on 10 lbs every year since then.

And now, at the prospect of losing my therapist, I've been really struggling with food. It comforts me in my aloneness, and wont judge me. sometimes I can't believe that my T can look at me and not be utterly repulsed. She accepts me in ways others don't, and I can't bear losing that. I feel it's even harder building up a social circle given my insecurities about my weight. So I'll be all alone once I lose her, and I can't bear thinking about it.

She's been out of town 2 weeks, and it's been a very difficult period for me. It's always hard when she's away, but this time, I actually had to call the doctor covering her practice because of an emergency, and I've never had to do that before. I want to fall at her feet Tuesday when I see her, I want to fall apart and cry and have her hold me....but I'm so scared to do that....scared even to fall apart and cry because I always have to have "everything together" on the outside, adn it's hard to even show my T all my feelings and my dark side. Food helps me hold it all together, except that it's getting to where it's not a secret because the weight is starting to show on the outside, adn it's a shameful shameful thing.

Anyway, thanks for your support.
Please write back.


Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????

Posted by I need a hug on October 30, 2007, at 2:07:36

In reply to Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????, posted by moonlightsonata on October 28, 2007, at 19:34:23

I think this is the beginning of what I hope will be a long, supportive, mutually beneficial and beautiful friendship. With the exception of the anorexia and I wasn't the valedictorian of my senior class, I can identify with what you have written. I use food as a crutch. I've wanted a relationship with a man but I'm commitment-phobic. I almost got married once but I couldn't do it. Now, I'm 47 and alone. I was a very social person and had no trouble making friends. Now, it's easier to just stay home alone. I have struggled with my weight. I have always felt the need to keep myself together. I could keep going but I have to stop. I'm suffering from a migraine but I wanted to get some kind of response to you ASAP. I may be in bed for a few days with this migraine. For now, don't worry about the fantasies. I think they are perfectly normal. More on that later. Please don't feel that you are alone. See if maybe you can find a card for your T that says, "Can I have a hug?" Ask her if it would be o.k. to call or write occasionally after you move? Better yet, maybe just write to her after you get settled. This way you won't have to worry about getting a negative response when you ask her. Once you are settled, if she doesn't respond when you write, you will have another T to help you deal with it. In the meantime, I hope everything goes well for you on Tuesday. If I can help you in any way, please don't hesitate to ask. Post something or send something via babble-mail. If you want, I can give you a phone number where you can reach me. I've been able to relate to 4 or 5 posts but nothing like this. I'll check in as soon as I can. Hugs.


Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????

Posted by moonlightsonata on October 31, 2007, at 20:26:45

In reply to Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????, posted by I need a hug on October 30, 2007, at 2:07:36

Hey inah,
I'd love to be friends, and I'm very relieved to have met someone who understands all this and who has been there. I hope your migraine is gone, or that it will soon go away. I have a crazy day tomorrow (start a new job) and wanted to get to bed pretty early, but I wanted to drop you a line saying that I'll write more soon, and that I'll keep looking fwd to your posts.


Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????

Posted by I need a hug on November 1, 2007, at 5:31:22

In reply to Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????, posted by moonlightsonata on October 31, 2007, at 20:26:45

Hey MLS,
Thanks for your kind words. The migraine is gone. How was your first day? I hope everything went well for you. What type of work do you do? My background is in psych. but I haven't worked in the field for quite a few years because of my health. At times, I would work 70-80hrs/wk. I've been on disability for a little over a year. I own my house but I can't do any of the things I used to enjoy doing (mow the grass, plant flowers, paint, etc.) I used to read one book after another but due to my latest DX of attention deficit D/O, it's rare that I can concentrate long enough to read anything. Fortunately, my T put me on Ritalin and I have been able to read a few books recently. With nothing to occupy my mind, all I do is think and I think you already know what or who I think about. I see her on Friday. I only see her once every 3-4 weeks. I could see her more often if I needed to but I try not to. I think this would only make me more dependent on her and I am trying to avoid that at all cost. Losing touch with her last year is what brought up all of these thoughts and feelings I am trying to deal with now. I always look forward to seeing her but I dread the drive. I live in a very small town and she works out of a very big city hospital. What should be a 45 minute drive has been taking me 1-2 hrs. There has been major road construction going on for a year and I think it's supposed to last for at least another year. She always gives me her last appointment of the day so that it's o.k. if we run over but that also means I'm leaving her office right at the peak of rush hour. If there is an accident, traffic backs up for miles. I lived in the city for about 6 years and I know a lot of alternate routes but they all have their disadvantages. The one with all of the construction is the most direct. The on ramp to the highway is just a few miles from my house and her office is right off of an exit ramp. Oh well, she's worth it. I've been driving at least an hour each way to see her for 5 yrs. so I'm used to it. Well, I didn't mean for this to turn in to my autobiography, so I'll end for now. Write when you can. HUGS
OH!!! There is something I forgot to tell you. I love Dancing with the Stars and Jane!!! She is so talented. I was so relieved (for you) when they put her through this week right at the beginning of the show so you weren't agonizing the entire hour.


Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????

Posted by I need a hug on November 10, 2007, at 4:13:03

In reply to Re: Allowed to HUG my Therapist????, posted by I need a hug on November 1, 2007, at 5:31:22

Are you o.k.? Have you been out of town? Busy with your new job? It's been a week since you've posted anything. I just wanted you to know I've been thinking about you. Please write when you have time. HUGS

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