Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 875017

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Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?

Posted by movingforward on January 19, 2009, at 18:57:31

My t and I have been through a lot lately. We have both had a tough year and he has been my rock through all of this. I was thanking him last week, but could use the word "love." because i am not in love, but very thankful for what he has taught me. Anyone ever use the word "love" in a friendly term with their t?

 

Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her? movingforward

Posted by antigua3 on January 19, 2009, at 19:18:43

In reply to Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?, posted by movingforward on January 19, 2009, at 18:57:31

Sure.
antigua

 

Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her? movingforward

Posted by Little Soul on January 19, 2009, at 19:25:07

In reply to Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?, posted by movingforward on January 19, 2009, at 18:57:31

Hi movingforward - I like your name - shows hope!

I can relate to your question. It sounds like you'd like to explore your feelings with your T because it is something you've been thinking over for a while.

I remember the first time I mentioned this to my T. First, I kinda beat round the bush, saying things like, "I'm having these strange feelings and don't know how to describe them to you." I next said something like, My feelings feel kinda primal (like a real small infant before language was available). Then I finally moved in to saying I love you. She was soooo understanding. She's a Jungian T and said that Jung says that there is you and there is the T and somewhere in the middle the two come together and that's where the relationship sits. Just re-read that sentence - don't know if that makes sense. Anyway, my T said that it is necessary to have that relationship because it is a normal part of therapy. I trusted her and didn't feel a bit ashmed after our discussion.

I'd been seeing my T for about nine months before I could even identify what was going on for me. And a few months after that to admit it to her. For me, it was quite releasing. It brought me to another level in my therapy. I was dealing with some childhood stuff and my feelings for my T made perfect sense in that context.

I know that everyone's experience with therapy is different and that just because I said it, it may not mean its right for everyone. I just went with my gut and took a chance. I hope that you listen to what feels right for you. It sounds like you have an amazing T and you are very fortunate. Good luck and let us know how it works out, if you feel comfortable.

LS

 

Re: telling t how you feel (long!) movingforward

Posted by 10derHeart on January 19, 2009, at 19:43:40

In reply to Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?, posted by movingforward on January 19, 2009, at 18:57:31

Yes. I've written it in a card, and I do say it now, sometimes. Like I will be explaining something, and say, "well, considering how deeply I feel about you, and you know what I mean......when you love someone you...." Like that. I used to only use euphemisms - "care" "so important to me" "you mean so much to me," but finally I grew exhausted from dancing around the word love. As if it were something awful and unspeakable.....when it doesn't need to be.

He takes it well. He accepts it and is careful around it. He doesn't say it back in any way, except that he cares, and that this relationship is, "very important to both of us," but his actions speak FAR louder. I understand how he feels toward me and I am fine with it. He has done dozens of things above and beyond over 4+ years that are loving - so I don't need to hear it. One of the most amazing is probably giving me free phone therapy and unlimited emails for over seven months after I moved - just because he felt it was the best and most healing thing to do *for me,* no matter the strain on him to stay in that much contact. He just always said, "Knowing you and your feelings as I think I do, not communicating seems destructive to me, and I won't do anything that harms you or this relationship, no matter where you live. It's just not me."

I think it's awfully hard for some trained Ts to 'go there' as it has been conditioned into them how careful they must be with stating feelings toward a client, or making therapy about them in any way. So I cut him many breaks on demanding: "how DO you feel about ME?!"

It took a long time, and it was a struggle of fear. Fear of being misunderstood, of him being disgusted, repulsed, disappointed - or something (all fodder for therapy, obviously, as the worries say a lot about issues I have with how I "see" me and the idea of someone accepting love from me!) Eventually, we'd had enough conversations about how I felt toward him as sometimes a trusted friend, sometimes a child to a parent, sometimes maybe a wise older sibling - and that my love was not romantic or sexual [not that I haven't had these feelings in therapy with him and others - I have] so it felt safe enough. I had finally explained enough. I felt compelled to write it in an email not too long ago, too - just in case. Though there's no specific reason to worry - I kept thinking if anything serious - illness, injury, death - happened to either of us, and I'd never said something this important, to someone who had been huge in stabilizing my life - I couldn't stand the thought. That helped overcome the discomfort.

It's not perfect. Still I'll blurt out things and have to say, "But I don't mean it like *that."" just to make sure. Again, not because if I were in the throes of sexual or romantic feelings toward him that wouldn't be fine - it would, it happens, and is perfectly expected in this sort of therapy. No doubt I'd find a way to talk about that painful and embarrassing stuff too - eventually..... But I don't like being misunderstood - in fact, I hate it. So since that's not the love I feel, or how I "want" him in my life, I'm often still explaining. I'd guess he thinks it's funny, though he won't admit it.

THAT was kinda the short version - for me - sorry if it was ridiculously long and rambling - that's me! Can anyone tell this is a favorite topic for me? lol.

Glad you mentioned it.... and now I am so curious if you want to tell....are you trying to work up to saying it? Most t's take it well, I think, from reading here, though rarely one will lapse into auto-T. mode and respond with what sounds like a lecture on how this relationship will never be outside the T. room, and that would be unethical, blah, blah, to a client who does NOT need to hear it. Those scenarios seem pretty uncommon, though.

 

Re: telling t how you feel

Posted by no_rose_garden on January 19, 2009, at 20:28:58

In reply to Re: telling t how you feel (long!) movingforward, posted by 10derHeart on January 19, 2009, at 19:43:40

My T knows how I feel about him. I want him to take care of me. I call him all the time just to hear his voice message. He said it's nice to see that somebody's thinking of him and that he can be helpful in that way.

I can hardly get up at the end of session b/c I don't want to leave him :( He said it's hard for him too, especially to see how hard it is for me.

He gave me a rock b/c it's so hard for me to be alone and without him. He usually uses them as some kind of transitional object when ppl are done with therapy. But he gave me one now and he knows I take it with me everwhere and hold it in my hand when I go to bed. He holds it at the end of session and gives it "positive energy" for the week.

I always tell him I miss him, but I don't think i've ever directly told him how I feel about him. I guess I don't relly know yet. I think I just want him to take care of me at this point.

(((T)))

I've heard some T's freak out with strong feelings toward them...and others welcome it and want to work with it. Mine welcomes it. I hope yours does too movingforward :)

 

Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?

Posted by Suedehead on January 19, 2009, at 20:41:26

In reply to Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her? movingforward, posted by antigua3 on January 19, 2009, at 19:18:43

I've never used the word 'love' but I've hinted at it enough. Interestingly, *he* used it just today to describe my feelings for him--so I guess my hints haven't been *too* subtle! He seems pretty unfazed, really. A little moved sometimes, maybe, and certainly interested, but never freaked out or disgusted (as I feared he might be). He has never done anything to make me feel weird about my attachment to/fondness for him and he has made it clear to me (through his words and his actions) that he likes and cares about me, so I think that I'd feel comfortable telling him explicitly that I love him if the moment seemed right. I'm sure that it will happen someday.

 

Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her? movingforward

Posted by Dinah on January 19, 2009, at 23:34:12

In reply to Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?, posted by movingforward on January 19, 2009, at 18:57:31

It was very hard for me at first. Well, I wouldn't even admit it to myself at first. Then like 10der, I danced around the word. And finally I got tired and started saying "love" but with what sounded like the small print disclaimers at the end of a prescription medication commercial. Because my love is not at all romantic or sexual. More of a child to mother sort of love.

Now I just say it warmly and comfortably, and he takes it in kind.

Some therapists discuss it, others accept it. And I suppose a few take it badly. I *know* I tested the waters plenty before I actually took the plunge. I often do that. Ask him what his thoughts are on various topics. I probably didn't need to do that, but I'm relatively cautious.

 

Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?

Posted by sassyfrancesca on January 20, 2009, at 7:12:26

In reply to Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?, posted by movingforward on January 19, 2009, at 18:57:31

I did...fall in love with my t, and I got the courage to tell him 4 years ago. I am still in love with him,

Hugs, Sassy

 

Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?

Posted by emmanuel98 on January 21, 2009, at 21:27:56

In reply to Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?, posted by sassyfrancesca on January 20, 2009, at 7:12:26

I told my T I love him and couldn't stop crying. Sometimes I have to say it or I feel like my heart will burst. I've now said it a few times and I always cry. He says thank you, he understands how I feel. He said he doesn't love me in the same way because if he did this relationship wouldn't be helpful to me. He asks me why this is so sad? I have no sexual feelings for him, but I have never felt so attached to another human being in my life. He says what I feel is not love -- which means putting another's needs first -- but dependency, like a child feels for a parent. It feels like love but it makes me sad, not happy. Therapy is so confusing.

 

Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her? emmanuel98

Posted by sassyfrancesca on January 22, 2009, at 9:20:14

In reply to Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?, posted by emmanuel98 on January 21, 2009, at 21:27:56

I hate it when anyone negates your feelings and calls them by another name. NO ONE but YOU knows how you feel.

I love my therapist, and he accepts that as reality.

Therapy is the only place we use another word for love: transference, etc.

If I had met my t anywhere else, I would have felt the same.

Hugs, Sassy

 

Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?

Posted by fleeting flutterby on January 22, 2009, at 10:10:57

In reply to Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?, posted by movingforward on January 19, 2009, at 18:57:31

> My t and I have been through a lot lately. We have both had a tough year and he has been my rock through all of this. I was thanking him last week, but could use the word "love." because i am not in love, but very thankful for what he has taught me. Anyone ever use the word "love" in a friendly term with their t?<<


----Just the thought of this causes my anxiety to shoot through the roof! I don't let people know how I feel-- that is WAY too dangerous. risky.....
I thank my T. after every session and one time I gave her a candle because I was very appreciative for all she's done for me-- but to reveal myself-- nope, can't do it. I'm very very guarded- I am my only protector.

this thread has been interesting to read- thank you for it.....

flutterby-mandy

 

Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her? emmanuel98

Posted by Dinah on January 22, 2009, at 10:43:20

In reply to Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?, posted by emmanuel98 on January 21, 2009, at 21:27:56

Isn't it possible to feel love and dependency? Do children not love their parents?

It's a different type of love, to be sure, from romantic love or sexual love or even companionate love. But it *is* love.

 

Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her? Little Soul

Posted by movingforward on January 24, 2009, at 18:44:02

In reply to Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her? movingforward, posted by Little Soul on January 19, 2009, at 19:25:07

Yes, I am very grateful. I have told him how I feel. I think we have a special theraputic relationship, and is willing to do whatever he can that is ethical that will help me.

He asked me to attend something he is doing professionally and that made me feel like he does care and knows the direction I want to go with my career.

Thanks for your feedback.

 

Re: Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?

Posted by movingforward on January 24, 2009, at 18:48:27

In reply to Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?, posted by movingforward on January 19, 2009, at 18:57:31

The relationship is very confusing. I think t's have this problem as well. It is like a professional friendship and they have to have their own boundaries for their own protection. The therapy process is not natural and can often lead to feelings that are unusually.


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