Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 876644

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

 

Gifts

Posted by emmanuel98 on January 27, 2009, at 20:28:53

I got this idea to make my T a gift for his office and now I have cold feet about giving it to him. I've read that T's aren't supposed to take gifts from clients. Is this true? It's not expensive, just something I made. Have other people given gifts. I'm so afraid he'll reject it and I won't know how to cope.

 

Re: Gifts

Posted by sharon7 on January 27, 2009, at 21:39:22

In reply to Gifts, posted by emmanuel98 on January 27, 2009, at 20:28:53

Oh, you poor thing. I'm sorry this is causing you stress. I know the feeling though from the first time I gave my T a gift. I had the same fears you do. But she was fine with it, and now I give her stuff all the time. It's almost like I try to have something to give her every time, even if it's just a flower from my garden or a piece of candy. She may allow it, though, because she knows giving gifts however small is my way of expressing my affection, because that's the only way affection was ever shown to me, so maybe she humors me. lol. I'm curious to hear others responses because I'm now wondering, too, what others have experienced on the subject of gifts. (o:

 

Re: Gifts emmanuel98

Posted by obsidian on January 27, 2009, at 21:41:13

In reply to Gifts, posted by emmanuel98 on January 27, 2009, at 20:28:53

yeah, little things
my T will take little gifts
of course others may be different
some of the gifts were meant to say something about how important therapy has been to me or about some issue it dealt with
so they were kind of symbolic
he keeps them in his office on a shelf..even things I meant for him to use..seems I occupy space even when I'm not there ;-)

I hope whatever happens that it goes well..
-sid

 

Re: Gifts

Posted by Dinah on January 27, 2009, at 21:56:57

In reply to Gifts, posted by emmanuel98 on January 27, 2009, at 20:28:53

I gave him two very small gifts (last time was a small river rock) and cards on anniversaries. But I'd checked out his policies on gifts long before I ever ventured to give him one myself. I love hypotheticals.

My therapist is of the group that accepts small gifts unless he thinks it's a problem for the client.

I really don't feel all that joyous doing it, to tell the truth. I work it well out in advance, in terms of symbolism. But it always seems like such a huge risk to me. We have absolutely nothing in common.

Has your therapist mentioned his gift policy?

 

Re: Gifts Dinah

Posted by sassyfrancesca on January 28, 2009, at 7:32:27

In reply to Re: Gifts, posted by Dinah on January 27, 2009, at 21:56:57

I've always given my t gifts (on Christmas and his Birthday): he says that is one of my "love languages"---gift giving.

I have given him some very expensive things (supposedly they aren't supposed to accept them)...he likes moose, so I have given him about 6 stuffed moose (put sunglasses on them, LOL)....his office is filled with my stuff...about 11 or 12.....but I enjoy it.

It's his birthday next week, and i just found out he smokes a pipe and am going to buy a pipe with some cherry tobacco; maybe he will smoke in the office.....I would LOVE that!

Hugs, Sassy

 

Re: Gifts emmanuel98

Posted by wittgensteinz on January 28, 2009, at 8:17:38

In reply to Gifts, posted by emmanuel98 on January 27, 2009, at 20:28:53

I would ask you T what his policy is on accepting gifts, this way you know where you stand and don't risk being rejected. I don't think there is a fixed 'rule' about this. Some therapists are strict and won't accept gifts of any kind but I think most would be very happy to accept something special from their patient - such as something hand-made.

Of course, your T might well want to know the meaning behind the gift, why now, why this particular gift? These can be good things to think about - personally gift-giving can open up some interesting discussions in therapy. I had it easy, because I had read a book by my therapist and he mentioned receiving gifts from a patient, so I knew he probably would not 'reject' mine. I've taken him flowers a couple of times becuase he always has flowers in his room. I've also taken him a small painting I made and the last time I took him a CD and some chocolates in a box I'd painted.

The good thing of giving gifts is the possibility of opening up certain topics relating to the act of giving and the significance. That said, people shouldn't infer from this that giving is at all necessary or expected by therapists. The potential negative of giving is that the therapist doesn't receive the item as one would have hoped. I was the tiniest bit disappointed the last time I gave a gift (the box of chocolates) becuase he never asked what the painting on the box was about and so I assumed he found it rubbish (probably he didn't but that's my warped thinking). I've never brought it up though with him.

Witti

 

Re: Gifts emmanuel98

Posted by fleeting flutterby on January 28, 2009, at 10:29:06

In reply to Gifts, posted by emmanuel98 on January 27, 2009, at 20:28:53

In the year + a few months I've seen T., I've given her one gift-- a candle. She was so so thankful for it. She said she was just looking at candles the day before at the store and was going to buy one for her living room but then got sidetracked.

the thing I'd say about gift giving to a T. is to be mindful of your expectations. I'm not sure it's good to give if one has expectations as to what is going to be said about the gift, done with the gift, etc... etc... that can lead to problems. I think it's safer to give if one hasn't any expectations-- just-- the thought of giving.

like, say you give T. something and expect him/her to keep it in the office, but then T. takes it home-- that could leave bad feelings, as the expectation didn't come to fruition...... giving with expectations can lead to a let down-- just be cautious.

flutterby-mandy

 

Re: Gifts

Posted by backseatdriver on January 28, 2009, at 11:05:59

In reply to Re: Gifts emmanuel98, posted by fleeting flutterby on January 28, 2009, at 10:29:06

Just wanted to affirm Flutterby's point, about knowing a lot about your own expectations before you give the gift. I gave a small gift to my therapist -- one of my stories -- and he returned it the following week with a very hurtful and official statement that to accept gifts is to establish a "dual relationship" with a client (social as well as professional) and this is Not Done.

I've never understood why. I feel it is a cruel and withholding move, intended to keep me and my feelings at a distance. My self-esteem is small and battered but it persists in the face of this sort of thing, which is the good news. Now I just try to avoid doing things to peeve him. I am very compliant, I guess.

BSD

 

Re: Gifts

Posted by DAisym on January 28, 2009, at 12:02:04

In reply to Re: Gifts, posted by backseatdriver on January 28, 2009, at 11:05:59

I think all therapists are different around this. But I think, like all things, talking about it is important, both on the client side and on the therapist side. I believe that an awful lot of therapists have been trained to look at everything a client does as pathology. They assume if you give a gift you want something, either consciously or unconsciously. But I think expressing gratitude or marking significant occasions is human and shows a connection - and isn't that what therapy is suppose to be leading to?

And I think the opportunity for a therapist to model acceptance, grace, humility and appreciation is lost with a harsh stance. I'm also a firm believer that if you have such policies, these should be disclosed to the client up front - kind of a "rules" page. To not do so is cruel and calls out the power differential - the therapist has control of when you see them, how long you see them, whether you get to give them something, if you can eat or not in their office, and on and on. I'm fine with all that, as long as both parties know what the expectations are. Otherwise, it is like one person waiting to catch the other doing something wrong and then interpreting it as a boundary issue.

All that said, I give my therapist small gifts at the Holiday and to mark special occasions. I try to find things that mean something about the work we've done together. Most recently I gave him a tiny gold rocking chair. :)

 

Re: Gifts backseatdriver

Posted by sassyfrancesca on January 28, 2009, at 13:15:59

In reply to Re: Gifts, posted by backseatdriver on January 28, 2009, at 11:05:59

> Just wanted to affirm Flutterby's point, about knowing a lot about your own expectations before you give the gift. I gave a small gift to my therapist -- one of my stories -- and he returned it the following week with a very hurtful and official statement that to accept gifts is to establish a "dual relationship" with a client (social as well as professional) and this is Not Done.

That was very cruel. I am so sorry. Accepting gifts is NOT establishing a dual relationship (too long to go into here), and even if it were, he could have handled it sensitively.

Shame on him!
>
> I've never understood why. I feel it is a cruel and withholding move, intended to keep me and my feelings at a distance. My self-esteem is small and battered but it persists in the face of this sort of thing, which is the good news. Now I just try to avoid doing things to peeve him. I am very compliant,

How sad you have to feel that way; you should be free to say and do whatever you wish in therapy. THEY have rules to follow. you do not. I've never been compliant, LOL, LOL

Love, Sassy
>
> BSD

 

Re: Gifts

Posted by rskontos on January 28, 2009, at 14:22:25

In reply to Re: Gifts backseatdriver, posted by sassyfrancesca on January 28, 2009, at 13:15:59

Hmmm,

I have never given my t a gift nor thought about it. What does this say about me? Cold perhaps or distant. I am not sure.

Perhaps I will ask him to see his perspective on it.

He would probably fall over if I did try to give him something. He tends to know me better than I know myself. So gift giving is very personal to me and I am not at a place where I feel personal toward him. At least I don't want to feel that way.

does this make sense. I guess I feel like it would make it official a relationship with him to give him something. It would be a big deal to him(or so I think and maybe a bigger deal to me who the heck knows) and I can't admit that yet.

I guess I am more messed up than I thought because this thread made me think about it. I never realized so many gave their t's gifts. I feel like a heel sort of. But then I am not a very good social person either so I guess I am true to myself. I have trouble with being whatever you call a good giftgiver.

And then there would be the whole issue of what to give. Nope I can't even think about that.

but thanks for the thought provoking thread. maybe me think

rsk

 

Re: Gifts rskontos

Posted by antigua3 on January 28, 2009, at 14:41:24

In reply to Re: Gifts, posted by rskontos on January 28, 2009, at 14:22:25

Being a little hard on yourself? I think so, and I, of course, say that as sweetly and as nicely as possible.

Given all the years I've been in therapy, and how I feel about my T, you'd think I would have given her LOTS of gifts, but I haven't. Beautiful white roses once, just because I saw them right before I was going to see her and I know how much she loves flowers, and a book on tape that I thought she would like. And something homemade at the holidays, my standard gift. Not much, given the thousands of hours I've spent w/her. So does that make me cold or a heel? Nope, not to me. It may mean something, but not that!

I would never, ever give anything to my pdoc. It has never occurred to me in three years or so. I don't think he would accept anything, anyway, and I would never ask. Cold and heartless? Yes, in this instance. (him or me?)

But you're right. It's something to think about, but it doesn't reflect what kind of person you are because I, for one, reject that type of image of you!
antigua

 

Re: Gifts rskontos

Posted by Dinah on January 28, 2009, at 16:49:20

In reply to Re: Gifts, posted by rskontos on January 28, 2009, at 14:22:25

I didn't give my therapist as much as a cookie or a card until our tenth anniversary.

I wondered if I should sometimes at holidays. But not all that much.

I don't think it's unusual.

 

Re: Gifts

Posted by MusicLuv on January 29, 2009, at 11:49:44

In reply to Re: Gifts rskontos, posted by Dinah on January 28, 2009, at 16:49:20

I gave my therapist a CD after seeing her for only about 3 months. I knew we liked the same music and it was a new band. A lot of the songs reminded me of her so I gave it to her and she asked me which songs she should listen to.

Our next session she said 'thank you again for the CD. I loved all the songs you told me to listen to. It's actually still playing in my car'.
That was an awesome feeling. I think it's okay to give a gift once in a while. I think it benefits you more than your T.
Like the others said though, if your T is strict on accepting them, you should find out first so you don't set yourself up for rejection. If she would have not taken the CD, I would have been miserable.

~ MusicLuv

 

Re: Gifts

Posted by emmanuel98 on January 29, 2009, at 16:14:36

In reply to Re: Gifts, posted by MusicLuv on January 29, 2009, at 11:49:44

I gave him the gift today and he said it was lovely and he would use it in his office. I was so pleased.

 

That's great news! :) (nm) emmanuel98

Posted by wittgensteinz on January 29, 2009, at 18:08:48

In reply to Re: Gifts, posted by emmanuel98 on January 29, 2009, at 16:14:36

 

Yay! (nm)

Posted by backseatdriver on January 30, 2009, at 12:36:30

In reply to Re: Gifts, posted by emmanuel98 on January 29, 2009, at 16:14:36

 

Re: Gifts antigua3

Posted by rskontos on January 30, 2009, at 18:54:51

In reply to Re: Gifts rskontos, posted by antigua3 on January 28, 2009, at 14:41:24

Aw, thanks Antigua. That means alot.

I guess I was being hard on me. But then again I am usually.

I try to tell myself that and go thru the list of people I know that I love them just the way they are so why not myself. However in the end I never can answer my own question.

I would never think of you as cold or heartless either.

Thanks for cheering me up.

rsk

 

Re: Gifts Dinah

Posted by rskontos on January 30, 2009, at 18:57:14

In reply to Re: Gifts rskontos, posted by Dinah on January 28, 2009, at 16:49:20

Whew! I got a while then to think of something as we have only been in therapy together a year.

You know I did not even bring attention to our 1 year mark and neither did he.

I just say have a nice whatever day or weekend or whatever. that is it for now.

I am glad to have others that don't do it and don't think it is unusual.

rsk


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