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Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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I would like to know how to move forward with my life. I have

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I would like to know how to move forward with my life. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2004. Since then I have taken medications everyday. I was granted Social Security Disability Income in January 2010. I also get food stamps. My state pays for all my prescriptions and medical costs. I currently see a psychiatrist about once a month and a social worker once a week.
My question is in regards XXXXX XXXXX social worker. I started seeing him at the end of July 2008 until February 2009. At that time I was experiencing severe OCD. My psychiatrist told me in August of 2009 that I needed a counselor to do cognitive behavioral therapy. I was looking for a female counselor to do it, but couldn't find one. I ended up having to go with a male.
This male social worker is 40 years old and not married. I am 26, going on 27 next month. I became attracted to him from the very first session with him. My OCD finally disappeared in February of 2009. I told him that I wanted to end therapy because I was feeling good and had recovered from my OCD. All throughout therapy, I noticed that there was a mutual chemistry between us. So on my last session in February of 2009, I asked him to coffee at the end of the session. I wrote my number on a piece of paper and he walked up to me and took it. He told me that he had to just check with his boss because he thought there was a legality. I informed him that I had checked with my former professor of human services at a college I had attended. My former professor is a social worker also. He informed me that once therapy is ended, I am allowed to date my social worker and I wouldn't have to wait because of the fact that he is a social worker and not a psychologist or psychiatrist. He said that with those two professions the wait time would be a year. My social worker, I will call him Jim for privacy reasons, told me at my last session in Feb. 2009 that he appreciated my offer and that "I am also in a relationship." He was very happy, smiling and all. While walking out the door to his office, I told him, "You better call me." My offer was truly real and genuine from me to him.
A month past by and I was wondering why he hadn't called me. So I decided to consult with a telephone psychic. This female Psychic, named Ava, was extremely believable to me at that time. She scared me by what she said to me. She said that Jim's girlfriend had put curses on me that would prevent me from being with him. She told me that I had other strange curses, that if they were not removed, then I would not live a good life. I was scared. She stole $20,000 from me. She did this by telling me to send her many $100 American Express gift cards wrapped in clothing to her assistant, who later emailed me and told me that she was scammed by Ava too. I filed for bankruptcy this year.
My family and I reported this to my local police station last May. The police officer told me not to contact Ava anymore which I followed his advice. I found out a month ago that Ava had filed for bankruptcy and that I and everyone she scammed out of thousands of dollars were not going to see any money back from her.
My parents stopped paying for my expensive health insurance premiums in April 2009. So I was seeing a female case manager and a different psychiatrist at a local community mental helath center from May 2009 until December 2009. Then my state offered me private insurance so in January of this yaer I went back into counseling with Jim. The reason I left the community mental health center was that over time there was a personality clsh between me and my female case manager and psychiatrist.
So, I have been seeing Jim about every week. I was inpatient for the whole month of March this year because my new psychiatrist committed me after my family ot nervous after I had a minor car accident.
The reason that I stood 33 days in a psychiatric unit was that I signed an intent to leave form after my first day there. My psychiatrist at the hospital said she was not going to discharge me right away and so I would have to be brought to court. They assigned me a free lawyer and this lawyer told me she wanted a very good psychiatrist to evaluate me so that I could be discharged. Well, this delayed my stay there 2 weeks because the independent psychiatrist had a busy schedule. When the day of the court hearing came, some of my family members showed up at the hospital. I was shocked. They told the judge stuff about me from the past which was like 6 years old and not relevant to the person I was becoming. Thus, the judge told me he would keep me committed there. So I stayed 1 more week and then I was discharged.

I am still very attracted to this man and I would like to know how to deal with this situation so that it is good for both me and him. Also I wanted to tell you that I attended Brown University in 2001 right out of high school and took some classes at a community college.

Hello there,


Thanks for your question regarding$ your feelings for Jim. Sometimes when clients go for therapy with a therapist, they are searching for something in their life. When the therapist assists the client to find what they need, the client begins to feel an attraction towards that therapist, because they appear to be the answer to their problems, they have 'taken time' to listen and to encourage thinking that leads to a better place. The client then becomes to feel emotionally close to the therapist, as if the therapist could be the person they are looking for in their life. The phenomenon is called transference.


If the therapist begins to feel the same way for the client (with or without transference occuring) then the process is called counter-transference. It is a very common phenonmenon in the therapy world, because the client is, by their very nature, vulnerable in a certain area of their life (for which they are seeking therapy) and the therapist appears supportive, all-knowing and all-feeling, which can be very attractive.


You have done well for finding out the boundaries that exist between the client and the therapist and I congratulate you for that. However, you have also shown your affection by offering your therapist a magazine and a Christmas card and he has pointed out that you need to maintain your boundaries. This, to me, suggests that he prefers to keep the relationship on a client/therapist basis and it does not seem that a romantic relationship will ensue.


I understand that you may be disappointed with this information, although I suspect that I am telling you something that you already have an inkling of. If you feel that you can continue to see your therapist without this becoming a distracting issue, then feel free to do so, otherwise I suggest that you find another, even though you feel that this man understands you. The other alternative is to tell him how you feel and discuss it in the open - a more difficult option, but one which is open and honest and with discussion can allow the attraction to fade. If he feels the same way, then you can find an alternative therapist and see this man on a more intimate basis. You could tell him by letter if you feel that a discussion is too difficult. To be honest, your therapist should be aware of this phenomenon and should be able to talk about it with honesty.


I am sorry if I don't bring you good news, but I feel that I am being honest and open. I wish you well and send you Best Wishes, Sarah

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i knew about the transferrance and counter transferrance. is there anything else i could do to see if he's interested in an intimate relationship without being too forward or too pressuring?

I can only suggest that you ask your therapist if he would like to go for coffee with you and see how he responds. If he suggests that he would like to, but is unable to as he is your counselor, you could let him know that you are willing to find another counselor and see him on a more friendly basis. you can only then see how he reacts to your question and take it from there. How would you then feel about your next sessions if he says 'no'? Would it be better to wait until therapy with him is over so you can avoid any negative consequences if he says 'no'? On the one hand, I am thinking 'what have you got to lose?' but on the other hand, if he is good for you as a counselor, then that is what you could lose. I think honesty is the best policy in this situation. Best Wishes, Sarah

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