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Good evening, and welcome to JA.
I don't know the nature of your therapist's credentials, but among most State Board of Psychology, the behavior you describe could be grounds for unethical and/or unprofessional treatment and/or inappropriate relations with clients.
He is a licensed clinical social worker.
Do you know if your therapist is a medical doctor (physician), a psychological doctor (PhD, PsyD, ...)
Ahhh... just got your message.
And what state do you live in?
Given what you have described, and please understand - I only have your side of the story - I would strongly believe that the Virginia State Board would find this behavior highly unprofessional and perhaps a breach of professional ethics.
I understand about using transference to address unhealthy relationship patterns. I also have a very successful career as a gov contractor. I am close friends with clients, but never cross any ethical (financial)boundaries --I would lose my job.
If, for example, you were to contact the Virginia Board of Social Work, you could more directly ask these questions of a board member or representative (without necessarily having to divulge the therapist's name). You could gather more information about the problem and his behavior - and decide how/when/where to proceed.
They can be reached at: http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/social/
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX like this is all my fault but I pay him a lot (out of pocket).
I regret that, being trained as a Cognitive Behavioral Clinical Psychologist, I don't really care for the notion of "transference" as I find it is often a way that therapists manipulate their clients - and not for their benefit.
And lately it seems that he either hates me or is really struggling with counter transference. He got divorced this year.
when I mentioned that it seems like he needed my help and was learning more from me than I was from him, he got really mad
Regardless of theoretical orientation, I believe that you may have reason to explore reporting your therapist for inappropriate (or at least non-therapeutic) interactions with you.
okay...I will check. I don't want to get him into trouble, but I don't want anyone else to have more emotional trauma as a result of interactions with a therapist.
I understand that he may not be violent... but I believe, from your description, that your relationship is far from healthy. If you were describing this kind of relationship about your dentist or plumber or gynecologist, I would be very concerned.
I have had others and they never acted this way--but I never had one offer coffee from their home office either
I agree that you are not only helping yourself - but you are potentially helping other clients... and (more importantly) his behavior sounds erratic and bizarre enough that *he* may be having some significant issues himself.
Most professional boards work WITH professionals to help them to recover from whatever their problems may be... and provide additional training, support, and supervision to not only help the therapist - but all of his/her clients.
Should I find a different therapist? I have seen him for two years.
I applaud your wisdom in checking out your feelings that, "this doesn't seem right." Ultimately, if you choose to proceed, you may be helping a HOST of people, not just yourself.
The fact that your asking the question, "should I find a different therapist?" (to me) answers your question.
If you were having these feelings about your dentist or your general practitioner, would you continue to see him/her?
In short - yes - it's time for a new therapist. The new therapist will help you sort through this stuff so that you can move on.
But I do like him and care about him --and don't expect him to be perfect. No, I would find a different dentist and then see if a different relationship would develop.
And, no, you don't need to explain ANYTHING to your previous therapist.
He helped me grow as a person, and through a difficult time (divorce).
If your dentist made you uncomfortable (and believe me, being in a dentist's chair is a VERY VULNERABLE position), you would find another - and your wouldn't feel any obligation to explain why. It's a PROFESSIONAL relationship.
Please understand that, while I appreciate that you may be grieving what you perceive as a loss, the fact that you are perceiving this relationship as "someone I've gotten close to" or "he helped me through a difficult time" is inappropriate.
He only makes me uncomfortable when I see him outside of his office though--so isn't that my issue?
I've helped people through difficult times - but don't feel that they are friends and have NEVER engaged with them on a social level.
I've seen therapists myself, but have never grieved when it was time to move on.
I believe you have enough reason to discuss this with the State Board to help you determine how best to proceed. You need someone who can spend some face-to-face time (or at least voice-to-voice) to help you sort this out. The State Board will not jump to any conclusions - and you can certainly explore this FIRST without having to divulge any names.
Okay. I will move on then....thank you.
But even if the State Board says, "Well, ma'am, this really sounds like your issue, not the therapist's..."
...you still really should move on. What you have described is a level of enmeshment/codependence/transference-counter-transference that is not helpful or healthy.
And, I think that since you are exploring that question - you probably recognize the answer.
Besides, having others to talk to about this will help with the detachment, disengagement, and possible grief you need to experience in order to be healthy and move on without feeling guilt.
I really messed up another relationship --this is a pattern I am trying to break, it is pathetic that (as my kids say) I am a great mom, but have bad taste in men.
You have a really back "picker," as I often hear in group therapy?
STOP BLAMING YOURSELF for what may be an ethical violation on behalf of the therapist.
and did a bad job chosing this therapist
what is picker?
oh--you mean poor criteria for executing my free will?
Picker... you "pick" bad men... (which is really a silly notion, isn't it)!
at least I have great kids, a great job, and great friends. Maybe someday I will get the emotional intimacy stuff right..
Please remember... talking with the state board will help you look at this more objectively. I strongly STRONGLY urge you not to blame yourself for what may be grossly unprofessional behavior on the part of this therapist.
Or... maybe you'll see a therapist who maintains appropriate boundaries so you don't feel all "yucky" when you see him in (or out) of the therapeutic relationship. ! :)
You have my sincere thanks for you help.
Take a deep breath... talk to your friends... and please, contact the state board.
You'll be helping yourself, other clients, and possible your therapist as well.
At least you'll have peace of mind as you move forward.
"Roger" have a nice evening.
Good to speak with you. Have a great night.
Please click <ACCEPT>
He will be a hard habit to break...