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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2536
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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I have been seeing my therapist for over 2 years now and I

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I have been seeing my therapist for over 2 years now and I think of him as a dad. Is it bad that I feel so close to him? I tell him, literaly, everything. Why do I feel so attatched?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.
It's a perfectly natural human reaction to develop the feelings you are having in a relationship where you see the other person as being a source of strength, comfort and perhaps wisdom. In itself, it is no bad thing, and may help therapy along, and if helps you open up to him, well and good.

Problems do arise, however, when the client becomes to dependent, or where the therapist takes advantage of the client in an way as a result of their developing nature.

There is some really good detailed information for you here:

http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/6/1/57.full

Best wishes, NormanM
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It seems like we have too good of a bond. And I think I depend on him way too much. When I feel sad, depressed, angry or whatever, I go to him and I vent. He's like my best friend. And it's kind of hard to deal with since I really have no friends. He seems to be the only one who cares and I feed on that. He knows how messed up my family is and he knows I have no one to talk to. I feel like he feels bad for me. Sometimes I try to distance my feelings but I just can't. I honestly love him and if for some reason we had to stop talking I'd be very sad and upset. The only thing I look forward to every week is going to see him. I saw him on tuesday and I had a rough session. I know he cares, if he didn't I wouldn't be able to text him and he would never text me back. Half the time I'm in the office I just want to hug the guy. I just don't want to end up feeling depressed if I ever have to stop talking to him.
Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.
I think your dependency and feelings for your therapist are beginning to pose a problem.

In fairness to your therapist, you really need to be completely open and honest about your feelings for him so that he can help you adjust and also make sure that your therapy proceeds in the right direction..

Taking this approach is the best way to ensure that you do not lose his trust and support, believe me!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am completely honest with him and I've told him how I feel about him. I think he cares about me more than he should. I'm not trying to assume, but some of the things he's said and done made me feel even closer to him. I don't want to break the relationship in any way but I don't want my feelings to get out of control. He knows how attatched I am to him but he seems ok, even happy about it. I don't know what to do. Even if I stopped seeing him in the office, I know we'd talk anyway. I'm not scared in anyway that something bad is going to happen. I just don't know if this is a healthy thing for me. I know everyone has a different opinion and no matter what anyone says I will continue to talk to him. I just need to know if there is a way the relationship can be healthy for the both of us. Things happen in the office that would probably get either of us in trouble. There's nothing sexual but lots of poking, flicking, touching and just physical contact that probably shouldn't happen in a "professional" relationship.
Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.
You are absolutely right to bee deeply concerned. This has now reached the stage where - from your description at least - the relationship has become unprofessional, and in my view, is probably so tainted in that respect that it probably cannot be restored to an appropriate level.

Sorry, but you need to find another therapist, and if you so wish, continue the relationship out of office. That is the only way it could be healthy.

Wishing you the best,
NormanM
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And it's not like he's young and stupid. (Not that all young people are stupid) But he's in his 50's and has plenty of professional experince. It seems that younger males would have more of an issue controlling feelings. I don't dislike the attention, it's rather pleasing. I'm a 20 year old female with no friends, a really messed up childhood and I crave attention, especially from males. I'm wondering if I ever said or did something that made the relationship turn down this odd pathway. Is it possible that I'm at fault for this situation?
Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.
I don't think you can be blamed in any way for this at all. He, however, is at fault for not recognizing what was happening to you, and for not dealing with it appropriately!.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there something I should say to him?
Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.
Yes - I think you should simply tell him that your relationship has moved beyond the bounds of what is acceptable or effective in a therapy situation, and that you feel you need to find another therapist.

If you want to make it clear to him that you would like to continue the relationship on a non professional basis, then that's fine.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey Norman. Sorry for not replying, I had fallen asleep. Thank you so much for helping me out with my concern. You were helpful and I really do appreciate it. I will accept your answer but I do have one more question. Why do you think he would get attatched to me even slightly? I mean counselors aren't supposed to have any emotional attatchment to a client, right?
Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.
Right - but it does happen. If you have been sending out signals, he might.

Whether it has in your case, you are the one who knows best.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2536
Experience: ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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