Whenever we feel we cannot be happy or healthy without another person in our lives, the chances for codependency to be already there are very high. If we find ourselves unable to feel good, fulfilled, strong without a person's support, then it could point at codependency attachment to such person. In counseling and psychotherapy we naturally develop attachment to those who support us, but when instead of such experience being empowering, healing and liberating, it becomes a dependency on that other person's physical or emotional closeness for us to be and feel fine, to cope and do take good care of our lives, then that would be codependency.
It seems the Dr. has taken the main authority role in your psyche, like a father who has the power to help and discipline you. On the other hand P seems to be a more emotionally close person to you, more empathic and understanding even more because of how much you have shred with him about your experiences.
In order to prevent developing sexual attachment to a professional, you need to be open and honest C. Remember those are core requirements for psychotherapy to grow and be truly beneficial for you. All sensible areas including the sexual one, should be discussed, even more if they arise during therapy and challenge you. In this way you would be preventing developing something that would undermine the very support you get from it.
I truly believe that the process you got in last session was very good and never a wrong ting at all. This sis what you need to do in psychotherapy work C. Controlling yourself, faking positive feelings, avoiding pain in therapy would be the worst approach. Since therapy is about the opposite of that. That's why you get a professional to facilitate and support such venting process, offering a healing container. Repression and avoidance are not compatible with effective therapy. I am glad you were able to do this C. "Staying in control" in therapy equals undermining it and its potential for healing.
As a person and professional caring about my life and the impact it has on my loved ones and clients, I am always working on myself to identify and eliminate unhealthy patterns, including any codependent trait that could appear in challenging times.
When I notice a client of mine getting sexually attracted to e, I address the situation in a professional and therapeutic way, since it should be used as a way to explore the client's personal-relationships issues, expectations, patterns and more. So it should become an integral aspect to work on the client's therapeutic process. I remind client about boundaries and limits in therapy, about dual relationships and what could undermine therapy if not handled in professional ways.
In case a therapist develops feelings or feels attracted -experience counter transference, he-she must get support from consulting with more experienced professionals about the case in order to make necessary adjustments. If necessary professional would have to look for counseling or psychotherapy him-herself, and if necessary refer client to another clinician if unable to play a professional and ethical role. This is what I do too.
Coming to terms with reality, facing the core problems-approaches limiting and undermining your very healing process and the support you get is essential, and I feel hopeful that you are reflecting on this and making something about it.
You are absolutely right, psychotherapy and counseling are tough if you truly work on yourself and life issues. It could be mediocre or simply nice but useless if you do not do the work you need. This is why people avoid counseling using nay justification possible. Not many are truly willing to work on themselves for real.
Now you see how unhealthy and sabotaging hiding feelings and your real status could be specially when with those who are there to support you. Never a good idea at all.
What you describe about your experience with P sounds very normal. Sexual appealing is normal and denying its existence would never lead to anything healthy. The same happens when we do not use sound judgment and assertiveness taking good care of ourselves and impulses. This is why limits and boundaries are so essential in every human relationship. You know what you feel and when you feel it, but you are able to interact and share and get work done in a responsible and proactive way. That is perfect. Now that you would start showing much more of yourself, instead of faking stability and happiness, it would allow you to truly get and feel better and them to better assist you.
Depending on how much experience, assertiveness, maturity, expertise and ethics a professional in this field happens to have, they would take such a revelation from a very useful and necessary topic to redirect your own therapy for further work on just panic. This is why therapist should only take and keep clients and cases they can effectively and ethically handle.
Affairs happen mostly because people feel unfulfilled and conflicted in their marital relationships. They could happen out of distortions like addictions and personality disorders and other problems, but normally it is this longing we all have to feel loved, connected and supported what leads people to look for a special person. Obviously, experience itself shows us that getting involved with other people while dating or married does create other core issues, and that's why we need to think twice about our choices and actions, if you truly want to be and feel better and not to afford bigger problems. Then I am not horrified at all "C" , but I think I understand what you mean and it makes perfect sense.
Sure you could and should do that "C". But I recommend your counselor to join you ad offer support, to work in a therapeutic way right there while you are into the corner. That could be very useful and beneficial for sure. Talk to them about it.