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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4297
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I am a 70 year old male who has been obsessed with a 26 year

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I am a 70 year old male who has been obsessed with a 26 year old ballroom dance instructor for almost a year now-I have children older than she ,two of which are daughters and have always made it an unwritten rule to "ignore" any female younger than my oldest daughter who is now 41-as the saying goes "there are exceptions to every rule" and sadly mine is one of those situations-I have given no indication to the instructor that I am attracted to her-I am extremely uncomfortable with the situation and have been unsuccessful at self analysis and am at my wits end as how terminate these feelings-abstinence would be the most obvious route to take,however,I am passionate about dancing and would be "cutting off my nose to spite my face" should I quit frequenting her place of business-what is at the root of my quandary? Thankyou
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 8 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern today

Dr. Z :

Give me one minute to read over your question so that I can better assist you

Dr. Z :

I am sorry to hear that these feelings for this young ballroom dancer are overwhelming to you, I would like to ask you a few questions to get some more information so that I can better assist you

Dr. Z :

Have you ever had strong feelings for someone before that was in a similar scenario as this one?

Dr. Z :

Since you have such a passion for dancing and it appears that when you went to other dance room halls you were not happy, I would not want to deprive you of being happy with your passion. May I ask how long did you try other dance room halls for?

Customer:

Yes-two other halls-both about 3 times apiece covering the last year or so

Dr. Z :

And sorry for asking I am someone with two left feet, but how often would you usually go to a dance hall per week?

Customer:

And no I have not had strong feelings for previous instructors

Customer:

Usually once a week-however that varies with classes and lessons-but usually on Sat nite only

Dr. Z :

Okay, well 6 times total in the last year not going to that dance hall with this instructor is not enough time to get over this "obsession" that you have, you would have to frequent dance halls for a longer period of time to forget about her and just be happy with the dancing. May I ask why does this make you feel uncomfortable besides the age difference?

Dr. Z :

I mean I understand your concern, but if nothing happens between you two and you both enjoy the dancing, then who are you hurting with these thoughts?

Dr. Z :

But if you really want to stop obsessing over this woman, well I can recommend some good Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Techniques and books to help with this. CBT is the most effective therapy to date to treat obsessions and similar thought processes. CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen.

Customer:

The scary part is that I do want something to happen but deep down know that I'm being unrealistic and will not "declare" to her for fear of rejection or even ridicule that could result-I have had success in attracting "younger" women in the past-my last steady lady was 19 years younger than I and have had other experiences with women younger than myself-is it possible that I am "stuck" at a certain age in my mind and can't seem to find a way out-women in their 60's hold no appeal whatsoever for me-suggestions for CBT books would be welcome-worth a try

Dr. Z :

I understand, and would not want you to face ridicule, but you have had this instructor for a year and while these "obsessions" have overwhelmed you at times, you have still always managed to maintain your composure and not try anything. So what we will do is treat this like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), even though you do not have OCD, but the obsessions part of the treatment will be the treatment protocol that will greatly help you. So these books can help you greatly

Dr. Z :

Now in the beginning with any treatment plan, you will notice an increase in anxiety and uncomfortable thoughts, but these will pass as these techniques start to greatly take hold.

Dr. Z :

So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want you to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more objective and plausible). This will help you change your way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

Dr. Z :

Also individuals with Obsessive thoughts have a poor coping mechanism, so this worksheet will help you develop a better coping strategy to manage your symptoms better.

Dr. Z :

These are examples of good CBT techniques that will help you think more objectively about the situation because I think you are more attracted to her dance than her specifically and this will help you to focus less on your attraction of her as a person and more on her dancing

Dr. Z :

Do you have any concerns or questions at all?

Customer:

OK-certainly worth a try-yes more attracted to her dancing-I even wrote a little piece about dancing which was inspired by my dancing with her-I'll share it with you if you don't mind-How do I describe this splendid sensation-no plausible explanation will suffice-floating and falling freely through space-gliding with angels-the fourth dimension vanishes-astral travel becomes a possibility and one's soul transcends to infinity-very corny but thought when I wrote it would alleviate my emotions-didn't work!

Customer:

Anyway-thx for the assistance-I'll check out those books

Dr. Z :

That was very lovely, thank you for sharing that. These techniques will definitely work for you and will help you lessen your attraction and obsessive thoughts (particularly the second book I recommended). I wish you the best of luck and my goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Dr. Z :

Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

Customer:

Will do-thx again

Dr. Z :

You are most welcome :)

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4297
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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