I wanted to ask a couple of follow up questions about my therapist, the one I asked about previously. I haven't gone back to see him since the end of June due to his and my summer travel schedules.
BotXXXXX XXXXXne up front: I think he (my therapist) needs me more than I need him.
When I told him this, he got rather upset and said (via text) I "experience boundaries personally. I have these boundaries with all my clients. It isn't personal and has nothing to do with liking you or not. You are very likable and like everyone also have behaviors and action patterns to work on."
Issue: it still really bothers me that he has friends over when he sees clients sometimes. He assured me his friends all respect what he does and that it isn't an issue. However, sound carries, especially if the screen door in his office is open and someone is upstairs (he lives in a two story condo by the beach). His friend from work, who is also his chiropractor, stays with him when he is in town but when questioned he said different licensing rules and Dr. S is friends with many of his patients.
Issue: Given that he, my therapist, is a lecturer at the ARE, where he utilizes the exact same techniques (including scripts for hypnosis, the difference being at the ARE it is group hypnosis and in his office as part of a therapy session it is one on one), how can he have a double standard by being friends with people who come to his classes/lectures at the ARE but then hold to the state board rules/regulations that forbid any friendship/other relationshp outside that of client/therapist for a minimum of 3 years to me (especially since we interact in both places)? It seems like a conflict of interest, or at least a double standard.
He gets referrals for clients from the ARE sometimes. Granted they are not "friends" according to him. He has "never had a friend become a client, although several friends have asked". But he ends up acting like a "therapist" to his friends at times (from what I have glimpsed).
My close friend indirectly works for him, he is the supervisor at the ARE visitor center (she works in the bookstore) and she thinks there is a strange dynamic between he and I that he is not healthy for me (because of some of the things he says or how he replies in emails and text messages.)
Problem is that I miss talking to him, he has been much more of a "life coach" for the past year (and I very happy with that, but it is the source of my confusion as well). I think of him as a favorite teacher, and thus as a friend, not as a therapist. However, I am also hurt and annoyed that there is an inherent conflict of interest in his work as a therapist and also as a visitor center supervisor, lecturer, and tour guide for the ARE.
I gave him an ipod touch ($395) recently as a thank you and vacation gift. He said "thank you...Very kind of you...almost too expensive tho....but thank you all the same."
I like him as a person and he really did
help me through a bad time a couple of years ago (result of a breakup/divorce) when he did functin as a "therapist" for about 4 months back in 2009. I know he has been going through his own issues this year, his wife of three years and he divorced a few months back -- things had not been good between them since I first met him.
I am hurt because I really want him to continue to be my life coach, he is really good at it. But while he will do that in his "role as a therapist", it doesn't translate to being also working as a life coach and thus I cannot be "friends" like I have always been with my teachers, coaches, etc. So I am confused because he says one thing but acts another way. And I am hurt because I do like him and miss not asking him about things (work, relationships, etc) because he is very intelligent, funny, and provides perspectives on human behavior that I can then apply at work , with my kids, etc. He also tells me about the trips he takes and some of the interesting people he meets, etc.
I typically follow the rules, unless times (as in current events/geopolicical situations, etc) necessitate a review and restructuring of the rules. So I understand the rules and licensure regulations for a therapist and the way the attorneys and congress dictate health care and education in the US. But I also understand him, his role and strengths as a "healer", the ARE, and what works for me, and how relationships grow. He told me he continued to see his own therapist for almost 20 years because he became like a father to him (his therapist passed away from old age about 10 years ago). I feel the same way towards (my therapist), he is someone who has become a friend (and it is mutual from how my other friends act/behave, etc.)
Any thoughts? Should I still pay to see him as my therapist, but have him fuction as a life coach (but not as a "friend'), one who provides a non biased viewpoint to the questions I always ask? And should I continue to ask him questions or about different things I know he is doing, most of which he answers/discusses (unless I tease him about new girlfriends)? I miss him and his input and discussions about food, travel, music, etc. I also want to go on some of the group tours he leads--he said I am more than welcome to join one.
Sorry this is so complicated, but the conflict of interest (private practice and his multiple ARE roles) and friendship lines are so blurry and he is a good person that I do trust. But the having friends over when a "client" is present is a potential breech of privacy, isn't it? And is it really okay to be friends with your chiropractor but not your therapist?
It bothers me that he can hold survey lectures or healing workshops at the ARE (Here is an excerpt on what his workshop focused on--sounds a lot like therapy and was...)
- Realize the power of thought to shape and transform your daily life
- Recognize the importance of your attitudes and emotions on your spiritual path
- Learn the role of ideals, forgiveness, and loving service to your soul's journey
- Establish realistic, practical goals that make life more meaningful day by day
Apologies for being less than succinct--I am a member of the ARE so our interactions are complicated by design.
I know my issues with him are my fault, but I am used to dealing with complicated situations (policically, etc). Should I find another therapist? Or is this something that I need to work through---as he puts it, " this is part of our work together"?