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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5810
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate, Is this a boundary crossing? I meet this male clinical

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Hi Kate,

Is this a boundary crossing?

I meet this male clinical psychologist once every week on a day program. The members of the program are five women and one man. The staff are the cinical psychologist and 2 other healthcare professionals. We talk with the clinical psychologist one on one every six months and write down short-term and long-term goals each of us wants to achieve in the program. And the clinical psychologist wrote comments for each member. And I unfolded the paper on the bus home, and noticed that he had drawn a cute illustration and a message that said 'Merry Christmas' on the back of the paper. I was delighted because I was secretly feeling attracted to him. Some of the other members were reading comments from him in our room, but no one was talking about any illustrations at all, so I assumed that this was only for me.

How do I take this?

He knows that I need to learn to have healthy boundaries and he did this a week later after he knew about my goal. I am confused and I don't know what to do especially because (I think) I like him.

At this point, there is not enough information to tell if the psychologist is crossing a boundary. If he did this illustration on everyone's paper, then it is not an issue. But if it was just your paper, then it was a boundary crossing because he was singling you out. Doing that while being aware of your feelings for him is putting your progress in the program in jeopardy because it brings a personal feeling into your relationship which needs to remain professional in order for you to focus on your own needs. It is ignoring your struggle with your feelings for him and sending you the message that it is ok to cross the boundary and be personal with him. In other words, it is not helpful to you but harmful instead which goes against what he is there to do.
Since you don't have enough information yet to tell what his intentions are, then it is ok to assume at this point that he didn't mean anything by the illustration. That way, you can carry on as before and interact as you need to. If you still feel uncomfortable about it, it is ok to look into it further. You can ask the other participants about their papers and inquire if they had illustrations on them. It is ok to ask because you are not asking for personal information. If they do not have the same illustration, then you may need to decide if you feel comfortable continuing with this psychologist or you need a change. Even something like this can cause you to be distracted from your goals and throw your progress off.
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you very much for the rating and bonus! If you can, let me know how this turns out. I am hoping that this was just an innocent action on his part and was meant for everyone, and that there was nothing more intended.
Take care,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sure I will.

Thank you so much for your answer and I appreciate it.

I am so glad that I aksed you this quesion.

You're welcome! Anytime. Take care.

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