I slept with my therapist, now what?

Wonder Woman

MyPTSD Pro
I feel so heartbroken for you. You opened yourself up to her in the hopes of finding healing and she totally wrecked the trust you put in her. Such a terrible violation. I understand you are an adult, but she is supposed to be the professional. You are working on some stuff that seriously f*cked with your ability to trust and relate.

I pray you have stopped all contact with her. You need to protect yourself from her; she is like a vulture, as far as I'm concerned. I hope you will report her. What she did is beyond unethical.

By the way, it is never healthy to have a relationship with your counselor outside of the office / sessions. Calling or texting to ask questions is one thing, but the relationship needs to have professional boundaries. I only write this for FYI purposes. Please, don't beat yourself up over this, because she took advantage of you and knew all of you vulnerabilities. Makes me sick that she derailed your healing process.

Sorry, if my anger is too much. I just hate it when people who are already hurting are hurt by someone who is supposed to be helping them. It is so sad and infuriating.

I pray you find the help you need. Please, be kind to yourself. Know that she was at fault.
 

susannahsays

Confident
Hmm. If she was black out drunk, she couldn't consent to sex. I might be scared to report because of this, although it is clear she engaged in some ethical violations even if she did not consent to sex. What a mess.

If nobody's mentioned it yet, TELL (Therapy Exploitation Link Line) might be a good resource for you.
 
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shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
I got to page 7 of this posting and am disturbed by what seems to be some victim blaming/shaming attitudes here. Clearly the OP is not ready to do what some are insisting that she do - which is turn in her therapist. I am not certain that anyone on the internet should be insisting anyone do their bidding. I get the feeling that this is attachment stuff and it is really, really, truly difficult.

To the OP. I have had a couple of friendships with counsellors. Nothing sexual. 1 of them turned into something really bad when I started to get my power back - which I think might be what will have to play out here when you start getting the power back that you would certainly have lost when you slept with her. My concern would be that you won't attempt to get your power back given what has happened and that will drastically impact your healing. You deserve better than that.

You did say that you were confused and really had no idea what emotions are coming into play here in figuring out your place in this relationship (therapeutic / intimate). Makes total sense to me. I would have a very hard time dealing a blow that might feel like betrayal to your therapist.

I have a suggestion that perhaps might help you gain perspective - which I think would be the best goal right now as you yourself have said that you don't know how to gain that perspective. How about asking your therapist to financially support your seeing another therapist strictly for the issue of you and she sleeping together. That you need to gain perspective on it and are looking for answers as to what would be the right thing for you to do. I would do this by telephone and I would watch to see what her reaction is before I would be candid about whether you will be figuring out whether she should be reported. I would do this over the phone and would not go to see her again if she is aggressive at all in her reaction to your request.

I feel this will help you to see if she is truly looking out for your best interests and that would be idea behind this. If she will support you in that - regardless of the potential (sure) hit she will take, then that would mean something to me. If she tries to discourage you - then she isn't looking out for your best interests but rather her own - which isn't good for you moving forward.

Just a few thoughts but to me the biggest problem from a trauma perspective here is your being forced to 'sit still' through this issue rather than being able to move forward without having to worry about damaging your therapist.
 

Valley

New Here
@Muted i am so proud of you too! What you did is very hard! I agree with @osiris and getting another therapist! Without my new therapist I never could have done what I did. She has helped me understand what happened was wrong and that it wasn’t my fault. That this therapist took advantage. At first after I stopped contact I was still obsessing about her but once I worked through my feelings and could see what it actually was then I felt free. Please know you were taken advantage of, I understand taking responsibility but your relationship with your therapist is different and she was the responsible one. She was the one that had to monitor these type of feelings. I never had these feelings before about a woman and I have some close girlfriends. It was so hard for me to understand. But it was the therapist client relationship and the transference that I was feeling. I had her on a pedestal when I was seeing her as a therapist and it continued when we were friends but that was the transference. As my current therapist now says I had no chance. Please know that. It will get better hang in there.
@Bird33 I’m sorry to jump into this thread. Forgive me. I’ve read your post about your relationship with your ex therapist. You are writing about my life and all I want to do is cry. I can’t believe There’s someone else out there like me.
 

Bird33

MyPTSD Pro
@Bird33 I’m sorry to jump into this thread. Forgive me. I’ve read your post about your relationship with your ex therapist. You are writing about my life and all I want to do is cry. I can’t believe There’s someone else out there like me.
@Valley im sorry that you are going through something similar, it’s awful to hear others issues with therapists. It is such a betrayal of trust that should never happen. The abuse that we have suffered from that causes us to need therapists in the first place is enough to deal with. Do you need or want to talk? I’m in a much better place now but I’m still dealing with the aftermath from that relationship. I would love to listen if you need it.
 

Valley

New Here
@Valley im sorry that you are going through something similar, it’s awful to hear others issues with therapists. It is such a betrayal of trust that should never happen. The abuse that we have suffered from that causes us to need therapists in the first place is enough to deal with. Do you need or want to talk? I’m in a much better place now but I’m still dealing with the aftermath from that relationship. I would love to listen if you need it.
@Bird33 Thank you for responding. It has been such a lonely road for me. 10+ years. I feel as though I can’t share my story with anyone. Who’s going to understand transference and countertransference, the damage that taking our relationship outside of that safe havens that was her office has caused, but also the beautiful and deep meaningfully connection that we share, all of this is just too complicated for anyone to understand unless you’ve lived through it. I’m happy to know that you are in a much better place. It truly makes me happy for you because I read and shared your pain in your original post. That’s how I found you. It gives me hope. Yesterday, I finally walked away. I feel physically ill.
I have a new psychologist. It’s been about a year now. I’ve been able to tackle a lot of the underlying issues. But I have a long road ahead. I couldn’t stay anymore. I know that I’m in love with her, unfortunately she doesn’t feel the same way about me. She wants intimacy and connection but it’s just too close for comfort for me. Watching her date and have relationships with other people is like torture. She says that I can work through those feelings of jealousy but I don’t agree. All my attachments issues stem from my childhood. I was rejected and neglected by my mother. Her rejection of me feels like I’m reliving that pain again and it is excruciating. I had to let go of her. She fought me hard always has. I have no idea what’s next. Like I said before.. I’m sorry to the original poster of this thread. I’m new here and had no idea how to reach you. Any and all advice is welcome. Thank you:)
 

Valley

New Here
Thank you for checking in on me. I feel like things are ok right now. I’m really trying to just take a day at a time and that seems to be helping me.
@Muted I understand everything you’ve written. I know how you feel. I too feel responsible for my part in my story with my ex therapist. I want to protect her. She loves me and I love her. She gets me too. We have tried very hard to have a “normal” relationship. But somehow something always goes wrong. My advice is to get a new therapist that will help you. Please correct me if I’m wrong but everything you say to them is confidential unless they believe that your ex-therapist is a danger to her other clients. My therapist had given me her word that she will not report her. That has given me the reassurance that she is protected and that had helped me tremendously in my own healing. Believe me if I thought she was a danger to others I would be the first to report her. I understand that what she did to me is wrong. There was no sex involved with us but therapeutic boundaries were still broken. Being in therapy again has given me back some power and that is what you need as well. That’s why you feel lost. You need to take care of yourself in order to process all of this. I know that you can’t possibly imagine that someone else could understand you.. but you can.. it took me a while and a few therapist before I found the perfect one for me.
It’s EXTREMELY confusing and unless you’ve experienced personally, it is very difficult to understand. You literally feel torn. Muted... take the focus off of her and heal yourself. You can not help her.
 

Bird33

MyPTSD Pro
@Bird33 Thank you for responding. It has been such a lonely road for me. 10+ years. I feel as though I can’t share my story with anyone. Who’s going to understand transference and countertransference, the damage that taking our relationship outside of that safe havens that was her office has caused, but also the beautiful and deep meaningfully connection that we share, all of this is just too complicated for anyone to understand unless you’ve lived through it. I’m happy to know that you are in a much better place. It truly makes me happy for you because I read and shared your pain in your original post. That’s how I found you. It gives me hope. Yesterday, I finally walked away. I feel physically ill.
I have a new psychologist. It’s been about a year now. I’ve been able to tackle a lot of the underlying issues. But I have a long road ahead. I couldn’t stay anymore. I know that I’m in love with her, unfortunately she doesn’t feel the same way about me. She wants intimacy and connection but it’s just too close for comfort for me. Watching her date and have relationships with other people is like torture. She says that I can work through those feelings of jealousy but I don’t agree. All my attachments issues stem from my childhood. I was rejected and neglected by my mother. Her rejection of me feels like I’m reliving that pain again and it is excruciating. I had to let go of her. She fought me hard always has. I have no idea what’s next. Like I said before.. I’m sorry to the original poster of this thread. I’m new here and had no idea how to reach you. Any and all advice is welcome. Thank you:)
@Valley lets find another way to talk. I’m not sure of the best way but I totally understand what you are going through. It was the most painful and confusing thing that I have had to go through! I cut off ties completely with her blocking her in everything and everyone we knew mutually, I blocked them to. It made things much easier to deal with my own things. It was the best move I ever made. Don’t get me wrong it was a struggle for a while but now over a year later I’m in such a good place and I have made a new friend(the normal way) that feels like a bestie that I thought I had with my extherapist. But seeing this relationship with this new friend and how it developed shows me how wrong the other relationship really was. I have other close friends but seeing this new friendship develop in the normal ways after going through what I did with my ex therapist is priceless. It is such a wonderful lesson. My extherapist is a narcissist, I see it clearly now. Please let’s talk. I want to help. 😊
 

Valley

New Here
@Valley lets find another way to talk. I’m not sure of the best way but I totally understand what you are going through. It was the most painful and confusing thing that I have had to go through! I cut off ties completely with her blocking her in everything and everyone we knew mutually, I blocked them to. It made things much easier to deal with my own things. It was the best move I ever made. Don’t get me wrong it was a struggle for a while but now over a year later I’m in such a good place and I have made a new friend(the normal way) that feels like a bestie that I thought I had with my extherapist. But seeing this relationship with this new friend and how it developed shows me how wrong the other relationship really was. I have other close friends but seeing this new friendship develop in the normal ways after going through what I did with my ex therapist is priceless. It is such a wonderful lesson. My extherapist is a narcissist, I see it clearly now. Please let’s talk. I want to help. 😊
@Bird33 I would love to have a conversation. I’m so happy to hear that you’re in a better place. Inspiring. I’m sure you know where I am in my journey.. I do not want to live myself without her. I know you’ll have compassion for that statement. I have no hope that she’ll ever love me, but she does offer me friendship. Is that even possible? My therapist says she a narcissists too. How can I not see this?!?I’ve never been rejected in the romantic sense because I’ve never pursued anyone romantically in my life. Now my ego is throwing a temper tantrum and watching her have boyfriends makes me insane with jealousy. All very immature reactions. I know. But my transference makes me feel like a child. It’s absolutely terrible. What did cutting your ex therapist out of your life feel like? How did she react?
 

Rumors

MyPTSD Pro
@Valley food for thought... you seem to be very concerned with protecting her even though you are clear that she broke therapeutic boundaries and has caused this enormous amount of pain and struggle that you are going through. Why would you not want to report her to keep her from doing this ^^^ to someone else who may fall vulnerable to her? Perhaps the next person isn't as strong as you are to seek help from another therapist and they suffer. I'm just wondering if perhaps that thought process is part of what you need to explore more? Is protecting people who treat you badly routine? I mean no offense..I am guilty of the same thing. I tend to protect the people who treat me the worst! Sending you good mojo and hope you are able to feel better soon....
 

Bird33

MyPTSD Pro
@Bird33 I would love to have a conversation. I’m so happy to hear that you’re in a better place. Inspiring. I’m sure you know where I am in my journey.. I do not want to live myself without her. I know you’ll have compassion for that statement. I have no hope that she’ll ever love me, but she does offer me friendship. Is that even possible? My therapist says she a narcissists too. How can I not see this?!?I’ve never been rejected in the romantic sense because I’ve never pursued anyone romantically in my life. Now my ego is throwing a temper tantrum and watching her have boyfriends makes me insane with jealousy. All very immature reactions. I know. But my transference makes me feel like a child. It’s absolutely terrible. What did cutting your ex therapist out of your life feel like? How did she react?
@Valley i understand how you are feeling, I was in the exact same spot last year. I felt I couldn’t live without her but in reality looking back now I wasn’t living with her. I was always trying to make her happy, impress her do whatever she wanted. It was not me and made me feel worse about myself.
I couldn’t see that my therapist was a narcissist when I was in the relationship either. As soon as I started to separate it became very clear and now when I look back I can see all the signs like there is a spotlight focusing on it!
I understand the transference making you feel like a child! I felt the same way but to break that transference you have to break away completely. Trust me. I didn’t think I could do it and I didn’t think I would be able to survive if I did do it but I am in such a better place. I am back to myself. I am not obsessing about someone else.
My extherapist tried to hang on but then turned very mean. It was eye opening. I blocked her in everything including people we knew mutually. She did not like that. Best thing I ever did!
 

Valley

New Here
@Valley food for thought... you seem to be very concerned with protecting her even though you are clear that she broke therapeutic boundaries and has caused this enormous amount of pain and struggle that you are going through. Why would you not want to report her to keep her from doing this ^^^ to someone else who may fall vulnerable to her? Perhaps the next person isn't as strong as you are to seek help from another therapist and they suffer. I'm just wondering if perhaps that thought process is part of what you need to explore more? Is protecting people who treat you badly routine? I mean no offense..I am guilty of the same thing. I tend to protect the people who treat me the worst! Sending you good mojo and hope you are able to feel better soon....
@Rumors thank you for your comment. I will answer it truthfully. I do not believe she is a threat to another person. I am a protector by nature and would never allow this to happen to anyone else. I believe she made a mistake with me very early in her career and has been paying for it since that day by watching me struggle and I in turn cause her a lot of pain by the way I react to her. It’s a vicious cycle. She made a mistake, a mistake that has caused me great suffering but she is not a monster. I do not have a history of abuse. I was just rejected by my mother and emotionally neglected, to this very day. My ex therapist/friend does. This is a beautiful perfect disaster between us as we are both reliving our pasts. We are both attached to each other in a unhealthy way. We do try very hard. I have to give her credit. She is sober now almost 10 years. and has been able to be a much better person to me. I know that she broke a boundary. I hold her responsible. She acknowledges that what she did was wrong has asked me for her forgiveness. I say I forgive her but I feel that may not be completely true. It doesn’t help that I am in love or something with her. She doesn’t feel the same way about me and I’m having a very difficult time with that. After 10 + years of friendship I finally revealed this info to her that November. She doesn’t feel that way about me. She loves me but as a friend. We can be great friends to each other, but now that my secret is out I’m having a very hard time. The jealousy is like fire in the pit of my soul. I don’t have experience with rejection of the romantic kind either. Our transference/ countertransference brings us back to our early childhood wounds therefore we both have very childlike reactions to each other. It’s VERY complicated to understand and even more complicated to live. I will say this. If I believe that there is a threat to someone else. I will not hesitate to report her. Thanks for the good mojo.. I struggle but I’m very fortunate in many ways. I really enjoyed your perspective. Thank you for making me think. Great mojo back to you!
 
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