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Too Attached To Therapist?

Discussion in 'Treatment & Therapy' started by Awakening, Sep 3, 2007.

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  1. Awakening

    Awakening Well-Known Member

    Does anyone else find themselves worrying they are too attached to their therapist/psychologist?

    I worry I'm too dependant. I think she is fabulous and miss her in between sessions, and look forward with much anticipation to the next. (which is kind of weird when the sessions are difficult).

    I find it weird when people forget they have an appointment, I live for my next session.

    I'm not obsessed, and respect her boundaries, but honestly I feel like one session a week isn't enough. I find myself wanting more & more !!??! :redface:

    I really like her & I'm so grateful for her help & support - even when she pisses me off with her challenges!!!

    What's with that?! Am I a weirdo?
    Brenton and falling_wave like this.
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  3. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    I don't think you're a weirdo. Or if you are, maybe I'm one, too. :rolleyes:

    When I was going through the toughest parts of dealing with my traumas I found myself very attached to my therapist. Like you, I respected boundried and such, but I did look forward to my sessions. I think it's because they're people that we trust and that believe us. Also we don't have to explain (like the friends and family) the whys. Our therapists understand why. Hell, they usually tell us that we're not crazy and that what or how we're feeling is caused by the PTSD and what we can do to help ourselves.

    Months and months ago my therapist had made mention of that as I healed that I would need him less and less and would therefore see him less and less. I drove home crying because it felt like something/someone that I really relied on was being taken away from me. It took me a while to understand that it wasn't being taken away from me until I was ready.

    And I'm feeling more and more ready every day. I'm on what I call a small break from my therapy for a while. I'm also using it as a test to see how I handle things without falling back on someone else. So far, so good. A lot of things have happened and I've been able to deal. It's a really good feeling knowing I've come this far and I plan to keep going farther.

    I hope this helped.
  4. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

    No you are not a weirdo Awakening, far from it. I believe you may be experiencing transference, a common occurence in therapy. Basically, transference is where one unconsciously "transfers" feelings from one person to another, very commonly a therapist. So, for example, you say your therapist is fabulous. I don't know your background, however perhaps she listens to you and makes you feel wanted in a way that your mother, sister, female friends have not, so you are in effect tranferring the loving feelings you wish you could have towards important female figures in your life onto her. If you think this sounds correct, I would urge you to speak to your therapist about it. She may be able to help you with it. Transference is very important in some therapies and can be very beneficial. It is nothing to feel badly or strange about.

    Then again, you may just very much like her, and consider her a friend, however it does sound like transference to me, given my counseling background.
  5. pandora

    pandora I'm a VIP

    Awakening.have exactly the same thing!!!

    When she came to my criminal injuries hearing with me ( on her own time) I actually hugged her when it was over!
    i always worry about what i will do when the sessions are done, she has helped me so much. It took a long tome and I am glad that I am still lucky enough to get to go see her.
  6. Awakening

    Awakening Well-Known Member

    I can't thank you all enough for replying. I feel some relief.

    I actually came back thinking I really should delete this post, it's so embarassing.

    A bit of background. I have a very loving family albeit not one that discussed emotions & feelings. My mother had an abusive childhood, and suffered various depressive episodes & generalised anxiety. I've always looked after her, I adore her, and much to my therapists dismay I refuse to tell her I'm unwell. This is easy to do as I live on the other side of the country from my family.

    My Mum often comments how I was a 'little adult' from the beginning. My youngest brother (6 years younger) used to call me Mummy, as I was eager to help with my younger siblings in an effort to take off the burden my mum was clearly under.

    Then I married into a family where everyone needed me, which I loved (or thought I did?). Helping others makes me feel worthy & good about myself. My husband is wonderful but because of his difficult family had some depression himself. I like/d to look after him & his family (who have bipolar, borderline).

    Of course that is until I crumpled into a big heap with this blasted PTSD. Which makes me feel worthless. I feel like I should be the Carer & not the "Victim". Yet at the same time desperately craving comfort. Uggghhh. Internal conflict!

    With my therapist, in the beginning I used to have episodes of real anger/dislike towards her. I'd blow up over minor things. I'd write an angry text message or letter. If she was 6 and half minutes late then she didn't care about me. I was convinced (and still slightly worried) that she is going to abandon me at any moment.

    Back then my therapist mentioned something like I was putting the feelings of my mother onto her. I could see it clearly then.

    I think I will mention this transference thing to her, but god how embarassing. It's definitely getting worse. It's like a bloody schoolgirl crush. I keep thinking about her, what does she think about me, thinking I see her in a crowd, wondering if I will make it to the next session. Then feeling ashamed & bewildered by it.

    As an adult, I do geniunely like her, appreciate her help, and think she's a great therapist. That's all okay. But this 'crush' thing is a whole other ballgame.

    Now I've written a novel!!!!

    Thank you Lisa, Kathy & Pandora. This has been really bothering me & I've felt so ashamed about writing it.
  7. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Nothing to be ashamed of. This is someone who's given you unconditional acceptance. You don't have to take care of her and she's focused on you completely while you're in your sessions.

    I don't think it's a crush as much as maybe an overreliance. And as you heal, your reliance on your therapist will lessen. Speaking to your therapist about how you're feeling is a good thing. Honestly acknowledging your feelings is a big step towards recovery.

    She Cat likes this.
  8. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    I also think that we just feel that we NEED them so much for direction at certain times in our healing, that all of our focus is on them......In time you will learn to lean more on yourself, and less on her...

    Marlene is right......
  9. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member


    Although I don't have personal experience with this (haven't been with a therapist long enough yet!) I do know about it from the therapist end of things.

    We are taught that this is both natural and normal to form a bond with clients and vice versa. That is why therapists have a process for ending therapy. To put closure on it and work through all the feelings of saying good-bye.

    As such, the best thing you could do is tell your therapist about it. That way you can both work through this together and safely.

    Remember, this is a completely normal and expected reaction to therapy ending!

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