so i was doing a lot of reflecting on how happy i am with my current therapist and how this time is so much different than before. though i’ve been unhappy with a lot of therapists i’ve tried, i’ve actually developed strong feelings for certain therapists i’ve had in the past. so hey, remember how i said i don’t read much? well, i certainly read this article. it’s not a new article, by any means, but i stumbled upon it when i was searching google for answers earlier today.
i have a lot of experience shopping of therapists, feeling their personalities out, breaking up with them, and deciding whose style is best for me. thus, i couldn’t agree more with this article.
basically, there can be a lot of gray area when it comes to your relationship with your therapist, but you need to remember to keep it professional and distance yourself if you feel yourself becoming too emotionally invested or if you find that you’re too apathetic. you need to care about your therapist so that you actually listen to him/her. that being said, there are a lot of fine lines that are drawn in terms of boundaries with your therapist. be very, very careful, especially if you’re new to it all.
one of the best parts of this article is when the author explains repeatedly that it is only natural you feel very strongly connected to your therapist: you’re divulging everything about your life, exposing the ugly secrets you keep hidden inside, seeing them on a consistent basis, and viewing them as someone who is professionally trained to take care of you. i know, for myself, i leave my therapist voicemails throughout the week to remind her of talking points i want to bring up in our future sessions or just to have someone listen to me when triggering events/emergencies occur. yes, i sometimes chat with her on the phone even aside from our weekly appointments, but i’m very happy with her and where we stand. sure, we hug at the end of each session, and i’ve accepted a few gifts from her, but this is the healthiest and most ideal patient-therapist relationship i’ve been in in a long while. your therapists job above all else is to help you become a better you.
i bring all this up, because in the past, i’ve had therapists that just didn’t do it for me or had to unarm me to get me to talk more…and that unarming process can be very confusing if you’ve forgotten what healthy relationships are like, which i did forget. so, at the time of my past confusion, i didn’t quite remember or understand what friendship meant and seemed to have lost the whole concept of human connection. that’s what messed with my head. if you find yourself in that same boat, perhaps you have forgotten what it means to have somebody actively listen to you and to truly care in an open and candid way. at that point, you might confuse your therapist for something more…but remember that every decision your therapist makes is all intentional for your benefit and healing in the long run.
yes, you need to care about your therapist. yes you need to listen to your therapist. but no, you cannot confuse those lines of professionalism. therapy can be empowering, but don’t let it empower you in an appropriate way…that’ll only hurt you.