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Therapeutic sessions... sex... and tragic outcomes...


Guest existindeath
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Guest existindeath

Upon reading various concerns expressed and their responses there seems to be this driven force of affirmation that all sexual attraction is normal and almost expected between therapist; psychologist; psychiatrist and patient.

While this is true to some extent it has to be keep in content. Ex: Someone expressed that their therapist would have them relive the experience of being raped over and over again while he would repeatedly assure them that it was alright. That this person was in their so called safe zone and he was there. Now that being said...while this needed to be revealed to confront their fear appropriately through discussions etc. That would normally be the end of this event. There needs no further reliving of the situation that can now be discussed. Instead we have a patient claiming they would relive this moment again and again only to be comforted by their therapist.

Naturally the mind is going to take what happened and fixate on the stay in your comfort zone and the stated remark from the therapist of "I'm here." Result you now have the patient eventually having the rapists be the doctor. Not a huge step in any manner but a large step backwards with a bigger problem. Your safe zone is now your doctor and also your rapist. How messed up is that? Very much so.

Conventional wisdom would have addressed this issue when the problem was divulged. The therapist needed not replay this matter over and over again to the point of dependence by the patient ending with a sexual fixation.

While it is normal for one to get attached to a close friend of the opposite sex we often manage to keep it there knowing the ramifications of stepping over that line.

In life we have many opportunities where attractions drive us towards someone but because of circumstances or common sense of the situation we instinctively know to back off.

Therapists are only human with real life's of their own; while schooled well in the psychology of the mind they are sometimes confronted with the attraction issue because of the close relationship that transpires in session with the patients. Naturally they usually explain the situation so it can be quickly resolved and not become problematic to either party. Then comfort zones and trust are kept and sessions can continue.

Though what seems to be accepted and over the top is this declaration by a patient wanting to sleep with their therapist that is almost cheered upon on this board.

While yes these things do happen it is far less then then one might expect here. So is it possible to have a close relationship of mutual trust with one of the opposite sex without sexual attraction while accomplishing your therapy. Of course it is.... and many if not most do.

Another consideration is how the patient would react if the therapist was startled by or even caught unaware of this emotion. He/She might quickly reject such a notion carelessly leaving a vulnerable patient in disarray...though one would think they would all know of this but we are all human and even the best of us make mistakes.

Then there are some who say there is no better way then to kill a relationship permanently then to express a strong love or sexual desire with your therapist. (especially if you start stalking).

As for safe zones... think Fort Knox.:)

Edited by existindeath
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Hummm... lots to think about. Therapist and health care professionals are indeed humans, and I've see many that I thought had more issues than I did :P Sometimes I think it must very hard to hear about people's problems all the time, because as someone who lives with depression, I don't spend much time with them once I'm happy...:). I know my GP is quite tired with her profession; she's curt, has no patience, is a bit too quick with the prescription pad, and is looking too thin...

That's why we have to remain conscious that this is our health and we have to take responsibility for it, like we would our home. If someone does a bad job fixing the plumbing, we move on to the next plumber. I had terrible back problems for a long time and eventually became handicapped because of it. I went through the medical system like a Snakes and Ladders board and learned that you have to be judicious about who you let treat you...

Anyway, welcome to the forum existingdeath

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Guest existindeath

Hi Symora,

So your GP is tired...huh. Actually it's not too surprising today with the amount of people they have to see in order to make a decent living. A revolving door of patients and forced quotas would run anyone ragged. Unfortunately it is the patients who suffer when patience runs thin and the only cure perceived is written on a prescription pad. One has to wonder who actually needs the medication more.

Your so right to mention that we are responsible for our own well being in the end. It is our bodies and mind at stake... something we don't want messed up. Though not everyone is capable of making a good judgment while having mental problems... medications can compound this issue as they leave you in the duh zone.:eek:

I just thought this had to be stated seeing some of these posts here.

Thanks for the welcome as I do not post often but do skim the area on occasion.:)

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Guest existindeath

IrmaJean

It doesn't have to be that way, it really doesn't. I developed strong feelings of love (very pure and sweet) for my therapist

This worked because you had a full understanding of the relationship and respected it. So yes you naturally trusted and shared your thoughts as most patients do with their therapist in such an atmosphere.

IrmaJean

It was something which I needed and wanted to fully express to him, which I was able to do before leaving therapy.

Understandably.

The relationship between therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist is based on trust. From there more building blocks are added and placed. In time many relate to their therapists in a constructive manner. It only becomes destructive when the attachment develops into a sexual fixation to the point of dependence. Where reality is skewed and love/sex are meshed into a relationship that was meant for healing... but can't be understood by the patient that further pursuit of a love/sex relationship cannot happen. In this situation the therapist has no choice but to end the relationship for the benefit of the patient and themselves.

The reason this post was written was to basically bring to attention that most people who go to therapy do not form a sexual attraction to their therapists. Advocating that all or a majority feel this way is misleading and only places a thought in the minds of many who never would have dwelled on such had it not been overly mentioned.

Edited by existindeath
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello,

The exploration of erotic feelings for the therapist depends largely on the therapist’s approach and length of treatment. Psychoanalysts and psychodynamic therapists work in great depth with the transference, basically any kind of feeling that the person feels for the therapist, within clear and safe boundaries. This means that while the feelings can be expressed, they cannot be acted upon. Psychotherapists also feel a wide range of feelings for their clients, including at times, erotic attraction. These feelings are for psychoanalysts and psychodynamic therapists important resources to understand the people they work with. In order to protect both the people and the therapists, therapists abide to a strict ethical code that prevents them from acting out on these feelings. They also have regular supervision, which helps them to think and to clarify their feelings for the people they work with and their work in general.

I understand that this may feel quite frightening and even intimidating for many people. There are other therapists that use different approaches and techniques that do not work with transference/countertransference, and that is also ok IF that suits the person. I think that the person has to look for information about the kind of therapy (s)he is looking for. Personally, I’m very happy to have a psychoanalyst that works with the variety of my very human condition and this means that he accepts my love, my anger, my murderous feelings, my gratitude, my erotic feelings, my vulnerability, my insecurity, my humour, my despair, my hope, my laughter, my tears, my fear,………… But I had a psychiatrist in the passed that didn’t. I knew nothing of transference then and felt mostly confused and of course inappropriate and rejected. I understood though that our work together would have a different focus.

A word on dependency: “one has to be dependent in order to become independent”. These are my therapist’s words. A long term work allows for experience dependency before separation and independency.

Different therapies have different focus, different people have different needs.

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Hi IrmaJean

I do agree with you and it is my wish that all therapists regardless their approach were trained to expect and work with the feelings and fantasies that come up in the therapeutic relationship. However, that is not the case. And that is why I think that it is important to look for information about the kind of therapy and also, for the kind of therapist one is looking for.

I can see that you feel very deeply about people’s feelings and experiences in therapy being accepted as yours were. You can see how important and perhaps even detrimental that was for your process. As it was and is in mine.

But I also think that many people are not ready to face that kind of inner reality, and that meant to answer existindeath “While yes these things do happen it is far less then then one might expect here. So is it possible to have a close relationship of mutual trust with one of the opposite sex without sexual attraction while accomplishing your therapy. Of course it is.... and many if not most do..” – Erotic feelings are a very delicate subject for the client and you can see here how people feel extremely ashamed and threatened by those feelings. It may take years until someone is actually ready to face that reality and many people are not in therapy for that many years. Many therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists didn’t go through their own therapeutic process and find it very difficult to deal with their inner reality themselves. This is true and unfortunately I know some.

I think that what this shows is how vulnerable we all feel in the therapeutic setting, how hard is to imagine to be vulnerable in the presence of another human being that is not going to respond in a positive way, that is going to drop us instead of holding what needs nourishing and attention. I agree, that can have or will most certainly have an incredible negative effect on the person.

Knowing that not all therapists are trained in a way as to accept and think others’ and their own experiences as you and also I think to be essential, my advise is to always look for what kind of therapy one is looking for, the therapist’s qualifications, years of experience and in my opinion, most important, whether (s)he has supervision. These are valid questions to ask in any first meeting, but I do understand that if one is not attending private sessions, the process of looking and choosing can be more difficult.

PS: i don't understand what you mean by your first sentence "I must learn to guard and protect my wounds and that which makes me human. "

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Sherzade:

A word on dependency: “one has to be dependent in order to become independent”. These are my therapist’s words.

That is a wonderful quote. We make such a thing of being "independent" that we forget that we need each other and that pure independence is a myth. Also, we really do need to be dependent first. We need, as babies, to "attach" to Mom, Dad and more and more people as we grow.

Anway, it seems that you have good experiences with psychotherapy.

Allan ;)

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Guest existindeath
But I also think that many people are not ready to face that kind of inner reality
Erotic feelings are a very delicate subject for the client and you can see here how people feel extremely ashamed and threatened by those feelings. It may take years until someone is actually ready to face that reality

Though many do feel differently in the therapist patient relationship it is still misleading to say all will have these sensations. The reality remains that countless will not form this kind of dependency.

As with all kinds of dependency issues some are obviously not healthy; dependency for emotional need/relationship leading to a destructive co-dependecy; dependency for the sake of being dependent; dependency in cults and so on. Then there are those who enter therapy already DPN (Dependent Personality Disorder) who are indeed needy.

As for the quote

“one has to be dependent in order to become independent”
albeit sounding pleasant it is not always applicable. While ASchwartz does a nice analogy of babies needing parents to grow... it would barely be the case with all patients requiring dependency.

Stating that dependency is a needed factor in the therapeutic relationship for one to achieve an adequate or full recovery would be saying that the rest could not be salvageable.

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