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Old 11-30-2005, 07:45 PM   #1
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Pfretzsch HB User
A Crush (erotic transference) on a Shrink/Therapist

This email could have been posted on any number of boards; however, the Depression board is probably as good as any for this type of question.

Has anybody had a crush (I think the official term is "erotic transference") on their shrink/therapist.

I enjoy working with an opposite gender shrink/therapist because the viewpoint / style is often different and I like the difference and energy that is present. However, the risk of a crush or e.t. is greater. How do others deal with this issue? (which is apparently common)

 
Old 11-30-2005, 07:59 PM   #2
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Re: A Crush (erotic transference) on a Shrink/Therapist

Hi,

I actually am on both sides: I'm both a client and an M.F.T. intern. Although I have yet to have a crush on a therapist it is a very common and not necessarily unhealthy feeling.

Remember, clients often talk to their therapists about things they wouldn't tell anyone else. In short, it is one of the most intimate relationships in their lives (and often the most intimate). Given this fact, it is perfectly natural for erotic transference and counter-transference to occur.

As a therapist I have intuited crushes from certain clients, but only one was actually willing to process it in session. I believe it did wonders for the client since she had very seldom reached out to anyone she wasn't romantically involved with.

I'm not much for advice as a therapist. But as a peer on this board I would suggest you lay it out on the table in session. I know it is hard and perhaps you are embarrassed. Maybe on some level you are worried that it would damage the relationship you have with the therapist. But keep in mind: most therapists with any sort of experience have dealt with this before.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by clemente71; 11-30-2005 at 08:00 PM.

 
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Old 05-11-2007, 06:01 AM   #3
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Re: A Crush (erotic transference) on a Shrink/Therapist

I have personally experienced erotic transference as a patient with a few therapists. Because I was unable to discuss my feelings with him (the therapist), I ultimately crashed and burned, resulting in a major breakdown -- I was even taken to the hospital. Now, although I have some similar feelings toward a different therapist with whom I'm currently working, I feel much more comfortable talking about and addressing such to some extent -- it also helps that this current therapist is MUCH more professional...I won't even get into some of the wicked mistakes my previous therapist made that essentially lead me to believe that he had erotic feelings for me...way to confuse someone now recognizably having BPD (among things). Anyway, the moral is, PLEASE feel comfortable talking with your therapist about your feelings -- if you don't, you should find another therapist...they don't call it the talking cure for nothing

 
Old 05-11-2007, 10:30 AM   #4
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Re: A Crush (erotic transference) on a Shrink/Therapist

Trumpetav does have a good point. Sometimes therapists - especially male - will accidentally(?) say something that most reasonable people would generally consider to be flirtatious or otherwise inappropriate for the relationship.

My therapist let something slip from his mouth that I was so surprized about that I couldn't think fast enough to respond, so I brought it up later.

The therapist was stunned that he had said that and commented that he remembered being taken aback by something I had just said and was thinking that he needed to say something to give himself time to regroup. What he said was an error (and it wasn't an OK one).

He apologized for his comment and explained why it happened (see above) and that he knows it shouldn't have happened.

One of the hardest things is to call somebody on what they said. The nice part is that your therapist's office should be a safe place to practise doing that. Once you do it, it is easier the next time.

Not all comments that we need to call somebody on are of this nature; however, it is usually something uncomfortable.

 
Old 05-11-2007, 10:36 AM   #5
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Re: A Crush (erotic transference) on a Shrink/Therapist

Fascinating topic, I'm glad you brought it up. I'm female and prefer meeting with a male therapist. I have seen both men and women. I have great appreciation and respect for my male therapist, but I can't say I've ever had other feelings for him. I've thought about him outside the office and wondered what is life is like, but that's it. In session I've asked myself if I was attracted to him, and I've always been able to tell myself "no". I've broken into tears when thinking that our relationship would some day come to an end. If our relationship were different I'd love to count him among my friends, but that would be it.

 
Old 05-11-2007, 10:41 AM   #6
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Re: A Crush (erotic transference) on a Shrink/Therapist

You are fortunate to be able to keep it in perspective. It is sad to realize that one of the best intimate and intellectually stimulating relationships is the one I have with my therapist. Part of the problem is that we don't often meet with somebody just to talk (and without distraction yet), so the therapy scenario is rare.

Plus a therapist is educated, introspective, and intellectually curious, which makes them an ideal person to have a conversation with.

 
Old 05-11-2007, 10:44 AM   #7
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Re: A Crush (erotic transference) on a Shrink/Therapist

That is so true. My husband is not a conversationalist, so my therapist is the only person I have stimulating, face to face conversations with.

Yeah, I talk like I have my stuff together, but I bet if I found out my therapist had a girlfriend or wife I'd get really jealous.

Last edited by MariaBB; 05-11-2007 at 10:45 AM.

 
Old 05-11-2007, 12:25 PM   #8
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Re: A Crush (erotic transference) on a Shrink/Therapist

This is a REALLY good topic. Thanks for posting it. And yes, I've experienced this.

It's awful. I'm just now "digging out of it all." Mine was more of an "attachment..." I mean, I was not interested in anything sexual AT ALL. Still it was hard.

I'd like to talk more about this... But have to go right now. MORE later, I hope!!
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:35 PM   #9
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Re: A Crush (erotic transference) on a Shrink/Therapist

Attachment is the perfect word for me too. I'm not feeling it now because he's been really coming down on me about something. But there have been times when I was Really depressed and felt I couldn't go through a day without talking to him. Sometimes I wish I had a female therapist because I think it would be harder to leave when I am "cured". I still feel sad when I think about being fully recovered and not seeing him anymore. Sure I want to get well, but then will I be lonely? This is such a sticky topic.

Last edited by MariaBB; 05-11-2007 at 12:36 PM.

 
Old 05-14-2007, 06:30 PM   #10
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Re: A Crush (erotic transference) on a Shrink/Therapist

Just think...if you're on any kind of medications, you're probably going to be seeing your therapist for a while -- at least that's the logic I use to convince myself/avoid thinking about terminating our sessions

 
Old 05-15-2007, 10:26 AM   #11
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Re: A Crush (erotic transference) on a Shrink/Therapist

Good point, Trum. Also, I keep thinking I'm getting better, and then I'm triggered into a relapse. At the rate I'm going I'll never have to say goodbye.

 
Old 06-01-2007, 07:32 AM   #12
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Re: A Crush (erotic transference) on a Shrink/Therapist

Amen to that, Maria, and sometimes it sounds sick to me, but I swear that somewhere deep within my psyche, I wish for such a relapse to occur, rendering me incapable of function as I need to on a daily basis. My therapist was just away for about 3 wks -- I was proud of myself that I mostly was able to deal effectively (and even seem to have made some progress), but now that he's back, and we've subsequently had a session, I feel a relapse coming on in hypo mania. I called him -- guess it's something we'll hafta address next time (here's hoping it doesn't become more acute). I also worry that I'm gonna be seduced by alcohol again...I feel the need to drink...you know, to get and keep that (or some kinda) "high" goin. ::sigh:: It seems like all I can do is pop a few lorazepam and go to bed...except that's not possible right now cuz I hafta work. Again, I kinda worry about the drinking thing, especially as one of my best friends just turned 21 yesterday (I've actually only been legal for a little over a month myself). Suggestions, anybody? Please? Ohhhhhh the hypo mania is trying to cosume me!

 
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