Hello, I'm a young woman in my 20's and I'm currently seeing a therapist who is absolutely wonderful. He has helped me more than any other therapist I've ever had. We even have a lot in common with each other. It's like he is one of my best friends. I've seen him for over a year now. It's a nice relationship. The problem is, I feel there is some "sexual tension" going on during our sessions as of late. At least I'm concerned there is.
Not too long ago I talked to him about an older man from my past who I met in my college town. I explained how this man (who we'll call Paul) had sexual feelings for me and how we used to talk about our favorite sexual fantasies, which inevitably caused me a lot of trouble with my other relationships.
My therapist was very curious about this--excited in fact (about my sexual fantasies). This was our exchange:
Me: Paul and I used to talk to each other about our sexual fantasies. We had the same desires, which I didn't share with my partner.
My therapist: So...what are your sexual fantasies?
Me: (reluctantly) Well...um...I like to have men _______ me.
My therapist: I see. And...that's what..."gets you there"?
Me: (freaked) Uh, yeah...
I felt slightly violated by that conversation, but very aroused at the same time, especially from how he pressed me to explain how much I needed "it" to get off, as if he wanted to hear me say how "it" made me orgasm. The weird thing is, after that conversation I realized I had strong sexual feelings for him. But my feeling go deeper than that. We connect on a level that I can't get from others. It's not because he comforts me when I'm upset, but that we think in similar ways. He so intelligent and we have amazing conversations.
Eventually I told him about my feelings for him. As I explained how I felt he became very stoic, trying to show no emotion except for some nervousness in reaction to my admission. He just sat there and was absolutely quiet. I asked him how he felt about me. He said, "But...I'm your therapist.". That's all he said.
Now, I have noticed that he is clean shaven when he sees me (when he was negligent about it when I first started seeing him) and smiles a lot more.
I was scared he was going to transfer me to a new therapist because of my transference. But he reassured me that he didn't want to let me go and that I can always come see him, whether it's really necessary or not.
I don't know what to do. Is he crossing the line? Or is this all in my head?
Last edited by pink blobs; 05-23-2012 at 02:21 AM.
My first thought is whether talking about your sexual fantasies is relevant to the reasons why you're in therapy. If it isn't, I don't think it's appropriate for your therapist to be asking such questions. Something else that bothers me is his comment about you coming to see him whether it's necessary or not. I can understand therapists wanting to be supportive of their patients, but if you don't need his help as a therapist I don't see any good reason for you to be seeing him. And him telling you that you need him in a sexual way I think is way beyond appropriate as your therapist.
I think he has already crossed over several lines. My suggestion would be to find a new therapist that will stay in the boundaries of the therapist-patient relationship.
I also feel that he has crossed a line here. This tension and his behaviour is interfering with your progress in therapy. This is reason enough to be very cautious about continuing. It is a lovely feeling to have a therapist on the same wave length, and it is very normal to develop feelings for a therapist (transference), but it must be dealt with in a professional way. His response to your admission of attraction was bizarre for a professional therapist to say the least. You need to be able to trust this man with your life and mental health. I really feel that you should change therapists, this one is blown, quite frankly. Sera
And him telling you that you need him in a sexual way I think is way beyond appropriate as your therapist.
Thanks for the responses. I hope I didn't make it sound confusing. Just to make it clear, I meant to say that he told me that I needed him, but he says it in a way that you can detect sexual undertones. It makes me feel that way at least. He didn't say "you need me sexually". It just feels almost flirtatious.
And you're right, it does seem weird that he is fine with me seeing him even if I have no medical or therapeutic need to do so whatsoever. He even sounded happy talking about the possibility me seeing him for another year or for those to come, as much as I'd like to, basically. And then having him say this while it looks as though his eyes are not "ahem" focused on my face, makes it all the more awkward.
I just don't know why he needed to know what gets me off. It just seemed like a cheap way for him to connect with me like my past boyfriends did. He seems emotional when talking to me about my passionate past. I do have hypersexual tendencies, but it doesn't make sense for him to ask what fetishes I might have or what specifically gets me going. It just felt inappropriate and he didn't even bother to ask me if I felt okay with sharing something so private. I have never had a therapist ask that, nor could I imagine any therapists getting away with it either.
Last edited by pink blobs; 05-09-2012 at 04:34 PM.
His response to your admission of attraction was bizarre for a professional therapist to say the least
How do you mean, exactly? Are you referring to how he was stoic and quiet about it or how he changed some of his behavior afterward? Or both? And don't most therapists transfer patients after an admission of attraction?
He even sounded happy talking about the possibility me seeing him for another year or for those to come, as much as I'd like to, basically. And then having him say this while it looks as though his eyes are not "ahem" focused on my face, makes it all the more awkward.
I think he sounds like a sexual predator. Patients oftentimes go to therapists feeling vulnerable and to share their most private thoughts. In the very least it's unprofessional if not downright creepy for him to use his position as a therapist to exploit you. It makes me wonder if he's doing this with any other patients he finds attractive.