You know, I often think about what my therapist really thinks. I’m pretty sure the majority of clients do that. I’ve read a lot about the one sided nature of the therapist/client relationship, I’ve read about how attachment works, I’ve read about how the client wants to occupy a special place in their therapists life. I’ve done a lot of reading. It’s an interesting area of study. This is why I love therapist blogs. One in particular is What a Shrink Thinks. It gives you a glimpse of what really goes on in the therapists mind. It fulfills that craving I feel to know, to see, to really get into that mystical place that is the therapist brain.
I’ve had the extraordinary opportunity to work with some amazing female therapists. A few of them were in person and another was online. I never pass up the chance to say how much I like Discussing Dissociation. Not that Kathy needs any advertising from me as you’ll see in this article but I don’t mind saying that her blog and one on one sessions I’ve had with her have been invaluable. I’ve never had a male therapist so I have no idea what that relationship would look like or feel like. I don’t know that I could even build that relationship. But the women whose care I’ve been under for significant periods of time, well they’ve just been fantastic.
I saw my first therapist when I was 15 and she continues to be a part of my life. We’ve sort of segued into a hybrid sort of friendship but with boundaries sort of relationship. I know that if I still lived in the same city as her I could call and seek therapy from her and she would be perfectly willing. I also know that if I called and asked if she’d like to go for coffee she’d oblige me that way as well. I know that I can send her a joke on Facebook just as easily as I can send her a private email asking about her health. I know these things emotionally, intellectually. I know them deeply.
Another woman I worked with was quite the opposite of that first therapist. She did not allow hugging or touching but still managed to develop affection for me and me for her. She was very closed off about her personal life; it was not something we discussed at any great length at all. But I grew to care deeply for this relationship, to depend on it for my very life. When circumstances forced us to part ways when I left the city she told me that she would never forget me and that our experience changed the way she would conduct therapy in a profound way. That made me feel so good. It could have been a line she fed me but I really don’t believe that. I believe she was being genuine and her declaration was heartfelt. I have called her since leaving and she has been helpful in trying to find new resources for me. Though she gently encourages me to rely more and more on the therapist I’m seeing now. That is her style. To push me in the direction I need to go however painful it might be is what she has always done.
Anyway, what all this rambling is about is just to demonstrate that every therapist has their own style, their own way of dealing with the complexities of their job. And to also talk about what it’s like to want to be a bigger, more important part of your therapist’s life. What is it like to really get inside their minds?
I haven’t yet developed that need, that attachment with my current therapist. I feel as though I’m right there ready to take the leap. I just need one more push, one more reason, a teensy bit more reassurance that the leap will be worth it.
I’ll be writing more about this subject again, but this is a good rough start. Tell me what you think about the relationship you have with your therapist. I know for multiples there are so many different levels and layers. How do you deal with all of that?