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Unread 05-17-2013, 07:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: Ethics Boards (U.S.A.) and Friendships with Clients

It is not a smart move by your therapist as she will always know more about you than you will about her, will always be in that "ahead" state and her having done therapy with you doesn't go away, even after two years. Relationships after Therapy: Why They are Always Bad - Shrink Talk

As much as you would like to be friends with your therapist, I would think about what your therapist would gain from such a friendship with you? Friendship is not just about liking one another.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 09:25 AM   #12
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Default Re: Ethics Boards (U.S.A.) and Friendships with Clients

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moodswing View Post
If you were never your therapists client and met them at a function do you think they would have been your type of person to be friends with? I do not know what either of my therapists are like outside of session. They could have mannerism that are annoying to me or they could be dry and boring. They are trained on how to act and behave in session that is conducive to healing and recovery.


Actually, the research I've read shows that the successful therapist have these qualities before they enter the profession.

I think we would have been friends if we had met in a different venue. I am blessed that she was not another blank-slate therapist for me. Her revealing herself in her journey to heal has helped me tremendously. I'm happy to have the opportunity to find out what she's like out of therapy. I'm not a believer in fast best friends forever friendships.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 09:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ethics Boards (U.S.A.) and Friendships with Clients

[quote=Michelle25;3062298]Thanks for your post Goingtogetthere. I am not a professional in this area and don't know why the Board changed their minds on it but how can they actually enforce such a rule? Does anyone really have the power to tell someone "you can't be friends with your client/former client?" I can understand such a rule protecting a vulnerable, perhaps unstable, client but a friendship is a choice by two individuals. If the T believed their client to be unable to handle a friendship, do you really think a T would want to be their friend afterward? I believe if you are both strong people and able to stand on your own then why not? If you found a special connection with your T and they felt the same way about you, then I think you are lucky.

You stated that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goingtogetthere View Post
The only caveat is that if I make the decision to become friends, there is NO going back. So I have to, and want to be sure that all of my deep therapy is done, and that it will last. /quote]

I think this is wise to consider. Do you both feel that the deep part of your therapy is over? If you have that special connection that everyone says is so important to therapy, you want to make the most of it in working with your T until you are sufficiently healed. If you have reached that point now, I say you are fortunate indeed and I hope your friendship will last a long, long, time.
We both agree that the deep part of therapy is over. In fact, it feels like we are sitting on the beach shooting the breeze. She said that that's okay for now. It gives all that I've learned to solidify. Thank you for responding.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 09:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: Ethics Boards (U.S.A.) and Friendships with Clients

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Originally Posted by Anne2.0 View Post
I think that they changed their codes because friendships rarely create problems for people, and it is much more important for them to emphasize that financial and sexual relationships are super problematic. I also think it's the reality that when people make a connection and want to continue it outside of therapy when therapy is done, it is counter to most humanistic principles to forbid it.

It would be complicated for me to consider forever giving up the possibility of returning to T if we were to become friends. I thought I was done with therapy 15 years ago, after about 5 years. But things revealed themselves years later that I needed to address, partly because of my child aging to the age I was when I was abused, partly because my H became a religious fanatic, or something like that. This has been the deepest work yet. I think that it would be hard for me to imagine that nothing could happen that might drive me back into therapy. However, I have had three different therapists, and there is no reason why I couldn't find another. I could see how the trade off of a continuing relationship with T might be worth finding another relationship later if needed. All of my T relationships have been excellent.

There is a good description of the post therapy, friendship process in one of my favorite novels. Lisa Alther is the author, Other Women is the book. You might enjoy reading this story.

I am very happy for you that you are contemplating the end of therapy and that things are going so well for you. Bravo!
I never even considered weighing the different parts of the code. Your take on the change makes so much sense.

Thanks for sharing your story of terminating therapy, and beginning again. We are both pretty sure that all my trauma has been charged, and only time will tell. She forbids reversing course if I decide on friendship. A boundary
that I finally understand.

I love books about therapy relationships, so I'll read it this summer. Thanks for your support.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 10:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: Ethics Boards (U.S.A.) and Friendships with Clients

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perna View Post
It is not a smart move by your therapist as she will always know more about you than you will about her, will always be in that "ahead" state and her having done therapy with you doesn't go away, even after two years. Relationships after Therapy: Why They are Always Bad - Shrink Talk

As much as you would like to be friends with your therapist, I would think about what your therapist would gain from such a friendship with you? Friendship is not just about liking one another.
IMO, this therapist weasels out of really answering why it's wrong to befriend a client.

To answer your question, " what would my therapist gain from such a friendship? A FAITHFUL FRIEND. What do your friends get from you as their friend? I'm really perplexed by the question if I try to read more into it.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 10:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: Ethics Boards (U.S.A.) and Friendships with Clients

In my State and the neighboring state both, there is still a two year waiting period.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 10:12 AM   #17
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Default Re: Ethics Boards (U.S.A.) and Friendships with Clients

[quote=Michelle25;3062298]Thanks for your post Goingtogetthere. I am not a professional in this area and don't know why the Board changed their minds on it but how can they actually enforce such a rule? Does anyone really have the power to tell someone "you can't be friends with your client/former client?" I can understand such a rule protecting a vulnerable, perhaps unstable, client but a friendship is a choice by two individuals. If the T believed their client to be unable to handle a friendship, do you really think a T would want to be their friend afterward? I believe if you are both strong people and able to stand on your own then why not? If you found a special connection with your T and they felt the same way about you, then I think you are lucky.

You stated that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goingtogetthere View Post
The only caveat is that if I make the decision to become friends, there is NO going back. So I have to, and want to be sure that all of my deep therapy is done, and that it will last. /quote]

I think this is wise to consider. Do you both feel that the deep part of your therapy is over? If you have that special connection that everyone says is so important to therapy, you want to make the most of it in working with your T until you are sufficiently healed. If you have reached that point now, I say you are fortunate indeed and I hope your friendship will last a long, long, time.

Thank you for your support Michelle25. We are going to take this at my pace. My therapist wants me to do what is best for me, and I do too. In the past Ive always put my needs and wants away, because of the mother voice that conducted my life. Now it's my voice alone. Your support is valuable to me.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 10:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: Ethics Boards (U.S.A.) and Friendships with Clients

I don't know what "faithful friend" means to you, it reminds me of dogs. My friends are those I enjoy being with and who enjoy being with me, usually because we have similar interests unrelated to our "work". Yes I have coworkers who are friends but we became friends because of proximity and after I retired the friendship has lessened extensively, even with similar interests. We never were in the same "group" together, our lifestyles were established and different and where we lived, worked, etc. was different later. I suppose if one lives in a small town and sees one's T often outside of therapy in similar pursuits, that might make a friendship more likely but I am reminded of my stepsister seeing her OB/GYN at a party, it's just very awkward because there isn't an even start and it's quite possible, because of that, that things could go horribly wrong.

If I were your T and became your friend, there's always the possibility that we'd be in a group/public setting and I'd say something offhand to/about you that would reveal something you would think was too personal and not something you wanted others to know. The line between what is learned as a T working with someone and what is experienced as a friend would get blurry for a T and there would always be the feeling I had to check myself to make sure "Did I know this beforehand from the intense work with Goingtogetthere or is this something "general" that one would learn as a friend?"

You will never have the opportunity to choose to not reveal because you already have. You will always be at personal disadvantage to your T, who can choose what she reveals about herself. T can be a friend but you will always have been your T's client. It's like becoming friends with one's parent. Yes, you grow up and are an adult, have children of your own, but you are still always 20-some years behind in development and always the child to your parent's parenting.

I'm not saying you are or would make a poor friend are not "worthy" in some way but friendship is pretty much a peer relationship and you can't be your T's peer. I read an example of a T and client-who-became-a-T's friendship and it took 20 years to get there. I do not know what you are expecting from being a friend of your T but I think either it will be more of a good acquaintance thing where maybe you have lunch together once a month and befriend each other on Facebook or it will not get very far before your T decides she should end it for herself and it does not go well with you/you get hurt.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 10:41 AM   #19
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Default Re: Ethics Boards (U.S.A.) and Friendships with Clients

The first therapist I ever saw and I became friends after I quit. She was in the process of retiring. There was no talk of ethics or anything else. We met up once or twice a month to engage in a mutual hobby. I think we started the week after I ended therapy with her. There was no waiting period. It was fine and no big deal. A few times I met her with her family. We kept it up for about 10 years and then she moved across the country. We wrote for awhile and would see each other when she came back to my town. It was non-eventful and I don't think ethics or ethics boards were in the minds of either of us.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 11:09 AM   #20
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Default Re: Ethics Boards (U.S.A.) and Friendships with Clients

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Originally Posted by My kids are cool View Post
In my State and the neighboring state both, there is still a two year waiting period.
I wish you were willing to name your state , and/or the other state next door. I looked up a few states, including Michigan, my brother's state, and the two year code is for SEXUAL relations, and that is definite what I'm after.
If you would be willing to paste the wording, and the effective date I thing people would appreciate it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
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