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Old 08-27-2018, 09:57 AM   #11
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Scroll down to warning signs-
Professional Therapy Never Includes Sex - California Department of Consumer Affairs

Warning Signs

In most sexual abuse or exploitation cases, other inappropriate behavior comes first. While it may be subtle or confusing, it usually feels uncomfortable to the patient. Some clues or warning signs are:

Telling sexual jokes or stories.
"Making eyes at" or giving seductive looks to the patient.
Discussing the therapist's sex life or relationships excessively.
Sitting too close, initiating hugging, holding the patient or lying next to the patient.
Another warning sign is "special" treatment by a therapist, such as:

Inviting a patient to lunch, dinner or other social activities.
Dating.
Changing any of the office's business practices (for example, scheduling late appointments so no one is around, having sessions away from the office, etc.).
Confiding in a patient (for example, about the therapist's love life, work problems, etc.).
Telling a patient that he or she is special, or that the therapist loves him or her.
Relying on a patient for personal and emotional support.
Giving or receiving significant gifts.
Signs of inappropriate behavior and misuse of power include:

Hiring a patient to do work for the therapist, or bartering goods or services to pay for therapy.
Suggesting or supporting the patient's isolation from social support systems, increasing dependency on the therapist.
Providing or using alcohol (or drugs) during sessions.
Any violation of the patient's rights as a consumer (see "Patient Bill of Rights,").
Therapy is meant to be a guided learning experience, during which therapists help patients to find their own answers and feel better about themselves and their lives. A patient should never feel intimidated or threatened by a therapist's behavior.

If you are experiencing any of these warning signs, trust your own feelings. Check on the therapist's behavior with a different therapist, or with any of the agencies in "Where To Start". Depending on what you find out, you may want to find another therapist.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:11 AM   #12
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Unsafe Poor Bad Psychotherapy | TELL: Therapy Exploitation Link Line

Here are some additional things to consider when interviewing a potential therapist:

A therapist should:

Be educated and trained by an accredited institution;

Be supervised by a more experienced practitioner, or have regular peer supervision;

Regularly attend professional workshops and trainings;

Keep up with the research on and practice of effective therapies;

Have expertise with your particular problems;

Assure confidentiality;

Be on time for appointments, return phone calls, and work in a professional setting;

Encourage or insist that parents wait for their children in an adjacent waiting room, or join a session;

Explain the rules of therapy and confidentiality to adults and children, making clear that they are free to repeat anything said by the therapist to whomever they choose;

Respect the client’s religious and cultural sensitivities;

Provide needed paperwork;

Consult regularly with colleagues and experts;

Create a sense of safety to work at the client’s pace;

Be emotionally present, patient, and persistent;

Be kind, calm, empathetic, insightful, and REALLY listen.

Unfortunately, not all therapists are good and trustworthy. It’s important to recognize “red flags” that signal inappropriate, abusive, and potentially dangerous approaches.

A therapist should not:

Regularly miss, cancel or be late for appointments;

Be casual about session length. (Sessions should be 45-60 minutes, less for young children, and up to 90 minutes for EMDR);

Meet outside of an office setting without a clear medical necessity;

Fail to return phone calls;

Answer non-emergency calls, eat, talk on the phone, or text during sessions;

Fall asleep;

Discuss other clients with you;

Discuss you with anyone other than a supervisor, or use your name publicly;

Fail to refer you elsewhere when your problems are beyond the scope of his/her expertise;

Talk excessively about his/her personal life;

Express anger towards you;

Fail to keep track of where you are in your therapy and healing process;

Fail to help you set and attain goals within a reasonable time frame;

A therapist should NEVER:

Lock the doors or otherwise make your exit difficult;

See you at late or odd hours when no one is around;

Discourage a child patient’s/client’s parents from remaining on the premises, take a child off the premises, or invite or take a child to his/her house;

Tell you “you are more special” than other people/clients;

Shop, dine out, or run personal errands with you;

Ask for personal favors;

Push you to disclose or discuss anything before you are ready;

Touch you or your child in any way that is uncomfortable;

Conduct “therapy” in a bedroom;

Yell, or be insulting, angry, or impatient;

Claim to “have a knack” for doing therapy without training;

Contact your relatives or friends without your permission;

Threaten to tell family members or others that you are troubled and a liar if you reveal what is taking place between you and the “therapist”;

Insist that your problem is because of a lack of faith;

Pressure you to remain in “therapy”;

Ask for gifts or loans of money and other objects;

Encourage you or your child to stop, or start, taking medication without a full evaluation by a competent medical specialist;

Insist that you or your child come multiple times a week for many hours;

Charge above the maximum rate for someone with their degree of education and experience;

Pressure you to remain in or return to a situation in which you or your child(ren) are at risk of physical harm;

Do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe without a clear, therapeutic, and scientifically supported purpose.

When we seek medical care, we want the “top.” We should be no less vigilant with mental health practitioners. Do your research: Ask straight and probing questions. Reputable therapists should be willing to talk about their training, supervision, and professional experience. They should never insist that you trust them or follow them blindly.

If you are in a therapy that feels uncomfortable, listen to your inner voice. Stop immediately and seek consultation from a specialist who has no direct relationship to your therapist.

Ilana W. Rosen, MSW


Danger Signs

The breakdown of therapeutic boundaries, referred to as the “the slippery slope,” is often subtle and gradual and thus can be difficult to detect and understand. Many behaviors of a potentially abusive therapist may be appropriate in a healthy therapy. For example, a therapist may appropriately, from time to time, use his/her personal experiences to illustrate a therapeutic point. A therapist may also be willing to cut fees as a way of accommodating your limited budget. A therapist may even occasionally accept a small gift from you, so long as the purpose and meaning of the gift are explored and understood. The frequency and intensity of these behaviors may mark the difference between safe and unsafe therapeutic boundaries.

The following boundary violations are danger signs that something may be seriously amiss in therapy. When these or other behaviors that make you uncomfortable occur, do not hesitate to question what is taking place, express your discomfort, and, by all means, seek an outside opinion. In addition, ask the therapist to stop the behavior: Tell a friend or family member what is happening: Keep careful notes on what is happening, along with all cancelled checks, insurance payment notifications, answering machine tapes of calls from the therapist, and gifts she/he has given you. If any of these behaviors continue, terminate immediately and file a complaint:

The therapist talks about his/her personal problems, including sexual relations with others.

The therapist makes sexual or suggestive jokes.

The therapist asks questions about your sex life when you are talking about an unrelated issue.

The therapist suggests seeing you outside the office or professional setting (e.g., dinner, movies, home visit).

The therapist offers to cut fees, see you for extended sessions with or without fee, and wants to reschedule you to be the last patient of the day.

The therapist tells you not to talk about your therapy with anyone else, that therapy is a secret.

The therapist talks to you about his/her other patients.

The therapist tells you, explicitly or implicitly, to stay away from friends and family.

The therapist touches, fondles, hugs, or otherwise makes overt physical contact with you.

The therapist offers food, alcohol, or drugs.

The therapist gives you gifts or accepts them from you without discussion about their meaning.

The therapist suggests that you trust him/her absolutely.

The therapist asks you to work for him/her or solicits your advice on business, investing, or other area of your expertise.

The therapist requests detailed information on your finances.

The therapist uses fines or other types of punishment for infraction of his/her imposed rules.

The therapist seeks to borrow money, your car, or other of your belongings.

The therapist shows up at your house or suggests that your house would be an appropriate place to meet.

The therapist tries to get you together socially or romantically with his/her other patients.

The therapist threatens you in any way, such as the threat to tell others -- including your family members -- about you, to say that you’re crazy or to reveal confidences you have shared in the therapeutic context.

The therapist promises to be your caretaker and/or to protect you from others.

The therapist justifies any of the above behaviors by telling you that you are special, that he/she has never felt this way about a patient before, and that the boundary violations occurring are okay because of the special and different nature of your relationship.

When you express discomfort with any of the above, or any aspect of therapy, the therapist becomes angry and/or tells you this is your problem and/or part of your illness, rather than discussing your discomfort openly.

To return to the list of Essays, click here.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:13 AM   #13
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Default Re: Grooming process and "pink" flags

GUY B. YEADON THERAPIST ABUSE SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:16 AM   #14
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50 Warning Signs of Questionable Therapy and Counseling

In no particular order, it is a red flag if you find your:

Counselor does not have sufficient and specific training to address your issues and/or attempts to treat problems outside the scope of the practice.
Therapist is not interested in the changes you want to make and your goals for therapy.
Counselor cannot or does not clearly define how they can help you to solve whatever issue or concern has brought you to therapy.
Therapist provides no explanation of how you will know when your therapy is complete.
Counselor does not seek consultation with other therapists.
Therapist makes guarantees and/or promises.
Therapist has unresolved complaints filed with a licensing board.
Therapist does not provide you with information about your rights as a client, confidentiality, office policies, and fees so you can fairly consent to your treatment. Note: The requirement for information provided to new clients by therapists differs by state and licensure requirements.
Counselor is judgmental or critical of your behavior, lifestyle, or problems.
Therapist “looks down” at you or treats you as inferior in subtle or not so subtle ways.
Counselor blames your family, friends, or partner.
Counselor encourages you to blame your family, friends, or partner.
Therapist knowingly or unknowingly gets personal psychological needs met at the expense of focusing on you and your therapy.
Counselor tries to be your friend.
Therapist initiates touch (i.e., hugs) without consent.
Counselor attempts to have a sexual or romantic relationship with you.
Therapist talks excessively about personal issues and/or self-discloses often without any therapeutic purpose.
Counselor tries to enlist your help with something not related to your therapy.
Therapist discloses your identifying information without authorization or mandate.
Counselor tells you the identities of other clients.
Therapist discloses they have never done personal therapy work.
Counselor cannot accept feedback or admit mistakes.
Therapist focuses extensively on diagnosing without also helping you to change.
Counselor talks too much.
Therapist does not talk at all.
Counselor often speaks in complex “psychobabble” that leaves you confused.
Therapist focuses on thoughts and cognition at the exclusion of feelings and somatic experience.
Counselor focuses on feelings and somatic experience at the exclusion of thoughts, insight, and cognitive processing.
Therapist acts as if they have the answers or solutions to everything and spends time telling you how to best fix or change things.
Counselor tells you what to do, makes decisions for you, or gives frequent unsolicited advice.
Therapist encourages your dependency by allowing you to get your emotional needs met from the therapist. Therapist “feeds you fish, rather than helping you to fish for yourself.”
Counselor tries to keep you in therapy against your will.
Therapist believes that only the therapist’s counseling approach works and ridicules other approaches to therapy.
Therapist is contentious with you or frequently confrontational.
Counselor doesn’t remember your name and/or doesn’t remember your interactions from one session to the next.
Therapist does not pay attention or appear to be listening and understanding you.
Counselor answers the phone during your session.
Therapist is not sensitive to your culture or religion.
Counselor denies or ignores the importance of your spirituality.
Therapist tries to push spirituality or religion on to you.
Counselor does not empathize.
Therapist empathizes too much.
Counselor seems overwhelmed with your problems.
Therapist seems overly emotional, affected, or triggered by your feelings or issues.
Counselor pushes you into highly vulnerable feelings or memories against your wishes.
Therapist avoids exploring any of your emotional or vulnerable feelings.
Counselor does not ask your permission to use various psychotherapeutic techniques.
Therapist tries to get you to exert overt control over your impulses, compulsions, or addictions without helping you to appreciate and resolve the underlying causes.
Counselor prematurely and/or exclusively focuses on helping you to appreciate and resolve the underlying causes of an issue or compulsion when you would instead benefit more from learning coping skills to manage your impulses.
Your counselor habitually misses, cancels, or shows up late to appointments.
If there are other warning signs or red flags you’d like to share, please leave a reply in the comments section below.

© Copyright 2008 by Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:35 AM   #15
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“Many things will not be obvious. They'll be subtle. In general, anything that the therapist says or does that sounds or looks personal rather than professional could be a "pink flag". I am saying "could be" because it's difficult to make a list of such "flags" without running a risk of demonizing some basic human behaviors and gestures as "unprofessional". I've seen websites that have such "lists" and I find them stupid. Many things on those lists don't mean anything in and of themselves. F.i, they suggest that scheduling a session at the late hour is a "red flag" when, in some instances, it might just be the only time available. Everything is contextual. You can't categorize anything as a "red" or "pink" or whatever "flag" unless you look at it in the context of the specific situation in which it took place”

I agree.
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Old 08-27-2018, 02:50 PM   #16
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^

Ya I agree. I am always the last of the day and there is no one there but it is because of the place he works at, not an actual T company, so everyone goes home at 4 and evenings are what I prefer. It's been that way over a year and it's fine for me. I also get hugs every session, never felt weird or sexual to me. It can really depend on how each client views things too. Not much phases me anyway
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Old 09-06-2018, 02:24 AM   #17
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i got romantic with my T to avoid bad reports to probation officer about my intoxication that would have put me in a cell for certain. he was well built and attractive but i didn't enjoy being laid with so many people roaming around building while he pumped and dumped in me on his couch with glass walls. was better than being caged again
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:39 PM   #18
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I am new here and I came because I'm searching for a opinion about things could be my "pink flags" from a long, long time and I have no one to talk to about it. I really hope You could read my message and tell me what are You thinking about my therapy's situation, is it normal for You and I am exaggerating or is there something wrong going on... I'm already going crazy (as if I wasn't crazy enough ) from thinking about it in the last months.

So.. I am in CBT/EMDR/humanistic (easier to say, mix of different schools) therapy, my therapist is a professional with different years of experience, certificates, and so on and so on...

Three years ago I found myself in a difficult situation - lots of health problems, my marriage isn't working well, moving to a new city that I don't really like, etc. After a year and a half my friend told me about this therapist. I was trying before with other types of therapy, but couldn't really accept the kind of approach they were offering and also my previous therapist was sleeping during our sessions (!), so I was discouraged. And I made 6 months of Gestalt 7 years ago, that really helped me.

So I decided to try with this (mostly CBT) therapist and it quickly "clicked" between us. I found him really very professional, first of all really listening and committed, enthusiastic about our future work. I was very happy, even if from the beginning I was a little worried about him because I felt he's a natural flirt and quite good-looking, but at first I thought he wasn't really my type. We understood each other very well from the beginning, has a way of thinking and educational background very similar to mine, so I was very happy to find him.

Months were passing and I started to feel better - I found well-paid job, lost some pounds and started to dress better and take care of myself, feeling more like myself from before the depression. It was then that he started to be always more and more kind, smiling and flirtatious. I found him complementing my hair or asking if I was thinking about him when traveling with airplane, it was quite rare so I thought it was only casual. But it was flattering, especially for me being so depressed and low in last years (after infinite arguments with my husband telling me I am nothing, **** and stuff like that). I told my husband about this, because I was always very transparent to him, especially about other guys that were flirtatious with me and stuff so I didn't want to hide anything from him.

The situation really changed after one session. I remember this time my husband went to his parents that live in another country, so I was alone, and my therapist also told me something about going from the other place than usually, like he's family (oh, didn't mention he is married with kids...) went to live in some other place at this time. So it was winter evening (I have my sessions in the evening, I am a last client since I finish my work late), we were talking a lot and we couldn't finish our session, laughing and talking about different staff (we laugh and joke a lot, as we have very similar sense of humor, it's such a relief having someone you can laugh with, even sometimes), he was asking what music I will listen to now, what drink I will made myself when I come home, and then when I was about to go home he told me "You have such a beautiful sent... You bring such a beautiful sent to my empty and grey office..." He told it in a way that was really flirtatious, looking at my very intensively. Than he made a long pause and added "What kind of perfume are You wearing?..." like he was trying to make me believe he was only talking about it because he wanted to know the name. I told him something in response, feeling at the same time flattered and paralyzed, and I added I am happy to bring it to him and went away.

From this time nothing was the same for me, because the situation between me and therapist became really full of tension and I couldn't forget his words. I couldn't help but buying better perfume also (knowing now that he is noticing it) and wearing better dresses, while he was always looking at me with amusement from head to toes, event if not saying anything more. We were often talking about how I am unhappy in my marriage, and my therapist started also to criticize my husband. Here I have to add, that my husband can be really very passive-aggressive, we are fighting A LOT, and probably my health issues are related to it, so honestly I think my therapist can be right about it. Only that him being at the same time very flirtatious, often joking and offering me some extra-time after session (even if it's only 10, 15 minutes more), looking at me in THIS way with this comments make me feel like there is something going on.

He started to disclose a lot about himself, telling me for example that "he feels there is something in his character that could made him cheat on his wife", that he feels frustrated as a therapist, telling me he is going to visit my home town and asking where to go to eat pizza and then we were texting about how he liked it, what placed he was visiting, and stuff like this. He didn't stop to tell some flirtatious comments, like on the last session he concentrated at the end of the session on the "elements": he was talking about element of earth and told me do I feel earth under my feet, than do I feel water - saliva in my mouth, and then he said smiling at me in a suggestive way "And as for the fire... let's better leave the fire's topic alone...".

I could give more and more examples, but I think I made my point.
Now the question is, am I projecting something to myself? Am I exaggerating? Is he only helping me in this way? Or is he crossing some boundaries?

I have to tell that I really, really, like him, he helped me a lot, I gained a lot of self-confidence that was really missing, I found a job, I am becoming more and more aware of who I am and what I really want to do in my life and it feels great. And I like it VERY MUCH when he is giving me this looks and this comments. But... there is a big BUT, but in my thought he is always present, and even when I am trying to forget about him and making effort to see him as at the beginning, before all of this happened - I can't, because we connect to well, we simply finish sentences one to another, and it feels so good that I don't know how could I ever tell him that I feel something is wrong.

I'm really interested about what do You think about it (and I’m afraid about it at the same time). Are these "pink flags"?

I am sorry if my English isn't perfect, for it isn't my mother tongue.

Thanks a lot for every comment once again.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Girl from Europe View Post
I am new here and I came because I'm searching for a opinion about things could be my "pink flags" from a long, long time and I have no one to talk to about it. I really hope You could read my message and tell me what are You thinking about my therapy's situation, is it normal for You and I am exaggerating or is there something wrong going on... I'm already going crazy (as if I wasn't crazy enough ) from thinking about it in the last months.

So.. I am in CBT/EMDR/humanistic (easier to say, mix of different schools) therapy, my therapist is a professional with different years of experience, certificates, and so on and so on...

Three years ago I found myself in a difficult situation - lots of health problems, my marriage isn't working well, moving to a new city that I don't really like, etc. After a year and a half my friend told me about this therapist. I was trying before with other types of therapy, but couldn't really accept the kind of approach they were offering and also my previous therapist was sleeping during our sessions (!), so I was discouraged. And I made 6 months of Gestalt 7 years ago, that really helped me.

So I decided to try with this (mostly CBT) therapist and it quickly "clicked" between us. I found him really very professional, first of all really listening and committed, enthusiastic about our future work. I was very happy, even if from the beginning I was a little worried about him because I felt he's a natural flirt and quite good-looking, but at first I thought he wasn't really my type. We understood each other very well from the beginning, has a way of thinking and educational background very similar to mine, so I was very happy to find him.

Months were passing and I started to feel better - I found well-paid job, lost some pounds and started to dress better and take care of myself, feeling more like myself from before the depression. It was then that he started to be always more and more kind, smiling and flirtatious. I found him complementing my hair or asking if I was thinking about him when traveling with airplane, it was quite rare so I thought it was only casual. But it was flattering, especially for me being so depressed and low in last years (after infinite arguments with my husband telling me I am nothing, **** and stuff like that). I told my husband about this, because I was always very transparent to him, especially about other guys that were flirtatious with me and stuff so I didn't want to hide anything from him.

The situation really changed after one session. I remember this time my husband went to his parents that live in another country, so I was alone, and my therapist also told me something about going from the other place than usually, like he's family (oh, didn't mention he is married with kids...) went to live in some other place at this time. So it was winter evening (I have my sessions in the evening, I am a last client since I finish my work late), we were talking a lot and we couldn't finish our session, laughing and talking about different staff (we laugh and joke a lot, as we have very similar sense of humor, it's such a relief having someone you can laugh with, even sometimes), he was asking what music I will listen to now, what drink I will made myself when I come home, and then when I was about to go home he told me "You have such a beautiful sent... You bring such a beautiful sent to my empty and grey office..." He told it in a way that was really flirtatious, looking at my very intensively. Than he made a long pause and added "What kind of perfume are You wearing?..." like he was trying to make me believe he was only talking about it because he wanted to know the name. I told him something in response, feeling at the same time flattered and paralyzed, and I added I am happy to bring it to him and went away.

From this time nothing was the same for me, because the situation between me and therapist became really full of tension and I couldn't forget his words. I couldn't help but buying better perfume also (knowing now that he is noticing it) and wearing better dresses, while he was always looking at me with amusement from head to toes, event if not saying anything more. We were often talking about how I am unhappy in my marriage, and my therapist started also to criticize my husband. Here I have to add, that my husband can be really very passive-aggressive, we are fighting A LOT, and probably my health issues are related to it, so honestly I think my therapist can be right about it. Only that him being at the same time very flirtatious, often joking and offering me some extra-time after session (even if it's only 10, 15 minutes more), looking at me in THIS way with this comments make me feel like there is something going on.

He started to disclose a lot about himself, telling me for example that "he feels there is something in his character that could made him cheat on his wife", that he feels frustrated as a therapist, telling me he is going to visit my home town and asking where to go to eat pizza and then we were texting about how he liked it, what placed he was visiting, and stuff like this. He didn't stop to tell some flirtatious comments, like on the last session he concentrated at the end of the session on the "elements": he was talking about element of earth and told me do I feel earth under my feet, than do I feel water - saliva in my mouth, and then he said smiling at me in a suggestive way "And as for the fire... let's better leave the fire's topic alone...".

I could give more and more examples, but I think I made my point.
Now the question is, am I projecting something to myself? Am I exaggerating? Is he only helping me in this way? Or is he crossing some boundaries?

I have to tell that I really, really, like him, he helped me a lot, I gained a lot of self-confidence that was really missing, I found a job, I am becoming more and more aware of who I am and what I really want to do in my life and it feels great. And I like it VERY MUCH when he is giving me this looks and this comments. But... there is a big BUT, but in my thought he is always present, and even when I am trying to forget about him and making effort to see him as at the beginning, before all of this happened - I can't, because we connect to well, we simply finish sentences one to another, and it feels so good that I don't know how could I ever tell him that I feel something is wrong.

I'm really interested about what do You think about it (and I’m afraid about it at the same time). Are these "pink flags"?

I am sorry if my English isn't perfect, for it isn't my mother tongue.

Thanks a lot for every comment once again.
What you are describing aren't just pink or even red flags. Your therapist's behavior is grossly unprofessional, and, I hate to say it given how much you like him, but the sooner you leave him the better. It's great that he managed to help you despite his obvious lack of understanding of his professional role, but continuing to see him at this point will be more of a disservice to yourself than help. It sounds like your marital problems contribute quite a bit to your sense of special connection with this guy. It'd be best if you could seriously address your marital and other personal problems with a different therapist at this point, preferably a female.
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Old 09-23-2018, 01:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ididitmyway View Post
What you are describing aren't just pink or even red flags. Your therapist's behavior is grossly unprofessional, and, I hate to say it given how much you like him, but the sooner you leave him the better. It's great that he managed to help you despite his obvious lack of understanding of his professional role, but continuing to see him at this point will be more of a disservice to yourself than help. It sounds like your marital problems contribute quite a bit to your sense of special connection with this guy. It'd be best if you could seriously address your marital and other personal problems with a different therapist at this point, preferably a female.
Hi, thank You for Your response.

Can I ask what type of therapy are You familiare with? I think he's exagerating, but maybe he's approuch is more open because it isn't psychoanalitic or psychodynamic school?...
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