Hi - I started therapy about 2 months ago. I've tried over the past 10 years to find a therapist I connect with but have been unsuccessful until now. The problem is, I've developed a crush on this woman. She is very attractive. During sessions, I don't have a problem with it, it's outside of sessions. I understand this is not "real", it's probably some sort of transference, the issue now is I'm somewhat obsessing about whether I should tell her. This has happened in the past with other women I don't know well, so I know there is some sort of pattern that probably warrants further exploration. It's just going so well in therapy I don't want to risk her terminating therapy or it being awkward. She also is fairly young so I'm not sure she's had experience with this. Should I tell her?
I should start a support group for people who have crushes on their shrinks – but with my luck, well, you know... Anyway, my point is that this is a very common issue ~ one which I’ve written about extensively. Feel free to peruse my library of posts addressing this topic (listed below).
Referencing your feelings as not being ‘real’ adds insult to injury. They are your feelings and yes, they are real. But they are based on an illusion – the illusion of who you think your shrink is. Because really, you don’t know who your shrink is, unless your shrink is like me, i.e., writing about herself in 3 out of 5 posts a week. That said, even I pick and choose what I disclose, both in AskDrDarcy and in my sessions with my clients. My clients (fortunate for them) have no idea what it’s like to deal with me on a daily basis. They see what I want them to see, which is to say, an edited version of myself. And because they don’t really know me, any crush that might develop would not really be a crush on me – it would be a crush on an idealized version of me. The feelings are real – The ‘Me’ is a fantasy.
You will not have to terminate therapy if you discuss your feelings with your therapist. Learning how to handle this type of scenario is one of the fundamental things we are taught in school. The process of expressing your feelings to her and her ability to help you stay in therapy, despite those feelings, can be very cathartic.
Don’t pussy out. Grab your ovaries and tell your therapist how you feel. Unless, of course, you’re looking for a reason to discontinue the only therapy that’s worked for you in 10 years.
Writer’s Stats: Female, Lesbian.