Dear Dr. Darcy:
I am in love with my therapist. I know it’s supposed to be a ‘normal’ part of being in therapy, but this is different because I think she loves me too. What should I do about it?
Your therapist is not in love with you. She may love you, as I do those clients I’ve known long enough to develop authentic feelings for, but being in love is something entirely different. Your therapist plays a pivotal role in your life and in all likelihood, she is there for you and validates you in ways that no one else does. Hell, I can assure you that what my clients get from me, people in my personal life do not. I put on my shrink cap only for them. I give them something that I don’t give my friends and family, and I happen to think I’m a deeply committed friend and family member. And so as I said before, my clients are probably getting something from me that other people in their lives can’t give them. This ‘thing’ that we give our clients can indeed provoke deep and intense feelings. With that said, there is nothing for you to ‘do.’ Your feelings are a natural part of the therapeutic process. Your therapist is not in love with you.
And even if she were, God forbid, she will not act on it. To do so would be an ethical violation of the deepest magnitude. Any therapist who does should lose their license to practice. Forever. That therapist is a danger to her clients and should not be entrusted with anyone’s care. Having a relationship with your therapist would be a masochistic act on your part and would be a sadistic act on the part of your therapist. There is no productive direction for such a relationship to progress in. It’s fucked from the beginning, it’s roots planted in imaginary soil.
I encourage you to disclose your feelings for your therapist. Expose them to the light of day so that you can see how normal a part of therapy this is. Don’t turn this into a dirty secret – you deserve better.
Writer’s Stats: Female, Lesbian
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