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Is my psychologist hitting on me - Please help!

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Is my psychologist hitting on me - Please help!

Postby justswimmin11 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:46 am

SUMMARIZED VERSION: My therapist has been known to like guys like me. Therapist has been making sexual jokes from time to time. Is that how some are? Am I being hit on?

FULL VERSION: I am new to therapy... my first session was last week. I've been going through some major life transitions and have been through tons of traumatic experiences. My anxiety has been so high it took all the courage I could muster to seek therapy.

Anyway, found this therapist who also is gay like me. I found this to be the most comfortable option for me, until one of my co-worker told me that "I need to be careful seeing him" because "he likes younger, slim, guys like you." It freaked me out but I know I really wanted help so I wanted to at least try.

Last week was the first session and it was great. He was very open, joked around, casual, ect. Not at all like his reviews said he was online "cold, stern, gatekeeper vibe (what does that even mean). However, there were times when he made sexual jokes that were not indirectly related to me, and did not interfere with my session as I thought they were funny, BUT had me wondering if I that's how T's are sometimes? Anyway, I did reveal about me being gay and liking men of his type... yikes!

Anyway, I left having the biggest crush on him ever as he definitely is my type, but did a lot of research into transference. I chalked it up to that and got ready for my next session which was yesterday.

Yesterday's session just wasn't what I wanted. We focused on breathing exercies and anxiety techniques that I felt I already knew. I also felt like he was just wasting time to get the hour by because I noticed him glancing at it ever so often and kinda fumbling through his notes. Anyway, there were a couple of exercises I had to do where I needed to measure the distance from my left to right hand. He said "how long is that?" I said "12 inches." He said... "I'm not talking about your penis size." I laughed so hard because I really did think it was funny, but again, wondered what the heck was going on! I told him what I did over the weekend about going to a bar. He asked which gay bar did I go to and we talked about it for a bit. He mentioned he liked going there from time to time.

The session ended and we went out of the therapy room for payment. There was a transgender (male to female) that works there who was my age (about 20) on the computer. The T said.. "How are you today?" She said "I'm fine." He said "Yeah, that's what all those 18 guys said last weekend too." She laughed, I laughed, the T laughed. She then said "I don't swing like that Dr. _____" and he said "Okay, that's what all those 18 women said last weekend." So this makes me think this just may be how he is?

I left home unsatisfied with the session, and crushing on my therapist even more now! It's not interfering with my therapy, but definitely is interfering with my home life for the first 2-3 days after the session. I need some help... is my T hitting on me, or am I overreacting? I feel very sad about this right and understand a bit where my feelings are coming from (I've always dated men 20+ my senior, no father figure, neglect, ect), but I just feel confused on what the heck is going on!

Thank you for reading!
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Re: Is my psychologist hitting on me - Please help!

Postby Ada » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:27 pm

I've seen four Ts. None of them were like that. Two were one off sessions. No jokes at all. The other two I knew a little better. And they made jokes here and there. But within highly professional boundaries. This person doesn't sound like their boundaries are very good. Penis comments are totally unprofessional. Sharing about the gay bar you both go to is to me another big red flag.

If he doesn't have other ways of building relationships with clients and colleagues. Except through sexual jokes. He's not a very good T. Especially this early on. Also I am absolutely no professional or expert. So this is a totally uninformed opinion. But it seems to me too early for transference to be happening. And more like direct or indirect flirtation. The fact that he isn't shutting this down immediately and making the sessions safe for you. Suggests that as you wrote. This MAY be how he is with everyone. But that doesn't mean it's a healthy or therapeutic approach.

It's so hard when you've just started with him. And when it takes such guts to get going with therapy in the first place. But if this were me. I'd strongly consider looking for an alternative T. Therapy isn't easy, for sure. I have sessions which are on my mind for days afterwards too. And it was worse when I first started. But it wasn't because I felt unsafe with my T. Or because I was trying to interpret his actions / comments. Another option would be to be open with him about the discomfort. And see what he says. If he apologises and is more professional. Then it might be OK. If he tries to laugh it off. Or turn it back on you "Is this an example of you not trusting people." Run, don't walk.

And DO try again. There are lots of different Ts out there. Finding one that's a healthy support to you as an individual. Can make a huge difference in all kinds of areas.
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Re: Is my psychologist hitting on me - Please help!

Postby WiseMonkey » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:07 am

Based on your description my verdict is that your T's behavior is inappropriate and unprofessional. Telling sexual jokes is not the way for T to build a connection with clients. There are better ways of not being uptight and coming across as humane and approachable than what he is doing. It's too bad you are so attached to him already, which will make it difficult for you to look for a new T. Still, I would do it if I were you.
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Re: Is my psychologist hitting on me - Please help!

Postby clever_username » Thu May 07, 2015 4:11 pm

Pardon my ignorance about gay male culture, but would your interactions with your therapist be considered typical if they took place outside of the therapy room?

Having a crush on your therapist is normal, especially if there is a physical attraction. You two are in an intimate setting discussing intense, emotional things, which can be confusing for both patients and therapists. It's the therapist's responsibility to recognize, address, and remain aware of this. If this is ignored and boundaries are crossed, that is a disservice to the patient. Patient exploitation happens too often.

Your therapist may have been trying to establish rapport with you by identifying a commonality between the two of you, but I don't know. Whatever the case, it doesn't matter what your therapist thinks, it matters what you think and how you feel. Unfortunately, the power differential can make it hard for patients to speak up to their therapist, but if you feel comfortable enough, call him out on it. Tell him what makes you feel uncomfortable.

All of that said, I'm with the others on this. Your therapist sounds like he's crossing some major professional boundaries. It's difficult rationalizing how the size of your penis is therapeutically significant. Once a patient and therapist have established a relationship, humor is appropriate, but sexual innuendo is not.

One option you have is to check to see if your therapist has received any disciplinary action. If this type of behavior is a pattern for him, someone may have filed a complaint against him. If he's licensed, which he should be, it's easy to find. Be an informed consumer and trust your instincts.
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Re: Is my psychologist hitting on me - Please help!

Postby Candycan » Sun May 10, 2015 7:38 pm

This is totally unprofessional. He may be hitting on you or he may be like that with everyone, but either way, it is not an appropriate way to talk to a client and is making you confused right away. He's stepping over boundaries, what other boundaries will he step over? If he were to make a move it would be seen in court as an abuse of the patient therapist relationship. Comments like that about your penis would not be acceptable in any professional capacity. He shouldn't be making jokes like that to colleagues either, it could be viewed as sexual harassment. My advice would be that you should end this relationship and get a professional therapist who you can feel secure with. One of the best things about a good therapist is knowing that there are certain lines they will never cross, even if part of you wants them to because in the finish, if they did cross them out would be extremely damaging to your recovery.
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Re: Is my psychologist hitting on me - Please help!

Postby psybear » Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:02 am

I have been in therapy since the age of 38 and am now 51 and have been through more than a few therapists, and even fell in love and had erotic transference with a therapist who crossed boundaries like yours is already doing. I would RUN, not walk, out of that asap, and if I could put this in all caps I would. This guy should not be doing this, and I strongly urge you to report him. He is a danger to you and to others that he treats, no question about it. My therapist that crossed boundaries ended up having sex with a client, and also admitted to hugging and kissing patients inappropriately and he in no way was as obvious and offensive as the therapist you are currently seeing. Red flags should not be ignored, and believe me, transference and falling in love with a therapist is a major pain to deal with, and dealing with it with someone who isn't stable will not have a good ending. I suggest a female therapist if you can find one. I am not prone to giving such strong advice, but this guy is a dangerous boundary crossing therapist and not one who is going to be safe and effective for you. If he can't last the first session without major boundary issues, where is this going to lead? And these are major boundary crossings, ones I have not encountered before and I have went through 8 different therapists over the years. Not one has ever made a sexual innuendo except the one therapist mentioned above who eventually lost his practice when he crossed the final boundary, and even he didn't start crossing boundaries the first session. Yuck is all I can say. Please run, run, run, I can't stress this enough. You pay now a little in that you have to find a new therapist or pay a much higher price later in my opinion. Gosh, I hope I didn't come on too strong, but I when I saw your post it brought back many painful, dangerous memories with my past therapist.
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Re: Is my psychologist hitting on me - Please help!

Postby BrainStorm » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:25 pm

Sounds inappropriate. You can find another LGBT friendly therapist who doesn't cross these boundaries. Protect your emotional well-being. You are there for help, not confusing emotions.

I had a very good therapist who I had attraction to but it never interfered with our sessions. She never made me uncomfortable, I don't think I made her uncomfortable. We discussed our marriages from time to time even. It's normal to have transference as others have stated but if it's interfering with your sessions, you need to find someone else. Sexual jokes are never appropriate.
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Re: Is my psychologist hitting on me - Please help!

Postby prosaicadam77 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:17 am

There is no way to be sure if he is hitting on you. What is certain is that you feel uncomfortable and confused and that is no way to kick off a therapeutic relationship.

Different approaches for different people, and it might be that this slightly sexualised way of talking works very well to create ease with some people, but its not having that effect on you. Discussing these feelings with a good therapist can be incredibly powerful, good therapists are open to feedback and will adjust their style to suit you, you may also learn something about yourself and them in the discussion. Unfortunately bad therapists get defensive, aggressive or hostile when given feedback. I would encourage you to give him the feedback about how his behaviour leaves you feeling, and if he responses well to this and adjusts to suit you, keep working with him. If he blames you, or is critical or tries to analyse this as al your fault, then i would take the previous posters advice and RUN out of there as fast as possible.
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Re: Is my psychologist hitting on me - Please help!

Postby Amelia97 » Fri May 06, 2016 7:39 pm

I have something similar you know i was talking to my therapist about my idea of getting a sex change but he asked me if i still like girls or boys and i said yes and then he told me that at times he want to convert himself "bisexual" and talked about his porn preferences and later he told me a question a friend of him asked If someone gay would tied him up in a chair and star touching his d*ck it may have a erection which he replied yes because body parts dont have concious about what gender is touching it and later he felt ashamed by the way he end up talking with me and he added me on facebook :shock: :shock:
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Re: Is my psychologist hitting on me - Please help!

Postby Ada » Mon May 09, 2016 7:45 pm

Yep. All the advice given above goes for your T too, Amelia. I'm still not a professional. :D But have strong opinions here.

Please consider blocking him on Facebook. That is NOT appropriate or safe for either of you. And the sex talk. That's fine if there's a focus on you. And it feels like exploration, not exploitation. But his sexuality should be playing a minor role, if it's mentioned at all. Talking about his d*ck is a huge red flag for me.
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