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Falling in love with therapist
January 6, 2003
1:19 pm
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Anonymous
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Hi,

This is my first post here, so i'll let you in on some stuff about me. I'm a 20 yo male newly diagnosed with bipolar II. I'm on a mood stabilizer and a SNRI. I attempted suicide a couple of months ago, and although i'd been making some progress, I am once again struggling with suicidal thoughts. My life is a mess right now, I am cycling like crazy and there's nobody to rely on.

To make matters worse, I became infatuated with my therapist. I told her about it. She was very understanding and didn't try to explain away my feelings. I know all about the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship, and she said that nothing was to happen between us, and she wouldn't drag me on with uncertainties.

Still, I find myself thinking about her 24/7. She is a very sweet and caring individual, and I am completely in love with her. We've been spending more time together, and I'd probably kill myself if she decides to refer me to another professional.

Any advice?

Thanks for reading.

January 6, 2003
5:43 pm
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Burnout.

I have misgivings in responding here. I fear I tread within a minefield of your emotions.

However out of the best of intentions, I will do so.

You said, "I know all about the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship... "

You do? Because I find the rest of your posting incongruent with this statement, I am unable to determine with any surety the veracity of either.

Clients 'falling in love with' their therapists is a well known and well documented occurence. Therefore, clearly defined 'ethical boundaries' have been put in place by the APA to protect vulnerable clients such as yourself from harm. If a therapist crosses these boundaries - and they sometimes do - then such a therapist clearly has a problem either with their own ethics or their own understanding of the nature of their work.

Would you like to expand a little more on your situation perhaps?

January 6, 2003
6:37 pm
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Tez.

Thanks for your response. I didn't mean to put anyone in an awkward position, but I really need some advice.

My therapist and I haven't established a "dual relationship". Perhaps that was the source of your questioning. Furthermore, there was no inappropriate behavior on the part of my therapist.

I am aware of the ethical code. As you said, the code exists to "protect vulnerable clients" and my therapist made that clear.

But I can't help it, this unrequited attraction feels unbearable. I am very confused, my mind is in turmoil, but I guess that's what BD is all about.

Sorry.

January 6, 2003
8:12 pm
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how did u start to like her or feel something for her? do u think it will work??? that is kinda weird. my friend has sessions too, family ones. but their therapist is a guy and my friend says her mom keeps flirting with him. and that she is in love with him. kinda like ur situation, just that u r not married nor have kids. am three years younger than u, so please tell me what bd is??? maybe... the word boundaries? am just taking a guess here....

whatever happens....good luck!!!

January 7, 2003
8:23 am
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Thanks lisset. I've been in therapy for 6 months. These romantic feelings started to surface last month. She is very insightful, and the more I got to know about her, the more I liked her. She helped me through some difficult times, including my suicide attempt (took some pills).
Apparently a lot of people fall in love with their therapist. But it wouldn't work, because such a relationship constitutes a breach of trust and professional ethics.
BD = bipolar disorder. I wish you and your friend good luck.

January 7, 2003
9:43 am
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Hey Burnout.I am young, so don't really know what to say to you.But...I do know that your story touched me.I too am in therapy, and have been with the same person for 2 years almost.My therapist is the same sex as me, and although I am not gay,I feel a tremendous attachement to her.Like a dependancy.I don't doubt my sexuality,so I guess I see her more like a mother figure.I see her for the last ever time on 5th of February, and am too finding life really tough.I know its not really the same thing,but hang in there burnout.I will listen to you, as will many others on here.

Lots of love, Tink

January 8, 2003
2:18 pm
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Tinkerbe11: Thanks. Your situation with your therapist is very similar to mine. Bonding with a caring person who understands your thoughts and feelings is a given. It's a normal part of therapy.Let me know how things work out.

I'm confused and volatile. I want to blow my brains out so that no one will ever hurt me again, I just end up shunning the ones that are important anyway.

January 13, 2003
2:31 pm
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Burnout:

why would love for another person ever be a reason to be violent? In your case you threaten violence to yourself *because of love* - that doesn't make sense at all to me. What does it mean, when you say *love*? Could you try to have some of this *love* feelings for yourself, for the life you have - then you wouldn't be mortally afraid of loosing it. Living in fear of something usually doesn't go well whith love - mindbending, that is.

January 13, 2003
4:47 pm
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Hi Burnout. I agree with Eve that you need to have some of those loving accepting feelings about yourself. You made a big step by going to therapy. I think that a good therapist does make the client feel accepted and cared about. Hang in there and know that people care about you. Don't be so hard on yourself.

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