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Question
Posted by: CM | 2011/02/28

psychologists

I see a psychologist from time to time (when I feel the need), which is not very regularly (maybe monthly). I tend to discuss the majority of my stuff via the occasional email rather than face-to-face - and they usually stop after one or two mails. He allows me to do this whenever I feel.
Despite the irregular sessions and contact I find myself seemingly very attached, if not, reliant on the knowledge that he is there.
He went away for an extended period over the holidays, and even though I would not have gone to see him or even contacted him over that time, I felt intensely lost and ''desperate''.
Now, he is back, and I find myself almost obsessing over the issue, but am feeling both intense need and dislike for him. I get terribly frustrated and upset when he doesn''t respond timeously (if at all) to my emails - cognitively I know it''s an absurd reaction!
I actually want to stop going to see him or contacting him entirely because of this obsessive behaviour, but I still feel so attached.
I know that most would recommend talking this through with said professional, but I genuinely don''t have the nerve to bring it up.
So - would it be worthwhile just not contacting him again and finding another professional in the hope that my attachment with the first will fade? I can''t bear the intense attachment and the behaviour it causes so I''d rather abandon the whole issue.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dependency on a person ( either a specific person or a more generic "person who is likely to understand and be encouraging" ) is quite common, just like dependency on some meds, and probably for chemically similar reasons - both enhance our internal "fel-better" chemicals.
A good therapist / counsellor is aware of this possibility, and tries to avoid or limit it, for several good reasons including what you noticed - the discomfort produced when the supply is interrupted.
And in the same way, once the dependency is established, it needs to be recognized and dealt with, NOT by going cold turkey, but by planning a gradual and comfortable withdrawal of the source.
Don't assume it requires some special form of "nerve" to bring it up - he should have anticipated and recognized this, and will surely not be surprized to hear about it, and should be pleased to work with you on dealing with it. It's nothing to be embarrassed about.
That is the wisest and most efficient way out of this entanglement, and to be able if needs be to see someone else, after this relationship is properly ended, and to avoid having the same issues recur.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/02/28

Dependency on a person ( either a specific person or a more generic "person who is likely to understand and be encouraging" ) is quite common, just like dependency on some meds, and probably for chemically similar reasons - both enhance our internal "fel-better" chemicals.
A good therapist / counsellor is aware of this possibility, and tries to avoid or limit it, for several good reasons including what you noticed - the discomfort produced when the supply is interrupted.
And in the same way, once the dependency is established, it needs to be recognized and dealt with, NOT by going cold turkey, but by planning a gradual and comfortable withdrawal of the source.
Don't assume it requires some special form of "nerve" to bring it up - he should have anticipated and recognized this, and will surely not be surprized to hear about it, and should be pleased to work with you on dealing with it. It's nothing to be embarrassed about.
That is the wisest and most efficient way out of this entanglement, and to be able if needs be to see someone else, after this relationship is properly ended, and to avoid having the same issues recur.

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