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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2010/07/16

Re post 1028

Thank you CS.

1. Could communicating these feelings possibly be considered of benefit to the patient if the patient had similar feelings and in addition had insecurities and shame regarding her own physicality?

2. How should the therapist deal with this professionally without abandoning the patient? Should the therapist explain that they had these feelings and therefore could not be impartial before referring the patient?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Absolutely not. It is indeed importasnt to re-assure and help a person with inscurities and shame about her own physicality, but this is the very most dangerous and unhelpful way to go about it. And if this was meant to help you, why did he not discuss it within the therapy session, directly, rather than sending messages to you outside the sessions in a furtive fashion ?
As was raised previously, the risks of exploitation are high and significant.
It is so well recognized by properly trained and experienced psychotherapists that patients can so easily become emotionally dependent on us, and fond of us, not just because we're marvellous folks, but growing out of the basis of the practice of psychotherapy itself, that any therapist should recognize and deal with this helpully, and not get emotionally involved themselves.
You're so right that the patient must not be abandoned or even made to feel abandoned, maybe especially when they also ha feelings for the therapist. The explanaion need not be detailed or explicit, but could acknowledge that the therapist had begun to get too emoptionally involved in the case and the problem, and cannot any more remain impartial or as helpful as the patient deserves, so is withdrawaing and making proper arrangements for a colleague to take over the task of helping the person.
I believe the doc has an absolute duty to explain properly, to make a suitable referral and arrange for someone else, preferably with more experience, to take over promptly, and to explain in detail to the new therapist both the situation as it has developed, and what has been learned from therapy so far, so that it can be resumed without unnecessary repetition.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/07/16

Absolutely not. It is indeed importasnt to re-assure and help a person with inscurities and shame about her own physicality, but this is the very most dangerous and unhelpful way to go about it. And if this was meant to help you, why did he not discuss it within the therapy session, directly, rather than sending messages to you outside the sessions in a furtive fashion ?
As was raised previously, the risks of exploitation are high and significant.
It is so well recognized by properly trained and experienced psychotherapists that patients can so easily become emotionally dependent on us, and fond of us, not just because we're marvellous folks, but growing out of the basis of the practice of psychotherapy itself, that any therapist should recognize and deal with this helpully, and not get emotionally involved themselves.
You're so right that the patient must not be abandoned or even made to feel abandoned, maybe especially when they also ha feelings for the therapist. The explanaion need not be detailed or explicit, but could acknowledge that the therapist had begun to get too emoptionally involved in the case and the problem, and cannot any more remain impartial or as helpful as the patient deserves, so is withdrawaing and making proper arrangements for a colleague to take over the task of helping the person.
I believe the doc has an absolute duty to explain properly, to make a suitable referral and arrange for someone else, preferably with more experience, to take over promptly, and to explain in detail to the new therapist both the situation as it has developed, and what has been learned from therapy so far, so that it can be resumed without unnecessary repetition.

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