Our expert says:
Hmm. Well, it isn't unusual for someone in therapy to grow over-attached to their therapist / shrink ; it tends to get called Transference, because it isn;t entirely deserved by the shrink herself / himself, but also a transferring of powerful emoitons one had for parents and other important people in one's life, onto the shrink. A shrink ought6 to be aware of this potential, and to deal with it.
If a shrink was to be going away on planned leave, I would expect them to notify their patients in adance, and make proper arrangements for emergency cover if this might be needed. One wouldn't normally expect an SMS of farewell. A psychologist is also expected NOT to allow themselves to become over-emotionally attached to a patient, as this is not only considered doubtful in terms of professional ethics, but lso is not good for either party --- it does not help your treatment and may make it much less effective. To expect more than that is unrealistic and unhelpful. It is supposed to be a very special type of relationship, and not like purely social relationships.
Treatment needs to be caring but not loving. You don't need a surgeon who weeps for you during surgery --- they must maintain a major degree of professional objectivity, they're there to be an expert adviser, not a lover or purely a pal. It IS supposed to be a one-sided relationship, in some ways --- it is NOT supposed to be like a friendly or loving relationship in general, where it would be entirely fair to complain of it being one-sided.
Is a surgeon being one-sided because he operates on you, but doesn't allow you to operate on him ?
I'm disappointed that your shrink apparently didn't notice or deal wth these issues with you. This shouldn't feel like a "heart ripped out" issue. But what would probably be best all round would be for you to return to your shrink when she returns from leave, and raise this very specific set of issues with her right there in the session, and deal with it. THAT can be very much productive and helpful for you.
Very understndably, but unhelpfully for you, you have fallen if not in love, then in very deep like, with your shrink. To run away from these issues and start again with someone else would not be best --- better top deal with it with the person who already knows you well.
And NLM's example of the advert is excellent. We tend to want, even if we recognize that it's not realistic, the shrink to have a unique and exclusive relationship with us, and may even resent the idea that they must have a personal and private life, as well. We can, if unwary, feel like we're being cheated on by an unfaithful shrink, simply because they see other patients too, and care, appropriately, for them, as well.
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