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Should I Switch Therapists? Sara, Nov. 4, 2008

Question:

Question is based on the posting to be found at the following URL:

http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=weblog&id=407&wlid=5&cn=91#wl6863

Does that mean that I should switch therapists, then? Because the one I’ve been seeing has hit on me! Though I do find him attractive (very much so, truth be told). I always seemed to manage to put that aside as I have a couple of issues that I feel really need work….plus, I’m a married woman (part of what I’ve been seeing him for, as…well, let’s just say there’s ‘trouble in paradise’…I have some unmet needs, etc.). I don’t know how it happened, but he kissed me…..and I kissed back! And though it shames me to admit it, was HOT! I guess he was attracted to me too? Because, even though I was completely open and honest w/him, I did NOT flirt (if I ever flirt with you, trust me, YOU’LL KNOW *lol*) I don’t know how to go back without the fear of things being awkward now…And I am afraid of how he feels. Does he regret it? I can’t believe I’m saying this, but part of me doesn’t want him to…. Maybe I should change therapists, as I can see now this is now become WAY too complicated than it oughtta be…Thanks for letting me vent!

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Answer:

Sara, I want to be crystal clear about this: Under no circumstances should a therapist kiss a patient or client. In addition, a therapist should never touch, hug, caress, flirt with or make any advances towards a patient. The fact that you feel attracted towards the therapist and find him to be "hot" makes no difference. In fact, patients are allowed to have their feelings.

During the course of therapy a patient will experience many feeling towards the therapist: love, lust, anger, hatred, hero worship, and etc. All of that is material for patient and therapist to learn about and understand. It is strictly forbidden for a therapist to use the emotions of a patient in order to make sexual advances.

It is the same thing whether someone is going to see their Medical Doctor, Dentist, Chiropractor, Lawyer, School Teacher and so on. It is imperative that the patient feel safe within the bounds of the treatment.

Actually, your therapist is open to litigation for kissing you and could be in danger of losing his license to practice. If you do not wish to pursue the legal route, I understand. However, by all means, find another therapist and never see this one again, nor recommend anyone you know to him.

Remember, this was His fault and Not yours.

Best of Luck

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