a [mid thirties] woman seeing a [early fifties] psychiatrist
and I was just wondering if it means anything if he gets [sexually aroused]
during a session. We were talking about my sexual relations with my boyfriend
and I looked over and saw, very clearly, that he had [become aroused].
I didnt want him to know I saw so I looked away toward the windows
in the office. But it was night time, so I could see his reflection in the
window, and I saw him glance down at his groin area really quickly. I looked
at the floor and acted like I didnt see it, but when I looked up at
him he was beet red and said, I hope you dont think I get some
kind of voyeuristic gratification out of talking about this. I said,
No, I dont believe that at all. And he said, Good.
Because I dont. With the blushing and everything, he seemed like
he was being earnest and genuine. The thing is, Im female and I genuinely
dont know what kinds of things make a man [become aroused] out
of the blue like that. Ive heard it sometimes just happens when they
arent even thinking sexual thoughts at all, but I have no clue. He
seemed very embarrassed, so Im thinking thats what happened,
but I dont know.
Is this something that is a common occurrence in therapy that I shouldnt
concern myself with? Do you think I should tell him that I saw it and discuss
it with him, or do you think the statement he made means he knows I saw it
and we should just let it go?
If a psychotherapist were to become sexually aroused while
listening to a client tell about sexual abuse as a child, for example, it
would be a clear sign of a
the psychotherapist. In your case, however, you were deliberately speaking
about sexually arousing behavior with your boyfriend. That your psychotherapist
became aroused in turn points to the conclusion that
to arouse him.
The proof of
this interpretation can be found in the
lies you both
told each other.
You said, No,
I dont believe that at all. Well, thats a lie, because
your staring at his reflection in the window showed you quite clearly that
you did believe he was getting some kind of voyeuristic gratification
And when he said,
Good. Because I dont, he was lying, and his blushing betrayed
All in all, what
happened was a mutual lie, and a mutual lie is the essence of
So what do you
do? If you want to get to the core of the unconscious conflicts that brought
you into psychotherapy in the first place, you have to speak about this desire
to seduce an older man and all the while claim that you dont know
what you are doing. Your psychotherapist, on the other hand, having shown
himself a liar, may be up for mutual seduction, but whether he
is psychoanalytically up to doing the real work of psychotherapy is another
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