My concern is
that my new psychotherapist of about 5 months, a Psy.D, has told me she suffers from
depression and an anxiety disorder, takes antidepressant medication, and has told me
about her emotionally distant mother. Is this OK for me? My previous therapist of many
years died unexpectedly and was reluctant to say much about herself unless it was more
in context of helping me. I like this new therapist a lot. She has helped me through the
grieving process, and obviously cares about my mental health. I have clinical depression
and anxiety. She knows what I am feeling; its obvious she knows not just because
of book learning but because she has had similar feelings. Do I need to be concerned
about her boundaries?
Using good clinical judgment, a psychotherapist can at times set
aside therapeutic neutrality
and use self-disclosure as a clinical tool to inspire and encourage a
imagine if a psychotherapist were to say something like this: I came from a
and suffered emotionally as a child with self-doubt and uncertainty and had periods
of depression. Through
my studies and through my own psychotherapy I learned to overcome my
resentments at my parents, my unconscious
my victim mentality, and
my experiences of
I did it all without any psychiatric
So Im fully prepared to help you do the same.
That would be inspiring,
wouldnt it? But your psychotherapist didnt do that. Instead, she
self-disclosed her failure.
essentially told you that she was unable to get to the
unconscious core of her
problems and has resigned herself to suppressing her symptoms with medication.
Theres no encouragement in that outlook on life. Her boundaries
will fence you in rather than protect you from the dangers of the world.
So, will this so-called
therapist be of any therapeutic help for you? Well, it depends on what you
want your life to become. If you want to get to the unconscious core of your symptoms
and heal them as I describe on this website, then you would be better served by someone
who can offer you more hope than you have been offered in the last five months. But if
you are content with merely suppressing symptoms and survivingrather than
livingthen stay with what you have.
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