looking for a psychotherapist. There are only a few who do psychodynamic
therapy here, just about four or five of them. Two of them are out of town
so I dont really have a choice. I already know the person who is supposed
to be the best. The problem is that I already have a sort of a relationship
with him. I have been contacting him to help me out in my academics because
he is also a professor of psychology at the university. He couldnt
do much to help me though. But every time I would call him I felt my low
self esteem and I felt like he doesnt like me and Im bothering
him. Since I dont have much of a choice of psychotherapists, I was
wondering if I should get into therapy with him. But with such a relationship,
dont you think the psychotherapeutic process will be
Your dilemma raises the issue of dual relationships in
the psychotherapists responsibilitynot the clients
responsibilityto avoid any dual relationship such as
teacher-psychotherapist, business partner-psychotherapist, friend-psychotherapist,
and so on. For example, if you were to have a psychotherapist who is also your
professor, his knowledge of your personal issues could
the grades he gives you.
In your case,
the professor of whom you speak could ethically function as your psychotherapist
as long as you are not taking any classes from him for a grade. And, if he
does become your psychotherapist, you should never take any classes (for
a grade) from him in the future. If you can accept these terms, then choose
him; if you cannot accept these terms, choose someone else.
As for your personal
feelings about this man, the whole issue of your low self-esteem is a good
reason to be in psychotherapy in the first placeand what a good way
it than with this professor. In other words, we should be using psychotherapy
to face up to and overcome the
ugly aspects of our
lives; if, in the psychotherapy you hide or avoid these aspects of yourself,
then you really are not doing psychotherapy in the first place.
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