at the place I have been an inpatient at for over the last year has to end
in the next couple of weeks. . . . [My psychotherapist]
has started telling me some things about herself, personal things like how
she coped in certain situations in her past. I want her to like me as much
as I like her; the more she tells me about herself the more I think she does
like me. Throughout my treatment she has been completely professional, and
I feel I have been able to be truthful and real with her. Is it normal for
a psychotherapist to give more away about themselves towards the end? I have
told her I wish we could be friends, now I am wondering if she wants this
too. . .
I have no way to know for certain what motivates your
psychotherapists behavior, but I can guess that she has told you things
about her coping skills as a way to encourage you in your continuing
psychological work after you have
the fact that psychotherapists can experience genuine human caring about
their clients. But caring about someone does
not mean friendship. In fact, because of the dynamic
I call the
flip-flop, no psychotherapist can ever become a friend to a client
without causing some sort of psychological damage.
So, if you want
a friend, there are myriads of individuals in
this world from which to choose. Just dont expect your psychotherapist
to be one of them.
you are honest
with yourself, you will see that the desperate desire to want someone to
like me as much as I like him or her is at the core of the psychological
difficulties that sent you into treatment in the first place. As long as
you remain stuck in the desperate desire to be liked, your fear of being
abandoned will prevent you from being honest with anyone, and you will remain
stuck in mental illness and unstable relationships. But if you learn how
to give love instead of be loved, you will have nothing to
fear. Real psychotherapy,
therefore, will teach you how to overcome the illusions about your
simple: as long as you want to be friends with your psychotherapist, you
havent done real psychotherapy.
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