only been in therapy for two months; because of a negative transference with
my psychiatrist, I quit going. He wrote me after a month to suggest that
I continue therapy. This is my first time having a male as a psychotherapist,
and it is really hard to talk about issues such as my painful childhood including
abuse. Up until this point in my life (Im 33 years old) Ive been
able to avoid male supervisors and direct contact with male co-workers and
professors in college. I cannot go through life this way feeling mostly
depressed, and being afraid of men! Im feeling now that it is not such
a good idea to have a male therapist.
Apparently you have learned quite a bit from my website,
because you have written to me, a man, without fear.
it doesnt really matter in general whether a psychotherapist is male
or female, as long as the psychotherapist is competent and doesnt carry
an unconscious anger
at authority. Sometimes it can even be helpful to experience separate
courses of treatment, first with a female psychotherapist and then with a
male psychotherapist, or vice versa.
Nevertheless, if a
person suffers from uncertain goals and general life confusion deriving from a
lack of a father
in childhoodthat is, whether the father was literally missing from
the family or whether he was merely weak and ineffectivethen it may
be best to seek out a mature male psychotherapist father figure
who can help you overcome your hidden anger at your own father by teaching
you discipline, responsibility, and wisdom.
many psychotherapists who are relatively competent in terms of basic
psychotherapy principles are not very competent in regard to gender issues.
It can be very easy for a client to
the unconscious of the psychotherapist and turn the treatment into a blind
alley of gender-bashing. Its as easy as unconsciously splitting
Thus its quite
possible that you could seek out a female psychotherapist in the (unconscious)
hope that she will miss the point about your fear of menjust as a man could
seek out a male psychotherapist in the hope of avoiding his fear of
a very simple rule in dealing with the
unconscious: the more
you try to avoid something, the more important it is psychologically. Therefore,
this might be the perfect opportunity for you to
fear of men as you work with a male psychotherapist. Just remember the
BIG RULE of psychotherapy: the spoken
encounter between the client and the psychotherapist is the core of the
treatment. In this encounter you must learn to set aside all your
defenses and speak
honesty. And to
do that, you have to come to terms with the emotional pain that caused those
defenses to come into being in the first place.
So it will be
important to keep talking about everything, especially the feelings you
personally have about a male psychotherapist. To all your old defenses
this sounds about as wise as playing catch with a jar of nitroglycerine or
something, but this is the only way it will work. Talk, dont run. And
keep talking, especially about the negative things. This wont be easy,
of course, and you wont be able to lay down your old defenses as easily
as you can say you want to, but in the struggle to be honest and open you
will start to grow, and thats where the real healing will take
advertisingno sponsorjust the simple truth . . .