A Guide to Psychology and its Practice -- welcome to 
                     the «Questions and Answers» page. Click on the image to go to a general Introduction 
                     with a complete Subject Index to this entire website.

and Answers
About Psychotherapy


Website Menus

Page Contents: When you wonder if your psychotherapist likes you.                    


My treatment 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 psychotherapist’s 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 terminated treatment with her.

This illustrates 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 love-hate 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 don’t expect your psychotherapist to be one of them.

Moreover, if 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 identity.

So it’s simple: as long as you want to be friends with your psychotherapist, you haven’t done real psychotherapy.


 Back to the list of questions


No advertising—no sponsor—just the simple truth . . .

If this website has helped you, then
please help support this website

FOR THE SAKE OF TRUTH this website about the practice of Clinical Psychology does not accept any advertising.

Therefore, if my work has been informative and helpful to you, please send a donation in appreciation, even if it’s only a few dollars, to help offset my costs in making this website available to everyone without advertising.

Gratitude is joy to the heart!


Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D.
San Francisco
Contact Me




A Guide to Psychology and its Practice



Copyright © 1997-2017 Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
San Francisco


All material on this website is copyrighted. You may copy or print selections for your private, personal use only.
Any other reproduction or distribution without my permission is prohibited.



No advertising and no sponsor—just the simple truth.