In love with therapist

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I’ve been seeing a therapist 2 years and can’t seem to let go of daydreaming about a relationship with her.It is not a sexual chemistry,but more like wanting to spiritually merge and hold each other. She has been a very consistent source of safety and loving resource~ i dare say has saved my life during an emotional breakdown~ and i would love to have her attention more than 1 hour a week-i love that she “loves” me(conveys unconditional acceptance and compassion which allows me to let my guard down).She knows about my feelings and we have discused transference,attachment etc and we keep our boundaries, but sometimes my feelings are so strong they feel tortuous. I want to unleash my passion-not just to have my needs met but to express the love i have for her~I feel like i would do anything for her.I have other resourses in my life but she really takes the cake. I want to let go,but on the other hand, feel I NEED her.i know i’m not the 1st person to fall in love with their therapist so how to people get thru it? Thanks.

A. Yes, transference and counter transference are issues. Some existential therapists think it is vital for the transference to occur, to produce the maximum benefits of counseling. I think you must resign yourself to the fact that your love will forever remain a platonic love. Yes, it may not be what you want but it is also what she wants that matters. It is so very natural for transference to occur. Your therapist has listened to your deepest problems, has shown real concern about you and your well being and you have opened up and been very real with her. She has a purpose in your life that is very important and that purpose would be removed if the two of you began a relationship. Once a romantic relationship begins it is impossible, far more than the fact it is unethical, for her to act in the capacity of therapist. Her impartiality and ego-less behavior towards you will by necessity end. Find another woman to love and keep your therapist…well, your therapist!
Good luck and don’t believe that your relationship with her is any less real.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Nov 2006

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2006). In love with therapist. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/11/12/in-love-with-therapist/