Q. I’ve been with my therapist for almost 3 years and he is a very nice, kind man. I have been trying to work on feeling better about myself and my body but he seems not to want to discuss the subject and just changes the subject. He told me he does not find me attractive. I asked him how can I feel better about myself when he even doesn’t even? He says that he does like me otherwise. He said he just did not want to lie to me. I had major surgery 2 months ago and have been suicidally depressed since. My last suicide attempt was literally almost successful even though I was caught in time. It hurts me so bad knowing I am so ugly that even someone paid over a hundred dollars an hour to talk to me cant lie to me. I wish he had lied to me frankly. There is not a lot I can do about how I look. I try to wear pretty things, pay attention to grooming, do my nails and so on, but i am overweight. I lost over a hundred pounds a few years ago but I should lose more I suppose. I have a lot of loose skin that is ugly too mind you. Increasingly I have felt embarrassed to have to sit in front of my therapist knowing how he thinks about me. I often cry upon leaving and occasionally have been incredibly suicidal afterwards. I am trying to think more positively about myself but instead I feel worse and worse about myself. There are no other therapists in town that are covered by my health plan. I feel he is the only person in the world who listens to me so I hate the idea of not seeing him. I hate it when he goes away on holiday and yet I almost dread (but at the same time look forward to) our appointments. Mind you, increasingly i feel unable to say much in front of him at the same time. I know I should not keep seeing him but I feel I will lose the only person who cares. What should I do? Maybe I should just accept that I am ugly and noone will ever love me and stop making such a fuss about it? Another part of me says why keep on trying when there is no hope for me anyway. Please answer me. Please
A. After reading your letter, it seems to me that your therapist did not say that you were ugly. He just said that he was not attracted to you. Not being attracted to you and saying that you are ugly are two completely different statements. You cannot infer that he thinks you are ugly based on his comment that he is not attracted to you. For example, you might say that you are not attracted to Brad Pitt but that you do not necessarily find him ugly—he is just not your type. Once you realize that you may have come to the wrong conclusion about your therapist’s statement and that your therapist seems to have only stated basically that you are not his type, then maybe you can continue under his care. You should talk to him about his comment and be honest with him. It sounds like this whole situation may have been a big misunderstanding. What matters in therapy is whether or not your therapist is helping you make true progress and it seems that your therapist has been able to help you. The one thing that you can be absolutely sure of is that there are many people in this world that find you attractive. Attraction is a unique thing. As close as sisters are, genetically plus having been raised in the same environment, they often find no attraction to the boyfriends of the other. What if you found your therapist unattractive? Would that stop you from wanting to be his client? If he is helping you, then it’s likely in your best interest to stay with him. Good luck.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 May 2007
Randle, K. (2007). Should I continue to see my therapist after he said I was ugly?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 10, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/22/should-i-continue-to-see-my-therapist-after-he-said-i-was-ugly/