Q. I just started therapy again after 2 years of trying to handle this on my own. But it only took 2 sessions to mess it all up. I may be Bipolar. I was explaining some things from my past – sometimes I get really impulsive and I will binge a lot, spend a lot, and have some sexual indiscretions. The therapists asked a lot of really detailed, personal, inappropriate questions about the sex. He wanted to know every detail of every thing I did. Everything from what I was wearing to how long it lasted to how many times I…you know. I was very uncomfortable — and he should have seen that. I was staring at the floor, avoiding the questions, not really answering. But he just KEPT ASKING! Is this…normal? Is he allowed to pry so deep into my sex life? Why? Is he supposed to ask those questions? How will it help? Or…was he just a middle-aged man trying to get his rocks off by prying into my sex life??!! I am very upset. Not sure whether to report him or not. I live in a very small town, and he is the only Psychologist around. I really need help.
A. There may be perfectly valid reasons why your therapist would need to know such detailed information regarding your sex life. Asking these sorts of questions may be normal. He may have been trying to determine if your sexual acts fell into the normal range or were of the type that would occur in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). From the letter you have written, several of the behaviors that you have mentioned are consistent with BPD. Do a Google search for BPD and you’ll see. You need to tell him how uncomfortable these questions made you feel. It can be quite common to discuss a client’s sex life in great detail. Your therapist is a professional and everything that you say to him is held in complete privacy. Some women feel violated when they are examined by their gynecologist. However, this extremely personal examination is absolutely necessary for their health. I hope you can see the similarity.
You said that he is the only psychologist in your town. If that is the case and you no longer wish to see him you can also seek help from other licensed mental health professionals such as clinical social workers. Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW), like psychologists, are also trained in counseling. There may be other licensed mental health professionals in your area as well. Call around or check out the phone book. There may be others you can see for counseling. I hope you can find someone who can help you.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Mar 2008
Randle, K. (2008). Are These Strange Questions Coming From My Pdoc?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 17, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/03/29/are-these-strange-questions-coming-from-my-pdoc/