From the U.S.: I’ve been seeing my T for about two years now on and off. The reason I’m here is because my T seems fidgety during every session. What I mean by this is that he either spends 50% of his time fiddling with his wedding rings or the other 50% running his hands through his hair.
I know people do things like this while talking regardless of weather their a trained professional or not but he does it constantly and it isn’t like a simple put his hair behind his ear from his face he’s always pulling it back like to put it in a pony tail or run both hands though it and again if he isn’t doing that he’s pulling his wedding ring off and playing with it in his opposite hand for several seconds before putting it back on. Some more odd behaviors is he always mirrors my sitting positions and if I change them he does shortly after as well. To put it plainly he seems more animated than me 80% of the time and I don’t know why I don’t know if it’s a technique or just his personality. I’ve been to therapy before and the other two I saw were very stationary the complete opposite of my T now.
Lastly he seems to always tell me we have things in common and from what he’s told me much of our past experiences and even some of our medical histories are quite similar again I don’t know if this is a technique for bonding or if he and I are just that similar.
So my question really is what the is my therapist doing? Are these behaviors needed after I’ve bonded with and trust him? Are these behaviors and body signals just his personality or am I missing something? Is this constant comparing of life experiences and interests and hobbies needed now or does he like the fact that we share a good amount of similarities? I wouldn’t say I’m obsessing over this but after two years of once a week sessions where I get in my car and think humm that was interesting finally has me wondering.
I don’t know how you’ve managed to deal with these behaviors for two years since they are so distracting and worrisome for you. Your therapy should be an opportunity for you to focus on you; not a time to be wondering about the therapist.
I can’t tell you what the therapist is doing. I can only say that the behavior you describe is highly unusual and a bit concerning. Although there are different styles of therapy, good practice generally means that the therapist maintains good boundaries and only shares personal information if it is necessary to move therapy forward.
Why not go at this directly? Ask him why he fidgets so much and why he feels it necessary to share so much personal information. Tell him his behavior makes you uncomfortable and ask that it stop. Asserting yourself may be helpful to your therapy.
If he can’t or won’t change his presentation, do consider changing therapists. Although you now know and trust your therapist, he may not be the right fit for your needs. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are employing him to help you. You shouldn’t be expected to help him. That’s for him to pay another therapist to do.
I wish you well. Dr. Marie
Why Does My Therapist Act This Way?
Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker
Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
APA Reference Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Why Does My Therapist Act This Way?. Psych Central.
Retrieved on July 17, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/03/31/why-does-my-therapist-act-this-way/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.