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Transference and Dual Relationship

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From the U.S.: I have been seeing the same therapist for nearly a decade, off and on. I am currently in school hoping to become a therapist myself. My therapist has invited me to join his practice when I become licensed. This would be a great opportunity for me but I have had romantic feelings for him since early on. We have touched on the topic of transference but I cannot seem to resolve my feelings for him. This affects my already poor marriage relationship and I tire of the obsessive nature of my thought patterns. How can I effectively resolve my feelings for this man and still utilize our relationship which has proven very beneficial for me over the years?

Transference and Dual Relationship

Answered by on -


Your therapist is on very shaky ethical ground. You are his patient. He should not be offering you a job in his practice. Period. There may be more to this story, but what you shared raises many red flags.

The best way for you to honor what has been beneficial about your relationship is to thank him for his work with you and move on. Your therapist’s confusion about boundaries makes it unlikely you will resolve your feelings about him while working with him. This is especially urgent because your relationship with him is having a negative impact on your marriage.

I encourage you not to be persuaded by your therapist to continue treatment with him. Someone who doesn’t adhere to the ethics of the profession isn’t a good role model or supervisor for you as you begin to work in the field.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Transference and Dual Relationship

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). Transference and Dual Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.