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Obsessed with My Therapist

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From the U.S.: Forgive me, this is going to be a very fragmented story…About 5 months ago my female therapist of a year and a half transferred me to a male therapist because I was a little obsessed with her. Nothing sexual. But I did look her up online and managed to find out…. probably everything about her.

I know it’s not ok. Upon seeing her children and husband I was really angry at her. I still don’t REALLY know why. Jealousy likely I guess. I told her about it and she decided that maybe she “couldn’t help me” like someone else could. That means she just didn’t want to deal with me anymore right?

It was frustrating because I’ve known her since I was around 9 years old. But, even knowing my hatred for sex and men in general, she transferred me to a male therapist and said that he would help me not feel like that towards them anymore. About a month into therapy I began researching him as well… I didn’t know what to do with my thoughts. They were very sexual. I’ve never had sexual thoughts like that about anyone before.

At one point I stayed up all night doing nothing but replaying the same scenario in my head. It began with just, I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like I couldn’t remember what he looked like after I left and it bothered me (happened before too.) Sometimes I don’t feel close enough to him and sometimes I feel too close. I’m sometimes a little worried that he’s going to die or something. I wanted to buy him a present so that I wouldn’t be stressing him out.

I’ve only ever attempted suicide once and I told him about it at the end of the session so we didn’t have to talk about it…I don’t want him to worry about me.

I don’t think therapists care much for the stressful clients and I want to be one of his favorites. And I know that I can’t tell him about the severity because he will probably transfer me too. I know that this isn’t normal. But what even is normal? Please, I just need some help.

Also, I’ve never been sexually abused FYI, I don’t really know where my issues with males comes from… I have theories, but nothing concrete.

Obsessed with My Therapist

Answered by on -

A.

I don’t know enough about the situation with your first therapist to comment on her decision to transfer you. It sounds like she understood her own limitations and thought you would do better with someone new.

Actually, what you are reporting is a “normal” experience some people have in therapy. What you are describing is an example of “transference”. At 17, it is normal for you to be struggling with developing your sexual identity. Whether or not you were sexually abused, you are living in a culture that can make that frightening. Therapy can be a safe place to explore your feelings about sex and relationships. It is not at all uncommon for clients to do that by processing intense feelings for their therapist.

Do talk to your therapist. Share your letter and this response as a way to start. If your therapy doesn’t feel safe, first talk about it. Yes. Talk about it. If the therapist can help you feel safe, it is often in such moments of awkwardness, even fear, that the most growth can happen.

Do remember that not every therapist is a “fit” for every client. If it still doesn’t feel right, consider whether you need to look for a therapist who you can work with.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Obsessed with My Therapist

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). Obsessed with My Therapist. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/11/27/obsessed-with-my-therapist/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 27 Nov 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.