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Hanna2
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Blush Jun 11, 2024 at 06:13 AM
  #1
Hi everyone,

I (F 36) have been seeing this amazing therapist for 3 years now (She is female too and around 40-ish). I've always got on well with her as she is a very friendly person, always smiley, and she understand my issues very well. The last past 2 months I've started to notice I missed her more in between the sessions, I wanted to spend time with her and get to know her and her life. The longings were very intense to the point it was physically painful. I think it all started around when we had to meet in public places to do some exposure therapy for my anxiety. I've started to notice how good it felt speaking to her (there was some chit chat too during our work) and spending that hour with her. Those positive feelings increased to the point of romantic/sexual fantasies outside the sessions. I can't stop thinking of her despite being happily in a relationship
Now, I know rationally nothing will ever happen and she is very ethical/have good boundaries, and also I would never cheat on my partner and hurt her.
But a part of me wants to keep doing the exposure therapy so that I can see her (and hope she'll reciprocate), despite I'm improving. Would you tell her I'm better and stop it? Or would you discuss feelings with her? She's also a straight woman so it's hard to bring it up as I'm scared she will be grossed out
Thanks for the support
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Default Jun 11, 2024 at 09:56 AM
  #2
@Hanna2 welcome to MSF. I am sorry you feel a conflict going on with the therapist. That must have an impact on the benefit you get from therapy.

What I would be concerned about is your focus seems to have shifted from how can I get more out of therapy to how can I feed my romantic fantasies. To me this is not going to benefit you and may have a negative impact on your relationship with your partner and your therapist.

Have you considered that this also may be a sign of troubles in your relationship with your partner? Maybe that is something the therapist could help you with.

I see this happen a lot in therapy. They call it transference. Maybe your therapist knows how to handle this kind of thing professionally but that would take a willingness for you to not feed the fantasies.

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Hanna2
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Default Jun 11, 2024 at 10:18 AM
  #3
Thank you for your reply CANDC!

You are right saying I should probably not feed the fantasies. I think part of that stems from the fact I mentioned my feelings but it was not discussed extensively. T asked about attachment issues but never asked about the fantasies or really going into detail..I think I took it as "maybe she doesn't want to talk about it" and dropped it. I have also a lot of shame around my sexuality, which maybe is making me think she is uncomfortable. I mean I sensed some hesitation from her part but I'm not sure if I'm just projecting.

With my partner we definitely have some issues in the sexual area, despite being a very loving relationship. T reassured me attraction fades in long-term relationships and didn't seem concerned and said it was normal to happen.

I think I gave up bringing the trasference up to my T for fear of making her uncomfortable and thinking feelings would fade eventually. I can now see it's starting to impacting me as I feel so guilty for these fantasies.
I was hoping my T would ask about that but she either think I have no more feelings or she doesn't want to call me out on that
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Default Jun 11, 2024 at 11:10 AM
  #4
It might just be that your T can't mind-read and hasn't thought to ask you about fantasies or consider your transference. She might genuinely care and want to help, but just doesn't know.

I had fantasies about my T. We're both straight females. I actually told her I was having them. She convinced me to describe them to her. I did. She took it extremely well. And getting it out in the open actually got rid of the fantasy playing around in my head.

I would talk to your T. Even if it has to be indirectly or hypothetical to test the waters.

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Default Jun 11, 2024 at 11:59 AM
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by CANDC View Post
@Hanna2 welcome to MSF. I am sorry you feel a conflict going on with the therapist. That must have an impact on the benefit you get from therapy.

What I would be concerned about is your focus seems to have shifted from how can I get more out of therapy to how can I feed my romantic fantasies. To me this is not going to benefit you and may have a negative impact on your relationship with your partner and your therapist.

Have you considered that this also may be a sign of troubles in your relationship with your partner? Maybe that is something the therapist could help you with.

I see this happen a lot in therapy. They call it transference. Maybe your therapist knows how to handle this kind of thing professionally but that would take a willingness for you to not feed the fantasies.

CANDC

[If you want me to see your reply to this post please include @CANDC in your message - not in requoting my message]
I think one reply frames what can be a natural relational development in therapy as something concerning and in need of conflict management.

Crushing on your therapist can be really fertile ground for exploring what is happening for you in relation to others, in your responses to attachment, what role imagination plays for you in life, all kinds of interesting and powerful considerations. I don't see it as a case of "feeding romantic fantasies" but more about exploring your love, passions, vitality - perfect endeavours for therapy.

If you trust her and she has practised good therapy with you up to this point, this could be the start of deepening your work even further. I would only proceed with caution if you have a sense that she's not competent or the therapy is unsafe in some other way.

Last edited by DocJohn; Jun 12, 2024 at 06:12 AM.. Reason: Guidelines
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Default Jun 11, 2024 at 02:57 PM
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by CANDC View Post
@Hanna2 welcome to MSF. I am sorry you feel a conflict going on with the therapist. That must have an impact on the benefit you get from therapy.

What I would be concerned about is your focus seems to have shifted from how can I get more out of therapy to how can I feed my romantic fantasies. To me this is not going to benefit you and may have a negative impact on your relationship with your partner and your therapist.

Have you considered that this also may be a sign of troubles in your relationship with your partner? Maybe that is something the therapist could help you with.

I see this happen a lot in therapy. They call it transference. Maybe your therapist knows how to handle this kind of thing professionally but that would take a willingness for you to not feed the fantasies.

While obsessive behavior is not wanted, it's something that happens. If the T doesn't know how the handle transference, then they shouldn't be a T. I think op would most probably be open to explore the thoughts in therapy, hence why they posted here...

Last edited by DocJohn; Jun 12, 2024 at 06:12 AM.. Reason: Guidelines
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Default Jun 11, 2024 at 06:08 PM
  #7
@ScarletPimpernel thank you! It reassures me to know someone else's has addressed the topic with a straight T. I think the fact she is straight and I'm not makes me more self-conscious as I'm afraid she might "take it personally" or think they are "real feelings". It's good she convinced you to talk about it. I mentioned them at the end of the session (ah ah!) so time was up! I will try and gather the courage to bring it up again. I don't know what makes it so hard to speak again. How did you go about it if I can ask? Did you just say "i had some fantasies I'd like to talk about"?
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Hanna2
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Default Jun 11, 2024 at 06:18 PM
  #8
@comrademoomoo thank you so much for your validation and kind reply. I hope my T will see it that way too, as an opportunity to deepen the work we are doing together and not something shameful (which I'm what I'm worried about). I trust my T and I also think she took it well as she asked me "do you have feelings for me?" I think I'm confused about whether she thought my transference was maternal, as she spoke about motherly feelings and sounded surprised when i said they were sexual. I think she would not react badly but I could sense a bit of surprise/ discomfort about the sexual nature but hopefully it was just because it was unexpected.
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Hanna2
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Default Jun 11, 2024 at 06:31 PM
  #9
@ChickenNoodleSoup thank you for your understanding about my issues and not making me feel ashamed of it. You are right when you say I'm open to speak about them in therapy, it's just hard to get the words out but I'm totally up for it.
Also, in response to what @CANDC said about the focus shifting from getting things out from therapy to feeding the fantasies, I'm still focused on therapy in the therapy room for now. It's mostly when the setting changes ( for instance in public places for therapy)that my brain "gets confused" about the nature of the relationship as if the fact that we are outside makes it easier to think we are "hanging out" until i'm back to the reality of the room. As soon as I leave the room the fantasy kicks in, but not when in the room.
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Default Jun 11, 2024 at 06:56 PM
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanna2 View Post
@ScarletPimpernel thank you! It reassures me to know someone else's has addressed the topic with a straight T. I think the fact she is straight and I'm not makes me more self-conscious as I'm afraid she might "take it personally" or think they are "real feelings". It's good she convinced you to talk about it. I mentioned them at the end of the session (ah ah!) so time was up! I will try and gather the courage to bring it up again. I don't know what makes it so hard to speak again. How did you go about it if I can ask? Did you just say "i had some fantasies I'd like to talk about"?
Hmm. It came up because we were talking about dreams that were disturbing/distressing to me. I was telling her about others and then I admitted one was about her. I don't remember how she asked me for details. Probably just reassured me and reminded me that opening up about these things, "bringing light to them", makes them less powerful, have less of a hold on me. And I verbally told her. (Sometimes I tell her hard things in a letter for her to read in-person). She said it was beautiful, tender, and loving. She didn't see anything wrong with it except that it was distressing to me. The fantasy does pop into my head from time to time. It no longer bothers me like it used to. It comes and then goes.

My T is very open to these kinds of things. We're currently talking about bodies and why I think it's bad or inappropriate to imagine other's bodies. (I'm having issues imagining her breastfeeding). She is completely relaxed and accepting. She said it's normal and natural. I don't know if that's true... We're still in process.

Even if your T has issues of her own (i.e. is uncomfortable), the focus should be on you. Let her issues be her own for her to deal with in her own therapy. You focus on you. It's your space.

About being outside vs being in the room: maybe the change in boundaries triggered the change in feelings. Losser boundaries might allow for more feelings. Like you said about chitchatting. Maybe you're just more comfortable? Either way, you are not wrong for your feelings.

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Default Jun 12, 2024 at 06:19 AM
  #11
Iíve seen several Tís (all female), and I generally felt something similar to how you feel, towards all of them. I only ever saw them in the therapy room. Iím a straight woman, however the feelings included sexual feelings, a sense of deep love for the Tís and a longing for my session to come around. It felt physically painful at times. My approach was to just notice and observe the feelings. I never discussed them, probably because I felt a bit of shame about them. I consider them to be a normal occurrence in therapy, I think many people feel that way, and as such I think that Tís should be accepting of them. I think that maybe they relate to early feelings that an infant has about being with their mother (or either parent). If thatís the case. I wonder if there could be something helpful to the client about feeling them, maybe in terms of some kind of healing process? On the other hand I found them to be a bit disruptive in my everyday life and they perhaps influenced how present I was with other people in my life. For this reason I think that being in therapy long term wouldnít be good for me.
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