Dating a psychotherapist

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  • Can Psychologists Date Patients or Former Patients?;

Or he might go outside with an agoraphobic client as part of a desensitization process. Another therapist might make an exception when someone is in a hospital or homebound due to injury.


The meaning of the crossing needs to be carefully discussed in session. It confuses the relationship and makes it difficult for the client to trust or to do this or her therapeutic work. Crossing is sometimes advisable.

Frequently they attribute more meaning to a relationship than the other person intends. They mistake friendliness for friendship.

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The therapeutic relationship can provide practice in sharing a goal without extending the relationship to sharing a life. You are there for and paying for reaching your personal goals, not to make a new friend. For therapy to be effective, the focus needs to be on you. Friendship requires give and take.

Yes, your therapist should be kind, compassionate and understanding. But she should not be using your hour to deal with her own feelings, issues, successes and failures. Your therapy session should only be used to help relieve your symptoms and to help you learn how to manage your life in new ways that are more effective.

Why Your Therapist Can’t Be Your Friend

The only material a therapist has to work with is what you present. If you keep information from your therapist, you limit the amount of help you can get. If you feel like you want more from the relationship, do your best to talk it out, not act it out. Positive, even romantic, feelings toward the therapist are normal and expected. But this is material for your work together, not something to act on. I can label people and have a pretty good chance of knowing exactly what their vulnerabilites are. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Why Your Therapist Can't Be Your Friend

The fact of the matter is that none of that does matter. That would take copious amounts of effort and energy. When I am talking to people in my daily life I am just as self- centered in my own reality as everyone else.

Can My Therapist Also Be My Friend?

What really bothers me is when this happens when I first meet a girl…. So, stop using empathy to understand where you are coming from? Stop caring about your perspective and actively listening to what you are saying by validating your feelings? If you say so. Apart from all these factors, if a psychologist of therapist makes any statements or actions during the course of therapy suggesting or inviting the possibility of a post-termination sexual or romantic relationship with the patient, that is also deemed unethical according to the Ethics Code of the APA.

Psychologists are not only prohibited from engaging in romantic or sexual relationship with a current patient and in most cases former patient but it is also unethical for a psychologist to terminate the therapeutic relationship established with a patient in order to pursue a social or sexual relationship with the patient.

Possible Consequences The Consumer information page of Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards ASPPB — an alliance of state, provincial, and territorial agencies responsible for the licensure and certification of psychologists throughout the United States and Canada — states that sexual contact of any kind between a psychologist and a patient, and in most cases even a former patient, is unethical and grounds for disciplinary sanctions3.

Additionally, in some jurisdictions, such activity may constitute a criminal offense. All psychologists are trained and educated to know that this kind of behavior is inappropriate and can result in license revocation. Why are such relationships considered unethical?

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To begin with a sexual involvement makes the work of psychotherapy or analysis impossible. For this reason, A sexual involvement is unethical because the psychologist can no longer exercise beneficence in the professional relationship.