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When deconstructed, the therapeutic hour shows itself to be a very bizarre social construct that is quite challenging to enact in a productive and healthy way.
When properly delivered, the benefits of appropriate psychotherapy can be powerfully life-changing.
And covering up your real self might be something you need to do with most people—you can’t go into work and talk about how you slept with somebody after the first date, or how the greatest pleasure you got out of meeting one guy was realizing that he had gone out with an old enemy of yours.
But that is the kind of thing you need to talk about in therapy, because it’s important and very few other people are going to have the kind of concerned disinterestedness that you need to help you figure out what’s going on and how you can keep making your life better.” “That sounds like so much work.” “So is getting someone to fall in love with some version of yourself that you’re going to have to unravel, especially when that person’s entire professional life depends on not falling in love with you.” “You’re a lot of fun today.” “You know I love you, right?
I am horrified that so many television shows and movies depict romantic relationships between therapists and clients as though they were perfectly normal!
The truth is, romance within a therapeutic relationship is as far from normal, acceptable, healthy, and sane as you can possibly get.
The client is typically left with extreme emotional disruption, feelings of emptiness, isolation and guilt, and a tragically impaired ability to trust.
If this storyline is depicted in other regular people’s everyday media consumption, a very serious misconception about the purpose and practice of psychotherapy may occur.
Even though in the movie , Joseph Gordon-Levitt appears to find care, comfort, and I-don’t-know-what-else in the arms of his intern therapist (I don’t know because I walked out of the movie), your therapist is neither your caretaker nor your best friend.
Your therapist can help you develop the skills you need to go out and make friends and find someone to help you through the difficulties of life.
But if your therapist tries to convince you that his or her role is to love and protect you, run away! And if he or she makes any sexually suggestive advances (verbal or physical), you know you are not working with an ethical therapist.
Extensive worldwide research and anecdotal evidence dating back to the origins of formalized therapy indicate that romantic relationships between therapists and their clients, regardless of which role is the initiator, are criminally damaging to the client in the majority of situations.
In California, there is a legal clause that states that a personal relationship between a previous therapist and client may be pursued two years after the termination of services.