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03 Aug 2010

what to look out for
Dear Doctor Simpson.
I notice that there are not many questions asked aboiut what happens inthe therapy room and about what I have heard referred to as transference and countertransference.

I dont want to give too much detail here as I feel a bit in the open. But what would signs be that your male psychologist has inappropriate feelings for you. What kind of boundary slips might indicate this? Just that I have a funny/uneasy feeling about this at the moment and I dont know kind of things what to watch out for.
Answer 350 views

01 Jan 0001

You presumably already have a rather sophisticated background if you refer to "boundary slips", so I'm guesing you have done some reading around this topic.
OK, firstly, of course, it's not about male therapists, but a possible problem in any therapy situation, more so when it is aimed at deep digging, intimate disclosures, long sessions and prolonged therapy.
Your gut feelings can be a good guide, though if you have been in similar situations before, it is possible you are being a bit more suspicious than you need me. Think about what your feelings might be based on - are there actions or words the therapist uses that seem inappropriate to the situation and the topic under discussion ?
Conduct should be business-like, and rarely needs to include any form of contact outside of therapy sessions ( other than housekeeping matters like changing an appointment time ).
And within such therapy, it should be encouraged by any competent therapist, for you to raise such concerns at an early stage, and discuss them within the session - whether your misgivings are correct or not, that they have arisen is relevant and worth discussing. If it emerges that the therapist IS getting more personally involved that appropriate, you can discuss switching to a different therapist. And if this is not what is happening, the discussion can fruitfully explore how such concerns arose

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