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October 23, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Love

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Do therapists really have feelings of warmth and caring toward their patients?


I've begun to care so deeply for my therapist of the last few years. She has been so helpful and means so much to me. I often wonder if she cares back just as deeply. I know there are rules and ethical considerations etc. but it is hard to love somebody and never know if there is any love coming back to you. As a therapist, can you help me figure out if I have any meaning in the life of a person who has so much meaning in my life?

Peggy, 38 year old woman


Dear Peggy,

Counselors are merely people. There are competent ones and incompetent ones. There are caring ones and uncaring ones. However, in general most therapists go into the field for a couple of reasons. Usually they have experienced traumas in their own early family lives. Often they identified with the victim, and therefore have a large desire to help others, and by helping others they are also subconsciously working out their own past pain.

This is often very helpful as they can identify with their clients pain. However, if they have not worked through their own issues sufficiently, they are not objective enough to effect long-term change. They can act so co-dependently that they fail to hold their clients responsible for their own changes, and therefore promote dependence.

Most counselors that have remained in the field have developed a good balance between caring and not taking care of. They have a particular mind set. They know that this relationship is very special, but is only temporary. For the client to get better they must eventually say goodbye to the therapist. Therefore, they are ready to say goodbye when it is necessary. So the relationship differs from a normal close relationship.

Because therapists are human they tend to at times care for some clients more than others, although each relationship remains special. It is often hard for clients to leave the closeness and acceptance that they experienced with the counselor, and at times the counselor feels the same way. However, the therapist knows that it is necessary for the client's further growth, and they knew that day would come.

I hope this has been helpful.

Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT

This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.

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