By: Linda Santana, LMHC
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Hi, my name is Linda Santana and I’m a licensed mental health counselor in the state of New York and a licensed professional counselor in the state of Pennsylvania.
Today I will be talking about falling in love with your therapist. So falling in love with your therapist, WHAT?! You might really feel worried about this and feel that it’s not normal. What if I were to tell you that the feelings you have are perfectly normal?
Whew! Yes, this does happen and probably more than you think. So what exactly is happening to me and why my therapist you ask? You have trusted your therapist deeply like you haven’t trusted anyone in your life. I mean, you let your guard down. Let your therapist in. And your therapist fully accepts you for who you are, flaws and all. Your therapist gives you their full undivided attention, understands you and also encourages you. I get it. Who wouldn’t want to relationship like that?!
It’s this very acceptance that could be lacking in your life and these romantic feelings you have for your therapist can be totally confusing. But again, it’s normal. So it’s okay to have these feelings and guess what? You can talk to your therapist about it. What?! You’re probably saying, “No way. I’m not telling my therapist how I feel!” This is the reason you should talk to your therapist about your feelings. Your therapist is there to help you regardless and will not judge you for how you feel. Chances are your therapist has already dealt with other clients falling in love with them too. This might be very uncomfortable for you to bring this up to your therapist by your therapist, but your therapist will help you along the way. Tools will be provided by your therapist to overcome this.
Here’s a little disclosure. I too have worked with clients who have developed romantic feelings for me in the past where they have told me via email or face to face and drop out of therapy, and others who have told me face to face and continue therapy. The ones who ended therapy without working through their feelings have missed out on working on a breakthrough that could have taken place.
So what happens if you’re in too deep in love with your therapist, and it’s getting in the way of your treatment and all you keep thinking about is seeing your therapist because you can’t wait to see them. Your therapist probably already knows this and you both can talk about it. Your therapist will address this appropriately and can provide a referral for you to transfer to a new therapist.
If you are able to confront these feelings and progress successfully, suggesting a transfer will not be brought up. Therapists are not to reciprocate these romantic feelings with their clients because it is considered an ethical violation. This is not our role and we have to maintain that client therapist boundary clear.