Can I ask my son’t therapist for a date?

https://www.quora.com/Can-I-ask-out-my-sons-therapist/answer/Mark-Maginn

Can I ask out my son’s therapist?
Mark Maginn
Mark Maginn, Psychotherapist, poet, memoirist
Written 2m ago
Certainly can. But should you? Short answer, no. And if you did, I would hope for you son’s sake that he would say no and affirm the boundaries around s/he and you son.

Some would argue that once your son’s treatment has terminated then is would be okay. Simply stated, it would not.

Therapy often goes on in the patient after termination. Dating the therapist would throw that off and leave your son feeling taken advantage of. There may come a point when he would like to go back to his therapist for another round of Tx; not at all unusual.

There are lots of people to date: don’t risk undermining you child’s therapy.

Can I ask out my son’s therapist?
Mark Maginn
Mark Maginn, Psychotherapist, poet, memoirist
Written 2m ago
Certainly can. But should you? Short answer, no. And if you did, I would hope for you son’s sake that he would say no and affirm the boundaries around s/he and you son.

Some would argue that once your son’s treatment has terminated then is would be okay. Simply stated, it would not.

Therapy often goes on in the patient after termination. Dating the therapist would throw that off and leave your son feeling taken advantage of. There may come a point when he would like to go back to his therapist for another round of Tx; not at all unusual.

There are lots of people to date: don’t risk undermining you child’s therapy.

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My therapist doesn’t believe me. What is a good way to proceed?

If your therapist cannot adequately explain to you why he has disbelief about you I’d ask if he’s consulted anyone regarding this or worked on this in his or her own therapy. If all that isn’t happening run, don’t walk from this person. This may well be indicative of a counter-transference barrier that might be impossible for you to put up with.

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This is for people who have gone to therapy. For therapists, how do you end sessions when you both (you and the client) stand up? How do you know whether to shake hands or to not shake hands? The same question applies to the side of the client.

Steve, you’d be surprised how little we therapists actually know. When I was younger I surely knew much more; now? Well…not so much.

I simply rely on my humanity and what I’ve learned over nearly 50 years doing this work. I now am comfortable with the reality that I make mistakes all the time. But I’m no longer stunned by them, they are just me being human, and, really, as we mature, we no longer expect perfection in ourselves or others.

I’ve also learned to ask my patients permission, in one form or another, if I can run something by them or do something like perhaps shake a hand or offer a hug.

I always look for ways in which I’ve erred and invite my patients to tell me how they experienced my mistake or misstep. In this, I always offer what my thinking and feelings were even if they are embarrassing to me or way, way off the mark and hurtful.

This is so important and healing for someone who never had a parent behave like this with them. For once in their lives, they feel heard, seen, respected and responded to. And that is one of the many modes of psychoanalytic therapeutic action or healing.

Very little magic. Just experience, faith, tolerance, loving patience and endless curiosity with a large helping of humility about what I think I know. I no longer assume I understand what a patient means. I owe them the respect of asking and making sure I understand as opposed to the soul-killing stance of “I always know what you are thinking.” I hope I can engender a soul enhancing surprise.

This also firms up the boundary between us. I have no magical powers of knowledge, understanding or wisdom. Thos are all values I hope we can develop together between us.

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Does a BPD person pushing someone away mean that they have strong feelings for that person?

Maybe yes, maybe no. It certainly depends on the person with that particular diagnosis.

Sometimes it is to separate and protect, and at others, it is simply unmetabolized rage wherein the person feels way to emotionally vulnerable to the other and then does whatever is necessary to break the intimate emotional connection. This is done to protect the person with symptoms of BPD from the metastisizing fragmentation of her/his fragile adaptation.

Fears of abandonment, castration and emotional and physical abuse rule the emotional world of those so badly treated as infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents.

It can be and has always been a cruel world.

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When did you realize you needed to see a mental health professional?

I did that as I became a “mental health professional” and it was time to deal with what was PTSD, but back then PTSD was not the in vogue diagnosis that it is now.

I started this work when I was in my early 20s and have been in and out of analytic psychotherapy for the better part of my adult life. I do this as I treat people on the extreme edges of human experience, that is, psychoses and those with borderline personality disorders. Doing this work reaches into the darkest corners of my psyche so I treat myself to work with a therapist I have been working with for over 25 years. I’m not sure I could do this work without being in therapy myself.

I entered into therapy as a result of the ravages of an autoimmune disease that regularly tries to bump me off. So, Staci, you might imagine that living with such a murderous little number might impose on me the necessity of frequently confronting issues of my life and death and continuing loss can impact my emotional availability.

Of course, having to live with such a thing and being in therapy has helped me continue the work I do with people who wonder about their ability to survive; and they often wonder and talk about my obvious health problems and their worry that I will die before they can rise up from the depths of their own madnesses.

The only really good thing about this is that my patients know I’m someone who’s been there, done that. Many patients with severe symptoms of madness also come to realize how resilient all this has made me and they eventually tell me that they came to rely on my resilience.

Additionally, Staci, if you are going to work with the population that I work with, being in therapy is a necessity. I could never continue this without the relationship with my therapist.

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How can I support someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in a healthy way?

The answers to this question, Elizabeth, really depends on the reality that borderline conditions are not all alike. Some are high functioning and some medium and low functioning. The presence of acting out, violence, drug abuse, and self-destructive behaviors vary across this diagnostic category.
With these additional caveats, the best thing you can do to support someone struggling with parts or all of the above is to encourage healthy behaviors while urging the person to get into therapy if they aren’t already, and if they are in treatment, counsel them to continue with it when they wish to flee.
The very best thing you can do to be supportive is to take care of yourself. Additionally, you need to keep yourself from being dragged into the person’s madness.
One thing I remind people to do when involved with someone who is severely disturbed is this: Don’t attack, don’t withdraw.
Good luck.

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What’s something a therapist knows that would scare most people?

To live is to suffer, to feel pain, to struggle. There are good moments, too. But most of us need to give up the idea of banning pain and suffering from our lives.

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Do therapists ever feel emotionally vulnerable with clients?

Put it this way, you wouldn’t want to be in therapy with a person unable to be vulnerable to you, your thoughts, feelings, fears, dreams.

It’s an important tenant of process-relational philosophy we must first be vulnerable to the experiences of others, to allow ourselves to be moved before we can move the other.

I work hard, well not as hard as I did 40 years ago, to stay open and tuned to even the smallest flicker of the patient’s emotions and repressed thoughts, feelings and fantasies.

I can’t imagine doing psychoanalytic work with someone while trying to remain emotionally invulnerable as s/he needs much more than that from me. It isn’t unusual for me to belly laugh, and wipe away tears rolling down my face.

If the therapist isn’t fully human or working on it in her/his therapy then that is a crippled therapist who might want to pursue other work.

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Therapists, do you like your clients on a personal level or is it part of the job so they trust and open up to you?

Interesting question, Hayden. At this point in my career, I only work with people I like. If in the initial contact I find an open dislike for a new client I work really hard in that initial session to understand the origin of my dislike. If I can’t do that I will suggest a second exploratory session with that new client. I would then talk with a trusted colleague about my reaction. If I’m still not able to at least understand what is causing my dislike, and it’s not terribly obvious what the client was or wasn’t doing to strike off my dislike, I would then refer the person on to someone else.

It is impossible to fake liking or disliking a client as they rather quickly sense my true feelings. Once long ago I worked with a young woman who after a month or so into our work together I developed a real dislike for her. In consultation, I couldn’t think of any buried reason for my dislike other than when complaining about others, which she did in every session without developing insight into her feelings, she would screw her face into such a mask of hatred I began to feel a real dislike for her. She confronted me about not liking her and after several sessions of being unable to resolve or understand my reaction, with her approval I referred her on to other therapists.

What I soon realized after terminating with her was that she needed me to feel my dislike for her—which matched her own feeling about herself—and hold onto the feeling while also trying to help her confront and maybe change the hatred that poured from her. My countertransference trapped me as her hatred pushed against and made me aware of the hatred living in me that at the time I didn’t want to deal with. But I got into therapy and resolved that nasty little trap.

By the way, there is a wonderful paper by the great British pediatrician and psychoanalyst called “Hate in the Countertransference.” Should be required reading by all therapist, not just we psychoanalytic types.

Interesting question, Hayden. At this point in my career, I only work with people I like. If in the initial contact I find an open dislike for a new client I work really hard in that initial session to understand the origin of my dislike. If I can’t do that I will suggest a second exploratory session with that new client. I would then talk with a trusted colleague about my reaction. If I’m still not able to at least understand what is causing my dislike, and it’s not terribly obvious what the client was or wasn’t doing to strike off my dislike, I would then refer the person on to someone else.

It is impossible to fake liking or disliking a client as they rather quickly sense my true feelings. Once long ago I worked with a young woman who after a month or so into our work together I developed a real dislike for her. In consultation, I couldn’t think of any buried reason for my dislike other than when complaining about others, which she did in every session without developing insight into her feelings, she would screw her face into such a mask of hatred I began to feel a real dislike for her. She confronted me about not liking her and after several sessions of being unable to resolve or understand my reaction, with her approval I referred her on to other therapists.

What I soon realized after terminating with her was that she needed me to feel my dislike for her—which matched her own feeling about herself—and hold onto the feeling while also trying to help her confront and maybe change the hatred that poured from her. My countertransference trapped me as her hatred pushed against and made me aware of the hatred living in me that at the time I didn’t want to deal with. But I got into therapy and resolved that nasty little trap.

By the way, there is a wonderful paper by the great British pediatrician and psychoanalyst called “Hate in the Countertransference.” Should be required reading by all therapist, not just we psychoanalytic types.

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Oranges

ORANGES
For MJM 1946-1995

Felt it coming, I’ll bet, the earth’s
final invitation.

Lying motionless in dry grass
under a leaning tree
you watch a slatted sky pour
the ripened sun.

A steely Santa Anna
furnaces noonday leaves just beyond
your reach.
Light bathed fruit,
like a Hopper still life,
draws your finished thoughts.

A petal crested orange,
like a jeweled pendant,
bobs in sun’s center at the side door
of your vision. Another,
directly overhead, winks into life,
winks out.
You can feel their pulpy flesh
behind your eyes,
little membranes in juice, ruptured,
ebbing…

With ruined breath
and pupils saucerd in
blinding light
you take a final look:
the last oranges hanging,
unpeeled.

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