Psychiatrist is In

Psychiatrist is In

Lucy’s psychiatry booth

Did you notice?  In this picture, the patient became the psychiatrist.

Question:  Have you ever felt like your psychotherapist or psychiatrist blurred their boundaries with you?  Have you ever struggled with your own boundaries with him or her?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  Enjoy your boundaries and let them lie.


12 thoughts on “Psychiatrist is In

  1. Good topic to discuss! I think that people who have struggled with their own issues are often attracted to the helping professions. Hopefully, their training gives them an awareness of who they are and tools to cope with and conquer their struggles, as well as tools to be able to set and maintain boundaries. Often people who have had a rocky road to travel are far more empathetic and sensitive to the needs and fears of those with emotional/psychological battles. Still, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, counselors and coaches too, are people with human strengths, weaknesses and foibles. Occasionally, we encounter someone in a professional role who is not a healthy individual and who maybe should not be practicing professionally. I had a few such difficult experiences in my own past, beginning with a school psychologist who made sexual advances to me as a teen, long before such occurrences were in the media and long before I was knowledgable or secure enough to do anything about it. I had a dear friend who was treated by a psychiatrist who was an alcoholic and who had other problems of his own. . She took her own life and this very unhealthy professional, who had heard about me so much from her, contacted me and offered to have me see him free of charge to talk about her death and to work through my own feelings. My husband at the time, told me to keep away from him and that this was highly irregular and a major blurring of healthy boundaries, but my curiosity got the best of me. I went to see him for several sessions. It became extremely clear that he was using me to attempt to work through his own guilt. Only a few months after that I learned that he had disappeared, abandoned his family and his patients and nobody knew where he was. There was an article in the paper about it. Fortunately,there are many more healthy and well-trained mental health professionals out there than dysfunctional ones, but patients and clients must learn to trust their intincts and if they feel uncomfortable, manipulated or just not good about a practitioner, they should look for another, or if they don’t feel up to it, should try to enlist a friend, family member or professional referral service to help them find somebody more suited to helping them. Therapists must make it a point to be attuned to their own feelings and to refer clients or patients to others if they sense a blurring of their own boundaries.

    • Thank you Iris! this is rich. all.
      to choose one point, interviewing psychiatrist/therapist/primary care physician/karate sensei, whomever we seek to engage in a doctor-patient or teacher-student relationship with is very useful. for example, objectively give ourselves three visits before making a decision. keep on.

  2. No…..but there has been sometimes during therapy that I almost “forget” where I am and who I’m speaking to. Meaning, the conversation is flowing so well and I’m getting a sense of deep connection and understanding between myself and my therapist over a particular topic, that for a brief moment it’s like I’m speaking with a close friend. Then I remember that no, I’m NOT speaking to a friend! I can see how easy it would be to blur the boundary lines though in some instances. I’ve had moments myself where I’d like to ask my therapist certain questions about her life, that I’m not entirely sure are appropriate to ask or to know the answers to. Basically, if I’m questioning in my mind whether a question MAY be appropriate to ask, then chances are it isn’t, so I don’t.

    • thank u, Purple.
      friend or not friend or both, that is a question.
      i wonder if not asking that question is more of what a friend would do though, considerate of interpersonal relationship, the emotional capacity to handle to question, and such or not?
      For example, i suppose many of us wish that we could ask a friend to massage our feet at night but realize we are better off going to a masseuse. What are your thoughts? keep on.

  3. Going from a first name first basis (originally used) and then later to to Dr. at clinic was sort of awkward. The Dr. deserves respect but sometimes I drift between a first name basis and the title of Dr. Since the Dr. is the age of my daughter I find myself wanting to give encouragement or advice but refrain as much as possible.

    Fortunately Dr. knows who is who.

    How does a professional look at this?

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