What's going on with him? | INFJ Forum

What's going on with him?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Lyric, Feb 17, 2019.

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  1. Lyric

    Lyric Four

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    This man, who is my therapist, had said something to me that made me feel uncertain about how he views me. I had told him once that I liked him as a therapist. Right after I had made that comment, he told me that he was glad that I had said that and that I’ve always been his favorite client. Another time, I was getting ready to leave a session and he said, “I hope you enjoy this warm weather, such as yourself”. Then he quickly fixed what he had said by saying, “such as today”. He also tries to find things in common with me. For example, I had told him that I was Greek. Then, he told me that he was Greek too even though he has told me multiple times in the past that he only has Swedish ancestry. Sometimes, with some of the things that I’m interested in, he’d apply some of my interests into his life that he’s never been interested in before. For example, if I was really into astrology, he’d start getting into astrology too.

    I’m also in group therapy with him. During these group therapy sessions, he’d would always try to sit next to me even when there were other seats open and available for him to sit in next to other clients. I would try to sit somewhere else to see if he’d would follow me and he never fails to sit next to me. If he isn’t able to sit next to me at all, he’ll stare at me for a long time after the session is over and as I’m getting myself ready to leave. He also mirrors my body language while he’s looking and listening to other people within the group. If I sit back in my chair, he sits back in his chair a 3 seconds later. Or , if I rest my hand by my neck, he’ll do the same right after me.

    I also asked him if he has ever thought of me as annoying. He’s said that I never was to him. But, I remember times when I was annoying and I pointed it out to him with examples from the past, which were true. Yet, he still says that I’m not and refuses to think so. He’s even said that out of all of his other clients, who are annoying or a bother to him, that it’s never been the case with me. He’d even sometimes talks about his wife to me and says that she even annoys him with the things that she does and he thinks that he annoys her at times. But, he has said some positive things about her as well. Although, I can see how the annoyance levels can increase when you’re around your spouse all of the time. But then, he also said that he believes that I don’t think of him as annoying.

    It also makes me wonder how he could see me as not being annoying at all, but when it comes to his other clients, he finds them to be annoying and bothersome.

    Why does he think that I’m never annoying and thinks that others are annoying?

    Also, he and I gave each other a close hug. He gave me the criss-cross hug (one arm wrapped around my shoulder and the other wrapped under my shoulder). I hugged him tight, then he hugged me tight. After the hug, he started talking to me and his breathing became heavy and his voice was shaky. He’s married and I’m single.

    Why is he doing all of this?
     
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  2. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Maybe he likes you.
     
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  3. Sloe Djinn

    Sloe Djinn Idiot with Internet Access.

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    @Lyric Because he has poor boundaries, which is a red flag. I will try to elaborate later but those are not good signs with regard to his ability to provide a safe, objective and productive professional relationship with you.
     
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  4. MoonFlier

    MoonFlier Community Member

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    My opinion on therapists in general: I've found people usually go into the field of psychology when they're interested in understanding themselves more than in helping others. Graduating with an undergrad in Psy these days is about as common as graduating with one in business. These folk are STILL working on figuring out who they themselves are and in my opinion are the worst ones to have out there as therapists. Now, that may not apply to all therapists. chances are the bad ones end up as guidance counsilors in schools (that doesn't make me feel any better). It sounds like you have one who unconsciously mimics those around him.

    I have a "good" friend here who falls into all this. She has her degree in psy and sees herself as an incredible therapist. My daughter and I have worked for years to figure her out, we joke (facepalm) over the fact that when she hears of someone's issues they suddenly become her own (fears, hobbies etc). She, and these type people really believe that they're great at listening and understanding people, and yet they're not really listening/understanding but rather absorbing. This is evident in how they complain about others they're supposed to be helping. Try and note how many times your therapist has equated something you say back to himself. I'll bet it's constantly. That's not therapy, that's your therapist being self centered, working to add you to his own support group.

    When one of these types of people encounter someone who can read others as INFJs tend to be able to do, they get tangled up trying to copy and figure you out. That in turn confuses the heck out of us.

    I hear ya... and add to it that this guy is biologically a dude... a married one at that. *shudder*
    I strongly suggest you find a new therapist.
     
    #4 MoonFlier, Feb 17, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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  5. Ginny

    Ginny Displaced Naiad

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    That. What Sloe Said.

    @Lyric from your description alone I got the creeps. What he is doing is nothing like a professional-client relationship, especially not in the realm of psychology/medicine, in which it is even more important that you feel safe - both emotionally and physically. This includes that you're not being hit on by your married therapist.
     
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  6. Cornerstone

    Cornerstone Well-known member

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    Yeah, this guy probably shouldn't be your therapist anymore. I mean, transference and counter-transference are a natural, arguably necessary, part of the therapeutic relationship. That said, if he hasn't even suggested that the way he is thinking/feeling about you may be affecting his ability to be your therapist, he can't be very professional. If you've deliberately acted annoyingly and he has denied any feelings of irritation, that's infatuation as far as I can tell and, whilst by no means impossible to work through, especially in less clinical/sterile therapies, it doesn't sound like he is attempting to do anything therapeutic with the material which is surfacing in himself.
     
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  7. Sloe Djinn

    Sloe Djinn Idiot with Internet Access.

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    Ok now that I have time to elaborate, here goes: What everybody else said.
     
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  8. JennyDaniella

    JennyDaniella Stargazer

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    Find a new therapist.

    Even though I’m still currently an undergrad in psychology so I technically really don’t have much professional knowledge nor exposure (besides just clinical psychology class that delves into these inticracies) regarding this situation, one thing my classes and professors whom are psychologists themselves, have stressed is that while having a good relationship between client and therapist is extremely important for a good outcome of treatment; there are very strict boundaries.

    Hugging is a huge no-no.
     
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  9. Hostarius

    Hostarius Level 10 Cynical Optimist

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    This, for me, is the hugest of huge red flags.

    I need to talk in generalities here, because I'm protecting some confidentialities, but I've been aware of/dealt with a few cases of sexual harassment in the workplace in a professional capacity (as a trades union rep.), and I see this as a pattern.

    The instances of harassment that came to us typically involved large power differentials (otherwise they would have gone to HR), and the thing you describe here was a pattern I saw: relatively more powerful men would disparage their wives to their objects of harassment, in attempt to build some kind of twisted intimacy. (Aside: I should also say that this happened to me also, where the gender roles were flipped, it's just that men don't typically report or recognise when they're being harassed or emotionally manipulated, and don't tend to feel as threatened (probably because they are in some sense physically immune), so I don't think the behaviours are particularly gendered).

    I'm a heterosexual man, so I would never disparage my SO to another woman under any circumstances, because that undermines the privileged level of trust between partners. Let me be clear: it's infidelity. And so I must say that what you have described, in my experience, is not just 'creepy' and pathetic, but manipulative and predatory. Typically the disparaging starts out small, like in this case 'my wife/husband is annoying', then it escalates to the level of 'thank God I have someone like you to talk to about this', and soon enough you've got a pest.

    You're so creeped out by this that you've posted about it on a forum; get another counsellor before this escalates, but also be aware that he has not yet committed any crime.
     
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    #9 Hostarius, Feb 17, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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  10. neko

    neko poopie head

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    Ummm.. this sounds unhealthy and inappropriate. I got the creeps just reading this. I’m sorry this happened to you, and I hope it doesn’t shake you up too much when it comes to getting therapy in the future.. it can be a wonderful tool.
    I would suggest finding a different therapist before it escalates..
     
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  11. Cornerstone

    Cornerstone Well-known member

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    This is why I find clinical psychology/psychiatry to be such a bizarre subject. Therapy involves building a healthy relationship with a person who is duty-bound to be inhuman.

    Of course people sometimes need a hug and it can be very therapeutic. Having worked in psychiatric hospitals for five years, I find it absurd that it is considered better to restrain someone than hug them. There's even a term, 'secondary gain', for people who do things that warrant restraint for the human contact being in restraint provides. And what is the 'caring' response? Don't restrain them! Go even further to avoid meeting the need they are so desperate to have met that they are willing to risk seriously harming themselves in order to get a humiliating, often painful, imitation of physical affection.
     
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  12. Milktoast Bandit

    Milktoast Bandit That is all

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    Time for a new therapist. The end.
     
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  13. JennyDaniella

    JennyDaniella Stargazer

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    I do agree! However there are some aspects to consider. While I do agree that sometimes hugging can be extremely therapeutic and reassuring; unfortunately, it is a complex subject with ethical procedures that many psychologists and psychiatrists have to essentially learn from undergrad, graduate/med school, and training until retirement. It's not that we necessarily don't want to express any physical affection, but rather we don't want to put out the wrong perception nor cross a personal line.

    Also to consider, let's say you are interacting with a patient from a whole different culture that finds physical affection particularly from a stranger or someone who isn't in their spectrum of family or close friends rather quite rude. After that, they would never want to interact with that particular therapist again!

    I learned that in certain Asian cultures that looking straight in the eye would be considered disrespectful. So in many instances, a clinician has to be aware of these aspects as well. It's really a set of guidelines that take into consideration of the person's background, upbringing, and how well the clinician knows the client. I wouldn't also necessarily say hugging or a pat on the shoulder is entirely forbidden, but to establish a professional and warm relationship between client and clinician, it's best not to go overboard.

    So it's not about wanting to express any affection such as a pat or hug, but rather be on the safe side on things and consider many outside factors--especially towards those who are either afraid of being touched, have different cultural ideologies, or not wanting to put out the wrong picture.
     
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  14. Hostarius

    Hostarius Level 10 Cynical Optimist

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    Also, I'm going to speculate here, so take a fistful of salt because I may be totally wrong, but... the other side of this is that you sound a bit avoidant to me, in the sense that you're suspicious of people who don't validate your negative opinions of yourself. With what you've written, you seem to have a bit of a thing about 'being annoying', and so it's suspicious to you if that he doesn't validate that.

    It's a funny one, because I can't actually remember an occasion where I was 'annoyed' by anyone, it's not something I tend to feel tbh... probably not since I was a teenager having my mum nag me to pick up my socks or something. My personal perspective, then, is that the fear of being perceived as 'annoying' is probably overstated.
     
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  15. Sloe Djinn

    Sloe Djinn Idiot with Internet Access.

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    Yeah what’s messed up about it is that the therapist abuses the trust that is inherent in the therapeutic relationship. By default the client is exposing vulnerabilities that they are way less likely (in general) to confide to anyone else who they encounter in public. That is why keeping firm and well-defined boundaries is so important. Asserting that you are “not annoying” when you know you are is curious. Asserting that you are not annoying while all other clients are is inappropriate and strange. Asserting that you are not annoying, that you are his favorite, and that his wife is annoying is clearly overstepping any semblance of professional boundaries. Complaining about his wife.....who is the therapist here?

    The mimicking may be an unconscious sign of what looks like infatuation. The staring and always sitting next to you is way more overt and a clear sign that you are in creepytown. No therapist should be doing things like that. Even if he divorced his wife to pursue another relationship, it is ethically/professionally wrong to use his influence/status (as naturally having an advantage over his clients) to cultivate or exploit opportunities for friendships or intimate relationships.
     
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  16. JennyDaniella

    JennyDaniella Stargazer

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    Exactly. Revealing any personal information, especially from a mental professional is very troublesome.

    It is not uncommon for a therapist to share some things about themselves, but it is in very small doses and it is used in a way to establish a rapport or help the patient in some way for understanding/comparison purposes and guide them to a certain direction.

    Never would I reveal what is going on in my personal love life. It is not only unethical but also very unprofessional.
     
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  17. OP
    Lyric

    Lyric Four

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    Yeah, I do seem pretty suspicious about that. I am sort of a sensitive type of person where I worry a lot about not wanting to hurt other people's feelings. I also apologize a lot, even over the smallest mistakes that I've made. But, I just think that all of us have positive and negative qualities to ourselves. At times, I've picked up on the feeling that I've might've annoyed him in the past. I know this because I used to say "I don't know" a lot as a response to his questions. At one point, he got irritated with me and whenever he gets irritated, the tone of his voice rises and changes to match that irritation. So, I told him about that time and for him to say that I have never been annoying makes me wonder if he even sees me as human. Because all of us humans have flaws, make mistakes, sin, etc. while also having these good qualities about us. It seems to me like he only sees one side of me (the good side) rather than the negative side which I've expressed in the past. He refuses to see that or admit it. To me, there's a lack of balance there.
     
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  18. MoonFlier

    MoonFlier Community Member

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    It could also become quite dangerous under some circumstances.
     
  19. JennyDaniella

    JennyDaniella Stargazer

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    While therapists and psychologists try to encourage positivity and a route of betterment, and don't want to say their client is being annoying or this and that, they also try to acknowledge the darker side of their patients and handle it with the best care and acceptance, something that I see your therapist lacking; especially since I notice a pattern of impatience from him and irritation---we are trained to be careful on exhibiting any strong emotions and be cool-tempered and respectful.

    Want to know something? Even psychologists and therapist seek psychotherapy themselves--- especially after graduate school--- at least once or twice in their life because you are indeed correct, we are all human that have our negatives and positives, and sometimes we need help.

    For your therapist to ignore or undermine your negative qualities is basically throwing away an essential piece to what caused your diagnosis and some very important connections and pieces to the human subconscious and shadow self.

    Find a new therapist who can not only steer you in the right direction for growth, self-reflection, and improvement; but also someone who respects you as a person when it comes to boundaries and your inner thoughts.



    Absolutely!! I can't agree enough!
     
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  20. OP
    Lyric

    Lyric Four

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    Also, he has said that he believes that I don't ever see him as annoying like how he has been viewing me which seemed kind of odd as well. It's like he hopes or wants me to feel the same way about him or something.

    I'm going to see him again in a couple of days. I'm going to ask him why he would say those types of things to me and why he would set me apart from all the other clients and his wife that he sees as annoying. And, I'm going to ask him if he is consciously or subconsciously copying my words and actions (trying to be like me). It's one thing to be fully aware of copying someone, which wouldn't be a big problem in therapy because therapists do that to build rapport with clients. But, it would be another thing for him to not even be aware of doing that which would add to the other red flags.
     
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