Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Transference


Hello!  I would really need some advice.  I am a woman in her forties and have been in treatment with a psychiatrist for 8 years now.  I see my doctor (male) one a month or once every two months.  For the past year, I have been thinking about my doctor in a romantic way.  I know this is common and I know about transference, which could possible be the case here.  My question is:  Is it better to talk to him about this or just keep it to myself?  I am terrified of talking to him about it because what if he transfers me to someone else?  I have trust in this doctor and in his professional knowledge.  I'm not doing a great job dealing with this on my own.  So is he the person I need to tell or should I go see another therapist?  Thank you for any insight you can bring me.

Hello Lynn

It might be worthwhile to see another clinician (psychiatrist or clinical psychologist). But this would not be because of the feelings, which are common, but because of two other issues.

I have no idea why you are in therapy, and once a month or two is not often, but you might discuss with a qualified outsider why it has been going on for eight years and what efforts have been made toward finding a resolution, an end-point, a termination.

The other issue is your relationship with the therapist. Why is your trust in his wanting to help you so low that revealing your attachment is so threatening? Why are you so dependent on being able to talk with him now and then? What exact benefits are you getting from his professional knowledge?  

Whether or not you agree that another perspective might be useful, and whether or not you are able to find another suitable practitioner, you can certainly raise your feelings as well as the above two concerns with your present therapist. It's entirely up to you. It's your time, it's your money (directly or indirectly), and those are your perfectly reasonable and to-be-expected questions.

Hope that helps a bit, thanks for asking us, and good luck with this.


Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Alan Auerbach


Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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