I fancy my therapist...what the fuck do I do?!
“Oh God, I fancy a priest”
Five (and a half) suggestions for what to do if you fancy your therapist
Chill your boots, breathe. If you’re freaking out about this, please know that you’re not alone and this happens a lot, like a lot a lot. That’s whether you love your therapist like a parent (that you never had) or as a potential partner. Unsurprisingly, it’s especially common with sex and relationship therapists as you work on such intimate and sexual issues.
If you think about it, it’s not surprising, given this person may know you better than anyone else on the planet. Partly, this is because your relationship with your therapist should feel safe and imbued with trust. They may even be the first person in your life to ever meet your emotional needs. It’s totally natural that when you’re vulnerable with someone and you are met with a positive response, you feel close to them and to form an attachment. You are creating intimacy and modelling a healthy relationship.
2. Don't worry
You may feel a lot of shame about your feelings, especially if you’re lusting after your therapist. You may feel these emotions are immature, unsavoury, dirty, or just plain wrong.
The good news is, if you’re choosing to be in therapy, the chances are that you’re already sufficiently self-aware to know the difference between fantasy and reality, and you know emotions can be worked through.
Also, don’t worry, just because you’re deeply attracted to your therapist doesn’t mean you’re about to leave your partner(s) or throw yourself into their lap.
Sometimes, it’s more about the forbidden fruit, like having a crush on a priest. This is also true if you find that this love or desire transcends your usual gender, age, race, or ability preferences.
3. Embrace it
Your feelings – not your therapist! As taboo as it might seem, whether you only want to gaze lovingly upon the target of their affection or you shag their brains out, admit it to yourself. Acknowledge this about yourself.
Even vivid, erotic dreams about your therapist aren’t that uncommon. So not only might you fancy the pants off them, you might also find yourself dreaming about them and orgasming. You might find yourself fantasying about doing things you find lewd, distasteful or downright nasty with them.
I’m no Jungian, but if we take all the characters in our dreams to be aspects of our psyche that we’re working on integrating, it’s not surprising that this important figure in your healing process is in the mix, doubly so with sex and relationship therapy.
4. Tell your therapist
WTF? Yup, truly, tell them. A proficient therapist probably won’t be surprised and it’s unlikely to be the first time that they’ve had a client share their attraction. Telling them is especially important if you find yourself acting differently, such as wearing more or less attractive clothes, flirting with them, or trying not to flirt with them, all of which have a negative impact on you therapeutic interactions.
A good therapist will maintain professional boundaries and will not reciprocate your feelings.
Despite your daydreams, they’re not going to show up to your next session in a silky, red thong with a rose between their buttcheeks (or however it goes in your imagination!). However, they will acknowledge your feelings and help you to process them. Chances are, working on your attraction will strengthen your therapeutic connection and move you forward in your process. And don’t worry about them, they have their supervisor to take this to if they need support dealing with what you share.
5. Ask yourself what it means to be you
Whatever you think it might mean, be aware that it’s a reflection of how your therapist makes you feel about you. Consequently, it’s rarely about them as a person at all, although the mystique of not knowing them personally certainly creates the perfect screen for your projections. So you can relax on that front.
Maybe it means you’re craving a new type of intimacy, someone who will really listen to you and pay attention like your therapist does? Maybe it’s having someone who won’t shame you when you share your deepest and darkest secrets? Whatever your reasons, there’s your unique personal development gold in there to be mined.
Words your therapist might use
Bonus point for kinksters!
If you are into power play (Dom-Sub relationships in particular), you may find yourself more susceptible to erotic transference. You might also be more sensitive to the subtleties and complexities of power-based relationships. Be aware of this.
You are someone who is naturally attentive to, and turned on by, power dynamics and creating intimate bonds with people in which to explore and play with that energy. On the plus side, you’re also more likely to have the negotiation and social skills as well as relationship management competencies to navigate this.
If reading this article strikes a chord and you’re currently in therapy, I encourage you to do #4.
If you’re not, and you feel you might like to work with me, why not click the button and see if we’re a good fit.