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What is going on with my psychotherapist? Is he interested in me?

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Question - (22 November 2018) 7 Answers - (Newest, 9 February 2019)
A female United States age 18-21, *illow74 writes:

In the recent past, my therapist had said something to me that made me feel uncomfortable as well as uncertain about how he feels towards me. He has stated that I've always been his favorite client after I had told him that I liked him as a therapist.

I was getting ready to leave after a session and he followed me out of the room and said, "I hope you enjoy this warm weather such as yourself". Then he quickly fixed what he had said by saying, "such as today".

After that day, I came in to see him again for the next session and he was touching his face a lot. He would also fix his hair whenever I'd fix mine, he'd sit back whenever I'd sit back, or cross his arms whenever I'd cross my arms. He normally doesn't grin a lot whenever I'd talk to him, but he's been doing that more often around me now. He also gives off this nervous giggle as I'd leave his office. He's married and I noticed that he would sometimes twist/slide his wedding ring on his finger when it's just in individual therapy. I'm also in group therapy with him and he doesn't do that with his wedding ring at all while I'm in the group with him. During these group therapy sessions, he'd would always try to sit next to me even when there are other seats open and available for him to sit in next to other clients. I would try to switch up my spot to another location to see if he'd would follow me or not and he never fails to sit next to me. He'd also use the same word/phrase that I'd use. While we were in the group, I tested it out by saying that I was feeling pretty stoked about a certain thing and then he said that he was feeling pretty stoked about that same thing. He only copies me and none of the other members within the group.

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A female reader, willow74 United States +, writes (9 February 2019):

willow74 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you so much for the replies!

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 are true. Yet, he still says that I'm not. He's even said that out of all of his friends, who are annoying or bother him, it's never been the case with me. He 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. I can see how the annoyance levels can increase when you're around your spouse all of the time.

But then, he also believes that I don't think of him as annoying. I just said no. But, in reality, I kind of do. At least with one thing. He always copies my actions and words and it gets on my nerves at times, but I just try to ignore it because it's not a big deal.

I usually see him often (a few days within each week). But, it also just makes me wonder how he could see me as not being annoying at all when he hangs out with me, but when it comes to his friends, he finds them to be annoying. His friends and I hang out with him about the same amount of times.

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, then I hugged him tight again. After the hug, he started talking to me and his breathing became heavy and his voice was shaky.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 December 2018):

Counter -Transference, your therapist needs to become aware of it.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (24 November 2018):

God bless the intuition that tells you it is time to feel uncomfortable.

This guy doesn't sound very well qualified and you are starting to notice that he is mirroring your expressions.

He sounds as if he is trying to lull you into thinking he is a trendy and youthful person and then he will switch gear and move to another tactic.

You don't need a therapist who toys with you.

A good therapist should listen quietly and then suggest strategies that are non invasive and not demanding or demeaning as a way to help you order your thoughts into a pattern that is acceptable for your day to day life.

A therapist trying to appear young and trendy is not particularly what you need especially if you have real issues or topics to discuss.

Its time to ask for a different therapist, not necessarily at the same clinic or take some time out from therapy if he is the only one available and taking a puppy dog approach instead of behaving as a responsible adult.

In his defence he will say he is trying to show you empathy and acceptance but this could also be shown via an understanding of the problems you deal with or have dealt with just as easily by maintaining his demeanor.

I think you can safely assume he tells every one that they are his favorite client if the topic comes up.

He should show no greater empathy towards you than to anyone else as it is misleading to generate the idea that he intends to behave in any way other than a proffessional.

And now that you are noticing his behaviour you will continue to feel uncomfortable.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (23 November 2018):

I might add that it wouldn't hurt to advise your therapist that you sense something that makes you a little uncomfortable in his presence. His subtle commentary is confusing.

He is a trained professional, and if he has been purposely sending signals; that might be all that it takes to reset the situation back to where it belongs.

It would be better to get another therapist who also offers group-therapy.

Doctors and counselors are professionals. Even if they have a favorite patient, or feel attracted; true health-professionals watch their language, mind their conduct, and keep unprofessional advances to themselves.

Words of encouragement are fine, favoritism is unprofessional. God only knows what a favorite patient must mean in this case.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (23 November 2018):

Honeypie agony auntTime to change therapist.

Whether he is interest or not, is a moot point. Because if he acted on it it would be a violation of ethics and pretty improper behavior.

He is mimicking (copying you) for a reason, which is (thus far) unknown.

Fidgeting with his wedding band may not be anything more than a habit. I know plenty of married people who do that regardless of whom they are talking to.

I would switch therapist - because you are now more focused on WHAT he does and says then working on yourself. And you did mention that he made you feel uncomfortable. Which are BOTH big no-nos.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (23 November 2018):

You are a very observant person. You are also highly perceptive, if you pickup so many cues and details.

It may be time to find a new therapist. If he can't maintain an appropriate patient and professional relationship with you as a client; he should be fired and replaced. You're noticing far too much in his behavior for that not to be the case. Not knowing if you suffer paranoia or the nature of your mental-health; we can only make gross generalizations and speculations here.

I'd bring the whole situation to rest by finding a new therapist. It would eliminate any misgivings on either side of this situation.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (23 November 2018):

Get a new therapist. He’s being unprofessional, not because he likes you or anything, but just because he’s behaving strangely.

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