I made my therapist cry...

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by confused.com, Dec 4, 2010.

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  1. confused.com

    confused.com Member

    I've been seeing a therapist for a few weeks now and although I was really uncomfortable to start with (he used silence as a tactic to get me to talk more, which I found really awkward). Anyway, he's a counsellor at the university I'm at, and has been there for about 25 years. As it's a music college, it's quite a small community so he knows most of the students.

    I think because of this, and because he's been doing it for so long, I assumed he'd have heard similar stories to mine (hating the course, not having any friends, not coping with stress etc)...but in the first session when I told him how bad things were, he just put his head in his hands and didn't say anything for a few minutes, and at the time I just thought maybe he was thinking about what to say.

    Then in the session I had on Friday, I told him about some of the more recent suicide attempts, and although I'd mentioned it before, it really seemed to get to him, he kept wiping away tears and he said how sad it made him that I thought it was OK to treat myself like that.

    It wasn't noisy crying or anything, but I don't really know how to feel about it because I really like him and don't want to upset him. I don't get upset about it, so I didn't expect him to.

    Has anyone else experienced anything like this, and if so did it bother you? How did you deal with it?
  2. oval

    oval Well-Known Member

    i think you should get a new therapist. he is supposed to be neutral and not to bring up his personal feelings in this.
    i know you dont wanna upset him but i dont think itll be good for you to continue to have him as your therapist if he is not being professional
    take care xx
  3. poisonedresistance

    poisonedresistance Well-Known Member

    I think its unprofessional of him to show such emotion if he is supposed to be your support while your there to be honest.
    It isnt your fault he got upset, perhaps you need to talk to someone else if he cannot handle it, its unfair you have to shoulder even more because you feel the need to talk to someone.
  4. confused.com

    confused.com Member

    I understand what you mean, but I don't necessarily feel as though he's being unprofessional. I don't think he could help it, and I don't think he wanted to cry, or even that he felt he should be sharing his reaction in that way. He did downplay it and I'm not sure he knew that I had noticed, as I tend not to look at him when I'm talking about suicide.

    I don't want to find a new therapist because he's been so helpful and understanding and I look forward to talking to him as I always feel a sense of relief after I've talked to him.

    I think the only reason I find it strange is because I haven't cried in any of the sessions yet, so I feel a bit like I'm doing something wrong!
  5. PiecesMended

    PiecesMended Well-Known Member

    You're not doing anything wrong. You just havn't cried. I've been going to therapy for about 2 years - year and a half maybe and I havn't cried once.
    It is a bit unprofessional of him to show emotion like that but if he helps you then it shouldn't be much of a problem (my opinion people will disagree I'm sure.) Maybe you could even mention it? Just know that whatever you decide, It's not your fault in the least. :hug:
  6. Kirsty_Ann

    Kirsty_Ann Well-Known Member

    Hey i had exactly the same thing, my previous counsellor cried twice and gave me a hug a few times so we had to stop seeing each other as a personal bond had formed . . . it isn't nice but you need to get a new one that can support you fully without you worrying about whether you upset them or not; it isn't in your place to worry about them,
  7. poisonedresistance

    poisonedresistance Well-Known Member

    its understandable that you like him, part of their training as therapist is to make you like them so they can quickly gain your trust but now this has happened is that trust still intact?
  8. Axiom

    Axiom Account Closed

    Hi :) yeah, neutrality is a very important part. It's supposed to be about you, and it takes awhile for some people to get that flow with a therapist. Though now instead of soley considering your own feelings, your encompassing his aswell.

    I say, if you are going to alter you communication with him in anyway shape or form, you should find a new therapist. :)
  9. OnlyChild

    OnlyChild Member

    My last therapist cried when I was telling her stuff.... I think it's okay. If you have things to say that upset people, it just shows that your stuff is upsetting. Thats all. If you tell someone your upsetting stuff and they are stone cold, is that better?

    I've also made 2 doctors cry too. I was just telling them the truth about my life and circumstances.

    They are real. We need people who care, who listen and if that makes them upset, then that's okay I think.
  10. TWF

    TWF Well-Known Member

    The opinions of others do not matter, because ultimately everyone has a different preference. If you feel uncomfortable with it and it hinders you, get a new therapist. If you like the emotional bond, and it helps you express yourself, keep him.
  11. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    I completely agree. These sessions are to help you, and if you feel that it's helping, continue. If you are uncomfortable with his emotions, or if you feel it'll affect how you open up, then switch to someone else.

    Ultimately, I think I would speak to him about it. After at least 25 years in the job, he must have come across someone with similar issues, so I'm tempted to wonder if he is trying to show sympathy to gain your trust.

  12. confused.com

    confused.com Member

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I think I will stick with him as although I've only been seeing him for a couple of months, I do trust him completely, which I imagine is one of the most important things in finding the right therapist.

    I'm worried about my next session on Wednesday as last week I told him about how suicidal I was feeling and that I'd given up and towards the end of the session (well about ten minutes after it should have ended, it overran), he asked if I would let him take me to the hospital. I said no because I didn't feel there was anything they could do for me, and told him that I'd be ok, but he said he was really worried about me. I told him I didn't want him to worry about me, which he knew because one of the issues I was talking to him about was how I am trying to distance myself from my family and friends so it won't hurt as much when I'm gone. He said he understood that I didn't want him to worry but then he just sat and waited...and I couldn't look at him because I knew he wanted me to change my mind but there was no way I was going to waste his whole morning when the only thing wrong with me is my personality!

    I'm not looking forward to the next session because he'll ask me how I am and I don't want to lie because I want to get as much out of therapy as I can, but I certainly don't want him driving me to the hospital when he has other people to see and it'll be a pointless trip anyway.

    He rang me a couple of times yesterday and I was too scared to answer (even though he asked me to keep in contact) because I knew he was checking up on me to make sure I was still around, but I was feeling really suicidal at the time and was worried about what I might say.

    Any suggestions? I don't want to give up on therapy but I feel it's inevitable that I will try to kill myself at some point and I don't want him feeling responsible/being upset.
  13. thedeafmusician

    thedeafmusician Staff Alumni

    therapists are only human. i made mine cry once too, by accident, but it was in the middle of the black saturday fires and half my friends were still missing, so it was a large scale disaster and somewhat different to what happened between you and your therapist.

    if you choose to stick with him it's your own choice. only you can decide whether you think he's being unprofessional or not and if he's helping you or not. if he's being really unprofessional though i'd suggest leaving, regardless of whether he's helping or not because even if he is, it'll turn around on you later. whatever you do i hope you look after yourself.

  14. Infortunatus

    Infortunatus Guest

    I have upset therapists before with graphic descriptions of things that didn't seem so awful to me since I had already lived through them.

    Maybe this was just a one time thing or he was already having a bad day. You like him and he's helping you so give him another chance. He didn't cross any lines that aren't allowed, he just lost his composure. He is human after all.

    If he starts to behave inappropriately like asking for hugs, wanting to spend time with you outside of appointments, continuing calling you, etc. then you know you have to stop seeing him and get a different therapist.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
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