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Etiquette with therapist

(10 Posts)
Jokat Wed 28-Jun-17 12:47:11

I've started CBT due to panic attacks related to a near death incident involving one of my children.
My therapist is wonderful. She was recommended to me by a friend who is friends with her from uni days, but I'd never met her before.
At the end of this week's session, I really would have loved to give her a hug when we said good bye, but I didn't because I was worried it would be overstepping some kind of boundary. Was I right or am I overthinking this?
She briefly touched my arm when she wished me a good week, in case that makes any difference...

NCSpanner Wed 28-Jun-17 23:56:25

It really depends on the therapist. Some think it's "off limits", some are totally fine with hugging. My first one wasn't a hugger (although I never asked her, to be fair), but the one I currently see does give me a hug after every session. Either way, there's nothing wrong in bringing it up. Even if it's not something she does, she shouldn't mind you mentioning you felt like it and asking.

WhatToDoAboutThis2017 Wed 28-Jun-17 23:59:23

When I had CBT mine was very professional and there were clear boundaries in place; hugging would have been inappropriate.

He was male though and I'm female, so he might have been more strict because people falling for their therapists is a common and recognised thing.

anametouse Thu 29-Jun-17 00:02:01

No, don't hug. It's not really the done thing in most forms of therapy. Sorry.

MajesticWhine Thu 29-Jun-17 00:03:49

I am a CBT therapist. I think it is something to be avoided if possible and I have only done it after a final session, and quite rarely then. Keep the relationship professional. There can be genuine love and compassion, but not hugging.

Aintgotnosoapbox Thu 29-Jun-17 02:46:39

It's something that you feel, but don't do. However have had a hug after a difficult session. My therapy is for the same reason as yours, it can feel very relatable I think for another mother smile

Aintgotnosoapbox Thu 29-Jun-17 02:47:22

Except Im not having CBT . Think that's more formal again.

Jokat Thu 29-Jun-17 19:34:37

Thank you so much for replying! Your posts are giving me a much better picture of what is common practice. I'll leave the hugging out unless she initiates one smile

WhatToDoAboutThis2017 Thu 29-Jun-17 20:10:28

No worries smile

Mine was so professional he wouldn't even open the thank you card I got him at the end until I'd left! So I still don't know if he opened it and got my kind message, but I hope he did.

I bump into him every now and then on the street. In preparation for the end of our time together, he told me if he saw me out and about he wouldn't acknowledge me unless I initiated first, for two reasons: one, in case I was embarrassed about people wanting to know who he was and two, in case he was with a client.

So yeah, very professional! But he was amazing and turned my life around so I am foreve grateful to him.

Aintgotnosoapbox Sat 01-Jul-17 00:12:52

When I have hugged her it has been initiated by her. I don't think I give out a hugging vibe, I'm not a natural hugger.
But in the middle of therapy I thought a lot about the process, and her quite a lot , and when tearful, felt strange sitting opposite someone in a room yet talking in such a personal and emotional way. But she has the ability to hold those emotions safely. At one point I struggled to maintain my independence, for me, but that phase passed and I am more independent again. It's a strange thing, but eventually it leaves you with a feeling of having been held emotionally, and reassured and accepted for yourself and your experience. But it can be a very powerful journey and feel very intense.

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