My individual therapy session was cancelled today because my therapist, such a lovely lady, is having to relive a personal tragedy week that is breaking her heart.
Oh my gosh! It makes me feel so guilty that I’ve being pouring my heart out to her, telling her all sorts of silly little things that have upset me, while never knowing that she is carrying this hurt around with her. I feel somehow that I should have known, I should have thought to ask. How much do patients know about the lives of their therapists? They always seem so happy, calm and secure, but of course they are not – they are human like the rest of us.
And next week, how do I look her in the eye without going to hug her to try and make her feel better, to tell her I’m there for her if she needs someone to talk to? I know she wouldn’t take me up on that offer but I want to let her know I’m there for her too. She’s given me so much already and I’ve taken it and I don’t know what I can do to give back.
I would love to know more about my therapists but I’m never sure where the boundaries lie. I know in very traditional therapy that there was a very definite patient-carer relationship, but in our Schema therapy there are hugs and they do discuss some outside experiences with us, especially within the group. They want us to feel like a family and like we can all share together. So when we hold hands as a group, the therapists join in. But somehow this feels a bit harder in a one-to-one situation.
Basically guys, I’m asking for advice. Is there anything (bearing in mind how shy and British I can be) that I can do to show my therapist I care, without crossing any awkward boundaries?