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Ask Dr. DombeckAsk Dr. Dombeck:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

Counter-Transference Issues?

Thu, Dec 13th 2007

I am in psychotherapy for a few weeks now. My age is 28 ad I'm a male, my therapist is a female just a few years older than me I guess and in training. The problem is as follows: When we started (the first three or four sessions) I talked most of the the time and she just sit still and listen. At some time during a session I remembered looking at her legs and shoes just because it was kind of in my face when she crossed them and they looked elegant, our interpersonal distance is quite small. I never, or maybe once looked at her breasts. I never felt aroused or anything but I am always a bit tensed. When we advanced in therapy I started to notice that she showed certain body language that could be classified as seductive or maybe as general interest. The most shocking one for me is that I caught her several times looking at my crotch real quickly during multiple sessions. Other signs were that she crossed and uncrossed her legs really weird, slamming both feet on the floor and then crossing them again. The way she does it is really strange if you could see it. Then she showed some other general flirting signals like foot pointing towards me, twisting her foot in circles, showing her wrists etc. She doesn't wear her glasses anymore and one time she wanted to meet me late in the evening because of a meeting. It seemed that she did her best to look extra good that day. We are both attractive, girls approach me a lot and I get many compliments on my looks (although I have serious issues with my confidence to take advantage of it), and she is also really beautiful. The situation is confusing me, is she trying the make me feel at ease, or are there just adult feelings involved. I know about transference but I really don't crave interest. I don't have any disorder according to the tests but just some life phase issues. I am hesitant to ask her because I don't want to make a fool out of myself when I am wrong and I am a bit curious about this game. What is most likely going on here in your view? Thanks of the insight. Regards, Pat

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