What If Your Therapist Is Your Soulmate?
When genuine connection doesn't care about the circumstances.
You've probably seen numerous Hollywood films or read romantic novels highlighting the scandalous event of two people being soulmates, despite the circumstances they're in. Maybe it was a student/teacher duo or even a doctor/patient situation that kept you hooked into the storyline, rooting for the characters to pull through. Though it makes for great entertainment, the reality of these friendships happens more often than you may think.
So, if you find that your very own therapist is your soulmate, you're not alone, you're not crazy, and you may just have discovered a new, beautiful beginning in your life. Yes, I know, this type of relationship is often frowned upon. Usually, there's a power difference, and the patient and/or therapist are experiencing (counter)transference, not real kinship. But therapists are only human too, and there can indeed be cases where you find you have a genuine connection, despite the circumstances in which you happened to meet.
Friendship with your therapist - twin flames
"Attraction between therapists and clients happens more often than many therapists let on." - Mike Leary, M.Ed. Psychotherapist
If - usually after many sessions or even years with your therapist - you both discover that you have a genuine connection beyond just a professional relationship, it can feel like a scary moment, not knowing where to go from there. You ruled out transference and countertransference and realised that yep, something is going on that's quite powerful between the both of you. Each time you go in, it's not all about you anymore; you feel the connection growing each time, and you may already be texting or calling each other outside of the office safe zone.
You're comfortable with each other, the timing is perfect, you can pick up on each other's emotions, hold the same values and goals, have reciprocated respect, and you both want to see each other happy. So, the big question is, what happens next?
Pursuing a friendship with your therapist
Before anything, make sure that you and your therapist are on the same page. Be as transparent as possible with them, and expect the same in return. If your therapist wants to be friends and share their own life with you too, you can proceed with the next steps.
Next, terminate the professional relationship immediately. It's not only extremely hard for people to become closer in a therapeutic setting, but it's also legally unethical to do so. Once you end the professional relationship, wait for an agreed-upon timeframe - regulations often stipulate that this should be two years, but this differs from state to state - before starting fresh with no therapist/client labels.
Don't forget to seek out another therapist if you still need someone professional to talk to work through personal challenges. Your mental health is essential, and it's also vital that you don't use your newly found friendship with your prior therapist as a 'free session' outlet. Remember, in order for this soulmate scenario to work, you have to learn to be a listener now too.
Ditch the taboo standpoint of dual relationships and professional handbook stuff for a moment. Don't be afraid if you and your therapist are connecting on a whole different level than what you were expecting initially. They are people too, with thoughts, opinions, emotions and a desire for friendship. If you are mature about it and on the same page, there's nothing that speaks against terminating the professional relationship and pursuing a personal friendship.
And if you find that you are two sides of the same coin, maybe that friendship is more valuable than the therapist/client relationship. True, it's rare that the stars are aligned in that way, but it certainly can happen. Though only you and them can determine the next best thing to do. If the soulmate feelings are mutual, this can be the start of a great thing for the both of you.
*** Originally published on Medium ***