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Therapy For Kids Who Don’t Need It?: Quoted in

Julie Anderson survived a mother’s worst nightmare — the death of a child. She took her 2 young children to therapy to deal with grief around the their youngest brother’s death, but continued to take her children if for therapy “check ins” through the years, even when things were going well.

Now is when they need to go to a therapist. Why? Because looming on the horizon is the terrible triumvirate of middle school, puberty, and high school. And because if you wait until there’s a problem, you might not be able to get your kid to talk to you (or anyone else) about it.”

Julie recently interviewed me to get a therapist’s point of view on taking your kids to therapy BEFORE they need one. Read what I have to say in Julie’s article…

“Therapy for Kids Who Don’t Need It

Ask Julie: Should I Tell My Psychiatrist I Have Feelings For Him?

Q: I have childhood onset bipolar disorder and have been in therapy, on and off, for many years. I have been seeing my psychiatrist for three years now and approximately one year ago, I started seeing him weekly for therapy sessions as well as med management. Over the past several months, I have been having really strong feelings for him. I know this is common in therapist/client relationships, but I think of him constantly in erotic ways.

I am terrified to share with him the feelings I have for him. There was a great deal of male abandonment/rejection in my childhood and I still struggle tremendously with those events. Coupled with the fact that I have so much self-hatred for myself, I fear that if I tell him about my feelings for him, that he will abandon me also. I cannot deal with anymore rejection in my life.

Please note that my psychiatrist is extremely professional and there are obvious boundaries in our therapeutic relationship, yet he is also very caring and sensitive to my thoughts and feelings. I have been able to share things with him that have never been shared with anyone. Yet I am so conflicted as to whether or not I should share my feelings/erotic fantasies for him.

A: Thanks for reaching out for advice on how to deal with this painful dilemma.

I can feel how much you respect your psychiatrist and how meaningful it has been to you to have a safe place to share your deepest thoughts, feelings, and experiences. As you said, it is not uncommon to have sexual feelings toward your psychotherapist, especially if this is the first time you’ve felt emotionally safe and nurtured by a male.
While it would be a huge risk to share these intense feelings with your psychiatrist, I encourage you to do so. It sounds like he has proven to be very skilled, professional, and helpful to you in your therapy so far, so hold on to your positive experiences with him in order to muster up the courage to bring up your feelings in an upcoming session. Start slowly and start with sharing generalities, just like you’ve shared in your email to me. You can share your feelings without sharing all of the details of your fantasies. The ability to work through your erotic feelings for your psychiatrist with him, and to experience his continued support and acceptance may allow you to reach a new level of healing.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

This post originally appeared in my Psych Central Ask the Therapist column

Self & relationship expert Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW is wife of 22 years and mother of 4, a licensed therapist, a popular media contributor on KSL TV’s Studio 5, and director of Wasatch Family Therapy. Listen to Julie’s podcast You and Yours , on B98.7 radio as the Bee’s Family Counselor, and read her national advice columns on Psych Central! and Latter-day Woman Magazine.

How To Get Past Your Painful Past

How To Get Past Your Painful Past

Have you been hurt in the past by your parents or other loved ones and can’t get past it? Is it hard to get past the pain and move on? Are you stuck in blame and don’t know what to do? Do you have a heard time expressing yourself and setting boundaries with the loved one who hurt you? Yesterday, I had a great chat with B98.7’s Todd & Erin radio show answering these important questions.

Click the links below to listen to the show in quicktime…

Getting Past the Past (part 1)

Getting Past the Past (part 2)

Documenting the Documentary

Last Tues. I got an email from Discovery Fit & Health Channel inviting me to provide therapy for a Salt Lake City woman they’re following for a documentary…Two days later we shot the first session, and shot the second therapy session today. Though slightly unnerving to do therapy with lights, a producer and a camera crew, today was easier. The client I worked with was delightful and ready to get to work.

Here are a few behind the scenes clips & photos. The show is scheduled to air this fall…stay tuned.