A relationship with Mr. A presents a very unfortunate predicament to me both from a personal and a professional stance.
Personally, the attraction towards the patient creates the classic scenario of erotic transference that means a clear misinterpretation of the patient’s feelings (Stirzaker 27). This type of relationship with the patient would take advantage of him and would also make me a morally twisted professional. Similarly, I will feel a sense of guilt for taking advantage of the patient’s vulnerability.
The attraction will also be a professional problem since the patient is the one who needs help from me as the doctor. Stirzaker quotes Blum, who says that eroticized transference makes the patient erratic in their behavior as they seek sexual gratification from the therapist. By allowing the attraction to develop, I will be neglecting my role of aiding the patient while committing professional misconduct as I will most likely fail to detect countertransference issues that will be detrimental to the patients’ recovery (Cerney 363).
I will NOT discuss my feelings with the client for the mere reason that the client will not be able to understand my situation. If I inform the client of my attraction to him, he might report me to my supervisors, and this may threaten my career as a therapist. Furthermore, by informing Mr. A of my feelings, I will also undoubtedly create an uncomfortable scenario for the patient who will feel betrayed by my actions as a therapist.
I will not discuss my situation with another colleague because they might feel obligated to report this development to the organization’s supervisors, and this will create a career problem. However, I will discuss the situation with my therapist as he/she will advise me, and the patient-doctor confidentiality agreement will protect me.
Given the development of feelings towards Mr. A, as a professional I will refer him to another therapist for some time. I will inform him that the reason for the move is to seek the input of another therapist who will assist him since our association is compromised. Within the grace period, I will evaluate the validity of my feelings towards him and will probably continue with the relationship if the client reciprocates.
Stirzaker Alex. ‘The taboo which silences’ Is erotic transference a help or hindrance in the counselling relationship? PSYCHODYNAMIC COUNSELLING 6.2 MAY 2000. 197-213
Cerney S. Mary. ‘Countertransference Revisited’. Journal of Counselling and Development February 1985 Vol 63. …