Should a therapist do this, or is it crossing the line?


I think I've mentioned this before, my therapist, who has been very helpful, gives therapy online via Skype through TALKSPACE. I am in Illinois, she is in another state. And I wanted to move to the state she lives in as I grew up there. It would be like going back home for me, and I really like it there. So almost every session she asks when I am coming to that state? When am I moving there? She reduced my rate if I promised to visit her. She'll show me a good time. She'll introduce me to her brother and family. She'll hook me up with her friends. She'll invite me to her get togethers. She hopes I consider moving to that state. She has even mentioned that I consider moving to the city she lives in. Etc. Etc. I asked her about that this week, why she always mentions it and I reminded her she is my therapist, only. And the response I got back was she was modeling that behavior because I have issues with making friends, and wants to show me that I am a likeable person. That all sounds fishy to me. And wondering what you all think about this situation. Thanks.

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Bloom, I think I remember you mentioning this therapist before, it seems to me many of us felt she raised a lot of red flags then and this is only a further example of a lack of professional ethics. I'm glad she has been helpful from a distance, keep it that way.
Helpful Answer (14)

Red flags, waving strongly. Her approach to "making friends" is not professional. She should be explaining to you and giving advice, not acting as the hands-on teacher.

Get out of this relationship before this woman becomes more aggressive.

The business about keeping her license and treating out of state is nonsense. And what is this "company" for which she works? It's probably just some Internet site with no medical or psychological credentials at all.

Sorry, but I think you're being "played".
Helpful Answer (13)

Bloom, since the therapist has been "very helpful" as your wrote, you can use that excuse to part-ways. What she is currently doing is really crossing the line. Makes me wonder if she is really a talk therapist. Have you checked her credentials?

I always wonder how these on-line talk therapist can treat clients who live out of State. You'd think their license is only good for the State where they have their office.

It is much better to have face time with a therapist. Find someone new.
Helpful Answer (11)

OMG---HUGE red flags!!!!
I have a therapist who is absolutely wonderful. In fact, were she NOT my therapist, I could see us being very god should NOT have a "relationship" of any kind with your therapist outside of the office. Why is she contacting you and talking about "showing you a good time?" So inappropriate. You seem to already feel uncomfortable with her, tell her you are "good" and do not schedule any more sessions. If you do move to the city she's in, don't let her know and don't contact her.
I don't know her credentials, but therapists are held to a VERY high standard of behavior and she has already crossed way too many lines.
Helpful Answer (11)

Have you noticed that you already have "cyber-friends" looking out for you, caring about you?
There is no charge.
They willingly came alongside to help.
Even GardenArtist has researched the therapy model for you, and I know that doing that for someone can be time consuming. If the therapy model is working for anyone, it is NOT working for this person, who is scamming you for money, and maybe getting something out of it, (called narcissistic supply?). It is a very dangerous thing to toy with a person's emotions, to say what she did, then 'explain' by saying she is 'mirroring friendship'. This is NOT something professional or therapeutic! Red flags everywhere, as your AC forum friends have said, and I agree.
There are many kinds of friendship. Please don't settle. A nearby group therapy led by a real therapist may help you. However, maybe you are already better, thinking more for yourself, but still needing just a little support?
So glad that you have come by to ask your question. Whether you continue with the online therapist or not, please make the posters here part of your friendship resource.
Helpful Answer (10)

Well, I'm not looking for another therapist. it's been a tough grief journey, something I don't want to go through again, and I am for sure, feeling a whole lot better. And starting to make plans for my future. I've been told not to make any changes for about a year. It's only been not even 6 months, so I am waiting till next spring to move. Which is something I've wanted to do for several years. I am anxious to move now, but waiting to see how the next few months proceed. I expect to feel even better in a few months. But one never knows whats coming down the road. I don't feel good about this therapist, some guilt, as she did help me quite a bit, but obviously was trying to maniupulate me. I always knew that, but felt I needed the therapy so I ignored the other stuff she said. Didnt want the stress of changing therapists. That being said, I look forward to my future very much.
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Bloom, notwithstanding or disregarding anything we posters have written, I think you REALLY need to read the article in Forbes, titled "Should Buyers Beware? Hidden Risks In Talkspace's Text-Only Therapy". I can't post a URL b/c it would be deleted. So google the article, and especially read the section "The four hidden risks of the Unlimited Messaging Therapy model include: ...".

It should also be noted, from the article, that TalkSpace in 2015 rec'd $9.5M in investment capital - that's a whole lot of money. And angel fund investors want good returns on their investment, so there's that incentive to make money as opposed to the traditional medical model of healing (or adapting) as the goal.

These observations are particularly interesting (I can't quote directly b/c of copyright issues, so I've paraphrased):

Talkspace wans to be a "disruptive technology" to change psychotherapy practice into a contemporary living style, accessible to everyone. Imagine: "everyone" in therapy. We'll spend all our time psychoanalyzing ourselves and others.

Psychotherapy in my opinion isn't something that should be democratized, like education. And not everyone needs it, so the goal of extending it to the masses is really inappropriate, and in my opinion could be harmful.

Please, read the Forbes article. It will be well worth your time.
Helpful Answer (9)

Learn to trust yourself again Bloomschool!
Since you are a male, and your therapist is female, it sounds more like she is "coming on to you".
Helpful Answer (8)

I don't want to offend anyone who is a therapist or a social worker, but it seems to me that many in those professions got interested in them because they were trying to figure out their own issues, keeping things at arms length offers protection for both sides.
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Great thoughts and answers. I am going to cut it off with the therapist even though she helped me greatly through my grief. But it's not right to cross that line. And I do realize all the great help I've gotten on this site and believe me, it's been needed. I am doing very much better and though I miss my mother I am not sad about it anymore like I was, and feeling some regrets, coulda, woulda, shoulda's. I feel I can move on. The hard part for me that I've experienced my entire life, is being able to identify and realize when I am being taken advantage of, as with this therapist, although, quite frankly, I think she really likes me but is obviously crossing the ethical line. And I am not interested in my therapist, I only went to get help. And its good to get all these opinions to give me clarity. Thanks!!!!!
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