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Texting with your therapist


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I have heard some people love the accessibility of being able to text their therapist and others I have heard say t's a violation of professional boundaries. I was wondering if anyone else texts their therapist and what their opinion is?

Is it supportive our do you feel like it's over the line?

I just started texting my therapist through the day because he worries about my health. He has me tell him how I am feeling and makes sure I have made appointments with people and am taking care of myself. I think it's really nice of him but I have never had a therapist text me before let alone concerning things outside of session. He said he didn't want to be too fatherly toward me but sometimes he is, accidentally calling my sweetheart sometimes. The texting is a new development anf he wants me to update him via text during the week. I think it's really nice but not something I have ever done before! Just wondering whay other peoples input is and if other people out there text their therapists.

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My *relatively* new therapist texts me too. 

 

It isn't throughout the day but on an as needed basis. I find it odd and like it's forcing the relationship to be more connected than it is. I have my pdoc's personal cell somewhere I'd much rather text her. I, personally, find it overbearing because she also likes to check up on me if she feels that I'm unstable via text or phoning outside of session. I don't like the casualness of it since I'm not comfortable with her.

 

I don't see any moral opposition to it but urg, I just find her texting me to be very unnerving and uncomfortable. 

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Generally speaking it is up to the therapist to set their own boundaries. This is why some of them allow email (or texts) and some of them don't. I have my tdoc's phone number, but I never use it. I technically could use it to text her but I never have, either. I prefer to use email.

 

I use it to email her things like being unavailable for a session this week and can we please change the date? She wants to hear from me more (I think - she keeps saying that I can call her when I'm struggling) but I feel like I'm intruding. Even though I know that she is willing for me to call her. And that she'll call me back if she's in a session. 

 

I would be really freaked out if she called me "sweetheart" or had any other pet name for me though. She uses my name (which she can't quite pronounce properly, but that's okay - few people can). And unless my mental health really demanded an escalation of care I would be pretty offended if I had to check in with her on a daily basis. Especially with sharing how I was feeling at that moment. I like my privacy. 

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Texting is so casual and therapy is not, them intersecting is definitely a little confusing even just on little things like whether or not to put an emoticon in a text to your therapist:p kinda relieved to hear I'm not the only one, in the past I only had numbers for emergencies. I had therapists say I could call in a crisis too but never text. My therapist has a secretary so I'm texting his personal phone which is kinda weird to me but maybe it's nice, I don't know! I wonder too, am I paying for a text? Is that part of what I'm paying for or just an added bonus for the heck of it?

The pet name is weird to me too, he usually apologizes, says.it's because I'm his daughters age.

Thanks for the input guys :)

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I'm with Rosie. I'd probably freak to the point of not returning to him. I think it's a bit weird like touchy feely personal/ and I don't like that. I hate being called pet names too by anyone. But if it helps you that's great. I hate daily check ins like I had post IP. Like yup still feel like crap, don't want to kill myself, okay I'm all out of talk. Maybe it's an aspie like thing. I don't get phone conversations and I can't tell if they're bored / concerned or being otherwise weird.

 

I do have his personal phone number but there is no way I would ever call it. When I've wanted to talk to him between sessions I call up and leave a message / or talk to him if he's there. It works just fine, he doesn't see a lot of patients at community clinic so he almost always calls me back in an hour and fifteen minutes. 

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Calling you sweetheart is very unprofessional, it seems way over the line to me. Ignoring the entire texting issue, this alone is concerning accidental or otherwise.

 

If your therapist is open to texting, some types of texting would be fine. Cancelling an appointment, updating on something specific that you were asked to contact them about during your therapy session (e.g. "text me the date for your pdoc visit so I can make sure we discuss it in our session that follows"), occasional check-ins during very destabilizing times (I had a therapist who wanted me to email at the mid-point between weekly sessions so he knew if I was getting worse, texting could be the same though with fewer words I'm sure). There's a line though, texting once a week for a check in or the occasional text to change appointments or inform of something requested is one thing, frequent texting is another and if he is asking you to do this I would consider discussing your own personal boundaries and any discomfort you're having with him (or if you're already creeped out, just finding a new therapist altogether).

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I would email my therapist when I was having particularly pertinent thoughts, and we would text if I was running late, or if she had to cancel on me, etc. We did not do daily or even weekly check-ins via text and we kept it very professional.

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I have texted my therapist to cancel/reschedule appointments.  If I need to talk to her/check in between sessions, I call her office and leave a message.  Texting is so impersonal to me, I would hate to try to relate anything of a personal/emotional nature by text.  I have never done daily check-ins with my therapist, but if I did, I would hate to do it by text. 

 

Beyond the whole texting issue, a therapist calling you a pet name is beyond inappropriate.  I would seek out another therapist if it is happening more than once. 

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I have texted my tdoc before, both to cancel and about symptoms. I also have his cell number and home phone number for use in case I really need to speak to him and can't wait until our next appt, but I've been working with him for nearly nine years, so I don't see anything odd about it...and he certainly does NOT have a pet name for me. That's really weird.

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I've never texted a therapist. I have spoken to tdoc's on the phone, that's more acceptable.

 

I've had a tdoc's cell phone number, he had a private practice at night because he managed in the hospital during the day, but he didn't accept texts. Or reply. He had a picture of his dog or something in his office.. 

 

My old tdoc I had in college would mention his hobbies, some of his vacations, stuff he enjoyed, as examples as things he did to relax, or to focus on. Sometimes we'd sit and "shoot the shit", talk about classes, technology, if there was nothing else that day. He took a lot of electronics and computer classes in college, and he'd lend me books. He never told me a lot about his personal life. I knew he was from Quebec because of his accent, name and diploma.. he was my favourite, even though he put me on a 72 hour hold once and called 911... after flipping out mid-exam. He was a hardass and didn't hesitate to tell me off. Which, well, I need. He needs a private practice..

 

Never been called by a "pet" name by any doctor or anything.. except for "Sandy" by one pdoc.. No idea why.. I hate when people call me Sandy, but I'd just nod and smile. But he was quite old, and a lot of older people call me that.

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I've never had a therapist's personal phone number or email. The most intimate number I've gotten is their direct line to their office (rather than the general offices). I think I would find it strange to text with my tdoc. I wouldn't mind email, though, as I often have thoughts I'd like to share with her but then forget about them come appointment time.

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I thoroughly dislike being called sweetheart, honey, babe or any other familiarity by anyone. I think such a familiarity from a therapist is not only unprofessional, it gives me shivers of repulsion.

 

Through texting on not, I would be on my way to find a less _familiar_ therapist---regardless, or on consideration because of his "same age daughter" excuse.

 

I am so completely uncomfortable right now by his "sweetheart" that I actually feel nauseated.

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I think that in cases like this, you have to look at whose benefit it is for.  I don't think there is a problem with therapists being available by text, but if the reason he is pressuring you to text him all the time is because HE needs the reassurance, rather than because it is helpful for you, then that's a boundary issue.

 

My therapist is available by text but she won't usually text me - if I text her, she will text back, and it's pretty infrequent.  If I were texting back and forth with her every day I would find that weird and over the top, but that's just me.

 

I have one therapist who will sometimes call me pet names and it doesn't bother me.  It's just her personality.  Not all the time though, just every so often it slips out.

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My reaction to being called sweetheart or honey or whatever is totally dependent on who's doing it and their personality. In some cases I find it nice, in other cases patronizing and icky. But in therapy, I'd have a hard time with it - it's a relationship that always threatens to be so paternalistic to begin with.

No emailing or texting with my therapist, which is fine with me - they don't seem appropriate to me for therapy.

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I never thought of the sweetheart comment like this before and you make really good points tryp...I guess I dont know who benefits, I took it as worry but I guess at second look it's maybe not appropriate for a therapist to worry about my daily affairs after hours. He says it's to make sure I'm doing what I need to do, he had even called people for me to make appointments because he knows it's difficult for me. He acknowledged that it was paternalistic, he didn't want to be my father but he was worried so he acts like one anyway. He knows it, too.

I have not had a male doctor before so I have trouble discerning what is and is not weird contact to have because males make me uncomfortable to begin with thus I have trouble knowing what I should be uncomfortable with whats in my head and what actually warrants it, you know?

all that had ever made me uncomfortable with him is the sweetheart stuff (he apologizes every time) and a few sessions were spent discussing my sex life (he asked about fetishes and the question that took my back was "does your befriend cum inside of you" that made me feel uh icky but maybe it was pertinent?)

He is a family therapist though, he sees me my aunt and knows everyone in my family and their friends. I thought he was a rare asset because no one not even me will know so much about my background....he literally knows everyone and has been with the family for over a decade. So even his lack of professionalism (he is a suit and tye type person but curses like a sailor) I forgive just because he knows so much and because he has done a lot to help me whether it's professional or not. He had never even billed me before...so his wife seems to hate me but hes all I have and has done so much for me. It's kind of a catch 22!

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all that had ever made me uncomfortable with him is the sweetheart stuff (he apologizes every time) and a few sessions were spent discussing my sex life (he asked about fetishes and the question that took my back was "does your befriend cum inside of you" that made me feel uh icky but maybe it was pertinent?)

 

I can't think of any situation where that would be relevant. If my tdoc asked I'd probably throw up a little in my mouth.

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 (he asked about fetishes and the question that took my back was "does your befriend cum inside of you" that made me feel uh icky but maybe it was pertinent?)

What the fuck? I can't imagine how that could possibly ever be relevant. 

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