Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Giving therapists gifts.


Recommended Posts

I think it depends on your motives for giving the gift.

 

If you want your therapist to like you more or treat you differently, that's something to talk about directly as a therapeutic issue.

 

If you want to include them in a tradition you have, or if you want to give a small token of appreciation for their support, I think that's probably ok.

 

You can expect your tdoc will ask you about your motives in some capacity. This doesn't  mean they are suspicious or that your desire to give a gift is inappropriate. It just means they are trying to figure out what it means in the context of the therapeutic relationship.

 

Some tdocs might have a universal policy about accepting gifts that range from "None. No gifts accepted period" to "As long as it's small and meaningful". Rarely will therapists accept large gifts from clients. But some might. If you're really concerned about it, you could ask them ahead of time if they have a policy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've done it before - I have given therapists baked goods, small handmade items, and occasionally something small that I picked up that I thought they would like.

 

Therapists sometimes have policies on gifts - like Woo said - so it's worth asking in advance.  But I think it's usually fine if it's a small token of appreciation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've done it once, only he wasn't really a "therapist"- more like a counselor who I saw weekly and we just talked about anything, sometimes about my illness and the symptoms and its effects on my life (this was really soon after I was first diagnosed with BP), and sometimes just shooting the breeze. I saw him for several years and in our last session, before he left the clinic I was going to at the time, I gave him a copy of The Canterbury Tales I had laying around, because he had talked about liking Chaucer in college. It was nothing big, obviously, but he liked it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, I forgot to mention that I was thinking of giving her a gift during our last session to thank her. Thanks for the replies, guys!

 

Totally acceptable.  If you feel comfortable, there is no reason not to give her a goodbye gift. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a school of thought that some therapeutic relationships work on the basis that they aren't operating the same basis that your other relationships might.

 

So therapists will not volunteer personal info, talk about themselves, accept gifts, accept outside of agreed contact, make face to face contact if you are in public etc. It can be part of making sure that 'blank page' between you is blank, the therapists role doesn't get confused. For some people having that space to build trust and walk without having to relate to the therapist on any other basis is really helpful.

Yeah, I totally get that. That's why I've been skeptical about giving her a gift. Our relationship is pretty strictly therapeutic and professional, although she does share minimal personal info. Before she went on maternity leave she told me she was having a boy and what his name would be. She also told me very quickly about her prenatal doctor visit once (which sounds weird haha) but I'm a nursing student and I was in maternity nursing class at the time, plus it was to clarify how much longer she thought she would be working before her maternity leave. She shares little personal anecdotes every so often which helps humanize her and helps me relate to her, but otherwise she only shares a little bit if I ask. I think I'll give her a little something, definitely a card. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been thinking about this too.

Even though our relationship is "strange" at best, I'd still like to give some little gift to my therapist when our sessions are finished... but I guess asking beforehand may be a very good idea.

It's nice to know that others have done this too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I gave my therapist a scarf for xmas one year. I was out shopping for others and saw it and she popped into my head. She still wears it! I'm sure I will give her a gift when I have my last session with her, but I haven't felt the need/urge to give a gift since. I don't think giving your therapist a gift is a bad thing, but yea..depends on your intention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never done it, but at least once a year I thoughtfully thank my Pdoc. I casually look at something else so as not to invite the notion that I'm expecting something from him, or am trying to flatter him for my own purposes. Then I tell him how grateful I am, and how he's made such a huge impact on at least one other person in the world, and how I'll always be grateful for his help in saving my life.

I see that as a gift, of sorts, because I think everyone appreciates being appreciated. I try not to overdo it, though. I save it up for when I'm really feeling it inside. I feel that if I did it too often that it would lose its importance and be more about me than him.

I do, of course, greet my therapist before, and say Thank You after every session. What I'm describing is much more personal and thoughtful than the usual thanks, if that makes sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do, of course, greet my therapist before, and say Thank You after every session. What I'm describing is much more personal and thoughtful than the usual thanks, if that makes sense.

 

I do these as well. Although I worry sometimes it looks as if I'm trying too hard to show my appreciation with how often I do say thank you...lol I just often feel I don't deserve his help/time--something I still need to work on. Anyway, I've given my therapist hand made thank you cards I've painted or drawn on two ocassions, for the past three years I've been in treatment with him. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do, of course, greet my therapist before, and say Thank You after every session. What I'm describing is much more personal and thoughtful than the usual thanks, if that makes sense.

 

I do these as well. Although I worry sometimes it looks as if I'm trying too hard to show my appreciation with how often I do say thank you...lol I just often feel I don't deserve his help/time--something I still need to work on. Anyway, I've given my therapist hand made thank you cards I've painted or drawn on two ocassions, for the past three years I've been in treatment with him.

Yes, it's definitely easy to overdo. I'm sure I poured it on too thick years ago, and so I try and restrain my impulse to say Thank You, Thank You all the time. For me it has been a balance; gracious manners always, even when I feel bad, but the real gratitude on special occasions when it doesn't feel forced or insincere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I feel that if I did it too often that it would lose its importance and be more about me than him.

 

Totally true; I agree.  When I give to therapist/pdoc/whichever DR, I only will do it when it is truly truly appreciated (I appreciate them all the time, but sometimes more than others), like if he went out of his way for me to do something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I gave my tdoc a gift before Xmas, for the first time since I started seeing him almost 9 years ago. He immediately asked why, probed, etc. He did that for a few minutes and thanks me for my gift. It was a few of my books that I wanted him to have. I think he was making sure I wasn't suicidal,vgiving away my own things before offing. Valid concern. I've been suicidal pretty much all the fucking time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have given a small gift to two therapists and my psychiatrist on the event of their leaving the community crazy peeps center I go to.   (retiring or to private practice)

 

I included a card and for two of them, a mix CD, for my psychiatrist, some magnets worth about 3 dollars.  It doesn't matter what it is-- I fully expect the mix CDs to be ignored and the magnets to be lost, but I wanted to show them that although our relationship was forever intangible, I felt tangible benefits from it and wanted to give them something tangible in return.

 

I have always asked when they told me they were leaving, so luckily I haven't had to worry that my gifts would be rejected.  That would freak me out!

Edited by saveyoursanity
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have given a small gift to two therapists and my psychiatrist on the event of their leaving the community crazy peeps center I go to.   (retiring or to private practice)

 

I included a card and for two of them, a mix CD, for my psychiatrist, some magnets worth about 3 dollars.  It doesn't matter what it is-- I fully expect the mix CDs to be ignored and the magnets to be lost, but I wanted to show them that although our relationship was forever intangible, I felt tangible benefits from it and wanted to give them something tangible in return.

 

I have always asked when they told me they were leaving, so luckily I haven't had to worry that my gifts would be rejected.  That would freak me out!

 

Haha, maybe they didn't ignore them!!! 

 

Yeah, I already have anxiety about what to give her and if she'll hate it, but I am going to ask her first. I would be a wreck if I had to worry about her rejecting it right in front of me too!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents become swamped with cookies and candies and fruit baskets during the winter holidays. I guarantee when I go to see them in 10 days, there will be leftovers, and my mother will try to make me eat them, and take them home. She hates wasting food.

 

One thing when I was growing up was "professional courtesy." That basically meant I saw all my Drs. for free, because my dad was a Dr. Even when the hospital became part of a PPO, because I was established patient, they continued to treat me. I think for my neurologist, he got something out of it, because I was a tough case, and he tried lots of new medications on me. I was his guinea pig. I also still didn't pay for my pdoc. Who was very good, in spite of being a prick.

 

Anyhoo, I know that my parents received a couple of large gifts from people that saw my dad for years under professional courtesy. One was a beautiful antique teak oriental screen, with mother of pearl and ivory (it was made WELL before the ivory ban). I remember the woman who gave it to us was a family friend, who ran an antique store (duh), and they were about to leave Pittsburgh. Her husband was a doctor, hence the professional courtesy. But even though I was in Jr. High, it made me uncomfortable. It's beautiful, though.

 

But food gifts, or flowers, or something handmade (one of his patients must have been color-blind, but an afghan is an afghan), I think those are okay for the holidays, or as a good bye.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...