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Topic: My therapist bought me groceries

Utty started this discussion 5.6 years ago #1,441

Last summer I was broke and had no food. I complained to my therapist about this a lot. One day I showed up for an appointment and she had a bag of groceries to give me. It felt weird but I accepted it. But then the next session she wanted to make a list of groceries I would want for her to pick up for me. At that point I told her that I didn't want her to do that. I was very depressed at the time but after she did that I spiraled into a deeper depression. It lasted for months. I was just getting better and then my mom died in September of 2011. I have been so depressed since then and feel isolated and alone. So now my therapist is calling me randomly (without my request to call her) and she says she is doing this so I don't feel so alone. While this is nice etc it's really starting to irritate me. I feel like she wants to be my friend not my therapist. She also talks a great deal about her own life etc when I see her. I asked her to stop doing that. She did stop for now but I don't think I want to see her much longer. This is so hard because I am so depressed and I really needed a strong therapist. Do you think it's right that my therapist bought me groceries? Am I overreacting? I know it feels wrong to me.

I am sorry I reposted this because it wasn't showing up. Or at least I don't think it was. I apologize for any redundancy.

Anon B joined in and replied with this 5.6 years ago, 21 minutes later[^] [v] #0

I doN't think you're overreacting. Your therapist is clearly crossing boundaries, big time. You need to find a new therapist, even though it means starting over with someone new.

Utty (OP) replied with this 5.6 years ago, 28 minutes later, 50 minutes after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thank you. It really helps to have some input on this. I wasn't sure what to think of it.
It will be hard to find a new therapist at this time just because I am so depressed.

Cassandra joined in and replied with this 5.6 years ago, 5 minutes later, 56 minutes after the original post[^] [v] #0

I completely understand how finding a new therapist feels so hard, but your instincts are so good, it'd be a shame to turn your back on them. It could make a huge difference in your life if you listen to your smart brain.

Utty (OP) replied with this 5.6 years ago, 4 minutes later, 1 hour after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thank you Cassandra. I cried when I read your post. I think you are right. I need to find someone else. My therapist is being so nice to me but I have to remember that she has crossed a lot of boundaries and it's not helping me at all.

Utty (OP) double-posted this 5.6 years ago, 1 hour later, 2 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thank you Helen. The support I got here so far has really lifted a huge weight of of my chest. It is helping me to decide what to do now. I mean she is very nice. When she does talk about herself it is usually in relation to what I have said but sometimes I think she does this too much. It's like she helps me go off topic and doesn't do much to help me stay on the difficult things that plague me. I did tell her how I felt about the groceries and she said she was touched that I would let her know that. I don't know even so I still feel like she can't help me. She goes on vacation every 3 months and I have been okay with that so far but then one vacation she took two weeks off to go to Africa. My dad died during one of her vacations. My mom fell and broke her hip and was quite ill (died a couple weeks later) during another of her trips. I have a mix of feelings about her. I am so afraid of what oddness I will run across next when searching for another therapist.

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 5.6 years ago, 53 minutes later, 3 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

They do tent do be odd don't they? :D

Utty joined in and replied with this 5.6 years ago, 2 hours later, 5 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yeah I wish I could disagree with you Jennifer but I can't! They can be odd.

And sometimes you don't figure it out until it's too late.

Me (K) joined in and replied with this 5.6 years ago, 3 hours later, 8 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

I am gonna have to get on a high horse and disagree with everyone here. I think it depends on the patient. I think this is a problem in our society that at the cost of your career nowadays it is best to not help the fellow man out. If you don't like it I understand that, but would you rather starve? I am not trying to be argumentative here just submitting another view. If you saw someone starving, homeless, not able to afford things vital to life it is only natural to help with that if you can. That is what makes us human and not animals. Therapists talk alot about balancing what is human and what is therapy, there have also been several instances deemed as exceptions. Like hugging a patient if they reach out for a hug, if their parent died for ex. Also, she is taking your depression and possibility to slip into depression seriously. I think if a therapist truly believes someone may harm themselves there is nothing wrong with checking in, keeping a positive influence, while still being professional. If I were completely alone without my child I know I wouldn't be here right now. When someone truly feels isolated they are more likely to hurt themselves, or be in so much despair they can hardly cope. How is it any worse than some others who claim to email their therapists, when that isn't really help fulfill a human dire need like food. Talking about herself should be limited, and she should be keeping in check her intentions, yes. But if they are truly to keep someone from killing themselves or barely eating I don't see the problem in it. our therapist is not meant to take care of us but some situations call for different measures.
let her know you are not going to harm yourself so there is no need to check in. but for heaven's sake be grateful she gave you groceries out of the pureness of her heart! As long as she isn't going any further or crossing any other boundaries, I think she is just being what human beings USED to be. Which is why we are so weird and uncomfortable when people do things for us like that now. Love thy neighbor no longer exists.

Mary joined in and replied with this 5.6 years ago, 22 minutes later, 8 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
And some therapists share more of themselves, stretch boundaries more(I don't mean loose boundaries), tolerate more than others, etc... I guess it's all up to what the client is comfortable with. I have to agree that a basic need being met such as food, by a therapist, wouldn't be grounds for firing them in my viewpoint. I would expect someone who cares about my wellbeing to do that, but everyone's story and feelings are different. Did you let him/her know of your feelings regarding these topics? If you don't feel that he/she respects your feelings surrounding his/her actions once you discuss it, then it probably would not be in your best intersts to stay w/ them.

I could see where your therapists quarterly vacations would be difficult and I'm sorry about your recent losses.

Lovetherapy joined in and replied with this 5.6 years ago, 5 hours later, 14 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Sometimes we look for evil intentions when only best intentions were meant.

Lovetherapy joined in and replied with this 5.6 years ago, 14 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes how does that make you feel?

utty joined in and replied with this 4.8 years ago, 8 months later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Wait were you calling me an "ungrateful bitch"? I am confused. I am saying that it did affect me negatively when she did this. And I never said that her intentions were "evil". I don't even believe in the concept of evil. I am sure her intentions were good. It was not just me sitting here thinking "hmmmm... she crossed a boundary and I think this is wrong." No it was a visceral reaction, a gut reaction that indicated to me that this was a very screwed up situation. I felt like it was absolutely wrong for me. Was she trying to be kind? Yeah I am sure she was. But she is not a friend. She is a therapist. And to have her act like a friend has been very confusing to me. Anyway if you are calling me an ungrateful bitch then I think you need to reconsider. YOu don't know my situation or my story. I kept seeing this therapist and now looking back I see that was the wrong decision for me. I should have moved on. I appreciate the supportive replies here.

utty double-posted this 4.8 years ago, 36 minutes later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I know I shouldn't let it but replies like that really affect me. In general I do not trust human beings. When I read things like "Way to be an ungrateful bitch" and then a reply that says "NO KIDDING" it just reaffirms my views on humans. Why can't people treat others with respect? Why can't people seek to understand rather than to judge? I wish I lived in a kinder world. I know that sounds dramatic but let's face it people don't come here when they're feeling calm.

Sifter joined in and replied with this 4.8 years ago, 25 minutes later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Utty, that reply is actually counter to the site policy and I have now deleted it. There's no reason you should be written to in that way. Please keep in mind that all kinds of people write here in all kinds of frame of mind, and a response like that is very much about them and their issues, not about you. The world has all sorts in it, and there's no reason to take that as representative, rather than the kindness.

What happened with your therapist in the end?

shh joined in and replied with this 4.8 years ago, 41 minutes later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0


Although the boundaries have been stretched, and I agree with Me(K) to a point, that sometimes being rigidly boundaried can be an anti-litigation issue that prevents clients receiving acts of human kindness that is important to there recovery, my whole issue with this that it all goes too far, especially as you have told her you are not comfortable with some of the thngs she does, and she should back off and respect your wishes.

I think it's time you found a therapist who is more rigid with his/her boundaries, who can support you in the way that you need supporting - you know deep down, how you need that support and that relationship with your therapist to, you just need the confidence to go and find the person who can give you that.

shh double-posted this 4.8 years ago, 1 minute later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

ooops, sorry, I just realised that the OP was 8 months ago!

I guess things will have changed since then?

utty replied with this 4.8 years ago, 15 minutes later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi yes it was 8 months ago but I just came back to it now. And I am still seeing this therapist and considering going elsewhere so your comment was up to date shh. NO worries.

utty double-posted this 4.8 years ago, 3 minutes later, 8 months after the original post[^] [v] #0


I still see that therapist mostly because after my mom's death I didn't have the energy to find someone else. There are other reasons that are too long and complicated to write here. My last therapist before this one broke a lot of boundaries and really hurt me so that is why I am so worried about the things that are happening with this one. Granted I do not feel as attached to her as the last one but none the less I worry about dependency etc.

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