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My therapist wants to out my boyfriend...

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by CringyEdge, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. CringyEdge

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    So me and my boyfriend,spencer, were together before I started to transition (i am currently pre T). And he is out to his close family,so like three people. But he isn't quite ready to come out to come out to his other family so like grandparents etc. My gender therapist wants spencer to tell his whole family,which I honestly am torn about...So here is the problem, at the beginning of june spencer had a graduation party and Tracy (my therapist) told me that if he doesn't tell his family I should think about breaking up,well he didn't. But it wasn't like he went around calling me she and using my dead name,because he didn't. I've been with him for almost three years amd we have both come so far and been through a bunch, I don't think tracy should choose when he comes out. But also it does need to be done sometime! I mean if I start T before he tells them, they are going to notice. I don't know what to tell Tracy, I don't want to lie to my therapist but I also don't want to tell her he didn't come out....Please give me some advice,I meet with her Monday.
     
  2. DirectionNorth

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    People come out on their own terms to whom they're comfortable telling. In my case, i'm okay telling certain people, but others i won't. If and when they feel ready to come out to certain people, they will, i don't know why she's saying that, that's frustrating. In terms of advice, i'm not sure how exactly to tell her, but that is wrong.

    I get the circumstances and it would be great if he does feel ready to tell them, since there is a time crunch, in a way, so i see that side as well, but again, it can be damaging to be pushed out before you're ready. Anymore than a parent or grandparent should tell someone to get pregnant already because they want you to have kids before they die, your body and pregnancy and preparedness don't function like that lol.
     
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  3. TwoFeech

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    Wait a minute... did Tracy actually think Spencer should come out during the graduation party because a lot of his relatives would be handy to come out to during the party?

    This seems confusing and messed up to me.

    Also, what makes her think it's healthy and safe for you to consider breaking up a valuable long-term relationship? I'm really disturbed by that. It sounds like Spencer is a big part of your support system. If your boyfriend is out to key people in his life, who've got his back if things get dramatic, then why does he need to be out right away this second, to people he doesn't see that often? You don't need to lie to your therapist, but I think standing up for the important relationships in your life is right.

    I don't know how this is usually handled, but Tracy's attitude seems to devalue something and someone super important in your life.

    If coming out is really important right now, you can help Spencer draft a letter to his family. But as DirectionNorth said, that is his choice to make.
     
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  4. CringyEdge

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    Tracy doesn't like Spencer because we had one moment where he was confused and questioning his sexuality, which I think is normal reaction. I cant expect a once straight Male to perfectly "go with it." The use of the word devalue is very correct, Tracy
     
  5. CringyEdge

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    ...Talks down about him often.
     
  6. TwoFeech

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    Maybe I'm not understanding what a gender therapist is supposed to do, but I thought Tracy was supposed to be supporting you as you navigate your relationships and identity yourself. It is not up to Tracy what your relationships look like, is it? Whenever she talks down about your boyfriend, refuse to play along. Do not respond to that kind of speech. It's basically negative gossip about your own boyfriend, with your therapist! She should not be encouraged in that vein. Just shut down on her when she does it. If she persists, tell her outright, as many times as it takes, that you will not participate in that kind of talk because you believe is not only not therapeutic, it is unprofessional and unkind.

    If that's where she's at, I wouldn't even discuss Spencer's coming out with her, one way or the other! If she asks, you can tell her that her negativity about him has made you decide he's off-limits in therapy unless *you* bring him up again.

    He may question his sexuality for a long time, and he may never identify in a popularly accepted way. As long as Tracy is your gender therapist and not Spencer's, she has no business judging his choices. For that matter, she has no business judging your choices, either. She's there to facilitate your transition, isn't she?
     
  7. TwoFeech

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    And by the way... I have not gone through hormones or surgery, but if you want to, you can tell Tracy, and Spencer, that you have been talking with a trans male who's been married to a straight-identifying cis male for over 22 years, together for years before that. My husband is completely supportive of my gender and orientation identity. If I were to change physically, we'd still be rock solid.

    Heck, everyone changes physically throughout their lives. Relationships are about making conscious choices to see the person you love and interact with them in an honest way that meets both of your needs.

    (Edited to add: if Tracy is like one of the therapists I've had, she'll say, Well, that's rare.
    And then you can say flatly, Uh huh. that's interesting. And change the subject.)
     
    #7 TwoFeech, Jul 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  8. CringyEdge

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    Your advice has really been helpful thank you! Tracy is a gender therapist and life coach as well, but I agree it doesn't feel good to sit there and have her talk about him like that. You've been so helpful, I meet with her in a few hours so we'll see.
     
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  9. Chip

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    If Tracy is not a psychologist or family therapist or clinical social worker, it sounds like she is practicing outside her scope of practice. A coach has no business doing psychotherapy (which is pretty clearly what it sounds like she's doing), and the way she is behaving is exactly why. If she is a licensed therapist/social worker, then she isn't acting appropriately.

    Competent therapists don't judge a client's decisions, give a client advice, tell them what to do or not to do. Life coaches are not supposed to give advice either, but unfortunately, since there's no licensure, certification, or even standardized training... anyone, with little or no training can call him or herself a coach, with zero training, and many coaches, because they lack training, don't understand ethics or standards of practice.

    I don't mean to be pissy, but this sort of situation is exactly why these sorts of regulations and training exist. You should never be in a position of feeling judged or unwilling to tell your therapist something, your therapist should never be judging your relationships, your therapist should never be telling you to break up with someone, nor telling your boyfriend what to do or not to do.

    If I were seeing Tracy for clinical supervision (which she probably is not getting), I would invite her to look at her own countertransference, which is clearly getting in the way of your getting appropriate care.

    I don't mean to rant here, but this sort of behavior on the part of a therapist or even life coach is in the realm of malpractice and serious incompetence. If this is happening, God knows what other bad advice/therapy/interventions you're getting. This is deeply concerning to me.

    Please have a serious conversation with her. If she is not a therapist, please, for the love of God, consider getting a licensed therapist rather than an uncredentialed life coach. Just because someone has transitioned does not make them qualified to advise anyone else, though many seem to think it does.
     
  10. Benway

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    A therapist isn’t supposed to give advice? Isn’t that the whole point of a therapist? What does therapy even do if you can’t get advice from it?
     
  11. johndeere3020

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    I my opinion, a good therapist should guide one into having the strength to be able to confidently make you own decisions not push anyone into doing what they are not ready to do.
     
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  12. Chip

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    The therapist's job is to help you identify what you want, and help you look within yourself to find the answers. The therapist might help you clarify, offer alternative interpretations of your perceptions, or provide a different context in which to interpret things, but a competent therapist will almost never directly give advice. You should almost never (if ever) hear a therapist say "You should do __________________ or if it were me, I would _____________________ or "You need to _____________________________". If you're hearing that a lot, you have a shitty therapist.

    Even a coach isn't supposed to do that; coaches are simply supposed to ask you questions that guide you to find the answers within yourself as well. But since there is absolutely no standard whatsoever on the coaching profession, anyone can call him or herself a coach, and many directly do give advice, which is generally not helpful to the client.
     
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  13. Benway

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    I guess I just interpreted my therapist's guidance for advice. Like for instance, I have anxiety about what's coming in the mail everyday so she suggested that I download an app called "Informed Delivery" which photographs what's coming in the mail every day and emails it to you long before the mail comes that day. I guess you're right, my therapist suggests a lot of things but never really tells me what to do.
     
  14. Chip

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    It's a subtle difference, but it's really important to client's self-direction and autonomy. And one of the things a lot of inexperienced therapists (or even some incompetent experienced ones) get wrong. But done properly, it really helps a client gain his or her own sense of self-worth and capacity.
     
  15. CringyEdge

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    Thank you everyone who gave me advice, I made an update post if any of you were wondering what happened :slight_smile: