Male or female therapist- who judges more?

"My third therapist was so intimidating that I’d hide raunchy but significant details of my sex life from her so as not be judged in the same way therapists one and two judged me." Click for complete article

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Anyone can understand what the author is getting at in the piece above- you don't want to feel like this person who should GET you is really sitting across from you judging you for a hundred bucks a week.  We get it - we really do.  But that's something we warn against in our practice- don't assume any sort of "short hand" between a client and therapist is automatic, just because you have some things in common- be it your sexuality, gender, religious background, ethnicity, etc.  The author being a woman feels more judged by other women - I mean - Sarah Palin is a woman, and so is Beyonce, and so was Frida Kahloh - and I'm sure if those three ladies were therapists, they may or may not have an automatic short hand with their female clients. You see? Sometimes really great therapy happens when you DO go outside of that comfort zone, and DON'T rely on a presumed code of understanding- I'm gay so I'll see a gay therapist- they'll totally understand where I'm coming from. (Fill in whatever adjective or identity in place of gay.)

 

Using REBT, as we do in our practice, we'd probably find it useful for this client to be able to challenge the underlying notion in the title of her piece.  "I am a woman and I feel judged by female therapists" boils down to - people, especially people like you, especially if they are therapists, shouldn't judge you, and if you are judged, that's awful and something you shouldn't have to put up with, and you should never have to put up with things  that are uncomfortable.  See where we're going? Maybe the challenge to this could be- people DO judge you, men and women, people who are similar to you in sex or gender or sexual identity or skin tone- and though that sucks- it's not the end of the world- because just because someone judges you as worthy or a failure or hot or successful or whatever- it doesn't make it true.  You also don't have to LIVE to impress a therapist, nor does a therapist HAVE to live to be enamored by their clients.  We're there to help you learn some skills- not to sort of hug you better.  

 

No one wants a judgy therapist- we get it - we really do. But great therapy comes from working through some moments of discomfort for real radical philosophical shifts!

 

 

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