Do you think your therapist would like you more if you were more attractive?

  1. Honestly, as a client, I don’t think physical attributes will affect whether your T cares for you - particularly not conventional attractiveness.

  2. I think the halo effect probably affects most humans, on a subconscious level, for the first few minutes. After that your behavior starts to have more and more of an impact. Transference can also play a role here; if someone was bullied or hurt by a person who looks a particular way, say a conventionally attractive way, then the transference - or therapist's countertransference - may be negative. Or, if the individual knows and cares for attractive individuals who suffered because of their looks - bullied or harassed on account of it, for example women who are stalked in part because of their looks - there may be some countertransference that is sympathetic on that basis. But again, I think that tends to be strongest in the first few seconds, and then as you as a person become better known - whether you are the therapist or the client or any other person - the importance of looks naturally fades as your character and story become the most important and compelling aspect of you. Interesting concept to talk about in a therapy setting though, I would welcome other viewpoints.

  3. As a therapist, I can tell you that physical appearance plays no part in how much I enjoy working with my clients. The clients I like best are the ones who are self-aware, insightful, and really engaged in therapy. I can honestly say that I like all my clients and care deeply about them, but there are definitely some I enjoy working with more than others. I would say that my favorite clients are actually average looking.

  4. Being surrounded by women who put on mascara religiously even when mot going out of the house, who see unpainted nails as a shameful act, it’s so refreshing to hear that there are still women who “let their hair dry naturally” and not wear makeup everyday. Thank you

  5. As a therapist, I would say that some of the most attractive people I’ve worked with in the past are also some of the most draining. Some of the biggest themes I’ve seen with some of my most challenging clients are people with extensive trauma histories and struggles with attachment. Because, basically, these are people whose experiences have taught them to exist in a state of perpetual fear and have a really hard time developing healthy relationships with others.

  6. I'm a little confused. Do you mean that people who are more attractive tend to have more attachment issue and extensive trauma histories, in at least your experience?

  7. I don't know, I guess it depends on the person. If they're that kind of person who either pays attention to appearance or is insecure about their own looks they might value having a connection with someone who looks a certain way more.

  8. Probably. People unknowingly invest a lot into first impressions, and if you are good looking people initially like you more. This isn't shallow, it is instinctual.

  9. I would totally agree with the 'age' perspective. My younger t, I'm 60 looses her cool sometimes, it's almost impatience. Maybe she has counter transference as I must be her mothers age?

  10. I'm an older female (over 50) and not conventionally attractive, I do not think my therapist really thinks much of anything about my appearance in terms of attractiveness? He probably would be concerned if I appeared disheveled, unwashed, injured etc. in an appointment as that may mean there is some other stuff going on that needs to be addressed but attractiveness? No, I don't think a therapist cares about that at all.

  11. OP, I think this is a really interesting question, and one that I think a lot about also, not so much in my therapy relationship, but mostly out in the real world.

  12. Yes. Absolutely yes. Therapist, friends, hell ever strangers would find me more valuable if I was more attractive. I feel that people basically hate me and devalue me for being fat and ugly.

  13. In my last session(the 8th) the last thing my therapist said to me before ending the session was that she really liked me cuz I was always wearing a smile. It made my whole day especially after being rejected by a guy I was crushing on.

  14. My therapist likes me because I am kind, respectful of boundaries, I work hard and I show up… I’m a trans man and my looks have changed a LOT and there are times I look like absolute trash and it has no impacts. It’s all about my attitude and how I’m showing up in session.

  15. I am somewhat conventionally attractive, and I've had times where I felt male healthcare workers seem to pay more attention to me, but generally, people don't really seem to care. If anything, I've had some women really take a dislike to me, or make assumptions about me. By in large people treat me as nicely as I treat them.....and I make every attempt to be pleasant.

  16. T here - my absolute fave client is not traditionally ‘attractive’ and what I like about this person is they are out there WORKING on themselves and trusting the process like no one else I’ve seen. I genuinely like all my clients and for me it is not about looks - I like the vibe. Vibe is everything

  17. I’ve honestly never thought about whether my therapist likes me. I’ve shared so much with her that I feel like even if she didn’t, I’ve laid out all of myself and there’s nothing left to lose… so I don’t think it would bother me all that much? Maybe I’m wrong though.

  18. I don't think so. When I first met my T, one of my first thoughts was "oh thank God he's not attractive." Now - I find him very attractive. We have excellent boundaries so I'm not worried about anything untoward happening between us (plus, I bet he doesn't find me attractive anyway). But I think it's human nature to find people attractive/interesting/likeable once you are emotionally intimate with them (or they with you).

  19. well my therapist ended up coming onto me (despite changing into sweaters and sweats on days i was wearing anything perceivable as attractive before going into therapy) to keep things so i think that being less attractive helps things stay professional. i also had a hypnotist therapist inappropriately touch me. i think therapy can be messy when you’re attractive. in my opinion, it doesn’t work unless i have a therapist who is not attracted to women.

  20. dang i’m surprised i was downvoted but ofc it makes sense because it seems bad to complain about being “attractive” but guess what there’s downsides and no one ever talks about that. i never deserved being violated like that by a professional either time. it has hurt me substantially to be violated by someone i trusted and someone who was helping me substantially with my mental health. both times i thought i was making progress but after trust was broken i was more mentally ill than when i started therapy with them. i think as long as you’re attractive and maybe the therapist is not attracted to you sexually it’s maybe the halo effect but many people i’ve trusted over the years have done things i would never imagine them doing just because i’m attractive to them.

  21. Hey, I’m really sorry you were victimized by those professionals who were supposed to be helping you. That absolutely should not have happened, and I’m so sorry you experienced that.

  22. I do think it is often true that, all else being equal, people in general tend to care more about you if you are more conventionally attractive. For example, many people who used to be fat and then lost weight notice significant changes in how they are treated (both by acquaintances and by strangers).

  23. People saying no are not young women. Yeah, people don't give a shit if a middle aged man is unattractive. From experience-- people in mental health especially care *very much* about whether or not you are conventionally attractive as a young women. They are trained to incorporate details about appearance into their understanding of you. I am treated markedly different by *people in mental health in particular* as a slim, well-kept 28 year old vs when I was a fat, unkempt 25 year old. Honestly my eating disorder was mostly fueled by this-- people in my life and doctors didn't care about my appearance or weight loss, but the positive reaction I got from my psychologist and psychiatrist about it was like, life changing.

  24. this is in line with my experience with female mental health care providers who are older than i am am. my former therapist (in her early 60s) told me i use my looks and shyness to make people think i am a "fragile little thing" and it was said with such resentment. she also freaked out whenever i questioned her recommendations.

  25. Your last paragraph is a 100% accurate description of my experience with female mental health practitioners also, particularly nurses in hospital. The utter hatred I got when I was at my most ill and hospitalised with anorexia. They would stand there blatantly talking to each other while looking at me then stop when I came closer and just stare at me. They were actively cruel at any opportunity, including holding me down and repeatedly trying to draw blood from me when it wasn't physically safe, then berating me for blacking out and having a seizure as a result. They mostly only acknowledged me to ask me for diet advice while scowling.

  26. Last T, I don't think being more attractive would detract from me being a total cunt. But idk... attractive women will have to let me know what it's like The one before that is gay so... not likely

  27. I don't think people feel the need, necessarily, to possess beautiful things. Do you think therapy between an attractive woman and a male therapist (interested in women), always be more difficult?

  28. I actually worry that my therapist would be more distant if I were conventionally attractive. I am non-binary but AFAB and see a male therapist, and I worry that if he were attracted to me, he'd have to keep more emotional distance for boundaries and safety.

  29. No? I don't care if they think I'm attractive (I'm not). I don't really care all that much if they like me. I'm there to work on me. So if my therapist and I can't collaborate to do that, then it's time to move on.

  30. Nope. My therapist celebrates things like challenges I've overcome, trying new things, being kind to myself etc. I obviously can't know what's going on in my therapists mind but she seems glad or at times has told me she's happy when I do some difficult things! So I think (???) she might like me for reasons unrelated to my appearance.

  31. Nahhh. My therapist is past a certain age ans my sense is past a certain age, even as early as your late twenties...where i am...the effect of looks on how you relate to others is not as strong.

  32. Some of my most challenging and least "enjoyable" clients have been objectively attractive. Unless you're therapist imhas a whole heap of their own unprocessed baggage physical attractiveness is not going to have a significant impact on thier experience of the therapeutic process.

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