I had sex with a patient.

He has been my patient for two years now. He comes in once a month, sometimes more if something is going on. It’s not like I’ve purposefully fantasized about him or anything but he is very handsome and successful and it’s impossible not to notice. When you combine that with the fact that he tells me personal things that no one else knows, it just creates this level of intimacy between us.

We live in the same neighbourhood so we occasionally see each other when we’re out and about. The night before last we ran into each other at the post office. We talked while we waited in line and after that we had a coffee together. When he asked me if I wanted to go back to his place I agreed. I honestly don’t even know why; I just wasn’t thinking straight. We had a glass of wine and then we wound up having sex.

I feel so guilty and I don’t know what to do. The worst part is that I can’t stop thinking about him.


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  1. anon2929

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    If this is any type of counseling and it sounds like it might be (“comes in more if something is going on”), then you have a real problem. You absolutely cannot continue to see him as a patient and you cannot continue the relationship. This is why people lose licenses and it’s for a very good reason. Seek supervision and get out in front of this legally and professionally for your sake and for your patient’s sake.

    Just as an FYI for people out there regarding psychotherapy. A relationship that starts between a patient and therapist is never appropriate if there is any hint at the relationship while therapy is still ongoing or soon thereafter. It has the potential to violate the trust that the entire therapeutic relationship is based upon.

  2. deathsitcom

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Plot twist: OP is a vet

  3. CallMeParagon

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    >I don’t know what to do.

    Yes you do. You know what you need to do. You just don’t want to do it, which I’m sure you can also come up with a reason/analysis for.

    Do the *right* thing and end this immediately.

  4. CaramelMuffin1709

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    As a therapist I’m not convinced you are. We all know of the level of intimacy, it why you were taught about Transference.

    Which means you have no right to use the misplaced intimacy from him by saying you developed this kind of relationship.

    Stop trying to worm your way out of doing what you must: terminate contact and therapy, refer him to a new therapist, get a debrief booked and create a strategy to work through this..

    You have violated your ethics and his trust. Perhaps you should consider a new career.

  5. Snoxel

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Fellow therapist here. That’s quit the confession. I think you shouldn’t have gotten that coffee with him to begin with, in a way that’s already crossing a line because it’s giving him a signal that you’re involved with him other then professional. I understand that you can get feelings for a client, but you don’t have to act on those feelings. But that’s all in hindsight for you. I’m curious about what you’re going to do now?

  6. I-come-from-Chino

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    I think you have to stop seeing him as a patient and as a sexual partner. I’m sure you had to study the ethics of this situation and know this is the only appropriate response. Hope you don’t lose your license or go to jail depending on the state. I feel for you as you’re obviously human and feel remorse but you have to make the right decision now.

  7. Genetic_Heretic

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    This is dangerous. You could lose your license. I get it though, not judging.

    > he tells me personal things that no one else knows, it just creates this level of intimacy between us

    Yeah, that’s called therapy… JFC.

  8. freudinthehizouse

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    If you can’t separate this “intimacy” ordeal from your career, then you’re probably in the wrong field. You should know that as a mental health provider this is unethical. As someone in the mental health field, I really hope you lose your license.

  9. PisNPYouBitchess

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Maybe he should stop being your patient so you can continue with this

  10. Tombot3000

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    You should quit your job and end any relationship with this man. Is this the answer you want to hear? I’m sure not. Is it the easy way out? No. But it is the only way which salvages your morality. You violated your professional oath and responsibility, took advantage of your patient (this likely falls under sexual abuse or rape depending on where you are) and are currently trying to ignore the consequences of your actions.

    You are a bad therapist. It’s not pleasant to hear but it’s true. You are unable to maintain a professional distance with your clients. You view their reliance on you for emotional support as intimacy despite the vastly unequal relationship you have with them. You should not be treating anyone.

    Now, I hope that you aren’t a bad person. A bad person will hide this. A bad person will continue to meet your patient for therapy despite knowing it’s not what is best for him because you’re afraid you will get in trouble if he sees someone else instead. A bad person will continue to take advantage of her client sexually and emotionally.

    You feel guilty – that’s good. That’s the good part of you knowing you screwed up and that it was bad. Listen to that part. Own your mistake and don’t make others suffer for it. These next few weeks/months/years are not going to be easy, but you are at a crossroad where you decide – are you going to be a bad person or a good one?

    End all relationships with your client after finding him a new therapist. Quit your job. Find a new career you can do morally and maybe week therapy yourself.

  11. BluntAdvice101

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    I normally try and reserve judgement when giving advice, but you’re atrocious.

    You fucked a patient that you’re giving therapy to?! Do you understand the ramafications of your action? I don’t care how you justify it to yourself (because there’s a lot of that in this post) but short of damaging the patient, you violated the most prime rule amongst them all.

    You’re not a primary care physician, you don’t mend arms or legs, you mend minds, and this is what you do?!

    Look back over my history and you’ll see that I’ve been pretty blunt with some people, but you are a special kind of monster. This individual comes to your for assistance and this is what you do?

    You should be ashamed, and frankly you shouldn’t be practicing.

  12. Rhynovirus

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    You need to end the therapist relationship ASAP, quite literally all your licensure is on the line and you are at risk of malpractice.

    You’ve already violated the implicit pact between therapist and patient and compromised his care. In the laws of my jurisdiction and med board you have committed and admitted to rape. The only solution is termination of the relationship and complete no-contact **AFTER** you’ve given him a full explanation of why you were wrong and transfer to an appropriate colleague who can take over his care.

    Source: am doctor

  13. Subliminalsaint

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Terminate care immediately. Stop seeing him socially. Get yourself into therapy. Discuss with a mentor. Cross your fingers that this doesn’t come back to harm your career.

  14. bhristopherbrolumbus

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Bad move. Either way you’ll likely need to stop seeing him as a patient.

  15. toodlesmn

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    She just threw her career away

  16. Herbiejones

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    This is bad. Like really bad and you need to be very careful with your next steps.

    The power dynamic with a therapist and patient is severe. You took advantage of a patient and had sex. There is no other way to look at this situation. You hold immense power over your patients who are vulnerable. You used your power to have sex with a patient and there is zero justification for your actions.

    Switch the genders and we’re looking at coercive sex at best and rape at worst.

  17. noxumida

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Something important that has not yet been said here: get a damn good lawyer, you might need it when you go in front of the state ethics board or whatever you have in that field.

  18. crux_mm

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Look for supervision. I don’t know what kind of patient is because I don’t know what kind of service you offer. It is generally a bad idea to have clients/patients living close to you.

    Terminate you work with him and agree to see each other outside your work.

    This is the only ethical way to go for.

  19. MrTacoManGuy

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Patient here. Just wondering since there seems to be a lot of therapists in this thread, is it a bad thing if a patient has a sexual attraction to their counselor? She doesn’t know it or anything, it’s not something I’ve talked about. Just doesn’t seem relevant to our sessions. But she’s attractive. I may fantasize about her sometimes, but I know boundaries and that our relationship is professional one. I would think something like this is probably common on the client side? Idk… Just wondering

  20. allfort

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Well step one is your firing him as a patient.

  21. Munkyed

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Do you have any open appointments?

  22. goatcoat

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    What does your training tell you to do? Do you have any reason to think it doesn’t or shouldn’t apply in your situation?

  23. vampirelatte

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    please tell me you’re not going to throw away your career for some dick! Please tell me it’s not that serious!

    I think you should drop him as a patient and hope you’re not stripped of your license. I’m not going to berate you but your actions speak to a lack of self control. Everything you built for yourself could crumble due to this incident.

  24. OpticalNecessity

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    > fact that he tells me personal things that no one else knows, it just creates this level of intimacy between us.

    This is why you’re now allowed to date your patients… Psychologists/Therapists/Counselors stand risk developing a personal bond with their clients since in human relationships, the impulses of love and support are closely related and often expressed in the same manner.

    Taking you at your word, you would know this and should know better than to act on your feelings.

  25. MusicMagi

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Have you ever watched In Treatment? There are a series of episodes that focus on “Laura’s” transference with Paul and how he discusses it with his therapist and handles it

  26. kendrick143

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    intimacy is part of the job. people tell their therapists things they wouldn’t tell most people. this is the power differential that ethically you want to be mindful of not taking advantage of. you may have felt closer to him, and likewise because you may be the only one he reveals things to, he may have felt closer to you. So was it that fact that lead him to be attracted to you? And so now… has that been taken advantage of?

    it might be nice to clear that up with him. so he’s aware of this power differential and false sense of intimacy, and if he felt like he’s been taken advantaged of then i guess he can make a complaint.

    but i agree with what someone else posted here. you will ethically have to refer him to someone else since the therapeutic relationship has been compromised. but it might be worthwhile to process what happened… don’t know if you’d charge him for those sessions though… and just as long as it doesn’t lead to more hanky panky.

  27. snarkadia

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    This is the kind of content I come to r/confession for

  28. neutralstrike

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    I think this is the sort of thing you can lose your license over. You’ve also broke his trust of the client doctor relationship whether he initiated or not. You took advantage of him I’m afraid.

  29. PeteyToldMe

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    This seems too similar to a telenovela or a soap opera. Even some of OP’s comments are salacious humble brags for an admitted psychologist. I’m gonna sit back with my bowl of popcorn and wait for the saxaphone and bass to start playing

  30. slappytheclown

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Is he Tony Soprano?

  31. TheRollingPeepstones

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    He needs to be referred to another therapist. Thoroughly explain why and hope that your client is mature enough to not report you to your governing body. It sounds as though he is.

    Never let this happen again.

  32. 67throwaway5822

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    This chick is down with the new show Gypsy on Netflix.

    Clearly not interested in this line of work anymore

  33. TheLastWinchester

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    You don’t want to lose your licensing, you need to immediately cut him off as a patient if you want to pursue a healthy relationship with this individual, you’re licensing and schooling will be a waste of money if you get reported to the licensing board. EDIT: I don’t know how licensing boards work in other States, but his is how it works in Ohio, I only know this because I worked in a treatment facility for two years with LISW’s and CDCA’s.

  34. natty1212

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Hope you have good malpractice insurance. You just made him a very rich man.

  35. sweetpotatospumpkin

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Okay look. I know this isn’t what you want to hear but you have fucked up. Bad. On multiple different levels. What you did was wrong, immoral, and unethical. There is a very very very good reason therapists are not allowed to have any sort of relationship with a patient. You’ve abused your power over this poor person who trusted you. Would you be okay reading a story of a teacher who got drunk and “accidentally” slept with a student? No? That’s what you did.

    I have Bipolar I so I have been in a lot of therapy over the years and honestly the thought of this happening is kind of nauseating. He trusted you and you abused that trust.

    You need to do the right thing and 1) end it immediately and leave this poor dude alone and 2) report what you’ve done. That’s the only way out of this situation.

  36. PRATL

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Seeks like the shrink needs a shrink.

  37. MynamesnotChase

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    So god damn wrong. What are you gonna do? We know what you should do.

  38. grey_unknown

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    “He **comes** in once a month, sometimes more”…

    Hot! 👍

  39. hipopper

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    If you are a doctor (only doctors have patients) and practicing mental health care, you’ve made an egregious ethics violation. All doctors have felt this way at one time or another, but they are called to interpret these experiences and use these interpretations to improve care… not act on them with vulnerable patients. As a doctor, I consider this sexual abuse of a patient and serious misconduct. You also seem blind to the dozens of decisions you made before winding up in bed together. Most of all, neglecting the transference-countertransference disturbing your relationship. Objectively, if I were on your committee, I might suspend your license. This is one of the purest ways you can do harm. Seek supervision and your own licensed clinical psychologist (for long term tx) before continuing to see patients in the future.

  40. Faggotitus

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Pix or it didn’t happen.

  41. CoinOperatedGirl1

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    It’s always starts with coffee and than some wine. Gotta be careful if you have any kind of emotional or physical attraction to patients. Hopefully it all works out in the end for you.

  42. IComplimentVehicles

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    OP, I don’t hate you, but this career isn’t for you since you can’t distance yourself from him.

    I genuinely hope you lose your license so you have to consider another field. You took advantage of someone sick and vulnerable.

  43. ZontaferGunnar

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Not gonna lie this is pretty hot

  44. grassfedgrass

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    It’s Tony Soprano, isn’t it.

  45. origin_unknown

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    I don’t believe you would have forgotten the rules of your life. Some feeling you experienced told you to hang the rules.
    I wouldn’t examine the remorse, maybe later, but try and let go of it.
    Why did you want to break the rules? Figure that out, and you might be ok with any consequences that come from these actions.
    Figure it out and move forward with what you decide. Dwelling on it won’t improve it any. Any solution is a solution, when you hang the rules 😛

  46. Bingochamp4

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    It sounds like you’re infatuated with him and you’re not thinking with your brain.

  47. Tooptoopchoop

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am


  48. Tooptoopchoop

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Haha dit klinkt bekend

  49. PsychNurse6685

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    I worked with a psychiatrist who married a patient. She and her family would come in for family
    Therapy. It was all very odd and we all still talk about it… even after 13 years.

  50. Hermione82

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    If you are really a psychologist, then you know that this violates the APA ethics code, and is a valid reason to lose your license. You cannot see this patient again as his psychologist, period. You cannot start any type of romantic or sexual relationship with him, period. The fact that you can’t stop thinking about him does not justify your actions. There are over 7 billion people in the world. He cannot be the one for you, period.

  51. paulli4536

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    did he married?

  52. jaxspider

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    1. Stop seeing him professionally immediately.
    2. Refund any money he gave in the past 6 months.
    2. Recommend replacement professional(s) you have no conflict of interest with.
    3. Fuck his brains out.
    4. Try to find happiness.


    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    If this is true, what you did was definitely wrong on a professional level. You have a certain obligation to your patient(s) both ethically, morally, lawfully… what you did breaks that trust and that patient-doctor confidant relationship. You need to break ties with him as a patient and confess that you cannot be his doctor anymore. You will have to recommend someone else. He may or may not take legal action against you if he’s of that type.

    Basically what you did was immature and stupid… I hope you realise this. It doesn’t matter how handsome, rich, or hot someone is. Man or woman, you cannot go fucking around with ppl who you are in business with or have a certain moral obligation towards. It breaks the trust and quite frankly, the law.

    People make mistakes, it totally happens. But grow the fuck up and do what needs to be done.

  54. feb420

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    If you have a colleague or a mentor that you can confide in with this you should seek their advice. But it sounds like you need to break off all communication with this individual for the sake of your career and their mental health. You’re a professional, this isn’t a fairy tale, do what your job demands.

  55. FineFlowingTableSalt

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    You shouldn’t beat yourself up for it. But you know the ethically right thing to do would be to terminate both the professional and personal relationship. I truly hope that this doesn’t have any repercussions and it can be left at this. If you want to pursue an alternative, know you are risking your career – maybe it’s still worth it, but it likely is not.

  56. phoenix_ash

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Ok there are a lot of comments here saying a lot of different things, but to op’s credit, they are human. That comes with mistakes, fear, regret, uncertainty and every other bad aspect of humanity. Maybe, we aren’t all in positions that allow us to fuck up like this, but we don’t know what lead to this. All anyone can do is hope that it ends well for everyone, however that may be. So op, hopefully you’ll get a chance to sit down and take a deep breath because what comes next is important but this must be a lot, and processing it properly is important if you don’t want to make your next steps regrets as well.

    Op, you know about transference. You know it can happen to both doctors and patients. You know this is a mistake, and that people mistakes, and that you will make it through… Whatever this is.

  57. Gregfromoz

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    This is fine of course, unless the OP is a veterinarian.. I’ll just see myself out now…

  58. raster_raster

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Can he find a new doctor? Reminds me of sopranos lol.

  59. EpicFishFingers

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Sounds like you literally have to choose between him and your career, and you know it.

    You can try and sneak around but you’ll get caught out eventually and fuck up your whole career. Sucks that he’s a patient, but there’s plenty of dick in the sea and I’m sure he’ll understand that this shouldn’t have happened.

    Don’t beat yourself up about your mistake, if he’s mentally on it enough to pull you then pulling you isn’t going to damage him but you know it can’t continue sadly.

    Sorry OP 🙁

  60. Habanero_Eyeball

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Is it possible you slept with him so as to “blow up” your old life?

    You may have been laboring under the restrictions and/or realities of the life you’ve created and you want to change but you feel trapped…..so in your desperation you did something you know is wrong because of the rush, because of the wrongness, so that if it causes your career to collapse you could say “Yep, I fucked up and never should have done that” while secretly you’re glad that you’re making changes in your life?

    Like maybe you’ve never given yourself permission to make a change. Maybe you got into psychology with a sincere desire to help people but over the years you’ve simply become disillusioned and now want to change your life. And that sleeping with a patient, while unethical, may have actually been a SHOVE in the direction of your new life?

  61. SituationCornflakes

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    So this DOES happen in real life 🤤

  62. ZahaeC

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am


  63. Linadaddy

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Sexual healing, love it, keep it professional wear scrubs and take his blood pressure… “blood pressure” 😀

  64. Abimor-BehindYou

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    If you are a therapist, then without malice or anger:
    You need to terminate the relationship for his sake.
    You need to resign your licence for the sake of your patients.
    You need to go to therapy for your own sake.

    Read what you wrote and honestly ask yourself what you would have made of a similar case back when you were being trained. Look at how you dissemble, on Reddit of all places, as if your actions are as far removed from your responsibility as the weather. You know you shouldn’t have access to vulnerable people if you are even tempted to do this. You have crossed a line that shows you are psychologically ill suited to this kind of work whatever your other qualities. You ought to focus on doing no harm to him or anyone else and seeking care for yourself. It isn’t healthy that you were unable to remain professional.

  65. anew39

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    I am the patient, Dr. I’m telling… haha I kid Don’t do it again.

  66. frosty147

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    You should explain the situation to him and that you would lose your license if anyone found out. Odds are if he’s a reasonable person he’ll understand. I don’t see any other option than to just trust him at this point.

  67. [deleted]

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am


  68. Serpentpig

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    He’s handsome and successful and impossible not to notice. Humble brag? That’s why. You wanted the d. It’s okay. It’s called attraction. It’s perfectly healthy for two adults.

  69. octropos

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Fuck it. Have fun.

  70. Anonymous

    July 19, 2017 at 3:18 am

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