psychotherapy sessions and privacy

Posted by lsittll @lsittll, Oct 29, 2021

When I have psychotherapeutic sessions my social worker leaves the door to her office open. She is in an office where there is an alarm to enter and people are not around so I suppose this is why she does this I would like to know why she does this. I would think that all psychotherapists should need to close the door to their office during a therapeutic discussion. I saw a social worker after office hours and on Sundays yet she closed the door to her office.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

In an effort to establish good communication I would ask why? You as the client are entitled to privacy and this is a valid concern. At least you would have an answer.

REPLY

Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, @lsittll.

I've been in psychotherapy and my therapist never left the door open. In addition, they always had a white noise machine outside the door to protect my privacy.

Like you, I'd be very uncomfortable with the door open. That open door would increase my anxiety of even being in that office. And who needs that for whatever reasons brought you to psychotherapy.? Perhaps it's a security issue if no one else is in the office when you meet with your therapist? This is something I would bring up at the very beginning of the next session. You might be nervous about bringing this up but ultimately this is about you and your feelings.

Many years ago I met with a psychologist in private practice who took phone calls during my sessions with him (I think I had only two or three sessions). This was before cell phone days. I was very distressed because these interruptions felt like he wasn't interested in listening to me and wasn't invested in my mental health care. I never went back but never told him why. In retrospect, I should have told him but I wasn't assertive enough to do that at the time. And I was payng out of my own pocket too!

Please come back and let us know what your therapist tells you about the open door. And I hope by bringing this up with her she will help you to be comfortable about asking her questions about her methods.

Best wishes,

Helen

REPLY
@naturegirl5

Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, @lsittll.

I've been in psychotherapy and my therapist never left the door open. In addition, they always had a white noise machine outside the door to protect my privacy.

Like you, I'd be very uncomfortable with the door open. That open door would increase my anxiety of even being in that office. And who needs that for whatever reasons brought you to psychotherapy.? Perhaps it's a security issue if no one else is in the office when you meet with your therapist? This is something I would bring up at the very beginning of the next session. You might be nervous about bringing this up but ultimately this is about you and your feelings.

Many years ago I met with a psychologist in private practice who took phone calls during my sessions with him (I think I had only two or three sessions). This was before cell phone days. I was very distressed because these interruptions felt like he wasn't interested in listening to me and wasn't invested in my mental health care. I never went back but never told him why. In retrospect, I should have told him but I wasn't assertive enough to do that at the time. And I was payng out of my own pocket too!

Please come back and let us know what your therapist tells you about the open door. And I hope by bringing this up with her she will help you to be comfortable about asking her questions about her methods.

Best wishes,

Helen

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I have not been in her office for weeks. I will be discontinuing to see her. She lacks many important qualities that I need in a counsellor. This is one of them.

Laurie

REPLY
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