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As A Therapist, What Is The Most Difficult Thing You’ve Had To Tell A Client?

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by Nada El Garhy, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Nada El Garhy

    Nada El Garhy Golden Member

    May 23, 2016
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    This question was originally posted on and was answered by Tom Loomis, retired clinical psychologist.


    I had a client who had cerebral palsy, severe cognitive deficits, and body odor. He desperately wanted a girlfriend, and when I asked him whom he pictured as his girlfriend, he stated, “Miss Hawaii.”

    I had to think a bit before responding to this. Eventually I told him that it was very, very unlikely he would be able to have Miss Hawaii as a girlfriend, but there might be women at his day program who would like him for a friend or boyfriend. I had to clarify to him that I was referring to clients at the day program, not staff, as he had also developed crushes on staff in the past. I also suggested that a daily bath and underarm deodorant would help if he wanted a girlfriend. He was hurt and disappointed by what I said, but he started coming to therapy smelling better, and one day he came in delightedly announcing that he now had a girlfriend, another client at his day program. They were eating lunch together and visiting each other after the day program was over. He was a happy guy, and I was glad I had told him the truth, hard as it was.


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