‘Today I was speaking to a colleague who works with young adults. She was talking of a particular client who had very much liked her and had, eventually, copied everything my colleague did. She did as suggested, dressed similarly and wanted to call her boy baby after my colleague Dawn. She was eventually persuaded that this was not a good idea, and called him Don, as close as she could get. This total dependence on the therapist is not unusual. Many years ago I remember a friend who was taking a Psychotherapy course. This involved undergoing Psychotherapy herself and she became highly dependent on the therapist. So dependent, in fact, that when her car broke down, she had to be dissuaded from buying a new car in order to get to her appointment. This happens less often with children who are brought by their parents to appointments and can, therefore, remain primarily attached to them. But when things are going wrong, it might be a very different matter. So children and adults become very concerned about when their appointment is, how soon it might be and when will be the one after that. Both child and parents can become very dependent on the sort of support and guidance the therapist is offering, constantly seeking approval for their actions and advice on what to do next. I tend to see this sort of relationship as a ‘normal curve’. So that, in the beginning, therapist and clients are forming a relationship. In the middle, as things are starting to clarify but still need a lot of work, clients can be very needy and dependent, phoning between appointments and arriving early. And as matters resolve, the appointments are offered further and further apart, and finally the client may miss an appointment, or phone with some sort of reason for not attending. Eventually, if things have gone well, the client parent may think appreciatively, but very rarely of the therapist. And the child might forget altogether that he ever needed help. Unless his name is Don, of course. p.s just to show off: last week I received a text from a Dad who said that I had said that they would not remember me, but they did – and Thank you, Elliott was doing brilliantly still. I have saved it, and feel proud and pleased!