Dual Relationships and Psychotherapy

By Arnold A. Lazarus; Ofer Zur | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 26
The Therapist as
Matchmaker

This chapter presents the rationale for a therapeutic duality that goes beyond the customary functions and expectations that typically entail what psychotherapists address. May one, can one, should one step out of role on occasion and perform the functions of a matchmaker? What follows is an argument in favor of the dual relationship of therapist and matchmaker, its pros and cons, as well as a responsible modus operandi for implementing it.


BACKGROUND

Sally, a single, 31-year-old assistant editor for a large publishing company originally sought therapy for panic disorder that responded very well to cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT). Indeed, after 12 sessions over approximately 6 months, she was panic-free and well equipped to implement her newly acquired anxiety-management skills. During one of her last sessions, Sally expressed appreciation for the successful therapy and semi-jokingly said, “Now if only you could fix me up with a nice, employed guy, my life would be just about perfect.”

Bill, a 35-year-old, single, school administrator came for therapy to learn to master his fear of heights, because his parents had recently moved into an apartment on the 23rd floor of a modern high-rise. After

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