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Wednesday, 11 May 2005

A Therapist's Comments on Obsessive Love

Written by  Naomi Baum, PhD.

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Reading this monologue, my heart really goes out to Chelsea. Fourteen can be a tough age. We know that the teenage years are full of strong emotions, and Chelsea is not unusual in being totally consumed by these feelings of love for a guy she has never even talked to.

If I were talking to Chelsea, I would tell her that while this guy seems absolutely fabulous, in fact she is in love with his image, or with the fantasy of him. Right now, in Chelsea's mind everything is perfect. The guy is perfect, her love for him is perfect, and her emotions are soaring. It would be better for her to ground herself a little bit with some reality testing..

While this guy seems absolutely fabulous, in fact she is in love with his image, or with the fantasy of him.

I would encourage her to try to actually get to know him, to make contact with him. It is possible that as soon as she starts to spend time with him she will see that he is actually human, and her strong emotions may become a bit more manageable. They may have a wonderful time together, and enjoy one another immensely. It is also possible that he will not be interested in her at all, and that is a risk.

The good thing here is that Chelsea has a crush on somebody that is actually approachable. Often fourteen year old girls will develop unbelievable feelings of love and longing for unreachable figures: movie stars, rock stars, men that are much older than themselves. The fact that Chelsea has chosen a guy in her class is really a good thing. I would encourage her to seek him out and try to develop a relationship with him.

Talking to one or two good friends about him would probably also be a good thing. Sharing her feelings, rather than letting them bottle up, and trying to explore them with one or two friends (certainly not in a group where they might end up laughing at her or him) might help Chelsea get a better handle on things.

Friends are really good when it comes to helping to figure things out, and they can be great sounding boards for trying to figure out what is going on. Talking with friends you can rely on to keep a confidence is really important.

Sitting in her room and thinking about him for hours is probably not the best way to go about things. Chelsea herself isn't feeling too good about it. I think Chelsea will find she will feel much better if she makes the changes discussed above.

Read the monologue

Last modified on Thursday, 07 April 2011 10:37
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Naomi Baum, PhD.

Naomi Baum, PhD.

Naomi Baum is the Director of the Resilience Unit at The Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma and the National School Resilience Project. Her work at ICTP focuses on developing programs to build resilience in communities that have been highly exposed to trauma and stress. She has successfully brought her approach to Biloxi, Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Her work there included seven visits to the city, she trained teachers, social workers, school nurses, and counselors. She has also worked with the population in Haiti following teh earthquake. She has written about Trauma and Resilience in several published articles and books.

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