I feel too attached to my counsellor. What should I do?

I’ve been seeing my counsellor for almost a year now for my depression and anxiety. I see them almost weekly, and I like that I can be vulnerable around them. Basically, I feel safe around them, but I can feel that I am becoming too attached to them. It might be because I always feel detached from people and I can’t be myself around others. I also have some family issues so there are no reliable figures around.

It first started with being afraid of graduating as I wouldn’t get to see them anymore. The fear of losing someone is kinda normal, right? Now I start to feel extremely anxious whenever I don’t hang around the counselling area, or we can’t have our weekly session during school term due to schedule clashing, public holidays etc. I also start to have thoughts like what if they are resigning soon.

I don’t really mind not seeing them during school breaks, but I don’t think that makes the attachment any better. I am also not exactly dependent on them for advice either. I am just really attached to their presence (?) I suppose.

I don’t want to explore this topic with them because I am scared they might suggest things like taking a break from our sessions or switching counsellors.

What should I do?


Hey @user686 ,

Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing this with us, sending you hugs :hugs:. It is understandable why you would feel “attached” to your counsellor, especially if you, as mentioned don’t share or feel like others are as reliable. I’m glad to hear you feel safe around them and trust them a lot, but I also see that you recognize your fear of losing them is starting to bother you. You mentioned that you’re scared to explore this topic with them, so I’m curious:

  1. How do you think they’ll react (you mentioned they might suggest taking a break - is that in line with their character so far from your sessions?)
  2. What would you want out of asking them? (Do you want a “solution”, an explanation or just to get it out of your chest with them?)

Lastly, if you do decide you would rather not bring it up with them at all, what would you ideally want things to be different from how it is now? (Do you want to stop feeling attached and do you want to find out more why?)

To bring up a personal example, I felt quite attached to my counsellor of three years as well, and was devastated to hear when he had to leave. As devastated as I was, I also understood that I’ll be okay, and all the skills he taught me will stay with me forever. It’s been about a year since I’ve last seen him, and so far everything’s been okay :slight_smile: . I know our situations may be different but I hope it helps bring you some comfort, please feel free to reply/ask/update us whenever you want to :heart:


Dear @user686,

Thank you for gathering the courage to be vulnerable with us. I’m hearing that you’ve developed an attachment to your counsellor over the course of your therapy sessions, and you’re feeling concerned about the impact of this attachment on your well-being. It’s natural to form a bond with someone who provides a safe space for vulnerability and support, especially when, like you mentioned, reliable figures are lacking in other areas of your life. I can imagine that it could be very unpleasant and frightening to picture losing that safe space someday in the future, especially when it’s something that you value greatly.

Here are a couple of suggestions on navigating this attachment in a healthy manner:

  1. Acknowledge and validate your feelings.
    Recognise that your attachment is a valid emotional response to the therapeutic relationship you have with your counsellor. It is okay to feel attached and to value their presence in your life. Allow yourself to firstly acknowledge and validate these feelings without judgment.

  2. Reflect on the reasons behind the attachment.
    Another thing you could do is to take some time to reflect on why you might be feeling so attached to your counsellor. Perhaps it could be the sense of safety they provide, like you’ve mentioned, as well as the potential gaps in reliable support figures in your life. Exploring these underlying factors and understanding the probable reasons behind your attachment can provide valuable insights into your emotional needs.

  3. Explore additional support options.
    If one of the key factors underlying the attachment is the lack of reliable support figures in other areas of your life, then it may also be in your best interest to explore additional support options in your life. This could include building connections with supportive friends or joining relevant support groups - in fact, perhaps the community on this forum could be a good place to start! Ultimately, we want to work on diversifying your support network so as to amplify the sense of security and reduce excessive dependence on one individual.

  4. Share your concerns with your counsellor.
    You may wish to consider discussing these concerns with your counsellor. While I hear you on fearing that they might suggest terminating therapy or switching counsellors, I’d like you to also bear in mind that they are trained Professionals who are likely to have encountered similar situations before. Openly sharing your thoughts and fears can help foster a deeper understanding of your relationship dynamics and allow you to work together towards maintaining healthy boundaries and finding ways to manage your attachment. Having this conversation may also provide an avenue for your counsellor to delve deeper into the attachment and explore any underlying emotional wounds or unresolved issues that may contribute to the intensity of the attachment.

  5. Practise grounding techniques to help you focus on the present.
    Grounding techniques are ways to manage anxiety and other uncomfortable symptoms by turning your attention away from thoughts and worries and refocusing on the present moment. Whenever you feel the sense of anxiety start to creep up on you, you could try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique by identifying 5 things you can see in your environment, 4 things you can feel e.g. the texture of the chair you’re sitting on, the sun on your skin, etc, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. Alternatively, you could try counting backwards from 100 or reciting the alphabets backwards. The idea is to take your mind off these anxiety-inducing thoughts and bring you back to the here and now. You can read more on these exercises here.

Hope this helps - please feel free to follow up with any questions you may have. If you do decide to broach the topic with your counsellor, you are most welcome to update us on how things go.

Wishing you all the best and take care!


Hey there @user686,

Personally I’ve encountered a similar issue like you before where I felt too attached to my counsellor.

From my personal experience/ point of view, it really is beneficial for you to open up your thoughts and feelings to your counsellor.

I know it seems scary and the fear of your counsellor not wanting to be your counsellor anymore feels very real. But trust/have faith in your counsellor that s/he won’t leave you in a ditch.

Because frankly speaking, attachment is really a common issue because human connection is a very complicated subject to comprehend. Sometimes we just feel more attached to certain people especially when/even more so when it’s someone we feel comfortable enough to share our inner thoughts that we won’t share with anyone else.

The reason(s) why I encourage you to share your thoughts with your counsellor is because unfortunately the day will come where you will have to part ways with each other, be it s/he leaving (resigning) or you graduating. It doesn’t mean the relationship is over though because the memories will live on.

If your counsellor does know about what you’re feeling/your thoughts and fears, s/he will be able to better support you, helping you work through this issue at a comfortable pace by giving you the time and space to talk about this issue.

You and your Counselor could also work on building up skills to cope or helping you/working to find closure when the time comes…. If you keep to yourself/supress these feelings, it’ll just keep building up until it becomes too overwhelming…

Hope this is helpful/provide some assurances. I really wish you well and if you do open up to your counsellor and if you’re comfortable, do update us on how it goes! Take care! :slight_smile:


Hey @Suu,

Thank you for replying. Regarding your questions:

I imagined that they would either suggest taking a break or switching counsellors, but I don’t really think that it would be in line with their character so far. I supposed it is just my anxiety talking.

I would want a “solution” out of asking them. I don’t think it would be the best for me if I am always anxious about them leaving etc. Ultimately, I am going to have to graduate one day, and I would like to find some ways to cope with that.

I would ideally want to stop feeling anxious when I don’t see them often. I think it is quite normal to feel attached to my counsellor and I don’t think there’s really any way to stop feeling attached to them.

Also, thank you for sharing with me your personal experience. :heart: I am glad that everything has been okay for you. You’ve made me realised that all the skills my counsellor taught me will stay with me forever, and that it is going to be okay. Sending you hugs as well :hugs: