My client a Muslim Pansexual female in her early thirties felt she was conflicted with her religious beliefs and "who" the person she felt she should be. She had hidden this part of self from her family and tried for many years to pretend to be someone else. This had left her depressed, at points suicidal and unable to hold down a relationship which left her feeling lonely and a failure. Any intimate relationship she had conducted had been in secret, adding to her anxiety. She also over the years had built up a deep resentment for her family, religion and culture - blaming them for not allowing her to lead the life she wanted to.
The catalyst for my client seeking therapy and coming to counselling was her families nagging of her to get married. Although her family were happy for her to find her own partner, the client felt her sexuality was an issue and her family would most definitely have a problem with. She had been for many years been avoiding "coming out".
Client received 12 sessions on a weekly basis. Once between us we had explored client was not in any danger if her sexuality was disclosed, we spent sessions exploring what was stopping the client. Living a "double life" had almost become normal for her. Issues such as shame, conditions of worth, identity, was she really pan-sexual?, cultural difference, outdated ego state's, guilt - all surfaced whilst client worked out what she really thought and felt in a safe space.
At the end of our 12 sessions client became clear she was not too sure if she was pan sexual and was perhaps using her family and Religion as an excuse to committing to being Pansexual. Right in the last minutes of her last session she revealed she had been sexually assaulted as a teenager and wondered if this might have something to do with her confusion over her sexuality.
I personally as a therapist felt unkind by keeping my boundaries and not offering the client extra time. I was unable to do this due to prior appointments - but also once I had ensured client was safe it is important to keep boundaries to keep myself as a therapist safe also.
Client decided to go into longer term counselling to work on issues around past abuse, commitment, intimacy and out dated ego states.
All names and client details have been changed to protect the identity of the client. Permission was granted to discuss client issues.