Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | List of forums | Search | FAQ

Re: Transference Crisis

Posted by noa on July 27, 2003, at 10:38:08

In reply to Re: Transference Crisis, posted by raven on July 26, 2003, at 23:24:36

My own opinion is that even with transference, ie, transferred feelings, there is also a real, here and now, human relationship going on. It is limited by the boundaries (hopefully!) of the therapy, but it is still real. Not everything is attributable to transferred feelings. That being said, the transferred feelings phenomenon can obviously be very powerful.

That is why it is important for the therapist to guard the boundaries--and I bet it is very difficult to do this in a way that doesn't lean too far in either direction, that is firm but doesn't make us patients feel ashamed.

My first therapist was pretty much in the "blank slate" camp. He didn't really answer any questions I had about him. He would say we had to explore what it meant to me first, etc. etc. and then, often, I would feel ashamed for asking. But then he was good about addressing the shame--acknowledging that his approach might have hurt my feelings, etc. etc., so at least it wasn't crazy-making! He also did not share much about what he was thinking. Back then, I was very dependent on him, and much more needy. It is interesting--I remember noticing, later on, that his boundaries were slightly less rigid over time. He would be more forthcoming about his thoughts, for example. I think it was in part because I got better at expressing myself so he wasn't worried as much about that, and also because I wasn't as needy as I had been in the beginning, and therefore better able to keep to the boundaries. So, if he disclosed something I could handle it better. But he didn't disclose much, anyway.

I did write him some letters, during the first couple of years of therapy (I saw him for 10 years) because it was so hard for me to talk about a lot of things in person (it got easier over time). Sometimes these were pretty much right after a session when a lot of feelings came up and I couldn't articulate them, but afterward I could write them out. Other times it was about something I wanted to raise but couldn't get myself to bring up in the session. The letters broke the ice, and then I could talk about them in the session. I don't know if he would have handled it differently if I couldn't then talk about the content of the letter in the sesssion. Email wasn't around back then, so I don't know if that would have been a problem for me or not.

When I was getting ready to move away, we did a lot of reflecting on the changes over the ten years. I asked if I could have copies of the letters I had written him earlier on, and he gave them to me. I wrote him a couple of letters after I moved, and then that was it.

At one point, I was in a group with really confrontational leaders. People kept dropping out of this group--most just disappearing without doing the agreed upon number of termination sessions. It was pretty awful. It didn't feel safe. But the therapists set up this catch-22 where we felt like leaving was cowardly and shameful, too. When people started raising the issue of how harsh the leaders were, they would attribute all of it to transference--now that was crazy-making!! I ended up leaving like the rest of 'em--just dropping out, which was something I didn't think I'd do, because I felt like I should go and say goodbye to the other members. But I just felt I couldn't go back in there.

My current therapist is more easy going about disclosing things about himself--he doesn't volunteer it but he answers questions, but it's not like he talks about himself a lot or anything. He will then ask about the meaning, or why it came up for me, etc. I don't know if he would be more witholding about himself if he thought I would have difficulty staying within the boundaries, or were extremely dependent on him or something. I guess I can ask him that. The one boundary testing thing I did do early in the therapy was that I went through a period of intense curiosity about him and I drove by his house. I told him right away--the session after I drove by, and he didn't seem perturbed by it at all. He just gently tried to explore with me what I was thinking, feeling, etc.




Post a new follow-up

Your message only Include above post

Notify the administrators

They will then review this post with the posting guidelines in mind.

To contact them about something other than this post, please use this form instead.


Start a new thread

Google www
Search options and examples
[amazon] for

This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | FAQ
Psycho-Babble Psychology | Framed

poster:noa thread:245412