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Re: sayng what you are feelng.. Tancred62

Posted by spoc on March 17, 2004, at 21:28:57

In reply to Re: sayng what you are feelng.., posted by Tancred62 on March 17, 2004, at 19:17:54

> This is all rather queer (in the original sense of the term). And this is why I am very skeptical about "Ts" and their position of power in therapy. Why are people so obsessed with "love"? I understand that long conversations with empathetic therapists (why give themthe capital "T"?)have the potential to create illusions of love, but this is not very constructive. I also feel that many "Ts" take advantage of the situation and ride an ego trip at the expense of vulnerable patients. I thought this board was about mutual help and respect, not about what are the best clothes to wear on sessions with an alleged "therapist." In short, I'm disgusted.

Tancred62, I think what's going on here is an example of the psychological theory of "transference" in action. Ironic that right out of the gate I ended up on this thread, but I have just stopped talk therapy with a psychiatrist who admittedly made anticipation of that effect in general too much a part of his method for my tastes.

I believe transference theory maintains that a patient's issues with a person or a category of people in their "real" lives will play out on the therapist, and through that end up being exposed and resolved. Could be family, bosses or authority figures, friends, lovers. Transference can be "positive" (e.g. idealizing someone, perhaps prematurely or when unwarranted, inadvisable, unreturned, etc; or after having previous problems with getting/feeling/expressing love); or "negative" (e.g. perceiving insults, attacks and bad treatment that aren't there).

Different types of therapists believe transference occurs, and/or is relevant, to different extents. I believe psychiatrists/psychoanalysts are more likely to see it as a key element in therapy. *Anyway* the point I want to make is that the reactions you are reading about here are probably exactly how it's "supposed" to be. The misplaced or buried feelings ultimately get redirected in healthier ways in the person's real life. Meaning, we can't assume that these therapists are asking for it, encouraging it, or handling it inappropriately. These perceptions are often superimposed on them as they sit there. They know how to recognize and track the phenomena as it progresses and (ideally) is resolved by the patient. That's how the underlying issue that it came from gets treated.

But hey, maybe sometimes a crush is just a crush! Like you said -- easy to feel for a confidante. But in either case it's plenty likely that the therapists aren't misbehaving. Oh -- and I think the "T" just denotes the person being referred to more clearly in a sentence than a small "t." Similar to "therp," "pdoc," etc. but even easier.


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