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Re: Questions about transference lonelygirl

Posted by spoc on March 19, 2004, at 9:48:21

In reply to Questions about transference, posted by lonelygirl on March 19, 2004, at 2:00:16

Lonelygirl, this worked out well because you had posted on the thread called "I think my psychiatrist doesn't like me..." and I was going to reply there but then here you are! I pasted some of the other version of your post first, since there was additional stuff in it. Replied to both then pasted the version from this thread all at the bottom. Hope that's ok.

>> Anyway, I have been going to a psychiatrist for, oh, about 10 years, I think? My parents forced me when I was in jr. high and high school. They also forced me to go to a psychologist for several years, but eventually, that stopped and it was just the psychiatrist for the meds (I've been on Zoloft and Ritalin, Welbutrin, and currently Prozac). I go maybe 2 or 3 times a year for refills. She asks her standard questions (How are "things" going? Are you having any suicidal thoughts? Etc.) and I give her all the standard answers (Fine; no; etc.) and she gives me the prescription...> It makes my parents happy, but I don't even take the meds. Nobody seems to know the difference, including the psychiatrist. I gave up on psychology/psychiatry a long time ago, because it seemed like they just wanted to shove meds down my throat to "solve" my problems, which obviously does NOT solve my problems. Also, it seems kind of wrong to me that this woman just refills my prescription without even thinking about it or evaluating its effectiveness (or lack thereof). I was not under the impression that this is how "treatment" is supposed to go.
======
I don't think that IS how combination treatment (half talk and half meds) should go! Sounds like you were diverted from the talking part prematurely and put only into a "med management" maintenance thing. I wouldn't get disillusioned from how it went down, maybe as a "youth" decisions are made for us that aren't right. Once on med management only, a pdoc probably has somewhat limited evaluation tools beyond the kinds of questions she is asking you, due to the few minutes you meet for. If they were to do something more extensive it would also cost a lot more for more of their time. But in that kind of meds-only relationship, if you feel something is being under-evaluated, maybe it's the psychotherapist "half" that needs to be revisited. You mentioned in your other post that this pdoc and your current psychotherapist don't know about each other. I'm not sure how -- if ever -- this works, but maybe you could request for them to "pair" for you. OR -- since this pdoc is irrelevant to you and you don't take the meds, maybe you could just go with whoever the campus doc would use, if you are interested in trying meds again....

(now replying to your post on this thread)
I don't know if CBT "embraces" transference as relevant, but I kind of think not. I think it acknowledges that feelings do cross over sometimes, but not necessarily, and that it's not a key element for addressing issues.

Regarding your feelings for your current doc, I never did get to the part either where I really understand HOW it's supposed to be that transferred romantic feelings get redirected into the person's real life and they end up better for it. Maybe this is an opportunity for you to work through what has felt like rejection from men. For instance if initial idealization has anything to do with it, maybe you'll see why you "pick" who you do and why it ends up hurting. (Armchair logic, watch out!) BUT -- actually I wonder if it might take specific training and/or *experience* for a therapist to make constructive use of the patient's feelings or even to handle them so that pain is minimized. Your campus doc sounds like a nice and compassionate person but maybe you should get another unbiased professional opinion, say from someone you wouldn't actually be switching to, on whether a change might be better. Unless you are in therapy with the kind of fabulous-sounding, "relational" practitioner that some of the women on this thread have mentioned (who make use of the transference), I can't see either how progress doesn't get sabotaged (of course a classic analyst like the one I was unloading about welcomes transference too, but don't go there, it's not handled with care). Maybe there is a common life theme in there you really should work through, but perhaps not first, with someone inexperienced? Could you bring yourself to, after getting another opinion, ask the campus doc flat out if for your own sake maybe you should switch?

Tidbit: I used to think of transference as the romantic thing only. Now I know from my analysis experience that it is any feeling, absolutely bad ones too. I don't think I ever gave off strong -- if any signs -- when I was feeling attraction ("positive" transference). But as if everything would play out on cue in accordance with the textbook model of transference in general, my pdoc forced situations in order to believe he was feeling to me like all the key problematic figures in my life (whom he identified and overgeneralized about based on two initial sessions). I.E.:

HE: (In instances of speaking at all) "MMmmm, now I feel like a scary boss to you..." "Now I feel like a judgmental peer to you...." etc.

ME: Uh, no, actually you don't...

HE: [in essence] OVERRULED! And why does it matter to you if I think that...

ME: Becauuuuuse...you're wrong and we should clear it up?

HE: OVERRRULED! My you're paranoid! (I'm paraphrasing big time for sure)

Anyway those would be examples of "negative" transference (if he was right about feeling like those people to me, that is).

(other thread again)
>> Nobody answered the question about what "pdoc" means! I have a pretty good guess that it's psychiatrist...

That was and still is my guess too!

-------------
>> Anyway, I recently got into some trouble at school (I am in college) and was forced to go to counseling at the student health center as my punishment.... I just wanted to get it over with. That, combined with the fact that I am a very reserved person, made me a bit uncooperative. I didn't have a very good opinion of psychologists in general, so I didn't have a very positive attitude about the counseling (or the psychologist himself) from the beginning, but I thought the psychologist was nice, so I gradually became more and more comfortable with him. By the time the mandatory counseling was over, I had begun to feel attracted to him, and though I had intended all along to stop after I finished my "sentence," I would miss him too much, so I ended up continuing anyway. > Well, that was a long-winded background to introduce my actual question... I have not told him how I feel about him, and I am actually quite embarrassed about feeling this way. Searching on this phenomenon was actually what brought me to this web site. I had never realized that this "transference" was so common, accepted, and even welcomed by some psychologists. Still, I definitely do not feel comfortable telling this guy how I feel (he is married, by the way, and I know there is no chance of an actual relationship with him) -- especially because I am overweight and unattractive and have been rejected by every guy I have ever liked.
>
> I feel tortured by these feelings that I can't even tell him. I know that he does not feel this way about me, and I suspect that he may actually DISLIKE me. I told him about my latter suspicion, and he tried to convince me that it was not true. He complimented me in very personal, meaningful, and seemingly sincere ways that only cemented my feelings for him. He also said that he feels "drawn to" me when I open up to him (because I was very reserved and unforthcoming initially) and he feels "close to" me when I talk about things with him. But he has certainly never said anything close to "I love you," and I get the feeling he would be uncomfortable with that surfacing from me. I know that his theoretical orientation is in cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal psychology, and I have read in a couple of places that cognitive-behavioral does not believe in "transference." Is this true? If so, how does the cognitive-behavioral approach (or the interpersonal approach) consider these types of feelings of a patient for her psychologist? What is recommended by this approach when these feelings occur? I was advised by someone at another web site (a M.SW. therapist) to consider seeing a female psychologist instead because my feelings for my male psychologist are "sabotaging" the therapy.
>
> I hope somebody made it through this long, rambling post and will be kind enough to respond... thanks.


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