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Re: Love as the agent of change -- kind of long

Posted by Daisym on March 16, 2008, at 17:12:53

In reply to Love as the agent of change -- kind of long, posted by red house on March 15, 2008, at 10:58:21

If you haven't read it, try to get a copy of the book, "A General Theory of Love." It talks about all the different ways that love influences who we are and how we live our lives. The authors have lots of research about how curative and necessary love is in relationships - even therapy relationships.

One of the tenets of psychodynamic attachment theory is that the therapy relationship is part real and part "pretend" - and both client and therapist know this and buy into it. If it gets too real - it can feel very scary because therapy is a place where all your fantasies are allowed - and if it is all pretend then it feels artificial and we don't trust any of it. The caring part is usually the most real part of the exchange and caring is rarely one-sided. Romantic love might be one-sided but human-to-human caring, like you indicated, has a give and take quality that feeds on itself. You show caring to someone, they show it back - and so it grows. Your caring, if never reciprocated, would likely turn off or would morph into a type of pathological feeling - an obsession or anger or something less than healthy. That is why the "blank slate" approach of Freud's time - no emotion or response shown by the therapist - has fallen mostly out of favor. It most situations, it doesn't work very well.

I'll also throw in here that there are multiple layers of communication going on all the time with another person. And when you are very tuned in to someone, like in therapy, you can read them pretty well. So what you are feeling is very likely accurate - your therapist does care for you (love by definition). There is no reason for her to squash that perception - how would that help your therapy? There is often a general agreement among therapists to leave "positive" transference alone unless the client wants to talk about it. And to negate it would cause you to question your own experience and how you make sense of it. And those meanings are actually co-created by both of you - you don't come up with this in a vacuum.

I agree with Annie - if you can call it out and talk about it, you might learn a lot about yourself. I know it is scary.

Interesting topic...




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