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Re: Attachment vs. transference Daisym

Posted by pegasus on October 15, 2010, at 12:07:11

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus, posted by Daisym on October 15, 2010, at 0:19:55

Hi Daisy! I'm so glad that you weighed in. I know you are an expert in this area, in more ways than one, and I really value your comments.

I'm thinking that maybe I had a fairly secure attachment to my mom (perhaps leaning toward preoccupied/ambivalent attachment, due to her being so busy with other kids/jobs, and her own psychological distress). I'm pretty sure I had an insecure attachment to my dad. He wasn't around as much, and when he was, he alternated between being well-meaning, but distant on the one hand, and being raging, blaming, and vindictive on the other. I never knew what to expect. Mostly, I don't have much to do with him now, although he seems to have softened as he's aged.

So, maybe that history is why my relationships with male Ts are so much more charged. But, I'm still not clear about whether that is transference or attachment. Or maybe, it's both. I'm transferring from my dad, while also attaching. Which is scary and great.

I'm definitely not sure what to expect from men. Perhaps it's my transference from my dad that makes me half expect them to turn on me at any moment. But then the real experience, and my secure attachment history with my mom, maybe leads to me attaching anyway, under the right circumstances. Although, I also relate to your description about an attachment alternating between feeling great and feeling threatening. I think I feel that way with my wonderful supportive husband as well. I love him, and he's my home, but I half expect him to go out for milk one night, and never come back (because he's fed up with me).

Maybe I need to not think about it so much, and just let it unfold however it does in therapy. I think anyway that this discussion has resolved my main concern about framing things as transference. It felt invalidating because I was interpreting "transference" to mean: What you think is happening in therapy is pulled wholesale from your own pyche and has no bearing on the real relationship or experiences in therapy. That is what felt invalidating to me about it.

- P




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