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Re: what my T says pegasus

Posted by lucielu2 on October 18, 2010, at 10:51:25

In reply to what my T says, posted by pegasus on October 18, 2010, at 10:17:30

Maybe we should be looking at transference more as a spectrum, as well as a process as Daisy suggested. Transference happens in every relationship. Close relationships may be apt to have more because they are deeper and more complex and involve more of one's self and emotions. At the other extreme might be transference that one might feel to another person without knowing them at all. In addition to therapeutic situations where that might occur (e.g. early on, or by design in a given type of therapy), we all know of someone who idealizes their child (my child wouldn't do that!)or partner or potential friend and we all think to ourselves, why can't he/she see what he/she is really like! Depending upon the particular relationship, the input of both parties, the length of association etc, the balance in therapy may lean one way or the other at any time.

I do think that T's tend to underestimate the extent to which we really know them, and may then not see the balance the same way we do. And sometimes they "retreat into transference," maybe when they themselves are feeling vulnerable and exposed or maybe when they see that the transference is getting in the way of therapy. Most (but not all) T's do not seem overly comfortable owning their contributions. It seems to me that they can flounder as much as the rest of us, despite their training. But when this happens, it is as if they were disavowing the relationship itself, which can feel insulting and hurtful. Like someone in your family suddenly saying to you, "you don't know me at ALL!" Not a statement meant to make you feel warm and fuzzy.

Just some rambling thoughts...

I don't know why your T thinks that former clients remaining in touch with him is transference, Peg. It certainly doesn't sound so to me either.


> We got into this a bit on Friday. I was going on about the pain of ending therapy with my old T, and wanting to know how it was supposed to happen, if it could happen the right way.
> My T described having long time clients from the past email him periodically to update him about their lives, and how he responded to that. Then he commented about that "transference". I said, "Why is that transference?" I was thinking that it sounded like they were communicating with him because of their attachment, not because of their transference.
> His response? "We'll have to talk about that next week." Of course.
> - P




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