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more from my T about transference (long)

Posted by pegasus on October 21, 2010, at 11:52:55

In reply to Re: what my T says pegasus, posted by lucielu2 on October 18, 2010, at 10:51:25

We talked about transference in some depth this week. I should explain that his approach is more or less classical analysis, which is somewhat unusual these days (at least around here). So, he's pretty up front about discussing transference, in so many words.

Anyway, I told him these lines from Daisy's post, almost word for word, because they seemed so true to me:

"when you label something as sensitive as feelings, it is easy to make the client (or anyone) feel like 1) this isn't real so it doesn't matter or 2) they are a therapy cliche and that can be mortifying or 3) both."

His reply was that this was my limited education showing. (Whoa! Countertransference? And then I had a serious reaction/transference around this statement. Who is he to diss my education, which he knows precious little about at this point! But I kept all of that to myself for the time being.)

Anyway, he went on to say that transference happens all the times on both sides in all relationships. But not all moments of relating are tranference. The difference is that when they're transference, the reactions are arising out of less conscious sources. If you're more conscious of where your reactions come from, then you can have a bit more distance from them, and therefore more choice about how you respond. So, then you can have more transference-free moments of relating, which apparently feels really free and wonderful.

This sounds a lot like Buddhist teachings I've heard. So, maybe this type of therapy, and Buddhist meditation and other practices are getting at the same thing, from different methods. (BTW, I don't think my new T is Buddhist, but my old one was.)

I'll buy that definition. He did also admit that at times I may be reacting to something very real and unique in our relating, that is not tranference. So, that implies that non-transferential moments of relating can also come when there isn't any similar enough previous context from which to transfer old reactions.

We didn't discuss attachment. I'm guessing that he's going to try to frame attachment as a type of transference. But I think I'm going to disagree with that. I'm with Daisy that they seem to be different processes, although they certainly happen at the same time, in the same relationships. And perhaps it makes sense that the particular attachment style a person has may be a type of transference. Attachment itself seems to happen outside of transference.

If anyone read this far, thanks for sticking with me!

- P




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