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Re: Therapist problems shelliR

Posted by Marie1 on July 22, 2001, at 19:32:35

In reply to Re: Therapist problems Marie1, posted by shelliR on July 22, 2001, at 0:22:20

Hi, Shelli.
You know, this isn't easy - I'm having to really think here, something I try to avoid whenever possible! < g >
I don't think I've been entirely honest with myself about my childhood. On the surface, I'd have said to anyone who asked that it was normal, trauma-free. As a result of my depression and therapy, I'm realizing a lot of my perceptions are actually skewed. I did not have a happy childhood. My pdoc says that I don't think *I* matter, a message I think I got as a kid. No, my mother didn't protect us from my dad's tirades - she didn't know how. I was close to her, yes, but really she was as much a victim as we were. We didn't think of it as abuse, because there were no scars that showed.
There seems to be a recurring theme here- childhoods full of bad parenting. Just look at how devastating the consequences. I never, until now, thought the longing I felt after being with my pdoc had anything at all to do with filling a hole in my heart. But maybe think that's what it is. My sibs wouldn't all agree with my take on our childhood; all but one (out of 7) probably hated my dad more often than they felt anything else for him. One sister was a heroin addict for years, another brother killed himself at the age of 32. I'll let these actions speak for themselves.
Shelli, I wanted to write back to you ASAP, because the thread was interesting and I didn't want it to die. But I really can't do this anymore right now. It's bumming me out and I can't be introspective at the moment. Later.

Marie

> Hi Marie.
>
> > > > > > . . . I think it's very interesting that you have experienced attachment with all your therapists, some before you really knew them. Maybe because you went into the therapy with expectations of this (the attachment) happening? < < < < < <
>
> No, at least not consciously. As I have gotten older, I have not expected that and have been surprised and felt humiliated that it was still happening. At one point I set up a consultation with a psychiatrist to find out why I continued after all these years of therapy to have their projections on to my therapists. She's the medical directer of the unit that I go into in the hospital, the unit which deals with trauma, abuse, and dissociative disorders, but that was before I had ever gone into that hospital.
>
> That consultation had a huge impact on me. She asked me if I had ever grieved for what happened to me as a child. At that time I didn't even know what she meant and told her so. She said, "I mean, have you really let yourself feel anger and sadness about the things that happened to you as a child, and the fact that you were not protected." And I absolutely hadn't, and she seemed to be saying that is what I needed to do to let go of that longing. Both the anger and sadness have been very very difficult for me to feel, partly because I am so dissociative and have so few memories. But she gave me a path. I taped the session and transcribed it, so that is partly why it is still so vivid to me.
>
> > > > >And btw, I did not have a positive, nurturing relationship with my own father. He was very verbally and emotionally abusive to the whole family.) < < < <
>
> What about your mother? Were you close to her? I'm trying to figure out if the longing that we are talking about is related to the mother/child relationship (because that's my sense). Like is it possible that the longing comes out of the fact that your mother did not protect you from your father's verbal and emotional abuse? Or do you have a sense that it has more to do with what you were not given by your father?
>
> > > >I think I have a problem with the whole concept of transfering affection felt for someone else to your therapist. Although in your case, that must be what's happening, especially if you develop your feelings so early on. Hmmm...< < <
>
> I don't see it as transfering affection felt for someone else to my therapist. I see it as a more primal and universal than that. Sort of like trying to fill a hole inside, or heal a wound. At a very early age I shut my mother out--I think it was to protect me from feeling the hurt of rejection. I don't remember "wanting" anything from my mother or feeling affection. I think the tie was broken very very early for me.
>
> > I can also thoroughly relate to your "ache", or longing feeling. It's sort of bittersweet. I try to hold on to the feelings I have for my therapist as long as I can after my weekly session with him, but as the week goes on the almost euphoric feelings get replaced with a sort of sadness when I think of him. I hate that, because it makes me feel dissatisfied with the rest of my life when I'm not with him. Ohh...that really sounds pathological, doesn't it?
>
> Bittersweet is a wonderful description of it. Thanks. I don't know about pathological, but it certainly sounds like transference to me < g >.
>
> > > > > OK, so having written this, I think I've sorted things out somewhat. I don't think I can really make up my mind on the credibility of "transference" based on only one experience with a therapist. < < <
>
> The use of the word "transference" probably has as many nuances as love. So there are degrees of transference and different types of transference. For example, I have never experienced rage in therapy that is so often written about in relation to borderline personality. Actually, I have a theory about that, but I won't get into it here.
>
> > So do you think having "issues" stemming from childhood are a pre-requisite for feelings of transference?
>
> Yea, I really do. I have a close friend who is a psychologist/therapist and she says that the *majority* of her clients do not have abusive childhood (just neurotic) , and that they do not develop an intense transference towards her. Her clients as a whole (but not always) are in therapy a much shorter time, with less intense issues.
>
> take care, Shelli


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