Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 254858

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Now about those tranferences......

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 27, 2003, at 19:42:57

No-one has posted on this board for about 10 days, so I'm going to start up again with- how could you guess- TRANSFERENCES. I hope that Morgen, fallsfall, stebby, Still Hurting, Dinah, Judy1 and, hopefully, many others will contribute!

Everyone seems to have different things which are particularly hard to deal with when it comes to transferences. I feel safe, and can communicate openly and fully, when I am feeling loving. The part that is extremely hard for me is when I feel full of rage and hate for my analyst: I don't know why these feelings come up with such intensity, other than that they really belong to much earlier periods of my life. I feel so ashamed, and dread coming into his office; even worse, I start feeling sort of detached, and wonder why I am going there. For his part, he reiterates that he is asking ALL of me to be there, and that, for me to feel better, I need to accept these feelings just as he does. It sounds so reasonable when I am writing it , but it is SO hard to deal with when it is happening. It happened today in full force, and I still feel depressed and full of self-hatred because of it, although I am trying my best to enlarge my viewpoint so that I will be more self-accepting.

I have found the discussions on this topic so helpful- they have given me a lot more courage to just go in there and let whatever happens happen. I hope you will all continue to share your experiences here- I'm sure I'm not the only one who is counting on them!

Pfinstegg

 

Re: Now about those tranferences...... Pfinstegg

Posted by fallsfall on August 28, 2003, at 7:01:43

In reply to Now about those tranferences......, posted by Pfinstegg on August 27, 2003, at 19:42:57

What I find so interesting about transferences is that they are so individual.

You talk about anger and rage. I could never be angry at my therapist (maybe that would be too threatening for me). Except that I am angry at my old therapist, and that started on my last day with her - I never went back. Interesting?

My transference is more fearful. I'm afraid that he is angry, and afraid for what that means (that I am bad). Then I frantically try to make him happy.

I guess this just underscores that transferences do come from the patient - from whatever within the patient is important. It's all the same phenomena, but it is different for each of us.

 

Re: Now about those tranferences...... Pfinstegg

Posted by Dinah on August 28, 2003, at 7:25:29

In reply to Now about those tranferences......, posted by Pfinstegg on August 27, 2003, at 19:42:57

I'd rather turn my anger towards myself than get angry with my therapist. I feel like I need to protect my relationship with him at all costs. And when I get angry with people I tend to emotionally divorce them. I get scared I'll emotionally divorce him.

That being said, I do get angry with him from time to time. But I rarely think of my anger as transference. I usually just think he's done something stupid. Maybe I should open my mind to the possibility that transference is at work.

Nawwwwwww.... He's done something stupid, all right. (grin)

 

Re: Now about those tranferences...... Pfinstegg

Posted by Penny on August 28, 2003, at 9:04:09

In reply to Now about those tranferences......, posted by Pfinstegg on August 27, 2003, at 19:42:57

I have a hard time with getting angry with my therapist - as has been said, I tend to turn the anger inward. Or I don't recognize it as anger but as another emotion (usually sadness and fear) when the real driving force behind it is anger.

My former therapist told me that she felt I had a great deal of anger pent up inside of me (regarding my parents, according to her), but everytime I tried to get in touch with them, it would backfire on me and send me spiraling downward. I am finally starting to see how the anger is coming out in the other parts of my life - something will upset me and then (like last night) I will realize how very angry I really am at something completely different.

My current therapist said something to me early on that hurt me, and it probably made me angry, but, as Dinah said, I'm too concerned with trying to protect my relationship with her at all costs to actually allow myself to get angry with her. So, I internalized it and determined that it was my fault, that I shouldn't have been feeling that way. I left her office that day extremely upset. She, being as perceptive as she is, brought it up in our next session and when I finally told her what had upset me she explained how she didn't mean the comment the way I took it (which I knew she didn't anyway) and reminded me to be honest with her when she says things that upset me because she is human and she makes mistakes on occasion (though, I must admit, I don't see them very often!).

Well, what I want to say is I think it's good that you are able to get angry with your therapist, regardless of the root of your anger, and get it OUT THERE, and keep going to your therapist and actually deal with those feelings. That is extremely healthy.

Keep up the good work!

Take care.
P

 

Re: Now about those tranferences......

Posted by Rigby on August 28, 2003, at 10:02:51

In reply to Re: Now about those tranferences...... Pfinstegg, posted by Penny on August 28, 2003, at 9:04:09

Interesting thread! For me I think transference has been highly sexual. And the more I've been conscious of it being transference the more it's faded.

In terms of anger, I was really angry I think for mixed reasons: 1. I wasn't able to get my way--wasn't able to be sexual w/ this therapist and 2. I was able to get her to mess up her boundaries so on the one hand I was "happy" but on the other I was angry for her focus on her (legitimate anger, not transferred.)

I feel sort of "done" with transference? Could this be possible? How long does it last usually?

 

Re: Now about those tranferences...... Pfinstegg

Posted by stebby on August 28, 2003, at 10:18:47

In reply to Now about those tranferences......, posted by Pfinstegg on August 27, 2003, at 19:42:57

Hey Pfinstegg, Great to have you back! We have been posting over the last ten days under the thread "Why bother with therapy?" Check it out! I had wondered what happened to you and even worried about it ...now that is cyberspace transference! I'm finding that I am becoming attached to these people in cyberspace...that has to be transference popping up in another form. I mean, I don't even know who any of you are, yet I find myself thinking about how you are all doing. Is this really normal?

I haven't had the rage surface yet in the office like you describe, only outside the office. It sounds lke you need to get that out and your analyst wants you to do that. I do know what you mean when you ask yourself why you are going to the office to do that to yourself and also how you become detached. It must be very difficultto go through sessions like you describe.

The camping trip was good despite the rain and leaky air mattress. The boys had a greattime which makes it worthwile anytime.

Are you still feeling so depressed today?

 

Re: Now about those tranferences...... Pfinstegg

Posted by judy1 on August 28, 2003, at 13:14:20

In reply to Now about those tranferences......, posted by Pfinstegg on August 27, 2003, at 19:42:57

Actually I experience some very similar symptoms- when I begin to feel rage towards my psychiatrist (male) I begin to get very detached and often dissociate in his office. We both know what's going on (childhood abuse issues) and it's a big signal for him to back off. Interestingly I really don't do it to my female therapist, but that could be because I don't have as much emotional investment in her, and also the obvious fact of her being a woman. Since you don't know why you are having these feelings, it's important to discover the reason, and you do understand that when you feel detached- you are using that as a coping skill? Are you feeling shame because you feel anger towards your therapist or do you think the possibility exists that some part of you remembers why you feel rage? These are all things to look at in therapy, and to understand that your therapist is a professional and has probably been through the gamut of tranferences. Please take care- judy

 

Re: Now about those tranferences...... judy1

Posted by dissociative jane on August 28, 2003, at 16:46:08

In reply to Re: Now about those tranferences...... Pfinstegg, posted by judy1 on August 28, 2003, at 13:14:20

> Actually I experience some very similar symptoms- when I begin to feel rage towards my psychiatrist (male) I begin to get very detached and often dissociate in his office. We both know what's going on (childhood abuse issues) and it's a big signal for him to back off. Interestingly I really don't do it to my female therapist, but that could be because I don't have as much emotional investment in her, and also the obvious fact of her being a woman. Since you don't know why you are having these feelings, it's important to discover the reason, and you do understand that when you feel detached- you are using that as a coping skill? Are you feeling shame because you feel anger towards your therapist or do you think the possibility exists that some part of you remembers why you feel rage? These are all things to look at in therapy, and to understand that your therapist is a professional and has probably been through the gamut of tranferences. Please take care- judy

Judy,
Will you please tell me how you KNOW that you are dissociating in your pdocs office and exactly what you experience?


 

Re: Now about those tranferences......

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 28, 2003, at 20:57:11

In reply to Re: Now about those tranferences...... judy1, posted by dissociative jane on August 28, 2003, at 16:46:08

Oh -today my computer suddenly registered a week's worth of fascinating messages about therapy and transferences- and here I thought no-one was even posting!

It's great to hear all these thoughts. My analyst seems to be very eager for me to experience every possible feeling in his presence. He particularly likes it when I am able to feel close and loving and safe, whether it's sexually or more as a child. One time, during one of those loving times, he said, "it's a privilege to be your analyst". When these things happen, I think it fills in a little bit of that huge empty space I have inside- and that's what the tranference is really for. He wants me to feel that my hateful, rage-filled part is equally welcome and accepted- that's where I am really struggling to believe that it could be possible.

As to extra-curricular meetings- we both sing chorale music, and occasionally see each other at sing-alongs. I was very fearful about that, but told him I was just going to say hi. give a little wave, and go to the alto section. He laughed and said, "that should work well- I'm not an alto"

Pfinstegg

 

Re: Now about those tranferences......

Posted by Dinah on August 28, 2003, at 21:33:45

In reply to Re: Now about those tranferences......, posted by Pfinstegg on August 28, 2003, at 20:57:11

Oh, I do like your analyst!

And I congratulate you for being so mature about seeing him outside sessions. I can't stand seeing mine anywhere but in the therapy room.

I mean, it's not like I don't want him to have a life outside therapy. I wish him all the best. I just don't want to be part of it, or privy to it, or even run across it accidentally.

 

Re: P.S. Are you hitting your refresh button? (nm) Pfinstegg

Posted by Dinah on August 28, 2003, at 21:34:38

In reply to Re: Now about those tranferences......, posted by Pfinstegg on August 28, 2003, at 20:57:11

 

Re: P.S. Are you hitting your refresh button? Dinah

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 28, 2003, at 21:39:49

In reply to Re: P.S. Are you hitting your refresh button? (nm) Pfinstegg, posted by Dinah on August 28, 2003, at 21:34:38

Says she, showing her ignorance, where (and what) is the refresh button?

Pfinstegg

 

Re: Now about those tranferences...... Pfinstegg

Posted by Penny on August 29, 2003, at 9:56:58

In reply to Re: Now about those tranferences......, posted by Pfinstegg on August 28, 2003, at 20:57:11

Yes - I agree with Dinah, what a wonderful analyst you have! And a sense of humor to boot.

The area where I live isn't very large, so I wonder sometimes if I will ever run into my therapist. I know she does bird watching things, so I'm sure that if I ever decided to participate in such events (which I have thought about) I would run the risk of running into her. And that would be a little weird, but okay I think. Would definitely have to keep a clear boundary, however.

But I will probably never go to bird watching things just for that reason. That's her thing, and I don't want to intrude upon her space.

Good for you for working on really expressing your feelings!

P

 

Re: Now about those tranferences......

Posted by judy1 on August 29, 2003, at 17:56:49

In reply to Re: Now about those tranferences...... judy1, posted by dissociative jane on August 28, 2003, at 16:46:08

Judy,
Will you please tell me how you KNOW that you are dissociating in your pdocs office and exactly what you experience?

I feel like I'm going further and further away- sometimes like I'm outside my body and just observing (sometimes retreating to a safe place that I've always had), other times having no recollection of 'leaving'. Since I've done a lot of work on grounding myself, it doesn't happen as much as it used to. If I do in fact 'lose time', I depend on my psychiatrist to tell me what happened. It's all pretty frightening- do you have the same kind of experiences?
take care, judy


 

Re: Now about those dissociations.....

Posted by Dinah on August 29, 2003, at 21:29:27

In reply to Re: Now about those tranferences......, posted by judy1 on August 29, 2003, at 17:56:49

I call it "whooshing". It feels like one of those places in the movie where the camera quickly pans out and everything looks distorted. I don't do it so often anymore.

And I have other ways of dissociating too. It's my favorite coping mechanism, so I've got quite an impressive collection.

I most often just blank out. I might even be answering him, or I might be "staring at dancing angels only I can see" (as he puts it). But my mind just goes blank and I don't really take in what he's saying anymore.

We're trying to work on at least my being able to communicate to him what's happening when it's happening. And he's gotten pretty good at spotting it too.

Are you unaware when you're dissociating, Jane?

 

Re: Now about those dissociations...... judy1

Posted by stebby on August 30, 2003, at 21:03:19

In reply to Re: Now about those tranferences......, posted by judy1 on August 29, 2003, at 17:56:49

I think I dissociated a couple of months ago during a session. My therpist was asking me to describe the part of me that I want to keep from coming out and do so by cutting. It was so intense and before I knew what was happening, I was somewhere else. I couldn't speak and lost touch with my T for a couple of minutes. She then jumped in and changed the subject to get me out of that state. At first I barely heard her and it was a struggle to ome back to reality. The weird thing was that I had an incredible desire to cut afterwards. It was all so strange. I kept going back to "that place" for the next couple of days. Does that sound like dissociation?

 

Re: Now about those dissociations...... stebby

Posted by judy1 on August 31, 2003, at 11:55:36

In reply to Re: Now about those dissociations...... judy1, posted by stebby on August 30, 2003, at 21:03:19

It most definitely sounds like dissociation, and especially your description of getting triggered, then coping by dissociating, then coming back and wanting to use another coping skill- SI. It all sounds very familiar to me, so obviously there are a bunch of us out there who do the same kinds of things. It sounds like you have a good T if this only happens occasionally- or are you just now getting into the tough stuff? If that's the case, then you need to make sure you're safe first before you get into that- which means learning good grounding skills and mine recently did this- helped me create a safe place (in my mind) where I can still be mostly present but go to so I don't do anything to hurt myself. Also if you're able to come back within a few minutes, that really bodes well for any future work- sometimes it takes me considerably longer (like the entire hour) before I'm present again. Hope some of this helped and let us know your progress. take care, judy

 

Re: Now about those dissociations...... judy1

Posted by stebby on August 31, 2003, at 21:38:01

In reply to Re: Now about those dissociations...... stebby, posted by judy1 on August 31, 2003, at 11:55:36

Yes, I think we are just getting into some tough stuff. I don't think my T wants us to go there until I get the SI under control. It sounds like you have a history of SI? Do you still struggle with this? How long have you been in therapy?

 

Re: Now about those dissociations...... stebby

Posted by judy1 on September 4, 2003, at 13:19:39

In reply to Re: Now about those dissociations...... judy1, posted by stebby on August 31, 2003, at 21:38:01

> Yes, I think we are just getting into some tough stuff. I don't think my T wants us to go there until I get the SI under control. It sounds like you have a history of SI? Do you still struggle with this? How long have you been in therapy?

Yes, I do struggle with SI- especially when we get into deeper issues. I agree that your T should wait until you have other coping skills in place to prevent the SI- although I still resort to it on occasion (just not as seriously as I used to). I've been in therapy off and on (more off:-) for about 5 years, but I have a history of mental disorders that go back to early teen years (like 20 years ago!). How long have you been going? Are you feeling better now? I know how scary it is to delve into places you don't want to go (the reason for all my gaps in therapy), just make sure you feel strong enough to go there even if it takes a long time.
take care, judy

 

Re: Now about those tranferences......

Posted by HannahW on September 4, 2003, at 14:04:32

In reply to Now about those tranferences......, posted by Pfinstegg on August 27, 2003, at 19:42:57

Finding this board is a Godsend. Thank you to everyone for sharing so honestly. I've been trying to research the internet to find out why I'm such a freak for being obsessed with my pdoc. It wasn't until I found this board that I realized the word I was looking for is "transference." I always thought transference was just projecting a simple emotion (like anger) toward your therapist that you really feel for someone else. It is, but I didn't realize that it could also be more complicated and involve love or obsession.

I started seeing my pdoc 6 months ago, for medication adjustments only. (I was feeling depressed again.) Our appointments were always exclusively medical-related, but I began to develop this deep desire to know her. I'm still not totally convinced what I'm feeling is transference, because my situation is complicated by the fact that most of my friends are doctors, so I entered my pdoc's office for the first time with the general awareness that doctors are people that don't have their lives together any better than most people. (Sometimes on the contrary!) I found myself liking her as a person (and as an equal) and wishing we could be social. That feeling continued, and eventually I brought it up to her. She immediately said she couldn't do that, but when I pointed out that we hadn't entered into a therapeutic relationship, she said she'd consider it. A few days later, she called and told me she couldn't "change gears" even though we discussed that any social relationship would require an end to our professional relationship.

I continue to think of her as a person and not just a doctor, and since I'm exceptionally sensitive to the nonverbal responses of people, I feel like I see things like signs of an unhappy marriage when she talks about her husband. I'm always sort of "psychanalyzing" her back. Does anyone else do this?

Anyway, I don't in any way hold her on a pedestal or feel that she has any kind of "magic" over me. I can't say that I love her, because I'm aware that I barely know her. But I am obsessed with wanting to find out if we'd be as good a social match as I think we would.

After 6 months of fairly unsuccessful medication adjustments (those are hell!) she suggested that we start therapy. We've had one therapeutic session. It was a good session, but this feeling is intensifying, and it's bound to get worse. After reading about everyone's experiences, I know I'm going to have to discuss it with her, which almost makes me ill to think about. How mortifying!

Does anybody have any thoughts to share with me about whether this is classic transference, or whether there is some chance that my desire to know her is genuine?

Hannah

 

Re: Now about those tranferences...... HannahW

Posted by Dinah on September 4, 2003, at 16:02:48

In reply to Re: Now about those tranferences......, posted by HannahW on September 4, 2003, at 14:04:32

Hi Hannah. Welcome to Babble.

I think you can maybe answer your own question better than anyone. Is it usual for you to be so obsessed with being friends with someone? Even someone who you think you'd like? If this is way more intense than is normal for you, you might want to think about the possibility of transference. As you can see it's pretty common and nothing to be ashamed of.

But if it's pretty common for you to feel this way about a potential friend, then there's no reason to turn everything into transference.

Is this an unusual occurance for you?

Be glad she stuck to her boundaries if she's now doing therapy with you. She'd have had to refer you out if you had become friends. And having a terrific therapist is just as valuable as having a terrific friend. :)

Have you ever read "In Session" by Deborah Lott? It helped me a lot in figuring out the truth of what I felt for my therapist and normalizing those feelings.

Dinah

 

Re: Now about those dissociations...... judy1

Posted by stebby on September 4, 2003, at 19:22:52

In reply to Re: Now about those dissociations...... stebby, posted by judy1 on September 4, 2003, at 13:19:39

Thanks for the response. I have only been in therapy for a year and a half and have only been struggling with SI about as long (its pretty atypical for it to develop as an adult as I understand it). Anyway, its kind of like an addiction and I don't want to give it up. How did you or are you?

 

Re: Now about those tranferences...... HannahW

Posted by stebby on September 4, 2003, at 19:30:21

In reply to Re: Now about those tranferences......, posted by HannahW on September 4, 2003, at 14:04:32

It sure sounds like transference to me, and yes, it is mortifying to discuss. On the other hand, once you discuss it, it takes some of the power out of it, and it is quite common. I thought I was somekind of a freak until I came to this board and found so many others struggling with the same thing. There are somke recent threads here worth reading: "in love with therpist" and "why bother with therapy?" Dinah's suggestion for "In Session" is definitely worth it. Good luck and let us know what happens.

 

Re: Now about those dissociations...... stebby

Posted by judy1 on September 5, 2003, at 12:19:47

In reply to Re: Now about those dissociations...... judy1, posted by stebby on September 4, 2003, at 19:22:52

Actually I've done it since a teen, why do you think you picked it up recently? Did you know someone else who did? I understand how difficult it is to give up and why you don't want to, so that's why I emphasized that you need to develop other coping skills before you even start to give it up. I still do it occasionally if I'm really really stressed (but maybe 20% of the times I used to do it).
best of luck, judy

 

Re: Now about those dissociations...... judy1

Posted by stebby on September 6, 2003, at 20:28:54

In reply to Re: Now about those dissociations...... stebby, posted by judy1 on September 5, 2003, at 12:19:47

Thanks for your responses..Its a very strange story how I picked it up. You see, my pet often scratched me on the arm. I started to like the feeling of it and then ended up doing it myself...silly,silly me. Now I'm hooked, but its definitley improving. How about you?


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