Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 534787

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Lott: Question about recovering from transference

Posted by pinkeye on July 28, 2005, at 12:32:01

Hi Ms. Lott,

I have read your book, and found it to be of incredible value. It gave me such good points and validated so many feelings I had for my psychiatrist. It is an incredible work !! Thanks a lot for writing that.

A question I have in my mind is - How does one recover from intense transference towards their therapist? When for some reason you don't have the therapist to support you or work with you through your transference or if that help is inadequate? (For instance, when the therapist retires, or moves away, or when you move away). Even working with another therapist is not the same in those extreme transferences. How does one guide herself/himself through transference and work out of it?

Are there any special techniques, other than the obvious ones - talk about it, get support from other people? Many times, the transference is so extremely intense and painful (especially when it is romantic transference, and you don't have any contact with your therapist) and how does one guide herself/himself out of it?

 

Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference

Posted by LittleGirlLost on July 28, 2005, at 12:40:33

In reply to Lott: Question about recovering from transference, posted by pinkeye on July 28, 2005, at 12:32:01

> A question I have in my mind is - How does one recover from intense transference towards their therapist?

A very good question!

I've also wondered if it's possible for the transferense to be TOO intense. Is it a good/bad thing?

Thank you,
LGL

 

Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference

Posted by deborah anne lott on July 28, 2005, at 21:46:34

In reply to Lott: Question about recovering from transference, posted by pinkeye on July 28, 2005, at 12:32:01


This is probably the most difficult situation a client can go through. There are no easy answers so if it sounds like I'm offering an easy how-to, I don't mean to. I've been there myself (as I think you can tell from my book)and I'm convinced a client can use the experience for good in her life, but that is not denying that it can be very very painful. I think one thing the client has to do is stop fantasizing and telling herself that the romance is going to happen, or that the therapist is really one's soul mate, or that these incredible things he/she said in session meant that he/she really did love even though he denied it, or imagine meetings years later, or all the things we do when we have that intense yearning. When a therapist moves away or retires or even dies, the grief and loss are also real. It is okay to grieve and to recognize that something important has been lost. If the client, either alone or with the subsequent therapist, can trace the feelings back to earlier events in her life, and find the emotional thread of them -- that sometimes helps. What I mean is if a client can remember feeling that way as a child yearning for her mother's love or her father's attention, or whatever it was she didn't get -- that can sometimes help. If she can start to understand that the feelings reside in her, and that she has some power over them, rather than believing that they reside in him and that she is helpless to do anything but yearn and be unrequited.

The client must recognize that the person she is in love with probably does not exist -- what she saw of her therapist in the consulting room may be the very best of him, and there is a lot that she did not see. If you read the stories of the women in my book who actually had their fantasies fulfilled -- by having sex with their therapists -- you will see how quickly the love can go away when confronted with the harsh light of reality.

The client should try not to compare the therapist favorably with her spouse or significant other or potential significant others, or anyone else she's having a real relationship with. That's always counterproductive. She should try not to tell herself that everything in her life would be better if only he/she loved her. If fantasies of the therapist are filling a hole in the client's relationship life, she needs to try to figure out if there's a way to improve those real relationships or to find someone able to fulfill more of her needs.

I think probably the most important thing is to grieve if she needs to. She's got to accept the loss, and allow herself to feel it. She'll probably be grieving more than the loss of this transference love -- maybe all the losses of her life that she never got to grieve.

She also has to accept that maybe she'll always be a little bit in love with her therapist, but that this love can recede and doesn't preclude her loving others. She needs to try to take in and hold onto whatever actual good she got from the therapy. And it helps to realize that one is not alone -- many of us have been there -- if not with a therapist, with a teacher, or an older sibling's best friend, or someone else unavailable. The client should try to do whatever she can to be active, and pro-active, in her life rather than passive because I think passivity only increases that sense of helpless longing. The client should try to turn her love to someone who needs it -- maybe by volunteering at a homeless shelter or reading a book to kids once a week at the library, or doing something good for someone who will appreciate it.

What do others think about this? Any other suggestions?


> Hi Ms. Lott,
>
> I have read your book, and found it to be of incredible value. It gave me such good points and validated so many feelings I had for my psychiatrist. It is an incredible work !! Thanks a lot for writing that.
>
> A question I have in my mind is - How does one recover from intense transference towards their therapist? When for some reason you don't have the therapist to support you or work with you through your transference or if that help is inadequate? (For instance, when the therapist retires, or moves away, or when you move away). Even working with another therapist is not the same in those extreme transferences. How does one guide herself/himself through transference and work out of it?
>
> Are there any special techniques, other than the obvious ones - talk about it, get support from other people? Many times, the transference is so extremely intense and painful (especially when it is romantic transference, and you don't have any contact with your therapist) and how does one guide herself/himself out of it?

 

Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference

Posted by deborah anne lott on July 28, 2005, at 22:09:00

In reply to Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference, posted by LittleGirlLost on July 28, 2005, at 12:40:33

Little girl lost asks if intense transference is a "good or bad thing." I don't think it's inherently either -- it's always what you and your therapist are able to make of it. IF the therapist is encouraging the client to have unrealistic feelings by being seductive, or not directly talking about the client's feelings, etc., that is a bad thing. If the therapist is taking too much pleasure in being the object of the client's adoration, that is a bad thing. Intense transference is good if it becomes a gateway for the client's understanding herself in therapy, changing what she wants to change, and moving forward in her life outside the room. Intense transference that goes on for years and doesn't seem to be leading anywhere other than to more and more intense feelings doesn't seem very productive to me. But the client also has to take some responsibility for resolving it by being absolutely honest with the therapist about what she's feeling and how intense and scary it is. The worst situation, of course, is when the client tells the therapist, the therapist doesn't know how to handle it, the client can't leave the therapy because she has these intense feelings, and the cycle goes on and on . . . . As clients we may need to do our own work outside of therapy to try to understand why we have such intense feelings and what is really behind them. For some of us who had less than great parenting, we're going to have intense feelings in therapy -- there's no getting around it -- and we really need to try to understand what's going on and not just lose ourselves in those feelings. It's important to try to clarify whether the feelings are triggered by the situation -- its time-limits, the intimacy of the subjects discussed, our emotional vulnerability, or if the therapist is doing something to encourage them, like being seductive,etc. When I was first in college, I went into every class half-ready to fall in love with my male professor. Having had a very charismatic and dynamic father who had a psychotic break when I was 15 and never fully recovered, the situation of a male authority figure lecturing was already ripe with emotional and erotic possibility to me, and the acceptance of an authority figure seemed to promise something very symbolic. At the same time, I was ready to hate them and take them on for everything they said that didn't seem exactly right to me. And I always half-expected them to go crazy and turn on me. And of course, it being the 70s, a few teachers took me up on my willingness and we had "affairs" that always ended badly. Each time I fell in love with a professor I was SURE it was because HE was IT, HE WAS MY SOULMATE, THIS WASN'T LIKE THE OTHER TIMES, etc. I didn't see, as I see now, that this was my pattern, my need, and that given the least encouragement I would throw myself into love. (And usually out of it and into disappointment and even contempt.) Now I can often see my own students idealizing me, refusing to see that I'm just another lowly struggling, little-girl-lost human being. They need me to say the right thing, do the right thing to correct symbolically something that happened to them long ago. Sometimes these feelings motivate them to study harder, do better work, reach their potential. Then they can be a good thing. If I'm not careful, though, these feelings could also turn destructive. So it's up to me (and to them) to understand them and turn them into good. I guess though I'm more worried about people who can't feel anything, who can't muster any intensity about anything, than about people who feel too much. What does everyone else think?

 

Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference deborah anne lott

Posted by Susan47 on July 29, 2005, at 0:41:16

In reply to Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference, posted by deborah anne lott on July 28, 2005, at 21:46:34

I loved your book. After what I'd put myself through in therapy with my male T, your book helped me begin a recovery of sorts. I was able to get justifiably angry with my therapist, I was able to find a focus for the anger I'd been feeling at my own helplessness in therapy .. he was good-looking, he was attentive, kind, mannerly, and he looked at me once in a way that was pretty sexual. It really set me off; for a long, long time I went a bit nuts. I was angry with him and I didn't know how to express the anger, I didn't really even know for a long time where the anger came from. My deepest desire, for a long time, was to give him back some of that sexual behaviour I'd witnessed. And many of my issues center around my feelings of sexual inadequacy and sense of unattractiveness.
For the first time I knew I wasn't alone in my experience, and I was able to allow myself some forgiveness over my anxiety and anger towards my T.
I felt as though my T had stolen something from me when I "fell in love" with him. It was an emotionally devastating experience. I suffered feelings of sadness, anxiety, and rejection along with my "love" and the worst of it was that I could never truly express to this man how I felt about him because of course, ethically, he would have to reject me, yet it seems that therapy is set up in such a way that I became dependent on my therapist for the very thing that he could not possibly give me. And he either didn't understand that or didn't know how to tell me without destroying any self-esteem I had. (Not much) Male therapists need to fully know the effect and the power they do have, and women in therapy need to understand what they're vulnerable to. Your book is really valuable in that way. I wish I'd read it before I'd gone into therapy.
It's been a long while since I've read your book and I hope I don't sound too ignorant, I'm just going by memory. Haven't read the thread about your book, either. Please forgive me for that.

One thing you mentioned in this post I'm replying to, I'd like to address ...
Your statement that a client may have to accept that she may always be a little bit in love with her therapist .. well, that just doesn't seem helpful to someone like me. I really did believe I was in love with him and if I were to continue to believe that then it exacerbates the feelings of loss. I'm not sure it's helpful to think that the love we experience in therapy is real at all. Even today there are times when I'm convinced it's real, then it hurts .. but when I can feel a proper distance, the distance that the reality of the situation demands, then I know it can't possibly be love, other than the love I feel for anyone who's a kind, compassionate human being.

 

You are so very amazing Ms. Lott !!! deborah anne lott

Posted by pinkeye on July 29, 2005, at 13:58:18

In reply to Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference, posted by deborah anne lott on July 28, 2005, at 21:46:34

This reply is incredible.. You have such an insight and knowledge and way of communicating. I really am glad I read your book and you came here to participate. I always thought you were a therapist, and I am surprised that you are not !!

You do have wonderful insight. You should write many more books on transference and therapy and how to work on transference and heal the patients without hurting them etc.

I am sorry you went through a tough time getting your book published, but LOT of Extremely Good authors go through a very difficult time with their publishings initially. But little later, when it picks up, they end up with outstanding sales. I am 100 % confident, anybody who reads your book will realize what a piece of gem it is, and how great an author you are.

You should definitely write more books !!

You asked about our thoughts.. Here are some of my discoveries.. (from working through my own transference with my ex psychiatrist).

The first key thing that helps is to get a very understanding therapist who can guide you through this feelings. Luckily, I got a new therapist who was much more experienced and who could really understand the feelings, and could identify the roots of it as being my issues with my father. It was the first major step to healing - to identify the root cause of all the intense longing and desire for approval, and an older authority figure. The pain was so very intense, and I could never have made sense out of it myself without any help. I really thought it was all about my psychiatrist. I didn't even know I was abused by my father in a way which led me into this pattern. Discovering that was the first major step, and I couldn't have done it without help from a therapist.

After that, every time, my thoughts went to my psychiatrist, and longed for him, I started questioning the thoughts and feelings and was surprised to discover that almost all of it really was about my feelings for my dad - what I missed from him, how I got over dependant on my dad, how he always kept authority and approval over me etc. What I had longed for so intensely was some form of approval, that I was a decent human being and a woman, from a male authority figure, and to be shown some kind of sanctioning of my existence. And I had such rage, and anger at my father, and I didn't understand why in addition to all the intense longing I felt for my psychiatrist, I also felt simultaneously such hatred towards him sometimes, how I felt like screaming at him, how I felt like teaching him and protecting him, and saving him. I didn't understand that everything was about my dad. Slowly, after several sessions of redirecting my feelings towards the actual person (my dad) from my therapist, I began to start doing it for myself. It took a very long and hard and intense struggle to realize that and luckily I had always had some insight into myself, so that helped.

After that, the next big step came in realizing and recovering the problems with my dad. I began to replay all my childhood in my mind, and really kind of went through some of the thoughts I had in my mind about my dad, and started questioning his value as a person and a dad in my life. And I had held him in the status of God in my life. So the next step was to reduce his status from being a God to a mere human in my life. I started focussing more and more on his mistakes, and how outrageously he had acted throughout his life, and how he messed up my life.

After that, the final step was to approve myself as a worthy human being. Every time I had intense desire for approval from my psychiatrist, I started turning the feelings towards myself. All these years, I almost always waited for that one fine day, when my psychiatrist would finally tell me how good a person I really was, and that I was such a worthy human being and a good woman etc. And of course, he never did say that. And now, everytime I long for that one day, I tell myself whatever I wanted to hear from my psychiatrist - that I am such a good person, I am really worthy, and started somehow trying to unconditionally approve myself. Every time I long for approval from him, I now give it to myself, and that hugely reduces the intensity of the feelings.

So I would say, that the key to working out of it is what you have said - 1. Understanding what the feelings really are about. 2. Trying to go through the childhood and understand what happened and revise your life. 3. Correct it and give yourself what you missed and what you long for. Most of the times, it is not even love we long so badly for, it is some approval and sanctioning of us as human beings and as persons. Love is easy to find, but approval is the hardest - and the right way to go about is to give yourself the self approval you need.

This is what happened with me. I am sure everyone else has a different path to recovery. I am not there yet fully as well.

But really, every therapist (CBT or not) should go through a course on transference. It really would save lot of patients from going through such pain and hurt. I had to work extra hard, and go through extra pain, because there was no training on this.


>
> This is probably the most difficult situation a client can go through. There are no easy answers so if it sounds like I'm offering an easy how-to, I don't mean to. I've been there myself (as I think you can tell from my book)and I'm convinced a client can use the experience for good in her life, but that is not denying that it can be very very painful. I think one thing the client has to do is stop fantasizing and telling herself that the romance is going to happen, or that the therapist is really one's soul mate, or that these incredible things he/she said in session meant that he/she really did love even though he denied it, or imagine meetings years later, or all the things we do when we have that intense yearning. When a therapist moves away or retires or even dies, the grief and loss are also real. It is okay to grieve and to recognize that something important has been lost. If the client, either alone or with the subsequent therapist, can trace the feelings back to earlier events in her life, and find the emotional thread of them -- that sometimes helps. What I mean is if a client can remember feeling that way as a child yearning for her mother's love or her father's attention, or whatever it was she didn't get -- that can sometimes help. If she can start to understand that the feelings reside in her, and that she has some power over them, rather than believing that they reside in him and that she is helpless to do anything but yearn and be unrequited.
>
> The client must recognize that the person she is in love with probably does not exist -- what she saw of her therapist in the consulting room may be the very best of him, and there is a lot that she did not see. If you read the stories of the women in my book who actually had their fantasies fulfilled -- by having sex with their therapists -- you will see how quickly the love can go away when confronted with the harsh light of reality.
>
> The client should try not to compare the therapist favorably with her spouse or significant other or potential significant others, or anyone else she's having a real relationship with. That's always counterproductive. She should try not to tell herself that everything in her life would be better if only he/she loved her. If fantasies of the therapist are filling a hole in the client's relationship life, she needs to try to figure out if there's a way to improve those real relationships or to find someone able to fulfill more of her needs.
>
> I think probably the most important thing is to grieve if she needs to. She's got to accept the loss, and allow herself to feel it. She'll probably be grieving more than the loss of this transference love -- maybe all the losses of her life that she never got to grieve.
>
> She also has to accept that maybe she'll always be a little bit in love with her therapist, but that this love can recede and doesn't preclude her loving others. She needs to try to take in and hold onto whatever actual good she got from the therapy. And it helps to realize that one is not alone -- many of us have been there -- if not with a therapist, with a teacher, or an older sibling's best friend, or someone else unavailable. The client should try to do whatever she can to be active, and pro-active, in her life rather than passive because I think passivity only increases that sense of helpless longing. The client should try to turn her love to someone who needs it -- maybe by volunteering at a homeless shelter or reading a book to kids once a week at the library, or doing something good for someone who will appreciate it.
>
> What do others think about this? Any other suggestions?
>
>
>
>
> > Hi Ms. Lott,
> >
> > I have read your book, and found it to be of incredible value. It gave me such good points and validated so many feelings I had for my psychiatrist. It is an incredible work !! Thanks a lot for writing that.
> >
> > A question I have in my mind is - How does one recover from intense transference towards their therapist? When for some reason you don't have the therapist to support you or work with you through your transference or if that help is inadequate? (For instance, when the therapist retires, or moves away, or when you move away). Even working with another therapist is not the same in those extreme transferences. How does one guide herself/himself through transference and work out of it?
> >
> > Are there any special techniques, other than the obvious ones - talk about it, get support from other people? Many times, the transference is so extremely intense and painful (especially when it is romantic transference, and you don't have any contact with your therapist) and how does one guide herself/himself out of it?
>
>

 

Lott: Question about love??

Posted by LadyBug on July 29, 2005, at 14:49:07

In reply to Lott: Question about recovering from transference, posted by pinkeye on July 28, 2005, at 12:32:01

First of all I must say I love your book! I bought it when it first came out. It came at a time when I was struggling with understanding transference. I bought a copy for my therapist and she liked it as well. She shared it with her co-therapists.
Here's my question. What do you think of "Love" in the therapy relationship? If I love my therapist, is it ok to tell her? I have been seeing her for over 8 and a half years. We have a strong connection and work well together. A few weeks ago, she told me that she adored me, she loved me and cared for me and she wants me to know that without a doubt. I know she is trying to heal the little girl inside of me. My mom is bipolar and with each child born, she got sicker and sicker. I was #4 out of 5. I grew up without her EVER (not even once) giving me a hug or telling me she loved me. Of course I longed for that. I wanted to love her but it wasn't safe as she wasn't there for me.
So I'm asking you if this is appropriate to express in our relationship? We don't express it as love all the time. Other words are used as well such as regard, affection just to name a few. I know all about transference and this is not just that. I believe we do love each other. WE have worked together for many years.
I'd love to see you write another book. You are awesome. You book sits on my nightstand. I refer to it often.
Thank you for your book and for your time. Let us help you get another one out there!
LadyBug

 

recovering from transference deborah anne lott

Posted by messadivoce on July 29, 2005, at 19:04:47

In reply to Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference, posted by deborah anne lott on July 28, 2005, at 21:46:34

You're asking how I worked through this.

It took a LONG TIME. I was in agony the first 5 months. I missed him so much that I thought I didn't know how I was going to get on with my life. I would go to class and be sitting there and suddenly feel just incredibly sick from the pain of missing him.

It took lots of crying and writing, and being angry, and talking to my best friend (the only one who had the patience to listen to me talk about him 10,000 times) and trying to draw on the strength he had given me. He gave me lots courage and told me that I was strong, that I was courageous and smart and whatever happened in my life, I could get through it. It was the closeness of the connection we had in therapy that got me through. I can't imagine how much I'd still hurt if our relationship had ended on a negative note.

 

I forgot to add one more thing.. pinkeye

Posted by pinkeye on July 29, 2005, at 20:15:51

In reply to You are so very amazing Ms. Lott !!! deborah anne lott, posted by pinkeye on July 29, 2005, at 13:58:18

I forgot to add one final thing that I did - It was to realize, that I was as good a person as my psychiatrist was.

That really was a key thing in helping me overcome transference.

All along, I thought of him as being better than me, but then finally one day I realized it was not so. He was just as good as I am. And that was the real step forward.

 

Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference deborah anne lott

Posted by Susan47 on July 29, 2005, at 20:24:51

In reply to Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference, posted by deborah anne lott on July 28, 2005, at 22:09:00

I felt like you were speaking directly to me, Ms. Lott. I'm going to take your suggestions. My therapy was so very intense for me, I could write a book about just what you're describing.. the therapist not knowing how to handle it, the client feeling more and more intensely and unable to leave, my God even after he practically threw me out of the office I came back, again and again and was phoning again and again.. that poor man allowed the phone calls to continue for many weeks, at one point he said it was all right, then he whittled it down to two a day that he would listen to, he was trying so hard to get out of it, but the fact is that he really WAS enjoying the attention, to tell you honestly I know damn well he got off on it and my own opinion is that he most likely gets off on it from most of his female clients. I can also say that he has a large number of female clients, more than I've ever seen coming and going from any other therapist's office .. now that might be a misrepresentation, because I've only spent a minimal amount of time in there, but the time I have spent I'd say most of his clients were female.. but I suspect that's really just the way it is everywhere, women being women and men being mostly men ... oh, dear.

 

Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference deborah anne lott

Posted by Susan47 on July 29, 2005, at 20:36:56

In reply to Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference, posted by deborah anne lott on July 28, 2005, at 22:09:00

You said, "For some of us who had less than great parenting, we're going to have intense feelings in therapy -- there's no getting around it -- and we really need to try to understand what's going on and not just lose ourselves in those feelings." I encouraged myself to lose myself in those feelings! I actually thought my therapist could handle that, that he would be tough enough to say, "Enough b*llshit, madam, get it out there!" But instead that poor man chased his tail like a puppydog, takin my voice messages some of which were purposely seductive although always made under the influence of drugs, which he may not have known for awhile ... oh, dear. But I knew. I did know. I have so much to say and nobody's interested. But I think I know what to do .. if my transference is safely out of the picture, but it isn't, because I still shake like a leaf, my heart pounds in my chest, and I start to physically hurt when I'm in public and I'm afraid he might be around. But at the same time I need him around, I need to see him, to hear what he has to say .. but he never really ever did talk to me. That's a fact. He used to sit there and say, "What is it you want from me, I'm not sure what you're looking for ..." so terribly strange, I thought, to try and make me feel like I shouldn't be there, he's, I think, very CBT-oriented although he says he adjusts the therapy to fit the situation. But I suspect that really, his CBT skills are what he really believes in. They're an easy fallback, I'm sure, when things get tough. And I suspect he relies on that quite a lot. So he was saying CBT-like things when the situation SO DID NOT require that. He definitely did try to get me off his hands fairly early on, and I knew it, and it hurt deeply, but I pushed through it, I pushed ahead anyway with developing the feelings that had been brought to the surface .. I encouraged my own downfall.

 

Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference deborah anne lott

Posted by Susan47 on July 29, 2005, at 20:51:04

In reply to Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference, posted by deborah anne lott on July 28, 2005, at 22:09:00

You said this: "Having had a very charismatic and dynamic father who had a psychotic break when I was 15 and never fully recovered, the situation of a male authority figure lecturing was already ripe with emotional and erotic possibility to me, and the acceptance of an authority figure seemed to promise something very symbolic. At the same time, I was ready to hate them and take them on for everything they said that didn't seem exactly right to me. And I always half-expected them to go crazy and turn on me. "

Are you sure you're not me? My father had a traumatic breakdown when I was 18 that left him hospitalized and on electric shock therapy. He was and still is, extremely charismatic, loud, outspoken, unafraid and unintimidated and funny and smart and very well educated ... and your feelings, the way you describe the hating and taking them on and half-expecting them to go crazy and turn on you .. that is EXACTLY the way I felt about my ex-therapist, EXACTLY, you are an amazing woman. You really have done your homework, you really seem to know yourself....

 

Re: You are so very amazing Ms. Lott !!!

Posted by deborah anne lott on July 31, 2005, at 14:01:22

In reply to You are so very amazing Ms. Lott !!! deborah anne lott, posted by pinkeye on July 29, 2005, at 13:58:18

Pink Eye,
You are so very amazing!!! Your comments show that you have all the wisdom you would ever need to help yourself and your allies on this website. Just trust yourself. I love your words about giving yourself approval everytime you long for it to come from someone you've given away your power to -- we all need to remember that. Bravo!!!!

 

Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference

Posted by deborah anne lott on July 31, 2005, at 14:24:06

In reply to Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference deborah anne lott, posted by Susan47 on July 29, 2005, at 0:41:16

Hi Susan,
You commented that it isn't helpful to you to think of therapy love as being "real" or to consider that a client might always be a "little bit in love" with her therapist. I guess by a "little bit" I meant the way that I can still feel fondly towards the boy -- I can still see him clearly in my mind -- that I had a crush on -- in kindergarten. Lee A. he was blonde and tall and sweet and his voice reminded me of the voice of bunny rabbit on Captain Kangaroo. Waaaay too much information!!!! Anyway, I meant that kind of wistful nostalgia -- not fullblown pain. Whatever helps you to resolve your feelings and get past them is what's good for you. Everyone is different. I guess what I was trying to get at is that it might not be possible or healthy to feel nothing for someone you've loved. And a little bit of remembered love might not be so terrible that you have to run away from all your memories of what was good about the therapy. But the most important thing is to trust yourself and what you need to get on with your life.

 

Thank you Ms. Lott - but I am not able to recover. deborah anne lott

Posted by pinkeye on July 31, 2005, at 14:29:25

In reply to Re: You are so very amazing Ms. Lott !!!, posted by deborah anne lott on July 31, 2005, at 14:01:22

Thanks for your encouragement Ms. Lott.

But even after getting lots of insights, (both by working on it myself, and getting input from my therapist, and your book, and support of extremely good babblers here), I am still not able to recover from the pain.

And I even understand it is not really about my psychiatrist and that it is about my dad (I was abused by my dad in several ways - sexually, emotionally etc), and I find it impossible to recover from the longing and pain for some approval, and symbolically correcting the issues I had with my dad.

I understood from your book that you had learnt the things that you learnt first hand - by going through the pain yourself and recovering (and that is the best way of learning). Were you able to turn all your intellectual understanding to emotional healing for yourself? Is that possible Ms. Lott?


> Pink Eye,
> You are so very amazing!!! Your comments show that you have all the wisdom you would ever need to help yourself and your allies on this website. Just trust yourself. I love your words about giving yourself approval everytime you long for it to come from someone you've given away your power to -- we all need to remember that. Bravo!!!!

 

Re: Thank you Ms. Lott - but I am not able to recover.

Posted by rabidreader on July 31, 2005, at 19:29:38

In reply to Thank you Ms. Lott - but I am not able to recover. deborah anne lott, posted by pinkeye on July 31, 2005, at 14:29:25

I think for me it is just hard to think that this love and this pain will never go away, that I might never fully recover, as Pinkeye suggests. I don't want, five years from now, to be continuing this devastation. The pain has me in its grip right now, and even though you talk about letting it happen I want to violently push it away, it hurts too d*** much. It's har to remember that I do feel "wistful nostalgia" for past loves--this feels almost too life-threatening. I can't remember when I've felt so strongly...I guess this suggests there are layers to the grief and that it may have other, past, memories entangled in it. I wish I just knew that in six months or so I'll be okay. There are no guarentees, I know...

 

Loving your Therapist deborah anne lott

Posted by Susan47 on August 1, 2005, at 13:25:59

In reply to Re: Lott: Question about recovering from transference, posted by deborah anne lott on July 31, 2005, at 14:24:06

Thanks for posting me. It isn't actually the love that causes the pain, it's the grief of the not having. I think I was trying to say deny it, deny the love and it won't hurt.. but that isn't true. It's just a band-aid solution. It takes a long time to get to the wistful nostalgia stage, especially if you feel rejected, if you've had a bad termination. Love and termination in the therapy relationship just are not a good match unless you can resolve it properly. So in that case maybe it is better just to deny the love .. I mean, is a needy love a real love? It just seems to me that the client's love for the therapist is suffused with need, and therefore must be on some level an imitation of the real thing. I think maybe it can be argued either way depending on one's definition of love. I think it's really complicated. Whenever I've loved someone, unless it's my children, it's been unsuccessful. My own feeling is that I loved my therapist and he terminated me for my strong transference; that strikes at the heart of my inadequate feelings about my ability to love and be a love object. I hope I never get to the wistful nostalgia stage, because my own definition of love doesn't include neediness. I can only feel happy about loving someone when I don't feel I need something from them that can't be given. That's just what happens at a certain stage in therapy; if you've been cut off from your therapist at that stage ... before resolution... it's horrible.

 

Re: Loving your Therapist

Posted by Susan47 on August 1, 2005, at 13:59:35

In reply to Loving your Therapist deborah anne lott, posted by Susan47 on August 1, 2005, at 13:25:59

I said "I hope I never get to the wistful nostalgia stage, because my own definition of love doesn't include neediness", meaning with this therapist .. there's nothing real to be nostalgic about! So if I did get to that stage, it would be an imitation of the real thing, as was the needy love, IMO only.

 

Re: Loving your Therapist

Posted by deborah anne lott on August 2, 2005, at 12:02:30

In reply to Loving your Therapist deborah anne lott, posted by Susan47 on August 1, 2005, at 13:25:59

Being cut off without resolution does sound horrible. Perhaps your therapist just got scared. Can you try to think of this as a defect in him -- his inability to handle your need rather than something wrong with you? It's his job to be able to handle your need and help you resolve it. He failed you, you didn't fail. Are we supposed to be good quiet kids and not want too much so our therapists will love us??? Ay yi yi.

 

Re: Loving your Therapist deborah anne lott

Posted by pinkeye on August 2, 2005, at 17:49:59

In reply to Re: Loving your Therapist, posted by deborah anne lott on August 2, 2005, at 12:02:30

Same thing happened with me also Ms. Lott. Lots of therapists get frightened, and they terminate abruptly or leave the client in middle and cut off all contact, hoping that time will heal the clients, but it puts the client's mind through intense trauma.

In my case, I even told my ex psychiatrist, to please give me a litle gradual termination - to allow me to write once every 3 months for couple of more times. But he cut off completely abruptly. He just sent a mail one day saying he wants to be relieved, and I haven't heard back from him - not even a one liner email for the past 6 months. It is so traumatic, and I have had to pick myself up so very badly. He had his reasons perhaps. But I still wish he would have been more gentle with the termination. It was really really cruel and abrupt. I didn't have any clue that I was supposed to stop all contact. We had talked about termination some times, but I had mentioned that I wanted to keep in touch - atleast in a casual basis and he never objected to it.

I have been beating myself up trying to understand what I did wrong. I think he got very scared of my transference. And actually I wasn't even bugging him very much.

 

Pls. ignore my above post. pinkeye

Posted by pinkeye on August 2, 2005, at 18:19:29

In reply to Re: Loving your Therapist deborah anne lott, posted by pinkeye on August 2, 2005, at 17:49:59

Please ignore my above post Ms. Lott. There were lots of other things that I should mention for you to get the right picture, and what I just said seems kind of one sided view.

And besides, it was not even love on my part. It was just some sort of clinging I suppose for the most part, and I didn't like that feeling myself. I liked him as a person, but the extra dependancy was all becuase of my desperate needing of approval and nothing more.

 

Re: All/Ms. Lott: Restorative Justice/Love with T

Posted by allisonross on October 20, 2005, at 10:52:39

In reply to Re: Loving your Therapist deborah anne lott, posted by pinkeye on August 2, 2005, at 17:49:59

Hi, Ms. Lott: i intend to read your book! Would you read my story? www.psychiatricjournal.com...entitled: The Transcendent Child on Overcoming Verbal and Spiritual Abuse by Alice Carleton (published with the Ph.D.'s, no less!)

Also my website: www.churchabusepoetrytherapy.com....faith-based poems of anguish, healing, hope and comfort.....after being voted out of a 31-year church membership (what I know now, is legalism), because I got a divorce fter 31 years of abuse (consider myself an "expert' in verbal abuse---it is rampant on our planet, and rarely noticed)......my name was put up on a big screen in front of the church, followed by the words: CONDUCT UNBECOMING A CHILD OF GOD. i fought the spiritually abusive system for 18 months, to try and stop the pastor (of disaster) from 'counseling" any more women, because 2 of them wanted to commit suicide, because of his "counseling" skills.......I was called to a meeting of deacons (17 "men"), not allowed to have a woman present, and asked if i was 'still having sex with my ex." no boundaries! My therapist showed up to journey with me thru the debacle. he taught me the most valuable words I ever heard: RESTORATIVE JUSTICE--This is what you did---this is how it made me feel....so empowering to someone abused for a lifetime (except for 3 years in the army)....my therapist told me that it sounded as if "God was dictating the words of the poems to me." it has been a phenomenon; strangers from all ove the world; with the most healing, exquisite words to say to me about my website. I waited 2 years and wrote to everyone in that church --10 page letter! (restorative justice), and then requested the amount of $ I had to spend in therapy from the 'pastor"---a year later, the church's insurance company sent a "token" amount ...I fell in love with my t after over a year; I told him that if I had met him somewhere else, i would have been attracted to him, etc......only been attracted to a few men in my life; it happens rarely.....I told my t that he is me....in male form! He explained transference as......not some hidden, voo-doo thing that some people think it is (of course, there is the Fruedian transference), but as my T explained, we ALL experience transference; simply feelings we engender in each other, etc....anyway..........it is very painful to be in unrequited love (although there are many boundary "bendings' I am aware!!.....he decided after long discussions, that we could 'still do good work together" Thanks so much for reading this; I would tell you the whole story, but only in a private e-mail! Hugs, Alice (overcomer and wounded-healer). .P.S. I counsel abused women, because of my lifetime of experience and extensive research.......


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