Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 965065

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Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus

Posted by lucielu2 on October 12, 2010, at 18:57:45

In reply to Attachment vs. transference, posted by pegasus on October 8, 2010, at 9:47:41

This is such an important topic! In many therapies, the relationship *is* the therapy and mine has been like that. My transference initially was so intense, I had difficulty tolerating the attachment. (That's a really good book, by the way, and I like the way he writes.) Nonetheless, through his consistency and steadfast supportiveness, the attachment was able to form. At some point, I could both feel the attachment and begin to differentiate him from past figures. I used to tell him that when I was able to see him completely clearly, for himself, then I would be done with my therapy. I think I would amend this now, that if I can see him as he is and feel secure and nurtured by the attachment as it is, then I will have taken a big step forward.

 

Re: Some definitions

Posted by emmanuel98 on October 12, 2010, at 19:48:12

In reply to Re: Some definitions emmanuel98, posted by pegasus on October 12, 2010, at 9:51:01

The whole experience was so intense and painful that I still cry whenever I think about it. My p-doc is just very straight-forward and is meticulous about boundaries. He was never cruel though. I loved him so intensely, almost from the beginning (which is why I think of it as transference -- I barely knew him, was just blown away by someone being kind and compassionate to me) that I would profess my love all the time, always in tears. He would say, why does this make you sad? BEcause I don't love you in the same way?

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference lucielu2

Posted by emmanuel98 on October 12, 2010, at 19:52:55

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus, posted by lucielu2 on October 12, 2010, at 18:57:45

That's interesting. I used to say that too -- when I could accept my p-doc as just a therapist, I would be done. I came to accept that, but not entirely. I still get sad thinking that I can't be his friend or lover or daughter. I still find him unaccountably beautiful (he is 71 and his face is heavily lined). I am too attached and too intense and always have been. I tried quitting therapy last winter, as I didn't really have any more work to do with him (we had been seeing one another weekly for five years). We set an end date, made a med appointment for three months away. I was okay for a while, but by June I was begging to see him again.

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference emmanuel98

Posted by Dinah on October 12, 2010, at 20:06:56

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference lucielu2, posted by emmanuel98 on October 12, 2010, at 19:52:55

How often are you seeing him now?

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference

Posted by pegasus on October 13, 2010, at 12:21:29

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference lucielu2, posted by emmanuel98 on October 12, 2010, at 19:52:55

> That's interesting. I used to say that too -- when I could accept my p-doc as just a therapist, I would be done.

I think I know this feeling, but I'm not sure this is the same thing as what I experienced in my very attached previous therapy. I did come to see my T more clearly as an independent person throughout the therapy (and after). Which I think was a sign of progress of some sort for me. But the attachment didn't fade at all. Still hasn't 7 years later.

I think of it kind of like my relationship with my mother. I was/am attached to her (for better or worse). I figure I will always be attached, but as time goes on I can see her more and more clearly, as an independent person. I can appreciate her struggles and strengths more, and I also see more clearly, with less pain, exactly where she could have done better by me.

So, the latter stuff is happening outside of my attachment to her. But when I'm with her, I can still feel that intense sense of home that is the (healthy part of the) attachment. And that is helpful to me, and - yes - sometimes painful when I want comforting and she's not available in one way or another. That comfort is something I internalized more and more as I grew up, which is good. And yet, internalizing it doesn't make the attachment to her go away, I find. Moreover, it's not a part of my relationship with her that I want/expect to grow out of.

Is it reasonable to see a T relationship in a similar way? I mean, eventually I'll end therapy (or he'll end it for me like before), and it won't be like my mom where I can call her, or go visit, or even talk to other people who know and love her. And yet my experience of my old T is that I will *never* see him as just a therapist, however long my life goes on without any contact with him.

It's still such a tangle in my mind.

- P

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference Dinah

Posted by emmanuel98 on October 13, 2010, at 19:27:33

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference emmanuel98, posted by Dinah on October 12, 2010, at 20:06:56

> How often are you seeing him now?
>
> I started out at once a week because I had been hospitalized. But now I am down to once a month. I feel that part of the reason I became so depressed at the beginning of summer is that I hadn't really grieved this properly. I just said, I'm done, set a date to end, ended and then tried to push it aside. But seeing him every two months for meds was so painful because I would be reminded of what I had lost. I think I'm better now. I think I've gotten past the grief.

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus

Posted by emmanuel98 on October 13, 2010, at 19:35:37

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference, posted by pegasus on October 13, 2010, at 12:21:29

I don't think the attachment ever really ends when it's been so powerful and intense. My p-doc changed my life. I went through this profound process with him and he was steadfast and loving and supportive. I had no relationship with my parents and left home at 14, so this was really powerful to me and always will be. I can still get myself into a state thinking that he will retire and could get sick or die and I will never even know about it or be able to help care for him. I am not part of his real life, no matter how important he is to me. He used to say, when we were seeing one another every week that he probably spent more time with me than he did with close friends, that I mattered a lot to him, that seeing me grow and change was a gift, that he cared a lot for me and there was a way in which he loved me too. But still, in his non-professional life, I don't have any place at all. And that can make me so sad, especially when I think how old he is getting.

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference

Posted by Dinah on October 14, 2010, at 6:11:55

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus, posted by emmanuel98 on October 13, 2010, at 19:35:37

> I can still get myself into a state thinking that he will retire and could get sick or die and I will never even know about it or be able to help care for him. I am not part of his real life, no matter how important he is to me. He used to say, when we were seeing one another every week that he probably spent more time with me than he did with close friends, that I mattered a lot to him, that seeing me grow and change was a gift, that he cared a lot for me and there was a way in which he loved me too. But still, in his non-professional life, I don't have any place at all. And that can make me so sad, especially when I think how old he is getting.

I hate that part of the therapy arrangement. It seems so unnatural.

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference

Posted by pegasus on October 14, 2010, at 10:05:23

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus, posted by emmanuel98 on October 13, 2010, at 19:35:37

Yes. Exactly. That is exactly how I feel about my old T as well. I google him now and then, and I usually find some evidence that he is probably still alive and working. I still email him a brief message maybe once a year. He usually doesn't answer, unless I specifically ask him to. But it is reassuring when it doesn't bounce, at least.

I agree with Dinah that this part feels very unnatural. I wish I knew of a change to suggest that seems workable.

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus

Posted by Daisym on October 15, 2010, at 0:19:55

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference, posted by pegasus on October 14, 2010, at 10:05:23

Having just finished my PhD in this very subject (Psychology, specializing in attachment theory), can I make a suggestion? Consider thinking about transference and attachment as verbs instead of nouns.

I think there is general agreement that transference describes the way human beings approach situations - not just relationships. We take our previous experiences and make judgements based on those about the current situation. It would take too long otherwise, to figure out who or what was dangerous or not. And for sure there is positive as well as negative transference. Generally speaking, the idea is to not mess with positive transferences and perhaps unpack the negative ones to find the patterns that interfere with your life. To do it overtly in therapy is actually a great way to look at how you approach situations and people. Most people don't typically do something different in therapy (with regards to approach or reactions) than they do in "real" life. Calling your patterns "transference" doesn't make what is happening any less real or important.

Attachment is a whole different ball game, IMO. You have an attachment system that can get activated in therapy - but isn't always. Lots of CBT practitioners take care not to get the attachment going. They don't work with the relationship piece so it isn't central to the therapy. But all the factors that make up therapy often can really activate a person's attachment system. As the awareness of the feelings grow, the struggle of having needs and feelings for your therapist can either feel great, feel threatening or alternate somewhat. Folks who had at least one consistent caregiver typically have the ability to develop a secure attachment without a lot of trouble. It isn't terrifying - even if it might be sort of embarrassing. These people don't worry that the relationship will hurt them or the therapist.In fact, they know that being close can provide the security and support they need to change. The therapist is the ultimate "safe base" from which to explore.

People who lacked close early relationships consistently may avoid becoming attached and will fight themselves when they feel those "needy" feelings. They don't want the relationship and sometimes quit therapy if one begins to form. But they get by fine most of the time by relying on themselves They do not need a safe base. But if you've had inconsistent care-giving, your attachment system maybe chaotic and disorganized and the relationships you have, have to be earned. And they are earned through lots of painful pushing and pulling. You want to be cared for, you want to care but it feels as threatening as death. And once in the relationship, you sort of wait all the time for it to end or go bad. So a safe base is slow to form and then it is returned to again and again.

So I think the attachment piece is important because it tells us whether the relationship with the therapist is the vehicle of change or if it needs to be the main focus of the therapy. One of the hard things the research tells us is that a person can have different types of attachment in relationships. So a child (or client) can have a secure attachment with mom and an insecure attachment with dad. And can transfer either of these experiences into the new relationship.

I'm glad you like your new therapist and hope you do develop a strong relationship with him. You've demonstrated that you can form secure attachments - which is a gift.

I hope this long-winded post helps in some way.
Daisy

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference Daisym

Posted by twinleaf on October 15, 2010, at 9:12:23

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus, posted by Daisym on October 15, 2010, at 0:19:55

Hi Daisy! It's wonderful about your doctorate, and also wonderful to see you posting here. Will you change what you are doing - to therapy and/or research, or will you keep on doing what you were doing previously?

And thanks for the contribution on transference and attachment - it was very helpful to those of us who struggle with attachment. I just think I've gotten an earned secure attachment, and then some unknown influence wrecks it, and I have to try all over again. These times do happen less often, though, and I also "carry him with me" much more easily during vacations. Do you think it's realistic to hope to get securely attached more permanently?

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference Daisym

Posted by pegasus on October 15, 2010, at 12:07:11

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus, posted by Daisym on October 15, 2010, at 0:19:55

Hi Daisy! I'm so glad that you weighed in. I know you are an expert in this area, in more ways than one, and I really value your comments.

I'm thinking that maybe I had a fairly secure attachment to my mom (perhaps leaning toward preoccupied/ambivalent attachment, due to her being so busy with other kids/jobs, and her own psychological distress). I'm pretty sure I had an insecure attachment to my dad. He wasn't around as much, and when he was, he alternated between being well-meaning, but distant on the one hand, and being raging, blaming, and vindictive on the other. I never knew what to expect. Mostly, I don't have much to do with him now, although he seems to have softened as he's aged.

So, maybe that history is why my relationships with male Ts are so much more charged. But, I'm still not clear about whether that is transference or attachment. Or maybe, it's both. I'm transferring from my dad, while also attaching. Which is scary and great.

I'm definitely not sure what to expect from men. Perhaps it's my transference from my dad that makes me half expect them to turn on me at any moment. But then the real experience, and my secure attachment history with my mom, maybe leads to me attaching anyway, under the right circumstances. Although, I also relate to your description about an attachment alternating between feeling great and feeling threatening. I think I feel that way with my wonderful supportive husband as well. I love him, and he's my home, but I half expect him to go out for milk one night, and never come back (because he's fed up with me).

Maybe I need to not think about it so much, and just let it unfold however it does in therapy. I think anyway that this discussion has resolved my main concern about framing things as transference. It felt invalidating because I was interpreting "transference" to mean: What you think is happening in therapy is pulled wholesale from your own pyche and has no bearing on the real relationship or experiences in therapy. That is what felt invalidating to me about it.

- P

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference twinleaf

Posted by Daisym on October 15, 2010, at 13:45:55

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference Daisym, posted by twinleaf on October 15, 2010, at 9:12:23

I guess I'm not sure that permanance is a goal...but more flexibility in relationships. Meaning, you will change and the other will change but you are secure in the knowledge that the relationship itself can withstand the change. So we all feel more or less connected at times but the underlying relationship allows for reconnection, or repair, if necessary. I think though that the usual unconscious (and sometimes very conscious) fears that we can destroy or be destroyed within the relationship can be tempered permanently.

I'm not really planning on doing anything differently right now. I love working with kids, even as hard as that is in California right now. I think the degree was sort of a "divorce therapy" project - something to keep me busy and productive.

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus

Posted by Daisym on October 15, 2010, at 13:55:38

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference Daisym, posted by pegasus on October 15, 2010, at 12:07:11

From what you described, I think you are talking about transference. These are the moment to moment feelings being brought into the relationship. I think attachment happens over time, describing the depth of the relationship and the quality of the connection. I think the name is unfortunate in some ways because it is so much more than whether you are "attached" (does that mean you can't pry yourself away?!) to someone.

I agree about the labels feeling invalidating. I've had many struggles with my own therapist when he uses the word "fantasy" or transference. He is super careful now and I'm less sensitive. But 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. I think therapists underestimate how much shame they can invoke during sessions, even sensitive caring therapists.

I often think of parents who say to children, "Oh, get up...that didn't hurt." How awful to be told how you feel by someone else! And how confusing. No wonder people don't talk about these things.

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference Daisym

Posted by Deneb on October 15, 2010, at 15:01:15

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus, posted by Daisym on October 15, 2010, at 0:19:55

Cool that you are doing your PhD in this! I have a question. Do you think this love I have for Dr. Bob is attachment or transference? Why? LOL

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference Daisym

Posted by lucielu2 on October 15, 2010, at 15:28:40

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus, posted by Daisym on October 15, 2010, at 0:19:55

Daisy, thanks so much for your eloquent post and clear explanations. This is something I've been struggling with all throughout therapy, and you may remember, I think, that my T is one of the "good guys." (He'd have to be, to put up with me for so many years...) For me, transference and attachment are not the same thing although they overlap and interrelate. Attachment has been a hard-won achievement that took several painful years, nearly 5-6 years before I even began to feel remotely secure in this relationship. My attachment pattern is much like what you described as the disorganized form, where dependency is both longed for and yet viewed as an extreme threat. I used to describe it to him as being drawn irrestistibly toward the sun but being in mortal dread of falling into it and being swallowed up by it. It was a recurring nightmare I had in the early days. I think my warm, genuine and normally easygoing T was sometimes shocked when I would look at him with such mistrust and dread. For me, then, it has been a great achievement to be able to see him for himself instead of superimposing my past experiences onto my current relationship with him. I struggled equally with positive and negative transference, both of which were intense and painful. I had a similar, long-standing problem with my H of 20+ years, who actually has stood beside me all these years. Yet I would often see him almost as a beast when my issues really got activated by some situation. My transference was so strong that I couldn't really see either man for who he really is for a long,long time. I remember moments of such triumph when the veils would part and I could see them each clearly! That was my struggle with transference.

Not surprisingly, a secure attachment with my T was hard to achieve while the transference was so strong. I really couldn't trust and therefore couldn't take in the nurturance others were offering me because it felt threatening to me. I would turn to my T in desperation and then run from him because vulnerability felt so dangerous. So another big achievement was to be able to feel and take in what my T (and H and others) were offering, so healthy attachment bonds could grow. Now I really feel a firm and secure attachment bond with my T, and that with my H is a lot less conflicted. I have learned some trust and have opened up more than I ever thought possible without therapy.

I am now in my 8th year with my T and not yet done, we are still working on my feeling more secure in relationships. But for me, being able to work through this relationship really was at the core of my therapy, as well as establishing such a close and loving bond with him. This was not only a goal, it was what got me through it. If it had been someone else, I just don't know if my therapy would have worked. I've had many T's before and nothing really took before this one. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into when I started - I wish I had a dollar for every time I told him "I just can't do this!" - but it was quite the most important journey I've ever taken.

My therapy is in the later stages now and I am still, in one form or another, trying to work out issues related to transference and attachment. If I see the relationship for what it really is, will its meaning to me change? Will it somehow be diminished or will it attain higher meaning? Can I now accept limitations that I couldn't accept before and dealt with previously only in fantasy, the sorts of things that Emmanuel has posted about? Can I let myself feel the full strength of a bond that inherently is like no other, for better or for worse, that we will ever have? Can I really finally trust what what is right in front of me and has been for all these years? And... what will it be like to move on? That last question is the million dollar one, and there's an entire universe full of things in it to be dealt with.

This has been a great thread to read. I can relate to so many of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Thank you, Peg, for starting these threads and being so open with your experiences in beginning a new therapy relationship. And I thank everyone else who has replied for contributing so many great insights and so much food for thought.

Lucie

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference lucielu2

Posted by Daisym on October 16, 2010, at 0:05:39

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference Daisym, posted by lucielu2 on October 15, 2010, at 15:28:40

*** Can I really finally trust what is right in front of me and has been for all these years?***

But has it really been right in front of you? More likely it wasn't - it was deeply buried. And not only that, but just as you've changed over the 8 years, so has your therapist. So your ability to accept caring and support from him is partially from the work you've done to take it in but it is also from the work he has done to offer it in different ways. As he grew to know you, he made himself more trust-worthy...if that makes sense. I think we build capacity together.

It sounds like you've done great work and you sound much happier. Good for you!

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference Daisym

Posted by lucielu2 on October 16, 2010, at 20:56:46

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference lucielu2, posted by Daisym on October 16, 2010, at 0:05:39

Interesting point, Daisy. I agree that it has been a co-construct. I wish T's would be more open about this. He does tend to play it as if all the progress was unilaterally achieved by me but that has always felt like party line to me. He has acknowledged that as he's gotten to know me, he's learned how to be a better T to me, how to address my needs. He has become more trustworthy by the way he has behaved over the years. And the more I have known him, the more I have trusted him. And he has learned that I too can be trusted. If he tells me something about himself, I will appreciate it and be helped rather than freak out over the self-disclosure. He knows I will continue to try to work hard in therapy, and even if the going gets rough I will still be there. We've learned each other's sensitivities. We've learned that we will each be there, week after week, in that room together working toward the same purpose.

So what was there all along that I did not always see, especially in the early days? His good will and commitment to me. That was right in front of me and yet I had difficulty seeing it.

I'm so glad you got your doctorate. This is such a fascinating area, and you've always brought so many great insights to this board. Congratulations on your new degree!

> But has it really been right in front of you? More likely it wasn't - it was deeply buried. And not only that, but just as you've changed over the 8 years, so has your therapist. So your ability to accept caring and support from him is partially from the work you've done to take it in but it is also from the work he has done to offer it in different ways. As he grew to know you, he made himself more trust-worthy...if that makes sense. I think we build capacity together.
>
> It sounds like you've done great work and you sound much happier. Good for you!

 

Re: Attachment vs. transference Daisym

Posted by pegasus on October 18, 2010, at 9:36:33

In reply to Re: Attachment vs. transference pegasus, posted by Daisym on October 15, 2010, at 13:55:38

> But 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.

Yes! It's especially confusing because transference happens in response to real relational interactions in therapy. So, my response may be what anyone would respond, and/or it may be something that is colored (to varying degrees) by my past relationships. I *hate* being told that something that seems to me such a resonable response in the moment is "transference." Without acknowledging that maybe anyone would respond in a similar way, so maybe it has more to do with the T at times.

Daisy, congrats on your Ph.D.! What a wonderful accomplishment, and it also sounds like also a very productive way to cope with your divorce.

- P

 

what my T says

Posted by pegasus on October 18, 2010, at 10:17:30

In reply to Attachment vs. transference, posted by pegasus on October 8, 2010, at 9:47:41

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

 

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.

Lucie

> 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

 

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

 

Re: more from my T about transference (long) pegasus

Posted by lucielu2 on October 22, 2010, at 16:43:37

In reply to more from my T about transference (long), posted by pegasus on October 21, 2010, at 11:52:55


The Buddhist perspective is an interesting one in the context of transference. Is your new T into mindfulness?

Nonetheless, it is still difficult to see how old clients getting back in touch with news fits into the transference mold. Did he have anything to say about that specifically?

Lucie

 

Re: more from my T about transference (long)

Posted by Daisym on October 22, 2010, at 23:04:53

In reply to more from my T about transference (long), posted by pegasus on October 21, 2010, at 11:52:55

Limited Education? OUCH! And I'm not sure he said anything we haven't said. My interpretation, without having been there, is that he believes if you understand transference and/or the transferencial process, you wouldn't have hurt feelings or feel shame when you hear the word applied to you. I personally think this is BS, because something being true doesn't make it not hurtful.

I'm always struck by discussions about transference because eventually they evolve to everyone acknowledging that some of the feelings "belong" to the here and now others "evolve" from previous, unprocess experiences. My therapist usually encourages me to think in terms of intensity - if the feelings feel more intense than they typically would, or I think they should - we try to figure out why. But I guess we usually do it without invoking the "T" word. I think I use it more than he does.

But it is very cool that your therapist is willing to engage in the discussion and he does acknowledge the spectrum of feelings that are in the room. I like that he said "both parties" since his previous experiences clearly influence how he sees things just like yours do.

Part of me wants to ask you about focusing on the process - and is that safer than focusing on the actual feelings - no matter what we call them? But I won't. :)

 

Re: more from my T about transference (long)

Posted by pegasus on October 25, 2010, at 11:18:53

In reply to Re: more from my T about transference (long) pegasus, posted by lucielu2 on October 22, 2010, at 16:43:37

He doesn't seem particularly into mindfulness. But then, I don't know him that well, yet.

I did ask about why an old client getting in touch was transference, and he said that explaining that would require a big discussion of transference theory. I declined for the time being. If we ever do have that discussion, I'll let you know his answer. I'm still curious.

- P


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