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Re: Forever therapy Morgen

Posted by Dinah on July 21, 2003, at 9:58:02

In reply to Re: Forever therapy, posted by Morgen on July 21, 2003, at 2:01:26

As Fallsfall said, it sounds perfectly normal to me to develop a strong attachment to someone who is there for you week after week, listening as you share your deepest most intimate feelings. There's nothing wrong or pathological about that.

But if you've hidden it well, she might have been reluctant to bring it up. And the truth is that not *everyone* does get that attached to their therapist. It also may depend on her theoretical orientation. Someone who primarily practices cognitive behavior therapy, for example, doesn't pay as much attention to transference and the relationship between the therapist and the client.

I'd bring it up with her, admit to the anger, and to the gratitude for all the work you've done together. It's ok to feel both of those things. It's not even outside the realm of possibility that you feel a bit abandoned by her, even though it's you that's moving. Our deeper feelings aren't always logical. And that's ok. Especially if we talk them out.

I still don't know about transference. I think that traditionally it was feelings about the therapist that come from feelings we had for someone else in our lives. Other people define it more as any feelings for the therapist. The idea is that anything we feel for the therapist can't be "real" because the therapeutic situation isn't "real". We don't know that much about the therapist in real life, so most of what we feel for them is based on our fantasies of who they are. At least I think that's what a lot of therapists think.

But I think there's a bit of real attachment in there too. I know my therapist isn't just who he is in the therapy room. That's why I don't want to be his real life friend or anything. But isn't it possible to form a genuine attachment to the person who shows up each week? The part of the therapist that he/she presents each week? Is that really "merely" transference?




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