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Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T lilmsbubbles07

Posted by fallsfall on February 7, 2004, at 10:35:43

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T, posted by lilmsbubbles07 on February 7, 2004, at 8:40:56

I have a different type of transference, but with what I experience it might be a little easier to see the process.

When I am in transference, I feel very strongly that my therapist is mad at me, unhappy with what I'm doing, annoyed, frustrated. This sends me into a panic, because part of my issues are that I always have to be "good" - otherwise I am evil and I should die. So I have a lot of incentive to try to stay "good". Sometimes I do or say something that could be not so good, but often when I get the feeling that my therapist is mad I can't see anything that I did that was wrong. So I frantically try to figure out what I did (and I can't), and I frantically try to do "good" things to make up for whatever bad thing it was that I did.

I experienced this with my first therapist. There was 4 or 5 months when I was convinced that she was mad at me (though she would deny being mad). Eventually, it was so painful that I switched therapists (that was a big deal for me - I was very dependent - but it relieved my suicidal desires, so I had to do it.) About 2 months after starting with my new therapist, I knew that I had fallen into the same transference with him. I was sure that he was mad at me and I started frantically trying to figure out how to make it all better. By this time I had learned more about transference, though. One of my biggest clues that it is a transference situation is that my emotions are way out of proportion to the situation at hand. I may have done a small thing (like tell him that I thought he was a jerk), and all of the sudden I'm feeling that he's so mad at me, and it feels like a matter of life and death (literally) to me. My new therapist has been able to help me, though. When we recognize this, we spend a lot of time talking about how I think he is feeling and he tells me how he really is feeling. I do trust that he is telling me the truth. The first time, I think it took 3 sessions for me to stop freaking out (I see him twice a week). But I was amazed that the same feeling I had about my first therapist that wouldn't go away, actually DID go away with my second therapist.

There have been a couple of times since then when I've fallen into that same transference trap, and he has helped me work out of it. Now, when I start to feel that he is mad I try to really look at it and see if there are other possible explanations - like asking him about it in my head, I try to see how else it could be explained. That keeps me from freaking until I can see him. Then we talk about it and I find that it really is OK.

I believe that the "I'm in love with my therapist" transference is similar in nature to my "My therapist is mad at me". Meaning that I think that it can be treated in the same way as mine is. But you HAVE to talk about it. And the longer you wait, the more entrenched the transference becomes and it gets harder and harder to work against. I think that the fact that I knew what transference I was looking for, and that I didn't have a lot of experience with my new therapist (i.e. it wasn't entrenched) allowed it to work so smoothly and cleanly.

So, yes, I think there is hope. But you HAVE to talk about it. ALL of it.




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