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Re: A book worth reading namaste

Posted by Pfinstegg on February 6, 2005, at 1:49:34

In reply to Re: A book worth reading, posted by namaste on February 5, 2005, at 22:25:56

About transference, the author mentioned how intense and extreme all the forms of it are. When clients have an idealizing transference, they HAVE to feel that the therapist is *perfect*, because that's what they feel they must have to survive and heal. But, inevitably, he/she isn't perfect; this leads to rage and despair, and a feeling that nothing can be done which will ever help. A particular form of transference that is seen in csa is a "traumatic transference", in which the therapist and the abuser become confused in the client's younger mind, leading to distrustfulness and outright fear reactions even to the steadiest and most empathic therapists. Over time, this can become a huge stress for them- they can feeldefeated despite their best efforts.

From the therapist's point of view, there is constant, rapid switching from love, idealization, utter dependence to rage, fearfulness and suspicion. She points out that the stress of these reactions to the therapist, plus the difficult commitment to listen to all the details of what is a horrible crime, can cause the therapist to become demoralized and "deskilled". Then he may resort to feeling that he needs to rescue his client- which he cannot do. She advises that, just as the client cannot recover alone from abuse, and needs an empathic therapist, the therapist needs a support system of his own, involving colleagues and supervisors. He needs to keep faith in the power of what he does the very best- listening empathically. She cautions that therapists who run over time, take lots of evening and weekend or vacation phone calls may be inviting burn-out in themselves, and may also be doing the client a disfavor- reinforcing her idea that she is helpless to take care of herself, when one of the goals of therapy is to restore her sense of faith and initiative in herself.
Well, that's about all I can remember at the moment! I have very intense transference feelings of every possible kind, and it was reassuring to me to read that it's expected in PTSD-csa. I think recommending the book was his way of letting me know that he knows he can handle it, and believes I can handle my part, too. It reinforced my confidence that we do have a strong therapeutic alliance, which is really helping me, despite all the daily storms I have!


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poster:Pfinstegg thread:453772
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/psycho/20050129/msgs/453859.html