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Re: Approximate relationships Ľ alexandra_k

Posted by Tamar on May 26, 2005, at 9:14:03

In reply to Re: Approximate relationships Ľ Tamar, posted by alexandra_k on May 25, 2005, at 23:32:22

> > I wonder if all this is necessarily true. Is it true that to love freely means to want something back?
> I think so. At the very least it needs the love to be reciprocated. Otherwise it would die. Therapy wouldn't work out very well if our therapists needed us to love them as we need them to love us. It would be reciprocal - but it wouldn't be therapy.

HmmÖ I think of the way I love my students, and I think I love them freely, without expecting them to reciprocate. Itís nice if they like me, and if they work hard, but Iíve had students who didnít work hard and I still loved them. Even when one or two students havenít liked me much Iíve usually liked them. Some of them are a pain in the *ss, but I still love them. And my students are adults; many of them are older than me.

> To love you want to spend time with the person. Tell them stuff. Whats on your mind. Whats worrying you. But t's aren't supposed to do that. The love they show is limited...

Well, certainly I have more freedom to be myself with my students than a T has with clients. But Iím also somewhat limited; I wouldnít expect to be telling them much about my private life. However, we can talk about things that arenít too personal, and it doesnít seem to stop me feeling love for them. And love always has limits, in all relationships, doesnít it?

> > I loved Reneeís Story, at the end of the chapter. And I think itís significant that Lott says Renee Ďcould safely allow herself the vulnerability of loving him and feeling loved.í
> I worry about that sense of 'feeling loved'. One feels loved because of the nature of the therapy relationship. They are supposed to focus on you for that time. Emotionally hold you etc. But RL isn't like that... It is more reciprocal. I worry that therapy teaches us the wrong messages about the nature of love and caring and about the nature of human relationships.
> I worry that it fosters desires along the lines of the golden fantasy. That once those desires are fostered all you have done is made that person dependent on therapy relationships to get those desires met.
> I'm not sure whether it is good for RL relationships... I'm not sure...

Yes, that is a hard question. Maybe it works through a combination of the relationship and the subject matter.

> > Is feeling loved also an approximation? I guess it must be... so why doesnít it *feel* like an approximation?
> Whether it is an approximation of love or not kind of depends on how one defines love - I would say.
> Can you buy love?
> Can you buy the 'love' of a therapist?
> I would say 'no' to the first and 'yes' to the second. IMO therapy would therefore be an approximation of love.

Iím not sure Iíd say yes even to the second. Iím not convinced that feeling loved by the therapist has much to do with paying a fee. I think itís about an emotional investment rather than a financial one. You can buy the services of a therapist but thereís no guarantee youíre going to feel loved (or be loved).

> Not that the feelings are any the less real...
> But just that RL love isn't one sided.
> It isn't in measured weekly doses.
> It isn't dependent on the payment of a fee.

Well, itís certainly true that the feelings are just as real in therapy as IRL. Iíve been thinking a bit about the one-sidedness or inequality that people point to in therapy and Iím curious about the possibility of thinking of it in terms of a petit diffťrend (are you interested in Lyotard?)...




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