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Re: Chapter 2. Communicating feelings. Dinah

Posted by Tamar on May 27, 2005, at 10:05:27

In reply to Chapter 2. Communicating feelings., posted by Dinah on May 26, 2005, at 19:13:46

> This one threw me a bit, because unlike most of the book, it was something outside my experience.
> When she said the relationship was the item that therapists and clients felt least comfortable discussing, except for sex, I was astonished. My therapist has always made it a perfectly ok topic. (Sex too, for that matter). Which is just as well, since it has taken up so much time. All of my issues seem to come up time and time again in the context of our relationship. All the work we're doing now is done with the backdrop of years and years of discussing our relationship in ways that these topics are already open and ready for exploration. I can't imagine a therapist being uncomfortable discussing the relationship. Or sex for that matter. I guess I'm spoiled there.

Well, I don't think my T was uncomfortable about it, but we never once discussed the relationship. He probably would have been prepared to if I'd ever raised it as a subject. And indeed, I tried to a few times, but never got very far. But it was a short term therapy, and I suspect he might not have wanted to emphasise the transference thing too much. A couple of times he suggested it might be hard for me to talk to a man about certain things, but actually I feel entirely comfortable with men, so I insisted his gender didn't made a difference to me. But that wasn't really about the relationship.

> How do therapists find out what their clients' real issues are if they don't talk about their relationship? Because I lie. Well, not really lie. But I don't think I'd walk in and say I'm an endless well of need. And he certainly would never notice it when I talk of my other relationships. He'd think I was sort of schizoid. So only by focussing on my relationship was he able to see that my pathology was more borderline than schizoid. Don't other therapies get stymied by that? If the relationship between the therapist and client isn't discussed?

Yeah, I think it does cause problems. In my case it should have been pretty obvious that I would find the relationship very important, and that I'd experience lots of transference, because of the stuff I was talking about. It hurt very much not to be able to talk about it. I wished so much that he would raise it, but since he didn't I assumed we could only talk about it if I brought it up, and I was just too embarrassed.

It's the only thing that I wish we'd done differently in the work we did together. I got a lot out of therapy, but I wonder if it would have been less painful (indeed, if it would be less painful now) if we could have talked about the relationship.

Sorry, I didn't mean to rant. It's a sensitive area for me.




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