Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | List of forums | Search | FAQ

Counter-transference : a novel /

Posted by fallsfall on October 21, 2005, at 18:00:36

I don't even know where to start.

A little while ago I had an interaction with a Babble friend that didn't go so well. I've apologized and have been forgiven and all is OK now. But I told my therapist about it (since it is an instance of a pattern that we have seen before).

His reaction felt really critical to me. Now, those of you who have been reading this board for a while know that this is one of my transference things - I hear people being critical when they really aren't. So I went in the next session (this past Monday) ready to talk about the "critical" transference. I talked for about 5 minutes about how I had perceived the session when he interrupted me.

He spent the rest of the session explaining what had happened the previous time. He agreed that he had been critical. He said that it was counter-transference (this is the second time he has admitted to counter-transference, and the first was quite minor). Years ago he worked in a psych hospital and what I was talking about was bringing back memories of how that hospital worked, and how it didn't work. I understand the similarity between what he experienced at the hospital and what I am describing. Clearly something didn't go well at the hospital, because he wants nothing to do with this particular situation.

The problem occurs when there is group discussion about someone's therapy - like here on Babble. As he describes it, it is like there are other people in the room with us. He finds that there is privacy missing that he thinks is important. He gets really defensive when someone comments on what someone else's therapist meant about something. "How do you know what her therapist meant? You weren't there in the room." "You don't know what her therapist is trying to do. Even though you think that you are helping the therapist, you don't know what the therapist's plan is, so you might be getting in the way."

He has always been defensive about this, and we had quite a disagreement in the beginning about Babble. I finally stopped talking about it so much, and then started posting less so it isn't such a problem anymore. He gets upset when I get into "He said... She said...". Both when I am talking about other people's therapy and when I tell him that I've been talking about mine. He clearly doesn't want my therapy discussed with a group of people. He does say that it can be valuable in instances where therapists are breaking boundaries - he can see the value there. But how can you tell if you are in that situation until you start talking about it?

I know that he does have a valid point. Today he talked about how it would be the same if a therapist did supervision in a group. The therapist would come back and it would seem like they were different - it would be confusing as to what the therapist thought and what the group was saying through the therapist. I know that this is true. My first therapist did supervision in a group. And when she talked about my case, it was hard to figure out how to deal with her because what she was saying wasn't really coming from her. So I know that my current therapist has a point. And I do want to do therapy in a productive way (which probably includes trying to not confuse my therapist).

So I left the session on Monday understanding that his reaction had been counter-transference. I know this happens. He really is good about keeping his own stuff out of my sessions. I was glad that he explained it to me. I was a little surprised that it wasn't my familiar critical transference. I don't think I started to *react* to what he was saying until I left on Monday. Then I got confused, and then angry. Something about having to worry about his problems as well as my own.

But I decided that I wouldn't talk about my therapy. Clearly he didn't want me to. So I told my friends that I didn't want to "dilute" what was going on in therapy, which they accepted. I figured that I would see what happened if I didn't talk about it. First, I got pretty anxious about what was happening in therapy. I didn't really understand what I was feeling (and I still don't), and usually I figure that out by talking to people. But I couldn't talk to people. It was uncomfortable enough that I considered calling him (if he wouldn't let me talk to other people, then he'd have to help me himself), but I decided that this wasn't an emergency, and that he would just say "Well, we can talk about it on Thursday". So I never did figure out what I was feeling because I buried it.

That's enough for Chapter 1. I'll write more maybe later tonight.




Post a new follow-up

Your message only Include above post

Notify the administrators

They will then review this post with the posting guidelines in mind.

To contact them about something other than this post, please use this form instead.


Start a new thread

Google www
Search options and examples
[amazon] for

This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | FAQ
Psycho-Babble Psychology | Framed

poster:fallsfall thread:570043