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Very partial response... Girlnterrupted78

Posted by Racer on September 10, 2007, at 16:41:39

In reply to Re: Frustrated and unhappy with T Racer, posted by Girlnterrupted78 on September 10, 2007, at 4:58:10

I'm sorry -- I didn't sleep well last night, and don't have the energy today to give you a full response. I really will try to finish my thoughts later, but it's more likely to be tomorrow.

> > Answer: yes, it's possible to project without realizing you're doing it -- in fact, that's pretty much the definition of this kind of projection. If you knew you were doing it, you probably wouldn't be doing it.
> I still don't understand it. I've been specific about the things that bother me about this T. I've said she gets easily annoyed when something goes beyond her comfort zone,
> So what would be the projection here? Could it be that she is not annoyed and that it's just my imagination?

What I meant is that when you -- the generic 'you,' or one, rather than you specifically -- attribute emotional states or reactions to others, it's not necessarily their actual states you're responding to. Often, you're "projecting" something onto them.

Is it "just your imagination?" I don't think of it that way at all. You're applying one interpretation to her behavior, based on a lot of things in your history, experience, emotional reality, psychological make up, etc. None of that is imaginary -- it's all any of us has, and we all do it. What I am saying, though, is that it's not necessarily based on your T's actual experience.

Here's a link to the Wikipedia article about it:

I don't know if you've taken any psych classes, but a lot of the words and phrases used in formal psychology are easy to misinterpret. "Defense mechanism" sounds remarkably like phrases used in common speech to imply someone is "being defensive." The two are very different, though. Being defensive can be a defense mechanism, but it's not a synonym. Here's a quote from another Wikipedia article about defense mechanisms:
"Are they pathological?

Defence mechanisms are helpful and, if used in a proper manner, are healthy. However, if misused, the defence mechanisms may also be unhealthy"

(I just want to be clear here that I'm not saying that projection is "bad." There are a lot of examples where projection is the most adaptive reaction to a situation, where it's very positive.)

Since we can't see your T's face, or watch her body language, we can only go by our own experiences in responding to your posts. To me, based on my own background, psychological make up, etc, some of what you've described of your T's behavior has a very different interpretation than the one you attribute to it. Maybe you're right, maybe I'm right, maybe neither of us are anywhere near the mark. But often, the same events look very different to different people.

As for transference, that's complicated. There's a Wikipedia article on it, but again -- I suspect it's easy to interpret it as negative.

Transference in therapy is very often a very good thing. There is also negative transference in therapy, where we transfer negative aspects of a previous relationship to the therapist -- and from what you've written, it sounds as though you may be experiencing that with this therapist. It's not that your therapist reminds you of your stepmother -- only that you may have "transfered" certain aspects of the relationship into the therapy.

Overall, though, the only thing I've read here that raised any concerns on my part was something (can't remember what) that made me think she may not have a huge amount of experience. Doesn't mean she's bad, just means maybe she may not have a lot of experience. And I could be wrong. There was something you recounted that sounded to me as though she may have gotten a consult with another T -- which is actually a good thing, since it would mean she's trying to improve her interactions with you.

Anyway, I hope that makes what I was trying to say a little clearer. I'd also like to reiterate something I think may not have been clear earlier: I have had very bad experiences with Ts. I don't think it's possible to work with any T who walks into the room. Heck -- I've spent thousands of dollars over the years going to initial appointments with Ts looking for the right fit. You're not in a position to do that right now, I know, but it may be possible to transfer to another T within the agency. You may find a better fit. (Remember, though: it may actually be worse... I speak from experience.) All I'm trying to say in all of this is that it may not be that your T is a terrible person, it may just be that you're not a good fit together. Just trying to show another point of view, apparently rather clumsily.

I hope that's clearer.




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