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Re: Agonizing over T Relationships *trigger + ran MissK

Posted by twinleaf on January 13, 2008, at 13:04:16

In reply to Agonizing over T Relationships *trigger + rant*, posted by MissK on January 13, 2008, at 12:12:31

You make an excellent point. But there is another way to look at the pain and struggle many people experience in their relationships with their therapists. People bring their ways of being with other people into their therapy relationships, and then experience a different kind of response from the therapist than the ones they experienced originally with their families. Just this experiencing of a new way of being with another person can be very healing and transformative over time.

To give a hypothetical example: if someone has had cold, aloof parents, and has grown up to be anxious, depressed and lacking in self-confidence as a result, they will bring into therapy the expectation that, as the therapist becomes emotionally important to them, he or she will also become a source of hurt, pain and rejection, just as the parents were. Often, it takes years of finding out, over and over again, that the therapist is NOT like the parents, and will not be hurtful or rejecting. In our rational minds, we know from the outset that our therapists are well-intentioned, empathic and interested in our well-being. But there are non-rational parts of our minds which do not know this, and need to have good experiences with a therapist over and over again. The pain which people often express here is often followed by feelings of greater trust and hope, as these feelings are discussed and worked through. This IS the real work of psychodynamic therapy. It can take a long time, but eventually, a person begins to have the therapist "inside"them. Then they can carry feelings of well-being and safety with them wherever they go, and they are ready to begin terminating.

This holds true for psychodynamic therapy, where transference feelings are encouraged and worked with. It's much less true for CBT and similiar types of therapy




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