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Re: I still love my therapist widget

Posted by violette on June 28, 2010, at 10:40:11

In reply to Re: I still love my therapist, posted by widget on June 28, 2010, at 3:12:37


Nice to hear back from you. I agree with everything Dinah just stated-different kinds of love, being able to love both your husband and T. I guess what got me thinking about your situation was that I had recently felt love feelings for my T; naturally (for me), I wanted to figure out what it all meant...and was just about to write a post about similar thoughts when I replied to your post. So I've been thinking about this particular topic alot recently.

When my T and I first got to know one another, we discussed different types of love in the context of an emotionally abusive former boyfriend, so some of my thoughts come from that understanding...

Your love for T may be mature-considering the time you've been with him, your attitude, etc, only you would know if that is the case. However, I think falling in love with anyone is more about feeling good about yourself than anything--which is why you feel euphoria feelings, btw--and is totally transference..for many reasons. So, I was trying to provoke you to investigate if you had the 'in love' feelings or mature love. Not that it is so cut and dry-but I think it makes a huge difference and you could be in the process of developing mature love for your T. And like Dinah said, it is possible to love your T and husband. I think that if you have a mature love with your husband, (it sounds firsthand that you do-but it could be that you still have unresolved issues that prevent a full, more mature love)-I think, after you figure this all out, that you will be ok accepting your love for T without guilt or major internal conflict.

This might sound idealistic, and perhaps I am more clueless than I think, but I think with mature love-in context of its most extreme concept-you do not worry about the other person loving someone else because you are secure and would recognize that your SOs love for someone else is not a threat...Just thinking out loud-if you feel guilty (whether conscious or not conscious) as a wife who loves your T-it could be that you would be deeply hurt if your husband loved a female T, for example. I do think with mature love, you and/or your spouse can have a love for another of the oppposite sex and can be totalliy accepting about it. I have never (yet) had this mature love myself, but this comes from reading books and stuff I learned from T. I have also intimately known a friend with whom I saw the beauty of mature love--he and I discussed his love for both his gf and a female friend...and her love for male friends..truly inspiring...

Here's some things about love from the view of one psychoanalytic therapist:

I understand where your coming from-Ts other clients, the court orders, but I still think that comments such as you are my favorite patient are causing you to have those fantasies about the relationship being more than it is. Even if your T loves you back romantically rather than therapeutically, I think telling you such things in therapy is not helpful at all. If he were to say that once, I think its ok, I wouldn't expect all of Ts words to be perfect. But the truth as I see it-he is overinvolved and letting his counter transference issues get in the way of treatment. If he regularly says things about being special, favorite, or the like, I really do he should seek counseling or peer support about this. From what I see, Ts are (emotionally) either overinvolved, underinvolved, or neutral with their patients, in general. Your T loses his objectivity if he is overinvolved.

Here's an brief excerpt about that sort of overinvolvement (not saying that is the case, but it seems like it):

"So now let us return to your doctors remark about your hair. This sort of comment is unconsciously destructive because, technically, it plays into your unconscious need to make yourself seen by others as a way to cover up your feelings of inadequacy. It adds fuel to the fire, so to speak, and thus you end up obsessed with whether or not he notices you. Instead of feeling secure in his hearing your pain, you feel preoccupied about whether you look good enough to measure up to his desires. When youre in this place, youre, well, in the same gym with him; youre right out on the playing field of the brutal, competitive game of life itself. But youre not in psychotherapy. And thats why you feel so conflicted about his behavior. If he doesnt understand enough about the unconscious implications of his seeing you, then he lacks the ability to understand the transference itself."

With your background-perhaps you are familiar with this-but there are so many different types of orientations, maybe this view would get you thinking about different possibilities...The article about 'being seen' reminded me of your situation (the issues of flirting, sexualizing the relationship, comments about your appearance-may not apply to you but this answer explains the concept of 'being seen' which may be helpful for you to further investigate...)

I don't believe in any one single answer or therapeutic opinion, but the answer on that link is part of a point I'm trying to make.

I think the timing of his "brutal" admission of his feelings not matching yours was a mistake on his part. I totally agree with Dinah your T sounds noble, etc., so perhaps this was just poor timing or maybe it was his acting out (I tend to think the latter). I'm really sorry to hear you had to endure painful feelings during his vacation. At the same time, I think highly of him for his reaction to your feelings when he returned.

Even Ts with the most professional boundaries can be overinvolved and let countertransference feelings interfere with therapy from what I've seen. I'm sure you understand this with your background and all-but it is probably difficult to sort it out with the strong feelings intertwined-of course, you are not the one who is supposed to be objective! Now the countertransferings feelings can be very helpful to therapy, but I think if I were in your position, although I don't know the whole situation, I feel I'd probably ask him if he sought consultation for the way he reacts to his possible CT feelings...

I have fallen in love with my T as well. He handles it beautifully, not to say I don't experience painful feelings in that context. When I told him once I look forward to seeing him each week, he responded - I look forward to seeing you each week as well. That was probably the closest he had ever come to 'gratifying' me rather than remaining neutral/objective. One time he called me 'sweetheart', another he said I was being cute..I felt butterflies in my belly (hehe). Other than those simple, but close to the line things, his not gratifying me or 'seeing me' like that article describes, allows more productive work analyzing the transference feelings, and I tend to not be that concerned how he feels about me or such possibilities of his returning the love..I don't crave the return of love--instead, I am very much satisfied with the therapy love he gives me. yes, I crave seeing him all the time, ect. but it's not as painful having already decided there is no possibility of the relationship being or becoming more than it is...which makes the whole process a lot easier and more productive with dealing with desires and attachment issues...

Unrequited love is complicated; since this topic was on my mind, I thought it might be helpful to share all of this with you. I really hope you get all this sorted out! Your relationship with T does sound very positive. I do think, however, you are rationalizing and justifying his possible acting out by pointing out--multiple times-such strong revelations about his 100% professional boundaries, etc...

It's great to hear you are internalizing Ts love...I am just starting to experience this...My thoughts are that it may be helpful to try to focus on how the love is helping your growth, more than focusing on him-you. But I think he might be a bit overinvolved and that is affecting your ability to do so. Sorry if my perception is way off, but I could really relate to your feelings and am interested in your story.

Good luck :)





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