Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 251041

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Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby

Posted by fallsfall on August 23, 2003, at 9:01:58

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? fallsfall, posted by stebby on August 22, 2003, at 20:11:06

My transference is not love/infactuation. My transference is terror. I am afraid that if he is mad at me that I am evil. Now, logically, I can see that his opinion of what I do is no more important than my opinion of what I do. But I can't FEEL that way yet. If I don't figure this out, then I am always susceptible to being in a position where I am frantic and terrorized - trying to meet the perceived wishes of someone else, rather than making rational decisions myself. I only have this problem with "important" people - my dad, therapists, bosses, sometimes friends, too. But I do run into that kind of people on a regular basis, and it would be nice if I wasn't terrorized.

I didn't address this for 40 years, and it gets progressively worse. I think I have to address it now. I do understand it a lot better now. In the past I was just miserable. Now at least I know why I'm miserable. Is it worth it to go through the transference? I won't know until I get to the other side - But I am intending to get to the other side.

Are you aware of ways that your issue that causes the transference impacts your daily life?

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? fallsfall

Posted by stebby on August 23, 2003, at 19:33:45

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby, posted by fallsfall on August 23, 2003, at 9:01:58

I have had a lot of transference reactions to people in my life besdies my two therapists such as teachers, doctors, bosses...the same types of people. I know its an issue, but I question whether discussing it in therapy is going to resolve it. I already had a good idea of why it happens, and to go through it again in therapy is just a painful experience. I keep hoping that someone will say how therapy really helped them with these issues. Now you understand your transference, but you still feel it. I'm glad you have a positive attitude about it working for you, I'm sure that's half the battle. Have your feelings improved?

The whole tranference in therpay seems to just depress me more...always seeing and longing for what I can't have. Yes, well I didn't get something from my parents I needed, and I still can't have it...I'm just reminded daily of it now...that's the problem. Do you see why I question this?

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby

Posted by fallsfall on August 23, 2003, at 21:39:05

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? fallsfall, posted by stebby on August 23, 2003, at 19:33:45

Sure, I see why you question it. You've been there before and nothing has changed. Why will it change now? I don't understand how "working through" the transference solves the problem, but I have read enough so that I believe that it does. I figure that if my therapist knows how it works that we'll be all set. I haven't seen a clear description in a book of how it works, and I have looked pretty hard.

I really have seen an improvement. We kicked up the transference again on Thursday. I was scared, and panicked, and angry. I was pretty miserable. But when I could get some distance from it I could rationalize it and that took the emotion out of it. I don't know if rationalizing it is a "good" thing to do or not (I have been admonished in the past for intellectualizing everything) - but it has made it so that I can get through this weekend.

Whoever figures out what this "working through" is first can tell the other!

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby

Posted by Dinah on August 23, 2003, at 22:48:47

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? fallsfall, posted by stebby on August 23, 2003, at 19:33:45

I think I've worked through it to some extent. Working on anger was a big issue. I'm beginning to believe that it is not the end of a relationship if people are angry with each other.

Abandonment we're still working on. But I have quit feeling terrified that he'll terminate me at any moment. I have quit having dreams where he terminates me. That's no longer my first question of the session. :)

I've learned to approach issues directly as they crop up in the relationship. And I'm getting much better about asking for what I need.

I don't know if those are transference issues exactly. But they are problems that crop up in all my relationships. And I'm getting better with them. We use our relationship to work on them since it's there. :) But we also use my relationship with my husband, and friends, and this board.

But the main thrust of our therapy isn't relationship issues or the transference. It's more shoring up my fragile coping mechanisms to last another week in teh real world. It's to keep me up and functioning. So there can be very real reasons to bother with therapy. :)

But it doesn't hurt to assess the benefits vs. costs from time to time. Unless of course the assessment is suggested by your therapist as mine did last week. Fortunately I had just spent some time thinking about the issues and so was able to come up with a cogent and compelling argument for why therapy did me more good than harm. I had just read the book:

"When to Say Goodbye to Your Therapist"
by Catherine Johnson

I really recommend it for helping you sort out your thoughts on this issue. And it has a decent discussion on transference as well. Not as good as "In Session" but pretty good.

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby

Posted by allisonf on August 24, 2003, at 16:06:48

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? allisonf, posted by stebby on August 22, 2003, at 20:06:31

I agree, I think we do have a lot in common too. Especially when I saw that you had experienced this same phenomena with other people in your past--teachers, bosses, etc. That's why my therapist has linked this infatuation feeling with hypomania. Definitely, they do feed off each other--feeling these kinds of emotions really lead to hypomanic behavior in my case. Have you had this kind of thing happen just in your recent past or for a long time before you started therapy?

How have things with your husband been? I would think the fact that you've shared with him as much as you can--what you've written about here, your new obsession with this therapist--will really help once he spends a little time coming to terms with it. Has he felt better about things? My husband is better about it sometimes more than others...and about the sexual feelings, it's something we often dance around discussing. Sometimes, I actually think he's a little intrigued that I'm attracted to a woman and he teases me about it...then other times, I think he'll discount my therapist & I know it's b/c he's jealous. I don't know what the answer is--I try to deal with the erotic nature of therapy by writing about it and talking to my therp if it's necessary and possible (like I won't die of embarrassment). I've read that erotic transference is the most difficult to resolve. Again, we get back to what exactly is "resolution"?

I did read In Session. It is really the best I've read on the topic! I'm also reading that When to Say Goodbye book that Dinah recommeded and I think that the part about how your therp relationship can get in the way of your other relationships might be helpful--esp w/regard to the husbands. One other thing, even if the transference makes you feel like you want your husband less...I don't know...my therapist always sort of compartmentalizes this infatuation as something wholly different from the "real" relationship with my husband. Does that make sense?

Oh, I feel for you that you have a 3 week break. I just didn't do well with it this year. (But I am doing better since the pills/alcohol thing--thanks for asking. Just saw my pdoc and I'm starting a healthy dose of Geodon. Maybe that will do the trick?) But my best guess is that telling your therapist in your next session, all about your fears based on your last therapy experience, will help the most.

Have I been learning from the transference (the $64,000 question...)? Too soon to call. I'm hanging in even when it makes me crazy b/c everyone tells me that I'm supposed to. I know that these feelings stem from unmet parental needs & we've explored that...I know they are linked to hypomania...and with each situation, I learn something a little more specific about myself. But is it worth it? It depends on the day. Since my therp is back and so attentive, the feelings are back...I am sure something is bound to happen Tuesday! I will keep you posted & you too.

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? allisonf

Posted by stebby on August 24, 2003, at 20:01:45

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby, posted by allisonf on August 24, 2003, at 16:06:48

So you have had these infatuations with other people as well. My first infatuation began in 7th grade and I have had one after another ever since, some really strong, others not so strong. I find it interesting that your therapist relates this to hypomania. Do the transference feelings lead to hypomania, or does hypomania lead to these feelings. What other symptoms do you have in relation to hypomania?

Yes, things with my husband seem to be better. I still haven't clued him into the erotic feelings yet. I really think he will have a hard time with that, but it probably should be addressed.

I do know what you mean about the "real" relationship with my husband being wholly different. I've sometimes taken my erotic feelings and tried to project them on him. That seems to be a good thing to do with them...he likes it anyway, but then I ask myself, is this ok? I mean, fantasizing about someone else during sex with my husband?

Glad to hear that you are doing better and life is stable again.

I will definitely look into that book that you and Dinah mentioned. The In Session" book was quite interesting, but at times it really made me think about whether or not therapy is useful (I'm back to this again). I mean, so many women reported unsuccessful therapy and even unresolved transference. On the other hand its discussion about what happens when boundaries are crossed was very useful, making me realize how it would never work out if that somehow happened in my therapy. It was good to have that re-enforced on me!

Hope all is well with you...

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? Dinah

Posted by stebby on August 24, 2003, at 20:09:40

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby, posted by Dinah on August 23, 2003, at 22:48:47

Thanks for your thoughts on this issue. It helps to hear the positives from people. I also appreciate the book suggestion. I will definitely get it. I learned a lot from In Session (thanks!), but at times it made me question therapy even more, I mean hearing all of those horror stories. I read it cover to cover in two days though, fascinating.

Hope you are well...

 

Re: Why bother with therapy?

Posted by stebby on August 24, 2003, at 20:17:40

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby, posted by fallsfall on August 23, 2003, at 21:39:05

Yes, that's the thing. Even in the book "In Session" the author never really describes how one resolves transference. Is it just that continually talking about it somehow takes the power out of it and it eventually goes away, or do you just give up hoping against hope and finding what you really want/need someplace else? I mean, one can only take so much of unrequited love until they give up in anger/frustration/shame. Right? I bet that's how it is "resolved." What do you think?

 

above post to fallsfall (nm) fallsfall

Posted by stebby on August 24, 2003, at 20:19:59

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby, posted by fallsfall on August 23, 2003, at 21:39:05

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby

Posted by fallsfall on August 24, 2003, at 21:14:17

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy?, posted by stebby on August 24, 2003, at 20:17:40

I hope there is more to it than just talking it to death. I can't believe that frustrating us to death would be a good solution, either.

My new therapist did work on my transference. He talked to me, but I don't remember what he said - I know he was talking about the general topic of people being mad at other people (which is relevant to my transference). After that session I felt much better. That was the first time the transference pain was better after a session. The next session he asked me about how I felt about the transference, but I was in a fog and didn't understand his question. Then he was more blunt and asked if I felt better after the previous session. So he already knew that I felt better. Magic.

I want to know what is going on, but at the same time I kind of like the magic.

He brought on the transference this past session again. I believe (but I don't know for sure) that he did this on purpose. I think that he chose a topic that would make me think he was mad at me (and it worked). So, I guess I think he has the magic in both directions.

I could be all wrong, but that is how I see it today.

 

Re: Magic. That's what it is all right..... fallsfall

Posted by Dinah on August 24, 2003, at 21:22:08

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby, posted by fallsfall on August 24, 2003, at 21:14:17

I don't care what my therapist says, it's magic.

I go in feeling bad, I leave feeling better.

Magic.

 

Re: Magic. That's what it is all right.....

Posted by justyourlaugh on August 24, 2003, at 22:28:36

In reply to Re: Magic. That's what it is all right..... fallsfall, posted by Dinah on August 24, 2003, at 21:22:08

i go in feeling..freaked
leave feeling okay...
j

 

Re: Magic. That's what it is all right.....

Posted by Dinah on August 24, 2003, at 22:34:55

In reply to Re: Magic. That's what it is all right....., posted by justyourlaugh on August 24, 2003, at 22:28:36

> i go in feeling..freaked
> leave feeling okay...
> j


See? Magic.

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby

Posted by allisonf on August 25, 2003, at 2:15:26

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? allisonf, posted by stebby on August 24, 2003, at 20:01:45

Same here, my 1st infatuation like this was with a teacher in 6th grade. It was sometimes hard to distinguish them from ordinary crushes b/c they understandably created some of the same energy. The hypomania part for me is that these crushes recently cause my sleep schedule to be completely disrupted--I can't settle down from all the racing thoughts I have about what to say to them (I might pace while I go over this out loud/pressured speech), what I think will happen with them (which involves some level of gradiousity), etc. Fantasies I have about them end up with me having *so* much energy--sexual energy yes, but also feeling agitated or needing to write or exercise. I'd write 20 pages/day in my journal easy over something like that perfume incident. Also, I have felt the need to run a couple miles in the middle of the night, or do 100 situps at 3am, etc.

I'm not sure of the answer to the chicken/egg question about the hypomania/transference. I know that I do experience symptoms of hypomania in other contexts, which is why I don't really believe my diagnosis is too far off. But I do know that times when I am depressed or just normal, the infatuation with my therapist isn't nearly as intrusive. When I am in a hypomanic phase, I think they work in tandem--I'm primed to interpret what she does a certain way, then she does it, I'm full of energy reliving the conversation, we have another phonecall where she says something else...it just kind of feeds on itself, know what I mean? Have you had this kind of experience?

I do think it's common to fantasize about all kinds of things while you're having sex with your spouse--maybe even other people. But your therapist? I have the same doubts as you. Despite my earlier post, I haven't really gone that far.

You know, I just cked out In Session again tonight, and you're right, not a lot of "how tos" on getting past this thing. How did you resolve it with all the other crushes you had in your life? Mine were best resolved by walking away from those people. But then I was not as invested in those relationships nearly as much as I am with my therapist.


 

Re: Why bother with therapy? fallsfall

Posted by stebby on August 25, 2003, at 19:44:42

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby, posted by fallsfall on August 24, 2003, at 21:14:17

Magic! Just like that...ok, I guess I know what you mean. I have felt that magic after a session on occassion, but it doesn't last long as I return to reality. Usually after therapy I spend two or three days obsessing over everything we discussed and can't concentrate on anything else. Sometimes, that drives me crazy. Does that ever happen to you?

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? allisonf

Posted by stebby on August 25, 2003, at 19:55:56

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby, posted by allisonf on August 25, 2003, at 2:15:26

OK, so you haven't fantasized about your therapist while having sex w/ your husband...now I feel even wackier than everyone else...

Getting over these other transference situations has involved moving on to someone else or moving on in life in general. Mostly, I have just been forced to get over it because I moved to a new locatio or entered another school...life just changes.

Your descriptions of hypomania are interesting. I have definitley lost lots of sleep over obsessing about my last therapy session, but I have no desire to get up and do 100 sit-ups. At one point my pdoc suggested that I go on Lithium, and I declined saying that I am definitley not bipolar. I certainly obsess a lot, but don't have these energy bursts you talk about.

Gotta run tonight...

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby

Posted by fallsfall on August 25, 2003, at 21:42:54

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? fallsfall, posted by stebby on August 25, 2003, at 19:44:42

With my first therapist, I would see her on Tuesday at 11. I would spend the next 6 hours trying to process what we had said. I couldn't do anything. I couldn't talk to anyone (I couldn't form sentances). Tuesday evening I could start to talk to friends. I didn't feel like I could do anything significant (grocery shop, clean, pay bills etc.) until Thursday evening. That was when my brain would start to function.

I see a different therapist now, and I don't have that same problem. I can talk to people within an hour or two of my session (I still like to get some ice cream by myself first).

I think that what was happening with me and my first therapist was that seeing her was kicking up such transference agony that I couldn't think. It took a long time to settle down from that. My new therapist (even when he does kick up the transference) doesn't affect me as much. My life is definately easier/better than it was with my first therapist.

I don't know how therapy impacts other people, so I don't know if I'm typical or not. What you are describing sounds more like what I had before. I'm really hoping that I don't end up there again.

You might want to describe in detail for your therapist what happens during those two or three days and see what he says.

I'd be interested to know.

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby

Posted by allisonf on August 25, 2003, at 22:21:46

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? allisonf, posted by stebby on August 25, 2003, at 19:55:56

Ok, I just do not accept that you are any wackier than me! Please don't think that I haven't fantasized about my therapist when I am sexually involved...just not as much with my husband as when I am not with him. And there is a fair amount of that kind of fantasizing going on. Whew. I cannot believe I just said that.

I think you are right to decline the lithium & bipolar diagnosis. My therapist is quick to dismiss the intensity of my feelings as hypomanic. But hearing what you are going thru makes me realize that there is something much deeper going on in my own case. I am confronting her about it tomorrow, I swear!

 

Just kidding about the wacky thing! :-) (nm) stebby

Posted by allisonf on August 25, 2003, at 22:58:22

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? allisonf, posted by stebby on August 25, 2003, at 19:55:56

 

Re: Why bother with therapy?

Posted by Bunnyz32 on August 26, 2003, at 10:00:13

In reply to Why bother with therapy?, posted by stebby on August 15, 2003, at 11:00:07

I certainly don't bother, and I am better for it. I simply take my meds(prozac and buspar) and go on with life.
I accept the fact, that life can be a pain in the ass, at times, and our job is to make life a bit more bearable for others and ourself.

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? allisonf

Posted by stebby on August 26, 2003, at 19:54:17

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby, posted by allisonf on August 25, 2003, at 22:21:46

What do you mean, "hearing what you are going thru makes me realize that there is something much deeper
going on in my own case. I am confronting her about it tomorrow, I swear!" You can't just say something like that and not explain it! You made me laugh out loud when you said "whew, I cannot believe I just said that" I felt the same way after writing about the fantasizing during sex thing, especially after I realized that THE WHOLE WORLD can read what I'm writing. Thank God no one knows who I am. I can't imagine one of my students getting ahold of this stuff. I'd never live it down! I'd have to leave town.

I have just returned home after a week away at my in-laws. Returning to town has really brought on the transference stuff again. I went jogging and saw my old therapist drive by...can't stop thinking about it, and when I'm not thinking about her, I'm thinking about my new therapist...helpp!!!!!!!!! How was your appointment today?

I think I am going to print out this entire post and bring it to my therapy session next week. I tend to filter everything down when I talk to my therapist...this might actually be more productive. What do you think?

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? fallsfall

Posted by stebby on August 26, 2003, at 20:02:37

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? stebby, posted by fallsfall on August 25, 2003, at 21:42:54

What you describe is a lot like what happens to me after therapy. Somedays seesm to be better than others ie., it doesn't take as long to get over. Other times I can't function for a few days. My work forces me to function, but its difficult. Do you think you might have just grown more accustomed to therapy and thus don't have that klind of reaction, or do you think your therpapist does something different? I also wonder whther this is a typical reaction to therapy for most people. I remeber one time when I went to a friends house to pick my son up after a session and I could barely speak to my friend. I had to tell her I had to leave because I was too disctarcted to carry on any form of communication. Sometimes, I have to right back to teaching a class. That kind of forces me to snap out of it at least temporarily. Gosh, I don't want tos start that again when I return to therapy and teaching next week!

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? Bunnyz32

Posted by stebby on August 26, 2003, at 20:03:49

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy?, posted by Bunnyz32 on August 26, 2003, at 10:00:13

Did you ever try therapy? If so, what happened?

 

Re: Why bother with therapy?

Posted by Bunnyz32 on August 26, 2003, at 20:17:56

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy? Bunnyz32, posted by stebby on August 26, 2003, at 20:03:49

Yes, I did try therapy. A few times. Nothing happened that's the whole crux of the matter.
I find that concentrating on what I can do for others, in need or in trouble, helps me 100 times over.
I try SOME of the 12 step philosphy and read religious literature of all kinds.
Of course I am on medication which makes ALL the difference in the world, BUT the person to prescribe it to me was my general practioner, AKA family doctor. I like this much better.
Also, EACH individual is different, what works for me, may not work for you. Some folks swear by therapy. I just can't get "into it". Other folks say meds ruined their lives, meds have improved my life.

 

Re: Why bother with therapy? Bunnyz32

Posted by stebby on August 26, 2003, at 20:35:47

In reply to Re: Why bother with therapy?, posted by Bunnyz32 on August 26, 2003, at 20:17:56

I have often thought that spending my time helping other people may be the best medicine. My life's work (teaching) involves this, but I'd like to get involved with people who are in desparate need. Its good to hear your opinion.


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